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Work begins to repair flood-damaged riverbanks

Repairs to riverbanks in Lincolnshire which burst three and a half weeks ago are now under way.

flooding at short ferry
Kerry Hotchin

The Barlings Eau burst its banks after heavy rainfall in the first weekend of November.

About 1,500 acres of farmland were flooded as a result, forcing farmers to use boats to reach their cut-off homes (pictured).

The Environment Agency (EA) says engineers are installing pilings to plug the breach in the river, then water will be pumped off the land before the bank is rebuilt using clay and soil.

Meanwhile, repairs are also under way at the Timberland Delph, another waterway which broke its banks in a village near Woodhall Spa after heavy rain.

The agency also say it's been inspecting flood defences across the county and making repairs to anything which felt the strain of excessive rain.

The EA says this autumn's rainfall was double the usual average and set record water levels on the Rivers Witham and Ancholme.

Despite the extreme rainfall that pushed our rivers to their limits – and the fact that a third of Lincolnshire is below sea level – the vast majority of homes, businesses and land has remained safe from flooding. In fact, less than 1% of the county’s agricultural land has been affected."

Norm RobinsonArea director, Environment Agency

Sprout crop survives stormy weather in Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire's sprout crop has been unaffected by this year's heavy rain in the county, according to one of the county's food producers.

Staff at TH Clements near Boston, who harvest the sprout crop, say they were worried heavy rain this summer may have affected the crop.

Heavy rainfall caused flooding in nearby Wainfleet in June.

But staff say conditions since then have been perfect sprout growing weather and are in action ahead of the Christmas rush right now:

Lots come from Lincolnshire. In the run-up to Christmas, we'll do about 2,000 tonnes of sprouts in about 10 days.

Andy BlaireHarvest manager, TH Clements

Region's transport funding under scrutiny

Funding for transport in Lincolnshire and the East Midlands is lower than anywhere else in the UK, a new report suggests.

Spending graphic

Centre-left think tank IPPR North has analysed HM Treasury figures for 2018-19.

Treasury data shows that in 2018-19, £903 was spent in the capital for every resident, while the figure for the East Midlands was £268 and £276 in Yorkshire and the Humber.

The data included all public spending and was based on the number of residents in each region.

IPPR North's interim director Arianna Giovannini said: "Sometimes there is an argument that goes along the lines of, 'There are more people in London and there are a lot of people travelling in London and commuting in London', but our point is not that London should get less, it's not an 'either or' argument."

The government said its spending decisions were "rigorous and fair" and said the figures did not include money for future projects like HS2.

The Department for Transport pointed to explanations about the Treasury's figures, indicating London's higher spending included capital investment from Transport for London, and did not account for commuters and visitors from outside the city.

New Lincs and Notts air ambulance HQ approved

Plans for Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance's new HQ have been given the go-ahead by councillors.

Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance

The charity currently operates from two sites: one at RAF Waddington where its helicopters are based and another for the charity's staff.

The new HQ, at RAF Waddington, will join the two teams together at the same site for the first time.

A £1.8m grant from the government has been given to help in its construction.

Work building the new HQ should be completed by the end of next year.

Our new base will give us security of tenure, as well as the space and facility to further develop our life-saving service. As we celebrate our 25th anniversary this year, it’s fitting we are laying the foundations for the next 25 years to ensure we can continue to provide pre-hospital critical care to our patients."

Karen JoblingChief executive, Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance

Nearly 80 people from Lincolnshire on organ donor list

A total of 78 people in Lincolnshire are currently awaiting an organ transplant.

organ donors
Getty Images

Currently, people have to opt in to become an organ donor, but from next spring everyone will be considered unless they've opted out.

The NHS Blood and Transplant service is urging families to discuss it and make their wishes known.

At the moment more than 6,000 people in the UK as a whole are hoping for a donor, including 185 children.

Police anti-knife campaign leads to over 100 arrests

Over 100 arrests have been made since Lincolnshire Police launched a new anti-knife crime campaign, it's been revealed

knives recovered by police
Lincs Police

A total of 122 weapons have been recovered as a result of the campaign, according to the force, with 77 being seized by officers and 45 voluntarily handed in to the police.

The figures for what's known as Operation Raptor have been released just days after three knife crimes in 24 hours in Boston.

Supt Lee Pache said: "Operation Raptor has made a real impact so far and the numbers of arrests and weapons seized demonstrate this is a top priority for us."

People can still hand in weapons at any of the four main stations in the county: Lincoln, Grantham, Boston and Skegness.

