Thursday, 22 December 2011

Strike Boosts Lincolnshire Businesses

Business leaders say the strike over public sector pensions brought an unexpected and welcome boost to trade in the county, reports the Lincolnshire Echo.

Two million public sector workers walked out on strike across Britain.

More than one hundred of the three hundred and sixty-seven schools in the county were closed and three hundred county council workers (10% of the workforce) – downed tools.

Protesters took part in a small march through Lincoln city centre, culminating at the Lincoln Drill Hall.

Prime Minister David Cameron rightly branded the industrial action 'a damp squib' that failed to cripple Britain.

It turns out that the strikes had one unintended outcome; any traders here saw an upturn in business.

Mr. Simon Beardsley, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, said:
"An indirect result seems to be that last Wednesday was a better day for retailers as it has given some parents who have children off school the opportunity to go Christmas shopping, therefore a potential benefit to the economy.

"This may just be timing, in that they will buy now rather than closer to Christmas, but this is likely to be a comfort to cash flow at this time."
Mr. Beardsley said the main impact was the knock-on effects from school closures with parents taking the day off the look after children.
"It is difficult in such circumstances to place a value on the disruption as this cover may have been accommodated from existing holiday allocation and as such the impact is felt more directly by employees losing holiday allocation.

"Our major concern is if the frequency of the dispute increases and accommodation becomes more difficult, as this is when businesses are also likely to see direct impacts in terms of operating costs and lost revenue."
Mr. Barry Reeves, Chairman of Sincil Street Traders, in Lincoln, who runs the Central Snacks cafe on the market, said:
"Can we have another strike soon? By going on strike, they turned last Wednesday into a bumper day of trade. It couldn't have come at a better time."
It is likely that the boost in trade will be reflected the quarterly figures for the last three months of the year and will give the government a boost as well in January.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

New Bus Service Between Cherry Willingham and Nettleham

Villagers in Cherry Willingham, Fiskerton, Nettleham and Reepham are welcoming moves by PC Coaches of Lincoln to introduce a new bus service between the villages, providing a direct link between the Doctors' Surgeries.

PC Coaches has agreed to operate the '4b Nettleham to Cherry Willingham' route from Monday, 12th December 2011 following consultation during the summer by the company, which called on people to tell them where they wanted new services.

Cherry Willingham Parish Council made representations to the firm for a service connecting residents to Nettleham, where the main doctors' surgery for residents is located.

An agreement has been reached and the route will see buses leave North Greetwell from 9.15am and run via Cherry Willingham, Fiskerton and Reepham.

PC Coaches' Operations Manager, Mr. Phil Shirley, said:

"Currently there is no direct service. This is something the council came to us with to see if we would look at it. It's viable so we have done it for them. There's a use it or lose it element. 
"There's no set period but it will be reviewed after three months and we will keep monitoring its progress and work with the parish council. 
"We thought if people told us what they wanted then we are halfway there to providing a service as there are people that want it."
Mr. Shirley added that discussions were continuing with a couple more parish and town councils about establishing new services.

Cherry Willingham resident Mr. Dave Holmes said: 
"I think this will be a welcome service. 
"Opening hours for the Cherry Willingham surgery are limited at best and extending that would have been better. 
"But people have to rely on the Nettleham branch and as many residents are elderly, the distance is a pain. 
"This bus service should help greatly."

Friday, 16 December 2011

Edward Leigh MP Urges Government to Protect Religious Freedom

Local Parliamentarian Leads Backbenchers in Move to Block Civil Partnership Change

Gainsborough's Edward Leigh MP has led a group of backbenchers in an attempt to block legislation allowing same-sex couples to hold civil partnership ceremonies in places of worship. The group are concerned that the legislation in question fails to ensure churches are not forced to host civil partnership ceremonies even if it goes against their beliefs. Controversially, the government is attempting to pass the relevant law without subjecting it to a proper debate in the House of Commons. Mr. Leigh told a newspaper:
“These regulations don’t do what the Government promised, which is to protect churches that do not want to register civil partnerships.”
 “It is an issue of the utmost seriousness. Yet the Commons isn’t even being given a chance to debate them.”
“We’ve seen all this before. The Sexual Orientation Regulations went through Parliament without proper scrutiny and they closed down our adoption agencies as a result. If the Government cares anything about the churches, it will withdraw these regulations.”
Ministers insist religious groups will not be forced to host civil partnership registrations, but expert legal advice has suggested activists will be able to take legal action on human rights and equality grounds.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Police Report Nine Zombies in Lincolnshire

As previously reported on this blog (here) Lincolnshire County Council has no specific plans in place to repel a Zombie Attack.  However, as noted paranormal expert and author, Rupert Matthews, prepares to take over as a Member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands, from retiring incumbent, Roger Helmer MEP, should the idea of paranormal activity in the county - like zombie attacks -  be dismissed? The answer would seem to be 'no'.

Lincolnshire, it turns out, can readily be regarded as a paranormal hotspot in the United Kingdom and even has its own team of 'ghostbusters'. But more chillingly, recently uncovered police statistics, point to considerable paranormal activity.

Every year Lincolnshire Police have to deal with a number of reports of incidents dealing with a wide range of topics. Some are clearly of critical importance, whereas as others can be best described as 'non-emergencies.' But if you are convinced there is a vampire living across the street or a hoard of zombies coming through your door, surely that deserves a 999 call?

Surely, you think, there can not be that many people who have contacted the emergency services to complain that the neighbours are actually witches or that that strange light in the sky is definitely an Unidentified Flying Object? You would be wrong.

Using the Freedom of Information Act of 2000, where public authorities must respond to questions from the public, Lincolnshire Police have reported the statistics for past five years.

The figures showed that in the past five years there has been a total of:

  • 171 reports of witches
  • 2 reports of werewolves
  • 5 reports of vampires
  • 10 UFO sightings
  • 152 reports of ghosts
  • 9 reports of zombies
  • 627 reports of demons
  • 20 reports of wizards

These figures show that there has been nearly 1,000 'paranormal' activities reported to Lincolnshire Police over the past five years, with nearly two-thirds of these cases listed reports of 'demons.'

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Chancellor Announces Funding for Lincoln Eastern Bypass

The Chancellor George Osbourne MP has announced, as part of his autumn statement, that the Lincoln Eastern Bypass is one of thirty-five infrastructure projects around the country set to receive funding.

A 'best and final' bid for £50m, towards the expected £98m cost of the Bypass, was submitted by Lincolnshire County Council to the Department for Transport in September.

Executive Member for Highways and Transportation, Cllr. William Webb, said:
"We are absolutely delighted to hear this news from the Chancellor. Our hopes and aspirations have finally been confirmed and so much hard work has been carried out with our partner authorities to try and bring the bypass to fruition. We have been working towards this for almost 20 years and it’s wonderful that we can start taking the final steps needed to make the bypass a reality.

"The announcement means that we have the additional £50m that is needed and that we have 'conditional approval' for the bypass. We look forward to seeing the full details, so we can start carrying out the additional work required to fulfil these conditions and understand the government’s funding timescale. It is possible that construction could start as soon as 2014."

