Monthly Archive 28 February 2024

“Helping children to be the best they can be” – vision for Children’s Services unveiled

THE future of children living in North East Lincolnshire is a priority under the Council’s new vision for children’s services, according to new Director, Ann-Marie Matson.

Ms Matson spoke with staff last week at an event to unveil the Council’s new vision for the service.

During the event, the new director of children’s services described the ‘transformational journey’ that the service has been on since 2019, and outlined her ambition for the service to become confident but compassionate, with leaders at every level – a workforce that focuses on the needs of children and their families and creates change where change is needed.

The vision was first published last December in an event for Councillors, stakeholders and partners, and forms the basis of the Council’s work with Ofsted and the Department for Education.

Ann-Marie Matson joined North East Lincolnshire Council last December, going on to quickly recruit a new, permanent leadership team.

Speaking at the event, Ann-Marie Matson said:

“Our offer has to be about helping children to be the best that they can possibly be. As a service, we must be compassionate, but confident, and our work must always be about making a real difference”.

“We want a service that has leadership at every level that empowers our staff to provide the best outcomes for the children and the families that we’re working with. That means compassionate leadership, clear leadership and confident leadership.”

Speaking about the desire to avoid sending children with complex needs out of the area for their care and education, Ms Matson went on to add:

“We must always seek to gain the best outcomes and that means wherever possible keeping children here, in North East Lincolnshire –  in their community, their homes with their families and friends.”

Finally, Ms Matson spoke about the desire to attract new staff. In recent years, a national shortage of skilled positions such as social workers and education psychologists has seen the Council struggling to manage complex cases.

“We want to create a skilled, stable and confident workforce which are focused on identifying and meeting need early”.

“This will mean an increase in apprenticeships, growing our own social workers, and developing those relationships that we have with universities in and around the region.”

If you’re interested in joining our team, we’re hiring now to a range of new Practice Supervisor and Service Lead roles across Children’s Social Work. Closing date 10 March 2024.

Practice Supervisors Social Work – find out more at external site 

Service Leads Social Work – apply now at external site 

We’re also recruiting Social Workers at all levels of experience. Apply now at external site 

The event was held at Grimsby Town Hall on the same day as the Council’s latest Ofsted Monitoring Report letter was published, showing further improvement in the service.

Councillor Margaret Cracknell, portfolio holder for children and education, said:

“We have made a tremendous amount of progress. Our service has grown in capability, and continues to grow.

“Ann-Marie has brought with her a significant amount of experience of what an Ofsted-rated outstanding local authority looks like, and that will be intrinsic to our own journey in the years ahead.’

“We want the very best outcomes for our children. They are our future and we are prioritising every stage of their development, whether that be through activity and networking groups at our seven family hubs, through mental health support for school-age children, or through careers advice for school and college-leavers.

“We want to work with our partners in the community to make sure that children and young people have access to the best support possible.”

Article and image from NELC.

Council secures £1.2m to deliver weekly food waste collections

North East Lincolnshire Council have received more than £1 million in funding from the Government to help with the implementation of separate collections of food waste for recycling.

The investment comes as part of the 25 Year Environment Plan by Central Government to leave the environment in a better condition for future generations.

In April 2021, the council carried out a pilot scheme in which about 4500 households across five different wards took part in food waste collections. The aim was to reduce household waste by raising awareness about the amount of food waste we throw away and increase recycling.

In March 2022, a further 850 homes were added to the pilot, including a mix of urban, suburban and rural neighbourhoods.

Most people felt the scheme was beneficial and supported it being rolled out permanently.

The full scheme rollout, planned for 2023, was delayed nationally due to issues such as the coronavirus pandemic. All Councils in England are now expected to roll the scheme out by April 2026.

The food waste is deposited indoors in small bins called caddies before being emptied into slightly larger food waste bins stored outside. These are collected by operational crews weekly. After collection, the waste is often taken to anaerobic digesters and transformed into different forms of energy.

The £1.2 million funding is to be used for procuring the bins and caddies as well as the vehicles to help collect them. North East Lincolnshire Council is currently conducting research into how the scheme will operate with a view to provide a further update in autumn this year.

Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport, Coun Stewart Swinburn, said: “This is a great opportunity for North East Lincolnshire Council to make further advancements in waste reduction and recycling.

“As well as this, it will be a massive step forward in our goal to be carbon neutral by 2030. We want North East Lincolnshire to have a green future with a focus on achieving a circular economy, rejecting a throw-away society and making recycling a priority.

“Although this won’t be fully rolled out until 2026, there are a lot of positives to take from the successful pilot carried out in 2021 and I look forward to watching this take shape in the coming months.”

Article and image from NELC.

Council leader’s speech in full

The leader of North East Lincolnshire Council outlined the refreshed Council Plan in a speech at last night’s Full Council meeting.

Here is Coun Philip Jackson’s speech in full: “The Council Plan was originally agreed in February 2022, setting out our aspirations, aims, and objectives for the three-year period from 2022 to 2025. The plan is focused on our priorities, with a clear agenda to protect our children and young people, improve the lives of all our residents, aspire to our low-carbon agenda, and provide a sound economy where aspirations are nurtured and where people can live better lives. None of this has changed. We remain committed to our vision for ‘stronger economy, stronger communities’.

“This refresh of the Council Plan recognises the challenges in North East Lincolnshire and our response to them. We continue to move forward with our plans and support the continued development of the renewable and low-carbon energy sectors, alongside investment in ports and logistics and the on-going importance of our flagship seafood sector.

“For our borough to grow and for our people, especially our children, to reach their full potential, we will continue to focus on inward investment, skills, innovation, and job growth.  Coupled with the Greater Grimsby Town Deal and the awarding of many millions of pounds of grant-funding for our urban and coastal areas, we are making real progress.

“Cleethorpes has a vibrant future ahead and the next three years will see more positive change thanks to the awarding of £18.4-million of Levelling Up Fund monies. The successful Levelling Up Award for Grimsby of £20-million and the 10-year Long-Term Plan for Town endowment of £20-million, coupled with our ownership of Freshney Place and the ex-House of Fraser store, will build on the ambition of the Town Deal and deliver major improvements to Grimsby Town Centre.

“We are accelerating our contribution to tackling the effects of climate change, with a target of achieving a net-zero carbon impact by the council and its assets by 2030. We will work with partners, communities, and businesses to achieve this ambition across the whole borough in the longer term.

“We must continue to work together to ensure that those living within our communities can benefit from the opportunities we have – raising aspirations across the board. We know the most significant challenges will be in our more deprived wards.

“This refreshed plan continues to recognise the need to balance economic growth and the green agenda, making sure that we take our community with us and enable the best outcomes for the families that live, work, and visit here.

“I want to see North East Lincolnshire become a more prosperous and attractive place to live, work and visit. Our ambition for Greater Lincolnshire Devolution, along with continued pan-Humber collaboration and the new Freeport arrangements, will also make major contributions.”

As reported here, the delivery of a balanced budget, with improved frontline environmental services and continued investment in urban regeneration and support for young people, has been announced by North East Lincolnshire Council for the 12 months starting in April.

Council to continue its journey of transformation and regeneration

The delivery of a balanced budget, with improved frontline environmental services and continued investment in urban regeneration and support for young people, has been announced by North East Lincolnshire Council for the 12 months starting in April.

Councillors attending last night’s Full Council meeting, when the budget report for 2024/2025 was discussed, also heard leader Cllr Philip Jackson announce an extra £250,000 investment to improve the street scene in Grimsby Town Centre and the main resort of Cleethorpes.

In his budget speech at Grimsby Town Hall (pictured), Cllr Jackson revealed how an environmental ‘hit squad’ would focus on clearing streets in key resident and visitor areas of the two towns, with other improvements.

“This investment will make a visible difference to some of our key town centre and resort areas, and in announcing this we all recognise just how important it is to improve public places both for our residents and visitors,” said Cllr Jackson.

The budget report itself contained details of how the council will continue to take a ‘more commercial approach’ with investments, such as the redevelopment of Freshney Place, progressing. This, adds the report, will support the ambition of the borough at a time of ‘significant economic challenge’.

