COLUMN: Flood funding is excellent news for Boston


Boston Borough Council leader pens his latest column...

At the time of this article going to press I had only just received excellent news from the Government about Boston’s bid for funding to help those affected by the December 5 flood.

We are still awaiting final details from the Government, but have been told that Boston has had the biggest funding allocation to help businesses. Householders and businesses will have to just be a little more patient and we will contact them as soon as we know how applications are to be made. They will not lose anything as all applications can be backdated to December 5.

The Government has set aside £320,000 to help businesses which have been affected – more than anyone else.

There have also been announcements about business rate and council tax relief, with residential and community amounts yet to be announced .

Lobbying Government, which we have been doing since immediately after the flood, including a conversation I had with local government minister Eric Pickles at 10 Downing Street, has paid off for Boston.

Together with the chief executive and MP Mark Simmonds we will continue to lobby for more money for Boston, for flood relief and in recognition of its growing population when we meet with Brandon Lewis MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government, at the House of Commons this Thursday.

I hope that all residents of Boston borough will want to play their part in honouring those from this area who gave their lives in the First World War. A hundred years on from the start of the war we must continue to be grateful for the freedoms earned then that we all enjoy today.

To mark the centenary of the start of that terrible conflict Boston Borough Council has joined with Boston and District Branch of the Royal British Legion, Boston Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association, Canal Zoners and the Boston Veterans Memorial Plaque Committee in appealing to all to make a contribution, no matter how small, to help commemorate the event in Boston and to help preserve the memory of all those who died, especially those from the Borough of Boston who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The memorial is to take the form of a pair of individually-designed ornate benches, forged from metal and decorated with poppy motifs and words of dedication and placed in the Memorial Gardens in Boston. Businesses, organisations and groups are also being asked to help and schools are to be invited to hold fundraising events.

Contact Andrew Malkin at Boston Borough Council – phone 01205 314308 or email – if you plan to hold a fundraising event or have a special reason for wanting to make a donation.

You can make a donation to the appeal using the council’s online payment facility using a debit or credit card; in person at the Municipal Buildings using a debit or credit card, cheque or cash; or by post using a cheque. Cheques should be made payable to Boston Borough Council and ‘Boston First World War Memorial Appeal’ should be written on the reverse to indicate what the payment is for. All donations will be recorded on a public roll of honour.

I am pleased to say that already donations have begun to come in from individuals and groups in the borough. One donation has even come to us from a lady in America.

Award-winning blacksmith Tim Mackereth, of Anwick Forge, has been commissioned to design, build and install the benches.