Wednesday, 19 December 2012

West Lindsey Announces Christmas Waste Service Changes

Most properties in the West Lindsey district will be affected by changes to refuse and recycling collections between Monday, 24th December 2012 and Friday, 4th January 2013.

Local residents can click here to check details of the collection date in their area. 

Residents should refer to their calendar which was delivered to households in October. Residents are also reminded that bins must be out by 7am.
All properties in the South West Ward of Gainsborough on a sack service will be collected on their normal day. This is Thursday for refuse and Friday for recycling.
For any queries please contact the council's Customer Services Team on 01427 676676.
If you have any extra waste to dispose of during this time, the opening hours of local Household Waste Recycling Centres are as follows:
  • Summergangs Lane, Lea, Road, Gainsborough 9am – 4pm Open Friday to Monday
  • The Rasens, Gallamore Lane, Market Rasen 9am – 4pm Open Friday to Monday
  • Great Northern Terrace, Lincoln 9am – 4pm Open Monday to Sunday
All sites are closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day

Please visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/hwrc for further information.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Community Awards Celebrate Local Heros

Dedicated volunteer Mrs. Shirley Sanderson has been voted the first ever West Lindsey Citizen of the Year 2012.
For more than forty-two years Mrs. Sanderson, from Gordon Field in Market Rasen, has selflessly supported many of our communities including Market Rasen, Tealby, Walesby, Kirkby cum Osgodby, Owmby and Toft Newton. Much of that time has seen her as parish clerk to these councils, but she has also been a West Lindsey District Councillor, a school governor and chairman of Brookenby Development Ltd.

Mrs. Sanderson was surprised to be nominated and to win the award for Market Rasen Area Champion, before being named as the overall Citizen of the Year as well. She said:
“I was astounded to be nominated for something I have enjoyed doing for many years. It’s just normal work for me and I have enjoyed making things happen.
“It would be good if more younger people got involved. It’s far more difficult now because so many people have got to work and don’t have as much time.”
Mrs. Sanderson was presented with her awards at a packed ceremony, hosted by Chairman of the Council Cllr. Mrs. Jessie Milne and Cllr. Jeff Summers, in the Council Chamber at the Guildhall in Gainsborough.

Cllr. Jessie Milne was very moved by the community spirit of people across the district. She said:
“It was very hard to select a winner in all the categories, as those nominated have done such sterling work. There are so many people who seek no reward for their outstanding effort.
“I hope these annual awards will help recognise these people and highlight just how much work is carried out by volunteers, and how much of their free time they give up.”
Volunteer of the Year 2012 winner was Mrs. Cathy Andrews from Hackthorn. Mrs. Andrews, who always has a cheery smile, has great enthusiasm and pride in her voluntary work. She has worked hard to make sure that the village hall is fully utilised and helps out at many events in order to keep up the community spirit. She said:
“I was humbled at actually getting nominated. You don’t do it for that. I do it because I’ve always done it. If you live in a village you have to do bits to support your village. If you don’t you miss out with a lot.
“I would absolutely encourage other people to get involved in their communities. That’s when you actually start to live in your village.”
Cllr. Jeff Summers, who put forward the idea of the Community Awards, said:
“Our first Community Awards was, for me, a resounding success.
“We have a significant number of people in the district who make a dramatic positive impact upon all age groups. It was a great privilege for me to be able to present the awards and we look forward to making this an annual event.
“Thank you to every one helping to keep our towns and parishes safe and clean for all to enjoy." 
Upton Parish Council was chosen as Parish Council of the Year 2012 for the excellent work they do to keep a safe, secure, clean and tidy village. This is achieved by allocating each parish council member an area of the village to keep an eye on.

Chairman Cllr. Peter Rushton has been on the council for ten years and chairman for six years. He said:
“I’m flabbergasted. We’re only a little council and we were nominated by a village resident. You don’t get a lot of general public coming to meetings. This award is recognition for all our councillors, we work as a team. I must admit if it weren’t for the parish clerk we wouldn’t be where we are today.
“We don’t do it for reward. I don’t think anyone does, but it’s nice to be appreciated. I think if we can recognise people publicly that will encourage other people to get involved.”
The winners in the other categories are:

Volunteer of the Year 2012 runner up was Mrs Mary Galbraith from Lea, for her unlimited support she offers to the vulnerable and elderly residents in her community and the voluntary work that she carries out at both community buildings. Mrs Galbraith couldn’t understand why she had been nominated. She said:
“I do these things because I want to help my friends and neighbours.”
Parish Council of the Year 2012 runners up were Saxilby parish council and Brattleby parish council.

Area winners were:
  • Market Rasen Area Champion 2012 was Mrs. Shirley Sanderson from Market Rasen.
  • Fossdyke Area Champion 2012 was Mr. Mick Slack from Ingham for his work with the elderly in the village and as village caretaker.
  • Caistor Area Champion 2012 was Mrs. Louise Drakes from Keelby for her hard work with the cub and beavers, and also for setting up the Allotment Association. Mrs. Drakes was unable to attend, so Mr. John Hodson accepted the award on her behalf. He said:
 “She’s a real hard worker. We’re very proud of her. I think the awards are good because it recognises the work we do for our village.”
  • Trent Area Champion 2012 was Miss Sue Hunt from Willoughton for tireless devotion to the ‘Tuesday Club’, which is the youth club that runs throughout the year, and has made her a big favourite with the young people of Willoughton. Miss Hunt was unable to attend the ceremony.
  • Witham Area Champion 2012 was Mr. Charles Shaw from Nettleham, known as ‘the man of sport’ in Nettleham, for all his hard work and commitment to sports in Mulsane Park. He said:
“I’m very pleased to have got this.”
  • Gainsborough Area Champion 2012 was Mr Matthew Gleadell from Gainsborough for his work for the Morton Playing Field Association. He helped bring the field back to life, applied for funding and now coaches young people in cricket. He said:
“I’m absolutely overwhelmed. It’s both an honour and a privilege to receive this award. I was quite surprised. I only found out I’d been nominated today!
“I’ve always believed if there are people out there that have got the skills and the knowledge to help communities then they should do. Far too many people don’t get involved with their community and half the time people don’t know the name of their next door neighbour and it’s a real shame. It’s great to celebrate the work these people do.”
 

Friday, 30 November 2012

Nettleham Pair Charged with Charity Fraud

Lincolnshire Police Officers have charged two people in relation to alleged fraud offences involving a charity.

Peter Childs, of Hall Lane, Nettleham, has been charged with thirty-two offences including false accounting, fraud by abuse of position and theft in relation to Mencap.

Alison Childs, of Hall Lane, Nettleham, has been charged with twenty-nine offences including false accounting, fraud by abuse of position and theft in relation to Mencap.

