Road speed signs installed
 

New road signs which make drivers aware of their speed have been installed in Spalding – thanks to South Holland Councillors.
Earlier this year all Spalding councillors agreed to fund re-active road speed signs through their designated member budgets.
The two ‘dot matrix’ signs light up and advise drivers of their speed to remind them that they are in 30mph zones.
The signs are powered by rechargeable batteries and attach to a bracket on a post, they are designed to be moved between different areas.
The signs will be regularly moved around busy locations including Winsover Road, Bourne Road, Monks House Lane, The Parkway, Park Road, Woolram Wygate, West Elloe Avenue, Halmer Gate, Cowbit Road, Queens Road, Pennygate and Hawthorn Bank.
Councillors decided to act after receiving complaints about speeding drivers and joined forces with Spalding PC Craig Lockton and the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership to get the signs installed.
Cllr Angela Newton (Ind, Spalding Monks House) said: “We’re confident that the signs will make a positive difference in our communities and keep people safe on our roads.”
Cllr Roger Gambba-Jones (Con, Spalding Wygate) added: “If they make drivers more aware of their speed and the fact they are in 30mph zones then they will prove excellent investments.”
Cllr Christine Lawton (Con, Spalding Wygate) added: “This is a great way to make use of our ward budgets. The signs act as a quick and effective reminder for drivers.”
The Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership launched its Community Speed Watch initiative last year and since then over 100 community groups across the county have signed up and received similar speed signs.
As well as the re-active signs which have been bought for Spalding, six additional static signs have also been donated by Alan Hardwick, The Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire.    

Spotless Spalding off to a flyer
 

A new group set up to clear litter from Spalding town centre has got off to a flying start.
‘Spotless Spalding’ was started by Councillor Jack McLean, who was recently elected to represent South Holland District Council.
Cllr McLean set up the group after being inspired by the council’s successful Pride in South Holland campaign to clean up derelict sites across the district.
The group held its first meeting on June 27. Gathering at the flower beds near High Bridge, the party went on to collect 15 bags of litter.
Joining Cllr McLean were several members of the public as well as fellow Councillors Harry Drury and Gary Taylor.
Cllr McLean said: “It couldn't have been a more enjoyable or satisfying experience.
“When I arrived at the flower beds with the litter pickers I was greeted by a group all ready and waiting.
“Within minutes we were taking photos and picking spots to head to.
“We also got lucky with the weather. It made all the difference when turning back to see the difference we had made."
Meanwhile, the group has also been boosted by a generous donation from Pinchbeck firm 24/7 Personnel Ltd who handed over several eco-friendly canvas bags featuring the Spotless Spalding logo.
The group plans to meet on the last Saturday of every month from 6pm at locations around Spalding.
The next meeting will take place on Saturday, July 25 and will feature a walk through Vernatts Nature Reserve just outside the town centre. If you would like to attend, the group will meet at the Royal Mail Cart pub car park and head over the road to the reserve.
You can find more information on facebook.com/spotlessspalding or jackmclean.campaigningforyou.com you can also contact Cllr McLean on 07761098517 or jmclean@sholland.gov.uk

Walk for Health thisSummer

If you’re looking to get more exercise, improve your physical health or make new friends this summer then why not try joining a walking group in South Holland.
The Walking for Health scheme, which is supported by South Holland District Council’s Community team, aims to encourage more people to take up the pursuit.
The initiative is a great way to improve your health and fitness, meet new people and enjoy the beautiful landscape that South Holland has to offer.
There are free walking groups in Spalding, Donington, Crowland, Holbeach, Sutton St James and Long Sutton.
The groups are organised by friendly, trained volunteer health walk leaders and new members are always welcome.
There are short walks available in most groups to support you while you build up your fitness and a group based at Ayscoughfee Hall in Spalding caters for people with mobility difficulties.
If you prefer to walk on our own, with a small group of friends, or would like to try a different walking path there are lists of walks in South Holland on our website at www.sholland.gov.uk/health/walking.
Cllr Gary Taylor, portfolio holder for community, said: “This successful scheme is helping people across South Holland to get active and boost their physical wellbeing.
“We would encourage anyone thinking of joining a group to do so.”
In Spalding, a Walking for Health group meets every Monday at The South Holland Centre (Upper Lounge) at 10.30am for a 10.45 start. The walk is usually around three miles.
If you would like to know more about the Walking for Health scheme or join a walking group please contact the walk coordinator on 01775 762178.

