Thursday, 28 March 2013

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick should Resign Urges District Councillor

Cllr. Giles McNeill, Conservative (Nettleham Ward), has called on Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Harwick to resign following the humiliating ruling by a High Court Judge at a hearing in Manchester.

Mr. Justice Stuart-Smith said the the Commissioner's decision was 'irrational' and 'perverse', determining that the Chief Constable's suspension was therefore unlawful.

Cllr. McNeill said:
"It is clear that Alan Hardwick is not up to the job of being Police and Crime Commissioner. He has bungled this suspension of the Chief Constable, Neil Rhodes.
"It was clear that something was amiss when, having referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, they decided that the matter was not sufficient for their investigation.
"The time has come for Commissioner Hardwick to do the honourable thing and resign."
Commissioner Hardwick, Independent (Lincolnshire Force Area), has appointed the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester to undertake an independent investigation.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Budget 2013: Local Councillor Welcomes Tax Cutting Measures

West Lindsey District Councillor Giles McNeill, Conservative (Nettleham Ward) has welcomed the 2013 Budget delivered by Chancellor George Osbourne, particularly the bold set of tax cuts announced for businesses and employers in West Lindsey.

A new Employment Allowance will take £2,000 off the National Insurance bill of every employer – open to businesses, charities and community amateur sports clubs. This will help 60,000 employers in the East Midlands, taking 30,000 out of having to pay any tax on jobs at all.
 Employers will be able to hire one extra person on £22,400 a year, or four people working full time on the minimum wage, without paying any National Insurance.
A further corporation tax cut to 20 per cent in April 2015 will see the UK having the lowest corporation tax rate in the G20, which sends a clear signal that Britain is open for business. 
Stamp Duty on shares in companies quoted on growth markets like AIM and the ISDX Growth Market has also been abolished. This will benefit around 1,000 UK quoted companies – a transaction tax removed here as 11 EU countries are looking to introduce a sweeping financial transaction tax. 
Cllr. McNeill commented:
“This is fantastic news for businesses in the Nettleham Ward and across West Lindsey. The Employment Allowance will make it easier and cheaper for firms to hire people – an employer could hire four people working full time on the minimum wage without paying any National Insurance.  
“These and the other business measures in the Budget are exactly what businesses need to hire, to expand and to grow.”
The amount people can earn before paying income tax - the personal allowance - will rise to £10,000 in April 2014.
Hard working people in Nettleham, Greetwell, Riseholme and Grange-de-Lings will be over £700 better off every year than when this Government came to office. Almost three million more of the lowest paid will pay no income tax at all.
This tax cut will benefit an estimated 35,874 people in the Gainsborough constituency. In April 2014, 430 people will be lifted out of income tax, taking the total number of people in the Gainsborough constituency lifted out of tax by Conservatives to an 4,079.
Labour want to reintroduce the 10p tax band that they abolished. Conservatives in Government have now turned Labour’s 10p tax band into a zero pence tax band. Every person paying tax at the 10p rate when Labour doubled it, will now be paying no income tax at all on that income.
Cllr. McNeill commented:
“This Budget has delivered real support for people who aspire to work hard and get on. Around 2,000 people in the Nettleham Ward will be over £700 better off every year. With this landmark tax cut, Conservatives have cut tax bills for 24 million people”.
The Government will also make ex-gratia payments of £5,000 to Equitable Life policyholders who bought their annuity before 1992, the Chancellor has revealed in his budget statement.
The Government will also make an extra £5,000 available to those on the lowest incomes who are on pension credit. There is no legal obligation to make either of these payments.
Cllr. McNeill welcomed the news, saying:
“I am proud that two years ago Conservatives in Government set aside £1.5 billion to help so many of my constituents who had been let down when Equitable Life failed.
“Now we are helping another 9,000 people across the country.
“It took nearly a decade for the last Labour Government to own up to their responsibilities. We acted immediately. This will make a huge difference to the many older people who were affected in the Nettleham Ward and across West Lindsey.”
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has cancelled Labour’s planned fuel duty rise in the Budget, saving 2.7 million motorists in the East Midlands over £170 every year.
Because of the action we have taken, pump prices will now be 13 pence per litre lower than if Labour were in power. For a Vauxhall Astra that is £7 less every time families fill up the tank – or £9 less for a Mondeo. A van driver will save £340 per year and a haulier will save £5,200 per year.
Fuel duty will now have been frozen for nearly three and half years - the longest freeze in duty for over 20 years.
Cllr. McNeill welcomed the news, saying:
“This is a Budget that is delivering for families who want to work hard and get on in life.
 “Scrapping another of Labour’s planned fuel duty increases will make a huge difference to the 2.7 million drivers in the East Midlands region.
“This Government has frozen fuel duty for three and a half years - longer than any Government in the last two decades - and saving the average family £7 every time they fill up their car.”
Particularly welcome was the Chancellor of the Exchequer announcing he would scrap Labour’s planned increase in beer duty, and instead, go further, cutting the duty by a penny, meaning beer will be 1p per pint cheaper after Sunday night – 4p per pint cheaper than it would have been under Labour.
Cllr. McNeill welcomed the news, saying:
“Labour increased beer duty by sixty per cent and left our pubs fighting for survival. Nettleham is fortunate to have four pubs – the Brown Cow, The Black Horse, The Plough and the White Hart.
“We’ve not only scrapped Labour’s planned increase – we’ve actually cut it.
“It is great news for beer-drinkers, it is great for breweries, and it’s great for 4,525 pubs across the East Midlands.”

