This month leads on Tackling the Cost of Living increases and local events.
Calling on Government
With Liz Truss announced as the new PM, there is a lot to do. I have been working cross-party and sent a joint letter of congratulations and setting out what we need to support residents in the forthcoming months and years.
We are making the case for better funding, a levelling-up agenda which does not have to involve unnecessary reorganisation of our councils, and explaining why their planning proposals would be so damaging, working together with ministers on settling refugees, and widening the support for insulation of homes.
Cost of living crisis
The increase in the price of energy – petrol, gas, and electricity needs to be controlled, which is more difficult in the UK since it is privatised and we import so much.
It would help to have a basic price and quantity of energy for each household and a sliding scale to use more.
It also seems daft to subsidise foreign companies to sell us electricity, sometimes even made here in the UK, at an inflated amount when we could produce more of our own – on every rooftop, for a start. It also seems odd to pay residents to heat leaky homes, and then not subsidise the insulation. Paying for the insulation means a long term saving. I have called on the Government to make these grants much more widely available and to more people.
Lincolnshire Independent councillors supported the campaign for the government to place a windfall tax on unexpected profits of big oil and gas companies, to help all households with their energy bills.
Applications for huge solar parks at Heckington and Gainsborough are coming, often from global companies. ecotricity.co.uk/our-greenenergy/heckington-fen-solar-park
Tackling the Cost of Living Price Hike
I revisited the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales last month and was captivated by a two-hour guided tour of how we can use less fuel at home. www.cat.org.uk
Advice on energy costs are at the Big Energy Saving Network or The Energy Saving Trust or Simple Energy Advice. Advice on meeting the cost of living can be seen online at https://costofliving.support.campaign.gov and on the North Kesteven website under “help with money”.
Locally, I visited the Community Shop in Riverside, just off the High Street in Sleaford, staffed by volunteers and selling perfectly good, if slightly misshapen stock. Our small shops do already carry some pretty good bargains, alongside the smart stuff. St Michael’s Bassingham and Coleby have a foodbank in the church lobby. Our Councils support the foodbanks in Sleaford and Lincoln who do a great job. They are serving a significant increase in demand. Is there more we can do with our allotments? Thanks to residents such as Tamsin at Aubourn Gardens for free produce at the gate.
Many of our villages have grants for children or educational support, often via the Parish Council. Grants are already available for insulation for people on low incomes and I am asking for that to be much more widely available. Examples of what Councils are doing are shown the Local Government Association cost of living hub.
Sleaford has a pop-up repair shop and maybe we could do more of these? A bakery has offered a warm lounge and our tea shops and pubs are open. The Marquis of Granby in Wellingore is open again. Buffet on from 7pm.
Any ideas you want us to push forward?
Want free buspass? 0345 456 4474
TV interest in how we are tackling the Cost of Living Crisis
Sleaford Repair café 17th Sept.At the Riverside Church Hall on Southgate 12.30-3pm. Find out more or book on 07962 360581 or email@example.com Can we do these regularly in more of our villages?
Grants to keep your home comfortable!
Please apply if you can, to the Home Energy Upgrade Scheme! Get your home better insulated, alongside other energy-saving and green improvements, for free.
Anyone whose home has an EPC rating of E or lower and is on a low income (household income after tax of £30k) is eligible to apply. This is help that will make a real difference to energy bills. Tenants can ask for a visit to discuss bills and what else can be done. Contact the District Council NKDC at 01529 414155 or online.
Help with Money
Lincolnshire has some good help for residents here. Search “North Kesteven help with money” And “cost of living support”. The Citizen’s advice also has good volunteers who do a great job with advice.
Have your say
Is enough being done to keep women safe? A panel is looking at what more can be done in Lincolnshire.
We have complained a lot about Highways and thankfully, we are getting a great deal of work done now, and more to come.
The A607 bridge repair over the A17 at Leadenham is completing. The other big piece of work about to start on Monday 12th September is repair to the A17 on weekday nights only between Leadenham and Beckingham, where the road surface has thinned. Night runs from 7pm to 6am and work is expected to last for three months, with a break at Christmas. To try and complete before Christmas, they have also reserved three weekends from 7pm Friday night until 6am on the following Monday morning. The three weekends are 30 September to 3 October; 7-10 October; and 14-17 October. Diversions have to be to the same grade of road as the one closed, so it is a very big version. Lorries are required to go via Sleaford, round the top of Lincoln on the bypass, then back down the A46 to Newark, both ways.
