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South Kesteven

South Kesteven District
Shown within the ceremonial county of Lincolnshire
Shown within the ceremonial county of Lincolnshire
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region East Midlands
Administrative county Lincolnshire
Founded April 1974
Admin. HQ Grantham
 • Type South Kesteven District Council
 • Leadership: Leader & Cabinet
 • Executive: Liberal Democrat (council NOC)
 • MPs: Nicholas Boles,
John Hayes,
Stephen Phillips
 • Chief Executive Beverly Agass[1]
 • Total 16.14 sq mi (41.81 km2)
Area rank 285th
Population (mid-2014 est.)
 • Total 63,176
 • Rank Ranked 309th
 • Density 3,900/sq mi (1,500/km2)
Time zone Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) British Summer Time (UTC+1)
ONS code 32UG (ONS)
E07000141 (GSS)
Ethnicity 98.4% White

South Kesteven is a local government district in Lincolnshire, England, forming part of the traditional Kesteven division of the county. It covers Grantham, Stamford, Bourne and Market Deeping. The 2011 census reports 133,788 people at 1.4 per Hectare in 57,344 households.[2]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Governance 3
  • Civil parishes in South Kesteven 4
    • Local area forums 4.1
    • Representation 4.2
  • Demographics 5
  • Economy 6
    • Visitor attractions 6.1
  • Transport 7
  • Education 8
    • Training 8.1
  • Twinned with 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


Former Coat of Arms of Kesteven County Council

The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, from the municipal boroughs of Grantham and Stamford, along with Bourne Urban district, South Kesteven Rural District, South Holland District Council and West Kesteven Rural District. Previously the district was run by Kesteven County Council, based in Sleaford.

In the discussions around 1972 that split off the north of Lindsey, to become South Humberside, there were also radical plans to split off the south of Kesteven to make a county based on Peterborough. Neighbouring Rutland would have also joined, but instead was consumed by Leicestershire.


South Kesteven borders North Kesteven to the north, as far east as Horbling, where the A52 crosses the South Forty-Foot Drain. From there south it borders South Holland along the South Forty-Foot Drain, crossing the A151 just west of Guthram Gowt. The border follows the River Glen near to Tongue End where at Baston, the boundary crosses north-south over Baston and Langtoft fens. It crosses the A16 at the B1525 junction (the end of the Deepings bypass), then meets the Welland about two miles west of Crowland at a point called Kennulph's Stone. The parish of Deeping St. James is the south-east corner of the district, where the district borders the unitary authority of City of Peterborough. The boundary follows the Welland to Stamford, briefly following the B1443 (Barnack Road) where it skirts the edge of Burghley Park.

Ermine Street at Byard's Leap

At the point where the railway crosses under the A1, is the corner of two other districts - Rutland and East Northamptonshire. The boundary with Rutland follows the east side of the A1. Since 1991, none of the A1 bypass is in South Kesteven. The boundary meets that of Great Casterton, and briefly follows the B1081 Ermine Street at Toll Bar. The boundary then follows that of Rutland, crossing the East Coast Main Line at Braceborough and Wilsthorpe and again at Carlby. At Castle Bytham, the boundary follows the east side of the A1, and crosses the A1 at South Witham, where a little further west is a corner with the district of Melton. The boundary follows that of Leicestershire along the former Sewstern Lane, which is now the Viking Way where it crosses the eastern end of Saltby Airfield. The boundary deviates from the Viking Way at Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir where it briefly follows the River Devon. It crosses the A52 and railway at Sedgebrook. This area is part of the Vale of Belvoir. The boundary then passes through the former RAF Bottesford, where just north it meets the district of Newark and Sherwood (Staunton) at Three Shire Oak. The boundary crosses the A1 at Shire Bridge. It follows Shire Dyke at Claypole, crossing the East Coast Main Line, then briefly follows the River Witham. The north-west corner of the district is on the River Witham at Claypole just south of Barnby in the Willows. Further east, a two-mile section of the A17 skirts the district, just east of Byards Leap.

The 30 wards on the district council

A corner of the district is where it meets the former route of Ermine Street, and now the Viking Way. This is the point where it meets the corners of Cranwell and Byard's Leap, and Temple Bruer with Temple High Grange in North Kesteven. The boundary follows the Viking Way for three miles south, crossing the A17. It follows the B6403 to just north of Ancaster. It skirts Ancaster then rejoins the B6403 south of Ancaster to a point just south of RAF Barkston Heath. It passes just east of Oasby, crosses the A52, passes east of Braceby and Sapperton and Pickworth, then north of Folkingham. North of Horbling it follows the A52 all the way to Donington High Bridge.

It is interesting to add that, since 1965, the border with Northamptonshire is Britain's smallest border at only 10 metres.[3] However, the boundary with Rutland was altered in April 1991.