The Lincoln Eastern Bypass was identified as the best solution to improve traffic flow in the city and it will have tremendous positive economic benefits for the county and East Midlands as a whole.

A bid for funding successfully made it through an initial ‘expression of interest’ stage in February. Lincolnshire County Council is making a contribution of £14m and, following an Executive meeting on Monday, 15th August, is acting as 'guarantor' to underwrite the £34m third party funded element. This meant that if the bid was successful, construction could start far sooner, without the authority needing to wait for details of the developer contributions. Cllr.Webb added: 

"The county council had already agreed this summer to guarantee the outstanding balance in the short term, so we could move forward more quickly. Today’s announcement by government confirms we are now in an excellent position to do this.
"We are of course still working towards solutions to improve the highways in other parts of Lincolnshire as well."

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Prince of Wales Arrives In County at Nettleham

The Prince meets local school children
Photograph by Dominic Clark for 

The Lincolnite

HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, together with HRH the Duchess of Cornwall arrived yesterday in the county by helicopter, landing in the Police Field, Nettleham.

The prince met participants on the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment who have spent time in the Cathedral works department during a tour of Lincoln Cathedral at which the prince accepted the Cathedral’s invitation to become Patron of the Cathedral Fabric Fund.
Charles and Camilla with Dilys Simpson
Photograph by The Lincolnshire Echo

Cathedral officials also showed the heir to the throne some recent acquisitions, including a new set of Chapter copes made by the needlework guild. He was shown a full size image of the proposed statue of St Mary by sculptor Aidan Hart which is being considered for the re-ordered east end of the Cathedral.

The Prince turned his hand to stonemasonary watched by the Duchess, Charles wore plastic safety goggles as he used a chisel and mallet to chip away at a piece of stone in Lincoln Cathedral's stonemasonry workshop. He laughed when he was told the limestone was a softer version than that used by stonemasons working on the restoration and preservation of the cathedral and joked: 

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

No Plan to Deal with Zombie Attack in County

Lincolnshire County Council has revealed that no official emergency plans exist to deal with a zombie attack in the county.

Council bosses have made the admission in a response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Mr. John Fernandez. However, officers from the county council told him in their reply that they do have other emergency plans which they were 'confident' could be adapted if the undead attack.

Mr. Fernandez put in the request to a number of local authorities across the country and told one authority that the request was for a paper he was writing. Lincolnshire County Council’s reply said:
"Lincolnshire County Council has not made any plans for the possible threat of a zombie pandemic.

"We can confirm that the authority has plans for other emergency situations and if the event was to occur, we are confident that could be adapted and applied to ensure public safety."

Thursday, 17 November 2011

'Planning Win' for Parish Council

Members of Nettleham Parish Council have been pleased to learn that planning permission was refused, last night, by West Lindsey District Council's planning committee, for a substantial development on Greetwell Lane.

Nettleham Parish Council objected to this proposed development; the council maintained its strong opposition to the application, which fails to address the reasons for rejections previously made (Section 3 (PP3), Section 6, Section 7 and Section 8). 'In principle the Parish Council supports the provision of Sustainable properties; however, the design, intensity and siting of this development is not in keeping with the other properties in this rural location.' The council also felt that the development did 'not respect its close proximity' to the Bishops' Palace, an scheduled ancient monument, site and ignored the open aspect to the east of the site. The parish council stated that such an extensive development of this site would not respect the Nettleham Village Design Statement. If this application were to be approved it would, in the opinion of the council, set a precedent for future intensive tandem developments in this location.

The Parish Council also noted that West Lindsey District Council's own report (PL24 10/11 dated 17th November 2010) by the Director of Strategy and Regeneration states that 'the authority has exceeded the required 5 year deliverable housing supply and that residential development in primary rural settlements should be resisted unless material considerations indicate otherwise' which removes the pressure on the Planning Authority to achieve set targets.

Cllr. John Evens made representations on behalf of the parish council at the Development Management Committee meeting whilst members of the public from Nettleham also Spoke against the scheme. Cllr. Evan praised the work done by Cllr. Malcolm Leaning, Liberal Democrat (Nettleham Ward) who spoke against the proposal, saying:
"Malcolm Leaning did an outstanding job as our ward member speaking against the proposal, clearly having done a lot of preparation on the various planning policy reasons and put such a strong case across that the vote was unanimous to reject the application. The site visit of a couple of weeks ago also had a big impact on the members appreciation of the setting."
The development in question was an amended version of a previously rejected proposal to site a number of homes on land abutting the ancient scheduled monument of the Bishops' Palace. Cllr. Evans continued:
"I was also personally very pleased to hear the Nettleham VDS referenced on many occasions by Simon Sharp and Members, it is being taken notice of and was clearly a worthwhile project which will benefit our community for years to come."

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Nettleham Remembers

Cllr. Mrs. Janice Clayton lays
the Parish Council's wreath.
This afternoon, Nettleham paused to remember. To remember those who have sacrificed themselves in conflict for the freedoms we too often take for granted.

The Scouts, Guides, Brownies, Beavers paraded from the scout hut on Vicarage Lane to the war memorial on the Village Green. A number of the community had gathered by the war memorial. Proceedings and prayers were led by Rev. Jenny Rowley and Rev. Mark Lawrence, the Methodist Minister.

Representatives of a number of village organisations, including Nettleham Parish Council, Nettleham & District Probus, Royal British Legion and the RAF laid wreaths at the war memorial. The children placed 'In Remembrance' poppy crosses in the earth around the memorial.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

United in Condolence for Red Arrows Pilot

Edward Leigh MP offered his condolences to the family and relatives of the RAF pilot killed in the Red Arrows during Prime Minister’s Questions today. Mr. Leigh, whose constituency includes RAF Scampton, asked
"In joining me in giving our condolences to the relatives of the Red Arrows pilot killed at RAF Scampton yesterday, will the Prime Minister acknowledge the overriding need for safety, and that our campaign to save RAF Scampton from closure is not just based on sentiment for the historic home of the Dambusters but on the overriding need for the kind of safe, uncluttered skies above north Lincolnshire which the Red Arrows need to practice safely."
The Prime Minister, David Cameron responded: 
"I’m sure the hearts of everyone in this House go out to the family of the pilot who was killed in this terrible accident. It comes on top of a second accident that happened in the Red Arrows and this has obviously been a very tragic time for something the whole country reveres and loves."
The Prime Minister said he knows the Red Arrows consider their Lincolnshire home 'extremely important' and added that 'we must get to the bottom of what happened'.

Edward Leigh has campaigned for the Ministry of Defence to state its intention of keeping RAF Scampton open, especially as home to the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, known as the Red Arrows. Mr. Leigh has met with MOD ministers and written several letters putting the case for the base’s continued usefulness as part of Britain’s defence community and a large contributor to the local economy.

