Monday, 23 August 2010

£100,000 Flood Prevention Project to Start at Fiskerton

Work to strengthen flood defences in a West Lindsey village is set to start next week.


Fiskerton has been plagued by flooding problems for more than twenty years but now their misery is set to come to an end.


West Lindsey District Council has teamed up with a number of partners to help deliver an innovative solution to the problem.


Plans have been drawn up to intercept much of the surface and land drainage from the uphill side of the village and redirect it, back under, rather than through the village.


Mr. Tony Adams, Flood Prevention Officer at West Lindsey District Council, thanked everyone involved in making the scheme possible. He said:
"The involvement and contribution of the Church Commissioners, the tenant farmer, The Witham Third Internal Drainage Board and the Parish Council have been invaluable and without their support and passage through the school, then this scheme could not have come about."
Work is expected to start on the scheme on Tuesday at Fiskerton Church of England Primary School.


This part of the work is expected to be complete by September, in time for the children to return after the summer holidays.


Other and more extensive work will be carried out in the field north of the village hall and lesser works in the fields to the east and west and is expected to be complete by the end of September.


The work has been made possible thanks to funding from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs.


Cllr. Mrs. Meg Davidson, Conservative (Fiskerton Ward) said:
"This is exciting news - although there have been a few hurdles to overcome it is great to know it is going ahead.


"It really good how many people have worked together to make this happen, it has been a real team effort.


"Residents of Fiskerton were affected quite badly in the 2007 floods because of the pressures of the existing drainage systems and this news will give them a real boost.


"West Lindsey has done a huge amount of work in working with residents, making sure they knew what was happening and why.


"I would like to thank staff at West Lindsey for getting the DEFRA grant; it is a real credit to them."

Cllr. Mrs. Jackie Brockway, Chairman of Community and Waste Services Committee at the council, said:
"West Lindsey and its partners have worked very hard to secure this money for the Fiskerton flooding scheme.


"I am absolutely delighted that work is going to start and hopefully it will relieve the problems for residents."
Disruption to the village as a whole will be kept to a minimum as work to all but the village hall and the school works will be via the entrance to the airfield at Reepham Road.


Work will be limited to the hours of 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday and Saturday mornings.


Part of the village hall grounds will be closed to ensure safe work and access.

Partners involved in the scheme include:
  • The Church Commissioners
  • The Tenant Farmer, Mr Philip Good
  • The Witham Third Internal Drainage Board
  • Anglian Water
  • LincolnshireCounty Council - Highways
  • LincolnshireCounty Council - Fiskerton C.E. Primary School
  • West Lindsey District Council

Friday, 20 August 2010

Cavalier-Jones Begins New Public Relations Blitz

Candidate for National Chairman of Conservative Future, Mr. Simon Cavalier-Jones, has the gravitas and business experience to lead, according to his campaign team. In a fresh PR blitz designed to highlight their candidate’s broadcast media coverage and ability to comment on serious issues, a video has been released showing Mr. Cavalier-Jones being interviewed on the BBC’s Newsnight Programme.

Commenting on the launch, he said,
"It's vital that we remember Labour’s Legacy, one of Record debt, Record numbers of people out of work and the great waste of Ken Clarke's golden Legacy. We as a generation face the greatest consequences of Labours failed educational reforms, the worst prospect's of employment since the 1960's and greatest number of barriers to Social Mobility that any generation has ever faced.

"The reason for this is not bad Government alone, but the flawed Ideology of the Labour Party, based around big Government, Big Waste and a belief that they can influence our everyday lives in the way no Government in history has been able to do. Labour are the party of denial, they can not point to one single achievement that did not incur a great cost. They are also our Main opposition, we have 5 year's to win the argument's that matter, to win the ideological battle and sweep to an overall majority at the next election.

"As CF we can be the agent for change, but we must focus on the issues that matter and not fighting pointless battles, I for one am happy to carry on leading the Fight against Labour."

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Leader Will Not Now Visit Linelands

As reported yesterday Cllr. Martin Hill, Conservative (Folkingham Rural Division), Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, had planned to visit Linelands carehome in Nettleham today. But following the unrelenting intrusion of the local press has had to call off today's visit and will reschedule it for another time.

The County Council is deciding how it will provide care to the county's ageing population. This includes the option of shutting eight care homes.

Cllr. Hill agreed to visit Linelands after being challenged in the Lincolnshire Echo by carer and union representative Ms Phyl Lynn to speak to those involved at the care home.

