Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Karl McCartney Invites Prime Minister to see City's 'Excellent Progress'

Karl McCartney MP in a bright tie presented by local cadets
Karl McCartney MP, who represents the City of Lincoln, Bracebridge Heath and Waddingham West and Skellingthorpe, has invited Prime Minister David Cameron MP to visit the city.

The parliamentarian was speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday during the weekly Prime Minister's Questions, whilst wearing a bright, stripped neck tie, understood to have been presented to him recently by the Lincolnshire Army Cadet Force.

Mr. McCartney asked the Prime Minister to visit Lincoln and see progress in the manufacturing and engineering sector. Karl said:
"Is my right honourable friend aware of recent, very good news in the manufacturing and engineering sectors in Lincoln? Hoval have seen an increase in turnover of over twenty percent to around £17.5 million, Italian firm Bifrangi have confirmed a £50 million investment in a new tooling press, one of the largest in the world, and Siemens are involved with the first new Engineering School in our country for twenty years, at the University of Lincoln. Would my right honourable friend accept my personal invitation to visit Lincoln and see for himself the excellent progress our city is enjoying under his Conservative-led Government?"
The Prime Minister responded:
"I am very grateful for my honourable friend’s invitation and I shall try and take it up.
"As I said earlier, [despite] the very disappointing [GDP figures] today, underneath there is a rebalancing that needs to take place and is taking place, in terms of manufacturing investment, in terms of exports and in terms of the government getting behind that with more investment in apprenticeships, more investment in technical hubs at our universities like the one at the University of Lincoln, and cutting business taxes so we get Britain working and making things again."

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Police Authority Looking For Community's Views

Lincolnshire Police Authority is holding its next formal meeting at Police Headquarters, Deepdale Lane, Nettleham near Lincoln on Friday, 27th April 2012 starting at 10.30am in Conference Room D.

At each ordinary meeting of the Authority, members of the public may ask questions on any police authority business. Questions must be submitted in advance. Mr Barry Young, Chairman of the Police Authority, said:
"The Authority remains keen to ensure that members of the public have an opportunity to raise any matters relating to Police Authority business. Providing people with the facility to ask questions at Police Authority meetings is just one way of doing this. 
"We really are eager to take questions. However they must relate to Police Authority business, rather than operational matters which are the responsibility of the Chief Constable. Individuals can submit their question by writing to the Chief Executive or speaking to him over the telephone - it's as easy as that. We have set aside 20 minutes at each of our ordinary meetings to consider questions from the public and we hope to see a positive response".
Questions from the public must be submitted to the Chief Executive no later than 12 noon on Wednesday, 25th April 2012. The Chief Executive can be contacted by telephone on 01522 558022 or by e-mail: police.authority@lincs.pnn.police.uk.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Nettleham Parish Council Await Information and Facts on Police Custody Suite

Nettleham Parish Council was first notified of the proposal ,by the Lincolnshire Police Authority, to construct a custody suite at the Deepdale Lane site, at the beginning of March 2012. At a Council meeting held on the 20 March, The council discussed how they should respond. Their immediate reaction was that they needed to have a great deal more background information and facts from the Police Authority concerning their proposals before they could possibly comment on the matter; moreover, the local community would need to be consulted beforehand. To this end, the Parish Council has arranged for the Police Authority and G4S to hold an Exhibition in the Village at which they will roll out their plans; this will take place on the Friday, 11th & Saturday, 12th May 2012 at the Old School, Nettleham.

In addition, a Special Meeting of Nettleham Parish Council has been arranged for the evening of Thursday, 24th May 2012 in the Village Hall. At that meeting, the Police and G4S will make a formal presentation and the Council will listen to residents’ views before debating the issue. As a Statutory Consultee the Parish Council will have the opportunity to comment on the Planning Application when it is submitted by the Police Authority to West Lindsey District Council. West Lindsey has the final say on whether or not the development goes ahead.

Cllr. Terry Williams, Chairman of the Parish Council stated:
"Until the Parish Council have been provided with all the relevant facts and the Village has been consulted, it would not be appropriate for the Parish Council to comment any further on this matter at this stage."

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Liberal Democrat's Attendance at Meetings Slumps to New Low

Cllr. Malcolm Leaning, Liberal Democrat (Nettleham Ward), a Nettleham Parish Councillor, is revealed to be the poorest attending member of Nettleham Parish Council.

Cllr. Leaning, has been ranked as the poorest attending member of Nettleham Parish Council in figures attached to the  Chairman's Annual Report. Cllr. Leaning - who is both a district and parish councillor - is known to enjoy extensive holidays away from representing his constituents. This has lead to a slump in the number of meetings he has managed to attend.

