@SouthKesteven Cabinet arrives in the Deepings; It has been a long journey!

I am delighted to report that the South Kesteven Cabinet will hold a formal meeting, open to the public, at the Eventus Centre in Market Deeping tomorrow (6th September, 2018 at 2pm)

Some people need to get out more often, especially Councillors, and this is what I have been arguing since I joined South Kesteven Council back in 2015. To be specific, I have been suggesting that at least one formal committee meeting each year should be held in each of the smaller towns i.e. Bourne, Stamford and Market Deeping. Continue reading

A brush with imagination at #Stamford Arts Centre

Josette Carroll

Today I went with my family to see the new exhibition at the gallery in Stamford Arts Centre. It is a collection of paintings, collages and small sculptures by two local artists, namely Josette Carroll and Vilma Nyss.

The exhibition is well worth a viewing especially for people spending a morning shopping in Stamford or a day at Burghley. It runs until Wednesday 26 September.

Josette was on hand this afternoon to discuss the creative process she uses to produce her diverse works which included: abstract works using mixed materials, paint and collage; sculptures created by recycling post-consumer packaging; as well as more representational interpretations of the natural world including chickens, leafs and trees.

The sculptures were created by taking cardboard, pressing it down with woodglue to make a thick block and then sculpting the block, using various tools ranging from bandsaw to a scapel, to create representations of Bohemian landscapes and other abstract forms.

Josette previously worked as a secondary school teacher in South Lincolnshire before ‘retiring’ to take a degree in Fine Art from University of Lincoln (based at Stamford). She now works from a studio at her home in Ketton.

Vilma’s works are less abstract but also quite diverse. The two styles complement each other across the gallery.

As well as the gallery, Stamford Arts Centre also houses a theatre, cinema, bar, cafe, tourist information centre and function rooms. The centre is managed by South Kesteven District Council.

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Josette Carroll discussing her work with an art student from the Deepings

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“Fish Supper” by Vilma Nyss

More theatricals at West Deeping…

Back in March I attended a brilliant play at West Deeping Village Hall. It was a Townsend Production called “We are the Lions, Mr Manager” which told the remarkable story of Jayaben Desai the inspirational leader of the 1976-78 Grunwick Film Processing Factory Strike.

The performance was part of the Lincolnshire Rural Touring programme which is scheme designed to make art accessible for the many not the few. It is subsidised by Lincolnshire County Council and South Kesteven District Council among others so I congratulate them for their support this project (and regular readers will know I don’t do that very often!)

The next season of performances have been booked for West Deeping and they are as follows:

Honey

Saturday, 13th October 2018, 7:30 PM

An intimate, thoughtful, atmospheric evocation of fragile family and community allegiances within a remote Welsh village, tracing the lives of a young autistic man, his absentee soldier father, his alcoholic beekeeper mother and her tattoo artist sister.

Agent of Influence: The Secret Life of Pamela More

Saturday, 24th November 2018, 7:30 PM

Staged with great panache, gorgeous period detail and an impressive film noir/jazz-swing soundtrack, this is an absolute hoot of a show, chronicling Lady Pamela More’s 1930s life as a fashion editor, socialite and secret agent.

The Wonderful Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancaster

Friday, 1st March 2019, 7:30 PM

An intimate and spellbinding telling of the true story of the notorious and bloody 16th century Pendle Witch trials, combining bold theatricality, haunting a capella hymn singing and striking dark humour.

Sounds like a fun night out, eh? Most people combine these performances with a visit to the excellent Red Lion pub across the road either before, after and or during the performance. Village life at its best!

Fast and Furious? – The race to finish Grantham’s new cinema!

People in Grantham have been enjoying the cinema since at least 1916 when the first ‘picture house’ was opened by John Campbell. It seems almost that long that the Tories have been talking about the new cinema project for St Catherine’s Road.

A report was submitted to the SKDC Cabinet in February 2014 and in August 2014, the Council announced that £5million would be allocated to the development of a large multiplex cinema, restaurants and office space. The BBC reported at the time that the project could be completed by summer 2015. Continue reading

Why can’t we put fruit and veg in the @southkesteven green garden waste bin?

Not very long ago, one of my constituents had her green bin refused because it had an onion in it and I had to go and investigate why.

After speaking to SKDC, then LCC, then the recycling plant at Langar, I finally got a clear answer from WRAP.

To save your phone bill and all the tedium of doing this yourself, I’ll tell you that, in the eyes of the Food Hygiene industry, anything that has been into a kitchen could theoretically have been in contact with a chopping board or knife infected by rotten meat or E-coli or whatever. As no-one can tell whether a particular apple has visited a kitchen we have to assume they are all dangerous.

It sounds ridiculous but it is the law and, like any organisation, South Kesteven always has to abide by the law.

The best thing to do with uncooked fruit is to put it on your compost heap.

Yet another @SouthKesteven senior job stitched up for a #Peterborough crony. This time it’s CEO at @InvestSK…

Regular readers will have seen recent revelations relating to my research of remuneration, recruitment and redundancy at South Kesteven District Council (SKDC).

It came as no surprise that last week the Council announced the appointment of Steve Bowyer as CEO of the newly incorporated InvestSK Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SKDC. Once again the appointment has been made by the Leader, Cllr Matthew Lee, and the Chief Exec of SKDC, without any attempt to advertise the post or undertake any kind of competitive interview process.

Cllr Kelham Cooke (Con), Steve Bowyer and Cllr Matthew Lee (Con)

InvestSK is an imitation of Opportunity Peterborough which is the long established economic development arm of Peterborough City Council. It is argued that a free-standing company can have more impact on potential investors and employers than a department of the Council. Since last year’s coup d’etat within the SKDC Tory group, the Council has been paying Opportunity Peterborough over £200,000 for vaguely defined consultancy services. Now that the consultants have their feet under the table, a decision has been made to poach their Chief Executive, Steve Bowyer. He will paid a salary ‘commensurate with the role’ which we can assume is well over £100,000 (I have requested the actual figure but I’ve been informed the information is exempt from publication under FoI).

Like so many other recent recruitments, Mr Bowyer is a former colleague of Cllr Lee who was a Director of Opportunity Peterborough from 2010 to 2013. Mr Bowyer does not live in Peterborough or South Kesteven but I am informed that Grantham is closer to his Leicestershire home. Continue reading