Council leader to step down at election

Leader of SKDC Linda Neal EMN-150902-145051001
Leader of SKDC Linda Neal EMN-150902-145051001
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A council leader who will step down at the coming election believes she has left her district “exceptionally well-placed” for the future.

Linda Neal (Con) will leave her position at the head of South Kesteven District Council this May.

Coun Neal, who represents the Bourne West ward, was first elected to the authority 20 years ago and became leader in 2002.

She has enjoyed her time in office and believes the district is in a good position as she steps away. She said: “I have no doubt that the district council is exceptionally well-placed financially, even though it is a difficult financial time.

“We have always been extremely careful with resources. We have tried to make every penny count.”

On a local level, Coun Neal has overseen some significant changes in her home town of Bourne. The population has grown with the ongoing Elsea Park development, and long-mooted projects such as Wherry’s Mill and the Gateway development, including the new Texaco petrol station, have been completed.

“What we have to try to ensure is to balance the residential growth with the quality offer in the town so that there is a real reason for people to want to live and work here,” said Coun Neal.

“It’s about trying to provide that desirability offer. It’s taken a long while but they have now actually been delivered.”

A number of big community events have also taken place on Coun Neal’s watch. She rushed from the Deepings to Bourne in pursuit of the Olympic torch relay when it passed through the district in 2012.

She said: “The torch was a massive event for a small town like Bourne, and it was extremely successful.”

Coun Neal has also been involved in the recent Stamford Georgian Festival and Gravity Fields in Grantham. She has not ruled out a return to the council in the future.

Chairman of the Grantham and Stamford Conservatives group Philip Sagar said: “Linda has been a dedicated, loyal and hardworking individual who has not only delivered for her constituents but also for the district.”

This year’s elections will be held on Thursday, May 7.