I am continuing to press for a nice clear plan of how our roads are going to be up to standard and we are certainly making progress. Please report what you want done on “Fixmystreet.com”, as a starting point. It works.
Planning at North Kesteven District Council this week, refused 23 affordable homes in Bassingham. I spoke and voted in favour of the development, as did all the Lincolnshire Independents, keen to support facilities based on local need. We have a development like that at Jubilee Close, Navenby. The officers recommended refusal because it was an additional field outside the village footprint and for more houses than could be shown to be needed. There is land specified in the Neighbourhood plan, but being already marked out for development means it is more expensive, so less able to provide affordable housing, probably 6 affordable dwellings at most. Officers recommend, but it is elected councillors who weigh up the benefits and make the decision.
We are now seeing businesses increasingly wanting to downsize from High Street premises and work from home, subject to parking, disturbance of neighbours etc.
Big applications: At Heckington, 22 125m high turbines have been refused and their appeal for an extension dismissed. They now have an application in for a huge solar farm, which is probably better, assuming food is not needed. 1500 acres are also planned at Gainsborough. Two areas of Lincolnshire farmland the size of Graffham water are planned to go underwater to provide for increased housing in other parts of the country.
Harmston Village Produce Show
Overton’s know their onions with best in show!
Congratulations to the many talented people who presented such impressive crafts and produce. I got to hand out the prizes. Thanks to the committee for all their hard work and Alan Humphries as excellent auctioneer.
Steam Punk Festival
Outrageous and inventive costumes are the hallmark of this special event which returned to the Lincoln Castle and Cathedral Square after a three year break. Remote controlled ‘human’ robots were a particularly popular attraction and the Sci-Fi 19th century theme is unique and world-leading. How about village steam punk events?
|Beautiful Arts and crafts weekend in aid of St Mary’s Church, Carlton le Moorland, thanks to Andrew Alsop and all who supported the event.
Sue Black supporting the Lincolnshire Air Ambulance
|There were 16 crafts exhibiting , including Aileen Garratt
and Sandra’s Stems firstname.lastname@example.org
|Thanks to Bassingham WI for doing the refreshments
Last chance to nominate a local good person
11 categories include Community Business, Community Spirit (sponsored by Lindum Group), Contribution to Arts & Culture (sponsored by Lincs Inspire), Better Environment (sponsored by Hill Holt Wood), Climate Action (sponsored by Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant / Greencoat Capital), Community Safety (sponsored by the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire), Health & Wellbeing (sponsored by Branston Ltd), Sport (sponsored by GLL/ Better), Good Neighbour (sponsored by Ringrose Law), Longstanding Contribution to a Group or Organisation (sponsored by Lincolnshire Community Foundation), Young Achiever (sponsored by Duncan & Toplis). Please nominate a good local supporter www.nkawards.org Deadline September 9th
Free Business Support
NKDC provides an advisor, Phil Means who will talk through your position and your ideas. 07920 472671
Sleaford Moor Sleaford Moor Enterprise Park
The first two buildings and the utilities on this 37 acre site are starting construction this month to provide new accommodation for fifteen businesses. Other Council units have a very high occupancy rate, so the need appears to be there even now, but it is a long-term project. I spoke and voted for further checks as the first phase came in at short notice, over-budget and only just viable on a falling economy. Let’s hope it is a good success.
Are you registered to vote?
An e-mail or letter from North Kesteven will arrive at every home over the summer, inviting you to update the electoral register. Only those who have chosen to be on the register, can vote. It is your choice to keep it confidential or not, so there is no down-side.
Best Wishes and thank you for all you continue to do in our communities and your kind support.
Marianne Overton MBE
Working together to support people and planet
Summer Pictures to brighten your day
Guests at our holiday home in Welbourn, Hilltop Farm Holidays, this year watched Kestrels rearing four young successfully and the Barn Owl reared three owlets, including this one!
Peter and I visited friends in Cumbria and loved watching two red squirrels near Lake Ullswater. We went on to holiday for an active week by the sea in Pembrokeshire.
Cattle surprised by paraglider in Lincolnshire – it’s not flat here at all!