Families enjoy first free Activate! Day of the year

The first of South Holland District Council’s activities days for young people in 2014 was a big hit.
More than 130 people dropped into the latest Activate! event, the first to be held in Deeping St Nicholas.
The highlight of the free activities and games was a climbing wall which had a queue of eager participants all day.
Other attractions included rowing machines, dance activities and large garden games.
Rachel Rowett, the district council’s arts and culture development officer, said: “We had a lot more people than at previous events in similar-sized villages so word of their popularity is obviously spreading.
“We were fortunate to have great weather and it was lovely to see families there, some enjoying picnics too.”
There was also plenty of interest in a stall giving information on a new youth club planned for the village.
Activate! is aimed at young people aged 8 to 19 and is organised by the district council’s community development team in conjunction with Lincolnshire County Council’s Children’s Services
For more information about Activate! programme contact the community development team on 01775 761161. Further Activate! days will be scheduled for the school summer holidays – details in the district council’s Summer Fun brochure which is distributed to all South Holland schoolchildren in early July.

South Holland District Council has awarded another £900 to great recyclers.
The council’s Green Bag Lottery scheme has just completed its second round – and there were nine £100 winners out of a possible ten.
The cash has come at just the right time for Holbeach St Marks couple John and Mary Newell
They are celebrating their diamond wedding next month and are putting the money towards a celebration party for family and friends.
Mr Newell (82) said: “The win was a lovely surprise and we’re grateful to the district council for this £100.
“We’ve been recycling for a few years now and always have plenty to put out each week.”
It could get even better for the Newells because all winners’ names go forward to a three-monthly draw to win a further £1,000.

Other £100 recipients in the latest round included:
Agnieszka Nijak, of Knipe Avenue, Spalding
Roy Shortland, of Hawthorn Bank, Spalding
Craig Hodgins, of Gleed Avenue, Donington
Jason Carswell, of West Street, Crowland
Allen Hook, of Allenby’s Chase in Sutton Bridge. 
District council waste and recycling officer Samantha Gibbons said: “We’re delighted that we’re able to award this money because it means that these winners are recycling correctly and regularly.
“However, we know that there is plenty more that can be recycled in our district and we hope that the Green Bag Lottery will encourage more residents to do their bit and recycle more.”
Households in South Holland are automatically entered into the scheme but can elect to opt out. Ten households are randomly and secretly selected every four weeks. Every one which presents recycling correctly for at least three of the four weeks wins £100.
The scheme, which will run, for at least a year is funded by a grant from the Government’s Department of Communities and Local Government’s Weekly Collections Support Scheme.
Litter Blitz campaign enters next phase with more wardens recruited

A litter pick in Surfleet will kickstart the next part of South Holland District Council’s Litter Blitz campaign.
It will be part of a series of events in the run-up to the launch of the Community Litter Warden scheme later this year.
District council waste and recycling officer Laura Simpkins said: “The aim of the scheme is to get local communities involved in cleaning up their area so that they are proud of where they live. It is the chance for individuals across the district to take action against litter in their local area.”
Each Community Litter Warden volunteers to litter pick a particular nominated area, which can be as little or as large as they like. For example, it could be a local park or maybe the street they live on.
Community Litter Wardens will be provided with their own equipment.
Volunteers will regularly meet with the district council’s Waste and Recycling team and the other litter wardens to provide updates on the work that they are doing.
Laura said: “Eleven people have already registered their interest to become Community Litter Wardens. We’d like a few more across the district to come forward and register by May 9.
“Wardens’ hard work will be rewarded with a little thank you gift if the litter picking pledge is kept.”
Schools are also being offered the chance to become part of the Litter Blitz campaign. Litter picks, educational talks and litter workshops are available to all schools across South Holland.
The litter pick in Surfleet is on Saturday, April 26, starting at 10am at the village hall car park. Equipment will be provided. For more information please contact Judy Chapman at Surfleet Parish Council or Laura Simpkins at South Holland District Council on 01775 761161.
Regular Litter Blitz updates are available online at South Holland District Council’s Waste and Recycling Facebook and Twitter pages.
Improved CCTV monitoring via partnership with Boston Borough Council

