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'A lot of work to do' - Lincolnshire Hospitals boss

The man in charge of Lincolnshire's hospitals has admitted there is "a lot of work to do" after the trust was kept in special measures for a third year.

Google
Google

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust was given a "requires improvement" rating after Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors visited Boston and Lincoln hospitals.

The watchdog said there were "significant concerns" about urgent and emergency care at both hospitals.

We have got work to do on our finances. We've undoubtedly got work to do around filling our vacancies. We've also got a lot of work to do around engaging our own workforce and making this a great place to work."

Andrew MorganChief executive, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Could parking become cheaper in Lincoln?

The new head of tourism organisation Visit Lincolnshire says he's working with councils to look at reducing car parking charges in the centre of Lincoln.

BBC
BBC

Mike Timson has taken over the top job at the organisation which helps drive up visitor numbers and investment in the city and the surrounding area.

He says he'd like to see a park and ride service introduced in the south of Lincoln.

Lincolnshire's evening weather forecast

It should be a dry end to the day in Lincolnshire.

Here's the latest forecast:

Weather forecast
BBC

Red Arrows arrive back in Lincolnshire

The Red Arrows arrived back in Lincolnshire this lunchtime from their tour of North America and Canada.

BBC
BBC

The aerial display team landed back at their base at RAF Scampton after an 11-week tour, which included displays in New York, San Francisco, Vancouver and Washington D.C.

Families and friends were waiting to greet the crew when the touched down.

Largely sunny afternoon ahead for Lincolnshire

It should be a dry afternoon in Lincolnshire, though there's the slight chance of a shower in places.

Here's the latest forecast:

BBC
BBC

Special constables needed as numbers fall

More special constables are needed to join Humberside Police after the force said it had seen a drop in numbers over the last three years.

Police officers
Getty Images

Special constables are unpaid volunteers who have full police powers, uniforms and equipment.

Some of these trained volunteers have gone on to become full-time regular officers.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Anderson said: "We have been actively recruiting over the past two years and I do not think it will be any surprise that of the pool of people that have joined the regulars, a large number have come from the specials."

Red Arrows due to arrive back in county after US tour

All eyes are on the skies this lunchtime to catch a glimpse of the Red Arrows coming back home to Lincolnshire.

Red Arrows over New York
Reuters

They're returning from an eleven-week tour of North America and Canada, which included displays in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Families are waiting for the aerobatic team at the Reds home in RAF Scampton.

Watch: Thursday's forecast for Lincolnshire

Abbie Dewhurst

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

After a chilly start we're in for a mix of sunshine and showers, with temperatures getting up to 15C in places.

Overnight those showers will continue to move through, some of which could be quite heavy:

Watch: Thursday's forecast for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Abbie Dewhurst

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

After a chilly start we're in for a mix of sunshine and showers, with temperatures getting up to 15C in places.

Overnight those showers will continue to move through, some of which could be quite heavy:

Plans to revamp a Lincoln sports ground revealed

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A new 3G sports pitch and 75 homes could be built on Ravendale Sports Ground in Lincoln.

Ravendale Sports Ground plans
Lincoln College

The plans, put forward by Lincoln College, would see the current facilities at the site enhanced, including laying three new football pitches.

The homes will include energy efficiency and low energy measures in a bid to reduce the impact on the environment.

Lincoln College says they would “respect the setting and character of the surrounding residential areas”.

Ravendale Sports Ground plans
Lincoln College

Lincoln College Group Director of Finance and Commercial Tom Dannatt says the plans will bring great benefits to the area:

We are confident that this proposal would enhance sports facilities in the community; open up and improve an underused green space and provide new homes for young people and families."

Tom DannattLincoln College

Union boss attacks council over health visitor pay row

Unite leader Len McCluskey has accused Lincolnshire County Council of "failing its public duty" to resolve an ongoing dispute about health visitors' pay.

Len McCluskey
BBC

Since July more than 70 health workers have walked out on numerous occasions for a total of 32 days.

They argue that since the county council took over their contracts from NHS two years ago they haven't had a pay increase, meaning they've lost £2,000 a year.

