December 25, 2022 12.30 pm This story is over 16 months old

Reflections 2022: Karl McCartney – Putting Lincoln first in 2022 and 2023!

Investing in Lincoln and its future

Karl McCartney is the Conservative MP for Lincoln

Is it me, or does this year feel like one of the longest ever?

In December last year, we still had COVID restrictions, there was peace in Europe and England were going to win the 2022 World Cup. It has all changed and now due to the war in Ukraine and Putin’s murderous regime, we face a new range of issues to contend with, especially on how to help the people of Lincoln, Skellingthorpe, Bracebridge Heath and Waddington East cope with the increasing costs of living.

We should also reflect on the fact that we have our pre-COVID Lincoln back. The Steampunk Festival was back, our Christmas Market was well and truly back again (not without some issues) building on the success of last year and we were able to host wonderful Platinum Jubilee celebrations, free from any restrictions. Our community was also able to come together again a few months after to celebrate and mark the life of our dearly beloved, and much missed, Queen Elizabeth II.

Our community – the foundation of our wonderful city

In this difficult period for the country, I believe the Government is doing, and has to continue to do, all it can to support normal people and business, without bankrupting the country and putting taxes up even higher. In my mind, we need to keep investing in Lincoln, keep the economy going, keep people in work and keep working together as a community to look out for each other.

The latter is so important because one of the Lincoln’s great strengths is its real sense of community. From those working and volunteering for the plethora of charitable and community organisations, to those in our public sector working in the NHS, councils, police and justice, education, and, emergency services. We also have wonderful innovative businesses, retailers and our civic institutions from the Lincolnshire Co-op and Lincoln Cathedral through to our universities and college. We cannot forget Lincoln City FC of course, nor those based at RAF Waddington who are keeping the whole country safe. Each and every one contributes to our local sense of community.

I would like to thank each and every one for the support they give to our community.

Investing in Lincoln continues

Over the past year, I have been supporting the city through banging on the doors of Westminster and Whitehall to ensure that investment from the Conservative Government into the city remains high. This year has seen:

  • Continuing increases in the number of police officers
  • £1.3 million in funding to upgrade Lincoln College
  • further funding for our local schools, notably Castle Academy
  • £2.8 million to support skills training for young people and those seeking to learn new skills

The Conservative Government has also been supporting local people and business through the energy price caps and costs of living payment support. This is addition to the long-term investments that are still being built or spent, such as:

  • £19 million from the Conservative Government’s Towns’ Fund for the City Centre which includes the redevelopment of Cornhill Square and the Central Market
  • £110 million for the North Hykeham Relief Road (Southern Bypass) which will create a ‘ring road’ around the city by 2028
  • £94 million invested in RAF Waddington, now the home of the Red Arrows
  • In 2023, I will continue to work with the city council to ensure funding is received for a new bridge and road in the west of Lincoln to relieve congestion and to support the new Western Growth Corridor / Swanpool
  • Development

Looking Forward

Next year, my focus is like it is in all years – “Putting Lincoln First!”

I will continue to speak up for the hard-working people of Lincoln, protecting our pensioners’ incomes and ensuring there are great education and skills opportunities for younger people and everyone in and around the city. Social mobility has to move forward at pace.

I also want to see improvements in our local health service with reduced waiting times including at A&E as well as better access to GPs. More visible policing is also important especially as we now have more police officers.

At the end of 2021, I reflected that, I really want our wonderful city to be recognised nationally and globally as the “Best Place in Britain to Live, Work, Study and Visit”. I truly feel we are getting there, if we are not so already. We have the perfect combination of a wonderful heritage, cutting edge businesses, brilliant shops, a vibrant arts community, great civic bodies and a fantastic college, medical school and two leading universities. We even have a RAF base that is very busy and at the forefront of defending our country, which is needed more now than for many decades.

I will be continuing with my focus in 2023 on working with everyone to keep the economy growing, keep up the investment into Lincoln and keep doing all I can to Put Lincoln First!

Karl McCartney was the Conservative Lincoln MP between 2010 and 2017. He is now the Conservative candidate for the city for the next general elections.