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Message from Council Leader Cllr Martin Hill OBE – January 2018

The start of a new year is always a good time to reflect on our achievements and look forward to the coming months.

Looking back, 2017 was yet another momentous year at the county council.

Cllr Martin Hill

May saw the county council elections in which my Conservative group gained a clear majority.

While I was naturally pleased at this strong endorsement for the way we have managed local services, we have not rested on our laurels and have ambitious plans for the future.

We were elected on five key commitments:

  • Securing the best Brexit deal for Lincolnshire
  • Spending taxpayers’ money wisely
  • Keeping Lincolnshire moving
  • Good health and wellbeing - protecting the vulnerable
  • Promoting our communities - a good quality of life

As you can see, improving the lives of Lincolnshire people is at the forefront of what we do.

With that in mind we have launched our Fairer Funding campaign. Councils across the county have received far less money than metropolitan urban areas.

We believe that supporting our communities across a sparsely populated rural area provides its own challenges and that we should be funded by central government accordingly.

We are actively lobbying alongside our MPs for the funding system to be reviewed.

I would like to thank everyone who has backed our campaign so far. Look out for updates on progress throughout the coming year.

I am pleased to say that after years of planning, the city’s biggest road project in decades, the £99m Lincoln Eastern Bypass - from the A158 Wragby Road roundabout to the A15 at Bracebridge Heath - is now well underway.

Not only will this cut congestion it will also add an estimated £600m to the local economy.

I am also delighted that the highways improvements, including a new roundabout connecting the A17 to the A151, at Holbeach’s Peppermint Junction, have now opened, months before the work was originally scheduled for completion. The scheme also saw the creation of a second roundabout which will provide access to housing and commercial development land.

In 2018 I am looking forward to seeing progress with the Grantham Southern Relief Road and there are also plenty of other plans in the pipeline for other road schemes across Lincolnshire. These include including the £4m A46 Dunholme/ Welton roundabout and the £2m Wragby Road/ Wolsey Way improvements in Lincoln. We are also working on an outline business case for the North Hykeham Relief Road.

Better broadband is another major improvement we are actively supporting.

In the 21st century, it’s vital for any modern home or business.

The onlincolnshire partnership, led by Lincolnshire councils and BT, has been continuing the roll-out of superfast broadband.

The latest phase will see coverage of almost 97% of the county by the end of 2019.

More than 90% of the county can now sign up with an internet service provider and enjoy faster speeds.

Now from the modern day to our past.

Over the last few years, we have had major opportunities to celebrate Lincolnshire’s rich history, with the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and then with the Charter of the Forest.

2018 will see us marking a different kind of history when we commemorate our aviation heritage as part of events to highlight the 100th year of the founding of the RAF.

Lincolnshire: Bastion in the Air, 1915-18, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund runs until 30 April 2020.

The project aims to promote the work carried out in constructing aircraft and defending British airspace during the First World War, which led to the formation of the RAF in 1918, and the continuing links between the county and the RAF.

There will be a series of travelling exhibitions throughout the county during the three-year period, as well as two major static exhibitions in 2018 at RAF Scampton and in The Collection Museum.

Hopes for the New Year

On a local level, as I have already mentioned, I am really hopeful that our Fairer Funding campaign will reap benefits for Lincolnshire.

On a national and international level, we all recognise that the Brexit negotiations have been tricky. But this makes it all the more important that our government sticks to its principles and continues to work hard to deliver the best outcome for all of us.

With that optimistic note, I would like to wish a Happy New Year to you all!

 

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Last updated: 16 January 2018

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