Highways success and more to do
Thank you for your support in reporting potholes and other defects. I have been keeping up the pressure, with constant communication with highways. You may also remember that recently I began focussing on bigger resurfacing repairs and haunching of edges. We have considerable success and you will have seen there are several hundred potholes in my division that are now filled and many of our roads resurfaced. It is important to get as much as we can done before Winter.
|Progress with road resurfacing and verges in our area and together we are working on much more.|
Southern Bypass or N.Hykeham Relief Road
This £148m road links right round the south of Lincoln from the A46 Pennels roundabout to the A607 between Waddington and Bracebridge Heath and joining with the Eastern bypass. Thanks for your reponses to the consultation, asking for a complete dual carriageway.
Health: local issues, national influence
Look for the food hygiene ratings, scaled 0 to 5 where 3 is satisfactory and 5 is excellent. You may have heard me on the radio this week calling for these to be displayed at all food outlets, including online to help providers to improve standards and give us confidence.
We continue to push for better local health facilities such as Witham St Hughs and to keep Grantham Hospital open, reducing pressure on Lincoln.
Supporting local businesses
I and colleagues have promoted support of small, local businesses, the bedrock of our local economies and successfully encouraged North Kesteven District Council to assist. Last month, our Councillors toured some of our inspirational local businesses. One of the biggest limiting factors quoted was finding good staff. We saw well-run foundation enterprises with some talented, enthusiastic and thoughtful people, with innovation and ideas, investigations, finding the right suppliers and selling quickly into the market gap.
Sarah and John Doughty have developed a £10m business in eight years in Sleaford, making composites used in formula One. Also on the Sleaford Trading Estate is the new joint blue light base, just opening, and including 200 LCC staff, mainly in care, releasing funds for the service.
Beeswax Dyson have their head office at Nocton in around 6.000 acres with a similar amount nearby. The biodigester provides energy for grain storage and cooling 7k tons of potatoes in storage, for example. They are not organic, but using variable imputs calculated by computer, to apply the least to get the highest yield. The farm is mixed with 7,500 sheep plus cattle and 8pc is under stewardship.
It poured with rain as we viewed the site of the Bomber Gateway Trust at Norton Disney and of the proposed Rendering plant, then the big industrial development by St Modwens and the Lindum Group on the A46.
|Congratulations to Kirsty and Kate at the Leadenham Teahouse, shortlisted for a Business Award at NKDC.|
If you are interested in a visit to Beeswax, or to any of our businesses, please let me know.
Two Rendering Site Applications
The District Council recommended refusal on both the applications at Norton Disney and Skellingthorpe albeit for different reasons. The County Council has now sought answers to several queries and these may need to go out to consultation. There has been a huge number of representations on the location of the Norton Disney application. Currently, the access through the village and proximity to new housing on site are an issue on the
Skellingthorpe application. More to follow
Controversy has arisen in Brant Broughton where Footpath 13 is planned to be diverted to a field edge to allow new development. Fine, but should it also be diverted from the current path close to two houses onto the shared driveway? What do you think?
Serco Contract for LCC backroom services
The contract has been extended another two years until March 2022. This was based on a recently improved performance, the risk of complication in further change and taking some of the services back in house. The County has also accepted some responsibility for not passing on information quickly enough.
Local ear, national voice
You said you wanted to keep the character of our towns and villages with small increases in development, but only with the matching services and facilities. We do not want to be swamped in a party- political drive for “growth”.
Many of you kindly contributed to the consultation on the local plan and we got the character of villages preserved in the plan. However, we also said the overall numbers of expected housing was too high at 37,000 by 2036. That would be more than almost ever before, consistently built new every year. We said that the empty homes and acres of vacant building land probably means the demand for the houses is simply not there. The build rate has now lagged so far behind that they expect to build at least double the current rate every year until 2036. Not likely.
If our plan seems unworkable, then the developers are likely to aim for a free for all. The government’s own office of National statistics has now lowered its estimation of house need and I am calling for a review of our Local plan, with a more realistic lower number of dwellings.
This month, I have been to North Yorkshire, London Assembly, Birmingham, York and the Isle of Wight, listening, developing useful solutions and sharing good practice. One fascinating project was Aspire in Ryde, where a disused church was bought by the community and now provides studios for dance, photography, music, men’s shed making children’s play equipment, play area, gymnastics, bike repairs, paint sales, garden, food bank, art therapy, and hot meals every day, in addition to concerts and services! Sounds like a whole village in one!
|Rousing last night at the Proms, Leadenham|
Senior Officer Retires
Director Richard Wills departed LCC last month, after long service, managing the ethics of the Councillors and the Council as well as Highways, then Corporate Services, then acting Chief Executive, a brilliant officer. Keith Ireland is the new Chief Executive.