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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak quizzed on the A1, solar farms and RAF Scampton during visit to Lincolnshire

The Prime Minister has vowed to make a ‘strong investment’ in our accident-ridden stretch of the A1 - and promised to protect prime farmland from solar farm developments.

Conservative leader Rishi Sunak visited the Great Wood Farm Early Years Centre in Boothby Pagnell today (Monday June 17) as part of the General Election campaign trail.

Mr Sunak was quizzed about the state of the A1 — and the general struggle for funding for Lincolnshire’s crumbling road network. It came after yet another incident was reported on the A1 today.

LincsOnline's Daniel Jaines (left) with MP Gareth Davies and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during today's visit to Boothby Pagnell.
LincsOnline's Daniel Jaines (left) with MP Gareth Davies and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during today's visit to Boothby Pagnell.

He said he was aware of the importance of transport investment from talking with Gareth Davies — who held the former Grantham and Stamford seat before the election was called — and residents during his visit to the county.

He said: “It's the Conservatives that have already invested millions of pounds in safety on the A1 particularly particularly the Grantham to Stamford bit — I think it's over four million pounds that's been invested there.

“And you will always see strong investment for us in the A1 because I know what an important local and national route it is.

“But also, because of the decision that I made on HS2 to stop pursuing the rest of that project and instead reinvest every penny of that in local transport across the country, Lincolnshire will receive over 250 million pounds of brand new transport investment to be invested in local transport that people here prioritise.”

He also said that more should be invested in roads maintenance. This has been the subject of a campaign by the Conservative-led county council, which has failed to recover funds cut by the Government previously.

Mr Sunak was also quizzed on his views about solar farms — with the county currently the subject of a large number of applications for these developments on agricultural land.

He said he had spoken with MPs in the county about this issue and explained: “We looked into it and we changed the planning policy framework and a statement was laid in parliament, before it broke up, which made it crystal clear that we will protect the prime agricultural land from solar development.

“I want to make sure that we increase food production in our country and, indeed, our manifesto did not just commit to protecting prime agricultural land from solar development, it also commits to a new statutory target for food security, because I think producing more British food here at home is an important project for our country's security.”

Mr Sunak was also quizzed on the future of the former RAF Scampton site — after a row over whether this should be used to house asylum seekers.

He said he understood the ‘frustrations’ with the matter, which he described as an ‘emotive’ issue — and pointed to a compromise deal with West Lindsey District Council, in which only 10% will be used to house asylum seekers on a ‘temporary basis’.

He said the election provided voters with a choice between his party, and its Rwanda scheme, and the Labour Party, which he said would scrap this — and said his was the party that could ‘put an end to illegal migration’.

The candidates in the Grantham and Bourne parliamentary constituency are:

• Vipul Bechar (Labour)

• Gareth Davies (Conservative)

• Anne Gayfer (Green)

• Alexander Mitchell (Social Democratic Party)

• Charmaine Morgan (Lincolnshire Independents)

• Mike Rudkin (Reform)

• Ian Selby (Independent)

• John Vincent (Liberal Democrats)

Candidates for all seats in and around Lincolnshire can be found here.

What do you think of the Prime Minister’s comments? Let us know your views below…

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