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Children struggling to find adoptive families

Older children, children with disabilities, and those with brothers and sisters who need to be kept together, are struggling to find adoptive families in Lincolnshire, according to the county council.

Child with book
BBC

These children often end up waiting the longest time to find a home, the council says.

As a result, the authority's now running information events in Lincoln - one today and one on Thursday - for anyone interested in adopting.

Anne Johnson, adoption team manager at the county council, says the authority's looking for all sorts of different people to be adoptive parents:

Nobody is too old. You can adopt if you're single, you can adopt if you're gay and we have some really successful same-sex couples in Lincolnshire."

Anne JohnsonAdoption team manager, Lincolnshire County Council

Fraud costs county council £1.3m in lost council tax

£1.3m is being claimed incorrectly in single-person discount on council tax in Lincolnshire, it's been revealed.

Council tax bill
Getty Images

It follows a review of 75,000 households across the county.

Lincolnshire County Council says it has a zero tolerance approach to council tax fraud, which it says "takes money away from local services and is unfair on the majority of people who pay the correct bill".

Lucy Pledge, head of internal audit and risk management, says the authority will now look into other types of fraud:

Over the coming months, our next focus will be on procurement fraud, financial mismanagement and identifying where business rates have not been paid."

Lucy PledgeLincolnshire County Council

Spot checks carried out to ensure welfare of workers

Officers investigating modern slavery say they have carried out a number of spot checks in Lincolnshire.

GLAA officer
GLAA

The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority visited a number of businesses in South Holland, Boston and East Lindsey last week.

Inspectors interviewed workers about their hours, pay and conditions.

Despite finding no problems, they say the checks should act as a deterrent.

Lincolnshire is regarded as a key region for inspectors because of the high levels of agricultural, food processing and packaging work, which is carried out by licensed labour providers.

If found guilty, unlicensed gangmasters can be given up to 10 years behind bars and unlimited fines.

Police probe messages to fire chief in Fireman Sam row

Police are investigating messages sent to Lincolnshire's Chief Fire officer over his decision to drop Fireman Sam as a mascot.

Fireman Sam
PA Media

Last month, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue said it would no longer use the character to promote the service after complaints he was not 'inclusive' enough.

Lincolnshire Police said no arrests had been made, but confirmed officers had interviewed a 55-year-old man at a police station in Essex on Friday relating to a suspected offence of malicious communication.

Watch: Monday's weather forecast for Lincolnshire

Abbie Dewhurst

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

After a chilly start we're going to see heavy and persistent rain pushing its way up from the south.

The MET Office has issued a yellow warning for rain.

Temperatures will get up to about 13C in places:

Jetstream plane lands at former RAF station turned campsite

A jet plane, which will be converted into accomodation, has arrived on site at the former RAF Wainfleet.

jetstream
BBC

The Jetstream plane was transported from Norfolk this afternoon.

Owner of the holiday spot Will Roughton is going to convert it into rooms for guests over the winter.

But he says the reassembly has already bamboozled him.

Right now the fuselage is still on the lorry. We're slowly getting off all the wings, landing gear, all the various bits and bobs. Once that's all off then I guess we're going to start the process of lifting the fuselage off. Luckily these guys have done it before, because I wouldn't have a clue.

Will RoughtonOwner

'Find a green space' for your mental health

People with anxiety, stress and depression should be prescribed contact with nature to ease the burden on the NHS, according to new research.

green volunteering
University of Essex

Lincolnshire's Wildlife Trust says that even "walking around your nearest green space" can be beneficial.

The University of Essex have released a study to mark World Mental Health day.

They found people reported feeling significantly better after taking part in outdoor projects.

It's just those little things like, in your lunch hour, going for a walk but not just walking around the shops and probably spending money. But finding your nearest green space, or if there's a river you can walk by.

Rachel ShawLincolnshire Wildlife Trust

Jet to be converted into Lincolnshire holiday destination

Forget jetting off to sunny climes for your holiday, a jet plane itself could could soon be Lincolnshire's latest destination.

jetstream
Getty Images

A Jetstream plane (similar to the one pictured above) is due to be delivered at the former site of RAF Wainfleet later, where it will be converted into rooms for holidaymakers.

The destination is already home to a Lynx helicopter and a former RAF control tower which guests can stay in.

will roughton in helicopter
BBC

RAF Wainfleet was once a training ground for the famous Dambusters in World War Two.

The jet's owner, Will Roughton (pictured), says he hopes to convert it into sleeping accommodation over the winter:

It just fits in with the tower. So to me it seems like a good idea. So far the helicopter has been successful, so hopefully the plane will be too."

Will RoughtonOwner

Girl on bike dies in North Hykeham lorry crash

A 15-year-old girl has died after a bicycle she and another teenager were riding on collided with a lorry in North Hykeham.

