Guest columnist: Looking back on how so much has changed

Coun Pat O'Connor

Coun Pat O'Connor

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It is usual at this time of the year to look back at the previous 12 months and take stock of what has occurred.

However, I would like to extend this review back to when I was first elected to the Gainsborough Trent Division some 17 years ago.

There have been considerable changes to both the town and the county council.

The riverside area used to consist of a series of derelict warehouses.

While the transformation did not live up to the ‘eclectic mix of shops, cafes, workplaces and accommodation’ that was forecast, it is infinitely better than it was.

The old grain towers beside the river near Ropery Road were demolished and housing put in their place.

The building of Marshall’s Yard and a modern state of the art secondary school are welcome improvements.

Even as I walk around the town, the demolishing of the multi-storey car park, which was an ambition of mine all those years ago, is happening.

The re-development of the job centre site and the 
tantalising prospect of a new hotel are not far off 
completion.

There are a certainly more roundabouts now than there were.

On the council itself, there are now several distinct political groupings and ,apart from the odd sporadic outburst, the general demeanor and standard of debate has vastly improved.

At its next meeting on the 
December 16, one of our town 
councillors is presenting a petition with 2,866 signatures calling for the replacement of all lights with efficient LED lamps so they can be kept lit.

At the same meeting a proposal to review the way in which overview and scrutiny is carried out will be considered.

Hopefully this will be 
accepted and its provisions should be in place for the 
council elections in May 
2017.

In my opinion there is a great future ahead for the town and I am 
happy to have played a small part in some of the improvements.

It has been an honour to represent you.

However, it is time that some one else took up the reins and I have decided not to stand for re-election next May.

Thank you for all your support over the years and I hope you will give the same backing to my successor.