April 28, 2022 7.00 am

‘Grantham needs more of a voice’ – two thirds back idea of town council

The majority said they wanted more local control

By Local Democracy Reporter

Two thirds of Grantham residents say their town needs its own council.

There has been broad public support for the idea in a consultation launched by South Kesteven District Council, with many calling for more local control of the town.

A total of 66% of people agreed either a town or parish council should be set up, and only 20% said it shouldn’t.

Another 13% were unsure or didn’t know.

Grantham is the only major town in South Kesteven without its own council.

People responding to the survey said local councillors would be able to make better decisions than those at a district level.

However, some skeptics questioned whether it would make any difference.

The responses will now be used to draft recommendations, which will go to a second consultation. The full review could be completed within 12 months.

A total of 1472 people living in or around Grantham responded to the survey, with just under 1,000 giving plans their support.

“Grantham needs more of a voice. Rightly or wrongly, there is a feeling the SKDC finds it difficult to assess and respond to the very particular needs of the town,” one response said.

“I never understood the reason for the largest town not having its own town council. I believe the people of Grantham should have more say in the running of the town,” another person wrote.

Several people mentioned having a greater say in planning decisions as a reason for their support.

“In the 10 years since we have moved to Grantham from Boston (which has had its own town council for many years) we have seen a substantial growth in housing development. We have sensed a perception that Grantham is often influenced by councillors made from outside in the area in SKDC,” another person said.

“Many towns in Lincolnshire and beyond have a council, and we think that with the continued growth in housing and infrastructure, there is a compelling case for a town council in Grantham.

The potential cost and lack of faith in politicians were some of the reasons people gave for not wanting a town council.

Negative responses included: “I don’t believe it will improve anything and may cost more”, “We already have too many tiers of government”, and “Just another reason to squeeze money out of taxpayers without any real benefit.”

The cross-party plans to review Grantham’s ‘unusual’ organisation were passed by a full council meeting in October.

The results will go before a South Kesteven District Council meeting on Friday, April 29.