Boston Council: Historic alliance with East Lindsey will come back to table, say disappointed leadership team

Boston Borough Council will continue to pursue the idea of a historic alliance with East Lindsey District Council, despite the proposal being taken off the table at last week’s full council meeting.
The moment Coun Welton withdrew the proposed alliance at Wednesday's meetingThe moment Coun Welton withdrew the proposed alliance at Wednesday's meeting
The moment Coun Welton withdrew the proposed alliance at Wednesday's meeting

After chaotic scenes during the online meeting, which eventually saw an amendment to delay the services merger proposals by seven months passed, the council’s leadership withdrew the proposal for a services merger from the agenda.

But council leader Coun Paul Skinner and his deputy Coun Nigel Welton today (Friday) issued a joint statement expressing disappointment with the decision of the full council, while pledging to bring the proposal back to the table as soon as possible.

The alliance would have reportedly saved Boston Borough Council and East Lindsey District Council around £15.4m over the next 10 years through a shared, including one chief executive for both councils.

East Lindsey District Council strongly supported the proposal when it met at roughly the same time as Boston last week

East Lindsey leader Councillor Craig Leyland, said: “It is disappointing that Boston Borough Council didn’t agree to enter into a strategic alliance.

“East Lindsey District Council is a strong, stable and successful organisation and we will continue to work hard to improve services to our communities, whilst continuing to explore further partnership working opportunities that add value to what we do.”

In their statement, Couns Skinner and Welton said the alliance was ‘too important’ to throw away, and they say they are looking at amendments to proposals put before councillors.

It states: “We are bitterly disappointed with the outcome of Wednesday night’s Full Council meeting.

“We will be calling at our earliest opportunity a meeting to allow all members to look at the proposal in more detail. We are currently working on amendments to the recommendations on this.

“This alliance is so important to both councils and to the people of Boston. With £15.45m over 10 year savings we feel it is too important to forget.

“The partnership would provide the opportunity for both organisations to improve the delivery of services to local people through the sharing of expertise and provide greater value for money through more efficient ways of workings and economies of scale.

“We will be speaking to all group leaders to work on a resolution to get this alliance in place.”

The first stage of the alliance would have come into effect at the beginning of next month, and if agreed, would have seen ELDC’s Rob Barlow become joint chief executive with Phil Drury leaving his role as chief executive of Boston.

The alliance plan would have seen Michelle Sacks, the current deputy chief executive of Boston Borough Council, become joint monitoring officer of both councils, and Paul Julian, current finance director of Boston, become Joint S151 Officer of East Lindsey District Council and Boston Borough Council.

Meanwhile, fallout from various technical issues during Boston Council’s online meeting could see an investigation into an alleged code of conduct breach.