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."