Please could residents ensure that their sacks are ready for collection by 7am.
Meanwhile, a trial scheme to collect textiles separately from properties in South Holland is being extended to Donington, Weston Hills, Moulton, Long Sutton (parts of), the Wygate Park area of Spalding and Holbeach (parts of).
Blue bags and leaflets are currently being delivered to these areas and residents will be able to use the service straight away.
More online services for residents
More online services for residents in South Holland will be created as part of a comprehensive programme of digital improvements in the district after South Holland District Council and its partner Breckland District Council secured £25,000 in government funding.
“Making local services even more accessible to all residents is a priority area for us" says Cllr Gary Taylor, portfolio holder for Communications.
“Our new Corporate Plan outlines the Council's ambition to provide the right services, at the right time and in the right way.
“Making the best use of digital technology will play a big role in delivering our plans and, thanks to this funding, we will shortly begin work on two initial projects. In the longer term our plan is to dramatically increase the range of services accessible to residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We will develop an online 'Book and Pay ' system which will allow residents and businesses to carry out more transactions online using their laptops, tablets and smart phones, as well as at council offices with assisted support.
“Many residents are keen to use quicker and more convenient ways to pay, but currently lack online skills, and we are keen to support them in getting to grips with new technology.
“The second project to be supported by the funding will cover the provision of online service terminals in reception areas and training our staff to show customers how to search for information and complete tasks online.
“This new initiative will be in addition to our traditional face to face and phone services, which residents continue to require.”
The Digital Expert Programme, developed and run by the Local Government Association (LGA), has allocated a total of £390,000 to 27 local authorities.
The scheme was set up to help councils develop their use of technology by learning from and building on schemes successfully implemented elsewhere.
Cllr Peter Fleming, Chairman of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board, said: “There is a lot of excellent working going on in councils to develop and implement innovative digital ways of providing services.
“The Digital Experts Programme will give a helping hand to those councils who are keen to draw on the learning of their peers and quickly implement what has worked well elsewhere, and we look forward to seeing the results.”
The savings in cash and resources achieved in South Holland through digital transformation will be used to help meet the needs of residents with more complex requirements.
New era for South Holland housing gets the green light
Plans for a new era for housing in South Holland are in place following a decision to give the go-ahead to a ground breaking new company.
At the District Council meeting on Wednesday it was agreed that a company will be set up to increase the supply of new homes in the district and meet the demands and needs of a growing population.
This initiative will see quality rented accommodation built across South Holland and generate income to ensure the council continues to provide vital local services such as our popular weekly refuse and recycling collections.
The £15.2 million project, funded by a mixture of loans and money from the council’s reserves, will boost growth in the local economy and is expected to create a number of new jobs.
Cllr Christine Lawton, South Holland portfolio holder for housing, said: “This is fantastic news and marks the start of a new era for home building across the district.
“We are acting now as the population of South Holland grows so we are in position to meet rising demand for good quality homes whilst continuing to provide services that our residents rely on.”
The first phase of the scheme will see 142 much-needed new homes built over the next two years.
This will include 89 homes for rent, 40 affordable properties and 13 houses for sale.
These will be a mixture of sizes and designs based on market trends so that the company can compete within the market.
Detailed work for the company will now be drawn up.
South Holland residents will have a chance to name the new company, see local press for details over the coming weeks.
Councillor to make a splash
A South Holland councillor is set to make a splash for a very worthy cause.
Cllr Sally Slade (Con, Pinchbeck and Surfleet) will swim a gruelling 60 lengths of Spalding swimming pool on April 18 as part of this year’s national Swimathon event which is raising funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
She said: “I went back to swimming regularly last September in an attempt to get fit before my 50th birthday and now swim once or twice every week at Castle Pool.
“Marie Cure does fantastic work helping people with terminal illnesses across the UK so Swimathon is a fantastic opportunity to support them. I hope I’m up to the challenge!”
To sponsor Sally’s swim visit: http://https://my.swimathon.org/sponsor/sallyslade
River cleaned up
Part of the River Welland in Spalding is looking much cleaner today after a litter pick held as part of our Pride in South Holland Campaign.
Staff from South Holland District Council were joined by councillors Roger Gambba-Jones and Elizabeth Sneath along with intrepid members of the Spalding Explorer Scouts for the event on Saturday.
Using special litter pickers and bags the group cleared litter from the river banks close to the South Holland Centre and then the Scouts took to the water in canoes to collect floating rubbish.
They filled 15 bags of litter, with their haul including cans, bottles, take away food boxes and plastic bags.
Cllr Roger Gambba Jones, portfolio holder for waste management, said: “We managed to clear a fair amount of rubbish from the water’s edge and river banks using the litter pickers.
“I’d like to thank the Scouts for taking part and braving the cold conditions, their efforts are much appreciated and the river is certainly looking a lot cleaner.”
Andy Cowper-Johnson, district commissioner for South Holland Scouting, added: “I’m very proud of everyone who took part, we certainly enjoyed ourselves.
“Several people walking along the river stopped and talked to us and were really positive about the clean up.”
The Pride in South Holland Campaign was set up last year to clean eyesore sites in the district and has already made great strides.
The former Bull and Monkie pub site in Spalding town centre has been spruced up and a street sweeping team has blitzed over 230 tonnes of litter from roadsides and villages across the district.
