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Tories are for turning, it seems

Column by Councillor Lee Steptoe, deputy Labour Group leader on South Kesteven District Council

After getting my jab recently I want to say a huge thank you to the NHS who have done a superb job in rolling it out so quickly so that the most vulnerable are protected.

It is the jewel in the nation’s crown and really has put some of the outsourcing to government cronies to shame.

Councillor Lee Steptoe, Labour (24894592)
Councillor Lee Steptoe, Labour (24894592)

We’re not out of the woods yet, but two Tory budgets this week have been disappointing in shaping the post-Covid recovery; SKDC’s on Monday and Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s on Wednesday.

I could not help but take delight in the U-turns involved in the first; flip flopping on underwriting the Thatcher statue and on cutting the £6,000 grant to the Grantham Carnival.

The Iron Lady might not have been for turning, but the local Tories sure are. Both show that public pressure work and I think the administration has been embarrassed into climbing down on both fronts.

I opposed both the 50 per cent cut to the ward members’ allowances and to what used to be the flagship policy of InvestSK. The ward grants do such valuable work in disadvantaged communities.

This year mine went to the fantastic Inspire+ to put towards its ‘Move and Food’ programme on the Earlesfield estate.

As regards InvestSK, its job is to bring businesses to the town. Now correct me if I’m wrong but for obvious reasons local businesses aren’t exactly thriving at the moment and need all the help they can get.

The national budget papered over huge cracks rather than fixing the rotten foundations.

There is no pay increase for our NHS and key worker heroes. Unfortunately, clapping has never paid their bills!

A cocktail of tax rises is on the way for individuals and businesses, harming people’s confidence in spending again.

Finally, since my last column we have had it confirmed that the elections for Lincolnshire County Council and Lincolnshire police and crime commissioner are going ahead on May 6 and limited physical campaigning can start from next week.

The Prime Minister will be hoping for a vaccine bounce whilst forgetting that over 120,000 have tragically perished.

I am standing in Grantham South, my home ward, and we are putting up excellent candidates across all five town seats; community activists who want to make a difference and challenge Tory complacency.

Only voting Labour will provide a chance for change in our town, please consider it.

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