Martin Hill

Leader of Lincolnshire County Council

Martin Hill OBE is the Conservative Leader of Lincolnshire County Council. A former farmer, Martin was elected to Lincolnshire County Council in 1993, representing Folkingham Rural. He became council leader in 2005 and was later awarded an OBE for services to Lincolnshire. Martin lives in a former pub at Kirby Underwood with wife Janice and their irrepressible Patterdale Terrier, Boris.


By Leader of Lincolnshire County Council

It’s safe to say that we have seen another mixed year, but if there’s one thing that 2021 has shown me is that so much can still be achieved, despite great challenges.

The ever-changing global virus may have dominated the headlines over the past two years, however in Lincolnshire, we have been determined that it will not prevent our progress or stop our ambitions.

Lincolnshire County Council has been forced to change the way we work and deliver our services. But I have been so proud of how we have adapted to challenges never faced before, so that we are still able to care for the most vulnerable people in our communities and improve the lives of residents.

There have of course been delays and difficulties, but we are a resilient county and residents and businesses have shown this throughout.

In the last 12 months there have been many achievements.

Our commitment to the needs of our environment came to the fore, with the launch of our Green Masterplan and the first ever Lincolnshire Climate Summit.

And the opening of the Lincoln Eastern Bypass showed that we have continued to meet our deadlines, despite the difficulties brought by COVID.

Work continues on many major development projects in the county and we have been successful in bids for government funding for new improvement works.

Although the construction of new roads and infrastructure is always needed, our focus for the coming year will be on ensuring we have the day-to-day funding we need to run vital services, in particular adult social care and maintaining our roads.

Last year, the government reduced our road maintenance grant by £12 million, and we’re now lobbying for that to be reinstated, as a minimum.

That financial shortfall was met from our own council reserves – money we had saved through careful financial management over the years.

In early 2022, we’ll be setting our budget for next year and we expect to have to use more of our limited reserves to balance the books. However, we will still be one of the lowest charging county councils in the country.

Lincolnshire has obviously not been able to escape from this new COVID variant – Omicron – but as with all previous waves of the virus, our public health teams will be working hard to support schools, care homes and residents to lessen the impact.

But we must also do our bit by following the guidance and taking up our vaccinations.

The booster vaccine programme is progressing at a considerable pace with residents across the county coming forward to increase their protection.

It’s easy to feel like the impacts of COVID are never-ending, as they still affect what we can do, where we can go and who we can see.

But I am proud of what has been achieved this year both by our residents, and by our council.

And as we approach the start of a new year, we can all take comfort that this is a clear sign that going forward, we can deal with whatever future challenges may come our way.

Martin Hill OBE is the Conservative Leader of Lincolnshire County Council. A former farmer, Martin was elected to Lincolnshire County Council in 1993, representing Folkingham Rural. He became council leader in 2005 and was later awarded an OBE for services to Lincolnshire. Martin lives in a former pub at Kirby Underwood with wife Janice and their irrepressible Patterdale Terrier, Boris.

By Leader of Lincolnshire County Council

It has certainly been the case for most of us that 2020 was a year in which we just tried to get through as best we could.

Our aim has been to maintain a positive outlook for the future and a time when we can hopefully return to a way of life that is closer to the one we are all accustomed to.

Whether that is the ability to enjoy your normal hobbies and pastimes, or just to be able to be close to loved ones again, the news that an effective vaccine is now being administered to the most vulnerable in our communities is enough to lift spirits as we head towards 2021.

The Coronavirus pandemic has brought with it challenges beyond anything we had experienced before.

But, of course, as a council our responsibilities remain the same and I am proud to say we have been able to maintain our key services so that we can support those who need it most.

Much of this has been possible thanks to our council staff, who have performed above and beyond what is expected of them to ensure our front line services can continue in an effective and safe way.

Meeting deadlines on the county’s major projects has been even more difficult during 2020, due to the conditions we faced after initiating our Covid response.

However, Lincoln’s new Eastern Bypass has been delivered despite the many obstacles thrown at our engineering teams.

I am also proud to say we have made significant progress on Grantham’s Southern Relief Road and on the Western Relief Road for Spalding, with the north section of that project due to start in spring next year.

Significant investment has been made to tackle congestion at Sutterton Roundabout, near Boston, an issue which was of great concern to road users in the area.

The council has delivered on plans to create a new state-of-the-art Food Enterprise Zone near Holbeach, which it is hoped, will attract new business within the food sector to locate to the area.

Behind the scenes, the county council has also been working hard on developing our plans for the long term future of Lincolnshire.
The economic growth for many of us here in Lincolnshire will be dependent on our businesses being allowed and encouraged to thrive, and the council is determined to make that a priority as we head towards a new year.

Along with our colleagues in Greater Lincolnshire, we are aiming to work towards a more effective way of delivering vital services in the future and we believe the wider cooperation will bring cost saving benefits to residents.

For the past nine or ten months, during the mayhem caused by this global pandemic, our public health team has been doing an amazing job in supporting businesses, schools and communities.

Those teams will need continued support because it is clear that there is a long way to go in the fight against Covid. But as long as we all adhere to the scientific guidance the battle can be won.

Every single one of us can help and if we each continue to focus on hands, face, and space, I for one believe that we can go into 2021 with confidence.

Martin Hill OBE is the Conservative Leader of Lincolnshire County Council. A former farmer, Martin was elected to Lincolnshire County Council in 1993, representing Folkingham Rural. He became council leader in 2005 and was later awarded an OBE for services to Lincolnshire. Martin lives in a former pub at Kirby Underwood with wife Janice and their irrepressible Patterdale Terrier, Boris.

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