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South Kesteven District Council leader celebrates culture and community




The arrival of September means one thing – Autumn is just around the corner, writes South Kesteven District Council leader Kelham Cooke (Con).

While the days may be starting to draw in, I’ve been making the most of the last long days of summer to get out and about across the district visiting the businesses, projects and people that are doing great work to put our area on the map.

One of my first stops was a visit alongside our local MP for Grantham and Stamford, Gareth Davies, and the Conservative Party chairman, Amanda Milling MP, to tyre retreading company, Vaculug in Grantham.

Kelham Cooke visiting Vaculug in Grantham with Conservative Party Chairman Amanda Milling
Kelham Cooke visiting Vaculug in Grantham with Conservative Party Chairman Amanda Milling

The company is a real success story for the region, having grown and grown in recent years – now employing around 50 more people and standing proudly as Europe’s largest independent retreader.

I also had a chance to get behind the scenes of the long-awaited restoration of our Georgian ballroom which has begun at Stamford Arts Centre. The preservation of these buildings is so important to the culture of our community and I’m looking forward to seeing the ballroom back in use when it’s finished.

My visits this month also took me to a very special charity, Kesteven Rideability, which offers a range of riding and equine therapy activities for disabled adults and children. As a region with a proud equestrian history, it was a pleasure to discover more about the amazing work this charity and its volunteers are doing.

Elsewhere, I paid a visit to our Meadows Close development in Bourne, which took one step closer to completion last month, as foundations, floors and frames were put in place. The site will see four flats and three bungalows built – all part of South Kesteven District Council’s housing strategy to bring much needed homes to our District.

Finally, I’d like to finish with a note to South Kesteven district councillor, Mike Exton, who sadly passed away last month.

He was a true Stamfordian – and in his passion for public service and willingness to help his residents, he was a model of all the things a councillor should be.

I speak for everyone at South Kesteven District Council when I say we are deeply saddened by his loss but will celebrate the great life he lived and carry the memory of him with us, may he rest in peace.



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