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South Kesteven District Council leader Kelham Cooke feels optimistic heading into 2022

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It has been a wonderful year in which the community has really come together, and I sincerely hope you are enjoying the Christmas season, writes leader of South Kesteven District Council Kelham Cooke.

The festive season is such an important time in all of our lives as it gives us the opportunity to see our loved ones but also relax and decompress.

I’m sure, like me, you have enjoyed seeing our town centre light up for Christmas, and I hope you have helped to support our independent shops as you get through your gift lists.

Coun Kelham Cooke
Coun Kelham Cooke

In order to help our local high street businesses, and to ensure a safe and enjoyable shopping experience for our residents and visitors, South Kesteven District Council has been busy utilising our £250,000 grant from the Government’s Welcome Back Fund.

You will no doubt have seen the roadside banners throughout the town centre which promote our local businesses, and I hope you have also enjoyed the Christmas street performers on Stamford High Street.

In an age of e-commerce, it is so important to pay a visit to our small local shops which have been so heavily impacted by lockdowns.

As a council, we have been working hard to support local businesses, distributing £9.6m in Government grants since April and £51m to around 3,000 businesses since March 2020.

What these businesses really want, however, is to serve their customers and there is no better time to enjoy all that Stamford has to offer.

There is understandable concern over the proposed Mallard Pass solar farm, which the developers are planning to formally submit next year.

There is a real need for solar power in this country to help us mitigate the climate crisis, however there is also major concern over the use of productive agricultural land to achieve this goal.

There would be undeniable disruption to local residents and wildlife, so I believe any project analysis and public consultation must be thorough, fair, and comprehensive to address our significant concerns.

I am extremely optimistic about 2022 and what South Kesteven District Council and the wider Stamford community can achieve in the New Year, and I look forward to getting to work in January to expand our local improvements even further.

In the meantime, I would like to wish you all a happy New Year.

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