Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Nettleham Library Threatened with Closure

Lincolnshire County Council, who run local library services, have to make £125 million of savings. Already nearly £90 million has been achieved but a further £35 million has to be found in the next two years. The Library Service, which current has a budget in excess of £6 million is expected contribute by saving around £1.9 million on its current budget. It is proposed that a number of local libraries, including the one in Nettleham, be run by teams of volunteers.
 
Nettleham Parish Council met last night, and briefly addressed the proposed changes to library services within the village. Whilst it was not possible to include a full and substantive discussion on the matter, some consideration took place and representation were received from members of the public.
 
Nettleham Parish Council had been surprised by the county council's plans, only hearing last Friday that changes to the library service were needed, with other residents across the county, when the plans were leaked, prior to Monday, 2nd July, when public consultation was due to begin. The leaking of these plans has caused distress to staff in the libraries, who face an uncertain future, and who found out about the changes through local media's reports of the leak and not in line with the planned consultation timetable.
 
One local resident, Emily Evision, of Sudbrooke Lane, said:
"I had a moment to speak and tried to state the needs of all parts of the community, and how strongly people feel about saving our library. Councillor Jackie Brockway tried to change the [County Council's] decision into an opportunity to get something that works better for us. Giles McNeill offered us his support, and I believe that all of the Parish Councillors were unhappy with the idea of losing the library.
"[The Parish Council] decided to bring the subject up for proper full discussion at the next meeting in July. At that point we can table questions and be a part of the discussion. They also decided to hold a special public meeting on the library closure in early September."

District Councillor Giles McNeill, Conservative (Nettleham Ward) added:
"I want to see our library remain open and if that means looking at a range of different options to do that, then we must.
"Local Council's face a difficult time - on the one hand demand for services continues to increase, whilst on the other the money local authorities receive from central government is reducing. This is putting enormous pressure on politicians to square the circle and do as much as possible with constrained resources.
"I am really proud that local residents are taking the initiative to fight to retain a library in Nettleham.  I have offered my support to the campaign to 'Save Nettleham Library' and am prepared to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, and offer a portion of my Councillor Initiative Fund monies to help any local community group look into the question of taking on running Nettleham Library.
"The information age presents great challenges to the traditional model of a library - but potentially it provides great opportunity for local people to recast a local service into more suitable provision, dynamic and reactive to local needs."
Details of the 'Save Nettleham Library' campaign group can be found on facebook. A petition has been started and can be found online here.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Edward Leigh MP Knighted

Local Parliamentarian for the Gainsborough Constituency has been named in Her Majesty the Queen's Birthday Honours List as a recipient of a Knighthood.

Sir Edward Leigh MP has received the honour for public and political service. He said:
"Naturally, I am delighted to be honoured in this way by the Queen. It is quite undeserved and I feel it is much more due to the efforts of others, particularly in Lincolnshire, than anything I have achieved, particularly their loyalty over thirty years"
Sir Edward has served the constituency of Gainsborough (formerly linked with Horncastle) for thirty years. He was a widely-respected Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, and - according to the National Audit Office - saved the taxpayer around £4bn during his eight year tenure.  His long career in public service includes work as a local Councillor and as a junior Minister. He remains a passionate speaker on religious issues and on the management of the European Union.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Nick Boles MP's Office Attacked

There has been a "minor explosion" at the constituency office of Nick Boles MP, Conservative (Grantham & Stamford).

A bang and the sound of breaking glass were heard at the junction of North Street and Burghley Street in Bourne, Lincolnshire, around half past one in the morning.

Police said there was only minor damage to the building and no-one was injured. A man has been arrested.

Mr. Boles, said:
"Obviously I deplore this act of violence. The incident is being investigated by the police and I know that everyone will do whatever they can to support the investigation. In the meantime, we should all carry on doing our jobs as normal."
The BBC Reported that Ms Caroline Glithero, who lives nearby, said she heard two explosions about 45 minutes apart.
"I heard two very loud bangs and on the second one I went to see what it was and found a lot of debris and a window broken."
Lincolnshire Police said a 24-year-old man had been arrested and was helping police with their inquiries.

A spokesperson said early indications suggested the incident was not linked to any wider issues or recent events in the county.

Lincolnshire's Members of Parliament have been targeted in recent years, including Gainsborough's Edward Leigh MP who was targeted with hoax anthrax packages last year.