Rural rumblings in Lincolnshire
Having started in public affairs during the Blair era, I’m old enough to remember when politics was stable (even boring?) and August was the slow news season. No such respite in recent times and the constant change in national government positions is being reflected in local government too.
The seemingly stable South Kesteven District Council in Lincolnshire (elects every four years and always returns a comfortable Conservative majority) has just suffered the shock resignation of leader Councillor Matthew Lee, just three months after being re-elected to the post. Rumours abound as the reason(s) why, but it could well have an impact on development in the area.
Cllr Lee has been a key driver of growth with ambitious plans for inward investment for this relatively rural part of the East Midlands. Despite having just three principal towns in the district - Stamford (often ranked in the Sunday Times best place to live), Grantham and Bourne - Cllr Lee was part of the team establishing InvestSK and even headed to MIPIM earlier this year to highlight and attract economic growth in this well connected region. Although being one of those ambiguous Council names that people go “where?” to, the district has plans to build 14,000 new homes and create an additional 10,000 jobs by 2036. Quite a growth target in this part of the Midlands.
With the local Conservative Association recently selecting a new candidate to fight the Grantham and Stamford parliamentary seat at the next general election (after Nick Boles MP quit the party in protest over Brexit), the political times are certainly a changing in south Lincolnshire.
Sereena Davey - Associate Director