What’s good for London is not necessarily what’s good for Lincolnshire – the county’s market towns and vast rural landscapes could not contrast more sharply with the City. It’s by working together that MPs from Shire counties can secure more for their areas.
That’s why all seven Lincolnshire MPs recently submitted petitions to ensure the Conservative manifesto commitment to fairer school funding is delivered, and it’s why Sir Edward Leigh, the MP for Gainsborough, and I have been working together to draw a little more attention to our need for more GPs in the county.
The cumulative effect is a louder voice for Lincolnshire, and it’s shown in increasing levels of grant support from government for Boston and Skegness in areas that previously did not get such attention. Just two examples include money for Blenkin Hall in Boston and for the Tower Gardens Pavilion in Skegness – at £25,000 and £50,000 respectively, both of these are downpayments on significant future regeneration that will see tourism bolstered in both towns.
Flood defences, however, are in another league of cost: the recent, devastating floods in Cumbria prompted me to ask Liz Truss, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to make sure that Boston’s £90m barrier will definitely be up to the job the town deserves. The easy answer would simply have been to say yes – instead, her commitment was to make sure her department double checks every detail. Two years on from 2013’s tidal surge, it’s a welcome commitment to Lincolnshire from the heart of Westminster.