Monthly Archive 30 November 2023

Full Council approves Greater Lincolnshire devolution proposal

PEOPLE across North East Lincolnshire are set to be asked for their views on Greater Lincolnshire devolution from Monday, following a Full Council meeting this evening, (Thursday 30 November).

Members of North East Lincolnshire Council voted to accept the Greater Lincolnshire Devolution Proposal at the meeting, (pictured at Grimsby Town Hall), and that it be put out to residents for their views and comments for an eight-week formal consultation period. 

Providing the Full Councils at the other two lead authorities – Lincolnshire County Council and North Lincolnshire Council – vote in the same way tomorrow and Monday, that consultation will begin straight away. This will see the 1.1-million people living across the greater county encouraged to have their say on the Proposal.

North East Lincolnshire Council Leader, Cllr Philip Jackson, who has led the devolution process with his counterparts in Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire, said: “Tonight’s decision here at Full Council is another important step in our journey towards devolution, which is set to drive forward the right decisions and growth for the people of North East Lincolnshire and the greater county.”

As reported, the agreed Proposal was announced in the Government’s autumn statement – followed by a ceremonial signing by the Leaders of the three lead authorities and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Jacob Young.

The Proposal sets out a devolution deal that moves important choices about local investment, infrastructure, and training from Government to local decision makers.

The report to Full Council said: “Councils in Greater Lincolnshire have been working collaboratively to secure devolution for our area, to deliver the leadership required to address unique long-term challenges across Greater Lincolnshire, maximise the area’s opportunities to deliver future prosperity and to ensure that Greater Lincolnshire’s residents and businesses do not miss out or fall behind other areas.”

The Proposal outlines the benefits to Greater Lincolnshire that devolution will bring, which include:

  • A Mayoral Investment Fund of £24 million per annum for 30 years to invest in infrastructure and skills development totalling £720m;
  • A one off £28.4m capital investment in Greater Lincolnshire’s priorities;
  • £2m capacity funding over three years;
  • £1m skills for job funding;
  • Local control over the Adult Education Budget from 2026;
  • A consolidated, multi-year transport fund, providing increased financial certainty.

Providing the consultation goes ahead as planned, it will run until the end of January 2024. There will then be more formal meetings to assess the consultation results and put a recommendation to the Government.

The result of that, if all is favourable, will see a Mayoral Combined County Authority, (MCCA) formed with the election for a Mayor in May 2025.

More details about the public consultation and a Q&A on devolution at

Article and image from NELC.

Historic devolution deal proposals signed today

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Levelling Up Jacob Young met the three Greater Lincolnshire Council Leaders today as they united to sign the greater county’s proposed devolution deal.

Mr Young (second left) joined North East Lincolnshire Council Leader Cllr Philip Jackson (right), along with Cllr Martin Hill OBE from Lincolnshire County Council (left) and Cllr Rob Waltham MBE from North Lincolnshire for the ceremonial event held at Scunthorpe’s 20-21 Visual Arts Centre.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Levelling Up Jacob Young said: “It’s fantastic to be here in Lincolnshire today announcing our devolution deal for the Greater Lincolnshire area. It comes alongside extra funding, more powers and a new directly elected mayor for the Lincolnshire area. I know it’s going to have a dramatic impact across the whole of the Lincolnshire County.”

North East Lincolnshire Council Leader, Cllr Philip Jackson, said: “This is a deal which will be fantastic for Greater Lincolnshire, from the Humber down to the Wash. It gives us a lot of extra spending power over the next 30 years, £24million a year for the next 30 years, and some additional money straight away that we can spend on our priority areas. But importantly it will give us extra powers as well to make sure that we can direct that spending in areas that we know local people need it, around infrastructure, around transport, around housing, flood defence and various other areas where we know we’ve got need in the county. We know it’s going to be great for us in determining the future direction of Greater Lincolnshire.”

Article, image and video from NELC.

Government announces devolution proposal for Greater Lincolnshire

DEVOLUTION for Greater Lincolnshire took a major step forward today (Wednesday 22 November), as central Government announced the agreement of a proposed deal.

The next stage will now be taken towards this historic deal, which if implemented will see millions of pounds of funding flow down from Government to a new Mayoral Combined County Authority, (MCCA) to support Greater Lincolnshire’s 1.1-million residents for the next 30 years.

Council leaders from Lincolnshire County Council and the two unitary authorities of North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire, who have led the deal process, united in welcoming the announcement. They highlighted how devolved powers would see local decisions made at a local level with new opportunities, more investment and greater growth in key areas.