Drink and drug-driving campaign launched in Lincolnshire

The risks of drink and drug-driving are being highlighted by Lincolnshire Police as the festive season gets properly under way.

Staged scene of crashed car

Officers say they will be focusing their efforts on stopping vehicles and talking to drivers over the Christmas period.

Last year more than 1,100 people were tested in the county, with a total of 67 being arrested for refusing or failing a breath test.

I can’t believe people still take the risk of killing or hurting others by driving while impaired, along with losing their licence and maybe going to prison."

Insp Marc GeeLincolnshire Roads Policing

Wet weather sparks delays to Lincoln bypass work

Work on a major junction on the Lincoln bypass which was due to start today has been delayed until at least mid-January, it's been confirmed.

Building partially submerged in water
Lincolnshire County Council

Due to recent heavy rain, work has been delayed and construction of the Hawthorn Road junction won't now start until early next year.

The delays also mean:

  • Greetwell Road will now re-open this coming Wednesday instead of last Friday
  • Heighington Road will re-open at the end of January instead of Friday 20 December
  • Washingborough Road will close in early February instead of early January

The Lincoln Eastern Bypass project aims to improve Lincoln’s infrastructure, encourage growth and minimise traffic congestion.

Once complete, there will be less traffic congestion in and around Lincoln, along with more opportunities for boosting the county’s economy.

Karen CassarAssistant director of highways, Lincolnshire County Council

Older LGBTQ+ people in Lincolnshire to get more support

Older LGBTQ+ people living in East Lindsey are to be offered more support thanks to a national charity.

An LGBTQ+ supporter
Think 2 Speak

Think 2 Speak, which promotes social inclusion, has teamed up with Community Lincs to help people access services and get support.

Project coordinator Rebecca Kerry said there can be a "stigma" among the over 50s in acknowledging the LGBTQ+ community.

"People are reluctant to answer questions about sexuality and gender orientation. We think because there is that reluctance and there is a low level of services offering support, we don't see those people."

Ms Kerry said Community Lincs had connected with an existing LGBTQ+ support group in Skegness which said 75% of its members were over 50.

She said it would be working with the group to feed back information to Think 2 Speak about the way it works to help develop and train people involved in the project.

Ambulances queue as hospitals face 'unprecedented demand'

A Lincolnshire hospital trust is continuing to ask patients to use pharmacy or GP services if possible to alleviate pressure on A&E departments.


Patients with serious conditions have reported waiting over 12 hours at Lincoln's accident and emergency department due to a shortage of beds.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust said Lincoln A&E was experiencing long delays while "very poorly" patients waited to be admitted.

Ambulances also had to queue outside the building on Thursday.

A hospital spokesperson said: "We are continuing to see increasing numbers of patients attending our A&E, many of whom are very poorly and need to be admitted to one of our wards.

"As a result of this unprecedented demand, our wards are extremely busy and patients are facing waits to be admitted, causing delays in our A&E."

Flood warnings and alerts in place for Lincolnshire

Three flood warnings remain in place for Lincolnshire this morning.

Flood sign
Rui Vera/PA Wire

An Environment Agency (EA) flood warning means "flooding is expected and immediate action is required".

The warnings are for:

  • Groundwater flooding for Barrow upon Humber in North Lincolnshire. The EA says: "Although groundwater levels are very slowly receeding, any further rainfall could lead to ongoing property flooding in the Barrow upon Humber area. Properties on Westoby Lane, Park View and Orchard Close areas are most likely to be affected through the rest of this week.
  • Low Barlings and the Short Ferry Area. The EA says: "The breach near Short Ferry remains, and Short Ferry Road is flooded and impassable along with large areas of farmland. The risk to low lying properties in this area remains."

A total of 13 flood alerts also remain in place for Lincolnshire. Alerts mean "flooding is possible, be prepared".

There are currently no weather warnings for Lincolnshire issued by the Met Office.

Man jailed for abusive messages sent to Chief Fire Officer

A telecoms engineer who sent abusive messages to Lincolnshire's Chief Fire Officer in response to the service axing Fireman Sam from its promotional material was today jailed at Lincoln Magistrates' Court.

Lincoln Magistrates Court

Jeremy Flashman, 56, of Kings Road, Southminster, Essex, rang fire officer Les Britzman and swore at him after the officer was interviewed by Piers Morgan on breakfast television.

Although Mr Britzman hung up he later received an abusive email and a voicemail message in which Flashman was abusive about the fire chief's mother, his partner and the officer himself.

