Boston Borough, East Lindsey and South Holland District Councils have formally signed off on plans to create an ambitious new partnership – the largest such partnership of councils in the country.

After being approved in principle by the three authorities last month, each council had been considering the detailed business case for the formation of the South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership over the last week with final agreement coming from Boston Borough Council at their meeting last night (2 August).

Whilst each council will continue to be politically independent and be accountable to the communities they serve, the three councils will work collectively, supported by a shared management team and workforce, to deliver on their aspirations for their communities and to tackle common challenges.

The total population of the three council areas is 304,000, covering a geography of 1,112 square miles.

Building on the foundations of the existing alliance between Boston and East Lindsey, as well as the experience of shared working arrangements that South Holland has gathered from its previous partnership with Breckland District Council, the South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership will provide the councils with the opportunity to share a stronger voice at a local, regional, and national level and will enable savings of up to £42m to be achieved over the next ten years.

With a shared management team and workforce of almost 1,000 officers, the partnership will look at providing improved services to local communities with greater efficiency whilst also working to identify and secure investment for growth and regeneration in strategic infrastructure across the partnership area.

The South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership will come into effect in September, and in agreeing the proposals the councils have also approved the appointment of Rob Barlow, current Boston and East Lindsey Chief Executive, as Chief Executive/ Head of Paid Service for the three councils. Mark Stinson has also been appointed as Joint Monitoring Officer, and Christine Marshall as Joint Section 151 Officer, roles they had previously been working in for South Holland.

Councillor Gary Porter, Leader of South Holland District Council, said: “The South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership is extremely good news, and none more so than for residents. This working partnership will mean we will be in a much stronger position to deliver on local needs due to the capacity and resilience this new partnership will bring, as well as providing greater efficiency to frontline council services.”

Councillor Craig Leyland, Leader of East Lindsey District Council, added: “This new partnership will be fantastic for our patch of Lincolnshire. A more unified, shared voice presents us with the chance to have greater say on the debates that will shape our area in years to come and help us to realise ambitions that may otherwise have missed out on. I look forward to working with colleagues across the Partnership to deliver for our communities.”

Councillor Paul Skinner, Boston Borough Council Leader, said: “I’m very pleased that our Councils have now signed off on the South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership. This is a really exciting opportunity for our three areas and, through sharing our collective knowledge and collaborating closer than ever before, we’ll be able to deliver services for our residents and businesses with greater efficiency and innovation.”

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government Luke Hall MP said: “Throughout the pandemic, we have worked closely with councils to ensure they have the resources they need to deliver vital services for their communities.

“Seeing Boston Borough, East Lindsey and South Holland District Councils come together for the benefit of their communities and improve local services is a great example of how local government can be more efficient and deliver value for money for the taxpayer.”