Speaking at the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association, in Harrogate, earlier Mr McCluskey said the "cash-rich county council' was forcing through a "two-tier system to divide workers".

He said Lincolnshire families with young children are suffering the consequences of a reduced service.

Let me be clear to those council bosses sitting in Lincolnshire county hall. You are failing in your public duty to resolve the impasse and pay your health visitors what is theirs."

Len McCluskeyGeneral Secretary, Unite
Health visitors on strike
Unite

Lincolnshire County Council say they have always valued the work of health visitors, are committed to working collaboratively with the workforce and would welcome further constructive talks with Unite.

Train operator Northern's franchise under scrutiny

Train operator Northern, which runs services across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, has been asked by the government to submit proposals suggesting how it can improve its service for passengers, or it faces being removed from the franchise.

Rail passengers
PA Media

During a Transport Committee session, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he had issued a “request for proposals” as Northern's service had been poor.

In a statement on Friday, Transport for the North said it believed the franchise should be taken into public hands, via what’s known as an Operator of Last Resort (OLR).

The OLR is, on behalf of the government, currently in charge of LNER, the East Coast Mainline intercity franchise.

Mr Shapps told MPs he has asked train operator Arriva and the OLR for a “list of proposals” because the franchise “cannot continue delivering in the current delivery method".

'Organised' lead thief gangs target Lincolnshire churches

At least 30 incidents of lead theft from church roofs have taken place in Lincolnshire so far this year.

Replacing stolen lead costs tens of thousands of pounds and historic buildings are often left without a proper roof for weeks following such thefts.

Police and insurers believe organised gangs are behind the attacks.

St Peter and St Paul’s in Gosberton had an estimated 12 tonnes of lead stripped from its roof in May - and, as this video shows, water is still coming into the building when it rains:

The Reverend Ian Walters, the vicar at St Peter and St Paul’s, says it's hit him and the congregation hard:

It has been very devastating and very depressing really, because every time it rains we go, 'Oh no'"

Reverend Ian WaltersVicar

Mental health absences rise among ambulance staff

The number of East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) staff taking sick leave due to poor mental health is on the rise, new figures suggest.

EMAS
BBC

The figures released to the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act show 431 members of EMAS staff took leave due to issues such as stress, anxiety and depression between 2014-19.

Ambulance service bosses say it's partly down to the level of abuse workers receive while doing their job.

The government say it's funding a number of initiatives for emergency workers to tackle stigma around mental health.

The Reverend Kev Charles, chaplain and staff support lead at EMAS, says support is in place:

We became the first ambulance service in the country to sign the 'Blue Light Pledge' which is to fight the stigma of mental health in the workplace. We also use a ambulance service charity which offers one-on-one counselling."

The Reverend Kev CharlesChaplain and staff support lead, EMAS

Severe disruption: Lincolnshire both ways

BBC News Travel

Lincolnshire both ways severe disruption, from Spa Road to Waterside North.

Lincolnshire - Baggholme Road in Lincoln closed in both directions from the Spa Road junction to the Waterside North junction, because of flooding.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Bad weather delays Red Arrows return

The Red Arrows say they'll have to stay in Greenland for another 24 hours following bad weather.

The team are on their way back from Canada and North America where they've been on an 11- week tour.

View more on twitter

The current home of the RAF aerobatic display team is RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.

Floody misery across the East Midlands

David Pittam

BBC News Online

Heavy rainfall last night has meant a number of roads across the East Midlands are impassable.

These include the A1, where one lane southbound between the A46 and A52 near Newark is closed, and Countesthorpe Road, Sileby Road and Syston Road in Leicestershire - which are completely closed - according to traffic monitoring site Inrix.

Meanwhile, this is the scene at Colston Bassett in Nottinghamshire.

Colston Bassett
BBC

Elsewhere, the Environment Agency has three flood warnings in place along part of the River Wreake in Leicestershire.

New plans revealed for former Lincoln store

A former Lincoln shop could be turned into an amusement-themed bar, under new plans.

