In their wisdom, the Boundary Commission, set up by the government, has redrawn the map of County Councillor areas, called Divisions. Listed alphabetically, our home area now includes Aubourn, Bassingham, Beckingham, Boothby Graffoe, Brant Broughton, Carlton Le Moorland, Haddington, Leadenham, Navenby with Skinnand, Norton Disney, Stapleford, Stragglethorpe, South Hykeham, Thurlby, Welbourn, Wellingore and Witham St Hughs.
Thank you to all who are already working with me as your County Councillor in the Cliff Villages, committed to supporting you, local services and our communities. I am uniquely well placed to serve the Cliff, Brant and Witham villages. I look forward to meeting many more of you soon. In the meantime, please enjoy the monthly news and the “year in pictures” Elections are on May 4th. www.lincolnshireindependents.org You may like to register for a postal vote for convenience, just ring your District, City or Borough Council.
Listening locally, working nationally
A walking one-stop shop, I listen to you and work at both local and national level, as the elected Vice Chairman of the Local Government Association for England and Wales. Together we help councillors to do the best job they can and work to put a strong case to government for better local support. We all pay our taxes just the same, but this government has cut the amount of money sent back for local services, to just 10%. Business rates have not made up the difference, leaving us severely short, especially in rural Lincolnshire. Strangely, the Conservative-led Council has accepted being the poorest funded Council in the Country, despite planned tax rises of 3.95% every year.
Instead, we need a concerted cross party campaign for proper funding for Lincolnshire, across all public services. We need to get out of the comfort zone of managed decline. We can do better. We need to focus on helping our local businesses thrive, providing the engine to drive jobs and services.
Supporting community & local businesses
Thank you to the many people who do so much in our villages, making them great places to live. For those who do not yet know me, I was instrumental in setting up our local voluntary car scheme, business network and U3A, all running well. An excellent Christmas shopping event was held in Navenby, helping create a local identity of sound quality and service. We achieve a lot when we work together.
Championing broadband and better phone signals Our campaigns and work with BT is bringing some much-needed success, up to 90% of premises so far, with 34,000 more to do.
Some of you will know me from the huge campaign to save our cost-effective local recycling sites. Sadly the Conservative-led County Council closed them, disregarding residents. Fly-tipping is up by a fifth. The battle continues.
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.
Boosting youth opportunities
I am working with others towards 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.
Our Wildlife watch group and new youth clubs including Navenby are thriving, keeping young people happily engaged and learning skills. I have also pushed successfully for more apprentices at Council and nationally, supporting volunteer community apprentices directly. Please call if that sounds interesting for someone you know.
Improving health and care
Closure of the A and E at Grantham at night and midwifery at Boston means people must travel further putting heavy pressure on the ambulance service which already struggles to cope. Worse, Lincoln is already both over-stretched and then under-funded as people are sent elsewhere. The new plans save £130m and are out now. http://lincolnshirehealthandcare.org/en/stp/
You may have heard me speak at the rally in Grantham and I continue to fight for better emergency health services locally, for better prevention and care. I was one of the decision-makers on the health board, when we saved Grantham A and E when last under threat.
I am supporting our local activity groups, such as the U3A, lunch clubs, libraries and all that goes on in our village halls. Also LIVES, defibrillators fighting for better ambulance response times, and working on the hospitals and care providers to improve standards.
39,000 more dwellings?
I work to drive planning to improve our home areas, not damage them. Large developments without matching facilities and services are not acceptable.
You may have seen me battling with the heavy onslaught of big village developments most recently in Navenby. The new “Local Plan” is the set of rules against which all applications will pass or fail, from now until 2036. The committee was not cross party, dominated by party politicians simply seeking “growth” and making plans for a further 68,000 more people to come into Central Lincolnshire. I submitted evidence and spoke at the public inquiry, helping to stave off further demands from multi-national developers and to protect our villages with good development in keeping with their size and character.
Locally, we continue to support the many residents helping in the battle to save our villages from worsening congestion and massive housing development without proper infrastructure nor services. We want some development, but in keeping with what we need and can afford. The next meeting in public on the Local Plan is on 24th April at Lincoln City Council 10am. The plan is already in use and expected to be formally adopted in May 2017.
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 more.
And from me…
One thing I have learnt is that things go seriously wrong without the strong Independent presence that colleagues and I bring. I regularly appear on TV and Radio and have a good reputation for supporting my 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.
If the plethora of Conservative Party leaflets and their political control of County News gives you indigestion, please ask for the Independent view, Marianne’s monthly newsletter, a fresh alternative view of what is really happening at County Council and how it affects you.
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