Lincolnshire-wide crackdown on Benefit Fraud launched

A campaign has been launched by Councils across Lincolnshire in an attempt to crack down on Housing Benefit fraud and error.
A Parliamentary report which looked at the annual expenditure of Housing Benefit in the UK found that most councils were affected by claimant error or deliberate fraud.
In Lincolnshire the annual spend on Housing Benefit is £160 million pounds for around 52,500 households.
Lincolnshire authorities have joined forces and are working together to support the Government’s bid to cut the cost of fraud and error. 
The Lincolnshire campaign, called ‘Tell Us’ runs until March 2016. 
The campaign’s message to Housing Benefit claimants is simple. If you claim Housing Benefit you must tell your Council about all changes in your circumstances, including:
Money coming into the home - such as pensions, wages, other benefits or tax credits.
People who live in your home.
Savings and investments.All Lincolnshire Councils will be checking the Housing Benefit claims being made. 
As a priority, the initial focus will be on those considered a high risk of not having reported changes which means they may have received too much Housing Benefit which will have to be paid back.
Whilst most claims will be genuine and correct, the review is essential in order to find those that are wrong.
Some residents may have simply forgotten to let their Council know that they have had a change in their circumstances, such as children moving out or leaving full time education, getting a job or a pay increase. 
Changes such as these should be brought to the attention of their District or Borough Council as soon as possible to avoid claiming the wrong amount of Housing Benefit.
Now is the time to notify the Council of a change before fraud investigators take more serious action, which can include prosecution.
Cllr Peter Coupland, Portfolio Holder for Finance at South Holland District Council, said: “Anyone who claims Housing Benefit and has had a change in their circumstances that might affect the amount of benefit they receive should contact their local District or Borough Council immediately.
“Most residents will be claiming the correct amount, and therefore do not need to worry. 
“However, it is an offence not to declare changes in circumstances, and anyone found to be in receipt of Housing Benefit that they are not entitled to may have to pay back the money and could face court action or financial penalty.  
“Tell Us. We want to help claimants avoid being in such a position.”
 

Leading the way – innovation and new manager roles at South Holland 

South Holland District Council and Breckland Council are embarking on an exciting new phase of shared management and this week have announced the first phase of recruitment for a range of innovative new roles.
The two councils were one of the first to share a Chief Executive and senior management team in a move that has saved £4.4m, reducing the council tax demand on residents, despite reduced Government funding whilst leading to many service improvements.
“I am committed to building South Holland District Council as a new ‘free council’, keeping the council tax low and becoming financially independent of central government funding so we can drive enterprise and community growth for the benefit of local residents and businesses” says council leader Cllr Gary Porter, “and to do so we are launching a drive to bring the best manager talent to our transformational shared management team. 
“Our future successes, shared with Breckland Council in Norfolk, will be delivered through ambitious political leadership and a determined and entrepreneurial executive management team.
“I have tasked the chief executive, with her new executive management team, to deliver a radical and highly practical approach to community leadership, together with commercialisation of local services.
“Innovation combined with sound financial and resource management skills, is a key priority for all our senior people” commented Cllr Porter.
“Our successes to date in cost sharing and efficient joint working mean the council is now operating at the forefront of local government transformation and at the same time strengthening our distinct community identity” concluded Cllr Porter, who has already led the council through key stages of sharing and partnership development. 
Full details of the 13 senior manager roles and opportunities now available are at www.brecklandsholland.com

Arts bursaries up for grabs
 

Young artists in South Holland are being invited to apply for up to £1,000 in funding as part of a new bursary scheme.
The Lincolnshire One Venues (LOV) group, which is a network of ten arts venues including the South Holland Centre in Spalding, has recently secured new funding from Arts Council England, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.
This has enabled LOV to set up a bursary scheme for 2015/16, specifically aimed at helping young artists and arts entrepreneurs across the county.
Young people involved in performing or visual arts or entrepreneurs in the creative industries can apply for up to £1,000 to support their development.
Gary Taylor, portfolio holder for arts development, said: “This is a fantastic initiative and will no doubt help young local people who want to pursue careers in the arts.
“It also shows that LOV is having a growing impact on arts activities and opportunities in the county.” 
Anyone interested in finding out more about the bursary scheme should contact Sally Harrison at the South Holland Centre on 01775 764777 or email sharrison@sholland.gov.uk.
Meanwhile, the South Holland Centre’s own LOV Youth Takeover group are currently organising their annual Music in the Market Place event which will be held on August 7.
Anyone aged between 12 and 25 who would like to get into music programming and promotion, event management, or just volunteering for fun can come along to the group’s meetings at the centre from 4.30pm on Tuesdays.
For more information about the LOV group visit www.lincolnshireonevenues.com.    

Extra care housing prioritised

The delivery of specialist housing for people with care needs has been adopted as a key priority for South Holland District Council.
Extra Care Housing is accommodation where care and support is provided onsite 24 hours a day in a communal setting yet residents retain a degree of independence over their own lives.
It is usually provided within complexes of between 40 and 60 units of self-contained accommodation.
Extra care housing schemes are often available across a range of tenures, from affordable rented and shared ownership through to market sale.
South Holland has been identified as a priority area for Extra Care Housing due to the area’s demographics and lack of existing supply.
Recently councillors unanimously approved the decision to make the delivery of Extra Care Housing a priority and work is now underway to identify opportunities to make the vision a reality.
Cllr Christine Lawton, portfolio holder for housing, said: “We are acting now to meet the demands and needs of an ageing population and increase the choice available in the local housing market to those who wish to remain in specialist accommodation whilst receiving care.”
The 2011 Census identified that around 27% of the district’s population is of pensionable age, compared with 18% nationally.
 Government population projections predict that there will be a 51% increase in the population of those aged 55 or over by 2036 and that over the same period, the population of those aged 85 or older will increase by 175%.
At the same time dementia rates in South Holland are anticipated to rise by 109%, along with an 88% rise in the number of people expected to suffer with mobility problems. 


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