Season’s Greetings!

 

I hope you and your family are well.  This is my personal newsletter to let you know what I am doing on your behalf and to keep in touch with you. Let me know if I can help with anything. Best wishes for Christmas and 2022.

 

Three new December rules to tackle Covid

  1. Face coverings indoors except pubs and hospitality 10th
  2. Work from home if you can from 13th Dec
  3. Negative Lateral flow test or covid passport from 15

Christmas parties, however, seem to be fine, says PM.

 

Infections are significantly up, but hospitalisations are nowhere near previous levels – the vaccinations are working. 41 positive cases recorded in my division in the past 7 days, so face, space, hands and ventilation continues.

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/interactive-map/cases

Coronavirus cases recorded

Coronavirus Support Services

Local mental health services are improving after much campaigning at both District and County Council.

https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-services/health-advice-support/2 for more

New Councillor wins Award

Thanks to Lincolnshire Independents, Amelia Bailey and Mark Williams, standing in Metheringham District Council by-election. It was an extremely close result on a full slate of candidates. Amelia won on a draw – every vote counts!

Amelia has also just won the Lincolnshire Life Best Tea or Coffee Shop in the whole of Lincolnshire!  Why not try Tilly’s Tea Shop in Metheringham High Street?

 

Community Grants Available

Tackling crime with grants of up to £500 are available to Neighbourhood Watch groups or to kickstart your group, support volunteers, community cohesion and crime prevention. Apply before Dec 17th for the Autumn round or in Spring between 14th March and 13th May. The form is simple. https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/communitygrants

Email to fundraising@ourwatch.org.uk.

 

There is also a survey to hear your thoughts about crime and how effective is Neighbourhood Watch.
www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CL72YGJ

Parish Litter-picking Grant

Parish Councils can get a litter picking grant of 21p per person in the parish per year. Might be useful for purchasing some litter-picking equipment!

 

NKDC Lottery to benefit your good causes

To register your group to be one of the Good Causes, contact partnerships@n-kesteven.gov.uk.

60p in the £ goes to local good causes. 20p to the prize fund and 20p for Vat and admin. Run by “Gatherwell”, weekly £1 tickets, £52/yr are offered. The chance of winning a prize is 1 in 50 and the weekly top prize is £25,000.  https://www.nklottery.co.uk/

 

Business Grants available

New Businesses, srated since April 27th, can apply for up to £5K capital funds, called the ARG Start-up Grant from NKDC. https://www.businessnk.co.uk/covid-19-support/

Working to get the best planning decisions

Planning Application: Six new broiler chicken units at Leadenham/Brant Boughton, with traffic through Navenby, Wellingore and Leadenham.

 

Thanks to Brant Broughton Parish Council for organising the public meeting to listen to residents’ views on the proposal. Huge thanks to residents for attending and local District Councillor for Brant Broughton, Cllr Mary Green. Issues raised were industrial development in the open countryside, lorries turning across the A17, lorry movement of feed up Church Lane, Navenby turning right into and along the High Street and along to Leadenham traffic lights and up the hill or it would have to be through Brant Broughton. Also waste litter lorries to Thetford. Surface flooding of clay field, lack of need and significant size of the development, widespread ammonia, smell, capacity at Anwick to expand to take a further 300,000 chickens every few weeks and 2 jobs on site. You have 2 days to respond on the current plan and we have an extension to Dec 13th for further responses. Planning decision likely to be in February. Please let your views be known by going to “Planning on line North Kesteven” and typing in the reference 21/1550/FUL Copy to local Cllrs always helps too, please. Many thanks.

 

Working for a clean, green environment at all levels: COP26 to our Parishes

I attended COP26 for two weeks, joining the many people speaking up effectively inside and outside the arena, demonstrating just how much the drastic impact of humans on climate change matters.  I was there representing Councils across England and Wales, as Vice Chairman of the Local Government Association. We had a busy manned stand in the Green Zone and joined the International Local Government organisations with a stand in the Blue Zone.  I was a speaker for Local Government at three events, a passionate call to action, a more measured piece on planning and the environment bill and one for local government in Europe.

