Boston Borough Council leader Peter Bedford’s latest column looks at the economic picture and Central Park...
Two major companies moving into Boston is a sign of recovery. Supermarket giant Morrisons is taking over the empty Del Monte premises as a UK centre for banana ripening and The Range has opened in the former Somerfields building.
The Del Monte factory, off Marsh Lane, has been empty since 2011 so it is excellent news to hear that Global Pacific will be moving in shortly to run it on behalf of Morrisons and create as many as 80 new jobs.
The Range, in London Road, has created 150 jobs – all good news for Boston when employment opportunities are hard to come by.
The council has had advance warning of Government grant predictions for the next few years and it is clear we need to maintain and intensify our efforts to save money in order to protect frontline services, having already worked really hard to achieve significant savings.
When times are difficult, economically, all councils are put to the test – providing the services residents expect with a shrinking budget and without asking people to dip even deeper into their pockets.
Boston Borough Council has been saying for some time that it will maintain, and improve, services, won’t ask you for more cash and will ensure that every penny it has works for you.
Latest figures from the Government’s Department for Communities and Local Government show we have kept that pledge. Despite no rise in what we ask from you in council tax payments for the past three years the council continues to provide many services at lower cost than any other shire authority.
No one wants to pay more and the council continues to work hard to maintain services standards using the funds it has. Another Government test has shown that four of Boston Borough Council’s frontline service departments continue to meet Government-standard customer service requirements.
This year’s second-year surveillance audit showed that customer service standards had improved on the first year after auditors checked more than 50 key areas in the council’s building control, local land charges and licensing, environmental health and community safety departments.
There has been recent criticism from one quarter of the standard of care in Central Park. I am pleased to hear that these have been balanced by comments of praise for the park and the council staff who work so hard to keep it looking nice for all.
It is sometimes a thankless task when, as quick as they clean up, some who don’t care spread litter and cause damage.
The staff also have some very unpleasant anti-social behaviour to contend with during the course of their daily work. I am pleased to say that a programme of work has been put together for the coming months to make Central Park even nicer for those who can appreciate its opportunities for play, socialisation and relaxation.
And finally, I’d like to add my congratulations to all Boston borough residents who, for the first time have helped us recycle more than we have sent to landfill.