South Holland District Council has entered into partnership working with Boston Borough Council to gain improved CCTV monitoring.
The current CCTV scheme, which operates in Spalding, Holbeach, Crowland, Long Sutton and Sutton Bridge and is monitored by dedicated volunteers, has been successful but is in need of improvement.
A deal has been agreed to transfer the operation of the South Holland service to Boston Borough Council.
happy to be working with Boston Borough Council to provide a fully monitored CCTV service for South Holland.  “We work closely with our partners through the community safety partnership on a number of community safety initiatives and are pleased that this will result in an improved CCTV service for South Holland residents.”
The control room at Boston has recently benefited from significant investment and has fully trained and experienced staff. This will enable South Holland’s cameras to be monitored more often and their performance will be improved.
Upgrading the South Holland system is expected to cost a maximum of £104,000. These capital funds have already been secured, including grants from the Police and Crime Commissioner (£56,000) and Lincolnshire County Council (£18,000). Monitoring costs for the current number of cameras will be a maximum of £32,000 per year. The final number of cameras and level of monitoring – 24/7 or 18/7 – will determine the final revenue cost.
pleased that Boston Borough Council and South Holland District Council are working closely together to extend Boston's state-of-the-art CCTV system to cover Spalding and surrounding areas.
“This developing partnership will share expertise, improve the quality of service and provide excellent value for the citizens of South Holland and Boston.”

Temporary Repairs to Boston Flood Defences

People in the White Horse Lane area of Boston will see Environment Agency staff putting up temporary demountable flood defences on Thursday 19 December. The structures are being used to reduce flood risk in the area after a 30-metre section of flood wall was damaged by the tidal surge on 5 December.
In total 60-metres of temporary defences will be erected to tie in with the existing wall. The works should be completed by the end of the week. Teams and contractors have been working around the clock to get repairs done aiming to get all the temporary repairs finished by Christmas.

The piling in the area made a real difference to the existing flood wall but the surge did cause some damage needs to put that right. The demountable defences may look dramatic but they are just one way we have of temporarily managing flood risk.

Other works on the flood wall include water-proofing along its mid-section to reduce potential seepage. One-tonne sandbags have already been placed along its southern end to provide extra stability to the wall.

Meanwhile, good progress has also been made on temporary repairs to other damaged flood defences in the town.
Environment Agency contractors completed repairs to a 40-metre hole in a flood bank at Slippery Gowt last Sunday (15 December).
Steel piles have been driven three-metres into the ground to mend the breach and 2,000 tonnes of stone has so far been placed in the hole. Teams worked 14-hours a day using floodlights to carry out the work as quickly as possible.

Temporary repairs to a collapsed flood wall at Bath Gardens are expected to be substantially finished today. It is planned to re-point the rest of the wall by Christmas before a more permanent solution is considered.

All the temporary repairs have been designed to withstand high tides until permanent repairs take place.

High tides are forecast in January but it is important that people understand these tides are not unusual. High tides – also known as spring tides – happen every two weeks.

The chance of spring tides combining with weather conditions that caused the tidal surge this December are low for the New Year. However, thier teams are closely monitoring the situation and will remain vigilant to ensure we remain safe by issuing flood warnings where appropriate.

17 December 2013

News from Lincolnshire County Council

Barrier Bank footpath in Spalding closed
The footpath that runs alongside barrier bank in Spalding has been closed until further notice.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue urges people to take care this Christmas
Debbie Robinson, deputy community fire safety manager, urges people to stay safe this festive season, with top safety tips.

True grit!
As the nights draw in, our thoughts inevitably turn to snowy starts, icy roads and slippery walks to work. This special report looks at what we’re doing to keep people safe on the roads, plus what they can sensibly do for themselves.

