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New South Holland District Council chief executive Rob Barlow says district could attract multi-million pound 'levelling up' investment

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Multi-million pound investments could soon be making their way to South Holland – with our new council chief confident the district can get a boost.

Rob Barlow has recently taken over as chief executive of the district council and is now looking to make the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda work for residents here.

Speaking to the Free Press in his first interview since formally taking charge, Mr Barlow said there is ‘no reason’ why South Holland cannot follow in the footsteps of Boston, Skegness and Mablethorpe, who are sharing £75million in ‘town deal’ cash.

Rob Barlow, chief executive of South Holland District Council
Rob Barlow, chief executive of South Holland District Council

The Surfleet resident has already been at the helm of Boston and East Lindsey councils – with South Holland joining them this month to form South and East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership.

He believes the councils can work together to tackle huge issues such as climate change – and that the new arrangement can deliver on some of the priorities raised by the community here too.

He added: “We have got a cohort of staff who want to do things. That should translate into people seeing things delivered – that might be roads, better health or quicker services.

“I would hope over the coming years that people see improvements in Spalding and some of those become possible because of the partnership.”

The council – which has had its central government funding slashed by more than 40% in the past six years – is set to spend the next six months deciding its priorities, with its senior team now shared as part of the partnership.

Mr Barlow says the area has not had its ‘fair share’ of money recently – but feels priorities are now changing to focus on ‘community benefit’ rather than profit when it comes to issuing cash and this can stop us missing out again,

A £20 million bid has already been lodged earlier this year to try to secure levelling up cash to improve the A16 between Spalding and Boston.

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