Leader’s Spring News from Lincolnshire Independents
New County Councillor for Bassingham and Welbourn
In May, you gave me your massive support to champion you as County Councillor. Thank you for your support. You can be sure that as a Lincolnshire Independent, I will be fighting your corner, at all levels. I was re-elected Leader of the Lincolnshire Independents in January and of the LGA national group of 2,500 councillors in June.
Supporting you on Planning
We need sensitive development in the right place to provide homes people can afford and local services to match. Just houses without enough local funding for ambulance, hospital and health care, school places or local jobs means we see our local services crumble.
Lincolnshire Independents only focus on getting the best for you. Time and again, I see party politicians voting as one for large, risky or damaging developments, even against the interests of their own residents.
Sometimes the decision is mysteriously delayed until after an election. We deserve better.
Now this government has set rules forcing councils to give back hundreds of thousands of pounds to developers. That money was destined for us locally.
I have consistently championed residents in getting your voices heard and voted reliably for sensible decisions that improve life for our residents.
We are still paying our income tax, but this government has cut the amount returned to councils for local spend to zero by 2020. That leaves us seriously short for road repair, buses, schools, care and health. Meanwhile contentious projects like HS2 continue. The county Conservative leader is quoted saying we can” cope for two more years” – albeit in steady decline.
We deserve better. I have worked with colleagues to successfully bring more funds to Lincolnshire, a step in the right direction, at least.
Animal Waste Plant at Norton Disney
Thank you to all who have written to let me know your views so far. The developers did a series of presentations explaining the cleanliness of this new factory. You said there is a great deal of industrial land set aside in the Local Plan, but Villa Farm is not. You said there are better sites available such as near the Energy from waste plant, also on the A46. I sit on the planning committees at both District and County Council and will speak and vote at the meetings. In the meantime, I make sure your voices are heard and keep you informed. There is a competitor, the Leo Group who have begun the planning process to demolish and replace the factory at Skellingthorpe, adding three houses. Please write with your views and join my newsletter group to hear more.
|Protestors against the proposed factory|
Listening locally, working nationally
I listen to you and work at both local and national level, elected as Vice Chairman of the Local Government Association for England and Wales. With colleagues and staff, I meet with ministers and Lords to put a strong case for better local support. As a result, the minister has announced Lincolnshire as one of ten Council areas allowed to keep all our business rates. This is expected to bring over £18m into Lincolnshire.
Earlier we asked for and got new money for rural costs and £2bn for adult care, about £30m for Lincolnshire.
Your hotline to Europe: Through my national role, I am working for you on keeping the agreed funds locally, better local spend and control of borders. I also represent you with local councils Europe-wide.
On election, I immediately got the Council staff out on site to see the state of our local roads – and kept them coming. Working with others, I got the Council to change their policy to listen to us and repair dangerous potholes more quickly and within 28 days max. Thanks to our combined efforts, we are having considerable success, but will need to keep up the pressure. I am also insisting on good quality of repair and working on which roads need full-scale improvement.
Thank you to all who are already working with me as your County Councillor, committed to supporting you, local services and our communities. I am uniquely well placed to serve you and your Parish Council and need all possible support to get best results.
Supporting community & local businesses
Thank you to the many people who do so much in our villages, making them great places to live. I continue to champion our local businesses and enterprises, the lifeblood of our communities, and part of our local identity of sound quality and service. Working together, we achieve a lot.
Broadband and better phone signal Our campaigns nationally and locally have brought some much-needed success, with well over 95% of premises covered so far, with more to do.
We fought and won the battle to keep enormous wind turbines from dominating our open landscape, successfully changing policy both locally and nationally. I am pushing for energy saving and fitting renewable energy that matches our needs.
Championing local opportunities for all
Like me, a third of our 42 District Council elected members are Independent, focused on residents.
We constantly work to create and support local facilities and services. We supported and helped shape the existing priorities of a vibrant local economy, homes people can afford with matching services and strong communities. We called for better support for our natural and built heritage – our environment.
Our Council is short of funds. Not prepared to sell off the family silver, Lincolnshire Independents have supported the building of small groups of council-owned homes people can afford and the creation of Lafford Homes, to help build good communities.
We called for an innovation fund for community-backed local businesses, stepping in as Councils step back. It could be local recycling sites, libraries or business networks. We need to raise skills and bring well-supported young entrepreneurs to success. All young people need to enjoy a good job and successful place in our communities.
Improving health and care
We need local health facilities including GP surgeries. The promised surgery at Witham needs to be secured through planning, not delayed until after the election. We see this government downgrading or removing local facilities, such as Grantham A&E and the Lincoln Walk-in Centre, putting heavy pressure on ambulances and ever-more struggling city hospitals. We cannot support that. Lincolnshire Independents are working for local health and schools locally in our communities. Let’s make celebration of 70 years of NHS a positive one!
To help keep Lincolnshire clean and safe, please report Potholes 01522 782070, Litter 01529 414155, Care 01522 782140 or on line at “Fixmystreet”. Please let me know if I can help further.
One thing I have learnt is that things go seriously wrong without the strong Independent presence that colleagues and I bring. We have a good reputation for supporting our communities at dozens of events throughout the year. Please let me know if you would like me to support you or any of your events. Please ask for the Independent view, “Marianne’s Monthly Newsletter” a fresh alternative view of what is really happening at Council and how it affects you.
Please vote for Nikki Dillon February 22
Nikki is an experienced, local Councillor already working with me and committed to serving you and our communities. Please vote for Nikki to get the best and keep this seat Independent, free to listen to you. Nikki is lively, likeable and determined to get the best for residents.