December 29, 2017 7.00 am This story is over 70 months old

Reflections 2017: Jeff Summers – Our regeneration plans for Gainsborough and West Lindsey

Reflections from the leader of West Lindsey District Council.

Why have the 12 months flown by so quickly? That’s easy, because we have been so busy. Added to the task of delivering excellent services (assessed by national data number crunchers) we have been busy addressing how we will save/generate a further £2.5 million by 2020-21 due to the reduction in government funding.

Please don’t let this spoil your festive cheer. It’s all in hand. We have a plan!

We’re building a crematorium in a beautiful rural location. Somewhere to bury my bones when the Gainsborough regeneration programme is completed. It’s a great design with a dedication area and water feature.

The planning application is now being considered which should give us the go ahead in the new year.

Since 2014, we’ve taken a commercial approach to the way we operate.

Within the 105 service strands in West Lindsey we have identified 19 which we can offer as a chargeable service to the private sector or other local authorities.

By investing in property both in and outside the district, whilst continuing to find efficiencies, we will continue to strengthen our financial position.

Gainsborough and the district is a beautiful place to live. Our regeneration proposals for Gainsborough are a real challenge.

There are more obstacles than free rides, many of the obstacles you cannot see but they are real. Thankfully our regeneration team are tenacious and have agreed to continue working through Christmas. (I’m sending them a picture of our roast turkey on Christmas day. Just to keep their spirits up.)

Our leisure offer is presently out to tender which hopefully will see the establishment of a new dry leisure facility for Market Rasen.

As we all know, this is a rapidly changing world, you must not let the moss grow. (First it blocks the drains, second you have to recognise and understand your environment.)

That is why we are presently operating without a CEO. Our last CEO has moved to pastures new and I can only thank her for everything she brought and delivered for West Lindsey. My sincere thanks Manjeet.

We will decide early in the new year whether to reappoint or continue with a three director management team.

The lack of government funding has now forced us to charge for green waste collections. We have resisted this over the last four years, affirming, we only charge when we have to.

In the last Autumn Statement it was so obvious that the government is pumping money into devolved authorities.

A stark reminder, government has the whip hand. If you don’t dance to their tune, you don’t get an invite to the ball!

Devolution for Lincolnshire would have been very positive.

Leading up to Christmas has been great. First a ground-breaking ceremony for a new 56 bed Travelodge hotel along with a joint venture with Dransfield Properties Ltd to regenerate shops along Market Street and North Street.

The following week a new Lidl store opened providing one hundred more car parking spaces.

Finally, I’d like to wish every one a very happy and prosperous new year from West Lindsey.

New Year’s resolutions

Personal: I will eat less, exercise more, become fitter and leaner in an attempt to keep up with my wife! Spend more time revelling in our beautiful countryside bird watching, walking, cycling and visiting new places. Whilst enjoying all above I will pursue a dynamic agenda of business for the council.

Professional: We will continue to provide the best services across the council that our budgeted resources are capable of delivering while ensuring we fully address the physical and social needs of all residents. We will continue to enhance the physical, financial and social benefits for all constantly pushing for improvements in health, education and work opportunities.

Councillor Jeff Summers is the leader of West Lindsey District Council.