Category Archives: Lincoln

Lincoln Sports Direct

A recent planning application to Lincoln City council is looking at changing the use of the current Sports Direct in Lincoln from retail (A1) to a gym (D2).

Having inspected the plans Pure Gym are looking to have a weights, studio, spin and general areas, plus changing rooms with showers in their new 24 hour gym.

pure-gym-lincoln

So what does this mean for Sports Direct? I doubt they would be leaving the city, and there is still any empty unit on Station Street where JJB used to be. But as I haven’t contacted anyone for a comment we will have to wait and see.

Of course Sports Direct may have no plans to move, planning applications are just that, a request for permission to change, not intent of action.

49.77% of the vote, 100% of the seats

On May 6th the voters on Lincolnshire cast their votes. Here is the combined results for the seven constituencies.

Con 174,729 49.77%
LD 70,827 20.17%
Lab 68,043 19.38%
UKIP 16,346 4.66%
BNP 13,614 3.88%
Linc Ind 5,311 1.51%
Eng Dem 1,121 0.32%
Green 724 0.21%
Ind 393 0.11%

Yet under FPTP the Conservatives managed to obtain all seven seats.

One of the possible options for an STV election would be to have a Lincolnshire constituency with 6 MPs. Based on the numbers above both Labour and Liberal Democrats should have at least 1 MP each and the Tories 3, the final seat either LibDem or Tory.

There are some problems however converting FTPT directly to STV. To start with the tactical voters in Lincoln who voted for Labour and in Gainsborough who voted LibDem to stop the Tories probably would have voted for the party they actually wanted. As these people were never asked if they were voting tactical we have no idea how many would have changed.

The smaller parties like the Greens only fielded on candidate in South Holland and the Deepings. This one candidate if standing for Lincolnshire could have received more votes across the county, removing them from Labour/LibDems.

Also if it was true STV with you voting in preference to your preferred candidate (not party) those who voted for the UKIP, BNP, English Democrats and Lincolnshire Independents would have their 2nd/3rd/4th choices counted as their first choices were eliminated possibly giving the Tories more votes. But I’ve seen enough council ballot papers where people get 3 votes where they have voted BNP, LibDem, Green that these votes could go anywhere.

Only one thing I do know, it is deeply unfair that one party receiving less that 50% of the votes gets every single seat.

Is there an election going on in #Lincoln?

It’s a question one might ask if they visited www.lincoln.gov.uk.

The homepage has no mention of an event taking place on the 6th May

Clicking on Residents still has no clues.

Trying Elections in the sidebar finally takes me to a bland page which has a link for 2010 Elections.

And then visiting this page I am only informed about the seats per ward for the council elections with the rules.

At the moment there isn’t a list of candidates for the City of Lincoln council election for which we have thirds (nominations closed last Thursday).
And amazingly there is no mention of a General Election. No information on what to do if you wish to stand, when they might be counting the result and how to register to vote if you aren’t on the electoral register.

Whilst I knew that this was never going to be the year of the e-lection, this is shocking behavior from the City Council.

When will my bin be collected?

We’ve just moved house, not far from the last one (still in Park Ward) and tomorrow would have been our bin day. However I can see no sign of any bins out on the street. Remembering that I had seen something on the council website with a list of street names and days I tried to find it.
First I came across the GIS site run jointly with the County Council. This can tell me who is my MP, MEP, County and City Councillors, where the nearest Library, Doctor or Dump Recycling Centre is. However for the day of bin collections I just get a link back to the City Council website.
Trawling through here I can see that my bins should be out by 7am, if my bins should have been collected on Christmas or Boxing Day the alternate day I should have put them out, that the weekly large black bin trial has ended, if I have a real Christmas Tree it can be collected during the next two weeks, but nowhere I can find which day my bins will be collected on.
The closest I have found is on this page which states

To find out what collection services are available for your street, please refer to the Waste Collection Calendar (NOTE: This is currently being updated and is due to be available in March 2008).

As it’s nearly March 09, I really hope that it would be up by now.
I guess I’ll have to try the old fashioned way of working out which day the bins are, talking to the neighbours.

Why I won’t be going back to Kwik Fit

Yesterday whilst driving around town my brakes started playing up.
So I drove straight to the nearest garage which was open on a Sunday, the KwitFit on Newark Road.
I arrived just after 3 and the sign on the wall said they closed at 4.
Speaking to the man inside the conversation went something like this.

