Two Skegness councillors are sending out a rallying cry to residents to support a new non-political party, and take back control of decisions made at district level that affect the town.
Skegness Urban District Society claims East Lindsey District Council is letting the town down because it “does just enough to keep the golden goose alive” but it wants “to see the golden goose thrive”.
The campaign is being spearheaded by former Skegness Mayor Coun Danny Brookes and Coun Mark Dannatt. who currently sit on both Skegness Town Council and East Lindsey District Council as Independent councillors.
In a leaflet being circulated around the town with the campaign logo ‘Your Town Needs You!’ - inspired by Lord Kitchener’s wartime poster with the face of Skegness’ Jolly Fisherman - they explain they have taken action after serving three years on Skegness Town Council and “seeing the lack of investment in Skegness by East Lindsey District Council”.
The leaflet states: “We appreciate we cannot do this alone, which is why we are asking Slegness residents who feel the same to join us.
“We also realise that not everone wants to stand for council, however you can do your bit by voting for your local SUDS candidate in the 2019 elections.”
We appreciate we cannot do this alone, which is why we are asking Slegness residents who feel the same to join us.Skegness Urban District Society
There is no coincidence that the name of the new society resembles Skegness Urban District Council, which was abolished in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972 and combined with various other local government districts in the eastern part of Lindsey to form East Lindsey District Council.
Since then many residents have claimed that Skegness has been a “cash cow” for the district, in spite of East Lindsey Dictrict Council leader Coun Craig Leyland’s reassurance last month that the authority’s commitment to the coast was “as strong as ever”.
In an interview with the Standard, Coun Leyland said ELDC was already supporting Skegness Town Council with the transfer of some assets, with plans for Tower Gardens and a new community building underway (see Page 5).
Coun Leyland warned of a further £3.9m cuts over the next two years and said ELDC was having to take “a more commercial approach to surviving the financial challenges ahead”. He said: “In reality, it costs a considerable amount of money to run the coast, but in spite of the cuts we are still emptying the bins,”
However, support for SUDS has been building since August, when a Facebook page was launched which now has more than 1500 members.
More recently members’ fury was vented when plans for Louth Cattle Market to become an events hub with drive-thru cinema, theatre, cafe, car wash and retail were announced.
Coun Brookes commented: “Say your thanks to pier field,” to which replies included: “It’s not fair, Skegness money should be used to improve Skegness”.
Concerns raised on the SUDS Facebook page include part-nigh street lighting, neglected gardens and other areas in town, anti-social behaviour in town, and the state of the roads.
Coun Brookes said SUDS would like to see 11 candidates voted onto East Lindsey District Council. He commented: “Can you imagine the shock waves that will be sent through ELDC if we can take seven district seats and gain control of the town council? They will be laughing now, but let’s wipe the smile from their faces,
“I’ve been accused of being desperate, well my message is loud and clear - I desperately want the money made in Skegness to be re-invested in Skegness.
“What a wonderful place we live in, with the vast majority of people being wonderful, but unless your eyes are painted on, we are being let down.”
To join SUDS, call Mark on 07545775795 or Danny on 07789645516. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org or Dannybro1@outlook.com.