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Senior Conservatives are confident that they will retain control of Lincolnshire County Council

Senior Conservatives say they are confident they can retain control of Lincolnshire County Council at next year’s election - despite recent losses.

County Council leader Martin Hill and Coun Colin Davie believe their ‘strong record’ in office will ensure the support of voters following the recent ‘difficult’ local elections and the national party being ‘in a bit of a mess’.

A total of 474 Tory councillors lost their seats nationally, being replaced by representatives from parties including Labour, Liberal Democrats, Independents, and Green Party on May 2.

Councillor Colin Davie
Councillor Colin Davie

In Lincoln, 11 seats were up for grabs – one in each ward – ultimately resulting in the loss of four key Conservative councillors, including the former local party leader Eddie Strengiel.

With county council elections, and potentially a mayoral election scheduled for 2025, the pair remain confident that the Tory leadership could maintain control despite the recent setback.

Coun Davie, portfolio holder for Economic Development, Environment, and Planning, highlighted the strong reputation the Conservatives have made for themselves while in control of the county council.

Coun Martin Hill
Coun Martin Hill

He said: “I think the message will be very clear to people. This is a well run council, Martin has been an exceptional leader of this council for many years.

“We’re in a good place financially. We’re not like these crazy crackpot Labour councils in the Midlands that have gone bust. We know how to manage money, we know how to deliver services cost-effectively and we know how to fight for the right outcomes for our population.

“We believe in Lincolnshire and that’s critically important when national politicians might not believe in their country. I believe in my place and I’ll fight for every single day in my life.”

Nevertheless, the representative for Ingoldmells Rural division also noted that the Conservative Party on a national level is “in a bit of a mess” at the moment.

“I think much of the issues that we are facing locally are on the fault of national politics and national leadership. I think that we would be in a better place if our party had a clear vision of where they want to take the country to, and how they’re going to achieve that.

“I don’t think our politicians run the country, I think the civil service are running the country. I think we have a bloated civil service and I think we need massive reform across the piece.”

While acknowledging it was a “difficult night nationally” for the Conservative Party, he was pleased that Conservative Police & Crime Commissioner Marc Jones was re-elected for a third term.

“In government, what normally happens is if your party is in government, there tends to be a reaction against that in the local election, and I think that played out very much so,” said Coun Hill.

He maintained that people’s voting habits didn’t seem to be a reflection on local performance, but very much a comment on the “national situation.”

The representative for Folkingham Rural division added: “Going forward, next year we will have a county council election and one presumes a mayoral election on the same day.

“I’m pretty confident because we have a very strong record to defend as Conservatives in Lincolnshire.

“The county council has been very well-run, our council tax is one of the lowest in the country, and our services are among the best.

“This time next year, we will know, and hopefully, from our perspective, we will still have a Conservative-run council to carry on the strong work we have done over the last few years.”

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