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Water, water everywhere...

An agency placement in watery Boston from bone-dry Hertfordshire led Lisa Hughes to make the move with her family.

Lisa, pictured, is now Boston Borough Council's Development Manager, having originally joined the authority as a Senior Planning Officer.

She said: "I didn't know anything about the borough prior to arriving, other than it had a namesake in the States... and the manager I spoke to sold the council's virtues, saying it was a great place to work - friendly, highly-professional staff and supportive councillors. 

"Having joined, what is not to like - the council encourages growth which makes planning officers' jobs that much more important in providing well-designed development, it is forward thinking and looking for ways to improve. 

"The villages have a varied character with a good balance and mix of old and new.

"Having moved from one of the driest areas in the country, the volume of water is the biggest surprise. I didn't know so many drainage ditches could possibly exist."

Lisa said she will be forward thinking and positive, liaising with councillors, consultees, applicants and residents in relation to development.

"Service delivery and improvement is an important part of the job; to provide development within the borough that encourages people to visit, businesses to set up and residents to value and make their home.

"It is generally fast-paced with responsibility for a small team of staff to ensure applications are processed within Government timescales."

Lisa worked for a bank in London for ten years before making a career change into planning.  She worked up from Planning Support at Broxbourne Council to Development Management Manager at Welwyn Hatfield where she was employed for 12 years. 

During this time she gained her planning qualifications, studying part-time over a six-year period.

She is a Barnet FC supporter (relegated last season from League 2 to the National League. The last time Boston played Barnet in 2007 Boston won 2-1 so perhaps Lisa will become a Pilgrims fan).

She is currently completing an MSc in Environmental Management with her dissertation due in November, looking at recyclable paper cups from coffee shops.  "My new house has a large garden and a lot of time is spent trying to keep it in order and learning which plants are less easy to kill!  I enjoy walking the dog and reading.  I usually have two books on the go and love crime novels.

"I have a husband and son who is at University in Nottingham - one of the reasons we moved in this direction from Hertfordshire - and we fell in love with the location and slower-paced life."