July 12, 2022 4.00 pm This story is over 23 months old

New town council sparks “power grab” fears before it’s off the ground

New consultation included areas previously not agreed

A new town council has sparked fears it could be involved in a “power grab” before it’s even started.

Councillors examining the creation of Grantham Town Council were discussing a second consultation on the boundaries for the new authority, including whether planning applications currently being built, or planned for the future should be included.

However, Councillor Mark Whittington said the inclusion of some of the potential housing sites had angered his parish council.

“I think 60-70% of those consulted initially said no to extending the boundaries into those areas,” he said.

“Barrowby Parish Council are really angry about this because they see it as a power grab.

“I really cannot support any extension into those areas.”

Suggestions that planning applications which did not have permission yet, or which had not yet started to be built, stirred up some concerns. | Image: SKDC

Councillors eventually agreed that areas with no houses built should not be included in the next round of consultation, due to take place in Autumn.

Councillor Graham Jeal told the committee: “I can’t see a way in which you can sensibly consult with a field.”

However, they agreed that some areas would be consulted once a majority were completed with residents paying council tax within them.

They voted in favour of including four extisting areas of housing totalling 378 homes to the north and east of the town, where previous consultation was too close to call, and also to include the Poplar Farm.

Councillors voted to consult 378 existing homes on whether they would like to be within Grantham Town Council’s boundary or not. | Image: SKDC

The consultation on whether residents in the selected areas would prefer to be part of the town or surrounding parish councils, will include the locals and councils themselves, as well as district and county councillors.

The hope is for the first set of councillor elections to take place in May 2024 in order to give it three years to get settled before lining up with South Kesteven District Council elections.

Councillors set aside an initial £5-600 limit for consultation, including posting out leaflets to the residents involved.