Councillors in Louth have accused East Lindsey District Council of ‘throwing money at Skegness’ and leaving their own town with nothing.
During a debate over ELDC’s budget proposals at Louth Town Council on January 22, members launched an attack on the authority’s spending on tourism.
It was claimed that ELDC had a hole of £1.2 million to fill this year as a result of government cuts, with harsher deficits in the years to come.
Chairman of the council, Coun Brian Burnett, admitted ELDC had a ‘horrendous gap to fill’ in their February budget but Coun Andrew Leonard spoke out against the authority’s spending on the annual SO Festival.
“What sticks in my throat is all fact that all these councillors all voted for the SO Festival, it cost £1 million and they’re going to chuck in another £350,000,” he said.
“This project happens in Skegness for one week, it’s not Glastonbury! It’s absolute rubbish.”
“We’re in the age of austerity, their business sense is appalling.”
Coun Laura Stephenson told Coun Leonard that the 2012 SO Festival was spread out across the district. “We got quite a lot of things in Louth,” she added.
But Coun Sue Locking suggested that SO Festival might stand for ‘Skegness Only’.
“Hundreds of thousands are being thrown at Skegness, and Skegness looks like it did in 1954,” added Coun Leonard.
“Skegness constantly gets money pumped into a dry well,” he added.
He also accused ELDC of ‘not coming clean’ with the public.
Coun Margaret Ottaway told the meeting she felt Louth ‘doesn’t get a fair deal’.
There were also question marks highlighted as to why ELDC staff will not be asked to pay for their parking at Tedder Hall when car parking fees are changed across the district in April.
Mrs Ottaway did however have praise for Compass Point Business Services, a firm established by the East Lindsey District and South Holland councils to provide front and back office support.
“CPBS are a role model for customer services,” she said.
What do you think? Does East Lindsey District Council spend taxpayers’ money fairly, or is Louth getting a raw deal? Email your views to firstname.lastname@example.org.