Colleagues and I also worked with Local Government worldwide (LGMA) to help get the wording improved in the final declaration, making sure local government is identified as part of the solution.  To change the final “Global Pact”, we encouraged colleagues from other countries for support our amendment and I got the chance to speak up in the conference, representing Local Government Worldwide!

Tree of Promises and pleas

The Paris-agreed goal is to minimise the impact on our planet to a maximum global warming of 1.5 degrees. On our current trajectory, the earth will heat by 2.7 degrees by 2050. If all the promises were costed and put into place, we would reach around 2 degrees, which sadly, is not enough.

Does it matter? Well if you thought asylum seekers were a problem now, imagine how it will be when low-lying great cities and whole countries have become uninhabitable because of the increasing extremes of weather. When England shrinks as riverine and coastal areas flood, taking people’s homes and land currently needed to grow food. The science is clear, but perhaps most convincing is the changes we see with our own eyes.

COP26 has been an amazing vibrant event with big discussions on every corner, with so many people encouraging each other to do more. The downside is that it is not enough.

This is not about building more; it is about building less. Planting trees and moving to electricity is the green economy much discussed, but it doesn’t work as an excuse to keep up our rate of consumption. Nothing is arriving or leaving the planet – we sit in our own waste, including greenhouse gases. A circular economy means no waste, as what would be waste becomes a raw material for the next item. A no waste economy and preserving resources is where we need our innovation and efforts.

There are many initiatives and what we need is a proper costed strategy with the impacts calculated, costed and funded, at every level.

And Locally…

Many Parish Councils are setting their own Net Zero Targets and making improvements for clean air, clean water, less traffic and a no waste economy.

  • Support for Parish Councils is here.

https://www.nalc.gov.uk/our-work/climate-change

  • Interview of Yunus Arikan and Marianne Overton

https://youtu.be/dQWlY7iUZMY

  • LGA session at COP26 Multilevel Action Pavilion

https://youtu.be/jW3eo2z00nw

  • IPCC Official Report really well presented. www.ipcc.ch/ar6-syr/

Call to Action Funds available   

Tree-planting grants come from a new £6 million Trees Call to Action Fund recently announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), in partnership with the Forestry Commission. Grants of £250,000 to £500,000 will be awarded to projects across England, at least three of which will be used for new regional partnerships set up to create woodlands and improve people’s access to nature. Local groups can apply to plant@woodlandtrust.org.uk.

Community Wildlife Grants of up to £500 for everything from surveys to pond creation come from Lincolnshire County Council. https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/grants-funding/apply-community-wildlife-grant

Schools “Sow, grow, cook” project has been joined by schools at Welbourn and Brant Broughton, growing their own fruit and vegetables. Congratulations!

Wildlife Watch and RSPB Groups For children 8-13, we have apple-days, bee-keeping, star gazing, wildflowers and a summer camp. Family events focussed on the children, ccme along and see. Marianne.overton@biosearch.org.uk 07920 235 364 or Jean Martin on jcmartin0448@gmail.com

Farming with Nature

Also announced this week was the Environment Secretary’s vision for farming. He spoke of food production and food security, along with priorities to tackle biodiversity loss and climate change – all things we’ve been raising with Government. The new Sustainable Farming Incentive scheme starts next year, open to all farmers with more than 5 ha of land. Farmers can choose from a list, with incentives for actions that benefit the environment. Thanks to our local farmers already on it!

Local Nature Recovery   

I have written and spoken directly to ministers on the risk that I see locally, of good intentions being disposed of in an empty “greenwash”.  We have applications where the required 10% net gain in biodiversity with planning applications is boiling down to “people’s gardens” or seeding verges with wildflower seeds, temporarily maintained, at the same time as cutting down woodlands and hedges. The LGA has sent representations to (DEFRA) consultation on Local Nature Recovery Strategies: how to prepare and what to include. We welcomed the intention of increased focus on Local Nature Recovery and reversing the decline of biodiversity.

