CABINET CALL: A weekly column written by members of South Holland District Council’s Cabinet... this week COUN PETER COUPLAND
I thought I’d use this latest column to explain about my three different political roles and also give you the added bonus of a fascinating fact about me, which many people do not know.
Council-related matters are a way of life for me as I am a Parish, District and County Councillor.
My parish issues relate to matters in Fleet, mostly concerning planning, waste collection, street cleaning and dog fouling etc.
As a district councillor, I not only have responsibilities for representing Fleet Parish on the South Holland District Council, I also have the authority’s portfolio for finance which takes up a lot of my time.
At this time of a year, our thoughts start turning towards preparing next year’s budget for the district council.
With councils across the land having their funds slashed by central government in recent years, the process can certainly be challenging.
However, at South Holland we have prudently worked to maintain frontline services such as weekly refuse and recycling collections and will continue to do so.
As county councillor for the Holbeach rural division representing some 8,500 residents in the parishes of Fleet, Gedney, Lutton, Sutton St James, Holbeach St Johns, Tydd Gote and St Mary and Whaplode and St Catherines, I regularly deal with issues relating to highways, grass cutting, street lighting and all the care and wellbeing services provided by Lincolnshire County Council.
These services include adult and child care, schools, fire and rescue, flooding and drainage.
I spend around three days of my week on council matters of one kind or another and thoroughly enjoy the work of trying to help and represent local residents as best as I can.
And now in the words of Monty Python, it’s time for something completely different!
When people first meet me they often comment on my big hands, which is a clue to my former job.
Believe it or not, I was once a professional goalkeeper, playing for Spalding, Boston, and Sheffield United back in the late 60s.
The highlight of my career was playing against the legendary Dennis Law in a reserve game. He spent most of the match giving me stick and standing on my feet at corners. But come full-time he shook my hand and wished me all the best. What a legend!