City council leader Ric Metcalfe: Six things to take away from 2018

City of Lincoln Council leader, Ric Metcalfe, sat down with The Lincolnite to recap on 2018 and the city’s achievements, challenges and future goals.

Councillor Metcalfe addressed how Lincoln’s High Street is changing, revealed how the council was delivering new homes and talked about the “challenge” of Brexit.

Here’s what we learned from the Q&A:

  • Lincoln’s High Street – The city has “stood up well” compared to elsewhere with the loss of retailers, said Councillor Metcalfe. But, the challenge is to give shoppers an “experience” and to offer them something they can’t get online.
  • Council homes – The authority is building hundreds of homes, a step up compared to four years ago. Councillor Metcalfe said the news “filled his heart with pride” following the housing crisis in Lincoln and across the country.
  • Brexit – A second referendum seems inevitable if the House of Commons does not back the Prime Minister’s deal or does not call an election, according to the council leader. He described the country, parliament and government as “divided” on the issue.
  • Lincoln’s drug problem – The city is in a “much better place” than 12 months ago. Meanwhile, the council’s intervention team, which was set up to deal with the issue, up and running. Councillor Metcalfe predicts “really good” results over the next 18 months.
  • Lincoln’s walk in centre –Pressures remain on the county hospital A&E and it is difficult to know how people are coping with the loss of the Monk’s Road walk in centre. 
  • Commercial councils – Council’s taking to the market to balance the books is a sign of the times. Councillor Metcalfe described criticism of local government taking a commercial approach as “politically motivated”.