Monday, 15 September 2014

Wind Farm - Turbine Safety

How could the collapse of wind turbines in Devon and Cornwall affect Lincolnshire?

'An anti-windfarm campaigner fears safety reports after turbines in Devon and Cornwall blew down in winter weather could have serious ramifications for Lincolnshire.'

The scandal of UK's death-trap wind turbines: A turbine built for 115mph winds felled in 50mph gusts. Dozens more affected by cost-cutting. Why residents living in their shadow demand to know - are they safe?

'Health and Safety Executive release reports on collapsed wind turbines.'

Health & Safety Executive

'Wind power is becoming an increasingly significant contributor to the UK energy ... determine publicly available data for wind turbine failures and failure rates.'

Summary of Wind Turbine Failure

'The detailed table includes all documented cases of wind turbine related accidents.'

Wind Turbine Safety

'The wind industry is marked by both a reluctance to admit to accidents and a tendency to cover up the failings of the technology.'

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Stephen Phillips MP

Lincolnshire MP elected to top government committee

'Stephen Phillips, MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham, has been elected to a vacant post on the Public Accounts Committee.'

Public Accounts Committee

The Committee of Public Accounts is appointed by the House of Commons to examine "the accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted to Parliament to meet the public expenditure, and of such other accounts laid before Parliament as the Committee may think fit"

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Nocton Hall

Parish Council Resolution

You may like to know the following resolution was passed by the Parish Council at the meeting on Tuesday 9th September:
“This Council wishes to place on record its complete and utter frustration at the continued failure of LEDA Properties to engage meaningfully with councillors and the local community over its plans for the future development of Nocton Hall and the associated former RAF hospital site.
Yet again, LEDA Properties has shown its complete disregard for the local community by not only failing to meet its own timetable for preparing an initial site development plan, as promised at the meeting held on 8th April, 2014 with the Chair, Vice-chair and Portfolio Holder, but also not even having the courtesy to acknowledge the Council’s request for a progress report.  In addition and despite various promises to the contrary, LEDA Properties has similarly failed to take any action whatsoever to minimise the incidence of unauthorised access to the site and fly-tipping, all of which has had a significant and negative impact on the residents of Nocton.

Under its stewardship of the site and through its failure to provide proper security, LEDA Properties has presided over the unauthorised removal of many of the Hall’s Grade 2 listed features followed by its total destruction by fire, the demolition and vandalism of the buildings and site of the former hospital and the desecration of the grounds comprising the former “pleasure gardens”.  The entire area is now an overgrown eyesore and an unwelcome attraction for fly-tippers, “zombie hunters” and other undesirable visitors whose activities cause a major nuisance to local residents.  The Parish Council notes that the increasing costs of dealing with this situation fall to the hard-pressed Council Tax payers and not to the current owners.

This Council calls, therefore, on the District Council, County Council, English Heritage and our local Member of Parliament to take whatever action they can to bring about an end to what has become an intolerable situation for the residents of Nocton.  On behalf of the community it serves, this Council reaffirms its total support for the future development of the site as agreed by the District Council following its consideration of the “Options Appraisal”.  As such, it wishes it to be noted that it is not opposed, in principle, to the construction of a limited number of houses as part of the necessary enabling development – despite Nocton being classified as a Tier 3 village with extremely limited infrastructure and negligible facilities.

Since purchasing the Hall and associated former Hospital site some 14 years ago, the LEDA Properties’ lack of any meaningful action to date would strongly suggest that it has, in fact, little or no intention of developing the site until at least the arrangement whereby a significant part of any development profit is required to be passed to the Ministry of Defence (the former owners) ends in approximately nine years’ time.  It therefore calls upon LEDA Properties to engage in an honest and open way with the local community through its democratically elected Parish Council regarding its future intentions for the site.  Should, in fact, this restriction be the main reason for the lack of any action to date, then we call upon our Member of Parliament to pursue its possible removal with his colleagues in the MoD so that a sustainable development along the lines envisaged in the “Options Appraisal” can take place to the benefit of all concerned at the earliest opportunity.”


It is further suggested that in addition to its circulation by way of an open letter to our MP, NKDC and LCC, the local media (e.g. BBC Look North, Lincolnshire Echo, etc) be invited to prepare further features on the Hall in order to raise public awareness of the issue.

Parish Council

Parish Council Report – 9th September 2014

In Councillor Kate Tyler’s absence, the meeting was chaired by the Vice-chair, Councillor Ian Goldsworthy.

