May 2017 – Report to Market Deeping Town Council

Report to Market Deeping Town Council
from District Councillor Ashley Baxter
10th May 2017.

Greetings to the new Mayor. I hope your term of office is successful and enjoyable both for yourself and for the town.

Many thanks to Cllr and Mrs Lester for the extended period they have spent in chains. I am grateful for what you have service you have given to the town over the last two years, and longer as a Councillor.

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Newly elected Chair of SKDC , Cllr Bob Sampson, with Cllr Ashley Baxter at the launch event for the inaugural Deepings Literary Festival.

The District Council has seen a lot of changes since last month. Firstly, a new Chair has been elected. Cllr Bob Sampson is a well-respected independent Councillor who was elected ahead of the Tory nominee who was expected by many to be chosen.

The Council also elected a new leader. Cllr Bob Adams having been deposed by a cabal within his own party, did not stand and Cllr Matthew Lee was nominated. I was pleased to nominate Cllr Ian Selby as an Independent alternative. Cllr Lee won 31 votes against Cllr Selby’s 13 and it was good to see many Councillors putting aside party politics.

Talking of which, three former Conservatives have resigned the Tory whip.

The first act of the new administration was to shake up the committee structure. After long debate they agreed to allow both the Independent group and the Labour group to have a seat on each of the five new scrutiny committees.

The new committee structure means more meetings and more committee Chairs and vice-Chairs. The consequent annual cost to the Council will be in the region of £100,000.

A speech by the new Leader revealed that one of the early priorities of the new Cabinet will be a new carpet in the Grantham offices.

Meanwhile, back in the Deepings we had a County Council election in which I was runner up. I extend my congratulations to Cllr Rosemary Woolley and my commiserations to the other loser.

I have organised an election hustings on the 24th May at the Deepings School on behalf of Deepings Churches Together in the Deepings. It would be great to see you all there.

I attended the Market Deeping Annual Town Meeting and the Deeping St James equivalent yesterday. I also popped into some of the Deepings Literary events and made a short video about it.

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