Lucy Rigby


Lucy Rigby is Lincoln Labour's candidate to be the city's next MP. She is a solicitor and lives in central Lincoln.

I love living in Lincoln with my husband and my two children and I’m standing to be our Member of Parliament because I want our city to be a better, fairer and a more prosperous place. Like many people in Lincoln, I’m from a military background. My dad served in the Royal Engineers and I was born on RAF Wegberg in Germany. Growing up in Forces communities made me fiercely patriotic and gave me a passion for public service and for hard work.

Read the columns from all the Lincoln MP candidates on our Elections 2015 page

I’ve been Lincoln Labour’s candidate to be your next MP for more than three years now and, over that time, I’ve knocked on tens of thousands of doors and spoken to residents in every single area of Lincoln, and in Skellingthorpe, Bracebridge Heath and Waddington too. I’ve listened to people’s concerns and frustrations, and I’ve heard about their hopes and aspirations for the future.

People tell me that they want their children to get on and for them to be able to afford to buy a house one day; they tell me they don’t want to see the Tories continue to cut our Lincolnshire Police force; they say their elderly relatives have been let down by the social care system, that their business is being held back by a lack of available finance, that they want our NHS to be restored to health, that our city’s traffic congestion is appalling, that their energy bills are through the roof.

On all of these things and plenty, plenty more, I’m standing for change. I’m for the many, not just a privileged few, and I want to see our city and our country really thrive. Regular Lincolnite readers will know that I’ve been campaigning on a wide range of issues over the last three years, but I’ve made five specific pledges to Lincoln residents at the General Election, so people are clear what my priorities would be as their MP.

First, I’ll campaign relentlessly for our city to receive our fair share of investment, both public sector investment, like our police and NHS, and private sector investment too. That means championing Lincoln as a dynamic city for businesses to invest and playing my part in bringing jobs and opportunities here.

Second, I’ll restore and protect our local NHS. That means more doctors, nurses and midwives for County Hospital; it means more GPs and a guaranteed GP appointment within 48 hours or sooner if you need it; and it means more homecare workers and integrated health and social care services.

Third, I’ll champion a far better transport deal for our city, including: easing traffic congestion with the Eastern Bypass built ASAP and a park and ride scheme; more Lincoln-London trains before 2019 and more and faster trains to our neighbouring cities; more and better cycle routes; improved local bus services, and solutions to the terrible congestion at the Doddington Road and Skellingthorpe Road level crossings.

Fourth, I’ll help ease the cost of living crisis and give people more money in their pocket. That means a tax cut for working people, more affordable childcare, an energy price freeze and reform of the energy market, and scrapping the cruel bedroom tax.

Fifth, I’ll help build a fairer and more prosperous Lincoln economy, with a rates freeze for small businesses, banning exploitative zero hours contracts and making work pay with an £8 minimum wage.

Lastly, it’s really important to me that people know that if I am elected as your MP, I will work day in, day out, on behalf of our city and all who live here. I will be 100% committed to being your representative – that means being your full-time MP, with no second job. I will be transparent and accountable to you at all times and I will behave in a way that I hope restores your faith in politics.

Lucy Rigby is Lincoln Labour's candidate to be the city's next MP. She is a solicitor and lives in central Lincoln.

This weekend I ran the Lincoln 10k and, like thousands of others, I’m feeling it a bit this week! Also, like plenty of other competitors, I was running to raise money for charity – in my case, for the forces charity SSAFA (the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association).

Lincoln's Labour MP candidate Lucy Rigby taking part in the Lincoln 10k road race on March 22.

Lincoln’s Labour MP candidate Lucy Rigby taking part in the Lincoln 10k road race on March 22.

SSAFA is the country’s oldest armed forces charity. It was born in 1885 after Major James Gildea wrote to The Times newspaper appealing for funds and volunteers to look after the families left behind when British forces went to Egypt. Since then, through two World Wars and many other global conflicts, SSAFA has been helping support our serving forces, veterans and their families.

SSAFA offer support in a huge variety of vitally important ways and, as someone from an armed forces family myself, I know that their help can be nothing short of invaluable.

I really enjoyed the run (genuinely!), although that was down in no small part to the excellent weather. It’s also a really good course, although this year the route was different to that of previous years; the finish line was alongside our majestic Cathedral, rather than in the Castle. This made me consider what an exciting few months we have coming up in terms of our city’s tourism offer.

