I have been working cross party on the Local Government Association to get more money and powers to our local services. This year we gained £3.5bn shared between councils and including raising the local tax a little. The District Portion rises by £5/year and the bigger County Council portion by 3.5%. So this year is stable, but my meetings with ministers now centre on proper long-tern funding, especially for adult care, releasing other services.
Rural Grants for tourism – if you are quick!
If you are quick, Parish Councils and businesses can submit a preliminary application for £20K plus by midnight Feb 16th. RDPE is a European Fund giving grants for • rural tourism infrastructure• food processing• business expansion. The grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), which is part of the European Structural and Investment Funds. Leader funds which we sought before are part of this. Colleagues and I have asked the government to continue these funds to our streets and villages, but we shall see. Tel:03000 200 301 GPEnquiries@rpa.gov.uk (ESIF).https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/governmen t/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/844050/ Tourism_Handbook_v3.0_Nov_2019.pdf
Good Neighbour Scheme
Community Lincs has merged with YMCA from Nov 1st and their Chief Executive, Gail Jackson has won Businessperson of the year. Many villages are setting up “Good neighbour schemes” to include things such as Collecting prescriptions and library books Companionship, help with shopping Dog walking Form filling IT support for the visually impaired Transport and support with social activities It is the kind of thing we do already, but would it be helpful to give it some structure? Perhaps linked with our parish councils, churches and lunch clubs? If interested, please let me know.
Helping you heat your home for less
Our Community oil buying scheme is delivering competitive oil prices for its members, at 52.7p/litre. Find our more or register online. https://communitylincs.com/individuals/savingmoney/heating-oil-lincolnshire/
Fireworks and pets
As fireworks are widespread and used through the year, residents have raised concern about pets, small children and wildlife struggling with the very loudest noises. The NK Independent Group has raised the issue, calling for quieter firework displays and for the government to reduce the maximum sound level from 95dB. Lincolnshire Independents Mary Green and Glenn Tinsley proposed the motion at full Council which received many supportive comments and taken up by our scrutiny committee.
Protecting our planet
I proposed the motion to take on the UN 17 goals to protect our planet, which was overwhelmingly passed. We are now looking at the whole work of our Council and to bring significant improvements. Thanks to Sustainable Witham doing so much locally too.
Supporting you at National Events
At the end of last year, I listened and spoke on the work of councils at the Green Party and Plaid Cymru conferences, in Newport and Swansea. I also spoke and gathered ideas on tackling climate change at our Independent Group regional conferences in Saffron Walden, Uttlesford, Stockton on Tees, Tauntonand London.
This month, I have run training for councillors at Warwick University and in London on Standards and equality. On behalf of all English Councils, I have continued to work cross-party on Brexit arrangements with Central Government ministers and civil servants.
In France last week, I was re-elected to be the spokesperson on Environmental issues for local government across Europe, by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions. I spoke up, gaining support for post Brexit collaboration on shared goals, which was supported.
Boundary Change: Your view by March 16th
North Kesteven District Council has one of the fastest growing population with over 6000 more people expected by 2025. The government wants to change the boundaries so that we all represent the same number of electors. NKDC has agreed the number of councillors should stay at 43, with an average of 2,090 residents per councillor. This is expected to rise to 2,227 residents per councillor in five years as the population continues to rise. Where to put the boundaries? The next step is more of a problem; The Cliff Villages Ward is more or less spot on the average number of electors per councillor, so there seems no reason to change it. However, Bracebridge Heath is expected to grow substantially, creating a knock-on effect. The Council’s solution is to “lop” off Leadenham or Harmston from the Cliff Villages and give it to another ward, albeit quite disconnected. Consultation at our Cliff Cluster raised concern with all the Parish Councils along the Cliff edge with a resounding thumbs down to the proposal to remove parts of the ward.
The Cliff Villages have a natural integrity along the cliff edge and along the link road, the A607, with strong community links. The Boundary Commission ask for evidence of an area being a) easily identifiable and that it will remain so in future, and b) any local ties that could be broken by separating off some villages.
They want to know about shared community interests and identities, such as clubs that draw their membership from the cliff villages, shared use of libraries, doctors’ surgeries, primary schools and other local services.
Do you feel that the Cliff Villages should stay together? Your comments would be much appreciated, and they do count with the boundary commission. Please write to Boundary Commission. firstname.lastname@example.org Copy to me so I can support your views. email@example.com More information from www.lgbce.org.uk/allreviews and search on “North Kesteven” or www.nkesteven.gov.uk/electoralreview
As always, any support you can give is much appreciated. Thank you Forthcoming Events
Navenby Office and Library The library at the Venue, Navenby is run by volunteers for two hour sessions on Monday 10am, Wednesday 3pm and Friday 2pm
Garden Waste It is time to reregister, easiest through the District Council website. The cost is £35/year to cover costs. 01529 414155
The Collection: “A Century of Valour” Guy Gibson’s story, his Victoria Cross and his compatriots centre in the exhibition at the Collection, owned by the County Council. £5/£3.50 Until 15th March. Best Wishes,