Environment

By Local Democracy Reporter

A 100km pipeline to stop areas running out of water has moved closer to becoming a reality.

Anglian Water wants to build the pipe from Grantham to Norfolk in a bid to transport water to places that need it.

It says the plan is crucial in keeping the taps turned on in rain-deprived areas – something especially relevant with drought conditions across Lincolnshire.

The cross-county infrastructure will require approval from numerous councils, with South Kesteven District Council now giving the green light to a major chunk of it.

Anglian Water says that the importance of the pipeline “cannot be understated. It is critical in helping us secure water supplies across our region for many years to come.”

The main 95km pipeline will flow south from Grantham towards Peterborough, then east to Bexwell near King’s Lynn.

The plans also include a reservoir capable of holding 30 million litres, and a 4km pipe spur between Welby Heath and an existing reservoir at Harrowby.

The proposed pipeline’s route | Photo: Anglian Water

Anglian Water says the east of England faces huge water supply challenges over the coming years.

It hopes to move water from northern areas with plenty of rainfall to dryer areas which are starved of it.

Initial works are planned for later this year if full approval is granted, with the pipeline expected to be running by 2025.

The plans have also been submitted to North Kesteven District Council, Peterborough City Council, Fenland District Council and the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.

Anglian Water unveiled similar plans to connect Lincoln and Elsham near Scunthorpe with a 60km pipe last month.

The application states: “The east of England is officially classed as ‘water stressed’ meaning we must make careful use of this precious resource to balance supply and demand in the region.

“To tackle this challenge, Anglian Water is taking a twin-track approach to planning for the future, reducing demand through reducing leakage, installing smart meters and investing in water efficiency measures whilst also looking at new ways to supply water, reducing the amount of water taken from rivers and boreholes.”

Following your recycling on its journey from bin lorry, to sorting, to becoming something new

After you’ve washed it, squashed it, binned it, and wheeled it to the end of your drive, where does your recycling go next?

Once it has been tipped into the back of a bin lorry, your recycling makes its way to one of our network of transfer stations around the county. Here, it’s combined with a number of other loads from across your district, loaded onto larger lorries and taken for processing.

Your mixed recycling – that includes plastics, cans and tins, and glass jars and bottles – is taken for processing at Mid-UK’s plant near Grantham.

All that recycling is then put onto a huge conveyor belt, to begin the mammoth task of separating out all the different materials.

First, teams of eagle-eyed, hand pickers pull out contaminants: things that have found their way into the recycling bins when they shouldn’t have.

As the conveyor belt whizzes past them, they’re looking for items that can’t be recycled, or could damage the plant’s machinery, like electrical items and batteries, large metal items, and even gas bottles.

A series of high-tech machines are then able to sort some of the recycling. As the conveyor belt zooms on, different sized rollers, magnets, jets of air, and lasers are used to lift out certain materials, to be whisked away by other conveyors.

As the recycling splits into different streams, the maze of conveyor belts takes it through more teams of hand-pickers, who continue their hunt for contaminants.

Plastic bags and films, crisp packets and pet food pouches are the common ones, but they’ve been known to find soiled nappies and animal faeces!

After being sorted, the separated materials are bundled and sent on to factories where they’re used to make other products.

On average, less than a week after your recycling has been collected, it has already been processed here and is well on its way to becoming something new.

If you live in Boston, North Kesteven or West Lindsey, you’ll now have a purple-lidded bin and your paper and cardboard no longer comes here for processing.

By separating out these materials, we can send your clean, dry paper and card to a specialist plant, so it can be remade into a higher quality paper material.

We’ll follow the route of your paper and card recycling in a future edition of County News.

If you’re ever in doubt about whether or not you can recycle something in your bins at home, leave it out, and then check it out on your district council’s website.

Lincolnshire residents are already feeling the impact of the rise in energy bills, which could soar to over £4,000 next year, with some saying they will just cancel their direct debits.

Energy bills for a typical household could hit £4,266 next year, experts warned. The higher estimate means the average household would be paying £550 a month, instead of £164 a month currently.

