AS we move towards the end of 2011 my thoughts have already turned to what lies ahead in the New Year.
Everyone is agreed that the tough financial climate will remain as the Government continues to deal with the national deficit, so I am pleased that South Kesteven can offer everyone some relief by promising that any council tax increase from us will be kept to an absolute minimum and we are working hard to deliver this - in fact I am secretly hoping that we will not need to make any increase at all - time will tell.
This means we will continue to be one of the lowest charging district councils in the country, and, despite these challenging times we will still direct resources into priorities for local people.
Over the next four years we will look to create the environment to grow the economy, keep our district clean, green and healthy, promote leisure, arts and culture and support the drive for good housing for all.
We have already announced that we are hoping to make up to £5 million available to help first-time home buyers get on the property ladder and we also hope we will soon be in a position to move forward on other key projects that will benefit the whole of our district.
In Grantham we are working hard with the county council to make a start on the relief road. We know this is a top priority for local people and that is why we are working with the developers to get started as soon as possible. And building on the success of the market place improvements, plans are well underway to roll out the enhancements to Wide Westgate next year.
Consultation on possible routes will get underway next year and the cost is likely to be more than £32 million.
The two councils are currently working to get confirmation from private sector developers on their contribution to the final costs, something we hope to achieve sooner rather than later, despite the current challenging financial climate.
This is the kind of entrepreneurial thinking that is needed when times are hard and we’ve already got lots more ideas in the pipeline.
Keeping watching this space – and have a great New Year!
South Kesteven District Council