CABINET CALL: A weekly column written by members of South Holland District Council’s Cabinet. This week with: Portfolio holder for Communities and Facilities Gary Taylor
It’s been an extremely busy and eventful start to the year. In this week’s column I hope to give you a taste of all of the things that we have been working on recently.
I have been working with colleagues in order to monitor the progress of our major projects, including the relocation of the Department for Work and Pensions into our Priory Road offices, which has progressed very well.
Last week we voted for this year’s budget and set the council tax for the next year. Unfortunately this included a small increase, which is never an easy decision to make.
I don’t like increasing the amount of tax we take from hard-working residents, or our many retired residents on limited incomes. However, we are now in a position where a band C property will still pay less than £3-a-week for all the services which SHDC provides.
We have also endured the challenge of the recent period of adverse weather, where the majority of council services continued. Whilst some of the waste and recycling collections were temporarily suspended, staff were redeployed to clear snow.
This delay in waste collection also gave our residents an insight into the service in many other council areas, where they only receive a collection once a fortnight.
We have also taken the decision to maintain other front line services, such as the Pride in South Holland scheme.
As portfolio holder for Communities and Facilities I am pleased to report that preparations for the prestigious open arts competition are going well.
This takes place at the South Holland Centre in Spalding from April 11 to 18. I have been extremely impressed with the high standard of artwork on display and I would encourage residents to visit to this exhibition.
We are also pressing on with recruiting our community wardens which will be a visible presence on the streets to deal with local environmental concerns.
I am also pleased to announce the continuation of the annual Shout and About scheme which is all about having fun and getting fit.
This will take place across our district for 12 weeks beginning on April 9. It is also encouraging to hear about our communities hosting events to celebrate the Royal Wedding in May, with events announced in Holbeach and Spalding.
With increasingly tight budgets, it continues to be our priority to work towards developing these healthier and more independent communities, while protecting the most vulnerable in our society.
This is a brief snapshot of the many aspects council services and projects with which I am involved.
If you wish to discuss any of this or would like more details, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org, or Twitter: @GaryTaylor26