Boston Borough Council has a new leader.
After a meeting on Monday night, Paul Skinner, the Boston Conservative Group Chairman announced: “Councillor Aaron Spencer has been elected as Boston Conservative Group leader.
“Councillor Mike Cooper who's [sic] passion is flying both models and microlights, is to develop his online model business and is to open a shop in Boston.
“He has to dedicate more time to his new venture.”
Councillor Cooper became leader just over two years ago, and was re-elected after the elections in May.
Councillor Spencer, a former car salesman, is a 'professional' councillor who also represents Boston North at county level.
Whilst Councillor Cooper’s time in office might fairly be described as unmemorable, his successor has made the news with his comments about the town centre and its future.
Earlier this year, when he was deputy leader, councillor Spencer – who was first elected to Worst Street in 2011 aged 19 – reportedly said that although it was a shame to see big shops close, too much time and attention was spent trying to help them out.
His comments came after the closure of the town’s Marks and Spencer (no relation) store was announced, and he was quoted as saying: “I think that we need to focus on these medium enterprises in town; of course, it’s a shame that M&S is closing, but we need to do something different. We need to move away from these failing business models and create a town centre full of cafes, bars and restaurants.
“We need to get people living in the town centre again above shops and get people coming to the town.”
Later he added: “I think that we need to leave the past behind, you can buy everything online nowadays and we need to adapt to the changing business environment.
“There’s only so many times that these big businesses can be bailed out, and to be honest I don’t think that they work in Boston anymore.
“I think a lot of the members of the public expect the council to wave some sort of magic wand and the problems will go away, but M&S has announced nationwide closures and we simply can’t help that.
“I’d question some of the people complaining, when was the last time they actually bought from the store? If the answer is a couple of months ago here lies the problem.”
Controversially he also came up with an idea to create specific drinking zones to tackle Boston’s street boozing problem.
He was quoted as saying: “The problem is street drinking and it’s a combination of cultures coming together.
“We drink in the pubs whereas others do it on the streets as there is no communal space for them to do it.
“I think that it would be better if we created a specific area where it can be controlled.
"It's not an idea that I've put forward to the council it's just my personal opinion and I'm not saying that it would practically work but in theory we could police an area better."
He added: “We know that having a blanket ban on street drinking doesn't work as groups of people congregate in hot spots and drink anyway.
"I think if we created a specific area that was well lit, covered with CCTV cameras then we could police the area better and clamp down on anti-social activity.”
Councillor Spencer is also a member of a local popular music combo named Hydro-Bats.
He is also the current portfolio holder for finance at Worst Street - and presumably will have to find a replacement now that he has become leader.
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