Council Gets Best Possible Audit Result

West Lindsey District Council has been given a clean bill of health according to the annual audit into its financial accounts.

The audit was undertaken by the council’s independent external auditors KPMG, to assess the council on its financial statements for the 2015/2016 financial year, and they have given the best possible result, an unqualified opinion. The report states:

“In our opinion the financial statements give a true and fair view of the financial position of the authority as at 31 March 2016 and of the authority’s expenditure and income for the year then ended.”

The report concluded that the council achieved ‘unqualified value for money’. This means they are satisfied that the authority has proper arrangements for securing financial resilience and challenging how it secures economy, efficiency and effectiveness. The independent assessment has been welcomed by the chairman of the Governance and Audit Committee, Cllr. Giles McNeill who said:

“I am pleased to see that we have a received independent confirmation that the Council are managing its public finances well, continuing to support our communities.

“The council made £2.6 million available across the district to enable our communities to develop and thrive through 165 individual projects.

“In addition, almost 400 individual grants were awarded, totalling more than three quarters of a million pounds to support community based schemes. This in turn, brought in match funding in excess of eight hundred and fifty thousand pounds.

“Together with local communities and our partners we have been able to achieve a great deal.”

The Council has also worked to encourage volunteering across the district, resulting in almost 49,000 volunteer hours undertaken. This equates to over £500,000 of social value invested across the district.

Other success include:

  • Trinity Arts Centre is receiving less financial support from council funds than it would if it was left This is due to an improved entertainment offer drawing larger audiences.
  • Job Centre Plus and Citizens Advice moved in to the offices at the Guildhall to join existing tenants from Lincolnshire County Council. The creation of the Public Services Hub was designed to provide joined up, complementary services to customers. This method of joined up working has been recognised
  • 11 Public access terminals have also been set up to enable customers to access services and information online.
  • The council has one of the highest collection rates in the country for council tax 98.34% and 99.44% for Business Rates.

Shape Plans to Tackle Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour

The Lincolnshire Community Safety Partnership wants to hear local residents views on crime and anti-social behaviour, to help shape its action plans for the coming year.

The The Lincolnshire Community Safety Partnership is a partnership including Lincolnshire County Council, the district councils, Lincolnshire Police, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service, Probation, Addaction, Clinical Commissioning Groups and the Police and Crime Commissioner to set priorities and target actions at a local level. Cllr. Giles McNeill said:

“Part of the The Lincolnshire Community Safety Partnership’s work is to consult the public on how people feel about crime and anti-social behaviour in our area.

“This year a survey has been developed and rolled out across the county to gather views and opinions – and I would encourage local residents to take part.”

You can complete the survey by visiting the Lincolnshire Community Safety Partnership website at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lincolnshire-community-safety-partnership.

Paper copies of the survey are also available from the West Lindsey District Council office at the Guildhall in Gainsborough.  The survey is open now and closes on Friday, 11th November 2016.

Council Offers Business Free Waste Audit for National Recycling Week

National Recycle Week begins on Monday, 12th September and to celebrate Conservative-led West Lindsey District Council is offering a free waste audit to local businesses.

To help local businesses play their part the Council’s officers are available to visit businesses, assess their needs and offer advice on how they could save money by recycling more of what they throw away.

The Council wants to help businesses save money by allowing them to recycle a wide range of materials, no matter where they are located in the district. They can sort the materials so businesses don’t have to and there is no need for a number of separate bins, so they also save space.

Conservative Councillor Mrs. Sheila Bibb, Chairman of the Council’s Prosperous Communities Committee, said:

“We pledge that our service will always be reliable, cost effective and provide the environmental benefits that customers demand.

“I’m proud to say that we are one of the only commercial waste operators in the area that can enable your business to become virtually zero landfill. All of your recyclable material is sent to specialist treatment facilities and made into new products. All other general and non-recyclable waste is sent to a Lincolnshire Energy from Waste plant (EfW) which powers local homes.

“We’re sure that by joining our recycling service, your business can save money and do its bit for the environment at the same time.”