The transformation journey of the authority’s Children’s Services is also remaining a priority, with both that, and regeneration, being central to the growth and prosperity of the borough. It was also confirmed there would be no cuts to frontline services, and went on to detail how the council is going to build up its reserves. Like a savings account, this is money that the council must set aside in case of emergencies or unforeseen costs, and is a legal requirement.

The report adds how the transformational change in certain areas is being supported by what is called the ‘flexible use of capital receipts’.

As reported in December, North East Lincolnshire Council exchanged contracts with ABP on the purchase of 200-acres of land for a number of new warehouses and distribution centres. Under Government rules, council monies raised from such purchases, called capital receipts, can be used to fund transformational change.

Cllr Jackson, said: “For our borough to grow and for our people, especially our children, to reach their full potential, we will continue to focus on inward investment, skills, innovation, and job growth.  Coupled with the Greater Grimsby Town Deal and the awarding of many millions of pounds of grant-funding for our urban and coastal areas, we are making real progress.

“This is a journey that does not happen overnight but the work we are leading will make a difference and this budget enables us to continue to do so during the next 12 months. This is, I must stress, without making any cuts to our frontline services, and providing the extra environmental investment.”

At the meeting, the North East Lincolnshire councillors voted to approve the budget report, which also confirmed the setting of the council tax for the 12 months from April. This will see an increase for the coming year of 2.98% with a further 2% ringfenced to support investment in adult social care.

However, in doing so, councillors also committed to an increase in its Council Tax Hardship Fund from £50,000 to £100,000 for the 12 months from April – reflecting the current challenges for lower-income households.  The scheme has been developed by Local Authorities across the country to support residents who are suffering hardship and need assistance for a specified period to pay their Council Tax.

The increase in Council Tax, coupled with the various grants, the annual Government settlement, and one-off extras, which include the recently announced additional social care funding, has provided an uplift in council income of 7.5% for the 12 months, adds the report. And that has been further supported by its decision to implement the flexible use of capital receipts.

The aims and ambitions of North East Lincolnshire Council are laid out in its refreshed Council Plan, which is available to read online at Council Plan – Our vision and aims | NELC (

Article and image from NELC.

Tender awarded for design of Cleethorpes’ Market Place scheme

A design architect has been appointed for Market Place as part of the Cleethorpes Levelling Up Fund projects.

Gillespies will play an integral role in the rejuvenation of the historic square, adding space for social interaction by reconnecting our busy seafront and town centre, creating jobs, and boosting the economy.

These improvements will re-balance the relationship between traffic and pedestrians, encouraging wider circulation of people through the town by providing a safer, healthier, and more pleasant environment for pedestrians, encouraging a circular route from the seafront through to Market Place and to the town centre.

Gillespies is a diverse, free-thinking team of landscape architects, masterplanners and urban designers based in the UK. Established 60 years ago, the practice is committed to designing intelligently with nature to build exceptional places for unique stories to unfold while reflecting local character and history. From small community parks and market squares to regional city masterplans, every project delivers unique settings that bring people together to share meaningful experiences.

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.

The council’s delivery partner Equans and NELC’s project management team will work in partnership with the successful design consultancy to develop designs. Community engagement events will be undertaken with local businesses, the wider community, and residents within the vicinity of Market Place. These events will be designed to generate interest and ideas which will assist with the development of concept designs for Market Place.  Once designs are finalised, a main contractor will be appointed during the summer, with works starting thereafter.

Tom Walker, Partner at Gillespies, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be helping NELC, local businesses and residents rethink and redesign the Market Place at Cleethorpes. This project is an incredible opportunity to transform a space with enormous potential. What is particularly pleasing is working at a seaside resort and space, where joy, richness, and fun can be the focus. It’s important work, but not too serious. There are some excellent businesses around the area that will significantly benefit from the redesign, which could also transform the lives of local people and the visitor experience.”   

Councillor Philip Jackson, Leader of the council, said: “North East Lincolnshire Council has an ambitious vision for the growth and regeneration of the resort, diversifying Cleethorpes’ offer and extending the season, both to support the local economy and local people. We’re working hard to make sure that the money spent in this borough is to the benefit of everyone living and working here.”