Local Conservatives Support Parish Council's Get-Together

Nettleham Ward District Councillor Giles McNeill and Nettleham & Saxilby Division County Councillor Jackie Brockway, have used funds from their respective authorities to support Greetwell Parish Council's initiative of holding get-togethers in the MaCh resturant on Wragby Road in North Greetwell, to help improve the areas sense of community.

Cllr. Giles McNeill said:
"It is really important to build a sence of community, particularly in a parish like Greetwell, which has fragmented constituenct parts to it. These get-togethers go some way in helping local people get to know one another.
"These events also help by providing an opportunity for groups that may feel isolated to socialise in their locality, such as the elderly.
"I am really proud that Jackie and I have been able to find funding to help secure the future of these events in the coming months."
Chris Myers, the Clerk of Greetwell Parish Council, commenting following the news that £500 had been forthcoming from the West Lindsey Councillors Initiative Fund, said:
"This is really good news, as along with Jackie’s contribution we can cover the costs for the next year of events."
West Lindsey District Councillors have a pot of £2,000 to spend on local projects within their communities for the next two year - known as the Councillor Initiative Fund. Lincolnshire County Councillors have their own scheme, known as the Big Society Fund, which previosously was a pot of £4,000 available between 2011 and March 2013. The scheme is understood to have been renewed.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Superfast Broadband Internet Access Will Be Delivered Soon

Superfast speeds are just around the corner with a multi-million pound broadband project due to start imminently.
 
Businesses and communities across Lincolnshire are set to benefit from fast, affordable fibre broadband as the planned roll out of superfast broadband across the county - including in West Lindsey - was announced by Lincolnshire County Council this week (March 13).
 
The county council, West Lindsey District Council and the other Lincolnshire councils have signed a contract with BT to build on the existing telecoms infrastructure in the county so that at least 88 per cent of all premises should have access to superfast broadband by April 2016, with the council aiming for everyone else to have access to at least 2Mbp/s broadband. For the first time ever, broadband should be available everywhere in Lincolnshire.
 
The deal is the largest of its kind in the East Midlands and sixth largest nationally.
 
District Councillor, Giles McNeill, Conservative (Nettleham Ward), said:
“This is fantastic news for West Lindsey. Improving access to high-speed broadband is extremely important for us as the district has so many remote areas that will really feel the benefit. Earlier this month poor broadband was highlighted as an issue by partners working in farming and agriculture – which is a huge industry for us – so hopefully this will go some way to addressing that. We are excited to be working in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council to help our resid entsand businesses get online.”
“The internet is transforming our lives – at home, at work and at school. And thanks to this investment by local councils, BT and national government, everyone will be able to reap the benefits offered by digital technology. This project is going to dramatically improve broadband speeds across the county, bringing a wealth of opportunities for residents and businesses alike. This is the start of an exciting new era for our county.”
Initial information on what is planned can now be found online at www.onlincolnshire.org, although please be aware these details are subject to change. Alternatively, residents can contact Lincolnshire County Council’s customer service centre on 01522 782066.

The project, which is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme, will see more than £48m of public and private sector money invested in improving the county’s broadband infrastructure. The cash includes £11.2m from the county council, £4m from the district authorities, £14.3m from national government and £18.8m from BT. Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said:
“It’s fantastic that for the first time, broadband will be available everywhere in Lincolnshire as the result of one of our largest superfast broadband projects in the country. The UK already does more business online than any other European country, and widespread access to superfast broadband will provide a tremendous boost to Lincolnshire’s local economy.”
BT was chosen following a competitive selection process. Work on the project will start imminently with the first superfast connections expected to be available in January 2014. The roll-out will begin with a period of planning and detailed surveying, before Openreach, BT’s local network business, starts work on the ground.
 
In addition, £300,000 from the European Regional Development Fund will be used to bring superfast speeds to east coast communities in and around Ingoldmells and Wrangle through wireless technology, with the improvements being carried out by Lincoln firm AB Internet.

Friday, 8 March 2013

District Council Approves 2013/14 Budget

It is onwards and upwards as West Lindsey District Council continues to invest in local communities.
The dsitrict council has set its budget for 2013/14 at the Full Council Meeting held at the Guildhall, Gainsborough on Monday, 4th March 2013.

It has agreed to support the most vulnerable communities by investing £300,000 to help with issues such as fuel poverty, rural services and youth unemployment.

A further £1.6 million will be invested into the housing infrastructure and £2 million will be used to boost the economy and encourage jobs growth.

Conservative Leader of the Council, Cllr. Burt Keimach, said:
“Our budget has been set providing residents and business with real value for money services such as waste and planning. Now we have agreed the budget we need to put our plans into action and deliver what we have set out to achieve for our communities.”
The budget for 2013/14 will increase Council Tax by around 5p per week for the majority of homes in West Lindsey. This increase, the first for three years, will mean services that local peole rely on have been protected.

It means residents could pay an extra one and a half per cent for the district council’s share of the overall bill in 2013/14, an increase of £2.79 per year for a Band D property.

Cllr. Keimach added:
“If we have a very small moderate rise, which is acceptable, we will be able to protect the statutory services such as waste and planning, which are good value for money.”

 An extensive engagement exercise with communities and residents will take place over the spring and summer. It is an opportunity for people to inform future priorities and identify where the council could make cuts to the budget.