For more news visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/news


31 October 2013

Areas of district spick and span after council-led Litter Blitz campaign

South Holland now has some much tidier areas after the district council’s Litter Blitz campaign.

The rubbish collected at the series of seven litter-picks filled 47 bags. Other discarded stuff which was disposed of included an armchair, half a dining chair, a suitcase and a vacuum cleaner.

With cans, plastic bottles, glass bottles and cardboard and paper the most popular items, an estimated 70 per cent of the litter collected was recyclable. The most popular items lying about were crisp packets and sweet wrappers.

Across the seven venues, 22 people took part – a mix of council staff, councillors and volunteer members of the public.

Two public helpers earned prizes for finding a special bottle dropped as part of the campaign. Annika Kaloczi won a £25 book voucher at the litter-pick near Fulney skate park and John Forrest Thornhill won a £10 WHSmiths voucher at Memorial Park, Sutton Bridge.

Laura Simpkins, the district council’s Waste and Recycling Support Officer, said: “We had some pretty poor weather at times so I’m really pleased that people turned out to tidy their communities.

“Thank you to everyone who took part – the amount of rubbish cleared proves that it was a big success.
“The challenge to everyone now is to try and keep those areas as tidy as possible and have pride in them.”

The other venues for the Litter Blitz were Monks House Lane Playing Field in Spalding, Carter’s Park in Holbeach, Snowden Field in Crowland, Cinder Ash Park in Long Sutton, and Flinders Park in Donington.

 An armchair was among the discarded items around Fulney Skate Park 
South Holland District Council’s Waste and Recycling Officer Laura Simpkins led the campaign
 Just some of the helpers who cleared Memorial Park, Sutton Bridge
 South Holland District Council deputy leader Paul Przyszlak and Jenny Alcock at Snowden Field, Crowland

25 October 2013

Litter Blitz Updates

If you would like to get involved with the forthcoming events, please contact: 
Laura Simpkins - Waste and Recycling Support Officer at South Holland District Council on 01775 764888

Sutton Bridge (15 October):
This litter pick was a great success. We had 6 volunteers from the local community litter picking for just over 2 hours in the Memorial park and the park just off King Street. We collected 20 bags of rubbish, a vacuum cleaner and a suitcase! 5 of the volunteers had come along from Sutton Bridge Bloomers. The winner of the golden bottle was a local man called David who lives in Sutton Bridge. He won a £10 WHSmiths voucher.
Donington (21 October):

Unfortunately the rain put people off coming to this litter pick and no one attended this event. The litter pick still went ahead and I litter picked Matthew Flinders Park and the Teen Park on my own which took an hour and a half. Donington wins the prize for being the cleanest place I have visited so far as only 2 bags of litter were collected plus two bags that were found dumped in a ditch by the teen park.
Long Sutton (22 October)
Unfortunately no one turned up to this event but that was probably due to the bad weather! However, Laura did the litter pick on her own. One bag of litter was collected from Cinder Ash Park - it was already very clean!
Crowland (23 October)
2 people came to the Crowland litter pick. A local councillor and a councillor's wife. 3 bags of rubbish were collected in total - mainly crisp bags and pop cans. A lot of the rubbish had blown into the dykes around Snowden fields and it was a hard job reaching some items with our litter pickers!
Spalding, Monks House Lane (24 October)
2 councillors came to this event. No members of the public showed up, even though the sun was shining! 4 bags of litter and half a chair were collected from the playing field and the surrounding area.