Article from NELC.

Local Plan Review: questions answered on video

Spatial Planning Manager Ian King (above) answers frequently asked questions as the public consultation into the draft North East Lincolnshire Local Plan Review continues – and if you have a question you can ask him!

PEOPLE across North East Lincolnshire are being given the opportunity to put questions to a leading officer as part of the on-going public consultation into the draft Local Plan Review.

The borough’s Spatial Planning Manager Ian King is answering some of the most frequently asked questions during a special video session, which will be going live on North East Lincolnshire Council’s Facebook page external site  and YouTube external site  at 7pm tomorrow, Thursday 22 February. The video is 18-minutes long as it covers a lot of questions with thorough answers – so please do feel free to jump to the questions you are interested in or watch it in sections and send your questions in at any time as the comments sections will be monitored.

As reported, the proposed Local Plan Review is subject to public consultation until Friday 8 March. People are asked to take part to have their say on proposals to shape and develop North East Lincolnshire in the years ahead. All residents who take part will be entered into a draw with a chance of winning a £100 shopping voucher.

To explain parts of the Plan and its review, Ian, who works with the council’s delivery partner Equans, is on video explaining some of the queries that he and his colleagues have been asked during public sessions this month.

And when people watch the video, if their questions have not been answered then they can ask them by putting them in the comments feed of Facebook or YouTube or by emailing

Any questions submitted will be considered and replies will be posted onto the FAQs section on our special Local Plan Review page:

Ian explained: “Clearly there may be lots of other questions and points that people may wish to have explained. The Local Plan, by its very nature, is in parts quite technical and it often helps if people can directly ask questions to ensure they fully understand certain phrases or statements. Armed with that correct information they can then give valuable feedback.

“Our public events do give that opportunity, however we thought this video online session would also help,” he added.

North East Lincolnshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment and Transport, Cllr Stewart Swinburn, added: “We are very pleased that people are taking an interest in this review – at a recent public session in Immingham there were 22 people who attended to ask questions and discuss various topics. This is what we want, and we thank all those for taking part. Please do take the time to listen to what Ian says and ask questions.”

The easiest way for people to comment on the review during the consultation is via the web-based Consultation Portal Consultation Home – Keystone ( external site  This allows people to add comments directly alongside the relevant sections of the online document. It also ensures that no responses are lost in the post or missed.

However people can download a copy of the response form from the Consultation Portal Consultation Home – Keystone ( external site  or the council’s website Draft Plan with Options | NELC ( and follow the link that says ‘How to respond to this consultation’ complete the form, and then send it to us via email to:

Paper copies of the response forms are available on request from the Planning Department at: EQUANS, Municipal Offices, Town Hall Square , Grimsby, DN31 1HU.

Previous stories, the frequently asked questions and a video can also be found on

Article and image from NELC.

Tell the council what you think

It is time to give the Council your views on everything that affects you in North East Lincolnshire. From children’s learning to health and wellbeing, growing the green economy or how safe you feel in your home or neighbourhood, let the Council know about it.

Our Place, Our Future aims to find out how it feels to live and work in this region. The survey is out now and runs until Friday March 15 2024.

If you ever find yourself moaning, having ideas for change or praising an aspect of your hometown then take part in this survey. It is easy to take part and the survey is split into five sections, centred around the five Council Outcomes, so you can skip any that do not interest you.

Under Learning and Skills, the council wants to hear your views on your children’s learning provision and your own aspirations in terms of work, education, and training so it can understand where priorities should lie in the years ahead.

Under Investing in Our Future, tell the council your thoughts on the growing green economy, the local environment and the things we all need to do to protect it. This includes, recycling, climate change, nature and more.

Vitality and Health concernsyour wellbeing and the services supporting everyone to stay well. This includes understanding the impacts of COVID-19, trends around smoking and alcohol, and mental health.

Economic Recovery and Growth gives you the opportunity to talk aboutyour views and aspirations about the local economy. This includes your ambitions for housing and culture and how the council can attract more visitors through tourism, and increase business investment.

Under Sustainable and Safe, the council wants to know how safe you feel in your home and local neighbourhood, and what it can do to address any concerns and vulnerabilities.

