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‘Summer is the season for agricultural and country shows’, says Lincolnshire County Council leader Councillor Martin Hill





Councillor Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, writes of the shows in Lincolnshire and nearby counties.

Summer is the season for agricultural and country shows taking place all around us; Newark, Cambridgeshire and Rutland. And our own Lincolnshire Show which has just taken place this week.

Thousands of people have enjoyed watching and participating in traditional rural activities as well as shopping and meeting up with old acquaintances.

Coun Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council
Coun Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council

These successful events have managed the balance of maintaining tradition whilst moving forward with the times to appeal to a newer audience.

The same could be said for rural areas like Lincolnshire. Whilst we all accept that things will inevitably change, hopefully for the better, we have a duty to also protect our culture and environment.

Our countryside is increasingly under threat from many different areas such as more housing, solar farms, reservoirs, electricity pylons and large water pipelines.

New infrastructure is essential to provide the amenities on which this country relies but it is often frustrating that Lincolnshire is used as a base for someone else's needs.

For example, with a lot more of our national power being generated in the North Sea and Scottish wind farms, there is a need to transfer it to Southeast England where demand is high.

Instead of using cables on the seabed, National grid is proposing to build huge pylons and large transfer stations across Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk which cannot be correct and something LCC will oppose.

Similarly, unbridled industrialisation of the countryside with large solar farms is a big concern. Using good quality food producing and attractive land for this when there is massive scope on existing industrial buildings would seem unnecessary and gratuitous.

I am not suggesting a blanket ban but some consideration of the cumulative effect of too much in proximity must be necessary.

As taxpayer and customer subsidy is the main driver of these proposals, there is a clear duty on national policy makers on this.

Where development is unavoidable, we must make sure that it is done as sympathetically and sensitively as possible within economic constraints.

An example of this is the major water pipeline being constructed across Lincolnshire.

Anglian Water has recently ceased construction activity leaving a huge scar miles long across fields and disrupting agricultural activity.

Having started it should be finished as promptly as possible to minimise disruption, to walk away cowboy builder style is simply not acceptable and hopefully will be resolved soon.

To summarise, some development is inevitable but we all must remain alert to maintain the integrity and worth of the countryside and market towns like Grantham so that they can grow and prosper and be a lasting and beneficial legacy for those who follow us.



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