Roads among priorities of new Grantham Barrowby county councillor

Mark Whittington
Mark Whittington
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The new Conservative county councillor for Grantham Barrowby says one of his priorities is the state of local roads and speeding.

Mark Whittington, an accountant, was elected to Lincolnshire County Council in last Friday’s by-election.

Coun Whittington easily won the Grantham Barrowby seat with 579 votes. He was followed by Rob Shorrock, Labour, with 257 votes. Maureen Simon, of UKIP, won 179 votes and Lincolnshire Independent Michael Williams received 155 votes.

Coun Whittington, a Barrowby Parish Councillor with experience working in local government and NHS finance, said: “I feel very pleased to have won the by-election and to be representing the residents of the Grantham Barrowby division on Lincolnshire County Council. It was a very short and intensive campaign but my campaign team and me managed to knock on over a thousand doors in the district and canvass people’s views directly.

“Based on our canvass returns we thought that we stood a good chance of winning the election but the size of the victory (increasing the Conservative vote from 38% in 2013 to nearly 50% and the majority from 82 to 322) did take us by surprise. I am very grateful to all the people who voted for me but am determined to represent the interests of all the residents of the district regardless of who they voted for.

“The main issue that came out from speaking directly to people was roads (the state of them) and road safety (speeding). Additionally on the Earlesfield the subject of anti-social behaviour and litter came up as well.

“I already have been contacted by several residents with specific issues, such as parking, trees blocking light into a block of flats, potholes and speeding traffic, and I am working to try and resolve them. Quite a bit of the work of a councillor will involve this and I will try and do my very best to sort out any problem that a resident has.

“On a wider scale I want to work with all councillors of whatever party to improve Grantham, especially the town centre and high street. Supporting the Grantham BID, campaigning for free parking in Grantham town centre car parks and looking at other measures to make Grantham town centre a better place to visit and encourage the growth of small independent retail shops. Also doing everything that I can to ensure that Grantham Hospital retains a full range of services and ensuring the delivery of the by-pass.

“In a time of tight budgets I am determined to protect vital frontline services by looking to reduce inefficiency and waste in the manner in which these services are provided. I am an accountant and have worked in both the public and private sectors. But it is my public sector experience in both local government and NHS finance which I can use to work towards this. I have already been appointed to the Value for Money Scrutiny Committee on the County Council which, as the name implies, looks at how the council’s resources are spent. I have also been appointed to the Adult Services Scrutiny Committee as well.”

The by-election took place after former councillor Jo Churchill became MP in Bury St Edmunds.