 

Consultation on the NHS in Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire CCG who commission services in Lincolnshire are asking for your opinion. Should services be centralised in just one or two places in Lincolnshire or keep services closer to where you live? Attend in person in Lincoln Dec 14th 10am or register for an online event  on Dec 16th at 6.30 or the 20th or 22n.

https://www.lincolnshire.nhs.uk/get-involved/our-campaigns/changes-to-nhs-services/how-can-i-get-involved/attend-event

 

Donating

Knitting Hats for Lincoln Maternity Unit

Newborns need soft woollen hats-can you help? 28cm round, 12cm deep, plus a bit that folds over. Knit or crochet. If you can help, please drop them off at the hospital, or to post to Bardney Ward, Maternity Block, Lincoln County Hospital, Greetwell Rd, Lincoln, LN2 5QY.

 

Children’s Pyjamas

Lincolnshire Independent and ex NHS nurse, Amelia Bailey is collecting child pyjamas for the hospital.

 

Celebrating Lincolnshire Innovation

Known in the industry as Dr Potato, Branston agronomy director, Dr David Nelson has developed new fast-cooking “Nemo” variety, a natural hybrid bred over six years. Congratulations, Lincolnshire!

Tackling potholes and traffic upstream

We do what we can to slow the traffic that arrives in our home areas, but can we get to the cause of the problem?

The County Council has written a new Transport Policy for Lincolnshire. I, for one, have responded, ask for a clear ambition to reduce traffic and properly maintain the roads. I also raised this at full Council this week.  This plan needs to address one of the biggest problems facing our communities; the increase in speeding traffic and a big increase in vans and lorries on broken roads.

With a politically-driven headlong drive to continual “growth”, we have 6,000 new houses being built at Bracebridge Heath, with another 13,000 more people expected. Just last week, permission was given for 450 new houses at Bracebridge Heath and a further 1,200 temporarily deferred. Though some money is set aside for transport, most people will need to leave the estates for work, shops, schools, medical and community facilities. That is a lot more cars, vans and lorries, without the matching increase in road repairs.

Last year our County Council put an extra 25% from reserves into road repairs, after the Government made a last minute snitch out of our expected funds. We pay our tax just the same, but not enough returns for local spend.

Already traffic has increased by 30% in the past decade, higher than East Midlands and England.  Lorry traffic is back at pre-covid levels, with vans and cars close behind.

If we want economic wellbeing, where spend is in balance with need, we need to drop this old-fashioned addiction to “growth” forever.  Chasing the dragon of “growth” for someone’s “economic ambition” is simply damaging.

Let’s focus instead on wellbeing of our communities, shaping places that have the facilities to match people’s needs now.

A concerted effort to reduce and slow traffic through villages and urban communities needs to be seriously tackled and funded. An assessment of lorry movements is needed, to see what changes could reasonably be made. Planning must include a priority of reducing the need to travel, with local facilities within fifteen minutes walk or cycle.

A much bigger proportion of road finance should be spent on good cycle paths, not only for the benefit of cyclists, walkers and mobility vehicles, but also to enable a better flow on the roads.

This also requires considerably improved whole road maintenance as it is the edges where cyclists are severely at risk. 80% of Lincs roads are Class C or unclassified and need to be better maintained.

Our team response to the draft Lincolnshire Tranport Plan is on our home page. www.lincolnshireindependents.org

The Draft Lincolnshire Transport Plan 5 is here https://www.letstalk.lincolnshire.gov.uk/12244/widgets/34960/documents/18513

Changes to bus Services

Number 1 Grantham to Lincoln is unchanged.

https://lincsbus.info/lincs-bus-updates/

 

Christmas Greetings

The London to Lincoln Christmas Market Steam train.

How about topping an over-grown hedge for a Christmas Tree this year? This is holly in a bucket of water; would Laurel also work?

 

From all the Lincolnshire Independents;

Wishing you a very happy Christmas, good health and every success  in 2021. Thank you for all you continue to do in our communities and your kind support. Keep Safe!

Marianne

Marianne Overton MBE