Cllr. Roger Patterson, Conservative (Scampton Ward) said: 
"I am very sorry to hear about the death of Flt Lt Shaun Cummings, of the Red Arrows. 
"Coming so soon after the tragic loss of Flt Lt John Egging it has really it the community of Scampton Hard. 
"Sometimes the things you take for granted are appreciated more when tragedy strikes and right now the community at Scampton realise how blessed we are to have The Red Arrows as part of our community, and we stand resolutely behind the team and all our brave servicemen and woman at Raf Scampton. 
"We are steadfast in our belief that The Red Arrows must fly again as soon as possible and continue to bring joy to the millions of people around the world who hold them in such high esteem and that they continue for many more years and that they do this from Raf Scampton because we as a community are proud that they are based here. 
"My sincere condolences go out to his family, friends and his team mates at such a tragic time."

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Edward Leigh MP Demands Action on Insult

Edward Leigh MP has called on the Government to amend a law that criminalises the use of insulting words – as MPs were blocked from debating the issue in Parliament.

The Conservative MP for the Gainsborough Constituency has tabled an amendment to the Protection Of Freedoms Bill, which is being debated in Parliament this week, that removes the word 'insulting' from Section 5 of the Public Order Act. The amendment, which was tabled in conjunction with Labour MP Tom Watson and Lib Dem MP Alan Beith, has been backed by 65 MPs from across the political parties.

It has also won the support of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights and backed by civil liberties groups like Justice. However, Mr Leigh claims the Government is using a procedural device in the House Of Commons to block debate on the amendment – even though it is far and away the most well-supported amendment tabled to the Bill. Mr Leigh said:
Edward Leigh MP for the
Gainsborough Constituency
"It is ironic that MPs should be denied the opportunity to speak about the freedom to speak."
Writing on the ConservativeHome blog, the Conservative parliamentarian said that while freedom of speech is 'perhaps, our most precious civil liberty after the right to life itself', there is a 'widely held concern that civil liberties such as freedom of speech are being eroded'.

Although some blame the previous Labour Government, 'policing practice' has also contributed to the 'erosion of freedoms'.

Mr Leigh explained that 'insult' has a low threshold and 'is open to misuse'. He said:
"Whatever self-restraint the police exercised in the past in applying the law against insults appears to be melting away.
"No doubt we can blame it on external pressure from activists and internal pressure from out-of-control 'equality and diversity' programmes."
Mr Leigh noted that while freedom of speech 'does have its limits', he cautioned that it is not 'legitimate' to 'criminalise words or behaviour that are merely insulting in the ordinary meaning of the word'.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Edward Leigh MP Welcomes Eric Pickles' Visit

Mrs. Suzanne Scott, Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP,
Edward Leigh MP and Cllr. Burt Keimach.
Edward Leigh, who represents the Gainsborough Constituency, welcomed the Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to the Gainsborough Constituency on Thursday, 13th October 2011 together with fellow Conservatives, Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr. Burt Keimach and Cllr. William Parry, the authority’s Chairman.

The Secretary of State visited the Hemswell Cliff Primary School to open the community’s new ‘Room of Requirement’ – named with the Harry Potter books in mind. Head teacher Mrs. Suzanne Scott said:
Eric Pickles MP is shown Marshall's Yard
in Gainsborugh flanked by Cllr. Keimach
(Left) and Edward Leigh MP (Right)
“It's a great honour to welcome the secretary of state to our school.

“We are looking forward to using this facility along with our community.”
After opening the facility, The Secretary of State, Edward Leigh, Councillors, council officers and other stakeholders were briefed on the need to regenerate dilapidated former RAF bases into thriving communities. Mr Pickles said:
“I will rattle the MoD's cage on this as this is a place we should celebrate.”

Friday, 14 October 2011

Eric Pickles Brings Westminster Magic to West Lindsey

As exclusively revealed on here at the start of July the Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP, Her Majesty's Principle Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, visited West Lindsey, Lincolnshire yesterday.

Arriving at Retford Station Mr. Pickles was greeted by Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr. Burt Keimach, Conservative (Market Rasen Ward) and Chairman of West Lindsey Distirct Council, Cllr. William Parry, Conservative (Scotter Ward).

Eric Pickles and Liam Smith, lock wands at the opening of the
Room of Requirement at Hemswell Cliff Primary School
(c) John Jenkins/Lincolnshire Echo
Mr. Pickles was speeded away to Hemswell Cliff Primary School yesterday to open a new £10,000 community facility, their 'Room of Requirement'. Named after a secret room within Hogwarts Castle, the library will be open to residents inside and outside of school hours. The Secretary of state even engaged in a wand duel with one pupil to celebrate the opening of a Harry Potter-inspired library.

Mr Pickles praised villagers for their 'heart' in trying to improve the community. Mr Pickles. told pupils:
"If I had known this was being named after Harry Potter I would have wanted a wand.
"I am not from the Ministry of Magic but times are hard."
Speaking of Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero. Mr Pickles said:
"He said for complete contentment that what you need is a garden and a library. Today he would have said what you need is a garden and a Room of Requirement."
The ninety-one pupils from the school sang two songs which Mr. Pickles praised. Head teacher Mrs. Suzanne Scott said:
"It's a great honour to welcome the secretary of state to our school.
"We are looking forward to using this facility along with our community."
After touring the school, Mr Pickles was briefed on West Lindsey District Council's plans to revitalise ex-RAF bases at Hemswell Cliff, Brookenby and Newtoft, plus RAF Scampton by Cllr. Paul Howitt-Cowan, Conservative (Hemswell Ward), who said the aim was to create more community spaces.

Having seen some of the dilapidated buildings, Mr Pickles said:
"I will rattle the MoD's cage on this as this is a place we should celebrate. What you do have should be a joyous occasion. It shouldn't be like visiting the Bronx. In fact, the Bronx is better."
Mr Pickles later visited Gainsborough to hear about the work of West Lindsey District Council and the way an 'entrepurnurial council' is being delivered.

In the evening Mr. Pickles was guest of honour at a Gala Dinner held at the Gainsborough Golf Glub, Belt Road, Thonock.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Local Kids Learn About Lincolnshire

Children from across Lincoln have been busy painting pictures, putting up bunting and baking traditional plum bread to celebrate Lincolnshire Day the Lincolnshire Echo reports..

A host of activities have been arranged across the county to mark the fourth official Lincolnshire Day, which commemorates the Pilgrimage of Grace of 1536.

Liam Robinson teaching some youngsters at Nettleham
 Junior School learning a Lincolnshire folk song.
(c) Chris Vaughan/Lincolnshire Echo
Pupils at Nettleham Church of England Aided Junior School in Mill Hill, Nettleham, learned Lincolnshire folk songs with county musician Liam Robinson and listened to a talk by Grace Timmins of Lincoln's Tennyson Research Centre.

Head teacher Mr. David Gibbons said:
"The children and staff had a great day. It's wonderful to give the children a chance to explore the history and character of the county they live in."
Other celebrations taking place yesterday included a food-tasting event held by Lincoln Country Market at Bailgate Methodist Church Hall, an evening of traditional folk song organised by Lincoln Folk Club and a special Lincolnshire-themed day at Gainsborough Old Hall.

Lincolnshire Day will be celebrated with a range of events, including guided tours of Lincoln, birds of prey flying displays at Lincoln Castle, a vintage fair at Lincoln's Engine Shed and craft and farmers' markets at Lincoln's Cornhill, High Street and St Mark's Square.