Responses to the survey will help the council to measure where people feel things are improving or getting worse, and understand how it can work better with residents to tackle challenges and make the most of arising opportunities.

You can have your say on Our Place, Our Future 2024 by following this link

Councillor Philip Jackson, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “It’s so important that people have the chance to share their views and we are here to listen to them.

“I really do encourage as many people as possible to fill in this survey so that they can have their say on what matters to them, what affects them and how we can make North East Lincolnshire a better place for people to live, work and play. It is so easy and you do not have to fill in every section, just let us know what matters to you.”

Article and image from NELC.

Council to develop a new hybrid model for delivery of key services

North East Lincolnshire Council is to develop a new delivery model for a range of key services currently delivered on its behalf by Equans.

The model will see the majority of services returning to Council operation, with an aspiration to continue work with existing sub-contractors and local supply chain to deliver high quality public services and support the local economy.

Equans, and its subcontractors, currently deliver several services on behalf of the council, including those around highways and transport (and related activities like enforcement, lollipop patrols etc), building control, security and facilities management, design services such as architecture, highways design and civil engineering, and the Planning service.

The current contractual arrangement with Equans comes to an end in June 2025 and the Council has had to consider options for future delivery.

Over the last six months, the Council has carried out an in-depth, service by service, review of current and potential future arrangements. The options from the review have been evaluated using HM Treasury five case model.  

It has considered options around re-procurement, bringing services in house, establishment of an arms-length delivery company (similar to the way Lincs Inspire operates) and partnership / joint venture with other organisations, including neighbouring councils.

The recommendation to pursue a hybrid model of future work, bringing most services back in house, and going to the market for specialist providers to get best value on others, was approved by Cabinet on 14th February, after the paper was previously discussed by a Joint Economy and Communities Scrutiny Panel and Full Council over the last few weeks.

Cllr Philip Jackson, leader of the Council, said: “With the contract coming to an end next year, now is the right time for us to look at future arrangements for each of the services that Equans currently provide. We need to make sure that the arrangements that we put in place in the future are right to deliver our priorities for North East Lincolnshire.”

Article from NELC.

Depot project is further step to bring workers into town centre

ACTION being taken by North East Lincolnshire Council this year will see the vast majority of its staff, and that of its partners, brought together to work in, and support, Grimsby Town Centre, says authority leader Cllr Philip Jackson.

Cllr Jackson was speaking after an update report was considered by the council’s Cabinet on the Doughty Road Depot project, when a recommendation for further investment to complete the scheme was approved.

When the refurbishment of Doughty Road is complete, in late summer this year, 300 council and partner staff will be working from the completely refurbished major works depot.

It sits just 0.2 miles from the town centre and neighbours the Town Hall, the Municipal Offices and New Oxford House – together those buildings will then house over 1,000 employees of not only the authority, but staff of partners in both project delivery and health. 

Cllr Jackson said: “We have been clear about this authority’s efforts to support our town centre – our purchase of Freshney Place, and then the House of Fraser building is evidence of this.

“However, we have also considered how we need to make every effort possible to encourage and increase footfall to both Freshney Place and the surrounding town centre. Our plan to re-locate staff, where possible, into the town centre is a way of doing just that.”

The Cabinet meeting heard how the new Doughty Road depot will see the amalgamation of services from the current site and the Gilbey Road Depot. It will accommodate all teams that are currently housed at the sites as well as the council’s environmental fleet, bin wagons, education buses and associated vehicles.

Efficiencies will include savings associated with staff working together on one site with modern facilities and infrastructure, green energy from solar panels, battery storage, rainwater harvesting and an air source heat pump. All the hard core from the demolished buildings has also been used for the ground works, with all metal and wood from the demolition recycled.

Cabinet felt the redeveloped depot would help to improve service efficiency, reduce property maintenance costs, and ensure that good quality facilities are available for all Council and EQUANS staff. The move will also improve transport options for staff whilst, as stated above, increasing footfall in the town centre.

The new development will also free up the Gilbey Road site for sale for industrial development with money going back into council funds.

