News from your local, Independent Councillor,
MARIANNE OVERTON MBE
Money for Lincolnshire
National government has continued to keep hold of your income tax and not send it for local services. At the same time, extra demands from more people with more complex needs and a rising minimum wage has increased costs. The Councils have reduced services and raised local tax by the maximum amount allowed. The County with big costs like roads, adult and children’s care is also taking £35.8m out of reserves over two years and sold off assets. The District Council provides around 10% of the local services and raised tax by £4.95/year per Band D dwelling.
In my national role, as Vice Chairman of the Local Government Association, I have been pushing for all of our business rates to be kept locally. This year for the first time, Lincolnshire is one of ten pilot Councils that is allowed to do just that. This is expected to mean we have over £18m more, with £7.5m going to the County Council and around £1.2 to the North Kesteven District.
We also have a further £1.7m from the government for rural roads, added to £2.5m from reserves, £4m from an underspend (!) making around £8m more for highways.
State of our Roads
Even before the snow, you will have noticed our roads are in a poor state. The amount of money spent on keeping our roads in order has been reducing steadily. This is a false economy as the roads then deteriorate ever faster as the water gets in.
I rang highways every day last week before the freeze, raised the issue at full Council and met the Director.
Richard Wills is now the Acting Chief Executive of LCC, following Tony McArdle’s departure.
He accepted the criticism. They are behind schedule, even more so now the weather has worsened. As the water gets into the broken surface, it freezes and simply pops out the tarmac in a pothole.
The Director also accepted that we need to do more proper repairs. Their calculations had been that it was cost-effective to do thousands of emergency repairs for safety, but I argued they are popping out more quickly than expected. He acknowledges that this is also a reputational issue and is now changing the operations to do better repairs with the extra funding.
The diversion of the A17 traffic through our little lanes has caused immense damage which needs to be put right. Mud on the road is normally a police matter which has to be made safe within 24 hours. I examined the damage last Wednesday, prior to reporting it.
It remains important to report deep potholes, as the contract for repair in 28 days is still in place. It gives me the lever I need to hold them to the contract. It is best to report online; Lincolnshire County Council website, top right, “report a highways fault”. Or phone 01522 782070.
Fieldfare braving it out waiting for us to put out stored apples.
It is pretty rare to have all roads in Lincolnshire closed! My daily work on getting the backlog of potholes filled has paled under the load of a drifting blizzard! What a humdinger St David’s Day, the first day of our Acting Chief Executive Richard Wills. The poor weather put a heavy strain on our public services, and they coped well.
A huge thank you to all who have been out checking on neighbours and helping out. Others, like me, offered help on social media and the District Council held a bank of volunteers. Welbourn Parish Council is also gathering a volunteer group. Contact Sarah on firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that children under 14 and less than year 12 need a work permit issued by the council if working part-time? For more information contact Miriam Shucksmith on 01522 554990 or CEE@lincolnshire.gov.uk
Council Service in Bassingham and Navenby
The Witham Office is open at Hammond Hall Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 9-1pm for any council business and free access to the internet. It’s a great service, please try it and let me know what you think. The Navenby Office at the Venue is open weekdays Tues-Fri 10am to noon
I continue to fight for better funding for our communities. The government has set the rules against us and in favour of the developers. Some party members do not find it easy to challenge as they know the underlying objective is to get more houses built. The costs on us and stretching of services to breaking point cannot be allowed to continue. If we cannot afford to build the houses and provide what is needed for those residents, in a sustainable way, then why do it? The “housing crisis” is not a Lincolnshire issue.
Planning applications are coming back to committee to be let off their obligations to contribute to the community costs that arise from the development. For example,
£173, 303 is being handed back on the Top Farm, Navenby and the amount of affordable housing dropped from 35% to 25% at the same time.
At Witham St Hughs, 1,250 new dwellings are planned. Experts calculated the extra cost to some basic infrastructure would be £14.4m. The planning committee agreed £8.5m in 2016. In February, they came back and were allowed to reduce that to just over £6m.