The materials that can now be recycled through the Council’s commercial mixed recycling service are the same as those in the West Lindsey household collection service and includes:

  • Cardboard and paper
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Aluminium cans
  • Steel tins (should be rinsed out)
  • Plastic bottles
  • Waxed juice or milk Cartons

West Lindsey’s Commercial Waste and Recycling Service can offer a business a range of collection options to suit their needs. Designed to be a friendly, local service it is reliable, flexible and will provide businesses with great value for money.

It has tailored so that businesses are in control of collections. Collections using bags are also available if space is a problem.

To make an appointment for a free waste audit or find about more about our Commercial Waste and Recycling Service, call 01427 675124 or visit www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/commercialwastesolutions

Neighbourhood Plan Brings Riseholme Together

Riseholme residents spent two years working together to carefully shape a Neighbourhood Plan they are happy with.

Neal Foster presents the draft neighbourhood plan to Cllr. Steve England

After numerous open events, public meetings and consultations with stakeholders and landowners, Riseholme Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group have a plan suitable for their parish. The group officially handed the plan over to West Lindsey District Council to take it through to the next stage.

A Neighbourhood Plan is a planning policy document, produced by a community, designed to enable local people to have a greater say in how their community develops in the future. During the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan, the steering group undertook a significant level of public consultation.

Parish Councillor. Neil Foster, Chairman of the Parish Council and a member of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, explained the strategy was to be as ‘inclusive’ as possible, while engaging as many local residents during each stage of the process. This included open events, public meetings and engaging with local stakeholders and landowners. Mr. Foster said:

“Developing this plan is our way to have greater influence in shaping our community in the future. It has brought the community together in responding to planning issues.”

The Riseholme Neighbourhood Plan outlines policies for particular planning issues such as the location and type of future housing, protection of the surrounding environment, landscape character and the historic environment and seeks to enhance connectivity through improved and new public rights of way. Cllr. Steve England, Vice-Chairman of the council’s Prosperous Communities Committee, said:

“Neighbourhood Planning was introduced through the Localism Act in 2012 and is, in essence, part of the Government’s agenda in devolving powers to local people.

“It’s great to see people are using these new powers as there are now over 28 communities preparing Neighbourhood Plans in West Lindsey. The council remains committed in supporting local communities who are preparing plans.”

Mr. Luke Brown, Neighbourhood Planning Officer at the council works closely with communities to help them develop a plan. He said:

“Neighbourhood Planning is the first effective opportunity for local people to directly influence planning policy at a local level. Planning decisions can have significant impacts (both positive and negative) on local communities and this process allows local communities to have a greater say.”

West Lindsey District Council will organise an independent examination to make sure the plan conforms to relevant national and local planning policies and any necessary European Directives.

If successful through its examination, a public referendum will be organised.

Local residents within the Neighbourhood Area have an opportunity to vote whether they believe the Neighbourhood Plan should be adopted by West Lindsey District Council and form part of the local planning policy documents for the district.

If you would like to produce a Neighbourhood Plan for your community, please contact luke.brown@west-lindsey.gov.uk

Councillor ‘Enormously Proud’ to Attend Royal Garden Party

West Lindsey District Councillor for the Nettleham ward, Cllr. Giles McNeill, has described how proud he was to attend the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, 19th May 2016.

Cllr. Mrs. Brockway and Cllr. McNeill arrive at Buckingham Palace.

Cllr. Mrs. Brockway and Cllr. McNeill arrive at Buckingham Palace.

Cllr. McNeill attended the event with Cllr. Mrs. Jackie Brockway, district councillor for the Saxilby ward and Lincolnshire County Councillor for the Nettleham & Saxilby Division. Also in attendance was newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire, Marc Jones and his wife, Rachel.

The afternoon began  a little after half past two when guests were allowed into the Palace. Afternoon tea was served from half past three. The Yeomen of the Guard ‘hold ground’ and a two rows emerge across the lawn between the Palace’s West Terrace and the Royal Tea Tent by the lake. At four o’clock, promt, the Queen and other members of the Royal Family emerge from the Palace to the National anthem and then make their way from the Palace to the Royal Tea Tent over the course of an hour with small groups of specially selected individuals being presented, usually from Charities and bodies to which the Royal is a patron.