Former Ruddocks store
Google

Lindum Leisure Limited has submitted plans to City of Lincoln Council to transform the former Ruddocks of Lincoln shop on the city’s High Street.

The site has been empty since it closed its doors in April 2017 after more than 160 years of business.

The council is expected to make a decision on the proposal at a later date.

Watch: Village clean-up starts after flooding hits again

Following heavy rain overnight, eight properties in Ruskington near Sleaford have flooded.

It's the second time these homes have been flooded in a fortnight.

Surface water run-off and overloaded drains are behind the latest flooding, according to the Environment Agency.

A flood warning remains in place.

Now, workers from nearby farms are trying to pump water out of the affected properties:

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

Houses in village flooded for second time in fortnight

Eight homes have flooded in Ruskington for the second time in as many weeks.

Ruskington flooding
BBC

Surface water run-off and overloaded drains after heavy rain overnight is behind the latest flooding, according to the Environment Agency.

Roy and Jean Allen's bungalow was flooded a fortnight ago and the couple say they can't believe it's happened again:

The place was dry and they were going to come back with all the heaters, starting to dry the place out. We've come this morning and it's an absolute disaster. We've gone back to where we were."

Roy Allenaffected resident

Some local residents have criticised farmers in the area for not doing more to improve drainage in the area.

But Richard Wright, leader of North Kesteven District Council, says he disagrees:

They've done a lot of ditching work to make sure their ditches flow correctly, so they've done the land management work that needed to be done. They're doing work now to divert the water away."

Councillor Richard WrightLeader, North Kesteven District 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

Flood warning for village near Sleaford

A flood warning's been issued for village of Ruskington, near Sleaford.

Flood sign
PA Media

There's been heavy rainfall overnight and river levels at Ruskington Beck are rising.

Flooding of property, roads and farmland is possible and river levels are forecast to remain high for the next few days, according to the Flood Information Service.

Areas most at risk are near Ruskington Beck including Manor Street, High Street South, High Street North, Chapel Street and Chestnut Street.

Local residents are being urged to avoid using low-lying footpaths near streams and rivers and plan driving routes to avoid low lying roads near rivers, which may be flooded.

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.

Lincoln's homeless to get more mental health support

Rough sleepers in Lincoln should soon get swifter access to mental health treatment.

Homeless
BBC

NHS England says new funding has been used to hire specialist staff trained in dealing with trauma, including psychiatrists and nurses.

The funding, estimated to be worth about £60,000 per person, means homeless people can be given more face-to-face contact, the health service adds.

Lincoln is one of seven cities which will benefit once the services go live after Christmas.

Windows smashed at Newark Castle railway station

Neil Heath

BBC News Online

A number of windows have been smashed at a railway station in Nottinghamshire.

British Transport Police said the criminal damage at Newark Castle was reported at 06:09 this morning.

The force said they are investigating the vandalism, which is believed to have happened overnight.

Smashed rail windows
BBC

Lincolnshire MP remains positive over Brexit talks

UK and EU negotiating teams will meet later as efforts to reach a Brexit deal before a crunch summit this week continue.

Victoria Atkins
PA Media

After talks in Brussels this weekend, EU ambassadors were told the UK would make concessions to its post-Brexit plan for the Northern Irish border.

But the bloc's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said a "a big gap" remained over customs arrangements.

Victoria Atkins, Home Office minister and Conservative MP for Louth and Horncastle, said she believed a deal could be reached by the 31 October deadline.

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "[In] the last few days, we've seen a real shift in approach from the EU - and in Ireland in particular - for which we're extremely grateful and appreciative.

"I think with the negotiations ongoing...I'm an optimist, I do believe that we can get a deal by 31 October."

New national ploughing champion crowned at Nocton

Over the weekend around 250 competitors battled it out to be named the British national ploughing champion in Lincolnshire.

Tractor and plough
BBC

The 69th British National Ploughing Championships took place in Nocton.

After two days of competing Evan Watkin was named Supreme Champion of Great Britain and awarded the Ken Chappell Trophy.

Four charged after ATM theft in Holton-le-Clay

Four men are due to appear in court later today in connection with the theft of an ATM at Holton-le-Clay.

