Busy start to life as West Lindsey Leader

WLDC Leader Giles McNeill EMN-190109-171722001
WLDC Leader Giles McNeill EMN-190109-171722001

West Lindsey District Council Leader, Coun Giles McNeill, says cross party working is the key to success as he reflects on his first 100 days at the helm.

Coun McNeill was appointed as the new leader of the council on May 20 and said he was ‘enormously proud’ to be elected by his fellow councillors.

He continued: “I must admit I was a little daunted at what I was taking on. But it is a real privilege and one that I take seriously.

“Marking my 100 days as leader is not about me, it’s about recognising that, together, we have made real progress; and will continue to make real progress in the next 100 days, the months and the years ahead– helping us build a bright future for everyone in West Lindsey.”

Since becoming leader, the authority has progressed with a number of key projects.

There are plans to build a new purpose-built central depot, and plans to build 130 new homes in one of its’ market towns.

It can also announce a successful grant award of £100,000 from Arts Council England for a series of Mayflower Pilgrim events in the next two years, which will fascinate local people and international visitors alike.

The May-
flower voyage is a key historical event for communities across the UK, the US and the Netherlands.

The West Lindsey area, and Gainsborough in particular, has a special connection to the Mayflower anniversary, as separatist movements originated in this region that led them on their journey to America.

Coun McNeill said: “I have been working hard to build consensus on a cross party basis.

“By working together we can achieve much; like the plans for a new central depot for our waste collection services.

“This will enhance the quality of our services and conditions.

“I was pleased this passed through committee with unanimous cross-party support.

“Finding a solution has taken far too long, and in the past efforts to improve our facilities have become hampered by partisan concerns.”

Coun McNeill highlighted the work taking place on boosting the district economy, including the announcement of a West Lindsey Feasibility Fund.

He said: “This fund is available for all businesses in West Lindsey, who are considering the development of sites and premises or new technology and equipment which would support business growth and investment opportunities across the district.

“In addition to this, we are also offering business rate relief on some designated employment sites in the district to help boost the economy and create opportunities for more jobs.

“There is a lot more work taking place to boost the leisure economy in the district and we hope to announce the latest news very soon.”

Coun McNeill has also been keenly watching the developments of the council’s leisure plans as work started on the new Market Rasen Leisure Centre.

Coun McNeill added: “West Lindsey is an amazing place, full of thriving communities and wonderful people.

“It also faces challenges due its sparsity and rurality and has isolated pockets of the greatest deprivation in the country.

“Whilst it is an affordable area of the country, some areas have viability gaps, which we are discussing how to address with government, building on our success in attracting £11 million grants so far in the last two years.

“However, we are committed to working hard and seeking solutions to get the best outcomes for our residents.”