After serving on Horncastle Town Council for 12 years, Coun Matt Wilkinson has been elected as new Mayor and chairman of the council for the 2023/24 year.
Speaking of his appointment, Coun Wilkinson has paid tribute the his fellow councillors and the two Amandas, Bushell and Eastwood as clerk and deputy clerk respectively:
"They both do such a great job overlooking the day to day running in town and we’re very lucky to have them,” he said, “The estates team also do a brilliant job and they should be very proud of what they do.”
Coun Wilkinson praised the council for their hard work in getting the town’s woodland cemetery plans to come to fruiton
"This has been a great project for the council and a massive thing for the town to be able to deliver this project, he said, “I’d like to think we have a very forward thinking council here in Horncastle and it’s an example of engaging with the community and what the town needs.”
Looking ahead to the next four years for the council, Coun Wilkinson said the council’s priority, and his, is to improve some of the town’s assets including the town’s various play areas and car parks, and to better engage with the community.
"As a whole, people are stretched for time at the moment and are less able to volunteer, but our volunteers are a key part of the community and we want to engage and communicate with the community to involve people further,” he said.
"Horncastle is a lovely place to live and we want to improve what is good, and work on the other bit and the only way the council can do that is through communication.”
One of the first things on Coun Wilkinson’s list is to tackle the news that with Lincolnshire Police cutting the number of PCSOs across the county from 91 to 50, Horncastle's Wolds team, covering Horncastle, Woodhall and Spilsby, will be going from six PCSOs to none because this area isn't considered “deprived”.The town council's main worry is that if it's known that the area won't have a PCSO presence on the streets that crime will increase, and if Horncastle isn't a deprived area now, if crime increases due to a lack of PCSO presence, that it will become one, and Coun Wilkinson said:
"The town council is appalled that our PCSOs will be made redundant. We will be getting in touch with our MP Victoria Atkins and the home secretary about this, because I understand the police needs to make savings, but this isn’t fair at all.”