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By Local Democracy Reporter

The people living in Lincoln’s pre-fabricated houses put up after the Second World War say they still love their homes.

There are around 100 bungalows built during the 1940s still standing in Lincoln.

One which has fallen into disrepair will be demolished, and Councillor Edmund Strengiel suggested it was “long overdue” for the others to be replaced with newer bungalows.

Councillor Strengiel, who was raised in a prefab house, told a recent planning meeting he would like to the homes replaced with newer models if residents agree and the money is available.

The City of Lincoln Council has no plans to do this currently.

The prefabs were initially built to last around 20 years to deal with a post-war housing shortage. However, residents on Outer Circle Drive say they’re still very happy with the old homes.

Terry Bell says pre-fab houses are spacious and comfortable

Terry Bell is proud of his spacious two-bedroom home with a front and side garden, which he owns himself.

“Everyone loves their bungalows, they wouldn’t want to trade them for newer ones even if they could. One gentleman likes them so much he’s been here almost since they were built,” he said.

“The houses are brilliant. They were originally meant for soldiers, not elderly people, but there’s been so much work done you wouldn’t know that.

“The council is constantly here installing new kitchens and bathrooms.

Tony has no plans to leave his pre-fab | Photo: LDRS

“The estate is completely different to 20 years ago. There used to be a family and their hangers-on that were wild.

“When I moved in, I found 14 needles which had been thrown in my garden. There was a point where I got a brick through my bathroom window.

“I installed cameras though, and they did the trick. The estate’s nothing like that now – it’s a lovely area to live.”

Barbara Forrest has been pleasantly surprised by her own prefabricated bungalow, and wouldn’t move if she got the chance.

“I was sceptical when I was offered one of the bungalows, but now I’ve been here three years, I absolutely love it,” she said.

Many of the pre-fabs enjoy spacious gardens at the front and side | Photo: LDRS

“It’s so much bigger and easier to clean than a flat. The neighbourhood’s lovely and peaceful.

“My only complaint is that I would like a bath as well as a shower, but otherwise it’s perfect for me.”

Around 157,000 homes were constructed around the country after the war, although many have been replaced with newer housing.

Dave Denton, who has lived on the road for 22 years, said: “There’s nothing wrong with these houses, they’re all good quality. My mother lived here before me and had a beautiful garden. It deteriorated when I had to look after her, but I’d like to get it looking beautiful again.

“Unfortunately, the road has got quite busy since the bypass was completed, even at 6am. It seems like people are using it as a rat run which makes it quite noisy.”

They may not look luxurious, but residents are very happy with their homes | Photo: LDRS

A local resident who lives close by added: “Most of the people who live here are elderly, and Covid took a few of them.

“It’s strange how the houses were only meant to be here a few years. Most have been bricked-up to make them more long-term. All of my friends in them seem happy though.”

 

Parents were prepared to take a fine for unauthorised school absences more than 6,000 times over the last four years in Lincolnshire, and some local parents say they’ll happily pay them to avoid holiday price hikes.

Meanwhile, some are calling for the penalty to fall on holiday companies that hike prices during school breaks.

The Lincolnite readers previously said fines for term time holidays would be “still cheaper than going in school holidays” after the government launched its latest consultation earlier this month.

Parents whose children have five days of unauthorised absence or lateness within one term, take holidays during term-time, or are out in public during the first five days of an exclusion, will face a fixed penalty notice. Fixed penalty notices are £120, reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days.

The Lincolnite asked Lincolnshire County Council how many fines were given out between 2018 and 2022. A total of 6,383 were issued, with over 60% (4,221) paid at the reduced rate of £60. However, in each year a number of fines were also not paid.

  • 2018/19: Number of fines issued – 3,083. 2,196 paid the reduced rate and 29 the full rate
  • 2019/20: Number of fines issued – 1,600. 1,036 paid the reduced rate and 11 the full rate
  • 2020/21: Number of fines issued – 539. 284 paid the reduced rate and 31 the full rate
  • 2021/22: Number of fines issued 1,161. 705 paid the reduced rate and 31 the full rate.