Lincoln Business Improvement Group events and promotions manager Mr. Michael Armstrong said:
"As each year goes by, more and more people seem to embrace Lincolnshire Day and it's wonderful to see so many people keen to celebrate it.
"It's very important to commemorate our history and heritage and hopefully our Lincolnshire Day celebrations will grow and see more and more people get involved."

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Local MEP Takes Wind Farm Protest to Party Conference

Roger Helmer, who is one of the two Conservative MEPs in the East Midlands region of the UK, will be speaking out against excessive wind power development at a fringe meeting in the Freedom Zone at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester next week.

On Monday 3rd October at 10.15am a panel of three speakers, including Matthew Sinclair of the Taxpayers' Alliance, Struan Stevenson MEP (Scotland) and Roger Helmer MEP, will discuss the coalition government's very dangerous policies on renewable energy, and especially their commitment to wind power.

All three speakers have campaigned against current energy policies. Matthew Sinclair's new book 'Let Them Eat Carbon', is a very effective and damning critique of renewables policy. MEPs Helmer & Stevenson have joined local campaign groups in opposing wind farm projects near residential areas, and making information public to constituents who need to be informed of the real costs of Chris Huhne's decisions on energy matters.

Ahead of the event, Mr Helmer commented about the current Energy Minister's work:
"Mr Huhne's renewables policy is futile, ineffectual and vastly expensive. It is time for a re-think".
Members of the public and press are invited to attend the discussion panel next week in Manchester. The Freedom Association (of which Roger Helmer is a past Chairman), holds the annual Freedom Zone event on the fringe of the Conservative Party Conference. It is hosting the controversial debate, and a conference pass is NOT needed to access the Freedom Zone at the Bridgewater Hall on Lower Mosley Street, Manchester.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Residents Pleased At Telephone Box Refurbishment

Local residents in Nettleham have today been admiring the painting of the traditional telephone box which stands on the Green in the village.

The painting of the telephone box was requested Nettleham Parish Council following retention of the kiosk by BT last year.

The kiosk is now resplendent in a fine coat of glossy red paint with the crowns near the top finished in gold.

Nettleham Parish Councillor Giles McNeill said:

"We had a Property Committee last week were concerned to learn that no progress had been made, save that BT would, at an unspecified future date, have the telephone box inspected.
"I am please that the dedicated, hard work by the Council's staff has led to this iconic piece of street furniture being re-painted. Hopefully this will not go unnoticed in next year's Best Kept Village Competition."

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Changes to Waste Services At West Lindsey

Garden waste collections in West Lindsey will be suspended from November until the end of February 2012, councillors have decided.

This decision was approved by the Prosperous Communities Committee on Wednesday and will help the council save a total of £168,000.

Waste Services Manager, Mr. Glyn Pilkington explained that during the winter months there is a dramatic reduction in the amount of garden waste collected. He said:
“All councils have to make significant savings and we’ve had to review everything we deliver and make some tough decisions – including suspending garden waste collections.
“We apologise for the inconvenience, and we are here to answer any questions residents may have.”
Prior to the decision, the council consulted with members of West Lindsey’s Citizens’ Panel where more than 850 responded to a recent survey.

Residents are now being encouraged to consider composting their garden waste or take it to their local household waste recycling centre (HWRC).

There will also be a restructure of the refuse and recycling collections from the start of November 2011. This may mean a change of collection day for some residents.

New waste collection calendars will be delivered to all homes in West Lindsey during October and residents are asked to read their new calendars carefully to see how the changes will affect them.

The changes are aimed at giving local people better value for money by making the refuse and recycling collection rounds more cost effective and at the same time reducing carbon emissions.

Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee, Councillor Malcolm Parish, Conservative (Welton Ward), said:
“Councils have no choice but to be smarter about how they spend money.

“By restructuring our rounds we can make this considerable saving without reducing the quality of service to local people.

“The green garden waste service is popular and well used throughout most of the year but our lorries collect much less during the winter months and our residents have told us that this is an area we should look at to make efficiency savings.”
Other options for garden waste disposal include home composting.  Subsidised composters starting at £15 are available by contacting 0844 571 4444 or by ordering on line at

Alternatively, you can use your local Household Waste Recycling Centre – further information is available at

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Grand Stand Fenced Off Amid Safety Concerns

Nettleham Parish Council working with Nettleham Football Club has been forced to fence off the Grand Stand at Mulsanne Park following concern highlighted in a Health and Safety Report submitted to the Council.

The Parish Council's Property Committee had raised some concerns at a meeting earlier in the year that, following the annual Village Inspection, that there may be some areas of concern relaing to the Grand Stand. A site meeting was organised between representatives of the Parish Council and Football Club and it was agreed that an inspection by a qualified Health and Safety Assessor take place.

The Parish Council were advised to fence off the area and seek the expert advise of an engineer as to the sturctural viability of the stand and the effect of a number of remedial action undertaken on the stand may have had to the stands viability.

Chairman of the Mulsanne Park Users Group, Cllr. Giles McNeill said:
"It is unfortunate that we ahve had to take this action. It is also unfortunate that this is having an impact on the Football Club; closing off the stand reduces access to the away duggout. The stand, and the seating seperately, has been assessed as having potential structural problems which the Council and Football Club must address and, I am confident, will address as quickly as possible."

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Saddness at Death of County Council's Deputy Leader

The Deputy Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, Cllr. Barry Singleton, Conservative (Sleaford West and Leasingham Division) died on Saturday, 30th July, following a long period of illness. He had been a District Councillor for Sleaford’s Quarrington & Mareham Ward since 1999, for twelve years up to his retirement at the May elections this year.

Cllr. Singleton was also a member of Lincolnshire County Council for a decade, and subsequently was elected to be Conservative Deputy Group Leader.

Cllr. Singleton had represented the Sleaford West and Leasingham Division since his election to the council in June 2001 and his executive portfolio included Information Communication Technology and Corporate Development.

Cllr. Martin Hill OBE, Conservative (Folkingham Rural Division), Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said:
"Barry had been bravely fighting illness for some time, but that did not prevent him continuing his sterling work as a councillor and deputy leader.

"The county council was a better place for the presence of Barry and his loss will be keenly felt. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Shirley, and his family at this sad time."
Tribute were paid to Cllr. Singleton by those who worked closely with him.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Top Marks for Local School Playgrounds

Above: Nettleham Infants School
pupils play in the palyground
The Lincolshire Echo is today reporting that around the county school playgrounds are getting a facelift in a bid to encourage children to do more outdoor exercise. Approximately eoghty primary schools took part in a pilot project funded by Lincolnshire County Council where different activity zones were marked out in paint on playgrounds.

The markings are similar to the traditional painted spirals, hopscotch and other shapes that older generations fondly remember being on school yards, with the addition of number and alphabet grids to help with maths and language skills.

One school that took part in the pilot was Nettleham Infants School. Headteacher Mrs. Nicola Driffill said to the paper:
"After we had the activity markings installed, we were trained on how to use them from the local authority as part of the installation.

"That was really useful because all staff got trained on it.

"But then we took it further because we got training from the outdoor learning scheme about how to use it in other ways and not just for PE

"The old markings were very closed in what you could do. These are much more open-ended, you can use them for lots of different things.

