Elections for County Council
Thank you very much indeed to each and every one for your support of our members in the County Council elections.
Over the past four years we have had some remarkable achievements, from heading off the new layer of Mayoral government, holding the health service properly to account, working to get better funding for Lincolnshire, broadband, highways, school transport, local recycling centres and a better balance of housing closer to our needs. You will have seen longer lists on the leaflets of your own Lincolnshire Independent candidates! We hold considerable strength on District Councils though sadly we lost some cracking good councillors from County who served their residents with determination and integrity. Despite massive boundary changes taking away our voters, our members stood valiantly, only to face the conservatives unbridled national campaign hijacking our local Council elections in a tide of blue, sweeping away good councillors through no fault of their own. Even so, our members overtook the bigger parties (Lab, LD, UKIP) in most of our seats with a total of over 13,000 people voting for us. In rural areas it is the Lincolnshire Independents who stand up to the party politicians and focus on getting the best for our residents.
By hijacking our elections, Mrs May has seriously interfered with our Councils, with full coverage by the media, while we were all in purdah. I spoke to people voting locally, many with heads filled with a rush to support “May’s councillors” in Brexit negotiations on behalf of Britain. That’s “her” councillors, not “our” councillors. Brexit negotiations is her job. Councils do everything that affects us locally in our homes and streets; roads, schools, care, parks, supporting local businesses, planning; all local services and facilities.
So whilst we have potholes, broken unlit pavements and poor local services, the Conservatives have raided the reserves, sold off assets, increased borrowing and raised taxes by the maximum amount – and still they get elected? If people can be duped into voting on national lines at local elections, it makes our councils politically irrelevant to the MPs.
That seriously weakens our hand when it comes to negotiating anything with central government. That could mean still less for local services.
If conservatives win locally on the coat-tails of a national issue, then they become a simple extension of national bidding. That is a very risky place to be in an uncertain future.
The hard work of our Lincolnshire Independent county councillors over the years will be a tough act for the new incumbents to follow, but a great legacy on which residents, including our members, will build to create communities and champions to serve in future.
We have brilliant, skilled District councillors, working effectively. We have a terrific foundation. If we keep our heads and the tide changes as it inevitably will, you will find Lincolnshire Independents organised and ready to take up the cause for residents. There is lots to do and the Lincolnshire Independents are in our streets and villages, working with flair and enthusiasm for the success of our local communities today and everyday. I shall be starting on potholes and other highway issues!
Councillor Marianne Overton MBE
Independent Councillor for Bassingham and Welbourn Division on Lincolnshire County Council and for the Cliff Villages on North Kesteven District Council
Leader of the Lincolnshire Independents
01400 273323 or 07920235364
Follow me on twitter @overtonmarianne @lincindependent or facebook LN5 0QH Tel:07920 235 364