Cllr. Hill said he postponed the visit due to high media interest, but a new date would be rearranged. He said:
"I want to talk to the residents without them having to speak publicly or being intimidated by the presence of a camera.

"After I have been to Linelands I will be very happy to give interviews."

Monday, 16 August 2010

County Council Leader To Visit Linelands

The Lincolnshire Echo is today reporting that the Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, Cllr. Martin Hill, Conservative (Folkingham Rural Division) will come meet with carers and campaigners tomorrow at Linelands, Nettleham, which has an uncertain future following the council's review of care services.

There will be no formal meeting, but staff and residents will be able to speak to him as he tours the building.

Cllr. Hill's decision to visit is in response to a challenge made in the paper by Linelands carer and union representative Ms Phyl Lynn, who asked Cllr. Hill to 'really understand what the services are providing' before making a decision.

The county council is considering how it will provide care to Lincolnshire's ageing population, with closure one of the options.

Cllr. Hill is reported to have said:
"It will help inform us how services are delivered and how they could be delivered in the future, ahead of our decision on shaping care for the future next January."
Cllr. Hill will be joined by Adult Social Care Executive Member, Cllr. Graham Marsh and the County Council's Assistant Director for Adult Social Care, Ms Carolyn Kus.

Campaigners believe the future of the care homes is a 'done deal' and want care to come before profit.

Leader of the Opposition, Cllr. Mrs. Marianne Overton, Lincolnshire Independent (Branston & Navenby Division) has previously said any plans to close the existing homes and replace them with new buildings could be 'doomed to failure'.

Concrete proposals on what the county council is planning are expected to emerge in the autumn.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Conservatives Cleared Over 'Inappropriate Behaviour' Allegations

Two members of West Lindsey District Council who faced allegations of inappropriate behaviour have been cleared following the investigation undertaken by Standards for England.

Standards for England have revealed that Mr. Adam Duguid, formerly Leader of the Council, and Cllr. Malcolm Parish, Conservative (Welton Ward) did not breach the code of conduct when they met a suspended council officer last year.

The two men were accused of bringing West Lindsey District Council into disrepute after they were present at a meeting with a suspended council worker in September 2009. However, Standards for England has concluded neither man discussed a disciplinary hearing that was ongoing at the time.

Cllr. Parish was said to have acted out of 'genuine concern for the officer's wellbeing' whilst Mr. Duguid's behaviour was described as 'not likely to compromise the impartiality' of the council's investigation.

Mr. Duguid, who lost his Market Rasen seat at the local elections in May, told the Echo:
"I think they did a very fair investigation. There were plenty of opportunities to raise points. My only criticism was it took rather a long time to be sorted."
Bernard Theobald addresses
the council lst year.
Meanwhile an announcement made by Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, means that local residents may never know the outcome of a report by the Audit Commission - which is pending publication in to matters related to governance at the authority - after the body was announced that it is to be scraped with the loss of 2,000 civil service posts as part of government cuts. Doubtlessly Mr. Bernard Theobald, Mr. Duguid's predecessor as Leader of the Council, who also lost his seat in recent elections, is probably delighted at that news.

Friday, 13 August 2010

EU and US Conclude Swift Agreement

The United States and European Union signed an agreement giving the American government agencies access to all bank transactions within Europe, in the name of anti-terrorism intelligence.

The Swift agreement, named after the Belgian-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication that runs the eponymous intra-bank network, was accepted by the EU on Monday 28th June 2010. It allows American collection of data within Europe and the transfer of information about suspicious transactions to the US. An EU official based in the US will maintain oversight for privacy and against misuse.

The agreement follows an earlier interim agreement to give the US data on all transactions, which was signed last November ahead of changes to the Swift architecture. Originally, Swift had two datacentres — one in the US and one in the EU — which mirrored all bank transactions. From 1 January, 2010, a third datacentre was used in Switzerland to maintain redundancy without having EU data in the US, which would have been against European privacy law.

The interim agreement was subsequently opposed by groups within the EU parliament, including the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), who forced a parliamentary rejection of the agreement in February. The S&D amendments were then incorporated.

The European Parliament has adopted the Swift agreement on Thursday, 8th July 2010 allowing sharing EU citizens' bank data with the US authorities. The text was adopted with 484 votes in favour and 109 against. The supporters of the current version claim that the new text was significantly improved by gaining a number of important concessions from the US. These include the limitation of bulk data being transfer to the US or the role of Europol in overseeing the transfer process.