Both have been released on police bail to appear at Lincoln Magistrates Court on Tuesday, 8th January 2013.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Independent Wins Election to become Lincolnshire's First Police and Crime Commissioner

Alan Hardwick, Independent (Lincolnshire), a former television presenter and public relations officer for the Police Authority, was sworn in to office yesterday following his victory in the election to the new post of Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

With turnout plummeting to new depths across the country, Lincolnshire managed a turnout of 15.28%, slightly above the national average. West Lindsey had the highest turnout from the seven districts of the county with 17.72%.

The Count took place at seven locations across Lincolnshire. West Lindsey's count was undertaken at the West Lindsey Leisure Centre in Gainsborough and began at nine o'clock.  By half past nine it was clear the turnout was going to be low. By ten o'clock the first part of the count process, verification, was complete and increasingly bored count staff had to wait patiently until one o'clock for other centres to complete their verifications before the counting of ballots count begin.

At one o'clock the counting of the first preference votes began and shortly before three o'clock it was clear that no candidate had recieved more than fifty per cent of the vote and could be elected:
  • David Bowles (Independent) 27,345 (32.66%)
  • Richard Davies (Conservative) 19,872 (23.73%)
  • Paul Gleeson (Labour) 10,247 (12.24%)
  • Alan Hardwick (Independent) 26,272 (31.37%)
Richard Davies and Paul Gleeson were eliminated and David Bowles and Alan Hardwick went through to the final round.

The counting of the eliminated candidate's second preferences votes took less than an hour, 9,429 were not vaild second preference votes and shortly before six o'clock the result was announced.
Mr.Hardwick recieved 12,949 (62.59%) additional votes whilst Mr. Bowles recieved 7,741 (37.41%). The result was:
  • David Bowles (Independent) 35,086 (47.22%%)
  • Alan Hardwick (Independent) 39,221 (52.78%) Elected

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Riseholme Residents Demand Action After Collision on Riseholme Lane

Two teenagers have been injured in an incident on Riseholme Lane and local resident are calling for action. The two teenage boys, a sixteen year-old from Market Rasen and the a seventeen year-old from Grimsby, were hit by a car at 4.57pm on Tuesday, 6th November.

The older of the two boys is understood to be being treated for serious head injuries at Sheffield's Royal Hallamshire Hospital while the younger one has been discharged from Lincoln County Hospital after being kept in overnight for observation.

A  seventyh-four year-old man, from Lincoln, has been arrested on suspicion of failing to stop after the collision and has been released on police bail until Tuesday, 18th December .

It comes after one lady died in a crash on the road last July when her car collided with a tree.

Parish Councillor Mrs. Barbara Lane, said the road was used by drivers cutting through from the A15 to the A46. Speaking to the Lincolnshire Echo, she said:
"It tends to be used as a rat run and collisions like what happened on Tuesday don't surprise me at all. 
"They're always mending and repairing fences down Riseholme Lane after cars have hit them. All the residents down here are getting fed up. It's a good job there aren't very many children down here.
"Another problem we have is with students and coaches using the lane to get to Riseholme College instead of the main entrance. I don't know what the answer is but Riseholme Lane isn't in a very good condition either and really needs patching up."


Meanwhile, Mr. Martin Finney, a resident of Riseholme Lane, commented to the paper:
"If you're not careful you can easily get into some trouble on Riseholme Lane, whether you're a driver or a pedestrian."
Lincolnshire County Council's Area Highways Manager, Mr. Alan Brown, said:
"Once we get full details through about what caused this collision, we can assess whether any changes to the highway are needed."

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Another Sorrow for West Lindsey's Liberal Democrats

West Lindsey's Liberal Democrats have been saddened by news that a popular district councillor passed away earlier this week.
Cllr. Melvyn 'Mel' Starkey, Liberal Democrat (Gainsborough East Ward), served as both a district and town councillor for many years. He was first elected to West Lindsey District Council in 1987 and previously had a career in local government within the authority. 
He was extremely well known both for his job of being a postman for Royal Mail and also in his work as both a town and district councillor.
Deputy Leader of the West Lindsey Liberal Democrat Group said:
"We have all be so saddened to hear of the untimely and sudden death of Mel Starkey.  In his passing West Lindsey has lost a very able servant of the people and the council. 
"Always a Liberal Democrat, he wasn’t one to wear his politics on his sleeve and was well respected by all members in the chamber across the political divide. 
 "Mel leaves a family of whom he was justly proud and our thoughts are very much with them. We will all miss him and his ready wit and style of being a councillor."

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Nettleham Parish Council Plan 1.5% Tax Increase

Nettleham Parish Council have agreed in principle to increase the tax taken from the local residents of Nettleham by 1.5%.

Councillors met yesterday for their annual budget meeting and discussed a range of programmes and facilities delivered by the authority. Whilst the Council's Clerk had put forward, for the second year running, a balance budget; Councillors agreed to an increase of £1,750 on the current year's precept (that portion of the Council Tax that goes to the Parish Council) of £114,886 to £116,636.

The additional revenue is to be used to 'future proof' the Council's reserves., which currently stand at £105,668. The 2013/14 budget will add £24,250 to the Council's reserves.

Parish Councillor Giles McNeill said:
"I think this is the wrong decision at this time. Whilst we may be back into growth it is too soon to take a decision to tax people more - especially when the money is being put aside for the future. I am pleased to say that I voted against this proposal, and was pleased to see that other colleague joined me in voting against."

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

PCC 2012: Melvyn Barrett Quits Commissioner Race

Mr. Mervyn Barrett OBE has withdrawn from the contest to become Lincolnshire's first Police and Crime Commissioner the Lincolnshire Echo is tonight reporting.  Mr. Barrett's decision followed a campaign which had fallen to pieces in recent days after a disastrous turn at a hustings event in Boston, the resignation of his entire campaign team on Saturday because of revelations which were subsequently published in The Sunday Telegraph regarding the financing of his campaign by a group likely to lobby for greater privatisation of policing services.

Mr. Barrett confirmed he was pulling out ahead of tonight's and Crime Commissioner hustings at Lincoln Drill Hall, organised by the Lincolnshire Echo.  Mr. Barrett said:
"I will be withdrawing from the election and will be issuing a press statement tomorrow."
The Telegraph's Andrew Gilligan, online, was quick to claim the scalp for the paper:
"Mervyn Barrett, the remarkably well-funded independent candidate to be police and crime commissioner in Lincolnshire, reacted with the standard huffing and puffing to our expose on Sunday about his links with a neo-con US thinktank. Not that he’s actually denied it, or anything else specific that we wrote, of course. And tonight, inevitably, two days after his campaign team resigned, Mervyn has followed them out of the door."
Mr. Barrett, one of the more high profile candidates, worked for the crime reduction charity NACRO for more than three decades and was granted an OBE in 1999 for services to crime reduction.

Monday, 22 October 2012

PCC2012: 'Independent's' Entire Campaign Team Resigns

A candidate campaigning to become one Lincolnshire's new first elected Police and Crime Commissioner has being secretly backed by American lobbyists and companies pushing for police privatisation, The Sunday Telegraph has revealed.

