DEMANDING FAIR SHARE £ FOR LINCOLNSHIRE LOCAL SERVICES
Nationally, colleagues and I fought very hard to get better local funding from the recent Government Budget. In the last budget we got £2bn over 3 years and Lincolnshire has depended on this new money for the increased needs in adult care. However, this time the Chancellor’s Budget announcement offered nothing to ease our financial pressures. Rising demand to support children, the elderly and disabled have not been recognised in the Budget, aside from a small disabled facilities grant.
Councils currently get to keep only 50% of the business rates, the government takes the rest, as well as our income tax. We need to keep the remaining business rates and distribute it more fairly so rural areas like ours get a better share.
In the meantime, ten Greater Lincolnshire Councils have applied to be a pilot so we can keep 100% of any new business rates, on a 60\40 share out between District and County Councils.
Little has been done to help us tackle homelessness. District Councils have paid for our housing, but is only allowed to keep a third of the money from any house sales. The government forces us to sell at a discount and then drains out a share for itself, leaving us short of money for a replacement. The infrastructure such as roads, schools, health facilities, needed for more houses has now shifted away from the green belt and agricultural areas to the cities. However, we need more infrastructure just for the houses we already have and have planned.
Universal Credit is very damaging in areas where it has been trialled. A week with no money at all and monthly payments in arears mean more people using food banks and increased homelessness. The government is persisting with the roll-out, however.
Small businesses were very anxious about having to start charging VAT on behalf of the government, still threatened for the future. We need to stop taking money out of the local economy, so we have a chance to increase productivity.
We are calling for the forthcoming Local Government Finance Settlement to set out a plan of how we can run our services, now and in the future.
GAINING WIDE SUPPORT FOR OUR NEEDS
This month Crossbench members of the House of Lords met me to discuss our case. They debate and can amend the budget, speaking up in support of our Council services.
I also met with leading members of local government from Wales, Scotland and Ireland to make common cause and strengthen our combined case for supporting local services.
HELPING RESIDENTS IN PLANNING PROCESS
Witham Valley Park Preservation Group vs.
The application for a new industrial meat rendering plant on the green field site at Norton Disney is not now likely to be submitted until after Christmas. The applicant is seeking a list of what needs to be included in the application. There is a new local residents’ website at https://withamvalleyppg.net/ and one on the applicants at https://suite.endole.co.uk/insight/company/03389773-lincoln-proteins-limited. A petition has been submitted to full Council, presented in public Dec. 15th 10.30am with a very powerful speech by resident Oli Huisemeyer. They have a peaceful march starting at the site in Folly Lane off the A46 near Norton Disney on 30th December at 10am.
Let us know your views, so we can best represent you. As I sit on the planning committee at both District and County Councils, I must retain an open mind until the vote. However, it is my job to listen and represent your views and to make sure you know and can fully access the planning process. email@example.com
Highways Successes – so far!
Thanks for your support, we have our deep potholes filled, the path cleared between Leadenham and Welbourn, white lines at Aubourn, hedges cut back and more to go.
Coleby Neighbourhood Plan was the latest to be voted through. The yes vote won by 87% on a 41% turnout. Well done all. The plan can be seen on line and Sue Mackinson-Sanders (01522 810509) is holding hard copies if anyone wishes to view it. https://www.n-¬‐kesteven.gov.uk search on Coleby Neighbourhood Plan
Did you know we have two museums in our area? Working Welbourn Forge (1864) is open monthly on the first Saturday. It is run by volunteers and owned by the Parish Council. Want to volunteer? 01529 308102.
Mrs Smith was in her 103rd year as she climbed the ladder to bed after a simple, healthy and happy life. Her Cottage in East Lane, Navenby was saved thanks to residents, purchased on our behalf by the District Council and is now undergoing extensive repairs, using a very substantial Heritage Lottery Grant. www.mrssmithscottage.co.uk
Half a Million for Carlton Le Moorland from the National Lottery
Attending Carlton le Moorland Parish Council this month I was delighted to support the re-building of the Village Hall, now awarded a well-deserved grant £500,000 from the National Lottery, leaving just £50,000 to go, before the start date in 2018. A huge thank you to the Fund-raising Group and community for strong support so far.
Bassingham Cub Scouts won the Centenary Competition with the best scrapbook of their activities over the year.
INVITING YOU TO CONSULTATION
In April 2016, the County Council began a streetlight switch-off programme with conversion to LED, in a bid to save £1.7m per year from the £5m annual streetlighting budget. As a result of the changes, around 42,000 streetlights, mainly in residential areas, are now switched off between midnight and 6am.
A scrutiny panel of councillors is now carrying out a formal review into the impact of part-night lighting, looking at topics including:
• the environment • crime rates • fears about safety and crime • emergency services • health and public health services • the impact on businesses and evening economy
Alternatively, call 01522 782070 Or email, Scrutiny@lincolnshire.gov.uk Before 5pm on January 5th.
• At LCC, we have Wendy Moore on 01522 552223 firstname.lastname@example.org Paul.Drury@lincolnshire.gov.uk
• At NKDC, we have Anne-Marie on 01529 308267 Anne-Marie_Shepherd@n-kesteven.gov.uk
• Carlton Le Moorland Young Persons Fund Ring David Merchant on 07943 760 155
• Potterhanworth Educational Fund Yvonne Woodcock 01522 790942
• Navenby Farm Trust Contact the Parish Clerk at email@example.com
European Funding for rural projects is still unspent;
European funding for improving rural economies. www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/funding
Free First Aid Training Newark Community First Aid is a charity formed run by volunteers, to provide first aid training, first aid cover at local events and associated work. The vast majority of their services are free.
SUPPORTING CHILDREN AND WILDLIFE
Wildlife Watch, Junior part of the Wildlife Trusts
Our Wildlife Watch Group (WKWW) meets monthly for children to meet the natural world at first hand. Any children interested, please let me know or Jean Martin 01636 612176 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Last month we visited the Lincolnshire Life Museum to look at the impact on wildlife of changes in farming methods. In December, the children enjoyed their annual Christmas Party of wildlife-related crafts and lunch!
NATIONAL ACTION, LOCAL BENEFIT
I have been working on creating a Community Garden in Navenby and helping Bassingham get its village signs. Also, I have worked hard on Highways, including the path to school at Welbourn. Please keep reporting potholes. If the pothole has not been reported, there is no claim possible.
This month with the national Local Government Association, I have been running training and conferences to encourage fellow councillors in Sleaford, Lincoln, Mansfield, Wales, London. Fellow District Councillor, Cllr Catherine Mills joined me at Warwick University. I also spoke at conferences for a better local democracy, gaining support at Unlock Democracy and the Fawcett Society.
You may have heard me on the radio campaigning for better local funding. This month on radio, I also encouraged people to seek support to help tackle debt at the earliest stages. The Council (NKDC) employs people to advise residents and supports the Citizen’s Advice Bureau to give Independent Advice.
I look forward to seeing you out and about. Let me know if you would like help, or like to help, with anything!
Kindest regards and very best wishes of the season.
Marianne Overton MBE
Thanks to councillor colleagues, Lincolnshire Independents, working together for our residents
Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and peace and success throughout 2018.