Andrew Abbott's Blog

Friday, 2 November 2012

Lincolnshire this week.

Rumours abound that Lincoln Prison is to be down graded or turned into a detention centre. Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council has said that closing the prison would damage the local economy although the Ministry of Justice has said the jail will not close but did say changes were being considered. "We are considering changes to the future role of HMP Lincoln," the Ministry said in a statement.

"No decisions have been made, and there are currently no plans to close the prison.

"We are committed to ensuring our Estate meets the needs of the prison population, and best suits the current capacity."

This did not go down well with Mr Hill who said "What we are aware of and led to believe is that there are certain options being considered, one of which is an immigration centre or downgrading the prison to a lower category,"

"That doesn't sound very big news but it's quite important for the health of both the criminal justice system in Lincolnshire and the local economy.

"There's a real need for a prison in Lincoln. It's essential for driving down reoffending rates and making sure justice is delivered locally."

As far as Lincolnshire is concerned if the prison is downgraded there will be nowhere in the county for remand prisoners to go, having an effect on families and legal representatives who will have to travel further and could even lead to Lincoln losing it’s crown court.

England captain and Lincoln Ladies player Casey Stoney has signed a new contract with the ambitious Women’s Super League outfit. Despite having no manager at the moment the club have not been slow to secure the future of Stoney and were delighted to do so. "Casey is a fantastic captain and has shown that at international level and by captaining the Great Britain team at London 2012," said Lincoln chief executive Luke Negus-Hill.

"Securing the services of Casey for a further two years shows the ambition of this club to progress and ultimately win silverware, in the not too distant future."

A local MP who is also a government minister has put the wind up the establishment but earned himself praise from local politicians. John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings says Lincolnshire has more than enough turbines echoing the viewpoint of the county council. Councillor Eddy Poll, Executive Member for Environment Services, said:

"It's heartening to have a senior minister so in tune with what people think.

"This is an issue the county council has been concerned about for some time. We're not calling for a blanket ban on wind farms. We have a duty to protect the environment and are in favour of renewable energy. However, there's been an invasion of wind farms across Lincolnshire in recent years, and we can't ignore the impact this is having.

"We need to make sure we balance our need for green energy against inappropriate developments that ruin the environment we're trying to protect. Wind energy is unreliable and costly. For that reason, we want to raise the bar even higher for anyone wanting to construct a wind farm in the county.

"To that end, we'll be carrying out a public consultation towards the end of the year with a view to making our position an official council policy."

Quite what Mr Hayes’ Liberal Democrat boss will make of it all is an entirely different matter.

Boston’s on off immigration protest is er back on again. So far 85 people have signed up to attend the protest by the Ingram Memorial in the Market Place. The organiser, Dean Everitt said "We are holding this to raise awareness to the ever increasing issues caused by uncontrolled mass immigration.

"We are hoping for a peaceful protest and would like many people to come on the day to show their support for something everyone is moaning about in the town - immigration."

Given that the event is a possible target for rent a mob the police are naturally taking an interest. A spokesman for the force said "We are working closely with the organiser to ensure that the protest remains a peaceful one with the minimum of disruption possible for the community of Boston.

"Before, during and after the event the police will be engaged in ensuring that anyone seeking to turn this protest into anything other than the peaceful protest planned, will be dealt with according to the circumstances and existing legislation.

"The organiser has a right in law to hold a peaceful protest, part of the planning by the police is to ensure that we have the ability to respond against a number of contingencies, to maximise the safety of everyone concerned, and to this end there will be an appropriate and proportionate number of officers on duty on the day."

It’s time to buy your poppy again and this year the Lincolnshire was opened, appropriately enough by Just Jane, resident Lancaster bomber at East Kirkby Aviation Heritage Centre. Brigadier Barry Reeves said: "The Legion's national fundraising target is a record-breaking £42 million, so this is going to be the biggest Poppy Appeal ever.

"Lincolnshire is going to play a huge part in this, and we want to raise £850,000 and show the strength of support for the Armed Forces family in Lincolnshire."

Wear your poppy with pride. Back again next week.

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