Me: I think my brakes are faulty.
KF: What’s the problem?
Me: The brake peddle is different and the handbrake is going up much higher?
KF: Hmmm… problem is I close in 25 minutes and if I take the brake pads off and they fall apart….
Me: I’m in no rush, don’t really fancy driving the car.
KF: You can bring it in tomorrow, we open at 8.30
(I start work at 8am)
Me: Any chance I can just leave the car here.
KF: Hmmm…. Insurance… Already have some cars… Hmmmm…… You “could” leave it outside (looks suggest that this isn’t actually an option).
Me: Well I really don’t want to be driving tomorrow morning, the forcast isn’t great for driving.
KF: (more looks)

In the end I drove home, and parked the car, at which point the brakes just gave up.
With customer service like this I’m not going anywhere near Kwit-Fit again.

Somerfield, Co-op and the High Street

In the last month Somerfield opened a new store on the High Street in Lincoln. Today we hear that the company has been sold to the Co-operative Group.
The question I have is, “what will happen to the store on the High Street?”.
Lincolnshire is awash with Lincolnshire Co-op’s (different to the Co-operative Group, who are owned by the old Manchester Co-op), so I don’t think they will want to compete.
The BBC talk of stores being sold off, however the names being mentioned are:
– Waitrose (already one uphill)
– Morrisons (already one on Triton Road)
– Iceland (litterally opposite),
so I don’t think any of them will buy the site.
Hopefully the real media might get some answers in the next few days.

Council Tax Limitation – Lincolnshire police authority budget

Last night when I got home, I discovered that Parliament were debating “Council Tax Limitation – Lincolnshire police authority budget”. The bill was to place a cap on the 78.9% increase that Lincolnshire police authority had made on the council tax bills. I blogged about this in March (Council Tax up by 11.1%).

So how did those Lincolnshire MPs vote?
Quentin Davies – Grantham & Stamford (Lab) – aye
John Hayes – South Holland & The Deepings (Con) – absent
Douglas Hogg – Sleaford and North Hykeham (Con) – absent
Edward Leigh – Gainsborough (Con) – absent
Gillian Merron – Lincoln (Lab) – absent
Mark Simmonds – Boston & Skegness (Con) – absent
Peter Tapsell – Louth & Horncastle (Con) – absent

Out of the 7 Lincolnshire MPs with consituents affected, only one went down the lobby.

However, at least unlike 44 LibDems, the Tories didn’t actually vote against it.

My twitter last night summed this up:
artesea disapointed to see the LibDems voting no on the Lincolnshire Police Council Tax cap on BBC Parliament.

Amazingly due to the magic of technology I got this response:
joswinson is voting against the unfair Council Tax system.

However I still can’t see how a “Local Income Tax” would have stopped the Lincolnshire Police from asking for more money than anyone would expect. Instead we now have it on record that the LibDems are “pro” 78.9% increase.

Maybe someone from the Parlimentary party would have like to have asked those who have been affected by the issue, and campaigned in elections last May what our views were first, or is that just a bit too hard?

* Voting records taken from PublicWhip.org.uk

Great Northern Terrace – Very well done!

One of the things I noticed about Lincoln compared to Hemel Hempstead is the way in which the tip is organised.
In Hemel (Herts County Council) you had big skips with metal stairs. The staff were always unfriendly and looked aghast as you started filling their bins in case you might actually give them some work to do.
Where as Lincoln (Lincolnshire County Council) it’s in one big loop. You can pull over, drop off, drive forward a bit, empty some more and as it’s ramped there are no stairs. They have collections for Glass, Plastic, Paper, Clothes, Cardboard, Tetrapak, Oil, Batteries, Garden, Electrical, Rubble plus others which I’ve yet to spot. As soon as you stop a member of staff is willing to help get stuff out of the car, sort it into the correct containers or point you in the right direction and because of this they are able to hit 75%+ on recycling what arrives every month.

So what do those under-age drinkers drink?

The Echo last week ran with a story about the Police confiscating alcohol from under-age drinkers. They published a table of what was taken and had a picture of the haul.

Under-age Drinking Now was it like what the Tories were saying? That the problem is with alcopops and super-strength booze?

Nope, here are the figures:
Beer – 157.69 litres (78%)
Cider – 25.52 litres (13%)
Wine – 7.5 litres (4%)
Spirits – 4.2 litres (2%)
Alcopops – 5.72 litres (3%)

and whilst the beer and cider figures don’t separate normal from strong, the picture clearly shows a large number of cans, bottles and boxes of Carling, Fosters, Stella and Carlsberg.