Lincolnshire County Council leader praises community spirit as one of county's 'greatest assets'
Community spirit in our county is one of our greatest assets, says Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill.
I’m always so impressed with the efforts of so many community-minded people.
This includes those groups who go out of their way to keep our public spaces free of litter. Most of us have been taught to get rid of our rubbish responsibly, but there is still a minority of people who blight our landscapes with waste.
‘Wombling’ groups as they’re often called, do a brilliant job keeping parks and streets clean, in addition to the work of the district councils in Lincolnshire. Local people are often well-placed to put a stop to litter problems.
So we’re helping anyone else who wants to clear up a ‘grot spot’ in their area, with litter-picking kits available to borrow from a number of libraries and community hubs across the county.
We have over 500 kits available. They contain high-vis jackets, litter grabbers, bags and also advice and risk assessments.
I’m also pleased that now the government has lifted covid restrictions, we are able to make arrangements with our contractors at our Household Waste Recycling Centres, so that bookings will no longer be required from 1 September – although permits for vans and larger trailers will still be required.
By removing the booking system, we know this will make things easier for garden waste, general waste and recycling to be disposed of at our Bourne and Grantham sites during the opening hours from Fridays to Tuesdays.
Using local knowledge and expertise is also a driver behind an idea we’ve been exploring in Greater Lincolnshire for some time now. Last week the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, gave a speech about his ‘levelling up’ agenda and the opportunities it brings to offer more powers and funding to county areas like ours.
This is referred to as ‘devolution’, and could mean that we get the infrastructure and investment we need to drive change for the better, as has already been seen in some urban areas with devolved powers.
I’m especially pleased that the prime minister recognises that local decision making and accountability ultimately improves the lives of residents, but that local areas should be able to decide the most appropriate devolution arrangements for themselves.
In simple terms, one size does not fit all. What works for urban areas may not be appropriate for our more rural county.
However there is a requirement to stick with one common factor across all areas in the country, and that will be the fundamental need for strong pro-active local leadership.
So we will continue to explore the opportunities that the government is presenting us with, working with our public sector partners, but with a firm focus on what is right for our area and our residents.