Mr. Mervyn Barrett has been producing expensive leaflets, free DVDs and full-page newspaper adverts in his bid to be elected as next month.

Unusually for a rural, local election, Mr. Barrett has employed professional campaign staff, commissioned weekly opinion polls, opened 'field offices' and is driven in a chauffeured Mercedes, the paper alledges. He has poured tens of thousands of pounds into the elections, far more than any other candidate anywhere else in Britain.

Mr. Barrett describes himself as an 'Independent', who is opposed to 'party politics' in policing. He has pointedly refused to disclose who is funding him, despite widespread local suspicions generated by the intensity and professionalism of his campaign.

At a hustings event held in Boston Mr. Barrett's campaign is described as having 'fallen apart at the seams' when he was not able to develop a 'coherent, cogent argument, let alone find the ability to string three sentences together'. He also was set upon at the hustings by those present for advocating 'cannabis coffee shops' as a part of his drugs policy. Mr. Barrett's professional campaign manager Mr. De Ungar Brown swore numerous times, despite being requested to desist.

The entire campaign team resigned on Saturday, within hours of being contacted by The Sunday Telegraph. Responding to the loss of his campaign team and the article by the paper Mr. Barrett said in a statement:
"I now wish to take time to reflect on both the reaction to the Telegraph article and also to consider how best I could continue my campaign following the resignation of my Campaign Director and Campaign team. I also wish to consult with my legal advisers regarding a number of inaccuracies that the original article contained.

"I will be making no further comment at this stage; however I will be holding a full press conference on Wednesday, 24th October."
The Sunday Telegraph suggested that his campaign has been run by a team from a US-based neo-conservative think tank, the Fund for the New American Century, funded in part by a variety of corporate donors with an interest in public-sector privatisation.

The papers's investigation of Mr Barrett’s campaign website reveals that it is registered to a New York and Washington-based 'political action committee', MatthewPAC, part of The Fund for the New American Century, whose website says it is 'dedicated to building America’s future by supporting candidates who share our vision for reform and innovation'.

The Sunday Telegraph reports it has established that Mr.De Unger Brown, Mr Barrett’s 'special adviser', campaign manager and press spokesman until yesterday, is Chairman of the Fund for the New American Century. Commenting to the newspaper Mr. De Unger Brown said:
"We support Republican candidates. It is a centre-Right organisation.

"I don’t think that neo-con would be an unfair description."
Mr. David Bowles, standing for the Lincolnshire Independent's Party, commented to the paper:
"It is a very slick campaign but it appears that Mervyn is no more than a puppet.

"Every time I have tried to contact him, the response has always come back from Matthew and every time I’ve tried to meet him it’s been Matthew I’ve met instead."
Mr. Bowles claimed that last week Mr. De Unger Brown asked to meet him to discuss the possibility of an electoral deal, with Mr Barrett becoming his deputy, the paper reported.

Conservative candidate Richard Davies, who is front-runner to be Lincolnshire's first Police and Crime Commissioner, said:
"I think he has come into Lincolnshire to try to run a big presidential style political campaign and that does not really work here."
Under Electoral Commission rules independent candidates do not have to reveal their source of donations until ninety days after the ballot. Its guidelines state candidates are able to accept contributions only from 'certain mainly UK-based sources'.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

EXCLUSIVE: 'Tractor' Spontaniously Combusts on Washdyke Lane, Nettleham

Remains of the 'Tractor' that caught fire on
Washdyke Lane, Nettleham
Residents of Washdyke Lane, Nettleham have been left shocked after what has been described as a 'tractor' caught fire earlier today. Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue were called to the scene shortly after midday.

According to an eyewitness account the driver of the vehicle was seen running from side-to-side of the engine with a small extinguisher trying to bring flames under control. The tractor’s fuel tank burst, spilling fuel down road, with flames up to twenty feet high, visible from the A46 ring road at its height.

Around lunchtime on Tuesday, 2nd October 2012 the vehicle caught fire and by two o'clock, the road remained closed between the end of Kingsway to the bus-stop and the Highways department had been contacted.

Firemen used two main jets and two breathing apparatus, and extinguished the fire. One fire engine remained on scene to clear out the area. The cause of the fire is still unknown. No one was reportedly injured in the incident.

Passengers on the No. 11 bus, arriving in Nettleham from Lincoln, as they turned on to Washdyke Lane were faced with a scene of carnage on the carriage way.

District Councillor for the Nettleham Ward, Giles McNeill, speaking at the scene, said:
"It seems to have been a very severe fire, and very serious incident. I have spoken with a member of Lincolnshire Police to understand what may have happened here today.
"I am not aware if anyone has been injured at this early stage. I hope that those involved are safe and well and that answers will be forthcoming." 

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Conservative-Led West Lindsey Wins Gold

Carol Smillie presents the awards to Cllr. Burt Keimach,
Manjeet Gill, the Chief Executive and representatives of
West Lindsey District Council

Conservative-led West Lindsey District Council has won gold at the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Service Awards 2012.

The award recognises the way the council managed roles within the authority to minimise cuts to service delivery. Officers and councillors have embraced the ‘entrepreneurial model’ and are keen to explore new ways of working for the benefit of local residents. This has helped the council avoid the level of services cuts that other councils nationally have made.

Six councils were selected as finalists for the Best Employee and Equality Initiative but the council’s Workforce Transformation submission captured the eye of judges.

West Lindsey District Council was named the winner at a glittering award ceremony in Glasgow. APSE also recognised the successful formula in a recent article they published highlighting how other councils can avoid service cuts from this way of working.

Over the last two years a lot of work has gone into developing the positive values, cultural changes, empowering staff and the development of leadership and skills.

This has led to:
  • No compulsory redundancies
  • Opportunities for people to develop themselves
  • A stronger corporate one team ethos
  • Working together across all departments to have a greater focus on results for residents
Presenter, Carol Smillie handed the award to the Leader of the Council, Cllr. Burt Keimach. He said:
"For the council to come first in the UK, from more than 300 councils overall to scoop the Best Employment and Equality Initiative Award, is fantastic. To me this proves that the way we treat people who work for us is the right and proper way. I would like to give a salute to everyone involved."
The APSE service awards are unique in the local government calendar because they reflect frontline service achievements ranging from refuse collection to council run leisure centres.

The council also picked up three other certificates for becoming finalists in three other categories:

  • Best Public/Private Partnership Working for the way we work with parish councils and other partners on projects such as flooding.
  • Best Local Democracy for the way our officers and councillors work together.
  • Overall Council of the Year 2012. The council was shortlisted alongside Sheffield City Council and Nottingham County Council, which is an achievement as we were the only district council in this category.
Speaking about the awards APSE chief executive Paul O’Brien described the finalists as the ‘elite’ in the sector. He said:
"The winners of the APSE service awards 2012 are truly the gold medallists of local government. They have strived for excellence in service delivery and put in that extra effort to ensure that they deliver the very best in frontline services."

