Your community needs you!
We have elections in April for postal voters and May 4th to vote in person.
All District, Parish and Town Council seats are available for election and the Government has changed the District Councillor areas or “wards”. Most, but not all, Parish and Town Council wards are uncontested. Three District Council Wards are uncontested, including mine, for the first time in my life!
We need active, caring people who want to work with us to get the best for their local community and who have the loyalty and commitment to achieve this. It is part-time to run alongside other work and interests, District Councillors are funded a little.
If you have a genuine interest in making improvements to your community and supporting local people and services we would love to hear from you. Please contact your Parish Council or if you are interested in working with me on the District in future, call Cllr Marianne Overton MBE on 07920 235364.
Voting in April by post and and May 4th 2023 in person.
Postal voting starts after mid-April this year. Easiest is to print off the simple request form from “about my vote” and return it to the District Council by April 18th (District Council NKDC is on 01529 414155, email@example.com www.n-kesteven.gov.uk)
Registering to vote is easy online
www.gov.uk/register-to-vote by April 17th
To vote in person on May 4th, remember your photo driving licence, bus pass or passport. More options and info’ are on our website and at NKDC.
Before the April deadline, you can get photo Identification, called a “Voter Authority Certificate” using the same contact details above or here.
Can you give me a hand?
Like what we do? Want to help make good things happen locally? Please give me a call. 07920 235 364
Supporting our Neighbourhood Policing
PCSO’s to reduce from 91-50
Thank you for your support for our PCSO’s and the campaign to keep them.The Conservative PCC has supported losing almost half of them, to pay for other less successful services.
More police are being recruited, but they do not replace the PCSO’s. PCSO’s are committed to our local areas. Lack of PCSO’s and their neighbourhood policing leads to a disconnect with communities, making any police response much less effective.
I have written to the Conservative minister, for a better share of the funding for Lincolnshire, as we are the lowest funded police force, per head in the country, unable to make ends meet. I have a meeting next week. I raised a motion seeking support at both County Council and District Councils. Both District and County Councils supported our Independent motion calling for all partners to help keep our PCSO’s. Let’s see what can be done! Please join the campaign on www.lincolnshireindependents.org
PCSO’s Sarah Lingard & Will Jones swap beats
Our super Police Community Support Officer, Sarah is swapping with her counterpart PCSO Will Jones for operational reasons, unrelated to the potential reduction in PCSO numbers. Sarah is now covering the Cliff Villages, Washingborough & Metheringham beat and Will Jones is covering Hykeham Town and the rural villages. Both will remain based at North Hykeham Police Station and will continue with the existing Mini Police Schools.
Sarah Lingard writes: “I would like to say thank you to all those who have supported my PCSO colleagues and me at this challenging time. It has been truly heart-warming and motivational to hear such kind words from across our community. At a time when it would be easy to feel undervalued, it has been a huge comfort to be reminded that there are those who value the work that we do.”
RAF Waddington Exercises
Operation Cobra Warrior will see several nations joining in with a military exercise at RAF Waddington, with the event lasting for around five weeks from March 6th – April 6th. Road restrictions will be in place. www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/roadworks.
Councils supporting you
Both District and County Councils have now agreed how much is needed to keep services running next year. We are using some reserves, such as for roads, making savings through efficiencies. There are no cuts this year.
County Council uses most of the council tax for the large services, such as care for adults and children and for the better mental health support for which we campaigned. I am pleased that my call for better funding for roads was maintained again this year with the same extra £12m and a further £7m to help clear the backlog in traffic regulation orders and other items. Just over a year ago, I became a relentless shadow cabinet member for highways and I am pleased to see a significant improvement from what was a very low starting point. We started with potholes, then resurfacing the small, fast roads that have a high risk of accident and some of the worst roads. I aim to move on to village roads next. We are also making progress on flooding issues. In the meantime, please keep reporting potholes and other highway repairs using the map to pinpoint the exact location on www.fixmystreet.com
Both Councils are facing increased costs from inflation, staff salaries and increased need for the services. We have more older people needing higher levels of care, and more people needing help due to the cost of living crisis.