Flashman, admitted three charges of sending an offensive, indecent or obscene message to Mr Britzman on 11 September this year.

He was jailed for 10 weeks and ordered to pay a £121 surcharge.

Lincolnshire hospitals 'incredibly busy'

Officials at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust say their hospitals are currently "incredibly busy."

Lincolnshire hospitals

They say there have been increasing numbers of patients attending their A&E departments with many needing to be admitted to wards.

The Director of Operations Simon Evans has also urged patients to: "use pharmacy and GP services in the community before coming to one of our A&E departments."

Flooding delays repairs to potholes

Pothole repairs in parts of Lincolnshire have been delayed because of the recent flooding.


People living in North Hykeham, near Lincoln, have made complaints about huge holes on their streets.

Lincolnshire County Council says some of the work has been postponed or cancelled because staff had to be diverted to deal with the damage caused by flooding elsewhere.

Watch: 'I collapsed in the street after drink spiking'

BBC Radio 5 Live

More than 2,600 drink-spiking incidents have been reported in England and Wales since 2015, according to figures obtained by the BBC.

The data from 22 out of 43 police forces and the British Transport Police also revealed 72% of alleged victims were female.

Cases involving under-18s have more than doubled, from 32 in 2015 to 71 in 2018 - and between January and September 2019, 68 cases had already been recorded, suggesting the total figure for 2019 is set to hit a five-year high.

University of Lincoln student Lily Petch, 18, said her drink was spiked on her second night in the city.

"People said I went from having the best night of my life to then losing consciousness and feeling really sick, she said.

"I couldn't keep my head up, I remember feeling really unsteady and not really knowing what was going on."

Now, Lincolnshire is one of two regions in England to have launched schemes that see pubs and clubs keep drink-spike test kits behind the bar, enabling staff to test drinks using a swab and get an instant result.

County's child cruelty and neglect cases almost treble

The number of child cruelty and neglect cases recorded by Lincolnshire Police has almost trebled in the last five years.

Child looking out of window
Getty Images

A total of 287 serious incidents have been dealt with in the county since 2014, according to new figures from the NSPCC.

The charity says that nationally cases have gone up by nearly a fifth in the last year alone.

Andrew Fellowes, from the NSPCC, says the increase is "deeply disturbing".

"We believe there could be several potential reasons for this rise, from better police recording and greater public awareness, to increasing pressure on parents and the lack of investment in early intervention services."

Pensioner threatened by burglar in Grimsby

A woman aged 88 has been threatened in her own home by a man in Grimsby.

Eaton Court, Grimsby

The suspect entered the property on Eaton Court through a back door, approached the victim and asked for jewellery and cash before threatening her.

He then stole two wallets before leaving. One was empty and another had a small amount of money in it.

The victim wasn’t hurt but she was left shaken.

It happened on Sunday 24 November at around 18:30.

The suspect has been described as around 5 feet 8, wearing all black, and spoke with a Grimsby accent.

Plans submitted to expand special educational needs school

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Plans have been put forward for a major expansion of a special educational needs school in Spilsby as part of £50 million investment in the county.

Eresby School, Spilsby
Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council has applied to it's planning department to create a new two-storey building including five classrooms, a science lab and an ICT centre as well as breakout rooms, staff and meeting rooms, a new hall, and changing and toilet facilities at Eresby School on Eresby Avenue.

Lincolnshire currently sees fewer than 30% of pupils with SEND needs attend their nearest school, with 80 pupils being educated outside of the county.

The hope is that with the proposed changes more than 90% of pupils will face shorter journeys county-wide.

Senior project officer Eileen McMorrow said the development would enable a minimum of 84 pupils at the school: "This development will mean children who live in the Spilsby area, who are attending a specialist school other than Eresby, can access high quality specialist education at their local school rather than having to travel long distances to and from school.”

Cannon mysteriously reappears in Lincolnshire village

A Lincolnshire village has had a bit of its history returned 30 years after it disappeared.

Tealby cannon

A cannon was removed from outside Tealby Village Hall in the 1980s.

It was bought back overnight last week with a note of apology.

Chairman of the hall's management committee, Richard Askam, says it's great to have the cannon back:

He added: "I think we'll try and restore it as much as possible. It belongs to the village, it was gifted to the village so we would like to have it back in it's original place but possibly a bit more secure."

Work starts on transforming Skegness seafront

The transformation of Skegness' foreshore has begun, with curved street lamps being installed.

