Date Published: 23 April 2018
You will often hear me talking about the council’s role in ‘protecting, preserving and enhancing’ life in Rutland. This month, a lot is happening to demonstrate exactly what I mean by that.
We have moved swiftly to protect our local RF1 bus service, which forms a vital link between Oakham, Uppingham , Melton and Corby. The current provider has served notice on the route following a decision by Northampton County Council to cancel local bus subsidies. I know just how important this bus route is to our communities which is why Rutland’s subsidy remains in place and why we are already talking to a number of bus companies who may be interested in taking the route on.
This week we have had very good news about funding awarded to enhance Rutland’s economy. Two local businesses, Parker Farms in Ridlington and Simmons Optometrist in Oakham have received nearly £100,000 of grant funding between them to help with expansion plans which should, over time, result in more employment opportunities for local people. Rutland County Council and Opportunity Peterborough secured the LEADER funding, provided by national government and the EU, to help boost rural economies. My hope now is that other Rutland-based business will apply – just type ‘Leader Funding Rutland’ in your search engine to find out more.
We have also just announced details for how people can get involved and tell us what they think of early ideas for the St George’s Barracks site near North Luffenham. The Ministry of Defence has deemed the site surplus to requirements from 2020/21. Your council is involved at this early stage because we want to make sure that any development which takes place is right for Rutland and contributes to the investment that the county needs in affordable housing, transport and public services. Please do look at our website or social media accounts for details and come to one of the events listed from May 11th.
Finally, I am looking forward to a ‘Team Rutland’ partnership meeting this week. This is where the council and representatives from across police, fire, health, voluntary and private sector come together to look at shared priorities. One of the advantages of being a small county is the strength of partnership working and the shared passion that we all have to preserve the quality of life in our part of the world and make things even better residents.