May 23, 2023 2.00 pm This story is over 10 months old

New West Lindsey council leader looks to make local politics more transparent

Fostering more public engagement

By Local Democracy Reporter

The newly elected Leader of West Lindsey District Council has pledged to make local politics more open and transparent for the public.

During Monday’s AGM, Councillor Trevor Young (Liberal Democrat) was announced as the new head of the council, taking the reins from his predecessor Councillor Owen Bierley (Conservative).

When asked about how the Liberal Democrats’ approach would differ from the previous Tory leadership, the representative for Gainsborough South West emphasised the importance of making local politics more accessible.

He said: “I think the most important thing is that we want to be more open, honest and a lot more engaging with the public.

“In terms of our policies moving forward, we really want to start engaging with the public more and take much more of a common sense approach.”

To encourage increased engagement, Councillor Young plans to revise policies governing public participation at council meetings, allowing audience members to ask relevant questions when appropriate.

“We want to encourage people to come to the council, ask questions and engage with us and we’ll do that in a very open and transparent way,” he continued.

“That might open us up at times to difficult situations, but I think we should do it.”

Newly elected West Lindsey District Council Leader Trevor Young | Photo: James Turner

In addition to their commitment to public engagement, the party have also pledged to continue the fight against plans to house up to 2,000 asylum seekers at RAF Scampton.

“A massive amount of work is going on from across a number of different authorities around Scampton,” added the newly elected Leader.

“The council is doing an excellent job in terms of doing that and we are going to fully support the officers in terms of making sure that we hold government to account on this decision.”

After failing to secure an urgent injunction from the High Court, the council is now seeking a full judicial review against the Home Office. However, a date for the hearing has yet to be determined.

RAF Scampton | Photo: James Turner

Optimistic about the future, former Leader Owen Bierley hoped the council can continue its collaborative efforts under its new leadership.

“We need to keep doing what we’ve been doing so effectively as a district council for such a long period of time – working collaboratively and pooling all the expertise and some of the ideas and initiatives that individual members have for the good of West Lindsey,” said the representative from Caistor & Yarborough ward.

“The only way that we can tackle some of the issues that we face and improve our communities for the likes of our residents is through collaboration.”

Alongside Councillor Young, Councillor Lesley Rollings (Liberal Democrat) was elected Deputy Leader, while Councillors Stephen Bunney and Matthew Boles (both Liberal Democrats) assumed the roles of Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively.

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