Date Published: 25 November 2020
As North Kesteven District Council continues to deliver its ambitions for developing, supporting and enhancing its flourishing communities, the emphasis of the Comprehensive Spending Review in encouraging infrastructure and sustained investment in public services has been welcomed.
Underlining the District Council’s own £220m investment plan over the coming decade – with £120m targeted at an expansion of 500-plus council and private-rental homes, £40m-plus to unlock new employment opportunities in Sleaford and £10m in broader business growth workshops District-wide – Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has shown his commitment for rebuilding the economy, getting people back to work, creating hope within communities and pursuing a greener, carbon-cutting agenda.
District Council Leader Cllr Richard Wright said: “Our ambition for North Kesteven is to encourage, enhance and enable a District of Flourishing Communities which we do through our delivery of excellent, relevant and responsive services which make a positive and lasting difference to the lives of our residents daily; and also through the foresight of our long-term vision and investments in support of a more resilient environment, economy and community.
“We’ve sought to maintain that focus whilst responding to all of the additional pressures and challenges presented by the pandemic. Whilst stepping up our response to community need to ensure people are well-protected and provided-for, the pandemic has inevitably brought financial challenges.
“I thank the Council staff and our partners across public, private, voluntary and charitable sectors for the brilliant work everyone is doing to support communities during 2020, through their work in administering millions of pounds of business grants and payments and provision for those most in need.
“Despite the fiscal challenge – which the Chancellor vividly outlined as an 11% contraction in the economy – though our careful financial planning, I am confident that North Kesteven remains well-placed to continue with the highly-regarded services our residents appreciate. We have a balanced financial strategy leading into the next financial year and a high-degree of resilience moving forward.
“That said, it is important for the Government and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to set out multi-year financial settlements to assist us in our forward strategic planning, with sustained investment in public services and devolution delivering decision-making closer to people and communities.
“The Chancellor’s emphasis on job creation and protection, promotion of a more climate-conscious and carbon-cutting agenda and investment that addresses regional inequalities chimes with our own aims and ambitions as a District Council and gives us confidence in pursuing our own established emphasis outlined within our four-year and ten-year strategic plans.
“More broadly, of course I whole-heartedly welcome the increased funding for the NHS and anticipate the improvements this will bring to levels of care and support for our communities within North Kesteven and Lincolnshire.
“Responding to the significant challenges ahead requires joint endeavour between local and national government as equal partners. Having protected lives and livelihoods in response to the pandemic through the critical and highly-valued services we deliver, we now stand ready with the ambition and local solutions necessary in response to the national challenges ahead.”