UK’s R rate now between 0.8 and 1
| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite
There have been 1,877 new coronavirus cases and 109 COVID-related deaths in Greater Lincolnshire this week.
This comes as Friday saw 396 new cases and 27 deaths in Greater Lincolnshire.
The government’s COVID-19 dashboard recorded 319 new cases in Lincolnshire, 44 in North Lincolnshire and 33 in North East Lincolnshire.
On Friday, 19 deaths were registered in Lincolnshire, four in North East Lincolnshire and four in North Lincolnshire. These figures include deaths both in and out of hospitals, as well as residents in hospitals outside the county.
NHS England reported 13 new local hospital deaths on Friday, including nine at United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust and four at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust.
On Friday, national cases increased by 16,298 to 1,690,432 while deaths rose by 504 to 60,617.
In local news, COVID infection rates in Lincolnshire schools have risen, but are still too low to justify closing them early, health bosses said. There have been a further 18 Lincolnshire schools with positive cases of coronavirus over the last seven days.
Lincolnshire received 20,000 lateral flow (rapid) tests for mass or community testing along with protective and IT equipment. The county can get tests for up to 10% of the population (around 75,000 kits), but it doesn’t yet have the capacity or staff to do so.
A donor centre in Scunthorpe will be one of 14 new locations used to urgently collect blood plasma for COVID-19 treatment trials and potential general use in hospitals.
This week saw the UK’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine. It is 95% effective and United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust is one of the fifty trusts which will get the vaccine next week. Here are the groups who will get the jab first.
Greater Lincolnshire entered tier 3 on Wednesday, the toughest restrictions. Here’s everything you need to know about travelling during the festive period.
Nationally, the R (rate of infection) number for Greater Lincolnshire has fallen slightly between 0.8 and 1, meaning for every 10 people who are infected with COVID-19, they will pass it on to eight others.
The UK has said it is “confident” it will have 800,000 vaccine doses by next week – immunisations will start Tuesday. 40 million doses have been ordered.
Here’s Greater Lincolnshire’s infection rate over the last week:
Infection rate from November 27 to December 4. | Data: GOV UK / Table: The Lincolnite
Lincolnshire COVID-19 cases up to December 4. | Data: GOV UK
Lincolnshire COVID-related deaths up to December 4. | Data: GOV UK
28,003 cases (up 396)
976 deaths (up 27)
of which 589 hospital deaths (up 13)
1,690,432 UK cases, 60,617 deaths
2.75% increase for councillors if approved
Lincolnshire County Council offices in Lincoln. | Photo: Daniel Jaines
The leader of Lincolnshire County Council said he will reject proposals to increase councillors’ expenses by 2.75% for 2021 next Friday.
Cllr Martin Hill said: “I don’t think we should take anything bearing in mind obviously coronavirus issues and the fact that a lot of people out there are struggling with their jobs and their businesses.”
As council leader, Cllr Martin Hill could go from being able to claim £35,026.42 to £35,989.64 next year, a difference of £963.22, but said he will reject this increase.
“I’m fairly confident that I certainly won’t be taking it. I don’t think any of our conservatives will be wanting to follow the recommendation and we’ll be looking not to take the increase […] I just don’t think it’s right at the current time,” he said.
All 69 elected councillors currently receive a basic allowance in order to carry out their specific roles.
The basic allowance for councillors currently stands at £11,055.27 but this will go to £11,359.28 if the 2.75% increase is approved next week, and if councillors decide to take it – a £304.01 increase. No other changes will be made to allowances.
Cllr Hill’s party will be meeting on Monday to discuss the options. | Photo: LCC
However, Cllr Robert Parker, leader of Lincolnshire’s Labour party, said “I would say that we would probably be supporting it,” but understood “the timing is unfortunate”.
“This is about catching up with the allowance system which we have an annual look at.”
As leader of the opposition, Cllr Parker’s allowance would go from £9,949.73 to £10,223.34 if approved, an increase of £273.61.
Cllr Robert Parker, Leader of Lincolnshire’s Labour Party.
The level of allowances for councillors is recommended by an Independent Renumeration Panel (IRP), made up of people from outside of the council.
In 2018, the IRP recommended that the members’ allowances scheme continues to be linked to the average percentage increase in pay for employees.
Lincolnshire County Council has to agree its members’ allowances scheme every year and 2020 is no different.
From Conservatives to Lincs Independents
Councillor Bill Aron. | Photo: LCC
An East Lindsey county councillor has switched allegiances from the Conservatives to the Lincolnshire Independents because of the “flawed and suspect” selection process of his previous party.
Cllr Bill Aron said: “Having had the honour and pleasure of representing Horncastle and The Keals Division (formally Tetford) for sixteen of the past twenty years at the county council, I was looking forward to once again standing at the May Elections.
“I then found that the Louth & Horncastle Conservative selection process was somewhat flawed and suspect. I decided not to be part of it and I informed Cllr Martin Hill of the situation.”
He added: “Cllr Hill had always been appreciative of my support, especially when he needed those extra one or two seats to be able to lead the coalition.”
There are currently 69 councillors in Lincolnshire County Council (and one vacancy for Market Rasen Wolds), of which nine are Independents, up from eight.
54 are Conservatives, five are labour and one is a Liberal Democrat.
Cllr Aron said he is “looking forward to working once again with the leader of the Independent Group Cllr Angela Newton and her team as well as to continuing to support the people of Horncastle and those of The Keals.”