Greater Lincolnshire

“Heart-broken” residents could get a £10.7million refurbishment of the Deepings Leisure Centre after accusations council leaders had “lied” flew across South Kesteven District Council’s chamber on Tuesday.

A meeting of the authority’s joint scrutiny meeting on Tuesday examined a series of options for the leisure centre which was closed in July after rainwater leaks in the roof caused safety concerns, with councillors U-turning on a decision to make the closure permanent after a backlash from local residents.

Councillors on Tuesday instead voted to recommend moving forward on “Option C” which would cost £10.663 million.

If approved it will see the centre undergo a full remodelling and refurbishment including reconfiguration of the main pool, a new health and fitness gym, two new studios, a changing village, modification of the entrance area and refurbishment of the sports hall.

Residents were given the chance to speak before the meeting. Eileen Grey, a resident and user for 40 years, said: “When the leisure centre closed, 40 years of my life was taken away from me. I’m heart-broken this has happened.”

Robbie Tyler, who runs a martial arts club said: “The closure of DLC has impacted our club massively. Without it we can’t do a lot of the things we were.”

“A lot of opportunities have been missed and the people in the Deepings are crying out for it.”

Conservative Councillor Barry Dobson told the committee: “Investing in high quality leisure facilities across the district is a key part of this council’s ambition.”

“Whilst a new build for the Deepings area was once a possibility this is sadly no longer the case.”

He said there had been a “drastic” reduction in income and finances were “under pressure”. “We must align our diminished resources for all residents across the district.”

Independent Councillor Phil Dilks accused the leadership of making untrue statements on election campaign leaflets.

He said the council had “continued to throw money at a fantasy smoke and mirrors sham” despite being told in reports that new builds were unfeasible.

“The people of the Deepings have been very patient and without their passion and support the original recommendations to close the centre and walk away would already have been implemented.

“The people of Deepings had been let down. They have been lied to and they have been betrayed.”

Independent Councillor Ashley Baxter said he was “furious and disappointed” and told Councillor Dobson: “That was a lie on your leaflet.”

The comment sparked calls for an apology and for the statement to be withdrawn.

Councillor Dobson responded that despite new build funding being previously agreed, it was no longer possible due to funding issues, and adding a new build would “create ongoing financial pressure”.

He added: “I do not tell untruths, I do what is best for everyone and I do what is right for everyone.”

He added: “The question Councillor Baxter wanted to say – I do take absolute exception to and I will not answer.”

Conservative council leader Kelham Cooke, noting the impact of COVID-19, said: “It has been an ambition to replace the leisure centre but […] quite simply the investment in the leisure market has diminished.”

Councillors were warned savings would have to be made in the budget to afford the costs, as well as potential council tax increases.

Councillor Stokes said: “To facilitate [a refurbishment] we’re going to have to make decisions and these are going to be decided by full council. It’s not going to be an easy decision.”

Conservative Councillor Mark Whittington said: “For a variety of reasons the people of Deepings have been let down by SK, LCC and others, and I do think we need to be as reasonably ambitious as we can.”

Lincolnshire musician Holy Humberstone has been nominated for the prestigious Rising Star award at the BRITs this year, an honour won by the likes of Adele and Sam Fender in previous years.

Humberstone, 21, has enjoyed another stellar year. Her stock continues to grow in the music industry, releasing her critically acclaimed second EP The Walls Are Way Too Thin earlier this month.

Her debut EP, Falling Asleep At The Wheel, was released in August 2020 and has amassed over 200 million collective streams to date.

Holly performed remotely from the middle of a road on the talk show. | Photo: The Late Late Show with James Corden on YouTube

The singer from Grantham has also made strides over in America, having performed on James Corden’s The Late Late Show in February, and played multiple shows Stateside in 2021 after signing a record deal with Interscope and Polydor Records.

She finished runner-up to rapper Pa Salieu in the BBC Sound Of 2021 list, as well as being nominated as an Ivor Novello future star this year, and playing huge slots at a host of major festivals, such as All Points East and Reading & Leeds.

Now, Holly will be up for the BRIT Award for Rising Star, formerly known as Critics’ Choice, alongside London-based artists Bree Runway and Lola Young.

The award comes with esteemed acclaim, having been previously won by megastars such as Adele, Florence & The Machine and Sam Smith.

If Holly were to win, she would be the first Lincolnshire artist to take home the award, and she already is the first singer from our county to be nominated for it.

Holly said on social media that she couldn’t believe her nomination, saying: “Pinching myself how is this even real! This is so cool! Nominated for an actual BRIT Award.”

You can listen to Holly’s latest release The Walls Are Way Too Thin EP on any streaming service by clicking here.

Former Boston United manager Dennis Greene has been named as the new boss at Grantham Town FC.

Greene, 56, replaces former England international Carlton Palmer as manager of The Gingerbreads, after Palmer resigned earlier in November.

Palmer resigned from the Lincolnshire side after ex-chairman Darren Ashton stepped down from his role, and said his decision was made “with great sadness”.

Carlton Palmer was in charge at Grantham Town until November 9. | Photo: Carlton Palmer via Twitter

Grantham are facing an uphill battle to stay in the Northern Premier League, sitting bottom of the table with just three wins from their first 19 games.

Hoping to steady the ship, Dennis Greene brings with him a wealth of non-league experience from his time in charge at Boston United between 2013 and 2016, where he guided the Pilgrims to two play-off semi-finals.

His first game in charge at Grantham Town will be against Scarborough Athletic on Saturday, November 27.

Dennis had this to say about his appointment: “After being out of football for a while I got the buzz back whilst managing AFC Telford. I have always watched what is happening at Grantham and I am looking forward to keeping Grantham in the league this season and challenging at the other end of the table next season.”

+ More stories