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Recently elected councillor Marian Boyd is settling into her new role – and she has pledged to put the Park Ward’s interests at the heart of everything she does. She was chosen by residents to represent them in last month’s by-election following the sad death of Conservative councillor Debbie Woodward, who had served the ward since 2019.
Don’t be surprised if Coun Boyd’s face becomes a familiar one, too, because being out and about in the community she now serves – and lives with her husband, David – is a priority.
Here she tells us more about herself…
I was born in Grimsby, and I’ve lived in Park Ward for a long time. We have three children and eight grandchildren. I’ve worked in different places, like Nottingham and Leicester, but I’ve always lived in Grimsby.
I first started work at Grimsby Borough Council, in the education department as an admin trainee. I studied for qualifications, including at the universities in Lincoln and Hull. In the earlier days of my career, I was only one of the 19 people in my year group who passed a three-year degree-level qualification in admin law; it was a very challenging course! I got initials after my name, which I was so proud of. From education I went to finance, then from there to housing, and after having my children I went to Glanford Borough Council, also in housing, and then to Havelock Housing Association. I took early retirement at the age of 55 but ended up teaching public sector management at Grimsby Institute before retiring once more.
I am interested in local government and have been involved in the organisational side of elections before; I was a poll clerk at the age of 18, and since 2005 I’ve been a presiding officer at a local ballot station. Having known some councillors and finding their work interesting, and the opportunity to stand in Park Ward – the ward I live in – seemed the right thing to do. I’m very glad that residents put their faith in and voted for me. My dad was Conservative, so I grew up being aware of Conservative values and the party’s ethos… I remember watching Ted Heath on the television. I think that since the council has been Conservative-run, we’ve seen some fantastic changes and investment in the borough as a whole. There’s a drive now, and a will to succeed. The party’s ethos of working hard and making something of what we have suits me – I don’t have a sit-back attitude; I want to get stuck in.
The campaign saw me out and about in the ward every day. It was such an interesting experience, non-stop, and the chance to speak to residents on their doorsteps was very useful in gauging what issues actually matter within the ward; often little things – but little things that are so important to quality of living. One recurring issue was the condition of the play area and surrounding environs in People’s Park. A lady told me she’d taken her two-year-old across the park but that it was so filthy she’d took the child home again. So, I walked across it myself and she was right – I came away with thick mud all over my boots. I’ve since made a request for it to be looked at and cleaned up. Another thing that came up was finding a business to take on the tenancy of the park café – that’s a work in progress, so watch this space. I’m delighted to say that I’d already identified these issues as priorities to look at if I were elected – it’s good to know I’m already on the right track.
However, I’m sure there are issues that residents would like me to take up, so I’d like to encourage them to get in touch with me. I am here to serve residents and their best interests, so don’t be wary of contacting me, or disinterested because you think nothing will be done. We are here to represent you, and to make changes and act whenever possible – that’s a huge part of the privilege of being a councillor. I want to keep talking to people and keep getting feedback; that doesn’t stop just because the by-election campaign is over. Feedback will change over time, too. I’m not just sitting behind a screen or waiting for the phone to ring – being out and about in the ward is a priority. At the very least, I can promise to listen to what you have to say. The Conservative administration is proud to be a listening council – we do what we can to hear residents’ views. Please don’t hesitate to send me an email at email@example.com, or if you’d rather speak in person, ward surgeries are held on the first Saturday of each month in the bowling club’s meeting room at People’s Park. It’d be great to see you.
I love living in Park Ward. It’s geographically large, and that means it is its own little community within itself. My immediate neighbours are great. There are a lot of facilities. It’s got a lot going for it. I enjoy walking – when I have spare time, that is! – and I love reading, too, and swimming… exercise outside, basically. I was in the Girl Guides, and I’m a good map reader, so no wonder I enjoy it. The last big walk I did was 13 miles long. My friend has moved out to Binbrook and says there are some great walks out there, so visits there are in the offing… on the Wolds and so on. But there’s nothing quite like exploring what’s on your own doorstep – which is why you’ll definitely be seeing me out in Park Ward. Do stop to say hello!
More than 100 buildings on one of the main roads through Grimsby and Cleethorpes are looking a lot smarter thanks to a North East Lincolnshire Council campaign.
North East Lincolnshire Council launched Operation Gateway in June 2020 to improve the street scene on the A180 between Riby Square in Grimsby and Suggitt’s Lane in Cleethorpes.
The project is now coming to an end and has seen scores of property owners respond positively to calls to fix up their business premises and residential buildings.
Breaking the work into three phases, project officers contacted the owners of 227 buildings in Cleethorpe Road, Freeman Street and Grimsby Road.
To date, improvements have been carried out at 130 buildings in the target area.
Some of the problems put right include window frames, broken or missing render and flaking paintwork.
The Council’s aim with the project is to grow business confidence in this part of town by encouraging property owners to make physical improvements to their buildings and make the area more attractive.
Most property owners take care of their buildings, but some properties were neglected and posed a risk to the wider area.
Problems included windows almost falling out of their frames, shrubs growing in brickwork, missing gutters and drainpipes and vegetation in the gutters and on the roof.
Not only are dilapidated buildings an eyesore, they can also pose a risk to passers-by, harm the value of surrounding properties, and become beacons for criminality and anti-social behaviour.
Some property owners had set an example by already making changes before the project started, but many responded to calls from the Council to fix up their properties.
As well as working with property owners to encourage them to make improvements, the officers liaised with colleagues in the planning team to look at ways to bring some neglected buildings back into use.
Cllr Ron Shepherd, portfolio holder for Safer and Stronger Communities at North East Lincolnshire Council, said:
“Since we launched Operation Gateway in June 2020, we’ve seen big improvements to the street scene along one of the main routes through Grimsby and Cleethorpes.
“I’m grateful to all the property owners who responded to our calls to fix up their buildings and improve the street scene in Cleethorpe Road and Grimsby Road.
“For so many to get behind what we’re doing is an excellent result and I’d like to thank the project officers for the difference they’ve made.”
Cllr Callum Procter, portfolio holder for Economic Growth, Housing and Tourism, added:
“We have big ambitions for North East Lincolnshire and the A180 is the gateway to the towns of Grimsby and Cleethorpes.
“There’s a massive amount of passing trade, we’re capitalising on that and making a positive impression.
“I’m grateful to the project officers for their dedication and persistence with Operation Gateway and to the many property owners for making the place look better.
“These are great results and show that by working together we can build business confidence and make it a place to be proud of.”
Article and image from NELC.