South Kesteven District Council is elected every four years, with currently 56 councillors being elected at each election. Since the first election in 1973 either the Conservatives have had a majority on the council, or it has been under no overall control. After controlling the council from 1979 to 1991, the Conservatives regained a majority at the 2003 election, which they have held since. After the 2015 election the council is composed of the following councillors:-[4][5]

Party Councillors
  Conservative Party 45
  Independent 6
  Labour Party 3
  Lincolnshire Independents 1
  UK Independence Party 1

Civil parishes in South Kesteven

Welland bridge in Stamford
River Glen at Thurlby
Parish church of West Deeping
Oil seed rape and Claypole church
Witham on the Hill
Cringle Road in Stoke Rochford

Local area forums

The district council organizes six Local Area Forums (formerly called Local Area Assemblies) which are designed as a medium by which county, district and town/parish councillors, together with local officials, consult the public in the relevant parts of the district.[6]


Although Lincolnshire County Council, and its funding, is often weighted towards the Greater Lincoln area, the Leader of the county council is Martin Hill OBE, who represents Folkingham Rural, in the east of the district. Peter Robinson, who represents Market Deeping and West Deeping, is one of the two Deputy Leaders of the county council. Sue Woolley, who represents Bourne Abbey, is also on the Executive of the county council.


There were 124,788 citizens in the district at the 2001 census; it is the second largest district in Lincolnshire by population after East Lindsey. However, it has the most number of people in the county aged under 19 and between 25-49. It has the most number of university-educated people in the county and the healthiest people.[7] It has the most number of employed people in the county - 61,000. The median age of the district is 39.

The district is the second least-deprived in Lincolnshire, after North Kesteven. 60% of the district live in the towns. Sixteen of the villages are Local Service Centres. In the 2001 census the district had 58,033 dwellings. For Lower Level Super Output Areas (around 1,500 population), there are 18 in the top 10% least deprived in England; around 30,000 people.


Farming is the main rural industry. The National Transmission System passes north-south through the district just west of Bourne and the A15.

23% of occupations are in hotel and catering; 23% in public administration, education, and health; and 27% in construction and manufacturing.[8][9] 18% of companies are in knowledge-based industries, fairly high for the nearby region, but lower than Peterborough or Rutland (both 20%); the UK average is 20%. Although the district has a lower job density (jobs per resident) than the UK average, the relatively low local unemployment rate means many residents work outside the district. This also means that unemployed residents would be better looking for employment outside the district.

Stamford has a presence in the publishing sector, specialising in domestic pets and aviation, helped by the proximity of EMAP in Orton, Peterborough - a local talent pool to draw on. The main employer in the town is Cummins Generator Technologies. The largest employer in Bourne is the Bourne Prepared Produce site of Bakkavör, who prepare salads, and stir fry vegetables.

The district opened its first purpose-built business innovation centre, called Eventus,[10][11] on the A1175 at Market Deeping in July 2010. This is to attract high-tech companies, which the district notably lacks (as does most of the county), and was funded by the district and county councils. The district has a stable economy. It lies in the Welland Sub Regional Strategic Partnership (Welland SSP), which covers the district apart from Grantham, and has been run by Welland Enterprise (owned by Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Services[12]) based at Stoke Rochford. Grantham is covered by Lincolnshire Enterprise.[13] Outside of the main towns, commercial development has been allocated for Colsterworth and the Roseland Business Park[14] at Long Bennington on part of the former RAF Bottesford.

East Coast Main Line near Uffington

The district forms the northern sector of the Peterborough Sub-Region (formed also with Rutland, South Holland, East Northamptonshire, Huntingdonshire and Fenland). Bourne, Stamford and Market Deeping are in Peterborough's Travel to Work Area. North of there, Grantham is the next TTWA. The A15 corridor to Bourne is where most people in the district work in Peterborough. At the 2001 census it was found only 65% of workers work in the district, but 13% go to Peterborough, 3% to Rutland and 2% to North Kesteven. Around 21% of people working in the district live elsewhere - 3% from North Kesteven and Peterborough, and 2% from Rutland. Around 700 people in the district travel to work in London. For neighbouring Rutland, North Kesteven and Newark and Sherwood, an even lower percentage of residents work in their own district - all are dormitory areas.

For the district, the daily Peterborough Evening Telegraph is bought most in Market Deeping. The daily Lincolnshire Echo is not sold in most of the district. For the district, the Nottingham Post is sold mostly in Grantham.