So what do local parents think? Chris, 38, has two school-age children that are 9 and 10-years-old and he told The Lincolnite that if he received a fine he would pay it.

He said:

“Family holidays are worth more than the fine.

“There is no system they (the government) can put in place as parents will do what they want with their children.

“Even if they double it people will find the money to pay it as it is still cheaper than a family holiday that could cost £1,000.”

Mother-of-four, and teacher, Vera Icheke said she supports the fines. | Photo: Joseph Verney for The Lincolnite

However, mother-of-four Vera Icheke, who is also a teacher, said she supports the fines.

She said: “I am a disciplined parent. I support education in every aspect and as a teacher I think parents should be patient during school times when the kids are learning.

“It makes it difficult for us (teachers). When you find a student is away, they have missed out on lessons.

“The prices of holidays are too high and cause some of these problems.

“I think the government has to do something about it and speak to holiday providers to improve prices, and maybe give penalties if they hike them.”

John O’Connor, head of education support at Lincolnshire County Council, responded to the data about fines issued locally saying: “Being in school not only helps children learn more effectively, but it also supports their emotional wellbeing and social development.

“In tackling unauthorised absence, schools will exhaust all other options for improving attendance before asking for a fixed penalty notice to be issued. Unauthorised term-time holidays are the exception, where a notice will be immediately issued.

“The majority of notices are paid at the reduced rate. If parents refuse to pay a penalty notice, this will ordinarily lead to prosecution, if agreed by the school.

“In some cases, the child’s attendance may have improved, so there is no need to prosecute as any legal route must have the outcome of improving attendance.

“For a period of time during the pandemic, the government relaxed the rules around school attendance. During this time, attendance was not compulsory so fixed penalty notices were neither issued nor processed and prosecutions ceased.”

Lincolnshire County Council’s local code of conduct says that currently the threshold for issuing a fine is a follows:

  • Where a child is absent from school due to unauthorised absence of 15% or above over a six week period. This will include lateness after the close of registration
  • Where a child is present in a public place during school hours without reasonable justification during the first five days of any exclusion

The government launched a consultation, which will run until 11.30pm on July 29, and is inviting comments on two proposals from schools, academy trusts, and local authorities:

1. Making school admissions registers electronic so it is easier for the data to be seen

2. Changing how soon fines can be issued to parents

By Local Democracy Reporter

Graffiti of swastikas have been cleaned from a Lincoln nature spot amid a rise in menacing behaviour.

Abbey ward Councillor Martin Christopher, who scrubbed several pieces off vandalism off, says Greetwell Hollow Nature Reserve needs to be kept family-friendly.

One spray-painted messages said ‘Hitler gas Jews’ and other recent ones near a cliff told people ‘Jump’ and ‘Kill yourself’.

There have also been worrying reports of youths in the former quarry with BB guns and makeshift flamethrowers.

The land is owned by the Church of England, who say they are working on a long-term solution to the problems.

“I had messages from residents about the graffiti as soon as I came back from holiday – it’s quite shocking,” Councillor Christopher said.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve had to clean graffiti off. Kids don’t fully appreciate what they’re doing.

“However, when they’re writing ‘gas Jews’, clearly some education has been missing.

“Anti-social behaviour has really gotten out of hand in the area lately. I’ve had reports of kids with BB guns and using a makeshift flamethrower to chase other kids.

“I’ve been down on a few occasions to clean up what I can – you quickly learn what are the best products to use.

“It’s a lovely area which local people really love. It was a lifeline for many in lockdown, and it’s sad to see this happen.”As this isn’t council-owned land, we can’t just go in and start making changes. It is down to the church to manage it.”

A spokesperson for the Church Commissioners for England said: “We are disappointed to learn of the graffiti and anti-social behaviour observed on privately owned land. We are working with our managing agent to provide a proper long-term solution to this problem.”

Lincolnshire Police has not responded to a request for comment about the anti-social behaviour.

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