Pictures from Sutton Bridge Litter Pick

15 October 2013

Discarded armchair is biggest find as Litter Blitz gets under way

Thirteen bags of rubbish and an armchair were removed from areas covered in the first South Holland District Council litter blitz.
The series of seven litter-picks across the district began in Spalding last Sunday in soggy conditions. The skate park and Fulney Avenue areas were cleaned up by a mixture of volunteers and district council staff and councillors.
And there was a £25 voucher prize for one young volunteer on the day.
Litter Blitz is a project by the district council’s Environmental Services team.
Waste and Reycling Support Officer Laura Simpkins said: “Thirteen bags of rubbish and an armchair was certainly a successful start to the campaign, despite the weather.
“The idea behind this campaign is that areas across the district are blitzed by the community and hopefully they will stay that way – nobody wants to live, work or spend leisure time in untidy areas.
“Anyone is invited to come along on the day and help out. We’ll supply the equipment.”
Another litter-pick was held at Memorial Park, Sutton Bridge on Tuesday and more are planned for next week to coincide with schools’ half-term holidays.
They are: Monday - Flinders Park, Donington 1pm; Tuesday - Cinder Ash Park, Long Sutton 1pm; Wednesday - Snowden Field, Crowland 10am; Thursday - Monks House Lane Field, Spalding 2pm; Saturday, October 26: Carter’s Park, Holbeach 10am.
There are vouchers to be won at each venue.

Some of the group, which included members of the public and district council staff
and members, at the first Litter Blitz, in Spalding last Sunday

13 September 2013

Energy Efficiency Work Carried out on Street Lights

A scheme to convert South Holland District Council’s street lighting and make 58 per cent savings on energy costs is under way.

Its maintenance contractor - E.ON Highways Lighting at Sleaford - has identified a convertor tray that can be installed inside existing street lighting lanterns.

It replaces the old 35 watt sodium lamps and control gear with new 24 watt PL lamps and gives a whiter light as well as making substantial energy savings at a minimum cost outlay.

This also saves costs on the district council’s capital investments by reusing existing fittings while reducing its carbon footprint.

There are about 2,000 street lights for which South Holland District Council is responsible. More than half of the 1,309 which can be converted have been done so far.

6 September 2013

Appreciation for very positive reaction to waste collection changes
South Holland District Council is thanking residents for a very positive response to changes last month to their waste and recycling collection.
About 6,000 households had their collection day altered for black and/or green sacks in a move which brought about efficiency savings through route changes and the use of one fewer vehicle.
In another change designed to improve collection rates, the bank holiday at the end of August was the first time the council had collected on a Monday. Previously, residents had been asked to put out their sacks two days earlier.
Cllr Roger Gambba-Jones, portfolio holder for waste management, said: “These changes were brought in to make efficiency savings and increase collection rates.
“It has gone remarkably well and the result of everyone’s endeavour will be seen in due course.”
The district council carried out an extensive communications programme about the changes, including leaflet drops to households.
A council spokesman said: “We would like to thank the residents affected by the changes for making the transition so smooth.
“We did receive complaints from a very small number of residents who were unaware of the collection day change due to not receiving a leaflet, for which we apologise, but on the whole it went extremely well.”
The Christmas and New Year collections are not included in the new bank holiday collection arrangement.

5 September 2013

Drive to bring empty homes back into use

South Holland District Council is part of a new project designed to help owners of empty homes bring their property back into use.

Over the coming weeks the council will be writing to all owners of empty houses to offer advice and assistance designed to ensure that the most is made of the district’s housing resources.

And for those homes which need work, the council is now a partner in a new national scheme which enables owners to take advantage of low-interest loans to pay for it.

Launched on September 1st, the National Empty Homes Loan scheme provides loans of up to £15,000, repayable over a maximum of five years. South Holland District Council is acting as a local partner of the national scheme, and will be assisting empty property owners through the process of applying for funds.

The loan scheme presents owners of vacant property with the opportunity to bring their property up to a lettable standard, enabling them to generate an income that will help cover the cost of the loan repayments.

Cllr Malcolm Chandler said: "Tackling empty homes is a key priority for South Holland District Council, and this new proactive approach to assisting owners through advice and access to loan finance will help us in this area of work.

