Whilst I’ve only been in post as Leader for six months, Boston has seen a lot of transformation throughout the whole year.
With Brexit looming, there’s been a lot of uncertainty of what’s going on, however I’m confident that, following the recent General Election, I’m looking forward to seeing it through in completing and getting the country, and town stable again.
Following my post to office in July, I vowed to create an exciting new era of cooperation within the council chambers, and cabinet, with the appointment of a brand new cabinet structure to aide the smooth running of the local authority.
July showed to be very successful, featuring the annual Boston Bike Night that was hailed a “huge” success, with record numbers of attendees observing the bikes arriving for the once-a-year event. I unveiled the plans for the new PE21 development to the town, Ofcom awarded a larger broadcast area to Boston’s Endeavour Radio.
August was an exciting time, as Boston welcomed the newly appointed Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to town, who took the opportunity to announce a new funding strategy for hospitals. The events team at the Borough Council worked tirelessly throughout the month, managing a successful busy schedule of events in the town centre, including a month long beach in the park, Teddy’s Bear Picnic, Picnic and Play, Dementia Awareness, Music and Beer Festival and much more.
September saw the announcement that a new £25m Stronger Towns Fund could be awarded to Boston (subject to successful application), we underwent an in-depth Corporate Peer Challenge by the Local Government Association, the Memorial to Lost Fishermen was unveiled, waves reach brimming point and left many residents worrying about safety, but thankfully no damage was caused.
October, I took the liberty with colleagues to visit local businesses, including seeing how The Quadrant development was proceeding, we met Tyler Turner, a Paralympian hopeful from the town. I was, however, deeply saddened to see the resignation of Alistair Arundell and Shaun Blackman from their wards. Local Democracy Week, linking in with local education outlets proved to be hugely successful, and it was a delight to see the doors of Thomas Cook reopen, having been taken over by Hays Travel.
In November, Councillors and public united to commemorate the fallen who sacrificed their lives for our country at Remembrance Sunday. The Christmas Market and Light Switch On was a huge success with an atmosphere of unity and delight. The second Clean Up Boston campaign meeting was held, which I and colleagues from the Council’s cabinet attended.
December has been a busy month too, with the announcement of permissions being granted for further developments at The Quadrant, the commencement of refurbishment of Changing Rooms at Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex, a successful murder mystery weekend at The Guildhall, BT Sport setting up a mini broadcasting village to cover the FA Cup Replay game at Boston United, I joined colleagues in touring the new EMAT facility at Boston College and met with the Secretary of State for Environment, Rt. Hon Theresa Villiers, to be updated on the progress of the Boston Barrier.
Looking forward to 2020, I’m pushing for a water level management strategy to be implemented, which will, I hope, result in additional tourism to the town via the waterways, continued progress of the PE21 Town Centre Regeneration project, submission of our Stronger Towns Fund bid, along with additional private sector developments including the new Community Stadium at The Quadrant, new developments on the towns boundary and other exciting projects.