The Leader of North Kesteven District Council Marion Brighton says there is much to look forward to in the year ahead.
In her New Year message she writes: “Whilst responding to the significant challenges we continue to face in respect of local government finance, North Kesteven District Council remains committed to ensuring residents receive the highest quality services, at low cost, appropriate to their needs.”
She praised the community’s involvement in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics, Paralympics and Torch Relays during the summer.
Despite a million pound-plus savings the council has had to find, Coun Brighton said the authority was not standing still, having started a £2.65m refurbishment of Sleaford’s swimming pool. She said: “This confirms our belief that Sleaford requires this kind of investment if it is to continue to be a vibrant market town.”
They had built a further 11 new council houses, provided 15 more flexible workspace units at Bracebridge Heath, progressed with the Sleaford Forward, Teal Park and North Hykeham regeneration initiatives; continued to support development of Sleaford Maltings and Eco2 biomass plant at Sleaford, bringing jobs, investment and enhanced employment prospects to the area; and confirmed the Local Plan Core Strategy directing the future shape of North Kesteven in respect of housing, economic development and infrastructure.
She admitted the coming year’s financial constraints would be challenging, but the authority would progress with its five-year £10m programme of investment in new council housing, continue to reduce the number of long-term empty homes, expand availability of affordable, accessible homes for the most vulnerable, complete the Sleaford leisure centre refurbishment, promote regeneration and economic growth, maintain high standards of recycling by residents and continue with the long-term plan for Central Lincolnshire.
Residents’ comments would be welcome at consultation events as the council sets its budget priorities in January.