"It makes it much more worthwhile for the kids to think that they can actually make up their own ideas as well. They enjoy that a lot."
The scheme will be rolled out across Lincolnshire as a result of the successful pilot. The drive to make young people more active is in line with new Government guidelines that say 5 to 18-year-olds should get a minimum of one hour of exercise a day.

It is hoped the changes to playground activities will help more children reach this target.

Cllr. Mrs. Patricia Bradwell said: "
The scheme has been recognised nationally for the contribution it makes in reducing childhood obesity through physical activity.

"It's not about forcing children into competitive sport that they don't want to do, but helping them enjoy fun activities with friends and classmates.

"If it encourages more young people to exercise, then it's got to be a good thing."
NHS Lincolnshire has been involved with the scheme and it is hoped there will be long-term health improvements across the county. Mr. John McIvor, Chief Executive of NHS Lincolnshire, said:
"Increasing activities is just one of the ways we are working with partners to reduce obesity levels and improve health."

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

County Council's Executive Vote to Close Linelands

Lincolnshire County Council’s Executive today voted unanimously to implement proposals for Lincolnshire's care services. The plans include five care homes closing in September and the other three -  including Linelands in Nettleham - will close at the end of March next year after suitable private alternatives are found.

Above: Unison members demonstrate outside Lincolnshire
County Council headquarters. © 2011 Lincolnshire Echo
The authority argues that delivering a better quality of social care in the future requires delivery by the private sector and the end of council-run care facilities. The authority expects savings, potentially running to millions of pounds. The plans will mean many jobs will be lost, although, Leader of the Council, Cllr. Martin Hill, Conservative (Folkingham Rural Division), insists that:
"the driver behind this is not financial savings."
Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Cllr. Graham Marsh, Conservative (Alford & Sutton on Sea Division), told the meeting:
"I think it's very disappointing that some people would wish to deny people personal choice by insisting that we maintain expensive, out-of-date buildings to deliver services which can be delivered as far more cost effective, and as good quality, in the private and third sectors.

"When I retire, if I'm unfortunate enough to need services, I don't want to be given the same choices that my parents had, which was take it or leave it as there's nothing else available."
"This is change for the better – today's decision will be looked back on as the day the lives of care home residents took a huge stride forward in quality.

"We know the word 'closure' could be seen as negative and, very understandably, cause some carers and families to be worried. However, what we are closing are old, outdated homes – both the current and future generations of residents deserve better."
A rally against the proposals, co-ordinated by Unison outside the County Council’s offices, ahead of the executive meeting rallied only twenty-five people. Those at the rally could just be heard chanting:
"Martin Hill, here us say, how many homes have you shut today?"
Mrs. Elaine Smith, whose mother is a former care service user in the county, interrupted proceedings by shouting comments from the public gallery throughout the meeting until she declared that members of the council's Executive councillors were telling 'fairy tales' and Cllr. Hill was forced to suspend the meeting and threatened to have her removed from the public gallery. Mrs. Smith left the gallery.

Mrs. Smith told The Lincolnite:
"I think it’s totally wrong. Initially they were saying they want a mixed economy of care, which obviously includes public sector care as well as private care.

"There won’t be any mixed economy. There won’t be a benchmark and I do worry about the future of care that people will receive that now will lose these services and will need them in the future."
Mr. John Sharman, Lincolnshire Branch Secretary for Unison, unconvincingly tried to make an ill-informed link between the tough measures being taken by the Coalition Government as a result of the economic legacy left to the previous Labour government :
"What happens when the market gets it wrong?

"Let's remember that the whole attack on public spending and public services is predicated on another part of the market getting it wrong.

“I have no confidence whatsoever in using the private sector market as a regulator of services."
"I wouldn’t want to give false expectations in saying that we believe that a campaign will guarantee [the county council will keep its public care services], but if I didn't have that hope, and if I didn’t believe that what we do could produce a result, I'd pack up and go home, quite frankly.

"I have no intention of doing that."
Mrs. Phyl Lynn, a senior member of staff at Linelands, said:
"It's horrendous. These homes are a lifeline for the residents there. They're important for people to mix with other people. It's everything to them."
Nettleham Parish Councillor Giles McNeill said:
"There are two issues. The first is weather it is right to close the current stock of council-run care homes, the second is the issue of how the staff of these facilities have been treated.
"I have no particular problem with the County Council looking to make the best provision possible available to local residents, unfortunately that means beloved local facilities are having to close. However, it is clear to me that the way the staff have been handled has been very much below standard - the offcious letters, the endless churn of senior staff as individuals have seemingly jumped ship. There have clearly been severe problems in terms of the management of the very valuable human resourse the council employs."

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Chancellor Announces Reform of Queen's Accounts

The Queen's accounts are to be subject to full National Audit Office scrutiny and open to questioning by the Commons' Public Accounts Committee, in a radical reform of royal finances unveiled by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP.  
Mr. Osborne said that his Sovereign Grant Bill will provide for the Sovereign Grant accounts to be audited by the comptroller and auditor general and laid before Parliament, where they will be subject to the Public Accounts Committee.

Public Accounts Committee Chairman, Mrs. Margaret Hodge MP described the move as 'historic', adding:
"It is hugely important for the future stability of the monarchy and its role in our constitutional settlement that we should modernise our structures, so that they are fit for purpose in today's world and properly meet the legitimate expectations of the taxpayer and the general public.
"This puts, for the first time, those parts of the royal finances that come directly from the taxpayer each year on a transparent basis, consistent with other public expenditure.
"The PAC has a long and well-established history in effective public scrutiny and we will, I am sure, approach these new responsibilities in our traditional way, working objectively and thoroughly on behalf of Parliament and the taxpayer."
Gainsborough Parliamentarian Edward Leigh MP, and Mrs. Hodges' immediate predecessor, said the committee had, under his chairmanship and that of Mrs. Hodge, fought to improve scrutiny of royal finances but added:
"I never thought this day would come."
"This will be tough for the royal household – there is no doubt about that – and there will be strong questioning in the committee, as there is on all these subjects, but that is absolutely right because that is what we are about: accountability. I think they have absolutely nothing to fear."
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls MP welcomed the change and remarked that it was vital Parliament should properly scrutinise such significant sums of revenue.

Conservative economic secretary Ms Justine Greening MP, an accountant, said the Bill brings accountability arrangements for the royal household into line with those for other government departments. She commented:
"Sovereign grant expenditure will be audited annually by the comptroller and auditor general and those reports will be laid before Parliament. Should it wish to do so, the Committee of Public Accounts will also be able to scrutinise grant expenditure and will be able to invite the royal household to give evidence."

Boundary Planters & Village Hall Blamed for Best Kept Village Failure

Above: Nettleham's score sheet
(click to enlarge).
Nettleham Village Hall and the Planters at the village limits are to blame for the failure of Nettleham to make it through to the second round of judging in the Lincolnshire Best Kept Village Competition.