Who is going to pay for this shortfall or do we just go without? I am taking this up locally and nationally. The planning still seems to be a developer’s charter, with us paying the price. Will this housing help local people? The amount of affordable housing (85% retail value) has been reduced from a normal 35% to 16.7%.
Consulting on Key Planning Applications
You can comment on live applications or search “planning on line North Kesteven or ”http://planningonline.n-kesteven.gov.uk/online-applications/
Rendering Factory at Norton Disney
As of today, there is no news on the application at Norton Disney. The Leo Group is continuing with plans to improve their current site. Comments are being collated ready. Write to email@example.com and copy me at firstname.lastname@example.org For information, the planning officer is email@example.com
A local resident has applied for permission for an art installation, a memorial consisting of a steel replica AVRO Lancaster Bomber overlooking the A46. 18/0149/FUL
Harmston Pub, Thorold Arms
Change of use to a dwelling. Comment on 18/0137/FUL
Witham St Hughs
There is just over half a million towards a local health facility which I wanted to tie down to the village of Witham, encouraging the NHS to use it there. The overall reduction in contribution was agreed, but the health part delayed. Application number 15/1347/OUT
Waste site, Boundary Lane, South Hykeham
Despite my objections, planning permission was given to treat asbestos on site. The Council’s enforcement officer has been to check and is requiring them to seek permission for further unauthorised work. (PP-06536057)
Local Voices, International Influence
European regulations on waste and climate change are being adopted by the UK. With your voices about local recycling points ringing in my ears, I spoke in Brussels last week, representing you and 130,000 councils across Europe. I called for regulations that work in rural areas.
Composting at home means you get to keep the nutrients in your garden. Or the District Council will do a fortnightly collection for £30/year. To rejoin call 01529 414155 during working hours or www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/gardenwaste
They also have a good value service to remove large items
District Council By-election
Thank you to all who voted on or before February 22nd in Eagle, North Scarle, Thorpe on the Hill, Swinderby and Witham St Hughs. There was a 21.3% turnout: C. Byron Liberal Democrats 64 P. Rothwell Conservative 563 Elected. Nikki Dillon Lincolnshire Independents 347
Rotary and the Wildlife Trusts present Lincolnshire Environmental Awards for groups or individuals who take care of our environment. Send up to 300 words describing your work or your nominee. Deadline 31st March www.lincsenvironmentalawards.org.uk
Three Centenaries in 2018
A hundred years of the RAF, a hundred years since armistice and a hundred years since some women got the vote! Our Cliff Cluster agreed to organise a series of celebrations along the string of villages in September. If your village would like to do something to mark the occasion, there are grants available of up to £2,000. Please get in touch with me.
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
Follow me on facebook or twitter
Friday 16th March: National LGA Spring Conference
Welcome to join national speakers visiting the Independents at the Cathedral Centre and at the Collection in the evening, celebrating 100 years of the RAF.
Homelessness, housing and planning, health services, brexit and our agriculture, women in the services and in Councils. If interested in coming along or in being a councillor, please contact Marianne on 07920 235 364 or Aimee at the LGA on 0207 664 3224
Access to Wellbeing Services and care
NEW Children’s Health 01522 843000
The Carers service 01522 782224
Support for Adult care is available 01522 782155
The Wellbeing service will help set up and people in a vulnerable position with finance, transport, support groups etc. 01522 782140
To receive info’ on twitter #lincscc_roads
Help save lives and keep countryside clean
Report Potholes 01522 782070
Or use www.FixMyStreet.com
Report Litter 01529 414155
Report illegal parking 01522 511142 or
Lincs 2 Advice are on 0300 303 8789
Non urgent Health 111, Police 101, Electricity breaks 105
Fraud 0300 123 2040
Grants firstname.lastname@example.org Careers service 0800 100 900
Transport and Travel
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
Some Recent Events
Congratulations to residents of Thorpe on the Hill whose neighbourhood Plan was voted in by the public last month. Turnout 39%, 153 yes, 16 no Good luck all!
In parliament, authors and contributors to a new book, “The Voice of the Councillor”, improving our work for residents.
|Spring Crocuses at Fothergill Wood, Witham St Hughs|