Welcome to this newsletter. I hope you and yours are well. This is my personal newsletter to inform you what I am doing on your behalf and to keep in touch with you. Let me know if I can help with anything.
Better Mental Health
We have consistently called for better support for increasing mental health, as early support makes all the difference. The County Council and the NHS have improved services both online and talking to a real person. Especially in lockdown, it is important to keep in touch by phone and there is some simple help on wellbeing here.
Writing Rainbow letters
Children have offered to write to those who may be lonely, with something cheerful, a picture or a poem. We are collecting them and delivering them to where they are wanted. Would you like to take part? Give me a call.
Supporting our Neighbours
Our area has a dozen neighbourhood support groups, evolving from an emergency response to the covid pandemic to a long-term support network. We are meeting fortnightly online with the Consultant for Public Health. In February, the Rev. Michelle Godbold highlighted the excellent work of the Graffoe Group. Certificates of thanks are on their way to brilliant volunteers who have made such a difference. Thank you. Want to take part? Please let me know. This week, we are applying for a grant to do more for our communities.
Saving the Planet continues…
If you have been watching David Attenborough lately, you will have seen the importance of tackling climate change, supporting our biodiversity and keeping a clean environment. The Lincolnshire Independents proposed a motion to change the way the council works to do just that. The whole Council has been working on the Climate Emergency Strategy and Action Plan which is on the NKDC website here. It plans to reach net zero emissions by 2030. We are also looking at the way in which the regional planning works so that the decisions that the Council makes are also contributing to the target of net zero emissions.
I find it hard to see how we can continue to build at a rate far greater than is wanted by local people, without increasing traffic and further draining the earth’s resources and reducing air quality.
A Planning First
Two houses were refused at the edge of Carlton Le Moorland because it would extend the built features of the village and for the first time on biodiversity grounds. The site had been mapped as of ecological importance. On policy 21, the biodiversity was not enhanced by the development – a first for us. 20/0020/OUT Appeal decision
Another landmark case this month in Swaton, pitted the conservation officer protecting green space near a church against a convincing eco-house. At the end of an online meeting lasting over four hours, it was passed. Feb 2nd 20/1227/FUL Use “Planning on line North Kesteven”.
Rendering Plant in Skellingthorpe
At planning on Monday, the application recommended for approval with a vehicle routing agreement and other conditions to protect residents was passed. 20/0550/CCC at County.
Sweeping changes to planning – from Whitehall
Recent very unpopular proposals have been put on hold until after the elections, but they were published in January 2021. The commitment remains to build houses at a faster rate than ever. This has little regard for what people can afford, nor what services can be provided. Only the house-builders have welcomed what others see as “shameful”, and a “disaster” and a “naked ideological assault on local democracy”.
Fundamentally, the proposal takes the planning largely out of local influence. Central government makes the policies and a tick box exercise done by the developers gives them their permissions. Local Councils are then largely reduced to looking at design to make them “beautiful”. This is especially worrying, when we have seen the same Secretary of State over-ride local decision-making process to give planning permission on the Isle of Dogs to a party donor, permission that was subsequently withdrawn.
If we want to improve planning, we need to increase influence from local people, not reduce it.
Green Masterplan for Lincolnshire
The County and District Councils have brought out a “Green masterplan” to help tackle Climate change, meeting zero carbon by 2050. Getting buildings more energy efficient, flexible working, separate collection of paper and card recyclables, reusing road materials, planting on a former waste site and along the new bypass.
Colleagues and I have worked hard on the North Kesteven’s strategy and action plan is worth a look.
Lincoln City has a problem with air quality and I have offered to support their climate action commission, bringing experience from my European expert group where I am a spokesperson on Environmental issues.
We have a drainage infrastructure that is still Roman in some places and an increase in extreme events. The planning policy encourages rapid “growth” to bring many more people into the area. Brant Broughton, Leadenham and Welbourn have suffered greatly, despite our best efforts. I have pushed for better protection with some positive response. A further £2.2m is hopefully to be allocated in the new budget.
Better Rural Roads
You will have heard me constantly hammering away to get improvements in the state of our rural roads. Thank you for your help with reporting immediate repairs and thank you to Parish Councils for their support in pushing for significant resurfacing where it is desperately needed.
We have had some success and more on the way. Nationally, I and colleagues have raised the matter with ministers and in the County Council. I am pleased to see a further £10m is now proposed for our rural roads. I had a good meeting with highways recently highlighting the issues and holding them to account on how they prioritise works. It is clear that our unclassified roads are in a very poor state and need better funding, which I hope is on the way. We also made good use of the small response team in our communities a few months back.
