Wednesday, 31 December 2014

New Year's Message

It is with continued pride that I serve and represent the people of Grange-de-Lings, Greetwell, Nettleham and Riseholme on West Lindsey District Council.

The obvious highlight of the year was the Royal visit in March to Nettleham of His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent. He came to officially open the Bishop’s Palace Site which Nettleham Parish Council has been working to make into an amenity area. If you haven’t visited the site yet, it is well worth taking a stroll through.

In February I was very pleased to act as Agent for Conservative candidate Mrs. Pat Mewis in a by-election to the Scotter ward of West Lindsey District Council. I am pleased to say that Pat and her team’s efforts secured victory for her and we welcomed her on to the council, early in the year.

The Conservative administration at West Lindsey, acutely aware that the benefits of growth and an improving economy are not being felt by everyone, once again froze our portion of the Council Tax.
I was surprised, pleased and delighted to be elevated to the Chairmanship of the Governance and Audit Committee at West Lindsey District Council in May; having previously been Vice-Chairman in the preceding year. I continued my role as the administration Chief Whip. 

If there has been one issue that has been most prominent in 2014 it has been planning. Be it new homes to be developed, the Lincoln Eastern By-Pass or Wind or Solar Farms; they have all generated considerable interest from local people. As a member of the Planning Committee at West Lindsey I have tried, within the constraints of the planning system, to get the best possible results. Planning decisions must always be determined on planning grounds. The best representations that we receive at the committee are when people come armed with our local planning policies and demonstrate how a proposed development conflicts with those policies. Based on the number of appeals, which have been upheld by the Planning Inspectorate, in the council’s favour; I think we are doing a very good job for our residents.

It was with sadness that I learnt of the death of Nettleham Parish Councillor Allan Bonney in October. He will be much missed. I have been pleased to support and welcome his successor Mr. Richard Porter to the council, who will formally sit with us for the first time this January.

As we approached the end of the year my time, and that of my colleagues, has become increasingly focussed on getting the district council’s budget to balance. It has not been easy. Tough decisions continue to lie ahead and that means that the local elections in May will be terribly important. They will be a choice between a competent Conservative administration that has weathered the choppy waters of austerity and has a plan for the future or the risk of the untried and untested alternatives. 

I have very much enjoyed the past two years as a district councillor for the Nettleham Ward. I hope that local people will be kind enough to re-elect me in May so that I may continue to keep our community at the forefront of the minds of local decision-makers.

For each and all I offer my sincere wish for health, prosperity and happiness in 2015.

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