South Kesteven District Council leaders will approve a £100,000 spend on an event to unveil the new Margaret Thatcher statue in Grantham.

The £300,000 bronze statue of the Iron Lady was brought to the town by Grantham Museum, SKDC and a Public Memorials Appeal.

It was originally destined for display in London but it will now be on a 10ft plinth on St Peter’s Hill Green in the Lincolnshire town.

The £100,000 unveiling event, said documents, will be used to promote “inspirational women of South Kesteven” — including the first female police officer Edith Smith and Duke of Wellington friend and advisor Harriet Arbuthnot.

“The statue is expected to attract many visitors to the area which will increase Grantham and South Kesteven’s status as a destination for tourism with the associated benefits that brings,” said the report.

“An increase in visitor numbers to the area will boost the local economy and benefit our local shops and businesses.

“The interest from visitors to the area will support Grantham Museum and enable them to develop their permanent Margaret Thatcher exhibition which already attracts thousands of people each year.”

Sculptor Douglas Jennings applying the finishing touches to the statue when it was created.

The costs of holding “an event of this scale” said officers were “balanced against the potential benefit of commemorating one of the most famous people to have come from Grantham, and the opportunity for the statue and unveiling event to attract global attention”.

They said not holding an event would be a missed opportunity due to the attention expected.

Once unveiled the council will take on ownership and maintenance of the statue.

The statue was approved in February 2019, despite concerns she would be targeted by “politically-motivated” vandals.

Recommendations at the time said it should be placed on a “sufficiently high plinth” and in easy view, in a bid to avoid it being attacked.

According to reports the statue would be placed on a 3.2 metre high plinth, making it over 6.4 metres tall in total.

| Photo: Getty Images

Margaret Thatcher (nee Roberts) was born and raised in Grantham and attended Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School, before gaining a scholarship to study at Oxford University.

Her father Alfred, a grocer, was mayor from 1945 to 1946. She entered the House of Lords in 1992. She was Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.

Plans to build the statue on Parliament Square, in London, were previously rejected by Westminster Council due to the fear of it being targeted by protestors.

Developers have appealed against North Lincolnshire Council’s decision to reject plans to build 79 homes in Kirton in Lindsey.

The Strategic Land Group were denied planning permission to build on the land north of Ings Road in Kirton in Lindsey back in August.

This was after more than 200 objection letters were received from the community during the planning application process.

The council refused permission because they were not convinced Ings Road was big enough to enable access for the development.

Other reasons included increased hazards to vehicles and pedestrians and an overall reduction in highway safety.

In their appeal, the developers said “Ings Road is currently lightly trafficked and will remain so” and “persistent shortfall in housing land supply means that planning permission needs to be granted for more residential development sites”.

Initial plans for development.

Michael Orridge, a Kirton in Lindsey resident, said: “It is very disappointing that the applicant has decided to appeal the refusal despite the fact the application was unanimously refused by the Planning Committee of North Lincolnshire Council.”

Mr Orridge added that: “This clearly demonstrates that the community does not think development of these fields, located in the open countryside and accessed off a rural narrow lane, is suitable, logical or safe.”

Staff at Lincoln County Hospital are outraged as they continue to be given parking fines, despite being allowed to park for free on the premises.

Free parking for all facilities had been introduced at Lincolnshire hospitals in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but charges were brought back for visitors (albeit halved) at the start of November, but staff parking remained free.

Despite this, several staff members at Lincoln County Hospital have said they are still being fined, both for using the staff parking area and the visitor spaces when A&E staff work overnight.

Lincoln County Hospital staff have been getting fines despite parking being free for them.

Staff are told their parking should be logged automatically once they register their vehicle registration plates with the trust, but despite this fines are still happening.

The ANPR system at the hospital is subcontracted to private firm ParkingEye, and the car park has been blighted with issues from the start.

One staff member, who asked to be kept anonymous, told The Lincolnite that over 20 people who work at the hospital have been fined in November alone.

They said: “People are annoyed and upset. The staff are working tirelessly, putting themselves on the line to help everyone else, but literally nobody has their back.

“I have just done three nights, I’m exhausted, and then I get this in the mail? It is heart wrenching that this is the thanks we get.”

The member of staff also said that the appeals process took so long that fines would end up piling on top of one another.

“The hospital don’t want to take any responsibility and just tell their staff to deal with it directly, even though there is no direct contact number to call, so we are waiting for a reply via email.

“This takes so long that you get more fines in the meantime.”

Simon Evans, chief operating officer at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Car parking on all of our sites is free for colleagues so long as they have registered their vehicles and park in accordance with the rules.

“If anyone feels that they have received a parking charge notice in error, then there is a simple appeals process that we would encourage them to follow.”

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