As reported on this blog (here) Nettleham fell out of the race to be named Lincolnshire's Best Kept Village in the third category; Large Village or Small Town earlier this month. Hard work by the staff of Nettleham Parish Council has led to the release of the score sheet months before it would normally be available. One judge comments:
"First impression were good, but the appearance of the Village Hall and the flower boxes at two approaches to the village were noticeably disappointing."
Nettleham Village Hall is currently scheduled for major renovation works this August with a new roof and new toilet facilities. Nettleham Parish Council is committing the majority of the funding for the project (£60k-£70k) whilst the Village Hall Committee is contributing around £20,000.

The wooden planters, installed at a number of the entrances of the village, a few years ago, were done so without the fulsome endorsement of the Parish Council at the time. However, councillors were, narrowly, minded to approve the scheme. The matter was discussed at some length at the May meeting of Nettleham Parish Council's Property Committee.

Monday, 4 July 2011

EXCLUSIVE: Roof Lead Stolen from All Saints Church, Nettleham

Nettleham residents have reacted with anger today upon discovering that a significant amount of lead has been stolen from the church roof.

Thieves, believed to be highly organised, are thought to have struck during the early hours of Monday, 4th July in the tranquil rural village of Nettleham.

Police Community Support Officer, Mrs. Jackie Parker, said:
"It just shows that nothing is sacred any more."
Nettleham Parish Councillor, Giles McNeill, who has responsibility for keeping an eye of the church yard for the parish council's Property Committee said:
"It really is terrible, but with prices for raw materials at all time high it is something we are all having to increasingly be vigilant about. I know that at Fiskerton's church they had three thefts in succession of lead from their roof and one can only hope the same will not be true in Nettleham."

Friday, 1 July 2011

EXCLUSIVE: Eric Pickles Set To Visit County

Above:  During the 2010 General Election campaign in
Lincoln's Castle Square Eric Pickles with Karl McCartney
This blog can exclusively reveal the the Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, will be visiting Lincolnshire in the coming months.
Whilst details of the visit are understood to still be being finalised it is expected that Mr. Pickles will be in the here this autumn and will tour a number of projects in the county before being the guest of honor at a Gala Dinner in the evening.

Benedict Brogan, of the Daily Mail, says of the popular grass-roots politician:

"If you ever start to worry that Dave's Conservatives are all soft-cheeked trendy toffs, take a moment to admire the girth, the stout cloth, dammit, even the tie-clip of this briny, plain-speaking, subtle, human politician."

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Nettleham Falls at First Hurdle

Nettleham residents will be shocked to learn that their beloved village has not made the grade to go forward in the county's Best Kept Village Competition, run by Community Lincs.

Nettleham, the third class (Small Towns & Large Villages) category winner for the last three years, has been ejected from the competition after judges decided that the village was not as good as others running in the competition.

Nettleham Parish Council are demanding the release of the score sheet early to discover what has led to this disastrous performance.

Nettleham Parish Councillor, Giles McNeill, said:
 "This is truly a shock. Nettleham Parish Council work very hard to make Nettleham an attractive village. The late refurbishment of the planters and the poor job done by our grass cutters may be to blame; at this stage we just don't know - it's very disappointing."

Monday, 20 June 2011

West Lindsey Extend Business Rate Relief for Small Business

With Small Business Rate Relief eligible ratepayers pay no rates on properties with rateable values up to £6,000, with a tapered relief of between 100% and 0% for properties with rateable values between £6,001 and £12,000.

In the budget on Wednesday, 23rd March 2011, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the extension of the temporary small business rate relief to  Sunday, 30th September 2012 which was previously due to end on Friday, 30th September 2011.

The measure doubles the usual rate of relief so that ratepayers with rateable values below £6,000 pay no rates at all for the period, while ratepayers with rateable values between £6,000 and not more than £12,000 receive tapered relief from 100% - 0%.

There are no other adjustments to the scheme. For example, the eligibility criteria remain the same. There will be no changes to the multiplier so those businesses that do not fall within the eligibility criteria of the scheme will see no change in their bills. The government is making this change to the Small Business Rate Relief scheme to provide help with the fixed costs of starting and running a small business as the economy starts growing again.

Once the legislation has been put in place all those who currently receive small business rate relief will receive revised bills. In the meantime small businesses will need to carry on paying thier instalments. Current collection and enforcement procedures will continue to apply to ratepayers who miss scheduled instalments.

For more information you can phone the Business Rates Team on 01529 414424.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Local Conservatives Welcome Minister of State, John Hayes MP

Local Conservatives yesterday evening welcomed Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning John Hayes MP to a dinner at the acclaimed Cross Keys Restaurant and Bar in Stow, north west of Lincoln.

Above: John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Further
Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, answers
a question, Cllr. & Mrs. Parry observe.
Speaking to local activists the Minister talked about renewal as the key theme of what he wants to achieve and the achievements that have already occurred since becoming a Minister last year - including the creation of 90,000 apprenticeship places. The Minister paid tribute to Gainsborough parliamentarian, Edward Leigh MP, he said:
"Edward is my closest parliamentary colleague; which comes from, as yet, not having found anything that we disagree about."
Chairman of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr. William Parry, Conservative (Scotter Ward), who is the Gainsborough Constituency Conservative Association's Deputy Chairman (Membership and Fundraising), chaired proceeding giving local party members - both young and old - and others from outside the constituency, the opportunity to ask questions of the Minister. The questions were answered with considerable poise and the minister gave a number of undertakings to bring local people's concerns back to the Departments of Education and Business, Innovation and Science and their respective Secretaries of State. The Minister noted that he was in the unusual position of belonging to two departments. In a surprising revelation the Minister described his working relationship with Secretary of State for Business, Rt. Hon. Vince Cable MP (Liberal Democrat):

"I have never had any interference from the Secretary of State, he has supported me in a number of areas: but I am delivering the Conservative manifesto on further education that I was elected on, and you voted for, and spent my time in opposition, in apprenticeship - if I may put it like that - preparing."

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Prime Minister Visits Lincoln

Local Rsidents will have noticed the excellent arial display by the Red Arrows early this morning, as they practiced for the arrival of a very special guest in the county, above Nettleham. David Cameron MP, the Prime Minister, attended a graduation ceremony at RAF College Cranwell, where he said the RAF is not just important to the nation’s security, but also 'completely and utterly essential'.

"Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, our fighters are standing ready to launch to protect UK air space."

"I know that, I get those telephone calls each and every time there’s a plane in UK air space that we don’t know about."
The Prime Minister made the speech after inspecting the officer cadets at RAF Cranwell. He watched a flypast by the Red Arrows and presented annual prizes including the Sword of Honour, the International Sword of Honour and the Queen’s Medal.

Mr Cameron, who is the third Prime Minister to visit RAF Cranwell, told the graduates the RAF would remain a 'formidable and world-class air force.

Above: David Cameron Answers questions from staff at Lincolnshire Co-Operative
Later, Mr. Cameron visited workers of Lincolnshire Cooperative as part of his 'PM Direct' inititive which follows on from his successful 'Cameron Direct' roadshow conducted inopposition.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Former Council Leader Receives An Apology & A Substantial Sum in Damages

Above: Mr. Theobald in the Council Chamber when he was
Leader of West Lindsey District Council
The Lincolnshire Echo has today published an apology to Mr. Bernard Theobald, the one-time Leader of West Lindsey District Council, for linking information about the council's operations, a planning application by Mr. Theobald and the dismissal of a member of the planning department. The paper summerised there apology saying:
"We apologise unreservedly to Mr Theobald for any distress or embarrassment caused by this error."
Although the periodical spent, however, the preceding seven paragraphs quantifying their apology and blaming a press release from the Council; apparently the connection between 'potential fraud and mismanagement' and Mr. Theobald's planning application was made, relying on a press release from West Lindsey District Council dated 24th September 2009.