Cabinet approved a further £1.3 million worth of investment to ensure the site is completed to the required standard. The report by Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport, Councillor Stewart Swinburn, also recommended there should also be a minimum contingency of £0.328m, which will not be spent unless absolutely necessary.

The original Cabinet report for the project was approved in February 2020 with a budget of £6.8 million; however, unforeseen works, inflation and the rising cost of materials has seen that rise.

For example, there was the discovery and necessary excavation of an underground railway sleeper tanalising (wood treatment) tank which was hidden beneath a thick slab of concrete and dated back to the time the area was a rail yard. The large cast iron structure and the material it contained were heavily contaminated and had to be cleansed, made safe and removed by a specialist contractor. Due to the age of the buildings large amounts of asbestos also had to be taken out and safely disposed of before demolition or refurbishment.

The report highlights how the original budget has been affected by the steep increase in inflation from 1.5% in 2020 to 10% in 2023, requiring a re-evaluation of the costs to complete the work.

Stewart Swinburn, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport added: “I’m delighted to see this approved by Cabinet. We feel strongly that this is a necessary development for the borough and one that will provide countless benefits to the teams working there and Grimsby as a whole.”

Article and image from NELC.

New youth zone is on the horizon

THE new Youth Zone, named Horizon by local young people, is a step closer to becoming a reality as work at the Garth Lane site continues to gather pace.

In recent days, reinforcement steel for the foundations of the sports hall have been installed, and concrete has begun the curing process.

Horizon volunteer Kevin Childs said: “It is great to see things moving forward with the building, and it won’t be long until we see the building take shape!

“This will be fantastic for the young people of North East Lincolnshire and the surrounding area, and we are very much looking forward to having our permanent base.”

While the foundations are only just being laid to the building, Horizon’s Young People’s Development Group has already been functioning behind the scenes since 2019, when Kevin first began volunteering with them.

This is a group of local young people who meet weekly at Grimsby University Centre, and have enjoyed residentials, informative sessions, crafts and games, and an exchange trip to the United States in recent years.  They have also played a significant role in the development of the Youth Zone, attending pitches with potential funders, helping to come up with the branding for the Youth Zone, and regularly presenting at different events.

Kevin explained: “We began with about 50 young people in a room above Grimsby town’s McDonald’s, at one point, and probably about 12 regulars.  They came from Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, Centre4, West Marsh, all over the place.  Since then, we have had several cohorts pass through, with many reaching the maximum age for the group (19) and moving on.”

Today, Kevin and the rest of the Horizon team are pulling together young people from across the area and offering them the opportunity for growth, to be themselves, and to try something new. 

The new building will allow them all so much more, including the chance to try out new activities in one of the purpose-built spaces: an indoor climbing wall, four court sports hall, training kitchen, music room with a recording studio, fully equipped gym, dance, and drama studio, 3G kick pitch, arts and crafts room, enterprise, and employability suite.

Project manager at Onside, Michael Schierenbeck, commented on the build, saying: “It’s been a long time getting to this point but we’re really happy with the progress that is being made on site. 

“Those living in Grimsby will soon be able to see the building take shape.  It will sit proudly on the River Freshney, reinvigorating the heritage buildings and providing young people in the area with a safe and inspiring place where they can explore their passions and receive dedicated support.”

Cllr Philip Jackson, North East Lincolnshire Council Leader and Portfolio Holder for economy, net zero, skills, and housing, said: “We are delighted that the project has reached this point, and look forward to tracking its progress during 2024.

“Horizon will be a fantastic facility for the area’s young people, and it will be great to see the Young People’s Development Group finally be able to enjoy their permanent home next year.”

The Horizon Youth Zone is expected to open in 2025 and will provide thousands of young people with opportunities to engage in activities, and access support from skilled youth workers.  The centre will be open at weekends and during school holidays, and will cost just 50p per child, per session.

Horizon Youth Zone is being delivered by national charity OnSide, in partnership with North East Lincolnshire Council which is contributing towards the Youth Zone as part of the Greater Grimsby Town Deal. Other key supporters include Historic England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Ørsted, St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation, The Youth Investment Fund, and private donors.

Article and image from NELC.