How exactly does the council work?
Boston Borough Council runs along the same lines as Government. At the head of Government is the Prime Minister. At the head of the council is the leader, Cllr Peter Bedford. Coincidentally they are both Conservatives because, in the same way that the Government is Conservative controlled because it has a majority of elected Conservative MPs, the council has a majority of elected Conservative councillors.
Supporting the PM is the Cabinet, and the council has a Cabinet too. At Government level these are elected MPs who have been made ministers with special responsibilities, such as education, health, defence. The equivalent at borough council level are members of the Cabinet. This is sometimes called "the executive board" and members are known as executive members or portfolio holders.
Boston prefers the term portfolio holders and each one has responsibility for specific areas of council activity - all listed below.
MPs who are not in the Cabinet may have more junior positions, and all MPs have their own constituency residents to represent.
Councillors, including those in the Cabinet, have ward residents to represent.
The Government is supported by non-political paid officials - civil servants - whose job it is to advise MPs and action the democratic decisions taken by MPs after debate and voting at committee level and by the full Parliament in the House of Commons. Debate is entered into by all political parties represented in the House - it can sometimes be very combative and adversarial, leading eventually to a vote with a decision made by the majority.
The council is supported by non-political officers whose job it is to advise and action the democratic decisions made by the council after debate and voting by councillors from all sides at committee level and meetings of the full council. The borough council's make up is 13 Conservatives, 12 from UKIP, two Labour, two Independents and one Unaligned making 30 in total.
This shows that the Conservatives do not have an overall majority at the borough council, which makes for some interesting debate.
Both Government and the council have their proposals and decisions scrutinised by committees whose aim is to examine and challenge the expenditure, administration and policies and improve processes and outcomes.
BOSTON BOROUGH COUNCIL'S CABINET
Cllr Peter Bedford - council leader with responsibilities for coastal strategy, strategic conservation, heritage and local development framework planning, county and regional partnerships, building control, emergency planning, climate change, transformation programme, development control, Port of Boston, regeneration and media;
Cllr Michael Brookes - deputy leader with responsibilities for street cleansing, garden waste, refuse and recycling, environmental health, democratic services, parish councils, performance and improvement;
Cllr Aaron Spencer - finance, procurement, IT, corporate governance, licensing and land charges, customer services, Freedom of Information and complaints.
Cllr Paul Skinner - town centre development and management, car parks, markets, May Fair, public toilets, community safety and health and safety;
Cllr Claire Rylott - leisure services, parks and open spaces, country parks and reserves, playing fields, tree management, Guildhall, Tourist Information Centre, arts, crematoria and cemeteries, allotments, grounds maintenance and health and wellbeing;
Cllr Michael Cooper - housing, community transport, property, homelessness, older people, child and adult safeguarding, community development and voluntary sector support.
WANT TO ASK THE COUNCIL A QUESTION?
You can ask the council a question on any subject which is the responsibility and function of the authority.
These are answered at meetings of the full council which are almost always held at 6.30pm on a Monday. The next one is on Monday, October 10.
Questions must be submitted in writing at least two full working days before the day of the meeting, so for the council meeting on October 10 questions must be received by 5pm on Wednesday, October 5. The resident asking the question must attend the meeting to ask their question in person. They will have been given prior notice of the answer and may then ask one subsidiary question related to the same subject, for which prior notice does not have to be given.
Questions should be sent to Lorraine Bush, the council's democratic services manager, preferably by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
They can also be posted or delivered in person to Lorraine Bush, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, PE21 8QR.
If you don't want to do this formally you can email the council at Feedback.Feedback@boston.gov.uk or write a letter and it will be passed on to the appropriate department or portfolio holder.
Local issues ought first be addressed to your ward councillor. If you don't know who your councillor is, but do know which ward you live in you can find your borough councillor's details at http://bit.ly/2awwOOn
If you are not sure which ward you live in, contact electoral services on 01205 314220/221.