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

West Lindsey District Council Welcome Youngest Member

Conservative Giles McNeill, won the Nettleham by-election with 565 votes - a majority of 52 - and will take over from former councillor Raymond Sellars who passed away earlier this year.

Cllr. Giles McNeill with Manjeet Gill signing the
Declaration of Acceptance of Office at the Guildhall
 Giles, who works for local parliamentarian Edward Leigh MP, said he became interested in politics whilst studying in his sixth form at De Aston School in Market Rasen. He said:
"I am delighted to have won this by-election; and to join the council as its youngest member is an added bonus.

"I believe it is important that the council reflects the people of West Lindsey. Whilst older members of the council bring experience, younger councillors bring a different world-view.

"I am looking forward to learning from my colleagues, just as I hope to add value to the council with my own perspective.

"Ray Sellars was a good and popular councillor and very much appreciated by the community for all the work he did. His death was a sad loss. I have big shoes to fill."
Giles has lived in Nettleham since 1990 and studied at Hull University for his politics degree.

Local MP Edward Leigh said:
"Giles is a hard-working and committed individual and I am sure he will bring his talents to the council, delivering for both the people of Nettleham, Greetwell, Riseholme and Grange-de-Lings and all the residents of West Lindsey."
West Lindsey District Council Chief Executive, Manjeet Gill, said:
"We are pleased to welcome Cllr McNeill to the council and wish him well in this position.

"It is good that young people are getting into local politics, they can make a real difference to the district."

Friday, 7 September 2012

Double Victory for Conservatives in Local By-Election Contests

Local conservatives have celebrated a double, landslide success in two by-elections held for the Nettleham and Saxilby Division of Lincolnshire County Council and the Nettleham Ward of West Lindsey District Council.

Jackie Brockway, Conservative, triumphed in the Lincolnshire County Council contest while colleage Giles McNell won for the Conservatives a seat on West Lindsey District Council. The seats have not been in Conservative hands since 1981 and 1983 respectively

Nettleham & Saxilby Division Result
 Nettleham and Saxilby Division
Lincolnshire County Council

Jackie Brockway, Conservative - 1,026 (43.36%)
Charles Shaw, Liberal Demcrat - 600 (25.36%)
Howard Thompson, UKIP - 266 (11.24%)
Richard Coupland, Labour - 257 (10.86%)
David Watson, Lincolnshire Independent - 196 (8.28%)
Elliott Fountain, English Democrat - 21 (0.89%)
Turnout: 2,378 (27.98%)

Swing: 22.2% from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives


Nettleham Ward Result
Nettleham Ward
West Lindsey District Council

Giles McNeill, Conservative -565 (45.02%)
Guy Grainger, Liberal Demcrat - 513 (40.88%)
Howard Thompson, UKIP - 177 (14.10%)

Turnout: 1,270 (31.63%)

Swing: 15.3% from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Edward Leigh MP Visits Nettleham Garderners Association Show

Above: (from left to right) Jackie Brockway, Giles McNeill
and Edward Leigh MP
Edward Leigh MP visited Nettleham Gardeners Association Show at Nettleham Village Hall yesterday to see the produce on show and support Conservative candidates Giles McNeill and Jackie Brockway, who are running locally for seats on West Lindsey District and Lincolnshire County Councils respectively. 

Weather in recent months have caused problems for gardeners. Following the freeze of winter, came the water shortages and hosepipe bans of spring, as the ban came into force on Thursday, 5th April  it did so, with perfect irony, with rain, rain and more rain - in fact the wettest summer on record.

Most gardeners will have shrugged and got on with sowing seeds and planting potatoes, but the relentlessness of the deluge meant early sowings failed, potatoes rotted in the ground and plants produced stunted roots in saturated soil. Conditions including low soil temperatures and lower light levels meant only the hardiest of crops made progress. Plants needing good light outdoors, such as beans and sweetcorn struggled. Tomatoes being grown under glass ripened weeks late.

Nevertheless a good crop of vegetables were entered for inspection. Cakes too and artwork also featured. Everyone involved had put in considerable effort to participate in spite of the difficult conditions.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Nettleham Through to the Final of the Best Kept Village Competition

Nettleham has made it into the final round of a best kept village competition.

The village is one of three to make the shortlist in its category (class three) for Lincolnshire’s Best Kept Villages and Small Market Towns Competition, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary.

Nettleham, which is in class three, has been selected alongside Woodhall Spa and Langtoft as finalists.

Competition organiser Teresa Palmer said:
“In class three last years winners Woodhall Spa are defending their title against the two extremes of Langtoft who have never won before and Nettleham who are eleven-time winners.”
The winning community from this category is also being judged in an additional celebratory competition and could win £200 for floral displays. The winners will be announced in October.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Apple for the Teacher

Headteacher Mrs. Nicola Driffield and
Governor Mr. Giles McNeill
  with a
MacBook Air and iPad
Teachers and pupils at Nettleham Infants School will be getting to grips with modern technology when the new term begins in September. Classroom teachers and students are being issued with the popular iPad tablet computers, made by Apple.

Teachers will benefit from the iPads ability to help them manage their classrooms more efficiently. Whilst providing a powerful new tool to achieve the outstanding outcomes that every parent wants for their child. Nettleham Infants School’s 4 – 6 year olds will be using the devices in the classroom too. The children will be able to choose and find resources that they need, and share their learning with classmates.

Teachers already working with iPads have noticed how the pupils retain much more information since the devices started to appear in classrooms. Motivation and behaviour are also enhanced.

Giles McNeill, Chairman of the School Governor's Finance, Land and Buildings & Health and Safety Committee, took delivery of the first set of devices today; he said: 
"It is important that we give the children in our school the best possible start we can. Tablet computers are the latest technology and our children will grow up in a world where these devices will continue to be evermore commonplace.

"I believe that this change is positive and very exciting, with a set of iPads in the classroom the teacher becomes a facilitator of learning. Other forms of technology – like the interactive whiteboards, great as they are – leave the technology still in the hands of the teacher and the children as onlookers. The iPad will change that dynamic within the classroom."
In the first instance the iPads will be used by the older children at the school, but consideration is being given to whether similar devices should be roll-out to the reception classes.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

In Two Local By-Elections Only the Conservative Candidates Live in the Communities they will Represent

Local Team: Jackie Brockway and Giles McNeill are the
only candidates in the two by-elections to live in the area
they will represent.
Local residents are surprised to learn that only the Conservative Party is fielding local candidates in two contests called following the sad and untimely death of Cllr. Ray Sellars who represented the Nettleham and Saxilby Division of Lincolnshire County Council and Nettleham Ward on West Lindsey District Council. 

