By February the processes for both local and general elections were well underway. Having been appointed by Sir Edward Leigh and the Gainsborough Constituency Conservative Association to be Agent for their campaigns I found myself particularly busy running a parliamentary campaign, and thrity-seven district council candidates - including myself - in elections. Fortunately the alignment of general and district elections being held on the same day will not happen again until 2035.
Above: Giles McNeill enters the pollingstation at the Old School, Mill Hill,
Local government continues to face a tough financial settlement with central government and your local councillors are very much on the front-line. West Lindsey is well placed to adapt to the changes that reducing monies from central government will necessitate. But it means that we are having to make genuinely difficult choices about what services stay and what services have to go. I do not envy colleagues who are less well placed. County Councillors are consistently and continually criticised for cutting services; yet it is a triumph, albeit not necessarily one of their own making, that there will be more libraries open in Lincolnshire, for longer periods, than three years ago. Nevertheless with responsibilities to an ageing population the county council must choose to provide services to the vulnerable and elderly, fulfilling statutory responsibilities.
I was very pleased to be offered the opportunity to continue my service as Chairman of the Governance and Audit Committee by the Council's Leader, Cllr. Jeff Summers and also to continue in the role as the administration's Chief Whip.
In October I had the good fortune to have lunch with the Prime Minister, David Cameron MP, and we spoke in congratulatory tones on the successes of the election campaign.
|Above: (Left to Right) Nettleham Parish|
Councillors Joe Siddall, John Evans and
Terry Williams present the Nettleham
Neighbourhood Plan to West Lindsey
District Councillors Steve England and
Working hard for the Nettleham Ward