April 29, 2022 9.15 pm

‘About time!’ Grantham Town Council plans pass the first hurdle

The majority of Grantham residents say they want their own council

By Local Democracy Reporter

Plans to give Grantham its own town or parish council have moved a step closer.

A working group of councillors have welcomed the results of a consultation which saw two-thirds of respondents back the idea.

Their recommendation for will now be sent to South Kesteven District Council’s full council meeting next month, which will draw up more detailed plans for public feedback.

Some 66% of people who answered the survey said they wanted to see a new council created, with only 20 per cent saying they didn’t.

Residents and neighbouring parish councils will be consulted on the proposed boundary arrangements in the next stage of the process.

Some councillors have eagerly embraced the chance to give Grantham more of a voice, while others are cautious on the cost and the limited powers.

Councillor Ray Wootten, who sat on the review working group, said: “If this is what the majority of people want, then I will certainly support it at the full council.

“It is a positive sign that so many people responded to the survey. I would have liked it to cover everybody in the old Grantham borough council, however.

Councillor Ray Wootten said he would listen to the people’s answer

“Grantham is one of very few towns in the country without their own council. Since the borough council was abolished in 1974, the town has had Chartered Trustees, who only have civic and ceremonial powers.

“Many thought that if Lincolnshire County Council became a unitary authority, that would be the time to set up a town council. However we heard from quite a few people who didn’t want to wait, so we began a cross-party motion to move forward with exploring a town or parish council.

“The main thing I am concerned about is cost. I am conscious that residents don’t get lumbered with an extra bill.

“People should also bear in mind that it would have fairly limited powers. Some residents seem to expect that a town council would have powers over things like highways and schools, when they would remain with the district.”

Councillor Lee Steptoe, another working group member, tweeted: “Grantham will at last get a Town Council and equity with other small towns after hard fought consensus on South Kesteven review committee. About time, but a good day for our proud town.”

The working group’s recommendation will go to South Kesteven District Council’s annual meeting on Thursday, May 26.