For the county council seat, Jackie Brockway (Conservative), lives over the road from the doctors’ surgery in Saxilby. Of the other candidates in the county contest three are from the City of Lincoln, Richard Coupland (Labour) lives on the Ermine West Estate, Charles Shaw (Liberal Democrat) resides off Carholme Road and David Watson (Lincolnshire Independent) is based off Skellingthorpe Road. Howard Thompson (UK Independence Party) lives twenty-five miles away from the Conservative Candidate in Claxby, between Market Rasen and Caistor. Finally the furthest flung candidate, Elliott Fountain (English Democrat), is based forty miles away from County Hall in Boston.

However, it is not just in the county council seat contest where the Conservatives have fielded the only local candidate, in the contest for the district council seat too, for the Nettleham Ward, Giles McNeill (Conservative), went to primary school in the village, has grown up in Nettleham and lived in the village behind the Infants' School for more than two decades. Guy Grainger (Liberal Democrat) is from Market Rasen and Howard Thompson (UK Independence Party), previously mentioned, from even further away, will contest this seat as well.

The Liberal Democrats have a consistently highlighted the view that elected councillors should live in the local communities they seek to represent. In 2011 they made it clear that, because one of the four candidates lived in Market Rasen, voters should vote for local candidates:
"You can’t do better than to vote for two Councillors who have an excellent record of hard work for the village and who both actually live in Nettleham".
Now they have the audacity to put forward an individual who is from Market Rasen!

If a candidate from Market Rasen, in their view, by virtue of where they live, was not suitable last year, why would one be suitable now? It seems to be nothing short of hypocrisy.

One Nettleham villager commented:
"I can not believe that someone from outside the village would make a good representative for us. Especially if they live as far away as Market Rasen, or beyond."
There has also been concern that Mr. Grainger, a former Market Rasen Town Councillor, was censured in 2010 by the Standards Committee at West Lindsey District Council. The Decision Notice read that:
"[Mr. Grainger] failed to declare a personal and prejudicial interest when considering the Town Council’s response to the former Town Clerk’s claim to an Employment Tribunal… The sanction imposed for this breach is that Councillor Grainger be censured."
Hopefully the residents of Nettleham, Grange-de-Lings, Riseholme and Greetwell will vote wisely on Thursday, 6th September 2012.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Olympics Boost to East Midlands' Economy

The last fortnight has seen an outstanding performance by Team GB and celebration of their success across the country. However, these Games could not have happened without the hard work of suppliers across the country and new figures show that The Olympics have delivered nearly £7 billion of contracts across the UK.

The figures show that forty-four suppliers in the East Midlands have benefited from contracts worth £275million, boosting the economy, jobs and growth in the area.

Giles McNeill, Conservative By-Election Candidate for the Nettleham Ward, said:
“Not only have the Olympics shown the best of Britain, the Games have delivered £275million of contracts to the East Midlands’ economy.

“It is fantastic news that forty-four suppliers from across the region have contributed to making the Olympics the huge success they have been.

“Now we need to continue to work hard to make sure this Olympics legacy boosts the economy, tourism and participation in sports in the years ahead.”
Work on the iconic Olympic Stadium has brought huge benefits to firms in Lincolnshire. Tarmac PreCast Concrete Ltd. of Stamford has provided precast concrete for the terracing. Sidebbottom Richardson Cheng Ltd. of Spalding took on six new members of staff to help with stadium engeneering design work. Meanwhile William Hare Painting of Grantham were contracted to paint the 6,000 tonnes of steelwork at the stadium. Smith Construction (Heckington) Ltd. won the contract to build the £1.6m athletes' drop-off point and warm-up track, connected to the main stadium.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Labour Gain Lincoln East In By-Election

Cllr. Robin Renshaw, Labour (Lincoln East), was celebrating his victory and return to Lincolnshire County Council in the by-election that took place in the city yesterday. He returns to the authority after being kicked out of the seat in the 2009 contest and will serve for a term of seven months, until May next year.

Cllr. Renshaw won the contest with 563 votes (48.79%), a majority of 249 over Mr. Simon Parr, Conservative who received 314 (27.21%). The Labour Party's vote was up 14.47 percentage points since the 2009 contest, whilst the Conservative poll was down 11.82 percentage points. The swing was 8.56% to Labour from the Conservatives.

In third place was Mr. John Bishop, Liberal Democrat, with 95 votes. The Liberal Democrats share of the vote was down by 18.42 percentage points since the last County Council elections.

In joint forth place were Ms Pat Nurse, for the United Kingdom Independence Party, and Mr. Nick Parker for the Trade Unionist Socialists Against Cuts, who both received 79 votes (6.85%).

In sixth place was Cllr. Elliott Fountain, for the English Democrats, who polled just 24 votes (2.08%).

The turnout was very low with just 18.47% of voters making the effort to cast ballots in the contest.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

PCC2012: Richard Davies Supports Local Residents On Nettleham Custody Suite Proposals

Conservative Candidate for Lincolnshire's first Police and Crime Commissioner, Cllr. Richard Davies, has supported local residents in both Nettleham and Lincoln by opposing current plans to move the West Parade Police Station's facilities to a new build at the Police Headquarter's site on Deepdale Lane, Nettleham. Cllr. Davies said:
"Lincolnshire Police have floated the idea of moving Lincoln’s West Parade Police Station and Custody Suite to Nettleham.
"Looking at the current evidence and plans for the relocation of Lincoln City Police Station I do not think that Nettleham is the best place to locate a custody suite. 
"On the broader issue of city wide policing: I believe Lincoln city centre needs a policing presence in the form of a police station, including custody suite – West Parade may not be the best location but we need a comprehensive business case and consultation of all options before a decision is made"

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Lib Dem Council Crisis Worsens

Regular readers of this blog will be aware of the problems facing Gainsborough Town Council, currently run by a Liberal Democrat administration. 


A review of the council’s governance has cost £4,000 and with a string of resignations forcing by-elections, caused by the resignation of councillors who simply could not face the ‘maladministration’ and ‘embarrassing level of incompetence’, the council is in real trouble. Some have even been calling for the authority to be abolished or opt into special measures; with West Lindsey District Council taking over.

The crisis has got so bad that an urgent review of the authority’s finances has been undertaken by the finance team at West Lindsey District Council. So perilous is the position that it is understood they have only around £2,000 as a reserve.

Councillors met last week to approve an revised budget to make emergency cuts. Staff hours are being cut, community grants have been suspended and all areas of the council’s expenditure are being reviewed to see where money can be clawed back.

