Council - We’re taking positive steps

I should start by wishing everyone a happy New Year.

As a county councillor for the Middle Rasen area, be assured that, while times are financially tough at County Hall, we still have many responsibilities, not least for our local primary schools, which, as well as the secondary sector, have been promised, after good work by Sir Edward Leigh, an increase in funding per pupil.

Our local primaries, which are judged the best in the East Midlands, and our secondary schools (now academies) perform extremely well.

The county council still provides £30 million per year for home-to-school transport for all our schools.

Our highways department continues to work extremely hard, with large sections of A roads resurfaced.

The pot hole saga is never ending, with some appearing overnight. Remember, anyone can lift the phone and report them; the pot hole team will respond as soon as possible.

Building work on a new bypass around Lincoln is to start soon.

Meanwhile, the new energy from waste plant is processing 165,000 tonnes of non-recyclables. Congratulations to our excellent team there.

The regeneration of the castle has just resulted in the coveted world National Geographic award, beating bids from Paris and Los Angeles.

Our children’s services are nationally judged among the best, and so they should be.

So much of what is being achieved at County Hall is very positive and I can assure everyone that we have excellent officers handling a very tight budget.

Healthcare remains a major headache for all residents.

We are desperately short of medical staff and I am pestering away, and pressing for a new school of medicine at our brilliant university.

We have to grow our own and make it a condition that qualifying students will spend some time in Lincolnshire at the end of their training.

We have to address ambulance response times and why there is such a wait at accident and emergency.

At the other end of the scale, social services needs more funding to address bed blocking.

And why do our wonderful medics have to deal with abusive drunks? Perhaps if the directors of health trusts had to staff A&E on a Friday or Saturday night they might agree?

Locally, I am doing all I can to support residents’ worries over potential flooding caused by a projected 1,000 new homes in Market Rasen.

Everything seems to flow south from the new tiles to Brimmer Beck.

I support the view that we need Gallamore Lane extending to Willingham Road, with a new school and a dedicated health centre should all this development go ahead.

Residents know what I think of the new car parking regime in the town and, while supporting West Lindsey District Council in its view that people using the car parks 24/7 is wrong, I point to a system in Brigg where nobody grumbles at two hours free parking at any time.

However, my views and other local district councillors were ignored. I assure you in six months time, when this is reviewed, that I will be doing all I can to change the parking regime.

Lewis Strange

County councillor for Ancholme Cliff
District councillor for Kelsey Wold