This, they add, would benefit all areas of Greater Lincolnshire with all corners of the county having a say in what is needed and how money is best spent.

North East Lincolnshire Council Leader, Cllr Philip Jackson joined his fellow Leaders , Cllr Martin Hill OBE (Lincolnshire County Council Leader) and Cllr Rob Waltham MBE (North Lincolnshire Council Leader), in warming welcoming today’s announcement:

He said “Together, we share a united vision to help create the very best opportunities for our respective council areas, and for Greater Lincolnshire as a whole. There is no doubt that this proposed devolution deal is set to provide that.

“This day is of huge significance. It represents a future of collaboration, bringing with it local and direct control of the things that really matter to the 1.1-million residents of Greater Lincolnshire who this proposed new deal is for. We are delighted and now wish to take everyone on a journey which we believe is the right one for us all.”

The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said: “This historic devolution agreement between Government and Greater Lincolnshire marks a step change for Levelling Up in the region. For a long time, I have believed that Greater Lincolnshire should have the powers and devolved budgets that other areas in England have been benefitting from and I am thrilled to be able to bring that about in Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.

“Greater Lincolnshire has a rich history and a unique place in the future success of our nation, from its world-leading offshore wind energy sector in the north to its agricultural heartland in the south. By taking decisions out of Whitehall and putting them back in the hands of local communities, this deal will enable Greater Lincolnshire to unleash its full economic potential.”

This initial proposed deal, which will be built on as time goes on, promises an additional three-quarters of a billion pounds of investment fund money over the next 30 years, £24m a year, for a Greater Lincolnshire MCCA to invest in its priority areas. These include jobs and skills; infrastructure (for example, housing and highways); transport, the environment and nature; net zero; digital improvements; and innovation and trade.  

Following a formal ceremony next week, Full Council meetings will take place in the three lead authority areas to vote on the proposal, and that it should go out to public consultation. North East Lincolnshire’s meeting will take place on Thursday 30 November at 7pm.

If the three councils’ votes are favourable, residents will have their say during an eight-week consultation period due to start in early December – it is only after that, that the final decision will be made both locally and at Government level.

If it moves to this stage, the MCCA would exist from May 2025 when residents would vote for their new Greater Lincolnshire Mayor and the combined authority would be established. Existing councils will continue to run as they do now with representatives from them all forming the new MCCA board, along with representation from the seven district/borough councils across Lincolnshire, business and the Police and Crime Commissioner, (PCC).

Devolution questions and answers 

What is devolution and what will it mean for Greater Lincolnshire?

Devolution is a way in which central Government can transfer agreed powers and funding to regions across the country. This allows people who know their areas best to decide where money is spent.  Examples where this is already happening include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, the Tees Valley and more recently, York and North Yorkshire. Devolution involves the creation of combined authorities – legal bodies that bring two or more councils together to decide on agreed issues that cross boundaries.

Does this mean a merger of the three upper tier authorities (Lincolnshire County Council and North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire Councils) and the seven district and borough councils (East and West Lindsey, North and South Kesteven, Boston Borough Council, City of Lincoln Council and South Holland District Council)? No councils will not merge nor is devolution another tier of local government. The authorities will continue to exist as they are – providing the services they do now. 

So, what is different and how would this improve things in Greater Lincolnshire? A Greater Lincolnshire Mayoral Combined County Authority, (MCCA) would grow over time. For example, a deal in the first year would see money and control handed down in some agreed areas such as transport, improving skills and training, housing, economic growth, and the environment. That will expand as the deal matures with more control of finances and power agreed with Government.

How does a combined authority work? A combined authority would have a board made up of representatives from councils, along with representatives from, for example, business organisations and the Police and Crime Commissioner, ensuring fair allocation of funding. This is more efficient. If you take our highway network as an example. Roads like the A16 and A15 are vital for the movement of goods, and visitor and commuter traffic across Greater Lincolnshire. Devolved powers could see our 10 councils more able to work together on long-term plans for the improvement of all highways projects to benefit all.

What does an elected mayor have to do with all of this? A MCCA is a Level 3 devolution. It is the very best way to ensure greater control over future local decisions – which includes securing funding for cross cutting areas like infrastructure and economic growth directly from Government.  Level 3 comes with an elected mayor who is a regional leader directly elected by the people. An elected mayor is not a replacement for the civic mayors or chairs, which are ceremonial roles.