Through the Local Government Association, where I am Vice Chairman, I have met with ministers to help present the evidence showing our position. We did receive some more, especially for care. The Government calculated the amount, based on Councils raising the rest locally. Thus Council tax is rising by just under 5% at County Council and 2.7% or £5/year for band D at District Council.
The County Council “budget book” online shows exactly where the £604m goes. Total Income and spend including schools is £1.6bn. Building will cost around £136m, less grants. Funds devolved from Central Government without strings used to be the biggest portion, but is now only 1%, leaving business rates and Council tax to make up. Our District Council uses £61m/year and £42m on buildings.
Solar panels – 4,200 acres
The French State-owned company EDF, is planning to seek permission from the Secretary of State to cover up to 1,700 hectares or 4,200 acres of farmland with solar panels for 40 years. The bulk is Blankney Estates farmland, growing an estimated 12,000 tons of wheat per year that would need to be imported instead, to provide bread for about half a million people. It is a vast area, the biggest in the country. Consultation closes March 7th, but let me know your views as our Councils will be consulted. The consultation booklet is on www.springwellsolarfarm.co.uk and you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org
There are a further three solar array applications totalling some 4,500 acres near Gainsborough, plus any turbines that might be on their way. CPRE are calling for a national strategy, including the amount actually needed and where.
We also have the current and planned offshore wind fields. The German-owned RWE and Nordic Magnora are working on huge new offshore wind fields that could make others irrelevant. If England owned its own energy companies, the £150bn subsidy to keep prices down would stay in UK.
Our new Local Plan will require new dwellings and industrial buildings to be much more energy-efficient, with their own renewable energy sources.
Meanwhile, Community Energy Wales is set up to support local community – led provision, produced and used locally.
Safer A607 near Welbourn
Many of you will remember the day Millie Taylor- Noonan (18) walked across the A607 at the end of her school day at Sir William Robertson School, sadly for the last time. Some road safety measures were put in place at the school, but we went on to review the whole section past Welbourn. The road has blind dips and sharp bends past the Home and over the railway bridge. Speed also drops to 30mph past the school and driveways open onto the road. I have called for and got the road surface improved for safety here and on the A17 and am seeking to get the path improved at Leadenham. Much of the A607 is now a maximum of 50mph, making a huge difference to reducing what used to be a severe accident record on this stretch. County experts reviewed the situation and found it important to lower the speed limit from 60 to 40mph past Welbourn.
Safer and resurfaced: A17, A607 Pottergate and link roads.
In 2022, only 4% of serious accidents occurred on the C and unclassified roads, significantly less than in previous years (67%), which I hope will be continued now that we have got so many of our roads properly resurfaced. Lincolnshire’s serious accidents reduced slightly to 439 people in 2022.
Lincolnshire now has 91 Speedwatch Volunteers, including here in our local villages. Volunteers are committed to keeping people safe in our villages and trained. The Police are sending out warning letters and will visit repeated offenders. Half the serious accidents have contributary factors including being reckless, not looking properly or exceeding the speed limit. Young and old suffer most.
Highway repair times are now improving and with that, public satisfaction. Road Condition data shows that 5.3% of A and B roads are below standard, and 26.8% of unclassified Roads. These are much better now in our area, but there is more to do. Please help keep people safe by reporting faults on www.fixmystreet.com
Free and £2 Bus Fares
I was interested to meet people in the Kings Head, Navenby taking a bus out of Lincoln to have a nice evening meal and using the app on their phones to see when the bus was about to arrive, the 20.34pm taking them back to Lincoln: A service in our area we can probably use more! Until the end on March, bus fares are capped at £2 max.
Have you got your bus pass renewed? 0345 4564474 You can use it on Call Connect where you ring and book your journeys between one hour and a week in advance, where you cannot use the bus. 01522 553143 Stagecoach has improved it’s evening service
Looking for New Walks?
A new website helps us find walks from half a mile to twelve miles, with or without pushchairs and mixed abilities. www.walkinginengland.co.uk/lincs
Feel like getting out and about?
Feel like some fresh air and exercise? If you feel able to share a little time, please get in touch. There are simple indoor ways you might like to be part of the election to help. If you would like to stand as a councillor in future or help, let me know!