There are two military bands that play music alternatively throughout the afternoon, including, on this occasion, at one point, the theme tune to Family Guy. Guests are able to walk freely around the garden which includes a lake, the broad stretches of lawn, a 170 metre long herbaceous border, a curved avenue on Indian chestnut (added by the Queen in 1961), the Admiralty Summer House, and a rose garden – at the centre of which is the Waterloo Vase, made from carrara marble, originally made for Nepoleon and given by King Edward VII in 1903. Cllr. McNeill said:

“I have been very pleased to attend the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace today with Jackie. I am enormously proud to have been invited and thrilled to have been here. It is remarkable; you glimpse the Queen, as she walks through the garden, and suddenly you realised you’re here at her invitation and this is her event. It is a tremendous honour.”

The afternoon concludes at six o’clock, with the National Anthem, as guests depart.

Nettleham Will Welcome New Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Nettleham, the home of Lincolnshire Police’s Headquarters, will welcome Marc Jones as Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner when he formally takes up the post on Thursday, 12th May 2016, following his election yesterday.

Marc Jones, who was the Conservative Party’s candidate, triumphed against his UK Independence, Labour and Lincolnshire Independents party rivals. In the four way contest Marc emerged as the front-runner in the first round of voting – as the ballot is conducted using the supplementary voting system, which gives electors two votes, for a first and, if desired, second preference.

Marc Jones (Conservative) took 39,441 (35.22%) in the first stage of voting against Victoria Ayling (UKIP) on 28,583 (25.52%), Lucinda Preston (Labour) on 25,475 (22.75%) and Daniel Simpson (Lincolnshire Independents) on 18,497 (16.52%).  As no candidate had received the necessary fifty percent to be elected the top two candidates, Marc Jones and Victoria Ayling, were carried forward for the run-off using second preferences. After second preference votes from Labour and Lincolnshire Independents parties’ candidates were applied. Marc won convincingly with 56.2% of the vote with a majority of 10,613 (12.41%). Marc said:

“I am very proud, grateful and excited to have been elected. I will work hard for everyone across Lincolnshire and put into action my plan to reduce crime. I think we have run the best campaign we could have done, although a direct mailing from central government would have helped to reach more people. Nevertheless, I am proud of the volunteers who have helped me to deliver 300,000 pieces of literature by hand across the county. My first order of business is to meet with the the senior team and understand how we will be working together to deliver effective policing for Lincolnshire.”

The outgoing Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire, Alan Hardwick said:

“I want to warmly congratulate Marc. It’s a big job and I wish the new Commissioner the very best for the future. Lincolnshire Police is a force that, nationally and locally, punches well above its weight. I have no doubt that, with a strong and determined PCC to continue the campaign for fairer funding, the County will continue to be a safe place in which to live and work.”

West Lindsey District Councillor for the Nettleham Ward, Cllr. Giles McNeill, said:

“Marc is the sort of first-rate individual we need filling this important role. I have worked with Marc in the past and I know he has the skills and dedication to make a real impact for everyone in Lincolnshire. He has done a tremendous thing, to move the Conservative Party from third place back in 2012 to first place is a real achievement.”

Local Residents Honoured at West Lindsey District Council’s Community Awards

A number of residents of Nettleham have been honoured at West Lindsey District Council’s Community Awards ceremony, held at the Festival Hall, Market Rasen.

The Council’s Community Awards are designed to recognise the tremendous achievements and contribution of local people who volunteer and contribute to the communities of the district. As Cllr. Owen Bierley (Caistor & Yarborough) said at the beginning of the evening:

“Members have shaped and created this awards ceremony to give recognition to the numeros people who give up much of their free time to make West Lindsey a better place.”

 

Nettleham Parish Councillor, John Evans, is West Lindsey's 2016 Parish Councillor of the Year.

Nettleham Parish Councillor, John Evans, is West Lindsey’s 2016 Parish Councillor of the Year.

The first award of the night was Parish Councillor of the Year. Cllr. David Cotton (Saxilby) introduced the award, saying:

“Parish Councils are key to our communities, they are the third tier in local government and at the district council we value each and every parish council within West Lindsey. Over the past few years we have been striving to work closer with parish councils and become more involved at a local level.

“Indeed, our parish councillors are key to the work of the Councils and progressing and supporting local communities.”

There were four nominations; Cllr. Barry Dutton (Hemswell), Cllr. Alan Caine (Caistor), Cllr. John Evans (Nettleham) and Cllr. Kenneth Green (Owmby).

