Lincolnshire Councils celebrating first year of Alliance success

July 2, 2021

Boston Borough Council and East Lindsey District Council are celebrating their first anniversary of working together as a Strategic Alliance which, despite being formed in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, is already delivering significant savings, attracting millions of pounds of grant funding, and working to deliver services to their communities in a more innovative and efficient way.

Yesterday (July 1) marked one year since the two Councils officially came together with a target of saving £15.4m over the following 10 years, whilst being able to do more for the communities they serve. One year in, the Councils' One Team approach, which sees the organisations share a workforce, is already seeing them make significant progress towards their ambitions.

In the past year the Alliance has progressed a number of major projects, attracted significant amounts of funding, and played a pivotal role in supporting the area's Covid response. This has included:

  • Securing in excess of £70m through the Government's Towns Fund scheme (£21.9 for Boston, £23.9m for Mablethorpe, and £24.5m for Skegness). This will help deliver transformational projects in each of the three towns. The Alliance Team have also recently submitted ambitious £20m bids for both Boston and East Lindsey to the Government's Levelling Up Fund, which would look to build on the investments being made through the Towns Fund.
  • Supporting the delivery of mass testing facilities in Boston Borough. The Councils, working with County and Health partners, supported the establishment of two 'rapid' community testing sites in late 2020 to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the Borough, after the area was identified as a location that would benefit from Enhanced Community Testing.
  • Continuing to deliver vital Waste collections during the height of the pandemic, whilst also introducing new, more efficient collection rounds in East Lindsey, and working with the County Council to introduce a twin stream recycling scheme in Boston, the first of its kind in Lincolnshire.
  • Delivering the 2021 local elections to ensure that voters across both areas could exercise their democratic right whilst remaining safe.
  • Establishing a shared Climate Change and Environment Team and publishing new Environment Policies for each Council which set out how the Councils will look to work for the benefit of the areas' natural environment, including reducing their own carbon output. The new Team has also already attracted more than £4m in Green Homes Grant funding, which is now being rolled out to support property owners to make their homes more energy efficient.
  • Securing over £490,000 through the Government's Community Champions Fund, which is being used to deliver the Empowering Healthy Communities scheme, a focussed, council-led programme of work within Boston. Through the programme the Alliance team are working to engage with the community through a range of initiatives with a focus on building trust and confidence in public health information and building strong relationships that have a lasting impact.
  • Securing a new partnership between Boston Borough Council and Public Sector Partnership Services Ltd (PSPS). This sees PSPS deliver a range of services on the Council's behalf, something which they have done for a number of years in East Lindsey. In addition to more closely aligning the Alliance partners, the move will also save Boston taxpayers £1.7m over the next ten years.
  • Beginning works to deliver a new College campus and Public Sector Hub in Horncastle. The campus, which will be operated by Boston College, will create new learning opportunities in digital skills for individuals aged 16 and over, providing much needed access to Further and Higher education in East Lindsey, whilst the Public Sector Hub  will be home to East Lindsey District Council and partner organisations.
  • Agreeing a joint housing allocations policy, with investment in IT systems to enable a modern and effective way to assess housing need and allocate affordable housing across Boston Borough and East Lindsey.

Speaking about the success the Alliance has achieved in the past year, Leader of Boston Borough Council, Councillor Paul Skinner, said: "When we first proposed coming together we were clear that it would be to the benefit of residents across both our areas, who would see greater efficiency and improved delivery of services from our teams. Just one year in, with services still working to formally come together, it's fantastic to be able to look back on the successes we've already achieved and my thanks go to our officers for the work they've done over the past year. I've no doubt, that as teams align further, we'll see the Alliance become even stronger."

Leader of East Lindsey District Council, Councillor Craig Leyland, added: "It's wonderful to be able to look back on all we've achieved as an Alliance over the past 12 months. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic and lockdowns, there have been some incredible success stories for both areas during that time and I'm grateful to our fantastic officers who have worked hard to deliver so much positive work for our communities."

This week both Boston Borough and East Lindsey also agreed in principle to extend the Strategic Alliance to include South Holland District Council; the proposals were also agreed in principle by South Holland at their meeting last night (July 1). The proposals will now be subject to further decisions, including a business case and scrutiny, over the coming weeks.