Financial Services Manager, Mr. Russell Stone, at West Lindsey District Council gave a presentation to Town Councillors on the current state of the books. He said it was not clear how much the council had overspent, but that the dwindling of reserve funds highlighted the seriousness of the situation, leaving less than £2,000 in contingency funds.
"The reserves the council has had have been depleted over the last four years or so through sustained overspending in that period to the tune of about £100,000."
The Gainsborough Standard reports that he told councillors that immediate action was needed to prevent the authority sliding into a fifth year of overspending.
"The council should be holding reserves of around £50,000. That is not the level we have at the moment… At the start of the year it was about £8,000… That raises concerns about what is going on around financial management."
Mr. Stone said weeks of work had already been done to present a balanced budget for the rest of the year and stressed that any excess spending would alter the current position, and there is no contingency.
"Any unplanned spends like creditors we are not aware of or elections occurring, these figures will change… As a council you budgeted for one election and we have had three already which has cost an additional £10,000."
A review will now look to remove non-essential council spending and find more ways of generating income. Staffing alone costs the Gainsborough Town Council around £300,000 a year – by far the largest area of spending in its budget.  A review of how the town’s cemeteries are run will also cut costs. Mr. Stone revealed the council had been spending twice as much on its two cemeteries as it generates in income from them. Amenities like Roses Sports Ground, Marshalls Sports Club and Richmond Park are also to be reviewed. Spending on grants, events, Christmas lights and the Town Centre Partnership might have to be reined in. Mr. Stone warned councillors that:
"There aren’t any quick fixes. You need to take action now… Hopefully in two or three year’s time we will be back on a sound footing."
Cllr. Paul Key, who chairs the Management and Finance Committee is reported to have said: 
"It gets my goat when you read people on social networking sites pulling down the Lib Dem party, when it is not the Lib Dem party that was in control from 2008 – 2011."
Cllr. Key is correct, but the lamentable situation has been exacerbated by the Liberal Democrat administration that took control of the council in 2011. A reduction in the authority’s portion of the Council Tax – known as the precept – of 3.8%, was heralded at the time, by the Liberal Democrats as a proud achievement: The consequence is that the decision has destabilised the financial base of the authority. 
Mrs. Pearl Banyard, who was the Mayor of Gainsborough during 2008/9, who resigned as a Councillor earlier in the year owing to ill-health, speaking to the Gainsborough Standard, said ‘everything was alright’ when she was Chairman the Finance Committee.
"The Lib Dems have had control of the budget for the last two years. They threw out the clerk’s budget in favour of their own."

Friday, 27 July 2012

Policing Minister and Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate Have Positive Meeting

Nick Herbert MP (Left) and Cllr. Richard Davies (right).
Nick Herbert MP, Minister for Policing has met with the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner candidate Cllr. Richard Davies on a recent visit to Lincolnshire. Richard Davies and the Minister talked over how to achieve real savings in Lincolnshire’s policing budget while at the same time protecting frontline policing.

Nick Herbert MP congratulated Cllr. Davies on securing the Conservative nomination for Lincolnshire and said that he was a strong candidate who was the natural choice for the voters of Lincolnshire.

Richard Davies priorities are to:
  • Deliver visible policing for Lincolnshire 
  • To prevent crime across Lincolnshire 
  • To spend taxpayers money wisely 
Prospective Conservative Police & Crime Commissioner Candidate for Lincolnshire, Cllr. Richard Davies, said:
"If elected as the first Police and Crime Commissioner Lincolnshire I will take a no-nonsense approach to policing, for example making sure that the policing structure in place allow there to be more police at work on a Friday night than there are on a Monday morning."
Cllr. Davies was born and raised in Lincolnshire, is a local businessman and a County Councillor representing Grantham North West. If you want to learn more about what policies Richard would like to see implemented in Lincolnshire visit his website www.votedavies.co.uk.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

'Nun' Convicted of Sending Hoax Anthrax to Local MP


A 'Roman Catholic nun' has been convicted of sending hoax anthrax packages to senior politicians including Edward Leigh, Member of Parliament for the Gainsborough Constituency, and the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Sister Ruth Augustus, was convicted of sending hoax anthrax packages to senior politicians yesterday. Sister Ruth posted six envelopes containing white powder to the high profile figures. Targets included were former Attorney General Baroness Scotland and human rights lawyer Baroness Kennedy.

An envelope intercepted at a mail screening centre was addressed to Mr. Clegg and on the envelope was written 'devil worshipping', 'freemason', 'sex with 30 plus women' and 'your poor Catholic wife and children'. Another was to Baroness Scotland, and had a swastika on it and two crosses, and 'stop this evil devil worshipping'. One to Baroness Kennedy said 'stop these evil devil worshipping freemasons'.


An analysis of the contents of the packages revealed the substance to be non-hazardous.

According to The Independent Harrow Crown Court heard that when Sr. Augustus, of Stratford, east London, who denied the charges, was arrested she told police:
"I look like a terrorist, don't I, working for a charity all over the world, with orphans?"
A jury took less than two-and-a-half hours to find her guilty by a majority verdict of 11 to one on all counts following a three-day trial.

Mr. Justice Saunders deferred the case until September for a hearing at the Old Bailey while a medical report is prepared on Sr. Augustus' mental health.  She was released on bail on condition that she does not make contact any MP or senior Government official.


Following her conviction, Augustus turned to the public gallery as she left the courtroom and said she would be appealing against the verdict.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

PCC2012: Conservatives Choose County's Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate

The candidates for the post of the newly created office of Police and Crime Commissioner for the Lincolnshire force area have become clearer following the Conservatives' selection of their candidate.

Members of the Conservative Party from across Lincolnshire came together at a closed primary to select a final candidate after several months of scrutiny of nineteen individuals who put themselves forward for the role.

Cllr. Richard Davies
Cllr. Richard Davies, Conservative (Grantham North West Division, LCC), has been selected as his party's candidate. As a member of Lincolnshire Police Authority Cllr. Davies is well placed to fulfil the demands of the role of Police and Crime Commissioner for the County. Richard says:
"Having been born and raised in Lincolnshire I understand the negative impact crime and anti-social behaviour has on hard working families across our county. I believe my no-nonsense approach will help prevent crime, reduce people’s fear of lawlessness and offer the public genuine reassurance about the way their communities are policed. That is why I am seeking the Conservative Party nomination for Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire."
Cllr. Davies is the front runner in this contest, he should confidently retain his deposit (£5,000 - lost if polls below 5%) and could easily win on the first choice votes (the system used for the election of these posts is the Supplementary Voting System).

Cllr. Phil Dilks, Labour (Deeping St. James Ward, SKDC), is a former journalist. He served eight years on Lincolnshire County Council up to the 2009 local elections when he was kicked off the authority by local voters. He served on Lincolnshire Police Authority during his time as a county councillor. He is a GMB Trade Unionist.

Cllr. Dilks secured his seat on South Kesteven District Council in a postponed election last year, however there was criticism as Cllr. Dilks gave himself no party description. Despite being a Labour Party member and former Labour councillor and Labour press officer. He now sits as a member of the Labour group on the council. He is expected to retain his deposit.

Other candidates at this stage to have emerged are former Chief Executive of Lincolnshire County Council Mr. David Bowles, Independent. The voting system favouring established parties expect him to loose his deposit.