Station Road
Google

It happened at about 17:10 yesterday evening on Station Road (pictured).

The girl was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 14-year-old boy was taken to hospital with serious injuries which aren't believed to be life-threatening.

Anyone who saw what happened is being asked to contact Lincolnshire Police on 101.

This devastating incident has not only had a major impact on the families of these teenagers, but it has shocked the community. It has been difficult for everyone involved and our thoughts are with the families."

Insp Ian RichardsonLincolnshire Police

Lincolnshire Police to get 50 new officers

Lincolnshire Police will be able to recruit 50 new officers in the next year, but the force says it still faces a funding challenge.

Police
BBC

It's part of the first wave of a previously announced 20,000 uplift in officers across the country.

Lincolnshire's Police and Crime Commisioner Marc Jones says it's a great start, but more needs to be done.

"Definitely 50 officers we could not have afforded to employ without this money. That said, we still have a budget deficit next year of £6,500.

"Ultimately people always say they want to see more of the police and to be honest, I welcome that," Mr Jones added.

The chief has done a great job of using the technology we have invested in to keep the police on the streets for longer - and we want to do more of that."

Tourism in Lincolnshire now worth over £1.5bn to county

The value of tourism in Lincolnshire has passed the £1.5bn mark for the first time.

Lincoln Cathedral
BBC

The latest industry figures show more than 20 million people visited the county last year.

The off-peak season between October and March is also seeing a rise in tourists coming Lincolnshire, according to the county council.

Councillor Colin Davie, who oversees tourism for the authority, says efforts are being made to attract more and more people.

"We've got direct trains coming to the city shortly, LNER are working with us closely to deliver a service that's going to bring a lot more international visitors to Lincolnshire," said Mr Davie.

"That's particularly as we look forward to the 400th anniversary of Mayflower next year and the history of the Pilgrim Fathers being traced by their ancestors in the US who are going to come in their droves to our county," he added.

Patients to be steered away from A&E to ease pressure

NHS call-takers in Lincolnshire are being asked to help steer more patients away from A&E if they could get treatment elsewhere.

A&E sign
Getty Images

Patients calling 999 or 111 could be offered treatment at home or at a GP surgery instead of a trip to a hospital.

It's hoped it could help relieve pressure on the county's emergency departments over the winter.

Dr Dan Boden, a Lincolnshire A&E consultant, said: "We're hopeful we can continue to increase the numbers of patients managed in a different setting away from A&E.

"We know our departments both at Lincoln and at Pilgrim are so small we haven't got the geographical space to see all the patients coming through the department currently."

Police warned about mental health response changes

Humberside Police is being warned against cutting back its response to people with mental health problems.

A person with their head in their hands
Getty Images

From next January, the force plans to reduce support to organisations like the ambulance service and hospitals dealing with people in mental health crisis, according to East Riding councillor Vanessa Walker.

Humberside Police says it would never make a decision which would put people in danger.

In a statement, the force said: “The skills and support that vulnerable people who are in crisis need are often not those of a police officer.

"We feel it is imperative that partners from policing, social care, mental health and other agencies each have a role to play."

Police say knife crime is taken seriously

Lincolnshire Police says it is taking knife crime seriously, after BBC research showed a 75% rise in serious knife crime over the last five years.

Man holding a knife
Press Association

Det Ch Insp Amy Whiffen said: "We do take knife crime seriously and we're working with our partners closely in relation to intervention with young people who commit crime involving knives. We look to re-educate them and make them aware of the dangers and consequences of carrying knives.

"There is an increase and that's why we continue to deal with the crimes robustly and work with our partners.

"We have police officers out there who are using their powers effectively at this moment in time. Lincolnshire is still one of the safest places to live in the country."

She said crimes were now recorded 'in a better way' which could be one reason for the rise.

Horses across Lincolnshire rescued amid equine crisis

The RSPCA has rescued 34 horses in Lincolnshire from neglect and suffering in the last year.

Rowan the horse
RSPCA

The animal charity has more than 850 horses needing new homes after rescuing 1,071 across the country.

Over-breeding, the high costs of vet bills, the rising cost of hay and feed and falling demand for some types of horses have all contributed to what the RSPCA calls "the horse crisis".

The charity's centres are full with hundreds of rescued horses and ponies, and many more are being cared for in private boarding stables or looked after by foster carers.

It is continuing "Adoptober" rehoming campaign, looking for loving homes for horses of all breeds, ages and sizes in their care in Lincolnshire.

Lincolnshire health visitors balloted over strike action

More than 70 Lincolnshire health visitors are being balloted for strike action in their long-running pay dispute with the county council.

NHS logo
PA Media

The Unite union said the dispute had now escalated from the first bout of strike action in July.

That centred on claims health visitors have lost more than £2,000 a year since they were transferred from the NHS to the council.

