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Strong support for council's budget

Column by Councillor Kelham Cooke, leader of South Kesteven District Council

There is no doubt that we are facing some very challenging months ahead. There is much that is unknown and that creates uncertainty, which none of us like, whether it is in our workplace or within our homes.

In the world of finance, figures are being calculated for year-end reviews, and budgets are being set for the coming year. For councils this can be a difficult period, as we assess and reassess how best to deliver quality services in the face of ever-more challenging circumstances.

Coun Kelham Cooke (17790662)
Coun Kelham Cooke (17790662)

Last week, together with my fellow councillors, I delivered the first budget at South Kesteven District Council since I was elected leader. The vote was almost unanimous, and I am proud and humbled to have received such strong support across the political spectrum, because it means we can get on and focus on delivery.

I will do my utmost to honour and respect the opportunity such strong support affords us as a council to make the most of the opportunities ahead.

On Wednesday, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, delivered the Government’s first budget since the General Election, and since the UK left the European Union. I was pleased to hear the announcement about strong support for affordable and social housing, which will help us to provide the much-needed homes for our district, including new council houses.

The budget was delivered against the backdrop of coronavirus. For weeks, the council has been working with partners regionally and nationally, so that whatever the impact of coronavirus in our country, our county, and our district, we are well prepared.

We are taking our direction from the Government and following evidence-based medical advice. Our approach is, and will continue to be; clear, calm, and pragmatic, focussed on serving and supporting our communities.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to hosting the first South Kesteven Parish Council summit on behalf of our MP, Gareth Davies, next week. The Chairmen of 40 parish councils, as well as our town mayors, have been invited to share with us their challenges and ambitions. Given the size and rural nature of our district, it is vital that we hear their voices, so that together, we deliver for our diverse villages as well as our market towns.

Speaking of our market towns, our survey about Grantham High Street is open until the endavailable online, and I would urge everyone to take part, including our younger residents. It is our consultation, but ultimately, it is your future. So please use your voice. We are your council, and we are listening.

Visit: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/futuregrantham

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