Difficult times call for a united community

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It’s been a difficult time for newspapers in recent years, but the changes to The Local will really involve the people of Bourne and make this paper something the whole community feels part of. As county councillor for the Bourne Abbey area, I hope to use this column to keep you up to date with any key issues in this area and county council issues that may affect you too.

It’s also been a difficult time in local councils, and everyone is aware of the severe financial shortfalls we’re facing. Our approach in Lincolnshire has been to prioritise the key public safety services such as safeguarding children and care for vulnerable adults. Where services are still valued but we haven’t been able to fund them to the same level, we’ve been working with people and organisations to encourage shared working and community involvement.

Examples of this can be seen here in Bourne with co-located services at the Corn Exchange reducing the cost to the taxpayer for library and registration services. We have also made substantial changes to the youth service in encouraging communities to run the groups. In Bourne, the youth club is going from strength to strength, with the centre now sharing the space with other groups, and becoming a real community resource.

As well as looking at local issues and representing you on the county council, I also have the role of overseeing the council’s work with NHS organisations. Part of this includes making sure we take all opportunities to buy services together and get best value for money. And we’ve just started to look at working with health and care organisations in quite revolutionary ways to see how we can make more of the budgets we have in the face of increasing demand.

If there are any issues in Bourne that are important to you, whether it be footpaths or flooding, or services for children or older people, please talk to me about them. I regularly attend meetings and community events around the town, or you can contact me by phone on 01778 571153 or email cllrs.woolley@lincolnshire.gov.uk.