Lincoln Castle is undergoing a £22 million restoration and will re-open on April 1 in spectacular fashion. To coincide with the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the castle will reveal a new vault for Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest – and Lincoln is of course the only place in the world where both of these documents can be viewed alongside each other.

Now that the castle’s medieval walls have been repaired, visitors will be able to ‘wall walk’ all the way round. The Victorian prison has been totally refurbished and will be open to the public after years of being shut off. What’s more, the Saxon sarcophagus, discovered during the restoration project, will also be on show.

All in all, this adds up to a significant boost for our city’s tourism offer and the additional income, jobs and growth it generates should prove really beneficial for our Lincoln economy.

However, the re-opening of the castle won’t be the only exciting tourism development in upcoming months. Mid-April will see Lincoln host the Spark Engineering Festival, in the city’s most precious engineering masterpiece, Lincoln Cathedral.

Then in June we will see the 2015 British Cycling National Road Race Championships come to Lincoln, as the Lincoln Grand Prix celebrates its 60th year. It’ll be picturesque, but I can’t say I envy anyone cycling up those cobbles!

Whilst the cycling is ongoing, a blockbuster exhibition of Lincolnshire-linked treasures will be taking place at The Collection, the Usher Gallery, the cathedral’s Wren Library and the castle. Artefacts will include the 1804 map of Australia drawn by Matthew Flinders (known as the birth certificate of Australia), and paintings by artists such as JMW Turner, LS Lowry, De Wint and Girton.

The challenge, in amongst these exciting events, will be making sure that our already creaking transport infrastructure is up to the task. That’s why the new park and ride bus fleet announced on Monday (taking passengers from Whisby roundabout to Newport Arch) is very welcome.

But if we are to really provide a much longer-term boost to our local economy, we need to far more. That means easing our traffic congestion with the Eastern Bypass built asap, a park and ride scheme, better rail links with our neighbouring cities and London (before 2019), and solutions for our long-running level crossing problems – all of which I am campaigning for.

Which brings me round to the other thing that’s happening between now and the summer, and the thing that’s keeping me very busy: the General Election in May. There’s lots going on and I for one am looking forward to the months ahead.

Lucy Rigby is Lincoln Labour's candidate to be the city's next MP. She is a solicitor and lives in central Lincoln.

Britain could learn a few things from Germany in terms of environmental policy – not least on solar energy, in which the Germans lead the world.

One thing the Germans do particularly well is to involve the public and local communities in financing and backing new green energy projects. This is without doubt something which should be copied here.

This weekend, Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, announced that the public will be invited to invest in new, interest-bearing premium bonds which will specifically fund billions of pounds of investment in solar, wind and other forms of clean energy.

The oversight of these new ‘green bonds’ will be managed by the existing Green Investment Bank.

The benefits of such a scheme to the environment are clear and, brutally, there is a great deal of progress to be made on this score.

By 2020, we need to invest around £100 billion in the electricity system alone, as we replace ageing and polluting sources of power with new, cleaner alternatives; but, at present, investment is running at half that level.

Having promised to be “the greenest government ever” and been pictured with huskies in the Arctic, David Cameron subsequently very firmly ditched his green mask – to the point of giving climate change deniers to key roles in government, including as Environment Secretary.

This total abandonment of Britain’s green agenda is to all our detriment and it falls to the next government to put promoting clean energy and tackling climate change back on the political top-table.

We need to do much more to secure the required levels of green investment in areas such as low-carbon energy generation, energy efficiency, and transport.

In addition, the Green Investment Bank needs new powers to boost investment in green energy if the UK was to meets its environmental targets.

The proposed green bonds would also offer financial advantages for investors, with bondholders seeing a healthy return. Experts believe that they would yield far higher rates of return than many traditional methods of saving.

However, perhaps the most welcome change such a scheme would bring would be to foster the involvement of ordinary citizens in the development of green energy policy and the nurturing of a financial and civic interest in community energy production and distribution.

In many German communities, a majority of the population are investors in an increasingly decentralised green energy system, and see their investments yielding strong returns.

Of course, green bonds aren’t the sole answer to our renewable energy needs, but they’re definitely a very welcome step in the right direction.

Lucy Rigby is Lincoln Labour's candidate to be the city's next MP. She is a solicitor and lives in central Lincoln.

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