December 29, 2021 4.35 pm This story is over 30 months old

Councillor makes the case for abolishing North East Lincolnshire council

‘Divided’ borough ‘hasn’t served residents over the years’

North East Lincolnshire should be broken up and merged with neighbouring authorities, according to a former councillor.

Matthew Brown, who previously represented Cleethorpes, says the competing economic plans means the borough would be better off apart.

He suggests the industrial towns of Grimsby and Immingham should be merged with North Lincolnshire.

Cleethorpes and the surrounding villages which rely on tourism could then become part of Lincolnshire County Council.

Matthew says the current arrangement was cobbled together from the collapse of Humberside County Council and has created a borough which is divided and hasn’t served residents over the years.

“Since its formation, North East Lincolnshire Council has had many false dawns under administrations of each political colour. The proposed new library for Grimsby, the multiple regenerations of Freeman Street, the pedestrianisation of Sea View Street and the Pleasure Ireland to name but a few,” he says.

“Each project has either happened but failed to address the challenges it was designed to alleviate or has ended up on the scrapheap of past aspiration and ideas. Whilst current government investment appears to bring fresh hope, the people are cautious due to previous failures.

“Local government reorganisation has been on the government’s agenda for the past ten years.

“Is now the time for North East Lincolnshire Council to admit it is time to split the authority and accept the project that was established in 1996 has not had the impact that was hoped? There is no shame in admitting it just has not worked.

“To move the area forward it would make more strategic sense to unite Grimsby and Immingham with North Lincolnshire Council which includes Scunthorpe. This would create a larger Northern Lincolnshire Authority with a clear economic focus on industry, raising people out of challenging economic circumstances and addressing health inequalities.

“The rest of what remains of North East Lincolnshire which would focus on Cleethorpes and the villages (the parish of Old Clee and the wards of Sidney Sussex, Croft Baker, Haverstoe, Humberston and New Waltham and Waltham) reuniting with its historical home of Lincolnshire County Council, allowing the area to benefit from a coherent tourism and investment strategy.

“The proposals would address the lack of economies of scale and competing economic demands that North East Lincolnshire Council currently has. Moreover, it reunites Cleethorpes and villages with its historic home of Lincolnshire.

“Whilst it is clear why Grimsby, Cleethorpes, Immingham and villages was united as a single unitary authority, the culture and economic demands never have not allowed the area to prosper. Geographical proximity should not be the only reason for uniting communities together.

“A need for a thought-out strategic uniting of communities based on economic needs, cultural identity and values of each community must be coherent to allow it to prosper.

“North East Lincolnshire Council, based on that formula, was always doomed to fail and it would appear that it was cobbled together following the termination of Humberside County Council. 2022 is the time to renew local government in the area and allow each town contained within North East Lincolnshire to prosper.”

Read more about devolution in Greater Lincolnshire