I know I’m not the only person fed up with reading about how the Tories are doing this and that for the area, despite such schemes having been originally launched when we controlled the council. Yet hidden in the small print of such announcements is something else that we ought to be concerned about. Namely the fact that public money towards these measures is coming from the Humberside Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
You see, the ruling group have decided that in future we won’t be part of this organisation. At present we are in a unique geographical situation, being members of both the Humberside and Lincolnshire LEPs. However, central Government has decreed that North East Lincolnshire Council can only be attached to one of these bodies. And in their ultimate wisdom, the Tories have decided we should keep our links with the Lincolnshire LEP.
Now I know that historically speaking, many didn’t like being part of Humberside, and the forced ties with our fishing rivals Hull. So why therefore do I think that this is a wrong step to take?
Well to put it bluntly, this is a political decision. Lincolnshire is largely Tory, whereas north of the Humber certainly is not. Thus our local Tories naturally want to ally themselves with like minded individuals, regardless sadly of what is in the area’s best interests. I say this because South Lincolnshire is predominantly rural, dominated by farmers and agriculture. We on the other hand are an urban authority, whose well-being is closely tied to the River Humber. Developments in recent years regarding energy supplies bears this out.
Yet we will soon find ourselves cut adrift from an important body that has given valuable support to projects here in Grimsby and Cleethorpes. A case of the Tories selling us down the river, our River Humber.