Humberside

Lincolnshire villagers in call to close parish council

Great Coates sign
Image caption Building work on the new £300,000 village hall will start this month

A row over a loan to build a new village hall has led to a call for a parish council near Grimsby to be dissolved.

North East Lincolnshire Council said it had received a valid petition calling "for the dissolution of the Great Coates Village Council".

Some residents claim the village council is to borrow up to £300,000 to build the hall, despite two ballots voting against the scheme.

Building work is to start this month.

North East Lincolnshire Council said it will now launch a "community governance review".

The petition to the council claims that by ignoring the results of two referendums, which voted against the use of a loan to build the village hall, Great Coates Village Council "shows their complete indifference to the wishes of the village electorate and therefore they are not representative or accountable to the village members".

The last ballot in February 2012 voted 377 to 87 against taking out a loan to build the centre.

The chair of the village council, Nicola Maasdam, said the vote was made on the basis of "inaccurate information" and did not represent the views of the whole village.

She said: "People are saying to us that they do want a village hall, that's not the problem, they just don't want to pay for it."

"Unfortunately, if we do want a village hall we have to pay for it."

According to the Great Coates Village Council's website, over a 49-year period the parish would end up paying back approximately £600,000 with interest charges.

The cost of paying for the hall would nearly double the yearly tax precept of villagers.

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