COUNCIL LEADER: Shop around for home insurance...just like I did

Peter Bedford
Peter Bedford

Boston Borough Council leader Peter Bedford’s latest column...

I want to urge all home owners to shop around for their flood insurance now that the landscape has changed, due, in part, to representations made by Boston Borough Council.

There are still some insurance companies out there who will not touch some properties they deem to be in an unacceptable flood-risk area. But there are others who have substantially reduced their premiums for properties in Boston borough.

You have to do a little work and spend some time on this. But it’s worth it. For a few hours spent on the internet I have saved almost £500 on my insurance. My premium last year was £700 and is now just over £200, and I still have the same level of cover.

I and our chief executive, Richard Harbord, met with Minister of State for Housing and Local Government Grant Schapps 18 months ago to make the case for a sensibly-priced system of flood insurance. We were assisted in our lobbying by MP Mark Simmonds.

A flood insurance fund is now being created to ensure that people who live in homes with a high risk of flooding will have affordable premiums. Householders in high-risk areas, such as ours, will have the cost of insurance capped.

This has already influenced the market. So shop around, use comparison websites and you can save substantial amounts.

The council continues to work hard to give residents value for money, while maintaining and improving services.

We are in the process of launching a shared waste collection service with our neighbours in East Lindsey. By using our vehicles to collect waste just across the border into East Lindsey we will help them save money. At the moment their vehicles come out from Louth, travelling almost all the way to Boston and then take the waste back to Louth for disposal.

We can process that waste near to Boston. The new arrangement will save £300,000 a year, £100,000 of which will come back to Boston. Reductions in fuel used will also be good for the environment.

Next month (August) the council’s CCTV suite will be officially relaunched following a major improvement of its technology.

This £229,000 investment will pay for itself in just three years.

Boston’s CCTV system is the envy of the county. Run by operators with masses of local knowledge it is second to none in providing assistance to the emergency services, shops and pubs and giving reassuring confidence to the public that they are protected

The new system will save more than £70,000 per annum on running costs.

Fibre optics are being replaced with a wireless system reducing the cost of new cameras, together with their associated installation, running and maintenance costs.

It will be a much more economically-attractive option for private businesses to improve their security by joining the system – up to 90 per cent cheaper – and cameras can be moved around from low-crime areas to high-crime areas as necessary given that the system is wireless. New cameras will significantly improve the image quality with high-definition images that can be used in court as evidence.

If you are a commercial property owner and are interested in learning more about how the CCTV system can help protect your property please contact Andy Haw on 01205 314498, or email andrew.haw@boston.gov.uk