Politics - Making a real difference

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I would like to congratulate Cllr Strange for his letter last week. It is always a pleasure to read Lewis’s well written letters and I totally agree with many of his sentiments but not all!


I was delighted to read about the Castle and the increased tourism this will bring in the future. As a southerner (Bournemouth) I have never been able to understand why the County does not do more to promote tourism. It is a similar sized industry in the county to agriculture and has far more development potential. Having spent £20m perhaps the county should now import a tourism manager from Blackpool, Bournemouth or Brighton, or even China (where they really do understand tourism) and let the money and jobs role in.

The Lincoln Eastern Bypass,

Yes we need the bypass, it will take a number of heavy lorries out of the City centre. But have you thought how much you will be paying for it or why it is costing so much? Or why is the county council is contributing so little ? Or how much will be saved with only one carriage way being built? Or why is Hawthorn Rd, Cherry Willingham being stopped off? If you were suddenly faced with having 4.3 km added to your journey to the new “space age” Tescos just 3 km from your door, would you be happy?

According to the Highways Inspector these are the costs: “The estimated overall cost is £95.858m for the 5 mile road. Central Government funding is £49.950m, Lincolnshire County Council £11.914m and there will be third party contributions from North Kesteven, Lincoln and West Lindsey of £33.994m…..…… Searching the Web, a full motorway costs in the region of £20M per mile and an ordinary road about £8.5m per mile.

If West Lindsey is contributing £10m and there are 40,000 council tax payers, it works out at £250 per head. Were you consulted? Would you want Hawthorn Rd closed? Would you want to pay for the Bypass in the first place? Should the district Council be paying part of the bill with our council tax when villages like mine are desperate for a playing field and facilities for young people? Would you prefer roads in your area were maintained properly now, before any new road building is commenced? It is your money and it should be your decision. Highways are the responsibility of the County Council, so why were the affected parish councils not informed of the road closure? Why is West Lindsey paying for road building in the first place?

Is it so unreasonable for residents adversely inconvenienced to ask for a proper road bridge? Why is LCC being so intransigent and macho when so little of its own money is being invested? And why does the road cost so much? If the road is to cost £100m should we look for a different solution?

Why was closing Hawthorn Rd not debated by the WLDC Planning Committee in March 2013, when other Bypass documentation was discussed? The County Council thought it was and included a statement to this effect to the Inspector. (it’s in the Inspectors report). The closure would surely have been opposed by local councillors and residents and an alternative solution found? Why, if the councils cash mountain is sitting in the bank doing nothing, could West Lindsey not offer to fund the tiny difference in cost between building an equestrian bridge with all the extra feed in roads, lighting and central reservations needed when a simple road bridge, as requested, will require none?

To me this railroading of the closure of Hawthorn Rd and the spending of £140m on the incinerator,

when an alternative technology solution would have saved £100m capital and nearly £9m per year in financing costs, reduced carbon emissions, generated more revenue from better FITs and carbon credits, gained revenue from the sale of plastic waste for recycling and the sale of residual slurry sold to farmers as a fertiliser replacement…., and the closing of the libraries is typical of decision making in local government. I.e. We will listen or consult, then take no notice.

Lucky for Hertfordshire: Mr Pickles has just saved Hertfordshire from going down the same incinerator route. It is a pity he could not save local parishes from the closing of Hawthorn Road.

There is a way to make a difference:

Vote Independent in the district council elections next May.

If you don’t have a candidate why not stand? It is poor money but so much fun!

Chris Darcel

Independent Coun for Fiskerton & Langworth, Coordinator for the Lincolnshire Independents Group of Councillors for West Lindsey.