Mr. Mervyn Barrett OBE, Independent has come forward as well and has a background of over 30 years experience of the criminal justice and crime prevention fields - for which he received his OBE in 1999. Perhaps the more serious of the two independent campaigns. He may retain his deposit if he does significantly better than Mr. Bowles.

Finally, for the moment, Cllr. Elliot Fountain, English Democrats (Fenside Ward, BBC) has put his hat into the ring. Expect him to loose his deposit.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Gainsborough By Elections Leave Lib Dems in Control

Thursday saw two by elections conducted for Gainsborough Town Council, as previously mentioned on this blog (here).

West Lindsey District Councillor Mick Tinker, Liberal Democrat, as expected, won the contest in the Gainsborough East ward with 265 votes, a majority of 140 over the United Kingdom Independence Party's John Bishop. Independent, Richard Banyard came third with 61 and James Plastow forth with 49.

Top: Gainsborough East ward result.
Below: Gainsborough South West ward result
Meanwhile in the Gainsborough South West ward John Butler ('Gainsborough Residents Concerns and Issues') won with 303 votes to Independent's Timothy Davies' 121.

In the East ward contest the Liberal Democrats vote was down 21 percentage points, whilst the Independent vote was up 2 percentage points and the non-aligned vote was down 5 percentage points. The United Kingdom Independence Party, in there first showing in the ward cut a 25 percent slice of the vote; this compares somewhat unfavourably with the 43 percent showing their candidate achieved in the North West ward contest back in April, earlier this year.

In the South West Ward Contest John Butler's credible win with 71 percent gives a clear mandate from the local electorate. Timothy Davies meanwhile increased his share of the vote by 6 percentage points up from the twenty-three percent he received at the by election for the South West ward in March, four months prior.

The result of the by elections mean the Liberal Democrats lost a seat in the South West ward, as they didn't field a candidate, and in the East ward they picked up a seat from the non-aligned councillors. They remain with a majority of four.

Forty New Jobs In Nettleham

Mr. Ridge (centre) with members of his team.
© Picture: 2012 John Jenkins, Lincolnshire Echo
As many as forty new jobs will be created following the opening of a new call centre in Nettleham.

Complaint Handling Services has opened an office on the Deepdale Enterprise Park recently, and initially has employed 20 people the Lincolnshire Echo reports. However, following the initial success of the company, they are looking to employ a further batch of telephone operators.

Mr. Rob Ridge, Director, said:
"We deal with payment protection insurance claims initially but we also have a company called Pension Handling Services helping customers with their pensions. 
"Everything has gone really smoothly since the initial 20 people started work here in June.
"Hopefully the business will grow and we are looking to expand to around 60 employees at this site. 
"We are part of a bigger company with offices in Leicester and Manchester but Lincolnshire was very attractive to us. 
"For a start, it is cheaper to set up here than in the bigger cities and the recruitment costs are lower here. 
"Having said that, we are struggling to recruit quickly enough at the moment, but I suppose that is a good thing."
The new call centre has provided residents with an opportunity to get into work, for which they are grateful.

Mr. Mohammed Sait, from Lincoln, moved to the city from London to live with his partner. He said:
"It was about six weeks from leaving London and moving up here that I was out of work. 
"Everyone who works here comes from a different background and age group and they make an excellent team. 
"When I was working in London there was no time to think but here everybody takes their time to make sure that they get things right."
Complaint Handling Services has also provided young people their first taste of full time work. Master James Robertson, from Welton, said:
 "I finished college and wanted to find a job. I heard about this and decided to give it a go. It wasn't really what I wanted to do but I have really enjoyed it so far and I will be looking to stay in this area of work for a while."
Mr. Simon Beardsley, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, was delighted with the news of more jobs.
"It is good to see a company have the confidence to invest in the county especially while the general economic circumstances seem challenging." 
"It is good to see employment being created at such a significant level by a local firm."
Complaint Handling Services are currently employing please contact them on 01522 596400 for more information.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Conservatives Hit Right Note in Langworth

Nettleham & District Conservatives have enjoyed an excellent summer's evening of entertainment and refreshment at the Memorial Hall in Langworth.

Members of the Nettleham & District Conservative Branch
with Mary and Edward Leigh MP
Over forty people, including local party members and supporters, gathered in the venue to listen to the first public performace of the Lesley Cullen Quintet, who had recently formed, together with other musicians.

A substantial cheese board was available for guests to indulge in, together with an impressive array of homemade desserts and strawberries and cream.

Edward Leigh MP, who represents the area, said:
"This has been an excellent event. The branch always puts on a good occassion and this is no exception. It is good to see many friends, and also new faces."

Friday, 6 July 2012

Gainsborough Deputy Mayor Fined by Magistrates

Town Councillor David Manning, Liberal Democrat (South West ward), was ordered to pay a £400 fine, £15 victim surcharge and £43 court costs by Lincoln Magistrates’ Court. He also took 6 points on his licence. The offence was ‘failing to identify the driver of a vehicle’.

The court dealt with the matter in Cllr. Manning’s absence. The fine has attracted criticism from some in the town, and calls for Cllr. Manning to explain himself, reports the Gainsborough Standard.

Former Liberal Democrat Town Councillor Robin Perry, who now sits as an Independent, has complained to West Lindsey District Council, claiming that Cllr. Manning’s behaviour had brought his position and the council into disrepute.

In a letter seen by the paper, Cllr. Perry said: 
"I believe he has broken the Councillor’s Code of Conduct."
Cllr. Perry suggests he had also broken four of the ten general principles which councillors should abide by - honesty and integrity, openness, a duty to uphold the law, and leadership.

Cllr. Manning, is reported to have said:
"The fine was in relation to a vehicle I used to own, which was caught speeding after I had sold it." 
"I was summoned to court for the speeding offence, but I replied saying I did not know who the driver was, as I had sold the car."
Cllr. Manning is a retired car salesman and stated he had filled in all the relevant paperwork for the Driver Vehicle Licencing Authority (DVLA) required to transfer registration of the car.
"I know what I am doing and I’m always meticulous with my record keeping so I don’t know what has gone wrong." 
"If I had been driving the vehicle and been speeding I would have got three points. But as it is I’ve been given six."
Commenting on the complaint that had been made against his conduct, Cllr. Manning said:
"It has been blown out of all proportion."
A spokesman for West Lindsey District Council stated it could not comment on individual cases, but that it would continue its support to ensure Gainsborough Town Council remained a 'healthy, fair and democratic local authority'.

Cllr. Ray Sellars Has Passed Away

Cllr. Ray Sellars, Liberal Democrat (Nettleham Ward and Nettleham & Saxilby Division) passed away yesterday, following a battle with cancer. He is survived by his widow June, his children; Anita, Wendy and Mark and step-children Pauline and Debbie. The flag at the Old School, Mill Hill, Nettleham is being flown at half mast as a mark of respect.

