New Chief Executive at LCC
County Council has appointed Keith Ireland as the new Head. He implemented the combination of councils and enterprise partnerships to create a new, large authority, including his own, Wolverhampton. Colleagues and I investigated a similar proposal for Lincolnshire last year, before voting against it, as a new layer of bureaucracy. Our previous CE has gone to Northampton which was taken over by the government when it failed. It has had massive house-building and is now left with high demands and weak facilities. Our previous boss, Tony McArdle has gone to help.
FCC (formerly Lincwaste Limited) will be re-commencing landfill only at Leadenham Landfill Site, from late summer. I have approached the County Council about re-opening the public amenity, but no luck.
The materials tipped at Leadenham will primarily comprise inert and shredded materials. Landfill cell construction and site establishment works are in progress.
Around 35 lorries per day are expected, so I have raised the importance of maintaining the road to match. This rises to 70 per day for two weeks as waste that would have been burnt in the Energy from Waste plant at North Hykeham, goes instead to landfill, during the July maintenance period. FCC plan to tip for about 4 years, when the site will be restored to agricultural use.
Ofsted Inspection of County Council
All elected County Councillors are “corporate parents” of over 500 children in our responsibility. There had been some concern, so a good report now is very welcome. “Leaders are ambitious. They know their services and prioritise resources to support social work to flourish. This results in stable and experienced teams who deliver high-quality social work which improves outcomes for children in Lincolnshire. Good-quality direct work with children is helping them make sense of their life experiences. Strong use of children’s networks of family and friends results in a high proportion of children appropriately leaving care.” Well done all.
Veteran’s Badge and Dinner June 29th in Sleaford.
If you or anyone else has served in the forces, please ring Debbie Scott to be awarded a badge and a dinner at the District Council Civic Buildings as a “thank you”.
The two applications for rendering animal parts into dogfood are in progress and await your comments by the deadline, June 22nd. You may have differing views on each.
- A new site for rendering is proposed at Norton Disney PL/0036/18
- The Leo Group have put an application to build a modern plant on their current site at Skellingthorpe. PL/0055/18
You can view the applications and comment online at
http://lincolnshire.planning-register.co.uk or work your way through the County Council website
You need the reference codes listed above.
The two applications may arrive for decision at the same time. I asked whether the benefit of the second is much reduced, if it is not actually needed. The planning committee must look at the balance of benefits against disbenefits, including conflicting land uses, impact on the local economy, traffic and impact on the environment or character of an area. The planning policies are listed in the application documents and you may choose to support or oppose on the same policies, interpreted as you see it.
Long term empty properties
I asked for more long-term empty properties to be brought into use, easing the pressure on new build. They will help, but we need to let Council know where they are! Stewart_james@n-kesteven.gov.uk 01529 308287
Relief Road, south of Lincoln
Early consultation is out now on plans for a new road through our area, including South Hykeham and Bracebridge Heath inside the ringroad. A simple questionnaire is on line. It asks if you support the road and if you want additional housing. www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/nhrr
Health in our hands
Thanks to brilliant local activities and health groups keeping us on the right track locally. Nationally, UK is the most obese in Western Europe, fourth in the world. Over 22,000 children leaving primary school are already severely obese and in Lincolnshire, life expectancy has been dropping since 2013. Why is that?
Although the number of people under 64 is staying the same, the number over that age is increasing. If we can get healthier lives, and we avoid say 20pc diabetes, heart disease or stroke, we get a significant benefit both personally, and for the economy and the health service. Experts tell me that moderate activity, such as walking fast ten minutes a day, or 150 mins per week, gives a benefit equivalent to giving up smoking!
Lighting switch-off midnight to 6am
5,000 comments were received, and the councillors made five recommendations to ease the impact of the policy: – Allow Parish Councils to part-fund; Communicate to allay fears and seek data on the connection of darkness with crime and road safety. We are told this is not yet proven, despite what the police have been telling us for years. One positive suggestion was that defibrillator sites do need to stay lit at night. The advantages of Carbon and energy saving are listed but undermined by the fact that the power stations have to keep running overnight. Changing to the LED lighting has brought a significant saving in running costs though with a long ten-year payback. (Residents may want to make sure their house numbers are nice and visible for emergency services.)