Mr. Theobald, who was singer Barbara Dickson's manager before entering politics, brought proceedings in the High Court, in London. The former Leader of West Lindsey District Council and Chairman of the Planning Committee, was caused serious distress and embarrassment by the stories, said his counsel, Mr. Ronald Thwaites QC. The first article appeared in December 2009 and alleged there were good and solid reasonable grounds to suspect Mr. Theobald had committed fraud in relation to the application, which he had made the previous June. Three days later, the allegation was repeated and it was also claimed that Mr. Theobald had lied in denying the newspaper's claim that his planning application had resulted in a council officer's suspension and investigation by the Audit Commission. A third article appeared in January 2010.

Mr. Thwaites said:
"There was nothing to justify the allegations as published. The allegations made against Mr Theobald were completely false and should never have been published."
On behalf of the publisher, Mr. Manuel Barca QC, said it apologised 'fully and unreservedly' for the publication of the false allegations. It is understood that they have agreed to pay Mr. Theobald a substantial, yet undisclosed, sum in compensation and his legal costs.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Prime Minister, David Cameron Praises Young Activists

This evening Conservative Future - the youth movement of the Conservative Party - hosted a reception at the Westminster Park Plaza Hotel for Branch Chairman from across the United Kingdom. This was to thank them for their efforts.

The reception was honoured to have both the Prime Minister, David Cameron MP and Party Co-Chairman, Lord Feldman address the gathering of around seventy guests. Both men backed a modern, dynamic and forward-looking Conservative Future and praised recently elected National Chairman, Mr. Ben Howlett, and the National Executive, for the hard work they have done, describing it as
"A vital component in the Conservative Party."
Claire Hilley, Conservative Future Deputy Chairman for Membership, said:
"Over the last few months we have been collating activists membership data in a bid to create Conservative Future's first ever centralised membership database which will allow us to communicate with our members nationally. I'm pleased to announce that we have gathered over 5,000 new activists contact details which puts us in a position to push for more members than ever before.
Conservative Future has the largest youth membership of any political youth organisation in the United Kingdom, surpassing both Liberal Youth and Young Labour.

Giles McNeill, Chairman of Gainsborough CF, said:
"It was a really good evening, meeting up with colleagues from across Britain's is always very welcome; I was particularly please to see representation from Northern Ireland.
"Naturally having the opportunity to speak with the Prime Minister is always a massive honour and privilege, and of course we can look forward to seeing him in the county in the near future."

Saturday, 11 June 2011

You Can Now Recycle Cartons in West Lindsey

West Lindsey District Council have announced that milk and juice cartons can now be recycled through inclusion in the recyclables that local people can put in there blue wheelie bins.

West Lindsey District Council in conjunction with Tetra Pak Ltd. and the carton industry body ACE UK has just started collecting beverage cartons as part of its doorstep collection service, making it even easier for residents of West Lindsey to recycle yet more of their household waste.

This change came about as Lincolnshire County Council were able to negotiate with Viridor Ltd. the inclusion of the collection of cartons as part of their existing contract for processing recyclables from the West Lindsey and City of Lincoln areas. These will be sorted along with other recyclables at no extra cost to Lincolnshire County Council and therefore no extra cost to local Council Tax Payers.

Once collected, these cartons can be recycled into a number of different products, ranging from plasterboard liner to high strength paper bags and envelopes. Please remember it will help us if you squash your cartons first.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Law Breakers Caught in Multi-Lateral Sting

Scrap metal dealers believed to be flouting the law have been caught in a multi-agency sting.

West Lindsey District Council, the police, the Environment Agency, Smartwater and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency all worked together in an operation that resulted in several vehicles being seized after inspections discovered safety faults, road traffic offences and insurance irregularities.

Investigations are also continuing to discover if the vehicles have been used to transport stolen scrap metal after a marked increase in the number of reported thefts.

Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee, Cllr. Malcolm Parish, Conservative (Welton Ward), said:
"This is really good news, and shows how well multi-agency operations can work.

"It is disgraceful that so much theft of lead and scrap metal goes on. Working together is a really effective way to cut crime."
Smartwater officials were in attendance to examine scrap for possible theft of metal as part of the campaign. SmartWater is a clear liquid that is used to code valuable items such as jewellery, ornaments, electrical items and even motor vehicles. It cannot be easily seen by the naked eye and is almost impossible to remove. The liquid glows under ultraviolet light making it easy for the Police to detect.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Linelands' Employees Consulted About Redundancy Options

Employees at the Linelands care home, on All Saints Lane, Nettleham have been contacted over the weekend by letter as part of Lincolnshire County Council's ongoing 'Shaping Care' consultation. The consultation directly relates to the five of eight facilities directly managed by the council and  as part of an inclusive approach being taken by the council all employees have been contacted - whih includes the three designated to be retained for the next two years, as alternative provision is developed.

Immediately, local people learning about the situation were very concerned, but conversations with Cllr. Graham Marsh, Conservative (Alford & Sutton on Sea Division), who has executive responsibility for Adult Social Care, made it clear that none of the staff in Nettleham were in any immediate danger of being made redundant.

Linelands is expected to close in the future - in two or three years time frame - for redevelopment, once alternative provision is in place and a new facilities for extra care and sheltered accommodation can be brought forward. The current vision is for a hub providing various different types of community care to a wide range of users.

Mr. Terry Hawkins, interim Aassistant Director for Adult Social Care said:
"The proposal is for no change to our original schedule for five homes to close in September as alternative services are put in place.
"The remaining three homes won't close until further analysis and work in the market is carried out and suitable alternatives are ready. This current consultation is to do with staff changes. We remain committed to high quality care as we move towards personalisation, giving people more choice and control."
Currently the proposal is that five care homes will close by the end of September 2011, including Park View in Lincoln. Further work is being carried out for the three remaining homes, which includes Linelands. No home will close before alternative services are identified. The council says:
"No one will be left without support and we will be helping people to find alternative care that meets their needs. People will see a greater choice available in the independent sector and have more control over how they receive their care.

"This is about making sure that future care for older people meets their needs, is modern and fit for purpose. People told us they wanted to see high quality care that is responsive, modernised, accessible and providing value for money."
Details of the Shaping Care for the 21st Century can be found here.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Saxilby Man's Licence Appeal Refused

A court in Lincoln has upheld a decision taken by West Lindsey District Council to refuse a man a private hire/hackney carriage driver's licence.

Mr. Peter Kemp of Mill Lane Saxilby has been ordered to pay £270 in court costs after losing an appeal against the council's decision. Mr. Kemp was refused an application for the renewal of his licence in March 2011 by the council's Taxi and General and Licensing Committee.

