2023 New Year Message from the Lincolnshire Independents
Through challenging times, our local councils battled against a backdrop of chaotic national government, war in Europe and a cost-of-living crisis.
With encouragement from Lincolnshire Independents, local councils worked together to make our case and some extra Government funding was received. Our communities have risen to the challenge of helping residents, neighbours and refugees fleeing from Putin’s aggression. Village halls, pubs and tea shops have become warm hubs and community food banks to help residents. As the NHS and Adult Care struggle, we see a big increase in people taking on voluntary work, often unpaid, to ensure vital lifelines are in place for the wellbeing of neighbours and residents. Brought together this year, we celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and were saddened by her loss. Thank you to each and every one for your part and may your efforts be well rewarded in 2023.
Lincolnshire Independent Councillors continue to work in support of our communities and in support of our Councils against a backdrop of turmoil and incompetence at a national level, caused key ministerial resignations, including five Secretaries of State under three Prime Ministers.
It is easy to see how a lack of public confidence in government at all levels might result and a sense of injustice and a growing anger prevail as we feel the impact of spiralling inflation and a real-terms cut in the value of our money. It was a salutary lesson to see the economic disaster caused by just 45 days of the Liz Truss Conservative administration, gambling with the economy in September. Clearly the Conservative party ideology is still wrong and cannot be supported: Ever less tax, whilst services degrade is clearly dangerous. It cannot go on.
If we want to create a healthy society, we must support our local communities; people, businesses and our environment. Lincolnshire Independents have consistently shown that support and there is a great deal more that we plan to do.
Supporting Local Services
Lincolnshire Independents consistently campaign for better local services, facilities, and roads – the things that matter to our residents. In 2022 we campaigned successfully for our District Councils to support residents and tenants in tackling energy costs and inflation. We worked to get better local health services, retain Post Offices and maintain access to local banking. We worked nationally and locally on increased investment in cost-effective road maintenance, and now see a transformation in safer roads, with more to do.
We do need more houses to meet local demand but these houses need to be of the right type, in the right places and supported by the right local infrastructure. We are working to change Government policy, locally and nationally, which clings to a 1970’s pre-occupation with extensive house-building but notably without the necessary services and facilities and without adequate energy-saving measures.
At the same time, we see the threat of massive, rural wind turbines, allowed in the new planning policy, and applications for solar panels covering thousands of acres of productive farmland, forcing more imports of basic foodstuffs, especially wheat.
Tackling Climate change
Lincolnshire Independents worked to get the Climate emergency motion passed by Councils and embedded into everything we do now and in the future. We worked on a series of issues, investigating and collating into a plan which we put to good use locally and nationally. We held public meetings on the proposed changes to the local planning policy, including energy efficiency measures in new homes, space for nature and the number of new dwellings. The plan sets the rules for development until 2040. We collated the comments into a formal response and put your combined views to the Inquiry itself.
Winning Elections, adding strength to our Councils
Lincolnshire Independents won all three of the by-elections in 2022, adding considerable strength at both District and County Councils. We have made a significant impact for the better, but there is much more we can do. Counting our achievements over the past year reminds us just how much we can do, listening to our communities and working together for our communities. If you are thinking of helping or standing, now is the time to let us know!
My heartfelt thanks to colleagues and residents for doing so much over the past year – a great springboard for 2023. Lincolnshire Independents have refreshed our vision and areas of special interest for the New Year. We continue to have courage and resilience, a determination to support local communities through these very difficult times and protect the best of living in Lincolnshire.
Thank you for all you continue to do in our communities and your kind support. Best wishes for a happy and successful 2023.
Wishing you good health, happiness and success throughout 2023.
Cllr Marianne Overton MBE