My first thought in what will, I hope, become a regular column is to say how proud and privileged I am to have been elected leader of such a great council.
Over the time since I became council leader we have all been immensely busy in planning and operating elections, making this the first opportunity outside of electoral restrictions for me to tell you how we are working in the interests of our wonderful district.
I reiterate my commitment to working with all councillors, officers, partners and associated agencies in the service of our communities; reaching for the highest standards in the delivery of excellent services that are truly relevant in an effective and efficient manner.
In NK we’ve made great efforts and significant progress in making the council central to the lives of our residents; adding real value and fostering wellbeing and prosperity within safe, clean communities.
Central to my strategy is ensuring that NKDC remains at the heart of our community.
As such, I re-commit the council in its long-established tradition of listening, responding and respecting the views of residents and businesses in shaping bold, resilient and responsive actions.
To this end I would like to invite all residents, businesses and interested parties, such as parish and town councils, organisations and community groups to meet with me, the council’s Executive Board, senior officers and other members to discover what lies behind North Kesteven’s success as ‘A District of Flourishing Communities’.
On Monday, July 17, we will be showcasing the difference this council makes to the daily lives of every resident, worker and visitor of the District through our Discover NK initiative at Whisby Natural World Centre.
Discover how your district council is about so much more than emptying your bins once a week, running elections, managing planning applications and providing leisure centres – all of which we do so well.
Discover more about the ways in which we safeguard and create jobs; promote inward investment; build, run and support quality housing options; shape safe, vibrant communities; ensure food outlets, taxis and pubs are safe and properly licensed; protect the public; and encourage healthier lives.
Discover how all of this activity is prioritised to achieve a stronger economy, better homes, vibrant communities and efficiently-run Council operations.
Discover how little you pay for what you receive: on average £2.56 a week.
This is part of a free, fun Open Day at Whisby showcasing the centre and park, where parking charges are suspended for the day and you can enjoy the play spaces, café and shop later and for longer and stay for tea.
We’ll also be at the Heckington Show on July 29 and 30, at ringside, within a stand showcasing NK’s great attractions and activities.
On both occasions please come and tell us what you think about what we do and how we do it.
A record response to our residents’ survey showed consistently high satisfaction for the way the council runs things, the quality of its services and the value for money it represents, which of course I welcome.
However, the challenge before us is to push even harder in ensuring our services, support and leadership are efficient and of the high standards residents expect of us – to the point that should they ever be asked to choose their council, they would still choose us.
I firmly believe that to remain at the very top of our game, we must – as a council – listen to our communities, pursue only the highest standards at best possible value and perform as well as we can, delivering against the clear unambiguous goals set out in the NK Plan.
I welcome the opportunity to hear directly from you. So please, take the time to drop in to Whisby on July 17, between 2pm and 7pm, or get in touch with your local district councillor to express your thoughts, compliments and any concerns.