Cllr. Dutton was named as runner-up and Nettleham Parish Council’s John Evans wans named as West Lindsey’s Parish Councillor of the year.

The next award to be won was by Sturton by Stow Parish Council, which were named Parish Council of the Year. Following this award the next category to be awarded was Community Group of the Year.

Janice Clayton and Marion Henman with the certificate they received for the Age Concern Luncheon Club.

Janice Clayton and Marion Henman with the certificate they received for the Age Concern Luncheon Club.

A huge number of nominations had been received for this new category and whilst representatives of all the groups nominated could not be accomodated at the ceremony, those short-listed had been invited to the event. There were eight nominations: Welton and District Patient and Doctors Association, Scotter Eau Community Library, Gainsborough Uphills Community Centre Steering Group, RAF Ingham Heritage Centre, Health Minds, Nettleham Age Concern Luncheon Club, Caistor in Bloom, and Villages Of the Cliff Against Turbines (VOCAT). The winner was named as Scotter Eau Commnity Library.

Nettleham Age Concern Luncheon Club received a ‘Highly Commended’ certificate and Mrs. Janice Clayton and Mrs. Marion Henman were on hand to collect their certificate.

A number of presentations were made to local school children who had been involved in a competition to design a birthday card from the Council to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for the occasion of her official 90th Birthday in June.

Peter Rowlett is named as a District Champion

Peter Rowlett is named as a District Champion

Cllr. Giles McNeill (Nettleham) was responsible for presenting individual awards to District Champions, Volunteer of the Year and the most prestigious award of West Lindsey Citizen of the Year.

Four persons were named as District Champions, person who work tirelessly for their communities on a voluntary basis, Cllr. McNeill said:

“Throughout the district there are so many individuals that work tirelessly for their communities on a voluntary basis, and for the benefit of local people, their villages and parish. The number and quality of the nominations received were astounding and very difficult for our independent panel to adjudicate.”

The winners were: Mr. Michael Dickinson (Scampton), Sheila Lamming (Market Rasen), Tony Price (Gainsborough) and Peter Rowlett (Nettleham). Peter has given years of service to our local community through the local scouts group and was a worthy recipient.

Mrs. Thelma and Mr. Darron Childs were awarded the Chairman’s special Civic Award for 2016. The Council’s Volunteer of the Year was named as Mr. Nigel Ashley and the Citizen of the Year was named as Mrs. Cilla Lamerton.

 

Local Councillor Addresses CIPFA Internal Audit Conference

West Lindsey District Council’s Governance and Audit Committee Chairman, Cllr. Giles McNeill, has addressed CIPFA’s annual Internal Audit Conference in Nottingham.

CIPFA, the Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy, is the only professional accountancy body dedicated to public finance, globally. It is the professional body for over 14,000 members involved in public finance in public services, audit agencies, accountancy firms and other areas where public money is spent.

CIPFA Internal Audit Conference 2016, Nottingham.

CIPFA Internal Audit Conference 2016, Nottingham.

Cllr. McNeill was part of a panel with Mr. David Portlock, Chairman of the Joint Independent Audit Committee of North Yorkshire Police, and Ms Cathy Bond, Chairman of the Audit Committee at Wirral University Te

aching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Discussion took place about audit committees perspectives on internal audit and was facilitated by Mr. Tim Cowley, Director at Mersy Internal Audit Agency and Chairman of CIPFA’s Audit Panel.

The three Chairmen provided their perspectives on the work of internal audit for their organisation, what they wanted, how well the relationship with internal audit works and how that relationship and role can be strengthened.

Cllr. McNeill said:

“I was delighted to be asked to be on the platform at this conference. I suspect the work of organisations like CIPFA are somewhat obscured from public view, in much the same way that the role of internal audit at the Council is probably not understood by the wider public; nevertheless CIPFA provides a vital component to ensure that the internal audit team at West Lindsey have a professional body driving good practice and seeking continual improvement.

“I hope that delegates found our perspectives of value, giving them an insight into what factors we value in our relationships with our auditors and the context in which we operate.”

Marc Jones Launches His Campaign to be Lincolnshire’s Next Police and Crime Commissioner

Marc Jones the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for Lincolnshire has officially launched his plan to deliver lower levels of crime and safer communities.

