Karl McCartney MP welcomes the Secretary of State for the Environment, Rt Hon Owen Patterson MP, to Lincoln

Mr Patterson discusses flooding issues across the City and County, and the Swanpool/Western Growth Corridor before visiting Lincoln Cathedral to see renovations works and what the recently announced repair fund could mean for the Cathedral

On Monday, 31 March Karl McCartney MP welcomed Rt Hon Owen Patterson MP, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to Lincoln.

Flooding and Swanpool

Karl McCartney MP and Mr Patterson held meetings at County Hall and the Cathedral Centre to discuss flooding issues across the City and County, specifically discussed with local Internal Drainage Boards were concerns relating to Swanpool, the so-called Western Growth Corridor. Also in attendance were Cllr Colin Davie, the Executive Member for Flooding and Environment, and Cllr Marc Jones from Lincolnshire County Council, as well as representatives of local Internal Drainage Boards, the Environment Agency and the National Union of Farmers.

The Swanpool development seeks to create around 3,000 homes and is being rushed through by the Labour-run City of Lincoln Council. This is despite the real concerns of local residents to the potential risks of flooding and the ability of the local transport infrastructure to cope with the strain of such a large development.

3,000 new homes means thousands more vehicles causing congestion and thousands of homes that could be at risk of flooding. Local Conservatives, such as Karl McCartney MP, on behalf of the concerned residents of Hartsholme and Birchwood, as well as Skellingthorpe, are calling on the City of Lincoln Council to re-think, reform and revise the proposals for Swanpool so that they better reflect and take account of local residents’ concerns and aspirations.

Karl McCartney MP said:

“I have consistently campaigned against inappropriate development plans for the Swanpool area of our City. I am continually reminded of the traffic congestion already prevalent in the area and the substantial improvements to the road infrastructure that would need to be in place before any limited and suitable development commenced.

“Burton Waters is a shining example of what could be achieved with a little imagination and the freeing of the shackles of socialism and social engineering, with the added bonus of properly managing water capacity in the area.”

“It was agreed by all the Strategy Group at Lincolnshire County Council that Owen’s visit to our City was a particularly productive one. In turn,  Owen was suitably impressed that our City and County are extremely well served by the excellent working arrangements of organisations such as the Internal Drainage Boards, the County Council, District Town Councils, the NFU, Environment Agency and the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership. Lincolnshire truly is the County of Innovation.”

Lincoln Cathedral

After a tour of the Cathedral by the Dean's Verger, John Campbell, Karl and Mr Patterson, together with County Councillor Marc Jones, were met by the Dean of Lincoln, The Very Revd. Philip Buckler, and the Chairman of both the Bailgate Guild and Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, Mark Hollingworth, and briefed on plans for the public realm, tourism and developments ahead of the First World War commemorations and the forthcoming celebrations to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta.

Mr Patterson then accompanied Karl, the Dean’s Verger, and the Lincoln Cathedral Works Manager Carol Heidschuster, on a visit to Lincoln Cathedral to see how renovations are continuing and what the £20m repair fund for cathedrals, announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his recent Budget, could mean to the ongoing renovation timetable.

Karl McCartney MP said: 

“This announcement of £20m of new funding for cathedral repairs is good news for all our cathedrals, including our own particularly beautiful Cathedral in the City of Lincoln.

“Both Owen and the Dean were very complimentary about my involvement and efforts in this matter and I look forward to hearing from Ministers shortly about how we in Lincoln can apply to access this money. 

“Lincoln Cathedral is an important part of our community and brings people to our historic City now as it has done for many  centuries. I will work with Lincoln Cathedral as I have done over the years as the City's Conservative Member of Parliament, and also with the community here in Lincoln, to make sure we maximise our benefit through this funding stream.”