The union argues that as all health visitors have the same community nurse qualifications and training, it believes all health visitors should therefore be graded and paid accordingly.

The authority has previously said it has a "competitive pay structure in place" and values the health visitors' work.

The ballot opens on Friday and closes on 25 October.

I hope all our members fully support this ballot, because, if they don’t vote to take action, they will be accepting the division of the role and for those that don’t move onto a grade 10 it will mean a loss of £4,000 per year, which is totally unacceptable.”

Steve SysonUnite regional officer

Everyone needs to tackle knife crime - Murdered teen's mum

A campaigner against knife crime in Lincolnshire says everyone needs to play their part in tackling the problem.

Man holding a knife
Getty Images

Caroline Shearer's 17-year-old son, Jay Whiston, was murdered seven years ago and now she runs the Only Cowards Carry charity.

BBC research has found serious knife crime in Lincolnshire has risen by 75% over the last five years.

Ms Shearer said: "The police are out there, They are doing whatever they possibly can. However, the number of crimes are rising – they are rising beyond what the police can physically tackle.

"This is why it’s got to be down to the community, it’s got to be down to everyone keeping an eye out and helping each other. If not, we will be overtaken by it.

"Seven years ago, my son was murdered. We teach our kids to swim, we teach them to ride a bike. Now we need to teach them there are kids out there with weapons."

Big rise in knife crime in Lincolnshire

Serious knife crime in Lincolnshire has increased by 75% over the past five years, BBC analysis of police figures suggests.

Knife
Getty Images

Under Freedom of Information Law, the BBC asked all 43 regional police forces in England and Wales for details of serious knife crime in their area.

Serious knife crime is defined as any assault, robbery, threat to kill, murder, attempted murder or sexual offence involving a knife or sharp instrument.

Despite the rise in Lincolnshire, the statistics also show the percentage of people being charged in the county is falling.

Last year, 16% of knife crime offences led to charges, compared to 35% in 2014.

All crimes involving knives are thoroughly investigated, according to Lincolnshire Police.

The figures don't include any charges for murders, and sometimes young people are given cautions or rehabilitation to avoid unnecessarily criminalising them, the force adds.

Chapter 10 - Tug Of War

James and Galaxon have their final showdown.
James and Freya may be trapped on Galaxon's home planet with no way of escape, but their task is far from over. Facing Galaxon and his friends, will they be able to save the ring?

Fire service focuses on those most at risk

A new way of highlighting those people in communities who are most at risk of house fires has been identified by Lincolnshire Fire Service.

Fire service
BBC

Fire officers have created a list of what they say are the seven biggest risk factors which can lead to a blaze:

They are...

  • Smoking
  • Hoarding
  • Elderly
  • Reduced mobility
  • Mental health issues
  • Alcohol or drug misuse
  • Needing care.

...all of which spells out the word "SHERMAN".

Group manager Dan Moss says it's a useful way of identifying those who could benefit from home safety checks:

It's about looking at those different elements and seeing what Fire and Rescue and other agencies can offer."

Dan MossGroup manager, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service

Support group set up for domestic abuse survivors

A Lincolnshire woman says she's determined to help other domestic abuse victims after fleeing a partner who convinced her she had a mental health disorder and locked her in their home.

Emma - which isn't her real name - is planning on hosting sessions in the county called 'Sane Sistas' where women can share their stories and give each other support.

Domestic abuse
PA Media

She worries the rural nature of Lincolnshire means many victims are isolated - which she has first hand experience of:

We not only moved to a village where there was no-one around really but he picked a house with electric gates. He's take the buzzer off me so I couldn't take the car off the property.

EmmaDomestic abuse survivor

Warrant issued as police seek wanted man

Have you seen this man? He's wanted by police and anyone with information about his whereabouts is being asked to get in touch.

Phillip Carter
Lincolnshire Police

Phillip Carter, 41, is wanted for failing to comply with a supervision requirement following his release from prison, according to police.

Officers have made attempts to find him, but is now asking for help to find him.

A warrant has been issued by Lincoln District Magistrates' Court and the force is appealing for information about his location.

He has previously lived in the east of the county, but officers don't know where he is currently living or working.

New recruits join Lincolnshire's Hospitals Trust

There are some new faces around hospitals in Lincolnshire this week as more than 85 new nurses start work.

Jemma and Rachel
BBC

The nurses have joined United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, working across all areas.

The trust has around twice as many vacancies as other trusts in the country, and is making efforts to close the gap.

Jemma Danskin (pictured left), one of the new recruits who works on the neonatal unit, said: "I've been made very welcome. The support I've had in this first week has been amazing."

Sister Rachel Wright (pictured right) said it can take a little time to get new recruits up to speed, but it was great to watch people develop into neonatal nurses.

Missing Lincolnshire man found 'safe and well'

A man who was reported missing last month has been found, Lincolnshire Police has said.