Will all this extra bureaucracy mean less money for services? It will bring more money and powers to Greater Lincolnshire. There is little to be gained from not seeking devolved powers. Indeed, this highly important economic area of Eastern England would risk stagnating. Those around us, such as Hull and the East Riding, and the East Midlands (the latter with a deal already agreed with the Government) would have forged ahead and be taking advantage of the benefits devolution brings. It is important to note that North and North East Lincolnshire will also take advantage of their geographically positions on the south Humber estuary to ensure relationships grow between the Humber Estuary and its businesses, and Greater Lincolnshire.

Why do we have to have a Mayor and won’t that be expensive? A Mayor would chair a board of 6 other constituent (voting) members and other non-constituent members, so would not make all the decisions in isolation. Our proposal is for the maximum amount of funding available to us, and the government require us to have a Mayor – directly elected by our residents – to achieve this. This means the arrangements would be robust and accountable to the public.

A Mayor would also be a champion for Greater Lincolnshire at regional and national levels, ensuring that our voice, and our needs are heard. All three councils have expressed a desire to have a small and tightly controlled Mayoral Office to manage the millions of pounds of extra funding we would receive. A Mayor could only impose a council tax precept if agreement is reached with the constituent members.

Could deals be scrapped if the Government changes? Setting up a combined authority requires legislation to be passed. Part of any deal would commit the Government legally to longer-term funding provision, including a 30-year investment funding allocation. Both leading parties have also committed to the principle of devolution.

What happens now? Following this week’s Government announcement, there will be Full Council meetings in North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and Lincolnshire to vote on whether to accept the proposed deal. If that is favourable, consultation with the 1.1-million residents of the greater county will start straight away (early December). This consultation is an opportunity for everyone in the area to have their say about devolution proposal. It is open to residents, businesses, community and voluntary groups, and other organisations in the region.

Where can I find out more? The proposed deal can be found on the website – Greater Lincolnshire devolution deal 2023 – GOV.UK ( external site 

Article and image from NELC.

Success following council’s objection to ticket office closures

Earlier this year, TransPennine Express, alongside other train operators, launched a public consultation regarding the closure of ticket offices and proposed changes to customer service at both Grimsby and Cleethorpes stations.

During the public consultation, Cllr Philip Jackson, Leader of the Council, and Cllr Stewart Swinburn, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport, with the council’s delivery partner Equans, wrote a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, expressing their strong objections to the proposed closure of ticket offices in North East Lincolnshire.

The council is making significant investments to regenerate Grimsby Town Centre and the resort of Cleethorpes to make North East Lincolnshire a better place to live, work and visit. In addition, the council has previously worked in partnership with TransPennine Express to refurbish and upgrade the ticket offices at both train stations.

Strong concerns were expressed by the council regarding the impact on the elderly and disabled who often prefer or require assistance from members of staff at the ticket offices to ensure they are purchasing the correct train ticket, to assist with journey planning or if they find it difficult to use a self-service ticket machine. Closing these ticket offices would have only worsened this issue.

As a result of the letter from the council and strong objections from the public, the Government asked train operators to withdraw their proposals, and shortly afterwards, it was announced that any proposals outlined in the consultation would not be taken forward.

The Council welcomes this decision and is pleased that the rail operators listened to the local residents and the objections and concerns raised.

Article from NELC.

Tender opens to secure principal contractor for landmark Sea Road building

North East Lincolnshire Council has been awarded £18.4m of Levelling Up Funding (LUF) to transform Cleethorpes seafront. This includes three key areas – Market Place, Pier Gardens and Sea Road.

As part of this process, North East Lincolnshire Council’s delivery partner Equans has launched a tender today for a principal contractor to play an integral role in the construction of the landmark Sea Road building.

A three-storey building will be constructed at the former Waves site on the corner of Sea Road and the Promenade, comprising of state-of-the-art public amenities and changing facilities, as well as commercially lettable space across all floors of the building, which may include different providers in retail and hospitality. 

Following Easter weekend in April 2024, North East Lincolnshire Council’s delivery partner Equans and NELC’s Project Management Team will work in partnership with the successful principal contractor to commence construction of the new iconic building with completion expected by summer 2025.

During March 2024, Sea Road toilets will close to enable service isolation to be completed prior to construction works commencing. Grant Street toilets will be re-opened as alternative provision alongside the addition of temporary toilet provision within the resort for the summer season (location to be confirmed).