Curved street light
East Lindsey District Council

Once complete, the streetlights will change colour and project themed light shows onto the footpaths between the Clock Tower and the beach.

The same sort of lights adorn Blackpool's promenade and the new look will be complemented by granite and marble seating, stainless steel bins and plants.

East Lindsey District Council says it expects the work will be finished early next year.

Lincolnshire hospitals to be smoke-free from New Year

Lincolnshire's main hospitals will be entirely smoke-free from 6 January next year.

Man smoking cigarette
Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The designated smoking areas at Lincoln, Boston, Grantham and Louth will be removed and smokers will have to leave hospital grounds to light up.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT), which runs the hospitals, says it will provide a safer environment for people and is in line with national guidance.

Smoking campaign group Forest has criticised the plans saying it's not fair on hospital workers.

But Stephen Kelly, from ULHT, said the trust had a duty to protect and care for the health and well-being of its patients, staff and visitors.

"We recognise smoking is a personal choice and we do not discriminate against those who choose to do so. However we are a health-promoting organisation and are committed to protecting and improving the health and well-being of all employees, patients and visitors", said Mr Kelly.

Lincolnshire hospitals trust apology over missed targets

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Hospital bosses in Lincolnshire have apologised for A&E waiting and cancer treatment targets being missed for more than half a decade.

Lincoln County Hospital

The last time United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT) achieved 95% of patients being treated within four hours of arrival at A&E was September 2014.

That was the same month ULHT surpassed the 85% target to start cancer treatment within 62 days of an urgent GP referral.

Earlier this month, it was reported that in October Lincoln County Hospital could only see 64.2% of its patients within four hours. The England average was 83.6%.

Bosses at ULHT have apologised, saying they are not “performing as well as we should be”, but add that increased demand is taking its toll.

Mark Brassington, ULHT chief operating officer, says "We are seeing more patients than ever before coming through our three emergency departments, accessing cancer treatments and being referred for planned surgery.

“Although we are treating more people, we accept that we are not performing as well as we should be and some of our patients wait longer than they should to access some treatments, for which we apologise," he added.

Thousands give up on police '101' calls before answer

More than 20,000 people calling the non-emergency "101" police number in Lincolnshire last year gave up before their call was answered, new figures show.

Police car

The statistics from the Lincolnshire force show that one person calling the 101 number had to wait for 50 minutes to get a response.

The average waiting time was almost three minutes.

Lincolnshire Police says the long waits are down to a high number of calls.

Flood 'devastating' for Holton Le Moor pub

Flooding in a Lincolnshire village has been "devastating" for business, a pub landlord has said.

holton le moor

A stretch of the A46 at Holton Le Moor, near Market Rasen, has been closed for a week after heavy rainfall.

Motorists have been facing lengthy diversions because of surface water and a drainage pipe under the nearby railway has been blocked.

Graeme Sellers, the owner of the Hope Tavern, says he "can't believe" how many cars have become stuck in the water.

He says: "I just hope now that they've gone, people on site actually get on and repair it, so it doesn't happen again."

A week last Thursday we had the bad flood, that was the first one. It dried out on the Sunday. But road closed signs didn't go down until 19:30. So all my Sunday had gone, and if we lose a weekend we lose 90% of the business. Then the flood came again, except this time it hasn't gone away."

Graeme SellersPub landlord

Former officer challenges transphobia guidelines

How police record "non-crime hate incidents" against transgender people has "a chilling effect" on freedom of expression, the High Court has heard.

Harry Miller
PA Media

Former police officer Harry Miller (pictured) was contacted by Humberside Police in January following a complaint over alleged transphobic tweets.

The court heard he was told he had not committed a crime, but his post was being recorded as a "hate incident".

He is taking action against the College of Policing and Humberside Police.

Mr Miller, from Lincolnshire, claims the guidelines breached his human rights to freedom of expression.

In response, officials said the guidance was lawful and caused no interference with his rights.

The hearing is expected to last for two days.

NHS dentist access: "Lincolnshire's not faring well"

More than two million adults in England are unable to see an NHS dentist, BBC analysis suggests.

Getty Images

They include an estimated 1.45 million who have tried and failed to get an NHS appointment in two years with the rest on waiting lists or put off by cost.

Another two million assume they cannot get care where they live, suggesting nearly one in 10 miss out overall.

Dental leaders said the findings - based on official NHS data - showed access was a problem in every region.

Lincoln-based dentist and British Dental Association spokesperson Shaun Charlwood, said: "Lincolnshire is not faring very well. [In both] south and north Lincolnshire approximately 13% of the total population have an unmet need so the picture is serious and I think unless something is done about this it will continue to deteriorate."

