Thursday, 27 September 2012

Conservative-Led West Lindsey Wins Gold

Carol Smillie presents the awards to Cllr. Burt Keimach,
Manjeet Gill, the Chief Executive and representatives of
West Lindsey District Council

Conservative-led West Lindsey District Council has won gold at the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Service Awards 2012.

The award recognises the way the council managed roles within the authority to minimise cuts to service delivery. Officers and councillors have embraced the ‘entrepreneurial model’ and are keen to explore new ways of working for the benefit of local residents. This has helped the council avoid the level of services cuts that other councils nationally have made.

Six councils were selected as finalists for the Best Employee and Equality Initiative but the council’s Workforce Transformation submission captured the eye of judges.

West Lindsey District Council was named the winner at a glittering award ceremony in Glasgow. APSE also recognised the successful formula in a recent article they published highlighting how other councils can avoid service cuts from this way of working.

Over the last two years a lot of work has gone into developing the positive values, cultural changes, empowering staff and the development of leadership and skills.

This has led to:
  • No compulsory redundancies
  • Opportunities for people to develop themselves
  • A stronger corporate one team ethos
  • Working together across all departments to have a greater focus on results for residents
Presenter, Carol Smillie handed the award to the Leader of the Council, Cllr. Burt Keimach. He said:
"For the council to come first in the UK, from more than 300 councils overall to scoop the Best Employment and Equality Initiative Award, is fantastic. To me this proves that the way we treat people who work for us is the right and proper way. I would like to give a salute to everyone involved."
The APSE service awards are unique in the local government calendar because they reflect frontline service achievements ranging from refuse collection to council run leisure centres.

The council also picked up three other certificates for becoming finalists in three other categories:

  • Best Public/Private Partnership Working for the way we work with parish councils and other partners on projects such as flooding.
  • Best Local Democracy for the way our officers and councillors work together.
  • Overall Council of the Year 2012. The council was shortlisted alongside Sheffield City Council and Nottingham County Council, which is an achievement as we were the only district council in this category.
Speaking about the awards APSE chief executive Paul O’Brien described the finalists as the ‘elite’ in the sector. He said:
"The winners of the APSE service awards 2012 are truly the gold medallists of local government. They have strived for excellence in service delivery and put in that extra effort to ensure that they deliver the very best in frontline services."

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

West Lindsey District Council Welcome Youngest Member

Conservative Giles McNeill, won the Nettleham by-election with 565 votes - a majority of 52 - and will take over from former councillor Raymond Sellars who passed away earlier this year.

Cllr. Giles McNeill with Manjeet Gill signing the
Declaration of Acceptance of Office at the Guildhall
 Giles, who works for local parliamentarian Edward Leigh MP, said he became interested in politics whilst studying in his sixth form at De Aston School in Market Rasen. He said:
"I am delighted to have won this by-election; and to join the council as its youngest member is an added bonus.

"I believe it is important that the council reflects the people of West Lindsey. Whilst older members of the council bring experience, younger councillors bring a different world-view.

"I am looking forward to learning from my colleagues, just as I hope to add value to the council with my own perspective.

"Ray Sellars was a good and popular councillor and very much appreciated by the community for all the work he did. His death was a sad loss. I have big shoes to fill."
Giles has lived in Nettleham since 1990 and studied at Hull University for his politics degree.

Local MP Edward Leigh said:
"Giles is a hard-working and committed individual and I am sure he will bring his talents to the council, delivering for both the people of Nettleham, Greetwell, Riseholme and Grange-de-Lings and all the residents of West Lindsey."
West Lindsey District Council Chief Executive, Manjeet Gill, said:
"We are pleased to welcome Cllr McNeill to the council and wish him well in this position.

"It is good that young people are getting into local politics, they can make a real difference to the district."

Friday, 7 September 2012

Double Victory for Conservatives in Local By-Election Contests

Local conservatives have celebrated a double, landslide success in two by-elections held for the Nettleham and Saxilby Division of Lincolnshire County Council and the Nettleham Ward of West Lindsey District Council.

Jackie Brockway, Conservative, triumphed in the Lincolnshire County Council contest while colleage Giles McNell won for the Conservatives a seat on West Lindsey District Council. The seats have not been in Conservative hands since 1981 and 1983 respectively

Nettleham & Saxilby Division Result
 Nettleham and Saxilby Division
Lincolnshire County Council

Jackie Brockway, Conservative - 1,026 (43.36%)
Charles Shaw, Liberal Demcrat - 600 (25.36%)
Howard Thompson, UKIP - 266 (11.24%)
Richard Coupland, Labour - 257 (10.86%)
David Watson, Lincolnshire Independent - 196 (8.28%)
Elliott Fountain, English Democrat - 21 (0.89%)
Turnout: 2,378 (27.98%)

Swing: 22.2% from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives

Nettleham Ward Result
Nettleham Ward
West Lindsey District Council

Giles McNeill, Conservative -565 (45.02%)
Guy Grainger, Liberal Demcrat - 513 (40.88%)
Howard Thompson, UKIP - 177 (14.10%)

Turnout: 1,270 (31.63%)

Swing: 15.3% from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Edward Leigh MP Visits Nettleham Garderners Association Show

Above: (from left to right) Jackie Brockway, Giles McNeill
and Edward Leigh MP
Edward Leigh MP visited Nettleham Gardeners Association Show at Nettleham Village Hall yesterday to see the produce on show and support Conservative candidates Giles McNeill and Jackie Brockway, who are running locally for seats on West Lindsey District and Lincolnshire County Councils respectively. 

Weather in recent months have caused problems for gardeners. Following the freeze of winter, came the water shortages and hosepipe bans of spring, as the ban came into force on Thursday, 5th April  it did so, with perfect irony, with rain, rain and more rain - in fact the wettest summer on record.

Most gardeners will have shrugged and got on with sowing seeds and planting potatoes, but the relentlessness of the deluge meant early sowings failed, potatoes rotted in the ground and plants produced stunted roots in saturated soil. Conditions including low soil temperatures and lower light levels meant only the hardiest of crops made progress. Plants needing good light outdoors, such as beans and sweetcorn struggled. Tomatoes being grown under glass ripened weeks late.

Nevertheless a good crop of vegetables were entered for inspection. Cakes too and artwork also featured. Everyone involved had put in considerable effort to participate in spite of the difficult conditions.