Looking forward to seeing South Kesteven thrive in 2019 says district council leader Matthew Lee
It is hard to believe we are only days away from the end of 2018 – and what a busy year it has been.
The past 12 months, I’ve concentrated on making sure we were not just talking about making South Kesteven better for our residents – we were putting our words into action.
In April, we announced South Kesteven would be the first district in the county to trial a food waste collection service. Nearly 4,700 households in Stamford, The Deepings and our other towns and villages are taking part. So far more than 150 tonnes of food waste have been collected.
We listened when you said parking in Stamford can be a problem. Through InvestSK, our economic growth and regeneration company, we re-designed several town centre car parks to create an additional 60 spaces for residents, workers, shoppers and visitors.
InvestSK also carried out an audit of our signs to ensure people can easily find their way around Stamford, and our other market towns. They looked at which need replacing or moving to better locations. It may not be exciting but it’s absolutely essential in enticing visitors back to spend their time and their money in our local shops, restaurants, and businesses.
I have said many times growing our economy is our number one priority. Through InvestSK, we are currently supporting 10 businesses in Stamford to attract investment into their companies and expand, potentially creating more jobs for local people. We are also talking to a London-based company about relocating to Stamford.
In October, we held our second Business and Economic Summit at Grimsthorpe Castle where we announced our intention to acquire the former Cummins Generator Technologies site in Barnack Road, Stamford. Our proposed redevelopment would ensure the site provides local employment opportunities for many years to come.
Just last month, we took that site and the Exeter Fields site - to MIPIM UK in London. It is the leading national property expo for movers and shakers in the development world and we talked to investors from across the globe about these and other development opportunities in our district.
We also held our first LotterySK draw in October and made history as the first ever local lottery to have a £25,000 jackpot winner in the first week. We are now selling 2,000 tickets a week and should raise over £60,000 for local good causes in the first year. I’m sure you’ll agree this is fantastic news for all those organisations that make our district a nicer, kinder, more compassionate place to live.
We ended the year on a high when my ambition, to increase the protections in place to preserve our beautiful historic town, became a reality after councillors agreed to introduce an Article 4 Direction within Stamford Conservation Area to ensure any changes to homes within it are in keeping with our Georgian stone-built town.
I was also delighted to see the strong entrepreneurial spirit of retailers in Stamford who have come together to encourage residents to ‘shop local’. I’ll continue to use our local shops and markets whenever I can and I’d encourage you to do the same.
Finally, I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year! I look forward to announcing more good news in 2019.
by Matthew Lee, leader
South Kesteven District Council