The tender is now open through YORtender for potential applicants and will close on Thursday 18 January at 1pm. Please visit Public quote/tender – PS062-23 Sea Road New Build Development ( external site .

Councillor Philip Jackson, Leader of the council, said: “This iconic building takes us forward in the council’s  ambition to develop a year-round destination. Its appeal as a distinctive landmark will draw visitors and locals who seek a place to meet and socialise. It will form an important part of the town’s strategy to unlock private sector investment, creating a safe and flexible multifunctional space, that serves both residents and visitors. It will be an important social and cultural destination, which local people can be proud of.”

He added: “This well-designed building will allow us the opportunity to expand the promenade offering by redeveloping a prominent site in the heart of the resort, encouraging even more people into the area. It will bring significant regeneration benefits, representing a substantial investment into the town, with the ability to create a number of new employment opportunities.”

Article and image from NELC.

Alexandra Dock Housing site released to the market

An opportunity to create a brand new housing development on brownfield land near the Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre has been released this week.

As previously reported, the site, behind the newly renovated Garth Lane waterfront area, has been earmarked by the Council for urban housing and the Council is now looking for a development partner to come forward to drive the project forward.

The 6.25 acre town centre site bordered by Fisherman’s Wharf and the River Freshney will eventually see a community of around 130 homes with supporting commercial accommodation.

The frontage of the site, bordering Alexandra Dock, was completed in 2021, and includes the new footbridge over the River.

This area was identified for homes in Grimsby’s Town Centre Masterplan, which is supported by Homes England, and is cited as an ideal location given the water nearby and the improvements that have already taken place.

Investment worth approximately £7.8m to support the development at this site has already been secured through the Government’s Towns Fund.

Cllr Philip Jackson, leader of the council with responsibilities for the economy, net zero, skills and housing, said: “The main objective of this work is to create a place that connects the town and its community with its waterside, creating a fantastic urban living environment.

“There’s a long way to go yet, and developments of this scale don’t happen overnight. But we are working to improve the town centre as a whole and this is part of that vision. Step-by-step we want to change how our town centre is used and enjoyed as a whole.”

Potential bidders can view documentation on external site 

Selected developers will then take part in a competitive dialogue, followed by an invitation to submit formal tenders to develop out the site from 2024 onwards.

Article and image from NELC.

Freshney Place growth in first year of council ownership

In August 2022, the Council bought Freshney Place Shopping Centre. Since then, plans have been approved to redevelop the western end of the shopping centre and Top Town Market to create a new offering for local residents.

In order to facilitate this redevelopment, units within the Flottergate area have been vacated, and, where desired, relocated within the shopping centre.

Plans have also been confirmed to bring the NHS Community Diagnostic Centre into Freshney Place, securing significant additional footfall each year once it opens.

In the last 12 months, several units have committed to investing in new shop fits, and new retailers, such as New Look and One Beyond, as well as smaller independent retailers, have been brought into the centre, improving the overall occupancy rate to 90.4% from 77.3% when it was taken over.

Footfall in the same year has increased to more than 6.5million visits. Whilst this is still lower than pre-Covid, it is broadly in line with national trends, the footfall has continued to grow year on year above national and regional averages.

Cllr Philip Jackson, leader of the Council, said: “Diversification of uses away from pure retail will be the key driver of Freshney Place’s commercial performance and social value to the local community.

“Securing Parkway Cinema for the new Leisure Scheme is a huge milestone for the town centre and bringing forward the CDC will drive a different type of visitor, who will more than likely use the centre for not only appointments, but also ancillary shopping while they are on the site.

“We’re also working hard on other areas of the town centre, such as the Doughty Depot, which will bring additional staff to work in the town centre from other sites, and increase general footfall and spend.”

In the last year, there have been significant reductions in consumption of electricity, gas and water use, and along with a raft of environmental and sustainability initiatives, this has reduced the overall cost and environmental impact of the shopping centre.

Additionally, a range of social initiatives are now supported in the shopping centre, including training to be able to support those with disabilities, Alzheimers and autism, and externally supporting heritage, culture and those in need.

Cllr Jackson continued: “We wanted to take on the shopping centre to help stabilise the centre of Grimsby – to be able to use it for positive transformation, for the good of local people. In the next year, we’ll be continuing that work, driving moves towards increasing footfall and spend, alongside work to deliver the leisure and market scheme and attracting new tenants to the heart of the town.”

Article from NELC.

