The Communications Team at SK have sent a reply to my e-mail. They have requested I publish it here which I am more than happy to do.
The response spends a lot of time defending the stories about Grantham and argues that perhaps they are relevant to residents of the Deepings. If that’s the case, I would argue that the main reason they are relevant is that Deepings residents help to pay for Grantham activities in one way or another. That would be fine if the Deepings was not ignored… but it is!
I am not really concerned about the plethora of stories about Grantham but rather the dearth of stories about the rest of the District and particularly the Deepings. Two of the reasons for the lack of stories from the deep south are: a) there isn’t much SKDC activity in the Deepings; and b) even if there was, many officers aren’t aware of what’s happening as they rarely find reason to venture out of Grantham.
Last year, if I am not mistaken, the Council published only three press releases specifically about the Deepings. All of them concerned the Literary Festival which took place last April (There may have been others about the Local Plan consultation and the Big Clean project in the Deepings but those related to District-wide projects).
I have personally tried to counteract this problem by sending e-mails (with various shades of grumpiness), suggesting stories for inclusion. These include the duck race, the carnival, the leisure centre, Jubilee Park and the Deepings Raft Race. The latter is one of the biggest and best volunteer events in the region. After speaking to some of the raft race committee I asked South Kesteven if they could support the event. After long exchange of e-mails SKDC offered to supply some bin bags and litter-pickers.. but only if they could be collected from Grantham! That story perhaps deserves a little more context but the gist reinforces my repeated argument that, for many (not all) officers at Grantham, the Deepings is out-of-sight and out-of-mind.
I have also proposed, since 2015, that the Council occasionally hold some of its committee meetings elsewhere than Grantham. In response to a motion I submitted to Full Council on 23rd November last year, the following was agreed:
“This Council encourages its Committee Chairmen to consider the venue for holding committee meetings to ensure that at least one formal meeting (e.g. an OSC meeting) is held in each of the 3 smaller towns (Stamford, Bourne and Market Deeping) during each calendar year.”
Nearly six months on and, finally, the Council is planning for a scheduled meeting of the Cabinet to take place outside Grantham – at Bourne Corn Exchange to be precise on Thursday 12th April at 2pm. I hope someone takes a photograph!