Coun Gary Porter has London terrace named after him to mark 4-year term as Local Government Association chairman
Spalding and South Holland have a place of their own in London by way of a lasting tribute to a political leader.
A balcony near the Houses of Parliament, part of the Palace of Westminster, has been named after the leader of South Holland District Council, Gary Porter.
The balcony, now known as Porter Terrace, is part of the offices of the Local Government Association (LGA) which Coun Porter, district councillor for Spalding St Mary's, will officially step down as chairman of early next month.
Colleagues of Coun Porter, including deputy district council leader Coun Nick Worth and chief executive Anna Graves, were guests at an informal farewell presentation hosted by the LGA on Wednesday.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Local Government Secretary James Brokenshire were among those who thanked Coun Porter for his four years as LGA chairman, a role in which he represented more than 400 county, district, parish and town councils, fire and rescue services, national parks, Police and Crime Commissioners' offices in England and Wales.
Coun Porter said: "The presentation by the LGA wasn't a secret but there were some parts of it that came as a surprise, such as having a terrace named after me.
"There have been lots of highs and lows in my four years as chairman, but the biggest emotional rollercoaster has been the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the aftermath of that in terms of fire safety.
"We were successful in getting money from the Government to pay for all of the council and housing association buildings that needed recladding.
"There was also the complete ban on all combustible materials being used on high-rise buildings.
"Although I wasn't allowed to lobby on behalf of South Holland District Council individually, there was a lot of name recognition that came to the area whenever we did things.
"Being LGA chairman also puts me in contact with people who could do things for South Holland and everybody I've brought here has said what a lovely place it is."
LGA chief executive Mark Lloyd said: "Gary Porter has amassed some fantastic achievements during his chairmanship at the LGA.
"From the scrapping of the housing borrowing cap and winning an extra £2billion for adult social care, to his relentless campaigning to ensure that combustible material is now banned on high-rise residential buildings, Gary should feel extremely proud of himself.
"Whether it has been by shouting from the rooftops or quietly getting on with sorting things out behind the scenes with central government, Gary's determination to get the very best for councils cannot be underestimated.
"We cannot thank him enough for what he has done and I know that everyone at the LGA, and in our wider local government family, is really going to miss his leadership at the national level."
Coun Worth said: "An impressive array of speakers lined up to heap praise on Gary's leadership of the LGA, including Local Government Secretary James Brokenshire who specifically mentioned the highlight of Gary’s leadership being the removal of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) borrowing cap, announced by the Prime Minister in October 2018.
"This allows councils to borrow money from the HRA to build more affordable housing, something which Gary has campaigned on for 14 years.
"His blunt and straight-talking style was clearly admired by all, whether it be plain speaking to councillors, officers, MPs or the Secretary of State.
"All of us at South Holland District Council can be very proud of his efforts and Gary's wife, Lady Porter, was there to receive a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
"Gary, who is known as Lord Porter of Spalding when chairing the LGA, has been been an inspiration leader of the LGA and has put South Holland on the map for which we are all grateful.
"We all hope that Gary will go on to do great things in the future, including in the House of Lords."