Supporting local businesses and jobs
To keep our local businesses afloat, North Kesteven has distributed £26.37m in over 4,000 individual payments, which runs out at the Feb half term. Most was for businesses registered for rates, then a further £1m discretionary grants for the 127 businesses who could show they were impacted by covid restrictions. 48 pubs with mainly beer sales received a one-off £1000 each.
New Grants for Business
A “severe impact grant” of around half a million pounds is being distributed now. If you think you may be eligible, have a look at the BusinessNK page, and please ask via the site. Phil Means provides free business advice on 07920 472671. https://www.businessnk.co.uk/our-projects/our-team It is worth registering with North Kesteven District Council for the business newsletter. @BusinessNK www.businesslincolnshire.com
When is state aid a good thing?
Minister Kwasi Kwarteng MP set out a new system of subsidies for UK businesses, as the EU State Aid rules are lifted. The new principles allow the four governments of the UK to use public funds for companies to support “UK policy objectives, levelling up economic growth in the regions, tackling climate change and supporting our economic recovery”. It cannot, however, be used to enable unfair competition between countries, nor bail out unsustainable companies, we hear. That sounds to me like a very fine line. The 8-week consultation to March 31st is here. The rules under which councils can give subsidies are here. Should party donations be declared, for example? Let me know what you think.
Investors in People
North Kesteven District Council has achieved the Investors in People Gold Standard. Staff feel there is a good balance between providing support and guidance and empowering and trusting them to get on with the job. They love the health and wellbeing provision and support available to them. Areas for further improvement include embedding the corporate values into all areas, particularly decision-making.
Returning to School March 8th
In my national meetings, we have been discussing ways for the councils and NHS to work together, priorities for the next wave of vaccinations and getting children back to school safely. Colleagues and I have also called for the additional support needed to enable children to catch up academically, physically and emotionally as they aim to start returning to school from March 8th.
Providing activities for children
Like other out of school clubs, our Wildlife Watch Group also met inventively online to make bird feeders and start the Big Garden Birdwatch on the last weekend in January. We have also made a video, an Introduction to Fungi, now on you-tube. For anyone running clubs for children of key workers, guidance is online here.
Poetry and art
The Love Lincs Plants Team are running a Haiku poem competition that children and young people can enter before the end of June 2021. Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust Haiku is on the trust’s website here: There is also an art competition for adults which may interest some of you. www.lincstrust.org.uk/what-we-do/love-lincs-plants/lincspirational-plants
Captain Sir Tom was a great inspiration, but sadly couldn’t have the vaccine himself. Our hearts go out to all who have gut-wrenching losses at this time.
In Lincolnshire, vaccinations have been flying out the door at some NHS surgeries including Waddington, the Mere Leisure Centre in Grantham, Lincolnshire Showground, Gainsborough, Boston and care homes. Lincolnshire is on target for getting the top vulnerability groups vaccinated by mid February. Today we have 90% of over 75’s vaccinated, 60% of the 70-74 year old cohort and all eligible residents in care homes aged over 65.
The next programme will focus on the next priority groups, whilst also then starting to deliver the second vaccination to people at the 12 week mark.
First Aid Course online
St John Ambulance <firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Offices for local support and information
Navenby Venue Tuesday to Friday 10-noon
Witham Office at Bassingham in the Hammond Hall,
LN5 9HQ 01522 789758 Open Mon, Wed, Thurs 9-1pm
Local Police Statistics https://www.police.uk/
Access to Wellbeing Services and Care
Covid Helpline continues 01522 782189
The Carers service 01522 782224
Support for Adult care is available 01522 782155
Supporting People 01522 782140 www.wellbeinglincs.org
Umbrellas events supporting all ages with additional needs and their families email@example.com
Mental health www.connecttosupport.org
Bereavement Helpline St Barnabus 0300 303 1897
Befriending Service Lincolnshire YMCA 01529 301965
www.citizensadvice.org.uk 0800 1448444 free 8am-6pm
Www.graffoechurches.co.uk with Michelle Godbold
Christine Goldsmith firstname.lastname@example.org
Reverend Dee Freeman 01522 788383 www.withamsidechurches.org.uk
Navenby Methodist Church 01522 685226 http://lincolnmethodist.org.uk/circuit-services-weekly-live-stream/ David.email@example.com
420 Lincolnshire Village halls are registered here. www.lincscommunitybuildings.org.uk
Useful Advice for Charitieshttps://www.charityhowto.com/blog
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter #lincscc roads
www.teamlincolnshire.com do monthly webinars
Sleaford Community Larder at the Newlife Centre
Help save lives and keep countryside clean
Report Potholes 01522 782070
Or use “Fix my street” on line – works well.
