‘We must conquer council mistakes’

Harry Clarke is the new Mayor of Gainsborough for 2011-2012 G110520-5a
Harry Clarke is the new Mayor of Gainsborough for 2011-2012 G110520-5a

THOUSANDS of pounds are to be spent on a governance review into Gainsborough Town Council in an attempt to improve how it is run.

The report will cost over £4,000 plus expenses and West Lindsey District Council have agreed to pay half of the costs.

Coun Trevor Young.

Coun Trevor Young.

It is said that the report will be completed by January 2012.

Mayor Harry Clarke said that the town council was in ‘desperate’ need of improvement.

“We need this report because there are a lot of things that have gone downhill,” he said.

“To fight back, we have to conquer these mistakes. It has to be done quickly, but to deserve the support of the people of Gainsborough we need to do all we can to find out where we’re going wrong.”

He continued: “What we hope to achieve is to have a council that is not biased to anything or anybody and we want to get people from all walks of life working together to protect what is best for Gainsborough.”

“I maintain that what we do at the Gainsborough Town Council must always be done by someone in Gainsborough – whatever it takes. We must always be considering the best position for the town.”

Coun Trevor Young has been asking for an independent report of the governance of the town council for a number of years.

“We want to bring about some changes for the good of the council,” he said. The main reason for this, is that most residents’ feelings regarding the town council are very negative – we are perceived very poorly.”

“The general feeling amongst many is that it has not been very pro-active in terms of actually serving the people of Gainsborough. When people come to meetings, they tend to go away quite disappointed.”

But now, Coun Young says that the wheels of progress are in motion.

“A representative from The Improvement and Development Agency from a London borough council will be setting up meetings with groups and individuals in order to understand what issues there are and then there will be workshops and a report that will come up with new governance arrangements which we so desperately need.”

Coun Young continued: “It’s going to put the council in a much better place in terms of being able to make good decisions on behalf of the electorate - which is something it hasn’t been doing for the last ten years or so.”

“Then we can look at a fully-considered delivery plan and tend to what the residents’ views are.”

He added: “Most members of the town council don’t really seem to understand what they are there for because they’re uncertain of how they can achieve anything - and this is our opportunity to change that.”

“If we don’t do this now then we’ll continue to spend money with no direction. We need to put Gainsborough Town Council back on the right track.”

Director of strategy and regeneration at West Lindsey District Council Rachel North said that they were helping the town council with funding for this in order to serve the wider community.

“We are currently working with Gainsborough Town Council to help them lead the community more effectively,” she said

“We are supporting the town council, which is nothing unusual as we have helped other councils before such as Caistor.”

“However, this is more in depth than the work we have done in the past.”

She continued: “It is about the localism agenda, we want town and parish councils to be effective local leaders and be democratic. This is something we can do to help them help themselves.”

“A report is being carried out, which is being led by a representative of Wandsworth Council and a steering group of officers and members from Gainsborough Town Council.”

She added: “West Lindsey District Council is part funding the work with Gainsborough Town Council, which will cost more than £4,000.”

- What do YOU think of the way that Gainsborough Town Council is being run? What would you like to see changed? Is spending on thousands on a governance report really what the town needs?

Write to us and let us know your views.