COLUMN: Committed to the things that matter

Lafford Homes
Lafford Homes

By Coun Richard Wright. At our most recent Executive Board meeting we supported the Annual Report which reflects and highlights the council’s achievements over the last year, up to April.

Given the current financial climate and the ever increasing pressure on local government to become more self-sustaining, it recognises some remarkable and considerable successes in delivering excellent, effective and efficient services for our residents, businesses and visitors.

In the last year, 159 jobs were created as a result of council intervention, 607 jobs created or safeguarded as a result of targeted support by the authority and our expanding portfolio of workshops and business units across the district enjoyed a 97% average occupancy rate.

We directly provided 17 new council homes, as well as progressing many other schemes, 98% of our tenants were satisfied with their quality of their new build home, 93% of tenants were satisfied with the landlord services we provide and 19 privately owned empty homes were brought back into use.

Lafford Homes – NKDC’s wholly owned housing company – completed its first development of new properties at Steam Court in North Hykeham, providing 33 new flats, 27 of them for private-let and six more council homes.

Almost 29,000 visitors attended our outdoor and countryside facilities and events and nearly 774,000 people visited our sports and indoor leisure facilities.

Food hygiene ratings continue to impress, with 97.21% of food businesses broadly compliant with the relevant legislation, and 100% of all planned inspections were carried out by the authority.

A successful leisure procurement process concluded, which resulted in the award of four long-term contracts which achieve savings totalling more than £7m. These partnerships have brought new operators to manage our leisure, arts and countryside services and together, we will be working hard to deliver the goals and objectives of our Sports and Physical Activity and Arts Strategies.

Crucially, 92% of residents feel the council provides good quality services and 84% believe it offers value for money.

While we’re pleased to recognise these and the many other successes contained in the report, I’d like to reassure people that we are never going to be complacent, nor will we be resting on our laurels.

There’s more we want to do and achieve over the months and years ahead.

We remain committed and focussed on the things that matter the most and continue to strive for the good of the whole district.

Councillor Richard Wright is leader of North Kesteven District Council