Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Local People Think West Lindsey is a Good Place to Live

87% of locals think West Lindsey is a good place to live. That's the view of the Oneplace assessment released today - part of the Government's Comprehensive Area Assessment performance monitoring programme aimed at providing the community with an overview of how public services perform in their area.

The report also says that the regeneration of Marshall's Yard in Gainsborough shows that the Council can manage large development projects and that this bodes well for the regeneration of the town centre and the developments to the south of the town.

The Council's commitment to the whole of the district is demonstrated by the First Contact Scheme which allows people over 60 to access a wide range of services from their homes, the report adds.

Acting Leader of the Council, Cllr Adam Duguid said:
"Our overall rating of two out of four in all sections means that we areofficially scored as performing adequately. This is a little disappointing as I believe we are already doing well in many areas and I am certain that we will soon be recognised for our work."
The report says the area is clean and that waste collection and recycling services are highly rated by local people. Cllr Duguid continued:
"We work closely with other organisations like the County Council, other district councils, health services and the police and we seek out the best way of providing services,"
A recent survey showed that 46% of residents were satisfied with the Council - slightly above the average for England. The Council also recognised that sports and leisure facilities could be improved and had ensured that a new leisure contract for its facilities at Gainsborough, Market Rasen and Caistor, is now focused on what people want.

The report also comments on the fact that West Lindsey was the first Council in England to be awarded the 'achieving level' of the new Equalities Framework which supports an equal society.
Cllr Duguid said:
"More than 84% of residents believe people from different backgrounds get on
well together which is the highest rating in Lincolnshire. The Council has
invested to reduce anti-social behaviour and now fewer than 10% of residents
consider anti-social behaviour to be a problem."
The report notes that the Council is aware that more jobs are needed as Gainsborough grows. The Council's purchase of the Plough pub in the town has allowed the site to be redeveloped for business use as part of the town centre improvement plan. The Growth Point development, which will allow the town to double in size over the next 20 years, was being well-managed and the renewal of some of the most deprived areas was making good progress.

The report also pointed to the authority's commitment to combat global warming even though the design of the new headquarters means the Council already has low carbon emissions when compared to others.

Coun Duguid added:
"I am also very pleased that the report comments on the fact that we look at what money we have to spend and make our plans based on this. People have taken part in our budget process and we have taken their views into account.

"The cost of some services, like waste collection and benefits, are above average.
This is because West Lindsey covers such a large geographical area with a relatively small population; but the report confirms that people are happy with services overall.

"We are working hard to given even better value for money and we are helping to save money by buying goods and services with other councils, sharing legal services and using outside businesses to collect rates and run leisure facilities.

"Overall, the report is very positive and known weaknesses in planning are being tackled, as is the strategic housing service which we are improving to make sure we understand housing needs so that we can provide a better service for the homeless."

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