At least eight Lincolnshire councils could be scrapped to make way for a unitary system in the county.
This switch could see the area save £150m a year if Lincolnshire County Council give the plans the green light. This would improve key services and keep tax down for residents living in the county.
The proposed motion started on the 23rd January when County Council leader Martin Hill, tweeted: “I will be asking the council to hold a public referendum on whether we should ask to go to unitary council status in Lincolnshire.”
Martin Hill also said: “Lincolnshire can follow suit of many other areas where this system has worked. Our current system is not financially sound, it’s wasteful and with many key services facing cuts or even the scrap, there must be a change.”
Despite this positive outlook from Lincolnshire County Council, Ric Metcalfe, leader of the City Council, doubts the system change will work.
Council leader Metcalfe, said: “We weren’t told about this referendum and weren’t consulted properly on the matter. The county is not acting fairly but this a financial crisis I’m afraid.”
“It’s ironic really, they are trying to save money and they have detailed this but by holding a referendum, this will cost a lot of money to begin with.”
This proposed referendum comes a month after Lincoln County Council rejected a £450m grant from central government and numerous powers that would have seen the county gain more control.
While it was rejected initially, Mr Metcalfe still has hopes of getting some form of devolution deal. The council leader said: “Collaboration with the central government is still available so we should see what we can make of these devolved powers, even if we have to do it without the County Council.”
Should the County Council approve the unitary plans, members of the public will then be asked to vote in a poll alongside the local government elections to decide whether they want a unitary government system in their county.