Dates confirmed for build start of Community Diagnostic Centre

Work will begin next month on creating a Community Diagnostic Centre in the heart of Grimsby to serve patients of surrounding areas.

The NHS has confirmed that the conversion of units in Freshney Place will begin in December this year, with a view to opening the centre next summer.

Once open, the centre will provide a range of non-urgent test facilities for local people.

Alex Seale, North Lincolnshire Place Director, NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, said: “Our ambition to provide 150,000 additional community diagnostic appointments a year to communities across North East Lincolnshire is progressing well.

“Work is due to start on the conversion of a new Hub in the heart of Freshney Place Shopping Centre, Grimsby, early next month and is due to be fully open by next summer, offering services including non-obstetric ultrasounds and a mix of pathology and physiological tests, such as ECGs and X Rays.

“It’s important to us that we are able to offer our patients these additional services as soon as possible and so, in line with the national guidance, we are working with our North East Lincolnshire Place colleagues to identify alternative locations for these services to be provided to patients prior to the new centre being operational.”

Cllr Philip Jackson, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “This is really good news for Freshney Place. Several new shops have opened in the shopping centre recently, including New Look, One Beyond and independent shops. We’ve relocated other shops within the centre to help prepare the way for the new leisure and market development. The centre’s footfall is improving month on month, and the opening of the CDC will be really good to help diversify the town centre offer too.”

As previously reported, GPs will be able to refer patients to a centre so they can access life-saving checks closer to home and be diagnosed for a range of conditions, rather than travelling to hospital.

The centres are not only more convenient for patients but are also more efficient for staff and free up clinicians’ time to help further cut NHS waiting lists.

Article from NELC.

Tender opens for Pier Gardens regeneration

North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC) has been awarded £18.4m of Levelling Up Funding (LUF) to transform Cleethorpes seafront. This includes three key areas – Market Place, Pier Gardens and Sea Road.

As part of this process, the council has launched a tender for a NEC4 Project Manager to play a key role in supporting the regeneration of Pier Gardens. 

Starting in January 2024, the council’s delivery partner Equans and NELC’s project management team will work in partnership with the successful NEC4 Project Manager to ensure the design team who will be appointed via the Pagabo framework are supported in developing comprehensive designs. 

The tender is now open through YORtender for potential applicants and will close on Thursday 30 November 2023. Please visit Public quote/tender – Cleethorpes – Levelling Up Fund – Pier Gardens – NEC4 Project Manager ( external site 

Councillor Philip Jackson, Leader of the council, said: “Cleethorpes has a wealth of assets that can enable it to be at the forefront of regeneration. Opened in 1885, Pier Gardens’ location is at the heart of the resort and the scope for re-development is vast. The area for regeneration presents a unique opportunity to create a space that will become an attraction for residents and visitors alike. The linear park raised above Central Promenade is a hidden and an underutilised gem of a public green space that could offer so much more.”

Article from NELC.

CCTV bringing criminals to justice

Close circuit television cameras in North East Lincolnshire have continued to help bring criminals to justice.

According to North East Lincolnshire Council’s latest data, 53 incidents were captured whilst in progress and reported to Humberside Police in September.

A further 27 incidents were caught on camera and have been supplied to the Police as evidence in ongoing investigations.

In 138 instances, CCTV cameras in the borough were used to support a major incident – defined as an event attended by the emergency services.

Councillor Ron Shepherd, portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities in North East Lincolnshire, said:

“The recent investment in our CCTV network has continued to bear fruit as it supports ongoing Police operations, helping to keep people safe and support our wider emergency services.

“The cameras in our network are placed strategically around the borough to make public spaces safer and they are a deterrent to many would-be criminals.

“However, where crimes have taken place, I’m pleased to see that the network has come into it’s own and, along with our really positive partnership with Humberside Police, we’ve been able to use the CCTV cameras to help bring criminals to justice.

“In two recent cases, the camera operators helped identify anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and theft. The operators helped guide the Police to the suspects in real-time and those involved were apprehended.

“I’d like to thank our CCTV operators and our colleagues at Humberside Police for the continued partnership, which is making residents in our borough safer each day.”

The large-scale upgrades, which were approved by the Council’s Cabinet in 2021, introduced a single digital transmission network enabling public space CCTV cameras and rapid-deployment cameras.

Five new cameras were recently installed nearby the bus stops in Grimsby town centre, bringing the total number of cameras in public spaces to 128. Further cameras are due to be installed in the Riverhead area of Grimsby as part of regeneration plans.

Article and image from NELC.