Furthermore, any efforts to bring empty homes back into use reduces the pressure on the council’s housing register."

The National Empty Homes Loan Scheme, funded as part of the Community Grants Programme and to be delivered via the charity Empty Homes.

Anyone wanting to register an interest in taking part in the scheme or who knows of a property which has been empty for a while is asked to contact the council’s Private Sector Housing team on 01775 761161 or via privatehousing@sholland.gov.uk

22 August 2013

Deputy Chief Executive to leave South Holland District Council
The Deputy Chief Executive of South Holland District Council is leaving to take up a new role.
Mark Stokes, who also covers Breckland District Council under the councils’ acclaimed shared management system, is to become Chief Executive for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in Norfolk (subject to ratification).
Mark said: “This has not been by any means an easy decision to make, having enjoyed more than 25 years working within local government.
“Not only has local government provided me with many opportunities, it has afforded me the privilege of working with some wonderful people both in South Holland and Breckland.
“What has made my job so rewarding has been rising to the challenges that local government has faced over the years, and the sense of achievement it has given me, and more recently working as part of a high performing shared management team, recognised at a national level as best practice.”
A report proposing to recruit to the Deputy Chief Executive role will go before full council at both authorities in September. It  will also present the councils with options as to how to proceed towards a permanent Chief Executive appointment.
Trevor Holden, who is Chief Executive for Luton Borough Council, has been Interim Chief Executive at South Holland and Breckland since Terry Huggins’ departure in February.

22 August 2013

Bank holiday waste and recycling collections made simpler
Households in South Holland whose waste and recycling collection day is Monday will be unaffected by bank holidays in future.
Until now, those residents were expected to put out their black or green sacks two days earlier – on the Saturday before the Bank Holiday Monday.
Unfortunately, that led to only about 30 per cent of the normal weight being collected and an abnormally large collection the week after the bank holiday.
Consequently, the Saturday collection resulted in dissatisfaction from customers and inefficient collection, plus additional pressures on the Monday after bank holiday.
Now, to improve efficiency, South Holland District Council has brought in an easier arrangement for the one in five households with a Monday collection. Crews will collect as normal on bank holidays too.
The change has been implemented at no cost to the council, helped by the reduction of one collection round whilst not affecting the level of service.
Cllr Roger Gambba-Jones, the district council’s porfolio holder for Waste Management, said: “These collections were an inefficient use of our taxpayer's money and an inconvenience to those households affected.
“None of us like to see our household routine alter unnecessarily, but I'm sure those affected will soon get used to the change and see it as a genuine improvement to the service we provide.”

22 August 2013

Council urging Spalding land and property owners to come forward
South Holland District Council is making a fresh appeal for owners of land and property in Spalding town centre to get in touch. The council is looking at future development of the town centre and wants all parties with a vested interest to be involved.
So far, its plea for stakeholders to come forward has met little response but with the first scheduled forum just six weeks away, the local authority is renewing its invitation.
The first forum - at the South Holland Centre, Spalding on Monday, October 7 at 2pm - will be for land and property owners. Further forums planned for the near future will be aimed at developers, leaseholders, other vested interest groups and the public.
Leader Gary Porter says the future development of Spalding town centre is “enormously important” and there is “no hidden agenda or masterplan” in calling this series of forums.
“This is about getting people around a table to see if there are any synergies from which there might be possible mutual benefits in the future,” he said.
To register as a landowner or freeholder and be kept up to date with the scheme mail economicdevelopment@sholland.gov.uk

31 July 2013

Forums to Look at Future Development of Spalding

Landowners and property owners are being invited for talks on the future development of Spalding town centre.

South Holland District Council knows of several parties with land and/or property in central Spalding, but there are potentially many other stakeholders from whom it would like to hear.

The aim is to hold a series of forum events, with discussions on how the town might develop in the years to come.

