A new study which measures the prosperity of UK councils has put North East Lincolnshire in the bottom five and rated several Lincolnshire districts poorly.
London-based think tank The Legatum Institute released the UK Prosperity Index for 2021 measuring institutional, economic, and social well-being across the UK’s 379 local authorities.
Of those, North East Lincolnshire placed 374th while North Lincolnshire was 340th.
- City of Lincoln Council – 308th
- South Holland District Council – 310th
- East Lindsey District Council – 318th
- Boston Borough Council – 333rd
The data investigates the government’s “levelling-up” programme and scored councils under 12 separate headings.
North East Lincolnshire’s lowest score of 369 comes under enterprise conditions which measures business start-ups, competition, and expansion.
Its highest score of 171 was in governance, which measures the quality of local democracy, trust in politicians and the effectiveness of council services.
Council disputes report findings
Councillor Philip Jackson, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said the report did “not give an accurate depiction of our borough”.
“Like all communities, we do have challenges, but our outlook for the future has never been better,” he said.
He pointed to investment including the Greater Grimsby Town Deal, Cultural Development Fund, Towns Fund and the Future High Streets Fund.
“We are clearly an area that is punching above its weight, and we mean to continue to do that to attract more good quality jobs, increase skills training, and improve the health and wellbeing of local people,” he said.
Worst-placed Lincolnshire district Boston also saw its lowest score in enterprise conditions (375) and its highest in governance (six).
Meanwhile, East Lindsey scored three under governance, but its worst score of 373 was in natural environment which measured the physical environment’s impact on people’s daily lives and changes that impact future generations’ prosperity.
Council leaders at both authorities said they were “well aware” of the challenges and their corporate strategies included measures to tackle the issues.
“We will help make the borough a more amazing place to live, where residents can enjoy healthy, active lives; and a fantastic place to work and do business, with a sustainable local economy where our businesses and workers are encouraged to develop, and we see a continuation of the investment we’ve experienced in recent times,” Boston leader Councillor Paul Skinner said.
East Lindsey Council leader Craig Leyland said “We [have] an ambition to address any issues, maximise our potential in those areas, and ensure that the communities of East Lindsey are afforded every opportunity to thrive.”
Lincoln again scored highly for governance, getting 12 marks, however, its lowest score was under health, which measured the extent to which people are healthy and have access to services.
Jo Walker, Assistant Director of Growth at City of Lincoln Council, said there had been major investment in recent years which had helped “transform and bring opportunities to the city”.
However, she added: “It is clear that many challenges remain, particularly in relation to health and economy, and the benefits of investment have not reached all of our communities. This is a situation that we are determined to improve.”
She said the Town Investment Plan and the recent £19 million Town Fund were hoped to “go some way towards supporting our economic recovery and regeneration”.
There were also hopes for future support including through the Levelling Up Fund, Community Renewal Fund and a future Shared Prosperity Fund.
“However, the challenge should not be underestimated. It requires a long-term approach and a collective effort,” she said.
“We are currently working with a range of partners to secure resources to help on this journey and will continue to do so.”
South Holland District Council did not respond to a request for comment, but again scored highly under governance, with a five, and poorest under natural environment – scoring 375 there.