Read the latest updates from today’s (February 19) important Lincolnshire County Council meeting below:
• Coun Charmaine Morgan (Lab) asks council to oppose any bid to remove local control in planning issues, especially regarding fracking. Council then moves on to debate budgets issues.
• Coun Ron Oxby (Cons) asks about plans for a new air international air show at Scampton. Council confirms it could take place in September 17 and council says it will ‘be a really big success’.
• Coun Anne Reynolds (UKIP) told there were ‘no assurances’ a small household recycling facility in Mablethorpe would not be closed. She is told plans are in place to review all recycling centres amid budget cuts.
• More questions about Syrian refugees and. Coun Hill says council had a legal duty to take some refugees and ‘unaccompanied children. He says: “We are doing more than our share - more than many other authorities.’ He adds Government needs to provide funding for councils who take in refugees.
• Coun Mary Austin(Lincs Ind.) asks about Boston Flood Barrier and is assured the project will be delivered as quickly as possible.
• Coun Davies explains recent problems with the council’s IT system. He denies the system was asked - or that council was asked for £1million ransom demand. He says problem was caused by a virus downloaded from an email.
• Council faces criticism over controversial contract with SERCO and is asked by Coun Philip Dilks (Lab) ‘when will they (SERCO) finally deliver what we are paying them millions to do’. Council says significant progress has been made and SERCO will be ‘held to account’.
• Coun Richard Davies (Cons) says he is delighted Lincoln Eastern by-pass will go ahead.
He promises to work with residents living along the route to solve any issues.
• Council Nick Worth (Cons) confirms cuts could be made to Rural Touring Theatre budget, despite admitting it provides a vital service.
• Coun Patricia Bradwell (Cons) says sorting out funding issues for schools will ‘ease the pain’ of cuts.
• Victoria Ayling (UKIP) raises concerns about policy for pothole repairs and says parish councils can no longer directly report problems.
She says criteria has to be simplified.
• Coun Christopher Pain (Ind from Europe) questions proposed boundary commission changes which he says have split Wainfleet in two.
• Sleaford’s Coun Colin Young (Con) explains the reasoning behind decisions to close Magistrates Courts in Grantham in Skegness.
He says the HM Courts and Tribunal services did listen to a number of views put forward by County Council. Coun Young says he understands why people are concerned about extra journeys to courts and says video links could be used more often - and to cut down on travelling. He says Grantham could close in April and Skegness in September. He adds ‘dialogue’ will continue.
• Coningsby’s Colin Mair (UKIP) ask for more consistency from Highways department regarding a variety of issues - including deciding new speed limits.
• Council is questioned about potential decision to cut road safety spending when number of accidents is increasing.
• Coun Hill says talks regarding creating a Great Lincolnshire authority are still on going.
He confirms all authorities in the county are behind the idea and that it would lead to a ‘directly elected’ Mayor.
He says talks have taken place with Government and plans could be put forward in the summer.
• Louth councillor Sarah Dodds (Lab) asks if Lincolnshire will take in any refugees from Syria. She is told the Government has not given any specific instructions regarding allocations for the county.
• Tributes also paid to Spalding councillor Colin Fisher who is deserved as ‘an open and genuine person - a real Spalding man’
• Campaigner says 15 children’s centres could have been shot - without a second thought.
• Councillors told bus services offer a vital lifeline, particularly in rural areas.
• Petitions to save bus services, recycling centres and children’s centres have been handed in.