The committee had to consider whether the applicant was a 'fit and proper person' to hold a licence. In determining the application they resolved he was not a fit and proper person because of his driving record of speeding offences and disqualification. He was told he would have to wait six months before reapplying.

Mr. Kemp appeared before Lincoln Magistrates Court after lodging an appeal against the council's decision.

Chairman of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee, Cllr. Jessie Milne, Conservative (Lea Ward), said:
"This is a fantastic result for West Lindsey District Council and shows we are not afraid to make tough decisions.

"Taking everything into account we must remember the overall aim of the licensing regime is to protect members of the public.

"This decision gives me great comfort, reassurance and confidence that the Committee's decision was the correct one, which has now been confirmed by the courts."

Saturday, 28 May 2011

EXCLUSIVE: Local MP Shows Support for Community Swimming Pool

Local Parliamentarian, Edward Leigh, Member of Parliament for the Gainsborough Constituency, today visited the Wragby and District Swimming Pool located on Silver Street, behind the Town Hall, in Wragby and congratulated those participating in a fundraising sponsored swim.

Above: Edward Leigh MP enjoys the water of the Wragby
& District Swimming Pool.
© 2011 John Edwards
The valued community facility is struggling to survive, but Mr. Leigh, a keen swimmer himself, wanted to praise the efforts of the local volunteers who run the pool and the individuals who were swimming to keep it open. Edward said:

“It is a real pleasure to support the Wragby and District Swimming Pool with their sponsored swim this afternoon. This pool is a vital community asset which needs to be supported and used if it is to have a viable future.
“'I have always been a great advocate swimming, the benefits of which are numerous. When I am in London I try to swim in the Serpentine in Hyde Park every morning, rain, shine or snow.
“This facility is made available to local residents because of the hard work of the committee, volunteers, and staff who give their time, efforts, and money to support the pool. I hope that it will continue for many years to come and that local people who may not have visited the pool will come and give it a try.”
Wragby & District Swimming Pool is a small, privately owned pool that is 15m long x 6m wide, with a depth ranging from 1m to 1.8m. There are male and female changing rooms, as well as a toilet and shower room for the disabled.

The pool offers a range of swimming sessions to suit all ages, from Mother & Toddler sessions, under 12s fun sessions, through to Adults and Over 60s sessions. A number of disabled groups use the pool.

Following the decision by West Lindsey District Council not to proceed with plans to build a swimming pool in the nearby town of Market Rasen the pool in Wragby remains the nearest facility. With the only other public swimming pool in the constituency being at West Lindsey Leisure Centre in Gainsborough, this facility is an important amenity.

New Bio-Fuel Buses Launched in Lincoln

The Lincolnshire Echo has reported on a trailblazing project that uses food waste from landfill to fuel buses has been officially launched.
A fleet of 11 Stagecoach buses, which are the first of their kind in the UK, was unveiled at Lincolnshire Showground yesterday. The programme managers say reduced emissions from the biomethane gas-powered vehicles will reduce damage to the environment.

The project was joint funded by Lincolnshire County Council, which provided £260,000 of investment, and the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA), which injected a further £100,000.

The launch ceremony was conducted by Stagecoach Group chief executive Mr. Brian Souter who said:
"Waste is a big issue for every family and household up and down the country and councils now face major taxes for landfill.

"This is an innovative way of taking something that's a big problem for society and turning it into a fuel of the future."
A special refuelling facility has been installed at Stagecoach's Great Northern Terrace depot, near Lincoln. Investment from EMDA has helped fund this new fuel infrastructure.

Ms Diana Gilhespy, executive director of regeneration at EMDA, said:
"We are delighted that these bio-methane buses are being trialed. We feel it is vitally important to explore innovative ideas for reducing carbon emissions in the East Midlands transport industry."
The project will run for six to 12 months on a number of routes in Lincoln. Lincolnshire County Council and Stagecoach will then review its success and decide if it will be rolled out across more routes in the county.

Cllr. William Webb, Conservative (Holbeach Rural Division) and Executive Member for Highways and Transport, said:
"I am delighted to be associated with Stagecoach on the launch of this project.

"It will have much benefit to the county and the people of Lincolnshire and will benefit people in the whole country."

Nettleham Woodland Trust Herald Monk's Wood Opening

Following two years of planting, a man-made wood has been ceremoniously opened to the public. The Nettleham Woodland Trust began work to create Monks Wood in February 2009.

More than 20,000 trees have been planted in the woodland, which spreads across 15 acres in Ashing Lane Nature Reserve, Dunholme.

A choir of schoolchildren, from Welton St Mary's Primary School, braved the May showers to sing at the grand opening, which took place yesterday at 1.30pm. They performed choreographed renditions of celebratory songs Great Day and Summer is Icumen In.

The youngest child in the choir then joined Mrs. Joy Monk, widow of Mr. Dennis Monk, who the wood is named after, to ceremoniously cut the ribbon and officially open the wood. Mr. Monk was director of Lincoln's Waste Recycling Environmental for 13 years. In an emotional speech, Mrs. Monk said:
"This really is a wonderful occasion and I'd like to congratulate the NWT for their forward thinking.

"Much hard work has gone into this project and the young people here today are the future users of this wood.

"I hope they'll have lots of fun in the trees for years to come.

"My husband would have been very interested in this project and keen to be a part of it. If he knew it was named after him he would have been surprised, honoured and dumbfounded.

"This wood really is for everyone for ever."
Mike Kennedy, chairman of the local advisory panel for Waste Recycling Environmental, spoke before the ceremonial opening. He said:
"What a community project we have here. This is exactly what we want for our community, our children and our children's children.

"I call this project one of the best of the best."
Paul Leroy, chief executive of Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, said:
"It really is a day to celebrate.

"The LWT has played a very small role, but worked with WREN and NWT in the development of Monks Wood.

"The wonderful thing about this project is how the community came together and put in a huge amount of effort to get to where we are today.

"This is one of the most significant community volunteered projects in the East Midlands and the LWT is proud to be neighbours with Monks Wood."

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

First Call - Practical and emotional support, maintaining dignity and independence at home

Think of the British Red Cross and you might first think of first aid workers at public events or rescue teams at any of the international crises that seem to regularly occur in the world. But there is a local service provided by the Red Cross in Lincolnshire that might not be so well known. In addition to all the other services that the Red Cross provides, it also offers a care in the home facility called First Call that provides support to people within their own homes.

This can include the provision of one or more of the following:
  • Occasional or regular telephone support calls where people can discuss problems and/or be signposted to other organisations or sources of help.
  • Being a friend that can provide companionship and emotional support.
  • Practical support with things like shopping, domestic tasks, arranging transport etc.

Though time limited (up to 12 weeks), this service is invaluable in assisting people to build their self confidence and increase their ability to cope. It provides individuals and their carers with access to support and services that the users feel are relevant to increase their independence and personal confidence. If at the end of the agreed time it is felt that the person needs more long time support, it will refer onto organisations that can provide more of the type of support needed

This service is available to everyone and referrals are accepted from individuals, family members, friends and neighbours, social services, hospitals GP’s and other health care professionals.
If you know of someone who would benefits from this service please contact the British Red Cross on 0845 054 7171 or email us on