Richard Moffatt, 42, was last seen at the YMCA shop in Rumbold Street in Lincoln on 8 September.

Officers thanked the public for their help in finding him and have said he is "safe and well".

Flood-hit farmers in Wainfleet get cash grant advice

Farmers in Lincolnshire are to be given advice later about how to apply for grants after their land was affected by flooding earlier this year.

Flooding in Wainfleet
PA Media/Chris Dower

The town of Wainfleet was flooded in June, leading to about 580 homes being evacuated, affecting about 1,000 people.

The Environment Agency described the flooding as "unprecedented" after 132mm of rain - about two months' worth - fell over just three days.

The government cash for farmers will be used to help restore agricultural land in the area as quickly as possible.

'Request an ATM' service to be launched

Communities will be able to request a free-to-use ATM for their area if they are finding it hard to access cash.

cash machines
Getty Images

Link, which oversees the UK's network of cash machines, has set up a £1m fund to pay for ATMs in so-called cash deserts, although this will only fund 40 to 50 machines.

It said more money could be added to the fund if the service proved popular.

Criteria for successful bids include a lack of nearby ATMs, a safe location being found, and no Post Office access.

The RAF acrobatic team flew over the Golden Gate Bridge as part of a tour of the US.
The RAF aerobatic team flew over the Golden Gate Bridge as part of a goodwill tour of the US.

Possible investment for Lincolnshire's hospitals

Local Democracy Reporting Service

More than £10m could be spent on refurbishing Boston Pilgrim Hospital's education centre in a bid to cope with the rising number of student medics being trained at Lincoln’s new medical school.

Lincolnshire's hospitals
BBC

The county's first medical school, part of the University of Lincoln, opened its doors last week to 500 students - a number which is set to rise to about 1,000 in the next five years.

As a result, Lincolnshire's three main hospitals need to be able to keep up and offer the right training facilities.

Five options are now under consideration ranging from doing nothing, to spending £10m on building a new site in Lincoln and refurbishing the education centre at Boston Pilgrim.

Red Arrows' spectacular Golden Gate flypast

The RAF acrobatic team flew over the Golden Gate Bridge as part of a tour of the US.

Flood warnings remain in place across county

A number of flood warnings are in place this evening across Lincolnshire following heavy rain throughout the day.

Flood sign
PA Media

The Environment Agency are warning of possible flooding in the areas around Alkborough, Gainsborough and Ruskington.

Flood warnings mean flooding is expected and people should take immediate action.

Earlier a warning for Boston was downgraded after the high tide passed without incident.

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Police launch Lincolnshire tyre safety campaign

Drivers across Lincolnshire are being urged to regularly check the depth of their car tyre treads.

Tyre depth
Lincolnshire Police

The outer border of a 20p coin measures 1.6mm, the same as the required legal minimum depth of a tyre tread.

Police say they want people to check their tyres at least once a month, especially as driving conditions become more hazardous over the winter.

Officers will be out speaking to motorists over October as part of a national tyre safety campaign, the force says.

Insp Marc Gee says tyres play a critical role in road safety:

Tread depth is important to maintain good grip on wet roads but, as the tread wears down, the tyres will lose the ability of good grip. Tyre pressure is equally important."

Insp Marc GeeLincolnshire Police

Huge rise in 'handbag' dogs being rescued - RSPCA

The number of so-called "handbag dogs" being cared for at the RSPCA's rescue centres in Lincolnshire has risen dramatically over the past seven years, new figures show.

Shih tzu
RSPCA

There's been a 700% rise in the number of Chihuahuas being taken in, while the number of Dachshunds being cared for is up 600%, Pomeranians by 440% and French bulldogs by 236%.

Overall, the charity rescued 150 dogs from abuse and neglect in Lincolnshire last year and received more than 11,500 calls to its cruelty hotline.

This month, the RSPCA says it wants to raise awareness about adopting a rescue dog, rather than buying a puppy.

A total of 71 dogs were re-homed in the county in 2018.

Although Staffies, lurchers, Jack Russell terriers and German Shepherds are still the most common dogs coming into our centres, we are seeing a general decrease in their numbers while seeing an increase in the number of fashionable cross-breeds and so-called designer dogs like Dachshunds and French bulldogs arriving in our care."

Lisa HensRSPCA dog welfare expert

False alarms spark new approach to auto fire call-outs

Fire crews across East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire will no longer be called out straight away if automatic alarms go off at businesses during the day, it's been confirmed.

A Humberside fire engine
BBC

Firefighters will now only respond immediately if the alert is backed up by a phone call.

The new policy affects buildings where no-one would be sleeping during the working day, so it will affect premises such as offices and shops.

Hospitals, hotels and residential homes are all exempt from the new policy, the fire service says.

Fire crews are called out to about 1,400 false alarms every year, according to Humberside Fire and Rescue Service.