In 2011, South Kestevern District Council invested £60,000 to transform a patch of wasteland in Greyfriars into a revitalised play area for children. The initiative is now known as the Arnoldsfield Adventure Area.[15]

Visitor attractions

The district is the only one in Lincolnshire (by far) that is easily accessed by transport, mostly due to the frequent ECML service (£32 day return from London). The district has one of two YHA youth hostels in the county, which was saved through district and county council intervention.[16]

The district has a 130-mile walk called the South Kesteven Round.[17]


A1 at Barrowby

The A1 passes through the district as does the East Coast Main Line. Both of these contribute to house prices in the area, which are the highest for districts in Lincolnshire. The district has the most dangerous section of road in the county - the A1 at Great Ponton. The A52 is a busy east west route. The A15 is a quieter route and goes through the centre of many villages.

The Birmingham to Peterborough Line passes through Stamford, which is an important (and one of the few) east-west route.


South Kesteven gets the second best GCSE results for districts in Lincolnshire (after West Lindsey). Similar to North Kesteven and West Lindsey, the district has a mixture of selective and comprehensive education, depending on which town you go to school in. In 2010 62.3% gained five good GCSEs (West Lindsey - 68%).

Officially, Grantham and Bourne have selective schools and Market Deeping has a comprehensive school. Stamford has never had a grammar school. The eleven plus exam is sat, but places are provided at the boys' and girls' schools in the town, similar to the former direct grant system before the late-1970s. The local people were led to believe that Bourne Grammar School would provide sufficient places for high-achieving pupils when the direct-funding scheme was phased out for new entrants in 2011, but circumstances have negated this option. Further afield along the A16, the two single-sex grammar schools in Boston are under-subscribed and have had proposals to be merged in a federation. The two grammar schools in Spalding also take many pupils from Peterborough - outside the county. Much of the displeasure of Stamford's funding situation came from a handful of Labour county councillors - also most of these would have lost their seat in 2009. There are no Labour county councillors for South Kesteven, or for South Holland, North Kesteven, Boston or West Lindsey. Three out of the four current Labour county councillors (from 77 seats available) represent Lincoln.

Overall, results at GCSE in Bourne and Grantham appear to be much better than in Stamford, but it is an unequal comparison for the state sector. The situation is complicated in the south of the district because Bourne Grammar School (which gets the second best A level results for state schools in the East Midlands), can take a small proportion of pupils from Stamford and Market Deeping - essentially Bourne Grammar School is the most selective school in the district (for those not living near to Bourne), and gets the best A level results in the district. The district attracts affluent home-owners, having the highest house prices of the Lincolnshire districts, because of the (comparatively) excellent education available with plentiful transport links. However, because of the limited scope of work available, the district is more and more becoming a dormitory for people to work in Nottingham (from Grantham) or Peterborough (all four towns). Both these cities have the quality of work, but not the quality of state schools.

The low-performing Aveland School in

  • Visitor guide
  • SK Local Strategic Partnership
  • - district council newsletterSK Today
  • Employment Land Capacity Survey by Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners
  • Flickr for SKDC
  • Council spending in May 2011
  • 2011 election
  • Federation of Small Businesses

External links

  1. ^ Beverly Agass
  2. ^ "South Kesteven:Key statistics". 2011 census. Office for national statistics. Retrieved 2013-04-21. 
  3. ^ The Huntingdon and Peterborough Order 1964 (SI 1964/367), see Local Government Commission for England (1958 - 1967), Report and Proposals for the East Midlands General Review Area (Report No.3), 31 July 1961 and Report and Proposals for the Lincolnshire and East Anglia General Review Area (Report No.9), 7 May 1965
  4. ^ "District Council Elections - 7 May 2015". South Kesteven District Council. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  5. ^ "Declaration of result of poll". South Kesteven District Council. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  6. ^ The distribution of parishes among the Local Area Assemblies
  7. ^ Health statistics
  8. ^ Occupations
  9. ^ SKDC
  10. ^ Eventus - LCC
  11. ^ Eventus - SKDC
  12. ^ NWES
  13. ^ Lincolnshire Enterprise
  14. ^ Roseland Group
  15. ^ "Arnoldsfield Play Area, Lincolnshire". 
  16. ^ YHA
  17. ^ South Kesteven Round
  18. ^ School and local statistics at the DfE
  19. ^ Employment and Skills Board
  20. ^ Education Business Partnership
  21. ^ C4YP
  22. ^ Aim Higher


Twinned with

Due to neighbouring Rutland not having a further education college, it relies on New College Stamford. Rutland also shares an Employment and Skills Board,[19] Education Business Partnership,[20] Connexions (agency),[21] Aimhigher centre,[22] and learndirect service (Lincolnshire & Rutland Hub based at Lincoln College).

The district had one of two teacher training colleges in the county until 1978 when Kesteven College of Education, at Stoke Rochford Hall closed; the Hall is now the training centre of the NUT. More recently the district had the Kesteven Agricultural College at Caythorpe Court, in the north of the district. It was taken over by the newly formed University of Lincoln, who prompted closed it one year later in 2002.


The district has 51 primary schools and 10 state secondary schools. There are 8 independent schools.


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