Boston

Reflections 2019: Aaron Spencer – The challenge of transforming Boston

What a year it has been! While I’ve only been leader for six months, Boston has seen a lot of transformation throughout the whole year.

With Brexit looming, there’s been a lot of uncertainty, but I’m looking forward to seeing it completed and getting the country, and town, stable again.

Following my post to office in July, I vowed to create an exciting new era of cooperation within the council, and appointed a brand new cabinet structure to aid the smooth running of the authority.

July proved to be very successful, featuring the annual Boston Bike Night which was a huge success, with record numbers observing the bikes.

I also unveiled the plans for the proposed new PE21 Town Centre Regeneration project and Ofcom awarded a larger broadcast area to Boston’s Endeavour Radio.

August was exciting as Boston welcomed the newly-appointed Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who announced a new hospitals funding strategy.

The events team at the council worked tirelessly to manage a successful busy schedule of events, including a month-long beach in the park, Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Dementia Awareness and a Music and Beer Festival.

September saw the announcement that a new £25m Stronger Towns Fund could be awarded to Boston (subject to successful application), we underwent an in-depth Corporate Peer Challenge by the Local Government Association, the Memorial to Lost Fishermen was unveiled, waves reached brimming point and left many residents worrying about safety, but thankfully no damage was caused.

In October, I visited local businesses, including seeing how The Quadrant development was proceeding, and we met Tyler Turner, a Paralympian hopeful from the town.

I was, however, deeply saddened to see the resignation of Alistair Arundell and Shaun Blackman from their wards.

Local Democracy Week, linking in with local education outlets, proved to be hugely successful and it was a delight to see the doors of Thomas Cook reopen, having been taken over by Hays Travel.

In November, councillors and public united to commemorate the fallen who sacrificed their lives for our country at Remembrance Sunday.

The Christmas Market and Light Switch On was a huge success with an atmosphere of unity and delight. The second Clean Up Boston campaign meeting was held, which I and colleagues from the council’s cabinet attended.

December has been a busy month too, with the announcement of further developments at The Quadrant, the refurbishment of changing rooms at Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex, a successful murder mystery weekend at The Guildhall and BT Sport setting up a mini broadcasting village to cover the FA Cup Replay game at Boston United.

I joined colleagues in touring the new EMAT facility at Boston College and met with the Secretary of State for Environment to be updated on the progress of the Boston Barrier.

Looking forward to 2020, I’m pushing for a water level management strategy to be implemented, which will, I hope, result in additional tourism to the town via the waterways, continued progress of the PE21 development, submission of our Stronger Towns Fund bid, along with additional private sector developments including the new community stadium at The Quadrant, new developments and other exciting projects.

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