In the third year running, figures showing the attendance of Nettleham's Parish Councillors have been attached to the Chairman's Annual Report. On average Cllr. Leaning's colleagues attended between 82%-97% of their meetings.  It would be remiss not to mention that Cllr. Leaning, having both district and parish roles, will potentially have diary conflicts; but such a low figure of attendance brings in to question the viability of fulling the expectations of  local residents to do both functions properly. The wards second district councillor and county councillor, Cllr. Ray Sellars, Liberal Democrat (Nettleham Ward and Nettleham & Saxilby Division), has sensibly not re-joined Nettleham Parish Council after stepping down in 2010 - but even he managed an attendance figure of 69% that year. The county council also meets during the daytime, whilst the district council in the evening.
Cllr. Leaning's figure is even more surprising when considering that his presence was only required at the 13 Full Council Meetings (of which he managed to attend 7). Other councillors take on significant additional roles and contribute hundreds of hours a year to help the village. The parish council's Deputy Chairman, Cllr. Mrs. Janice Clayton, was expected to attend 30 meetings during 2011-12, achieving a 97% attendance rate. Meanwhile, Cllr. Alf Frith, who was expected to attend 20 meetings during 2011-12, achieved a 90% attendance rate.

Cllr. Leaning hasn't attended a single meeting since the start of the year and was notably absent from the meeting held on Tuesday, 20th March 2012 - when many villagers turned out to express there concerns over controversial plans to develop a 'custody suite' at Nettleham Police Headquarters. Local residents can only hope that Cllr. Leaning will make an effort to improve his attendance.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

City Council Candidate Arrested

The Lincolnshire Echo reports that Mr. Dean Lowther, (British National Party) Candidate for the Bracebridge Ward of Lincoln City Council has been arrested.

Mr. Lowther, of Newark Road, Lincoln, who is the only British National Party candidate in the Lincoln City Council elections on Thursday, 3rd May 2012 'has been arrested over allegations of racist content his Facebook page' the paper reports. The paper explains that 'anti-Islamic and other racist images and slogans appeared', posted on Mr. Lowther's Facebook profile.

James Newall, a spokesman for Lincolnshire Police, said:
"Police have reviewed the material in question and a 45-year-old local man was arrested on suspicion of producing material inciting racial hatred in the south of the city this morning. He is currently helping police with their enquiries."

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Conservatives Will Win Votes But Lose Seats in City Contest

Analysis of the local election voting patterns over recent years indicate that the Conservatives are likely to secure the most votes at the 2012 Local Elections to Lincoln City Council. However, the analysis also points to Labour improving their grip on the authority.

In a tough electoral situation for Lincoln's Conservatives they find themselves defending seven seats in a contest of eleven. The Lincoln Labour Party meanwhile are defending a mere three seats and the Liberal Democrats there lone representative.

The above chart demonstrates the poll of the various parties that have contested elections within the Lincoln City Council area over the past five years (the 2009 figure represents elections to Lincolnshire County Council within the city). In 2007 the whole council was up for election on new ward boundaries. The Conservatives gained six seats, with a poll  of 41% just slightly above the national average of 40% for the Conservatives, and took control from the Labour Party after twenty-six years.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Lincoln is the Local Battleground to Watch in May

Whilst for many across Lincolnshire 2012 represents a break in the usual electioneering that we have come to expect at this time of year, not so for residents of Lincoln, who still elect the City Council by the 'thirds' method, an authority tipped to be at the centre of attentions over the coming weeks.

Lincoln City is the only part of the county that still holds elections for council members every year. Lincoln City Council has one third of its members elected each year and in the fourth year elections take place for the city's County Councillors.

Lincoln City Council, which covers the majority of the the parliamentary constituency - both before and after proposed changes to the constituency boundary - is a 'bell-weather' constituency. With Conservative Karl McCartney MP, gaining only the slightest of majorities (1,058) in the 2010 general election, the machinations of the locals are observed with keen interest by the political classes.

Currently the Council is under Labour control, with a majority of one. The Labour party took back control from a Liberal Democrat supported Conservative administration in local elections last year in 2011.

The Local Government Information Unit says of the Lincoln contest:
"The political balance in Lincoln is on a knife edge between Labour and Conservatives. The outcome this time has extra significance as this is now a top parliamentary marginal."
UK Polling Report suggests that under the current boundaries Lincoln is the Labour Party's nineteenth target at  a future general election. And with substantial changes to the Lincoln constituency boundary, Mr. McCartney will have to work hard to gain votes from new voters to the constituency.

Forty-six individuals from six parties will contest these seats. The three main parties, Conservative, Liberal Democrats and Labour, have all fielded full slates of eleven candidates. The United Kingdom Independence Party are fielding seven, there are five candidates from Trade Unionists and Socialist Against Cuts and the British National Party have fielded one candidate in the Bracebridge ward.

Already the Lincoln Labour Party have been throwing big guns at the contest; the selection of their parliamentary prospective candidate (Lucy Rigby) and visits from David Miliband and Caroline Flint are giving impetus to a campaign which appears to lack foot soldiers - no reports of any literature being delivered. Meanwhile both Conservative and Liberal Democrat campaign teams have been out delivering literature to local residents in key wards.

Time will tell if the Lincoln Labour Party are suffering the ill-effects of a manpower shortage. The Conservatives in the city have determination to win and have mobilised a significant force of volunteers to aid their campaign. This suggests that Lincoln's Conservatives may do respectably on election day.