Council leader Gary Porter said: “The future of Spalding town centre is enormously important and I think it would be a very useful exercise for those with a significant stake in it to get together. We’d like to hear from anyone who owns property or land in Spalding town centre. There really is no masterplan or hidden agenda here - this is about getting these people around a table to see if there are synergies from which there can be possible mutual benefits in the future.”

Invitations to a first forum – scheduled for Monday, October 7th – will be sent to all known landowners and freeholders.

Future forums would be aimed at developers, leaseholders, other vested interest groups and the public. Anyone wanting to register as a landowner or freeholder is asked to email economicdevelopment@sholland.gov.uk

25 July 2013

Council Appointed Primary Authority for Food Manufacturer

Bakkavor and South Holland District Council have entered into a statutory partnership over food safety regulatory advice.

A Primary Authority Agreement - which formalises a partnership between a business and a single local authority - has been signed, putting the relationship on a legal footing.

South Holland District Council is now the Primary Authority for food safety regulatory advice to both Bakkavor and other food regulators in the UK which deal with the company.

Craig Fowler, the district council’s Food, Health and Safety Manager, said: "The council will act as the single point of contact under the scheme and this will help the business reduce ‘red tape’."

The partnership covers all aspects of food safety and will include around 28 Bakkavor sites. The company’s technical head office is in West Marsh Road, Spalding and South Holland District Council is directly responsible for the enforcement of eight factories within the district.

Cllr Malcolm Chandler, the council’s portfolio holder for Regulatory Services, said: "I am delighted that we are able to commit to this partnership.

"Bakkavor is the largest chilled foods company in the UK and a major employer in South Holland. The business is showing commitment to ensuring high standards of regulatory compliance for the manufacture of food products.

"Our food officers will be working closely with the business and offering professional advice and support to achieve excellence."

Cllr Chandler added that it was a prime example of partnership working and how the district council is supporting the local economy.

Ann Savage, Technical Director at Bakkavor, said: "We are delighted to sign this agreement with South Holland.

"As a leading manufacturer, we believe that this working relationship between the public and private sector will ensure clear communication and help to provide consistency throughout the industry."

14 June 2013

South Holland’s Council House Come Back
Construction work is set to start on the first council houses to be built by South Holland District Council for six years, with various local companies winning the contracts to build seven new homes.
Spalding-based builders Broadgate Homes will start work on a development of four two-bed semi-detached houses at Coalbeach Lane South, Surfleet, Christine Lawton, Portfolio Holder for Housing at South Holland District Council, said the developments were small-scale but there would be more to come: “Over the first year we’re building between 16 and 20 homes and we have plans to develop more each year after that as part of a rolling programme.
“As a housing stock retaining local authority, and following the introduction of self-financing in April 2012, we are now able to retain much more of the rental income to invest both in improving the existing housing stock, and also in developing more new homes.
“Whilst touseingreleasenotesWhilst he council’s own local housing company, South Holland Homes, has built new properties recently, it is now 6 years since the Council has developed new homes itself.”
The total housing stock owned by the council is approximately 3,890 homes.  “The initial impact on waiting lists of these developments may be small but we have to start somewhere,” said Richard Scorthorne, Housing Landlord Manager. “And the more we build, the greater the level of income that we get, so that we can build more.
Ian Canham, Chief Executive of Broadgate Homes, welcomed the council’s astute management in helping to enable local contractors to make competitive bids for the work:
“Each of the schemes is small enough to mean that it attracts only local builders to bid for them, which means that the money being spent is recycled within the district, which is very clever.
“If a national builder or contractor comes in, the profits would be taken out of the district, and they would not necessarily even be using labour from the district. I know it’s only a small programme, but from small acorns big oak trees grow.
“It’s a sensible approach from the council because the housing market has been in a bit of a slump and there is less affordable housing coming through…With the council building affordable housing on its own sites, this is one way of making sure that we don’t get into a situation where no new affordable housing is delivered, which would mean we really would have a serious homelessness problem.”