It follows Mr. Jones’ meeting with House of Commons Leader, and former Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling MP to discuss policing in Lincolnshire earlier this week.

Marc has a six-point plan which includes introducing new ‘community constables’,a focus on crime prevention, dealing with rural crime seriously, cleaning up streets, and treating victims of crime compassionately. He has also pledged to spend taxpayers’ money wisely. Commenting Marc Jones said:

“My six point plan has been devised after talking to communities up and down Lincolnshire and I am convinced it will help make our county safer.

“Lincolnshire needs a competent and capable Police and Crime Commissioner. I’ll work proactively with Government to tackle the issues which matter, and ensure all of Lincolnshire gets a fair deal.”

On the same day, Home Secretary Theresa May launched the national campaign and heard from voters about their policing priorities. Home Secretary Theresa May commented:

“Electing the right PCC in May is vital to people making sure their policing priorities are heard.

“Nationally, the Conservative Government has protected overall police spending for the next four years and reformed policing to make forces more accountable, effective and better value for money for local taxpayers. This means every force will have the resources and powers they need to keep on cutting crime.

“Vote Conservative for a PCC who will work effectively with the Government to ensure your police force uses those resources and takes the right steps to deliver lower levels of crime and safer communities.”

Greater Lincolnshire Devolution Deal Announced

Important new powers and funding are to be passed from the Government to the Greater Lincolnshire area. A devolution deal document has been agreed with Whitehall by all 10 local authorities from the Humber to the Wash.

Although all the councils will continue to exist in their current form, they will also come together to form a “combined authority” to exercise the new powers. Like other areas with devolved powers, such as Sheffield and Manchester, the combined authority will also have its own directly elected mayor.

The funding and responsibilities will include transport, housing, skills training and flood risk management. Further commitments are also agreed on health and social care, as well as court and prison services. The aim is to ensure local accountability, making the new body answerable to the one million people in Greater Lincolnshire.

The ten local authorities involved are North Lincolnshire Council, South Kesteven District Council, West Lindsey District Council, South Holland District Council, City of Lincoln Council, East Lindsey District Council, Boston Borough Council, North Kesteven District Council, North-East Lincolnshire Council and Lincolnshire County Council.

Each council will have to formally agree the deal at their full council, following consultation with residents in the summer.

The devolution arrangements could boost the area’s economy by £8bn, create 29,000 jobs and provide 100,000 new homes. The combined authority will receive £15m a year, for the next 30 years, for infrastructure projects to boost economic growth, and will have responsibility for a devolved and consolidated, multi-year local transport budget for the entire combined authority area.

The funding will only be for new responsibilities and will not affect the current budget proposals recently agreed by each council.

The Greater Lincolnshire bid also has the support of other public bodies such as the Local Enterprise Partnership and the police. The Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr Jeff Summers, said:

“The Devolution Deal offered by the Government is very positive for West Lindsey and Greater Lincolnshire.

“All councils in Greater Lincolnshire will continue to exist in their current form but we are committed to establishing a combined authority. This will include a directly elected Mayor, to exercise the new powers. A strategy for Lincolnshire will be decided by the ten Council Leaders.

“This cements our relationship with central government and will support economic growth in Lincolnshire including 100,000 new homes by 2036 plus the infrastructure to enable and support that growth.

“Individual Councils across Lincolnshire will be debating the proposals over the coming months, hopefully culminating in a unanimous vote to progress with this exciting project. Once the deal is finalised by the due process we will be continually looking to add further items to our devolution deal.

“A deal will unlock the ability to make more decisions locally and thereby prioritise more government funding to meet local need.”

The ten councils that will form the new Greater Lincolnshire combined authority are:

  • North Lincolnshire Council
  • North East Lincolnshire Council
  • Lincolnshire County Council
  • City of Lincoln Council
  • North Kesteven District Council
  • South Kesteven District Council
  • West Lindsey District Council
  • East Lindsey District Council
  • Boston Borough Council
  • South Holland District Council


3 The Chestnuts
Nettleham
Lincoln
LN2 2NH

07896 730737

cllr.g.mcneill@west-lindsey.gov.uk

Disclaimer
The views expressed on this website are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Conservative Councillors' Association or the Conservative Party.