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South Holland has new line-up to lead the area's public services

The ongoing challenges of COVID-19 and the prospect of council tax-funded services being reorganised has led to a shake-up of South Holland's leadership.

Three new faces have joined South Holland District Council's cabinet, confirmed yesterday by its leader, Coun Gary Porter.

A new role promoting health, wellbeing, safeguarding, conservation and heritage has been given to Coun Elizabeth Sneath, of Pinchbeck and Surfleet ward.

Coun Harry Drury, portfolio holder for commercialisation and growth.
Coun Harry Drury, portfolio holder for commercialisation and growth.

The second new cabinet member is the council's former vice chairman Coun Harry Drury, of Spalding St Mary's ward. who takes on a commercialisation and growth portfolio that includes an emphasis on regenerating Spalding town centre.

Ex-council chairman Coun Rodney Grocock is the third new face in a cabinet that has seen its membership rise from eight to ten.

Coun Grocock, who represents Moulton, Weston and Cowbit ward takes charge of overseeing all buildings and land owned by the council, including Ayscoughfee Hall and Gardens, South Holland Centre and Spalding Bus Station.

Coun Rodney Grocock, portfolio holder for assets and planning. Photo supplied.
Coun Rodney Grocock, portfolio holder for assets and planning. Photo supplied.

"I've been on the council for over 12 years and the majority of that time has been spent on the non-political side of things," Coun Grocock said.

"It was a surprise when I got the call from Coun Porter, even though I knew he was planning a reshuffle.

"But I love a challenge and I'll try my best to look after the people of South Holland as I've done for the last 12 years."

Coun Sneath said: "I was very pleased when the Leader asked me to join the cabinet as I am already Heritage Champion for the council and I am looking forward to promoting our wonderful heritage even more in this new role.

"It is widely understood that we must value the historic environment as heritage can support regeneration in our towns and neighbourhoods, which is such a vital issue following how so much has changed during the pandemic.

"Lockdown and new ways of working have shown us all the importance of our homes and surroundings and with foreign travel looking less easy for a while, there will be many more people wishing to take a 'stay-cation' in this country.

"Therefore, we in South Holland need to show what we are proud of in our towns and villages.

"I am also vice chairman of the Adults and Community Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee in my role as a county councillor and so I know how much importance is being given to supporting health and mental health in Lincolnshire during and after the coronavirus.

"I will be working with officers at the district council in promoting an active lifestyle, raising awareness of health issues, ageing better and eating healthily.

"We are so lucky to be living in such a rural area, with so much wonderful produce growing all around us.

"I also look forward to my new role in conservation as, living on a farm, I treasure the wildlife and countryside and so I will work hard to maintain green spaces and wildlife for all to enjoy."

While some of the cabinet roles stay the same, others have been modified, including that held by deputy leader Coun Nick Worth whose people, places and corporate portfolio places an emphasis on regenerating Holbeach town centre.

Explaining his reshuffle, Coun Porter said: "I've been focusing on what the new world looks like from a COVID-19 point of view.

"The workload seems to be harder when doing it remotely than it is doing it physically and you have to work harder in getting the same work done.

"But we're also having the conversation about local government reorganisation and there are some things that need to be protected for South Holland taxpayers if we're going to be amalgamated with other councils."

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