As the Leader of the Council, one of the questions I’m often asked is “what do you do?” I take it that what many people really mean is “what do you do all day?”
The Leader of the Council should be a part-time role. In reality, it takes more than full-time hours.
Fortunately, I have a job that I can fit around my duties. A core part of the role is to set the council’s agenda: the scale of our ambition, determining our priorities and then working with colleagues, officers and partners to deliver it. It’s all about delivery.
I am also leading and challenging the council to be the best it can be in the way we deliver services and the value-for- money we provide. The process of transforming the way we work is underway.
In October last year we set out an ambitious £40 million programme of investment for the district over the next three years. The impact on the economy of this investment could be as much as 10 times our original investment.
As a forward-thinking council, a big part of the role is building and nurturing connections with other organisations within South Kesteven and beyond. I therefore spend a significant amount of time building relationships with other individuals and organisations, from charities to other authorities, developers to potential investors.
It’s a two-way process, exploring ways in which we may be able to support each other and potentially work together, but also sharing experiences, lessons and gaining an external perspective.
In the last few weeks alone I have met representatives from the Woodland Trust, Virgin Trains, Heritage Lincolnshire, Historic England and the Local Government Association to name but a few.
Just this week I presented at a conference about how we build sustainable communities. Of course, I don’t do this alone - it is a team effort with the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Kelham Cooke (Casewick Ward), Cabinet members and the council as a whole. All of us are here with one purpose; to do our best for the people of South Kesteven.
It’s a council I’m very privileged to lead.