Cllr. Sellars' funeral service will take place at 10.45am at All Saints Church, Nettlehamon Wednesday, 18th July 2012. This will be followed by a private family cremation at the crematorium.

The Family request family flowers only, but donations can be made to Marie Curie or St Barnabas through the undertakers Co-operative Funeral Services, 11 Proctors Road, Lincoln LN2 4LA. Telephone 01522 535800.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Veteran Hits Out At Being Duped by Labour's Ed Miliband

Mr. Mike Williams, Hon. Secretary of the Lincoln Branch of the Royal Naval Association, has hit out at Leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband MP, following an event held in Lincoln last Friday.

Writing for The Lincolnite Mr. Williams voices his concerns about how what had been billed as a 'Veterans' Forum' was distorted into a platform for the Labour Leader to 'grace his followers with the usual platitudes'. Mr. Williams writes:
"I for one, and I’m sure I’m not alone amongst the Veterans, felt this had been shanghaied and we had been duped into providing a platform for an MP to grace his followers with the usual platitudes. 
"When the subject of this event taking place came up, I voiced my objections but was assured by Labour PPC Lucy Rigby that it would absolutely not be a political production. Well, I guess you can say that at my age, 56, I should never be taken in by the words of a politician. 
"By the time I managed to voice my question, almost an hour had passed and – with the exception of the question immediately preceding mine (not shown but referred to in the clip) – this was the first time the subject of the Armed Forces or Veterans welfare had been raised. 
"On declaring who I was, Mr Miliband thanked me for allowing him the use of the RNA Club for this gathering. I replied that if it had been up to me he, or any other politician, would not have been allowed anywhere near the premises."
Mr. Williams concludes:
"I will get absolutely slated by my Branch for this letter, but I couldn’t let go of the fact that a gathering intended to address Veteran’s concerns turned out to be nothing more than a Labour Party political broadcast."
Mr. Miliband was ordered by the Speaker of the House of Commons to apologise to Lincoln MP, Karl McCartney, for not meeting parliamentary protocol and informing him of his visit in advance.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

By Election Called for Lincoln East Division

Map showing Lincolnshire County Council Divisions within the City of Lincoln
A By Election has been called for the Lincoln East Division of Lincolnshire County Council.  The poll is expected to take place on Thursday 2nd August 2012.

The poll takes place following the resignation of Cllr. Rev. Sara Cliff, who resigned after attacks in the press over the level of her attendance at Council meetings, despite a change in circumstances which had led her to be working over 100 miles away from the city and ill-health.

Mr. Simon Parr
The Conservative candidate, Simon Parr, will defend the party's majority of 86 from the 2009 Local Elections.  This was an unexpected win for the Conservatives three years ago.  Speaking to the Lincolnshire Echo Mr. Parr said:
"It doesn't matter what happened with Sara because we are where we are and we must move on as a party. 
"I will fight this campaign on a positive basis. 
"This will be my first venture into politics if I get elected, but I love it. 
"I don't care whether people are socialists, Muslims or Bristish, if they have a problem I will do my best to help them."
Mr. Parr is a mature student at the University of Lincoln where he is studying International Relations and Politics, living on the banks of the Brayford Pool.
Result of the 2009 Contest in the Lincoln East Division

The Labour Party are the main opponents. Their candidate, Robin Renshaw, is challenging to take  back the seat he lost in the 2009 poll. They should expect to do well based on their track record of success in City of Lincoln Council elections in recent years, although selecting somebody who lost the seat last time around may prove decisive.

The Liberal Democrats have a dwindling presence within the division. With the party often in single figures in national polls they did well in the 2012 Local Elections to remain in third place in the Abbey Ward, which makes up the majority of the division. A poor showing would not be unexpected. The local party has struggled to find a viable candidate and have chosen North Hykeham Town Councillor, John Bishop as their candidate.

Mrs. Pat Nurse
The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) candidate is is the only woman in the contest. Pat Nurse is a freelance journalist with four children from Waddington. UKIP did not contest any of the Lincoln City divisions at the time of the 2009 poll, so there form in this contest is difficult to gauge.  They have had a patchy presence in more recent elections in the Abbey Ward having not fielded a candidate in May.  Despite this they are increasingly organised as a party of protest and will be seeking to improve their position. The party took third place from the Liberal Democrats in the recent 2012 Local Elections for the City of Lincoln Council.  They will be looking to do as well in this poll.

Mr. Nick Parker
The Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts (Socialist Party) were first to declare their candidate, Mr. Nick Parker, who petitioned for the by election.  He is a veteran of a number of recent campaigns within the city.  They have fielded a candidate in the Abbey Ward in recent elections and were just two votes short of third place in the 2012 Contest.  The Socialist Party will be having a good night if they come in higher than fifth place.

The English Democrats have selected Elliott Fountain from Boston as their candidate.  They have not contested a single council seat either on the city or county councils within the Lincoln Constituency, with a track record of only 1.3% of the vote for their candidate at the General Election in 2010 Mr. Fountain will be fortunate to accrue more than a couple of dozen votes. expect them to come in sixth place.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Labour Leader to Visit Lincoln

Leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband MP, will be visiting Lincoln tomorrow.

Complete details have been a closely guarded secret of the local Labour Party's team.  However, the Labour leader is expected to visit the Royal Naval Club on Coulson Road, off the High Street, in Lincoln tomorrow morning.

Cllr. Ms Karen Lee, Labour (Carholme Ward), the Mayor of Lincoln, is expected to meet her party's leader, but has caused some controversy by seeking to wear the chains of office as she meets the Leader of the Opposition.  Traditionally the role is seen as non-political, so the wearing of chains at a political event sets an unsettling precedent.  It is also a surprise that the Mayor has found time for the meeting when it is understood that she has turned down the opportunity of attending an awards ceremony for St John's Ambulance at the Lincolnshire Showground, believed to be on grounds that she was unwilling to get time off work.


Cllr. Ms Lee courted controversy last summer when she wanted to break with the eight hundred year-old tradition of the Mayor of Lincoln being styled as 'Mr. Mayor', when her term started earlier this year. She has also been criticised for not attending events for which she is booked. She left guests shocked by sending the Deputy Mayor to cover for her at the opening of the Doubletree by Hilton on the Brayford.


It is expected that the Lincoln Labour Party will use Ed Miliband's visit to announce their candidate for the Lincoln East Division By-Election expected in July or early August.


UPDATE:


The Labour Leader also caused controversy and has been forced to apologise to Karl McCartney MP for not informing him of his intention to visit the constituency. Mr. McCartney says his office has received an apology from Mr. Miliband after he failed to inform the Lincoln Parliamentarian of his intentions. Mr. McCartney said:
"The Speaker has reiterated the long-standing convention and practice that MPs should let the residing MP know that they are visiting their constituency." 
"Unfortunately, Mr Miliband did not inform me. I have now received an apology by email."