Report Litter 01529 414155
Report illegal parking 01522 511142 or
Adult Concern 01522 782151
Police: Sgt Ken Whyte, plus PCSO’s 101 or www.police.uk
Highways, Transport and Travel
Good newsletter from email@example.com
Roadworks www.one.network lincolnshire roadworks.org
Call Connect 8.30am – 7pm Weekdays and to 5pm Saturdays 0345 234 33 44 or 01522 553143 www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/callconnect/35955.article
Dial a ride 01522 544983 Disabled door to door
Facebook Hykeham town rural NPT T @hykeham NPT
Buses www.lincsbus.info or Traveline 0871 200 22 33
Mobile Library 01522 782010 or www.lincolnshire.gov.uk
Planning on line
See and comment on applications to get your voice heard. Search “planning on line north Kesteven”
Local Plan www.central-lincs.org.uk 01529 308084
www.facebook.com/groups/455116074527966/ Navenby and Wellingore business parishes.lincolnshire.gov.uk
Welbourn, Leadenham and Coleby are on the LCC site e.g. https://leadenham.parish.lincolnshire.gov.uk/
Branston www .tucann.co.uk/the-sheepwash-times Branston Library 01522 880426
County Events- Good web page here
Search Lincolnshire County Council out and about or use
www.lincolnshire.gov.uk search on “county news”
Wheelchair loan: No Name Lodge Geoff Nelson 788213
Young People Grants Carlton Le Moorland 07943760155
Local shops who deliver
East Midlands Dairy 01636 614760
Oldlings meat etc. 01522 810228
Nick Streeter’s fish etc. 01400 272547
Grocery Paul Barton 07970 115351
The Old Forge, Brant Broughton 07958 189650
Greens, Bassingham 01522 788200
Welbourn Post Office and Stores 01400 272242
Leadenham Farm Shop 01400 273988
The Tempest, Coleby 01522 810258
The Bell, Coleby 01522 813778
Thorold Arms, Harmston 07971 029 534 re-opening soon
The Bugle Horn, Bassingham 01522 789773
The Five Bells, Bassingham 01522 788269
Generous Briton Brant Broughton Tues-Sat 01400 272119
Akash Indian Takeaway 01522 811126 Navenby
Navenby Chinese Takeaway 01522 810773
Andy’s Fish and Chips Van Bassingham Tues, Skellingthorpe Wed, Caythorpe Thurs 5-8pm
Hot lunches for senior citizens 01522 404025 Bassingham, £5 for two courses. Book by Sunday 5pm
Primary hot lunches Thurs and Sat 01522 788488
Age UK will deliver 21 small single person meals for £20, plus £7 delivery 03455 564 144
Hollynelstropcatering@gmail.com – weekly meal boxes
| Where to get Government information |
Coronavirus news: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus; Materials, FAQ
from the Cabinet Office: National lockdown: what you need to know: Coronavirus cases: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/
Previous Government C19 Bulletins: https://bit.ly/3iC2Pnz
Latest information on transition: https://www.gov.uk/transition
To sign up to.GOV email updates: https://www.gov.uk/search/news-and-communications/email-signup?related_to_brexit
Local Covid support Groups
A huge thank you to our local volunteers
Amazing work done by willing volunteers delivering food, medicines and offering neighbourly support.
- Aubourn and Haddington Luke Warwick 07765 900099 Hayley 07928 032 866
- Bassingham Support Group 01522 404025
- Beckingham Covid Group Philip Wells 07930 990 950
- Brant Broughton and Stragglethorpe The Old Forge Village Shop delivers locally free. 01400 273796, 07958 189650 9.30am-5pm Tues-Sat, Sun 10-4pm, Mon am.
- Carlton Le Moorland, Norton Disney and Stapleford Nicola Smith 01522 404024 120 volunteers contact@CleMsupport.co.uk
- Coleby Parish Council Sue 01522 810509
- Rector Christine Chris Goldsmith 01400 679081 07494870701 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Welbourn Volunteers Alison 07 377 219 268
- Witham St Hughs Jason Snape on 07894 872 533
- Graffoe Parish Rector Michelle Godbold 01522 426723
Like me, you may like to become a dementia friend or champion and add support. Being confused and alone or in lockdown, dementia is a tough call. Let’s keep our communities friendly and safe for all.
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