A weekly column written by members of South Holland District Council. This week with Coun Paul Przyszlak, Deputy Leader of the Cabinet and Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Strategic Planning
This will be my last contribution to the Cabinet Call column as I am standing by the decision I made after the Council elections back in 2011 to call it a day at the 2015 elections.
When first elected in 2000 I had very little knowledge of how councils operated.
Back in those days, Councillors were appointed to various committees including Planning, Environment and Finance.
These Committees made recommendations which were debated and voted on by the Councillors.
Just as I was finding my feet the system changed to a Cabinet structure similar to National Government, where decisions in certain areas were delegated by the Council to executive members.
As part of the new set-up, the leader asked me to take on the finance portfolio.
I feel privileged both to have been re-elected in 2003, 2007 and 2011, and to have held the finance portfolio since first appointed.
The ride has been frustrating at times but, on balance, it’s been enjoyable.
Reductions in government funding due to the state of the national economy have dominated our decisions of late.
These problems will continue after the General Election and tough decisions will again be necessary.
Planning, sharing services and re-organisation have enabled us to maintain our services and reduce the burden of Council Tax to South Holland residents.
Council Tax has been frozen or reduced each year since the 2011 election – the equivalent of a 16% reduction when compared with the retail price index.
And we’ve also recently launched the ‘12 not 10’ campaign which offers people the option of spreading their council tax instalments over 12 months, rather than 10.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank friends, family, electors and my fellow councillors for their support during my time as a South Holland District Councillor.
Whilst you can’t please all of the people all of the time, I have enjoyed the last 15 years and would recommend being a councillor to anyone.
With the elections only two months away, now is the time to consider standing yourself.