The evening opened with residents’ questions:
  • Use of Social Media:  It was suggested that use of Facebook by the Council might improve communications with the public.  It was agreed that the proposal be pursued once the Council’s own website had been revised – in a different part of the Doodle there is a request for someone to volunteer to make our website more user-friendly, up-to-date and informative and this additional way of communication could perhaps be included in this request.  So, if you have the necessary skills to carry out this important task, your councillors would welcome your support!
  • VHMC Minutes:  It was agreed that, in future, the minutes of the Village Hall Management Committee would be published on the Council’s website.
  • Village Hall Car Park: A resident asked if anything was being done about the potholes in the Village Hall car park.  Fortuitously, the Chair of the VHMC was present and was able to report that some 20 tons of road planings was being delivered for spreading and compacting.  He was hoping that volunteers would come forward to help him to carry out the work involved!
  • Anaerobic Digester:  Finally a Wasps Nest resident wanted clarification of the route being used by the lorries taking chicken litter to the anaerobic digester and to confirm that the lorries and any stored matter would be covered.  It was suggested that the resident approach Robert Hall of Beeswax who it was felt would be happy to clarify the position.
The following is a summary of some of the other issues discussed at the meeting:


Two minor thefts were reported.  However, Councillor Jones was concerned that residents reporting incidents, including the recent ones relating to Nocton Hall, were not being informed of the action taken by the police.  Our PCSO asked that when reporting an incident, the fullest possible information is given, including registration numbers, make, type and colour of vehicle, direction of vehicle travel and any passengers, etc.  She promised, however, to ensure that the comments relating to lack of feedback were followed up.

Highway Issues

A Community Speed Watch Scheme is being rolled out across the county involving the use of Speed Indicator Devices and passive signage.  As we already have the use of a SID within our cluster, we are asking for six “FREE” passive signs which, from time-to-time, will be put up at various sites in the village in an effort to deter speeding vehicles.  The sites will be identified in consultation with the Road Safety Partnership.

Concern was also expressed over parking on Main Street in the vicinity of the bus stops.  However, it was felt that unless a heavy handed approach was taken throughout the village on all of our roads then there was very little that we, as a Parish Council, can do about it other than to urge all residents to make sure that when parking they do so as considerately as possible and in a way which does not impede buses from stopping at designated stops and passengers from using the drop-down sections of pavement.

Nocton Hall

Over the months and years, the Parish and District Councils have been working tirelessly to try to bring about a resolution of the situation at Nocton Hall.  Unfortunately, none of our collective efforts have led to anything positive so we have now put forward a strongly worded resolution to all the powers saying that enough is enough!  The full resolution can be read on the PC Website and Nocton Blog.

Village Hall Refurbishment Project

The Clerk reported that the architect, Steve Saunders, had been unable to make the last meeting but it was hoped that initial plans for a remodelled Hall would be ready for the next meeting on 25th September, or very soon thereafter.  All of us are keen to get started on this project!

Nocton Trail

A request for £1,000 for the printing of new Nocton Trail pamphlets was received and whilst it was agreed to offer some support, the limited funds available to the Parish Council meant that the Applicant would be asked to look at the possibility of obtaining additional funding from other sources.

Youth Club

Great news!  Vicky Rowding from North Hykeham has been appointed as the Nocton Youth Club Leader.  The Club should have its first meeting shortly and all residents with young folk need to keep an eye out for details of the launch!

Best Kept Village

Councillor Burr reported that Nocton had reached the final five villages but unfortunately had missed out on the top places – but well done to everyone involved for getting us this far!  After two years of stirling work, work commitments mean that Jilly Burr is standing aside from leading on BKV.  However, should another Group or individual wish to take up the batten to lead on this important activity, the Parish Council will be happy tp offer every possible support.

Nocton Village Planters

Winchester Growers are to supply spring bulbs for the next planting.  In the meantime, ‘green manure’ will be sown over the winter to feed and enrich the soil.

Local Plan for Central Lincolnshire

Our County Councillor, Marianne Overton, updated us on the current position relating to the Local Plan for our area.  This is now going out for public consultation and Councillor Overton urged everyone to make their comments known – this time around it should be much easier to do so and we were assured our opinions will be listened to!  The Parish Council will be considering this very important matter at its next meeting so that it can make its own comments on the draft Plan.

Proposed Wind Farm at Nocton Fen

Councillor Overton also reported that she understood that the grid which would take electricity from the proposed site of the new wind farm was currently at full capacity but wasn’t sure what effect this would have on the scheme.  It was, of course, possible that by the time any application is made, the position may have changed.

Date of next meeting: 21 October, 2014 at 7.00pm

“Remember: Praise loudly Blame softly”

Councillor MaryAnn Williams