Next on the campaign agenda is a clean up of play areas across the district, with our maintenance teams aiming to re-paint as much play equipment as possible.
The work is set to start shortly and be completed by late Spring.
South Holland District Council poised for housing decision
South Holland councillors are poised to make a decision on 25 March which could lead to the formation of a ground breaking new housing company to address shortages of homes in the district.
Cllr Christine Lawton, Portfolio holder for Housing explains the opportunities of the proposal being considered: “We are acting now to help alleviate the increasing demand for housing in South Holland.
“It is anticipated that we need an additional 550 to 600 new homes every year for the next 21 years, split evenly between the private and affordable markets.
“We also know there is a need to reduce the gap between earnings and the affordability of housing in the area.
“The robust draft business plan that has been painstakingly developed not only puts us in the driving seat to deliver some of that growth, but it also allows us to maintain and raise the standards within the private, rented sector.
“Providing a mix of good quality housing into the market place will also support business growth, stimulate our local economy and provide valuable income to the Council to support other services.
“Interestingly this is not just about providing affordable homes. The draft business plan is based upon the delivery of 89 homes for rental and 13 to be sold as well as 40 affordable homes.
“It is also intended that in the first year of the company’s existence it will acquire around 25 homes for letting. There will also be a mixture of house sizes and designs based on market trends so that the company can compete within the market.
“Rigorous testing of the financial model has also taken place so that the risks associated with any commercial venture are mitigated.”
If approved, the new company will embark on an ambitious first phase of developments to deliver 142 much needed homes by early 2017.
Advice on offer for Landlords
Landlords in South Holland can get useful advice on housing issues at a forthcoming forum being held by South Holland District Council.
The session will take place on Wednesday, April 8 and will give landlords a chance to talk with housing professionals from the council about relevant topics and key changes to government legislation.
The event will feature a guest speaker from the Department for Work and Pensions who will discuss Universal Credits and how this will affect landlords.
Advice on Housing Benefit and new regulations surrounding anti social behaviour will also be on offer.
Visitors will get a glimpse into the future during a presentation about housing needs and demands in South Holland over the next few years.
Representatives from the Citizens Advice Bureau will also be on hand to answer questions and offer guidance.
The forum takes place at the council’s offices in Priory Road, Spalding, from 4pm until 6pm and refreshments will be provided.
There is no need to book a place in order to attend - simply drop in from 4pm onwards.
For further details about the event contact SHDC’s Private Sector Housing team on 01775 761161 or email email@example.com
Kerstin wins Open Arts
A talented young artist had to pinch herself after being told that her artwork had been voted as the best at this year’s South Holland Open Arts exhibition.
Kerstin Lankey (20), from Spalding, won the public vote trophy for her pastel-drawn picture ‘The Old Man’.
Kerstin, who runs her own pet portrait business, entered the exhibition to test her people drawing skills and spotted the subject of her work in a photographic magazine.
She said: “I specialise in drawing pets and animals but didn’t have much experience of people, so I thought I’d try something different.
“When I saw the photo in an old magazine I instantly thought it was very distinctive. I used white pastel on a black background and shaded it in using my fingers.
“I’ve never entered an exhibition before and it was exciting to see people looking at my work and talking about it.
“But I never thought I would win though. When it was announced I had to pinch myself and do a double take.
“I’m delighted because there was a lot of good work on display and I would like to thank everyone who voted for me.”
A total of 292 people voted during the exhibition which ran at the South Holland Centre in Spalding between March 5 and 12.
Open Arts, which has been running since 1999, aims to showcase the best work by professional and amateur artists who live and work in South Holland and the surrounding area.
Artists are invited to submit entries, with the final pieces chosen for display by an independent panel of judges.
This year’s exhibition attracted around 600 visitors and featured 77 pieces of artwork from over 220 entries including paintings, drawings, photos, mosaics and sculptures.
Great gran wins Green Bag Lottery
A great grandmother was delighted to win South Holland District Council’s latest Green Bag Lottery - just weeks after receiving an unwanted diagnosis.
Julie Fox (80) of Moulton Seas End won the £1,000 top prize and was presented with her cheque this week.
Mrs Fox admitted she sobbed when she was told of her win – for it came after she was recently diagnosed with a stomach tumour.
Mrs Fox, a grandmother of six and great grandmother of eight, said: “I’ve had a rough time lately so when I got the phone call to say I had won I just sobbed, I couldn’t believe it.
“But I’m delighted, it’s a lovely surprise. I think I’ll spend the money on some new floor tiles and give my daughters a little present too.”
Mrs Fox will continue to have treatment for her tumour and plans to ‘take things easy’ over the coming weeks.
She added: “I feel ok and take every day as it comes. Luckily I’ve got my family close by for support.
“I will definitely carry on recycling. I’ve been doing it for years so it’s become second nature, but I never thought I’d win money for it.”
The Green Bag Lottery, which has been running for over a year, promotes good recycling and aims to raise awareness of its importance.
Every four weeks, ten households are randomly and secretly selected to take part.
Each one that presents recycling correctly for at least three of the four weeks is awarded £100 and they are then placed into a draw to win £1,000.
The latest lottery saw a total of 24 winners across the district, scooping £100 each.
For more information about the Green Bag Lottery visit http://www.greenbaglottery.co.uk
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