NHS England say they are working with areas like Lincolnshire to identify the cause of the problems and how they can improve access.

Watch: Wednesday's forecast for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Lisa Gallagher

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

Once the cloud has lifted there will be some sunny spells and it'll stay dry for most with temperatures up to 9C in places.

Overnight it will stay clear and dry meaning we're in for another ground frost tomorrow morning.

Floods leave farmers with 'unprecedented costs'

Widespread flooding has left some farmers in one of England's main crop-growing regions unable to sow seeds for wheat and barley crops.

Flooded farm at Bardney
Getty Images

Heavy rainfall in Yorkshire and the East Midlands "swamped thousands of acres of farmland at a crucial time", the National Farmers' Union (NFU) said.

It said 90% of the winter cereals was expected to be drilled in Lincolnshire, but only 10% had been done.

Thousands of homes and businesses have been flooded since 7 November, including the farm at Bardney in Lincolnshire pictured above.

A spokesperson for the NFU said farmers were facing "massive and unprecedented costs" because of the floods.

James Peck, from the NFU, said up to 10 inches of rain fell in some parts of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, leaving fields waterlogged.

The current conditions means harvesting root vegetables and crops - including cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts - has been difficult.

Lincolnshire health visitors stage month-long strike

Heath visitors in Lincolnshire have begun a near month-long strike in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Health visitor strike

About 70 members of the Unite union at Lincolnshire County Council are due to strike until 13 December.

The union said some workers were "significantly worse off" since being transferred from the NHS in 2017.

The council said it had held constructive discussions with union officials and was disappointed the action was being pursued.

According to the union, some workers stood to lose £150,000 during their careers due to a two-tier grading system introduced by the authority.

It said some staff were being placed in the lower band despite them having the same qualifications as those in the higher tier

Watch: Tuesday's forecast for Lincolnshire

BBC Weather

This morning's fog and mist may take a while to lift but when it does there'll be some bright, sunny spells with temperatures getting up to about 5C or 6C.

Overnight it will stay dry and slightly milder than last night with temperatures down to about 2C or 3C:

Watch: Tuesday's forecast for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

BBC Weather

This morning's fog and mist may take a while to lift but when it does there'll be some bright, sunny spells with temperatures getting up to about 5C or 6C.

Overnight it will stay dry and slightly milder than last night with temperatures down to about 2C or 3C:

Wheelchair Sports Programme celebrates 10th anniversary

A scheme aimed at getting less able people in Lincolnshire into sport is celebrating its 10th anniversary today.

Wheelchair Sports Programme

Since 2009, 40,000 people have taken part in sessions as part of the county's Wheelchair Sports Programme which is thought to be the biggest scheme of its kind in the country.

Lynn Chauntry, a member of the programme, says playing wheelchair basketball has helped to turn her life around:

Mentally and physically I am just so much better. You can cope with everything if you've got something you really enjoy."

Lynn ChauntryWheelchair Sports Programme

Police chief blames staff shortage for low morale

The Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police has blamed a lack of staff for low staff morale.

Chief Constable Bill Skelly

A Police Federation survey ranked Lincolnshire second only to the Metropolitan Police, with more than 60% of officers reporting low personal morale.

Chief Constable Bill Skelly says there simply aren't enough officers to do the job:

We certainly believe that a lot of the reason why the workforce is feeling as anxious and is feeling as low as it is in many areas is because of the poor numbers that we have."

Chief Constable Bill SkellyLincolnshire Police

Morale among police officers ranked second lowest

Police in Lincolnshire have among the lowest morale in the country, according to a survey of officers.

Police officers
PA Media

The Police Federation study put Lincolnshire second only to the Metropolitan Police, with more than 60% of officers reporting low personal morale.

Meanwhile, Humberside Police have been rated as the happiest force and has seen the largest improvement.

Graph of police morale
Police Federation

Chief Constable Lee Freeman says the recruitment of new officers has helped turn things around:

It's brilliant, Humberside Police has got nearly 2,000 police officers and we've probably got another 300 on top of that coming in the next two or three years. That's great news for our communities and I think the force will go from strength to strength."

Chief Constable Lee FreemanHumberside Police

Watch: Monday's forecast for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

BBC Weather

After a cold and frosty morning we're in for a bright, sunny day.

But, it's going to be fell chilly with top temperatures not getting much above 8C.

Overnight it will stay clear but that will see temperatures drop to -4C in places: