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Council Leader puts in 25 years' service

It's not often that Boston Borough Council Leader, Cllr Peter Bedford, is lost for words.

But a surprise sprung on him at the full council meeting on Monday night left him almost speechless.

He was rewarded for 25 years loyal and valuable service to the council with presentation by the Mayor, Cllr Stephen Woodliffe, of a special framed certificate marking the achievement.

Cllr Bedford was born and raised in Freiston, where he still lives with his wife, Zita. They have a son, daughter-in-law and a granddaughter.

He was elected to the council as a Conservative in 1991, and has been ward member for Coastal ward since then. He joined Freiston Parish Council at the same time.

Since 1991 Cllr Bedford has won six elections and in 2011 became Leader of the borough council.

As a borough council Cabinet member he has special responsibilities for coastal strategy, strategic planning in the disciplines of conservation, heritage and the local development framework, county and regional partnerships, building control, emergency planning, climate change, the transformation programme, development control, Port of Boston, regeneration and the media. He has recently been at the forefront of the bid for powers to be devolved to local government from central Government.

He also represents the borough on many outside bodies, including the Black Sluice and  Witham Fourth Internal Drainage Boards. 

He sits on Lincolnshire Heritage and English Heritage, East Midlands Councils, the Local Government Association and the District Councils Network, to name just a few. 

He represented the Coastal Ward at Lincolnshire County Council from 2006 to 2013, and was county chairman in 2010/11 and was Mayor of Boston 2008/9.

He is a lifelong supporter of Boston United and enjoys gardening and collecting Boston and Freiston Crested Ware. 

Cllr Bedford said: "I had forgotten that I was coming up to my silver anniversary, so the presentation came as a complete surprise. But it is nice to have my long service recognised by my fellow councillors and the officers of the council."