Two Lincolnshire MPs said they are pleased with the support being offered by the government so far, while a third sounded the alarm for extra support.

This comes after Cornwall Insight criticised regulator Ofgem’s decision to change the price cap every three months instead of six, as higher wholesale prices are also forecast. However, Ofgem said no forecast for next year could be “robust” at this stage and had “limited value”, according to the BBC.

In May, a £400 energy bill support was announced which was calculated on the basis of Ofgem’s prediction at the time that the price cap was likely to rise to £2,800, but experts now believe this will be higher. Here’s an explainer on how to access the energy grant here.

The Don’t Pay UK movement is demanding a reduction in energy bills to an affordable level, saying: “We will cancel our direct debt from October 1, if we are ignored. We will take this action if pledges reach one million by then.”

This sentiment was echoed by The Lincolnite readers, including Laura Jayne Coupland who said: “I will just cancel my direct debit because it’s an absolute joke. It’s about time the government intervened properly, if you care about the people and the economy so much, why are you allowing it? Let me guess, you will benefit from it.”

Kayleigh Dawson said: “I’ve cancelled my energy direct debits and will pay monthly what I can afford to. I’m more conscious on how much money I’m spending on outgoings and limiting them where possible.

“But, in complete honesty, who is not worried about the ever rising cost of just living and surviving? We shouldn’t be going from being comfortable to scraping by because those in powerful positions want second and third homes.”

Karl Anders said: “People seem to have no spare cash nowadays. My print business has gone from £108k during the pandemic to £5k this year. On top of this, we’ll probably be paying £300-£400 a month energy soon based on already thrifty usage.

“I don’t think many people understand how bad it’s going to get with food price rises, etc. There is a “I’ll put a jumper on” mentality currently, which will soon be shattered in October.”

Michael Basford said: “You do what our grandparents did, you cut your cloth. Our grandparents generation were amazing and very pragmatic when it came to making a little go far.

“Make do and mend as my grandmother use to say. So people should be planning for the worst case scenario now, not when it’s here and then too late. Own it.”

Peter Sykes said: “It’ll impact me by not using my heating. Probably not being able to pay my bills. Not able to buy food. Probably lead to a lot of people needlessly dying.”

Karen Price said: “Just had a bill for gas and lecky just under £3k for 8 months! British Gas put an estimate on the bill saying it will be just under £6k for 12 months next year.

“I’m not holding my breath for the October increases and tied myself in to a fixed not variable.

“Since my last supplier went bankrupt and it’s taken oven 8 months for British Gas to get us fully swapped over, it’s already increased tariff twice.

“Five years ago I was paying under £160 per month for both utilities. £2k per year, it’s now getting beyond a joke, considering three family members no longer live at home.

Ady Brodrick said: “Rising costs are a terrible thing for people, however with a change in lifestyle and some education the cost could be reduced. Sometimes it is situations like this that makes us change.”

Dennis Murray said: “Not quite sure how all this happened, except for a bit of rumouring. The country is definitely not going to survive under the current charges.

“Businesses are going to go to the wall, people on low wages are going to end up on full-time benefits, the countries tax recipes will collapse.

“There WILL be anarchy on our streets, people who have never demonstrate will now do it, crime will increase, people will cancel house, car, life, home insurance because they will not be able to afford it.

“Pensioners and other vulnerable people will turn their heating down, and some will die. Transport and personal cars will be a no no. I could go on and on. But this is reality, and what we are facing if something is not done now.”

Lincolnshire County Councillor Colin Davie said there were challenging times ahead for people on low incomes due to rising energy costs and political instability.

He said successive governments “of all colours” had “simply failed the British public on energy”.

“They haven’t planned, they haven’t invested, they haven’t built the infrastructure. So rising energy costs, which we should have been protected, are now absolutely under the whims of other people.”

He said there needed to be a balanced energy mix including solar, nuclear, wind, but that the current infrastructure was disconnected and “not secure”.

And he warned it was only going to get worse with reserves from Norway drying up and other countries having to make drastic changes over how much they export.

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