However, there are concerns that the current agreement does not meet the European privacy standards. There is no prior judicial ruling required for transfer of data, the definition of "terrorism" is very broad and there is still no legal redress available for EU citizens in the US against data transfers or the possibly serious consequences thereof. Also, in practice, Swift can't currently limit data searches to specific individuals or single transactions. Actually, it will have to (and has in the past) transfer data about all transactions from a certain country or a certain bank on a certain date. There have been reports that the US Treasury has received up to 25% of all Swift transactions, which number in the billions each year.

As regards the Europol's position, the EU body is far from a judicial authority and it is now authorized to request information from the US searches in the transferred data, which drastically reduces any incentive to limit the transferred amount of data in the first place.

This agreement entered into force on Sunday, 1st August 2010. The current text will be valid for five years and then automatically extends for one year at a time. In order to terminate the agreement, one of the parties has to take an initiative. Even if it is terminated, all transferred data will remain at the disposal of US authorities. The data provided to the American authorities will be subject to a retention period of five years.

The Agreement between the EU and the USA on the processing and transfer of financial messaging data from the EU to the USA for purposes of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program can be read here.

Friday, 6 August 2010

New Community Sports Centre Opened In Gainsborough

Above: Marshalls Sport Pavilion official opening
(Left to Right) Mr. Brian Dalby, Mr. James Nicholson,
Cllr. Mrs. Jackie Brockway, Cllr. William Parry and
Mr. Chris Barry.
A new energy efficient sports facility, which has cost almost £900,000, has been built in West Lindsey to benefit the whole community.

Marshalls Sport Pavilion on Gainsborough's Middlefield Lane has been fitted with solar water heaters to provide hot water to the showers and basins, natural ventilation in the function room, efficient lighting and much more.
The facility was officially opened by the deputy chairman of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr. William Parry, Conservative (Scotter Ward).

Cllr. Parry said: "I was privileged to officially open this superbamenity building of changing rooms and function roomfor the Marshalls Sports Clubs.

Funding from the Football Foundation and Gainsborough Development Trust, as well as the District Council, has enabled this excellent sports facility to be built."

West Lindsey District Council took over the running of the site from Marshall's Sports and Social Club about three years ago.

The original pavilion was in a bad state of repair and unusable.

However, sports groups continued to play on the fields and used portable cabins to change in to their team colours.

Now thanks to the funding, a new energy saving building has been built, providing top class facilities for teams to use.

It has been designed by the council's Technical and Contract Services team and Ross Davy Associates and was built by local contractors Gelders. Mr. Steve Gelder managing director of Gelders said:
"It is a fantastic building and by using local contractors you get more of an affinity with the project."
The facility has the following:

  • Six changing rooms with their own showers and toilets
  • A large function room
  • Kitchen and stores
  • Two official changing rooms
  • Bag/equipment storage
  • Entrance foyer with toilets
  • The car park has also been extended.
Mr. Brian Dalby, Director of the Gainsborough Development Trust, said:
"This really is a superb facility. The money we have put into this project is surplus from the work carried out on the Riverside and it is good to see this project has also brought money into the town."
Mr. Chris Barry, Technical Advisor for the Football Foundation, grew up in the town and uses the facility regularly said:
"It is fantastic to see this good quality building open in Gainsborough as this is something that has been needed for a long time."
Mr. Graham Lyner, Chairman of the Lincolnshire Football Association, who has been campaigning for a facility like this for about ten years said:
"There has been a lack of facilities in Gainsborough. This building is absolutely wonderful. I would like to say congratulations to everyone who has been involved in making this come true. It is a credit to the town."
Cllr. Mrs. Jackie Brockway, Conservative (Saxilby Ward), chairman of Community and Waste Services Committee was pleased to be at the launch. Speaking to everyone involved in the project, she said:
"You have not just built a building you have built a legacy of opportunity, good health and community. You have not just done it - you have done it well and I thank you."
The facility is fully inclusive for different social group mixes and will help the 14 children's teams, bowls, and cricket and football teams.

Mr. Dave Andrews, Chairman of Marshall's Cricket Club, said seeing the building had made him speechless. He said:
"It is a fantastic facility - beyond my wildest dreams."
From Wednesday, 1st September 2010, the facility will be handed over to Gainsborough Town Council, who will be taking over the running of it.

Mr. Paul Leeder, Clerk to Gainsborough Town Council, said:
"I think this is a fantastic facility. A lot of people have put in a lot of hard work in to getting this facility here. It would be good to get more people to use it not just sports groups."