Fears over elected mayor for county

East Lindsey district councillors are backing proposals for a Greater Lincolnshire Combined Authority but have questioned the need for a Boris Johnson-style Mayor to lead it.

The Government has offered an extra £15million-a-year in funding for the new authority but have insisted the deal involves an elected mayor who would head an executive cabinet.

At a meeting on Thursday, the proposal for a mayor met with an overwhelmingly negative response from district councillors – especially after they read the paperwork outlining what might be on offer.

They are concerned most of the extra income would be swallowed up in the bureaucracy required for an additional layer of local government.

Coun Sarah Dodds warned some powers might be ‘pulled back to Whitehall’ and added: “I am in favour of partnerships but this looks like someone is trying to sell us a duck.”

Coun Terry Knowles described the proposal document as being ‘heavy on fine words and sentiments but almost empty of meaningful content’.

Coun Adam Grist applauded the efforts of council leader Coun Craig Leyland and chief executive Stuart Davy in working with the nine other 
existing Lincolnshire authorities involved to draw up a 
proposal document.

He backed stronger ties with North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire as many East Lindsey businesses have trading links with firms on the Humber but said the document resulted in more ‘questions than answers’. He added: “There are other ways to transform local government.”

Councillors voted 39-0 to put the proposals to a public consultation in the summer.