Friday, 23 May 2014

Lincoln Council Elections 2014: UKIP Exceed Expectations But Fail To Win Any Seats

The overall result of Lincoln's City Council's 2014 local elections have been a reassuringly predictable affair. However the detail shows that the UK Independence Party performed better than expected, whilst Labour and the Conservatives both underperformed. 

There were only one set of local elections taking place in Lincolnshire yesterday. Lincoln City Council is the only authority in the county that still retains the system of electing it's members by 'thirds' - the process where each year one third of the seats are elected and in the fourth year elections take place for Lincolnshire County Council.
Click on the table above to enlarge.
The table above shows the predicted result for each party, in grey, based on a standard uniform swing calculation generated using data from ukpollingrport.co.uk on 5th May 2014. The second column for each party shows the actual result and the third column the difference between the two.

Lincoln is a key battleground in the coming General Election between Conservative incumbent Karl McCartney MP and Labour's Lucy Rigby who have been slogging it out for over two years now and have a year ahead of them of an increasingly bitter rivalry.

The net effect of the elections to Lincoln City Council was a loss of two seats by the Conservatives to Labour in the Birchwood and Minster wards. This means that the council now consists of 27 Labour members and 6 Conservatives.

The UK Independence Party failed to make any gains, despite polling a respectable 23.33%. This will be a substantive disappointment for them for two reasons; firstly that with such a healthy share of the vote they were not rewarded with any representation; and secondly that their share of the vote is down slightly on the local elections in Lincoln last year to Lincolnshire County Council.

Labour, despite success in securing new members on the council, have nothing to be happy about in terms of their share of the vote. Their share of the vote is down 2.13 percentage points on last year's county elections in the city and 12.62 percentage points on the comparable local elections of 2012. Since the 2010 local elections this would mean that Labour has only improved their share of the vote in the city by 4.68 percentage points. Given that Karl McCartney MP's majority is 2.32%. It is now possible to say, with some certainty that either could win the seat in 2015. However, on the basis that governing parties usually recover as an election approaches this poor performance by Labour is likely to prove insufficient to ensure Ms Rigby's election. Mr. McCartney will in all likelihood be Lincoln's Member of Parliament for at least the next six years.

It was surely a disappointing night for the Conservatives. Despite campaigning hard they struggled to convert votes into seats. Their share of the vote was up three quarters of a percentage point compared with the previous county elections in 2013. The loss of Cllr. Yvonne Bodger in Minster Ward means that she will not become Mayor of Lincoln for the coming civic year; depriving Lincoln's Conservatives of a significant platform in the run-up to the general election.

The Liberal Democrats performed much better than the prediction; however, this is more likely due to the fact that they are now only getting votes from their most ardent supporters. Nevertheless their share of the vote was down two thirds of a percentage point when compared with last year's county elections, and down 2.20 percentage points compared with the local elections of 2012.

Of the other parties and independent candidates contesting these elections, the Trades Unionists Socialist Against Cuts underperformed and continued to slip in terms of their share of the vote which was down 0.60 percentage point from their hight of 2.42% in 2012. The Greens performed considerably better than expected having fielded candidates for the first time in the city since 2011. The two independent candidates underperformed against the prediction.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Giles McNeill Elected Chairman of West Lindsey’s Governance and Audit Committee

Cllr. Giles McNeill, who represents the Nettleham Ward on West Lindsey District Council, has been elected to serve as Chairman of the Governance & Audit Committee for the 2014/15 civic year.

During the previous civic year, 2013/14, Cllr. McNeill has served as the Vice-Chairman of the committee. Cllr. Mrs. Sue Rawlins has served as Chairman and will now serve as the Committee’s Vice-Chairman.

The Governance and Audit Committee is responsible for:

  • Corporate Governance
  • Accounts and Audit
  • Regulatory Framework (sometimes known as the Assurance Framework)
  • Ethics and standards

Cllr. McNeill commented on the appointment via twitter, saying:
“I am very proud to have just been elected Chairman of the Governance and Audit Committee [at] West Lindsey”
A number of individuals congratulated Cllr. McNeill on twitter, including Cllr. Marc Jones, Executive Member for Finance & Property at Lincolnshire County Council, who tweeted:
“Congrats Giles I’m sure you’ll do a great job”

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Lincolnshire Energy Switch Scheme Available Again

The Lincolnshire Energy Switch scheme is back – so now you could also stand a chance of saving up to £300 on your annual gas and electricity bill.

That’s how much some already stand to save having made the switch first time round. You could join the 1,000 households in Lincolnshire who look set to save an average of £167 on their energy bill.

If you missed out the first time, this is another opportunity to save money on home energy bills through the latest collective Lincolnshire Energy Switch Scheme (LESS).  The scheme is easy to join. Before you register, find your energy bill as you will need your current tariff and energy consumption details. Then visit here and register your details. Alternatively you can call on 01529 301990 between 9:00am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays).

There is no obligation to switch so there is nothing to lose by registering. Where residents don’t see a saving in their individual offer it means that they are likely to be on a competitive rate already.

Why not also let your family and friends know so they can save money too? Up to five households can register on the same email address so it’s a great opportunity to help out family and friends who don’t have internet access.  Everyone who pays for gas or electricity can register – and potentially save money. Whether you rent your home or own it, whether you are on dual fuel, electric only or have a prepayment meter – everyone is encouraged to register. You don’t even have to live in Lincolnshire as it will be open to anyone in the country, so friends and family can also register, wherever they live, by visiting the same website.

Once the Monday, 9th June, registration deadline has passed energy companies are invited to bid for your combined business.

The lowest tariff will then be offered to residents in a personalised email or letter. Residents will have four weeks to confirm they wish to switch supplier by following the instructions in the offer email or returning a signed form by post. As collective switching schemes become better known they are attracting a mix of the ‘Big Six’ and smaller independent suppliers to make their bids.

Cllr. Giles McNeill, West Lindsey District Councillor for the Nettleham Ward, said:

“I would encourage as many people as possible to register with the Lincolnshire Energy Switch Scheme to secure the best possible gas and electricity rates for a community switch here in West Lindsey and across Lincolnshire. The first scheme was successful with 1,000 households switching to better energy deals. 
“We are always keen to look at new ways to help our residents and local businesses reduce their monthly outgoings and this is the start of a process that could help families and individuals suffering fuel poverty. 
“The scheme is open to anyone, so everyone who registers can benefit. Local residents need to be aware that registration closes on Monday, 9th June, so register to switch as soon as possible.”