Cllr Mervyn Head (Lincolnshire Independent)
In May, Cllr Mervyn Head was elected onto the District Council. He has owned his own engineering business and now serves his community so well that the vote from people who know him was overwhelming. He runs the Parish Magazine and a local campaign group. There are two more by-elections on June 28th, with excellent local people to vote for in Skellingthorpe and in Mill Ward, North Hykeham.
Focussing on you in NK
Lincolnshire Independent colleagues, Catherine Mills (Cliff Villages with me) now chairs the working group to improve the way our District Council Scrutiny works for residents. Peter Lundgren (Branston) is the Vice Chairman of the Committee looking at what affects our local economy and communities. He also chairs a working group we initiated on innovative ideas for getting young people into good local employment. I am working to focus and improve Council performance and the Chief Executive Appraisal, a panel now with a new external advisor. Grenville Jackson is the serving Mayor of Sleaford and Nikki Dillon, Deputy Mayor of North Hykeham.
Together we have also initiated and encouraged the new Council objective of improving the environment and focussed on Local businesses and local services.
Wilsford Heath Waste Management Complex
This week, the site near Barkston got partly retrospective permission for an increase in material from 130K tons to 360K tons per annum, including more storage of plastic and other combustibles, with conditions governed by the Environment Agency. I asked for highway improvements to be tied to this increase, which was agreed.
Quarry restoration at Norton Disney
A new plan of restoration was passed this week. The Parish Council asked for the bund to be removed as originally agreed, but a local resident said it had become established with wildlife and should stay, which it will. The plan of lakes and woodland looks good.
New Planning Pressure
At NKDC, I raised concern about the latest Government push to force Councils to bend over backwards to get developers to go ahead and build, even if the local demand has fallen. “Accelerating implementation of the Local Plan” only works if facilities and services are included. The record to date is poor, such as leaving Witham St Hughs without a local health facility. It was agreed that the environmental, social and economic aspects had to be brought together to build communities, not housing estates.
So far, £40m of shared funding was used to achieve fast broadband for 93.5% of premises in Lincolnshire in two contracts to Dec 2019. About 24,000 are still to go. Half are in the current contract 2 programme, including Wellingore Heath. This was delayed by BT struggling to meet their target times. To include the remaining more rural properties in contract 3, we may need to use wireless. Public consultation to use the remaining £14m will be on the County Council website from the end of June for a month. Let me know if you need me to support your area to get fast broadband up to 24mB/s.
Thank you very much indeed for your support in reporting potholes. I have been using the data to push Highways to fill them within the due time periods, which have a maximum of 28 days under the contract. However, on the 23rd May all the reports vanished off the website, under data protection, I am told. I have asked for a full list of all the reports in my area, so I can target my support appropriately. If you want to make a claim against the Council for car repairs, please phone for a form from 01522 782070.
Please kindly continue to help save lives by reporting potholes as it is still the gateway to repair. Online is quickest; go to www.lincolnshire.gov.uk, choose “Report a highways fault”, register, mark it on the map and “submit”. Or phone 01522 782070 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org being very clear about location so someone can mark it correctly on the map for you. A photo is very helpful, speeding up the process.
Children and families greatly enjoyed our Bee Event, held on the International Day for bees in May. Thanks to Tim Giles for setting up the hive and teaching us so much about the bees and good bee-keeping. And yes, we did get to eat honey straight from the cone.
The next event for our Wildlife Watch and RSPB Explorers Group is to see Butterflies and wildflowers at Chambers Wood near Wragby on June 17th. On July 15th, we are going sea dipping at Gibraltar Point and then it is the August Camp at Hilltop Farm, Welbourn.
This is the junior part of the Wildlife Trusts and the RSPB. Events are aimed at children 7-13yrs, though a family approach is taken. Interested? Please ask me for a calendar or Jean Martin on 01636 626176.
Good luck and best wishes to all who are sitting exams this month. It’s worth it!
|Thank you all for your support and for all you do for our communities. Let me know if I can help further.
Marianne Overton MBE
Councillor Marianne Overton MBE
Independent Councillor for Branston and Navenby on Lincolnshire County Council and for the Cliff Villages on North Kesteven District Council
Leader of the Lincolnshire Independents
Vice Chairman of the Local Government Association
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