Holton-le-clay
BBC

The machine was taken from the McColl's store in Louth Road at about 02.30 on Friday.

Following a pursuit, during which a Humberside Police vehicle was rammed and damaged, the ATM was recovered by officers from the back of an abandoned Transit van.

Four men aged between 32 and 38, from Doncaster, Alfreton and Newark, have been charged with offences including burglary, theft and assault.

They are due to appear at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court later today.

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:

Severe disruption: M180 Lincolnshire both ways

BBC News Travel

M180 Lincolnshire both ways severe disruption, from J3 for M181 to J4 for A15.

M180 Lincolnshire - Temporary closure on M180 in both directions from J3, M181 (Scunthorpe) to J4, A15 (Scawby), because of a police investigation. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Water fountain stops working after one week

It was out of action for a 100 years, cost £40,000 to repair and it's broken after less than a week.

Those wanting to use the drinking fountain in Sleaford have been shocked to discover it's not working today.

And they're not too happy about it.

One man said: "I think it's disgusting. After all that time being boarded up, I think it's disgraceful."

Another woman added: "It's a complete waste of money."

Officials say the breakdown happened because of "bad weather".

Family of RAF engineer who died in crash welcome findings

The family of an RAF engineer who died in a Red Arrows jet crash have welcomed the findings of a report into the incident.

Cpl Jonathan Bayliss
Royal Air Force

Cpl Jonathan Bayliss (pictured) was killed when the Lincolnshire-based Red Arrows Hawk in which he was a passenger crashed in Anglesey in March last year.

The RAF Service Panel found the pilot, Flt Lt David Stark, was almost certainly distracted and fatigued - factors which led to the crash.

But they said no blame could be attached to Cpl Bayliss.

Family solicitor Tom Spearpoint said the report also highlighted the need for more training for engineers before they travel in jets.

"Had Jonathan had more training and been more aware of the risks this manoeuvre entailed, it's possible he would have appreciated it at that critical movement and may well have have been able to eject," he said.

Flt Lt Stark suffered non-life threatening injuries after ejecting from the plane.

Ex-rugby captain's four-year ban after failing drug test

The former captain of Lincoln Rugby Football Club has been banned for four years after failing a drugs test.

stock rugby image
Getty Images

Leigh Dearden failed the test in March this year after testing positive for two different steroids and cocaine.

A report for the Rugby Football Union says he claimed he'd been given medication by an associate who had told him it was a painkiller.

He said he was "horrified" when informed of his result.

But after saying he'd never taken recreational or performance enhancing drugs, he then refused to disclose further information.

Mr Dearden then failed to attend a hearing or respond to further requests which, according to the rules, is automatically considered to be an admission of the offence and that taking them was intentional.

A spokesperson for Lincoln Rugby Club said: "Lincoln Rugby Club are thoroughly disappointed in the behaviour of this former player.

"We do not condone substance abuse and have a zero tolerance policy towards drug taking."

Red Arrows pilot 'fatigued' before fatal crash

A Red Arrows pilot involved in a fatal crash was almost certainly fatigued and distracted, according to investigators.

Flt Lt David Stark
Royal Air Force

The Service Inquiry Panel (SIP) found distraction may have directly influenced Flt Lt David Stark's actions on 20 March 2018.

Flt Lt Stark (pictured) was injured and his passenger, Cpl Jonathan Bayliss, died when a Hawk aircraft crashed on Anglesey in March last year.

The Lincolnshire-based Red Arrows team had been on a training exercise at RAF Valley and the crash happened just as the team was due to come back to its base at RAF Scampton.

Flt Lt Stark managed to eject from the Hawk jet but his engineer Cpl Bayliss died in the crash.

The SIP inquiry found that although Flt Lt Stark was an experienced pilot, his routine did not include "sufficient time for rest".

It added the pressures felt by Red Arrows pilots were "exacerbated by resource constraints" and the "shortfall" in engineering and air safety personnel could lead to a future incident.

The panel concluded: "At the critical moment of the sortie he may not have recognised the associated hazards as the situation developed."