SOUTH Holland’s longest serving district councillor likes to get the job done without a fuss.
That’s why Coun Angela Newton believes she has been so successful in the role for almost 40 years.
Coun Newton has seen councillors come and go, developments take shape and has fought to get what she believes is best for the district since being elected in 1973.
“I think I was involved in one or two local issues at the time and I raised questions with different council officers,” she explained. “I was interested in things which were happening. I think I felt as a member I could do more.”
Coun Newton was elected just in time to see the dawn of South Holland District Council, as East Elloe Rural District Council, Spalding Urban District Council and Spalding Rural District Council were amalgamated.
A Spalding girl born and bred, Coun Newton attended Gleed Girls’ School and was working at Calthrops when she stood for election.
She started her political career as a labour candidate but left the party to stand as an Independent in 1980 because they were “going too far to the left”.
Coun Newton, who lives in Spalding’s Pennygate, represents Spalding Monkshouse ward.
She juggles her commitments with the council with the day-to-day running of estate agents AP Sales, which was set up by her partner Alan Porter in 1985.
She is involved in numerous community groups, including the Johnson Community Hospital’s League of Friends, Britain in Bloom and is the district council’s representative of the National Association of British Market Authorities.
“It’s the tradition,” she said. “We are market towns; Spalding, Holbeach, Long Sutton, Crowland.
“We need to try and preserve some traditions.”
It has been about eight years since Coun Newton took up her role as leader of the opposition at South Holland District Council.
“There have been some instances where I think we could have done a better job,” she said, “I think this is why I think being an Independent is better for the people, when you think that 98.5 per cent of the public do not belong to a political party.”
Coun Newton is hoping the number of Independent councillors will be boosted at the May election.
She said: “There will be issues people will be concerned about and it just takes one issue to get interested to stand.
“Some people might come forward because of the Sugar Beet Club, others because they want to be involved in decision making for the sports hall.
“There are those who want to say something on issues like bus passes.
“Once they are elected and get into it, they soon realise they are representing their area and also South Holland district.”
She added: “I like to think at election times I get re-elected because I do things quietly sometimes. I get things done.
“I am happy to be someone who does it without too much fuss and get a solution for those involved.”
Coun Newton says she will be trying to visit as many people as possible before they head to the polls in May.
“It’s changing times,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to getting into the swing of working with Breckland and East Lindsey councils. I think we are a forward-thinking council and I think if we get more members after the election we will continue to strive to make sure South Holland is the best place to live.”
Coun Newton’s wish list for the district includes more recreational facilities and for more businesses to move to the area.
“We are an efficient organisation,” she said. “We will try and keep council tax as low as possible and do all we can to provide affordable houses in the area.”