Travellers move proved a big success

Coun Christine Lawton
Coun Christine Lawton

CABINET CALL: By Coun Christine Lawton of South Holland District Council

For my final column of 2016 I thought it would be fitting to look back on some of my personal highlights from the past 12 months.

It has been an eventful year and we have made a number of notable achievements which we can look back on with pride.

One major project saw the relocation of traveller families occupying the unauthorised site at Broad Drove, Gosberton, to a new permanent site at Drain Bank North, Spalding.

This move brought a successful conclusion to our ambitions to protect the long-term quality of life of our residents whilst meeting our needs to provide suitable homes for all.

Our team worked vigorously to make this move happen and I’m personally proud of how everything was conducted.

Our Private Sector Housing Team also worked extremely hard to reduce the number of empty homes in the district from 258 to 232.

As a result of their endeavours more homes have been brought back into use and the council has benefited to the tune of £180,000 as part of a new homes bonus payment from central government.

Our housing team also achieved a successful eviction of a family of tenants in Sutton Bridge who had been disrupting their neighbours for some time.

This was notable as it was the first time the council had applied to the County Court for an eviction and the action that followed was swift and efficient.

The action also sent a strong message to disruptive tenants that no matter how difficult it may be for us, we will work to protect the vast majority of our excellent tenants.

On a lighter note there were significant successes for Crowland, Holbeach and Spalding in the East Midlands in Bloom awards.

It was also pleasing to see Vernatt’s Nature Reserve pick up an award for the first time, as I always enjoy a visit and know how hard the volunteers there work.

Our Community Development Team has continued to support Dementia sufferers in the district and will soon be appointing a Dementia Champion to make a real positive difference within our communities.

On a final note, I hope that all readers had a very enjoyable Christmas and I would like to wish everyone all the best for 2017.