Local Democracy

There have been new 570 cases of coronavirus confirmed in Greater Lincolnshire on Tuesday, as the government said it’s “too early” to draw conclusions from a recent fall in cases nationally

The Greater Lincolnshire case figure is almost 11.49% down on the 644 cases on last Tuesday.

Meanwhile, after cases fell for the fourth day in a row on Monday, government advisors said it was too early to say whether COVID was levelling off, or is about to start dropping off.

The latest COVID stats for Lincolnshire are:

  • 570 new cases of coronavirus in Greater Lincolnshire with 420 in Lincolnshire, 94 in North East Lincolnshire and 56 in North Lincolnshire
  • Two further deaths were recorded in the government figures including one Lincolnshire and one North Lincolnshire resident
  • No further deaths were recorded in Greater Lincolnshire Hospitals

The Prime Minister’s spokesman today said it had been “encouraging” to see recent reductions in COVID infection rates, including a levelling off of admissions to hospital.

However, he added: “It’s too early to draw full conclusions from the case rates and we would continue to urge the public to abide by the guidance as set out and those eligible to get booster doses.

“Prevalence remains relatively high even if it has dropped off to a certain extent,” they added.

The government line continues to be that bringing in Plan B restrictions – which include making masks mandatory in some public places, compulsory COVID passports and advising people to work from home – was not in sight in the current data.

Scientific advisors today have also been saying the government should stop testing pupils without symptoms.

Prof Andrew Pollard, the head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, told the Commons Science and Technology Committee that widespread testing in schools was “very disruptive” due to isolations and families taking children out of school.

“I think probably we need to move in the pandemic, over this winter, maybe towards the end of the winter to a completely different system of clinically-driven testing,” he said.

“In other words, testing people who are unwell rather than having regular testing of those people who are well.”

He also told MPs the UK’s “very high” number of coronavirus cases was “partly because of our very high test rate” and the “vast majority” of ICU patients in the UK were unvaccinated.

Coronavirus data for Greater Lincolnshire on Tuesday, October 26

134,401 cases (up 570)

  • 89,493 in Lincolnshire (up 420)
  • 21,914 in North Lincolnshire (up 56)
  • 22,994 in North East Lincolnshire (up 94)

2,392 deaths (up two)

  • 1,747 from Lincolnshire (up one)
  • 329 from North Lincolnshire (up one)
  • 316 from North East Lincolnshire (no change)

of which 1,439 hospital deaths (no change)

  • 885 at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (no change)
  • 44 at Lincolnshire Community Health Service hospitals (no change)
  • 1 at Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (no change)
  • 509 in Northern Lincolnshire (NLAG) (no change)

A petition has been launched calling for South Kesteven District Council’s vice chairman to resign after a racist remark he made during a meeting last week.

Conservative Councillor Ian Stokes was suspended by his party after using the n-word in response to another member’s comments while chairing a governance and audit committee on October 20.

He later apologised and retracted the remark, however, equalities campaigners and fellow councillors have said further action needs to be taken.

A petition launched on change.org by Emma Savage said: “This is not good enough. Councillor Stokes has been suspended from The Conservative Party but he needs to resign.  This petition has been started to put pressure on Councillor Stokes to do the right thing.”

She later updated it to add: “We cannot let Councillor Stokes carry on with just a slap on the wrist.”

The petition has had more than 120 signatures since it was set-up almost a day ago.

Commenter Ephriam Batambuze said: “I’m tired of government officials (people meant to represent our communities) giving the general public the impression that it’s okay to be racist in 2021. It was wholly inappropriate for Councillor Stokes to think he had the right to use the phrase he did.”

Meanwhile, Alex Jarvis said: “Racist language is not OK. He should have known better that to use such a dated and awful phrase, but typically as a privileged white male he’s never had to think about racism or the consequences of his actions.”

Following Councillor Stokes’ actions, Council leader Kelham Cooke said in a statement: “As a Conservative group and as a district council we take any form of racism incredibly seriously, especially when remarks are made that could cause serious offence.

“As a Conservative administration we consider the use of this type of language by any member completely unacceptable. It is right that Councillor Ian Stokes has formally apologised and withdrawn the remark he made at the committee meeting.”

Councillor Amanda Wheeler (left) says training should be mandatory for committee membership. Councillor Ian Stokes (right) this week was suspended for using racist language.

A statement from the council as a whole said: “We at South Kesteven District Council take Wednesday’s incident extremely seriously and believe that racist language has no place in modern society. Our Monitoring Officer spoke to the councillor in question immediately after the comments made and we are currently investigating.”

Following the meeting it was also revealed that a majority of councillors did not take up a diversity course at South Kesteven District Council, as an opposition member renewed calls for training to be mandatory after the council’s vice chairman was suspended for using the n-word in a meeting this week.

A spokesman for the authority confirmed just 15 of the 54 members attended equality and diversity training over two sessions held on June 7, 2021.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Amanda Wheeler, who last year successfully pushed through a motion for diversity training to be offered, is now drafting up a new motion calling for it to be mandatory for councillors who want to be members on all committees – not just licensing or planning.

The third phase of a 200-home development in Boston has been submitted for final approval by the council.

Chestnut Homes has asked Boston Borough Council to give the go ahead to a further 70 homes off Wyberton Low Road. If they are successful, it will leave only 22 homes to go to finish the major development project known as Heron Park.

The development will see a mixture of one-three bedroom homes with the majority being two storey homes, but some bungalows also placed next to neighbouring properties in the north eastern corner. A third of the site will be public open space.

In documents submitted to Boston Borough Council, the applicant said: “The proposals follow the principles of the approved masterplan… will create a strong sense of place, and will deliver a locally inspired housing development where people will want to live.”

The site will be accessed from a road created in the first phase of the development.

The Heron Park masterplan was approved at outline stage in 2018 with 71 homes in the first phase given permission to go ahead.

How the third phase of the development would be laid out.

Phase two, for 32 homes on the site has also since been given the go ahead and a further application for five homes is being considered.

So far, 103 out of 120 homes requested to be classed as “affordable” have been provided within the development and Chestnut Homes says that if they cannot find suitable Registered Providers in this phase the next 22-home plan will still be able to meet the last 17 homes asked for in the Section 106 agreement.

+ More stories