'We're not like these crazy crackpot Labour councils' - Tories take aim at Nottingham City Council

Lincolnshire's Conservative Party leaders appeared to take aim at Nottingham City Council, while expressing confidence in retaining control of Lincolnshire County Council during next year's election, despite the fallout from last week's local electoral losses.

On May 2, 107 councils across England saw elections with the Conservative Party struggling to hold onto their seats, as they suffered a loss of 474 councillors, who were replaced by representatives from an assortment of parties including Labour, Liberal Democrats, Independents and the Green Party.

In Lincoln itself, 11 seats were at stake one for each ward which ultimately led to the loss of four key Conservative councillors, including former local party leader Eddie Strengiel.

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However, amidst county council elections, Martin Hill (Conservative), the Lincolnshire leader, remains hopeful that Tory leadership can retain control, despite the recent setbacks. Acknowledging a difficult night nationally for the Tories, Cllr Hill showed relief over Lincolnshire's Conservative Police & Crime Commissioner Marc Jones being 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 Cllr Hill.

He argued that people's voting patterns didn't seem to reflect local performance, but were more a commentary on the "national situation."

Councillor Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council
Councillor Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council -Credit:LDRS

The representative for Folkingham Rural division continued: "Looking ahead, next year we will have a county council election and presumably a mayoral election on the same day.

"I'm quite confident because we as Conservatives in Lincolnshire have a very strong record to uphold. The county council has been excellently managed, our council tax is one of the lowest in the country, and our services are among the best.

"By this time next year, we will know, and hopefully, from our point of view, we will still have a Conservative-led council to continue the solid work we have done over the past few years."

Councillor Colin Davie (Conservative), portfolio holder for Economic Development, Environment, and Planning, echoed these sentiments, emphasising the strong reputation the Conservatives have built while leading LCC.

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

"We're in a good financial position. We're not like these reckless Labour councils in the Midlands that have gone bankrupt. We know how to handle money, we know how to provide services cost-effectively and we know how to advocate 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."

However, the Ingoldmells Rural division councillor also remarked that the Conservative Party at a national level is "in a bit of a mess" currently.

"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."