Ingoldmells Parish Council hits out over attendance

A PARISH council has accused its district representative of creating a ‘void’ between the two local authorities by failing to communicate information.

Ingoldmells Parish Council discussed the low attendance of East Lindsey District Councillor Graham Archer at its latest meeting.

Many councillors felt that despite attending many ELDC meetings, Coun Archer had not relayed essential information to the parish council by attending its meetings or communicating with parish clerk Mike Allen.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Allen said: “We feel there’s a void between what’s happening at district level and what we do at the parish council.

“With the big society, matters cascade down the chain of local government and so more is now expected of parish councils to recruit volunteers and take on additional services.

“In order for this to happen there must be a flow of information in both directions - communication between the councils is paramount.”

Coun Archer’s low attendance came under fire from parish councillors and a member of the public who broke council protocol to make ‘derogatory comments’ aimed at the district councillor.

Mr Allen also disputed comments made by Coun Archer in a letter to the Standard in which he claimed to be kept abreast of parish matters via emails with the clerk.

Mr Allen said that whereas Lincolnshire County Councillor Colin Davie, who is also Coun Archer’s district council predecessor, kept in regular contact with the parish council, Coun Archer did not.

Although Coun Archer has since expressed a willingness to attend more parish council meetings he believes the break down in communication was not entirely his fault.

He said: “If they are not asking me to do anything specific, how on earth am I supposed to find out what they want?”

He also explained that his first year in local government has been a learning curve but that he had done his best to deal with the requests of local people who had contacted him.

Mr Allen said he will request that Coun Archer build the parish council’s meetings into his schedule.

“We are going to challenge him - we want to know what his representation will be like,” he added.