Thursday, 31 December 2009

Giles McNeill’s New Year’s Message

Earlier in the year I was pleased that Conservative led administration at West Lindsey District Council introduced the new ‘triple bin system’ which seems to be working well – delivering on our election promise in the 2008 local elections to provide a free green bin to every household that wants one. The three-bin system helps to reduce the amount of rubbish that goes to landfill which is really good. Some local residents contacted me about having been charged the annual fee for the green bin shortly before they became free, I raised this with colleagues on the district council and the Conservatives have acted to ensure that a refund system is now in place.

The recent flooding in the North of England has brought back memories of the flooding that Nettleham suffered in the summer of 2007 and then again in January 2008. I have been working with colleagues at all levels to ensure that this threat is properly assessed and where possible mitigated. A few days before Christmas I and other members of the Parish Council met with two representatives of the Environment Agency to discuss our concerns about increased risk of flooding in the village. The meeting was very productive and has offered a number of reassurances and new avenues to follow-up. Highway drains are also now being cleaned more regularly.

The biggest issue of 2009 was the proposals of Lincoln Rugby Football Club to move their training ground to the village. The two public meetings held by the Parish Council demonstrated how much strong feeling there is in the village. I believe that there was little to object to on planning grounds in the Rugby Club’s planning application. West Lindsey District Council’s planning department has entered the spotlight in recent months with several stories related to planning in the Lincolnshire Echo. A number of problems have been identified and are now being put right. A new departmental manager is being recruited and I am optimistic that the service will be greatly improved in 2010 and beyond.

2010 is going to bring significant challenges. There will be cuts in public spending regardless of which party wins the general election. It is a testament to many long evenings spent pouring over the figures, that I was able to secure, at the current level, the precept – the money collected through Council Tax that goes to the Parish Council – so no increase on the 2008/09 budget.

I am constantly encouraged by the strong community spirit in Nettleham. For my part I will continue to do my best on behalf of local residents in the months ahead.

Wishing you the best for the New Year,

Giles McNeill
Nettleham Parish Councillor

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