End of an era for Lincoln Castle

The gates will close on the old Lincoln Castle for the final time next week ahead of a spectacular re-opening in 2015.
At 4pm on Tuesday 23 December, the attraction will close to the public for three months as the finishing touches are made to the £22m Lincoln Castle Revealed project.
The all new castle will be unveiled on 1 April 2015, giving visitors the chance to:
See Magna Carta, the document that changed the course of history, and immerse themselves in the story of King John, the barons and the birth of the Great Charter in a widescreen cinematic experience in the new David P J Ross Magna Carta Vault.
Explore the towers and dungeons of the Medieval Wall Walk with a brand new informative and atmospheric audio guide and spectacular views over Lincoln and the magnificent cathedral.  
Visit the imposing Victorian Prison and extraordinary separate system chapel, coming face-to-face with convicts from the past and hearing their stories with brand new interpretation including films, panels and interactive digital screens. 
The attraction will also have an all new café and castle shop to complete your visit.
Councillor Nick Worth, Executive Member for Culture and Heritage, said: "This is an extremely ambitious project, and one that will put Lincolnshire firmly in the spotlight.
"The castle will be the only place in the world where Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest can be seen together, and these improvements will give them the home they deserve.
"This will make the castle an attraction of international importance, bringing in many more visitors from near and far.
"I'm sure people will be impressed when we unveil the all new Lincoln Castle in April, giving them their first chance to see the improvements first-hand."
For the latest news on the castle, http://visit www.lincolncastle.com.


Get your turkey ready for ‘National Defrost Your Turkey Day’
To help people stay safe during this festive season South Holland District Council will be supporting the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on National Defrost Your Turkey Day on Monday, December 22.
This event will prompt Christmas cooks to start thinking of the defrosting process in plenty of time and avoid getting caught out.
A typical large turkey can take two days to defrost, but only one in four people get it right by defrosting their turkey in the fridge.
The FSA is concerned that many risk getting an unwelcome gift of food poisoning this Christmas.
Incorrect thawing provides a platform for bacteria such as campylobacter to spread, leaving you with a turkey dinner that looks and tastes delicious but contains a hidden risk that can’t be seen, tasted or smelled, but can ruin your new year.
From late December 2013 to the start of January 2014 more than 3,000 cases of campylobacter were confirmed in England and Wales – an indication that more care needs to be given to the preparation, storage and consumption of turkey in the home during the festive period.
Kevin Hargin, Head of Foodborne Disease at the Food Standards Agency said: “We all love our turkey dinner at Christmas and this year should be no exception. It’s the little things you do that can make a real difference. So if you make sure that your turkey is defrosted safely and in good time, you can enjoy your meal happily and safely.”
Malcolm Chandler, portfolio holder for Regulatory Services, added: “Our priority is ensuring the public’s health and safety and that’s why we are happy to back this campaign. It is a simple message but one which can guarantee good health over Christmas.”
The FSA advises that when preparing your turkey from frozen you should:
Follow the retailer’s recommended defrosting time. The size of your turkey will determine how long it needs to be defrosted for (a large 11kg turkey can take up to two days to defrost).
Defrost your turkey in the fridge if possible or somewhere cool. Cold temperature slows the growth of germs on food and will keep it safe and fresh.
Cover the turkey whilst defrosting, leave in the packaging or put it in a container to hold any thawing juices, and place it at the bottom of the fridge to avoid cross-contamination.

Defrost thoroughly, as otherwise your turkey may not cook evenly and harmful bacteria could survive the cooking process.
Raw turkey should always be put in the bottom of the fridge until ready to use. Leaving on the kitchen counter at room temperature could increase your risk of food poisoning. 
What is campylobacter?
Campylobacter is the generic name for a number of species of bacteria that can cause food poisoning in people. They cause more cases of food poisoning in the UK than salmonella, E. coli and listeria combined.
Campylobacter bacteria are commonly found on poultry meat. Between 50% and 80% of cases of campylobacter food poisoning in the UK and other EU countries can be attributed to poultry sources, mostly to raw poultry meat.
Why it’s important?
50% to 80% of confirmed cases of campylobacter poisoning in the UK come from contaminated poultry. Campylobacter poisoning can lead to sickness including abdominal pain, diarrhoea, disability and even worse. Those most at risk are children and older people.
If you want your Christmas dinner to be remembered for the right reasons, follow the FSA’s advice on the recommended safe practices when preparing, cooking and storing turkey.

Find out more about the FSA’s top tips at: http://www.food.gov.uk/christmas2014



A footpath through Holbeach which became clogged up with leaves and mud has been cleaned as part of our Pride in South Holland campaign.
The worsening state of the path, in Boston Road North, had angered many residents who use it as a main way of getting into the centre of the town.
Cllr Nick Worth, portfolio holder for community, was alerted to the problem and arranged for our cleaning hit squad to take action this week.
Cllr Worth said: "The path had got into a pretty dirty state and a lot of people were angry about it.
"There is no pavement on the other side of the road so the footpath is well used but people were getting their shoes and boots covered in muck.
"It's looking much better now and hopefully will stay this way."
The Pride In South Holland campaign was launched recently to boost eyesore sites in the district and has already made great strides.
The former Bull and Monkie pub in Spalding has been cleaned up and other sites, including the Red Cow at Donington are now being targeted.
Over the coming weeks the Pride in South Holland campaign will see local areas spruced up with a range of actions to ensure the district stays clean.

The campaign will also include:
*     Additional cleaning of town centres
*     Community payback service carrying out improvement tasks
*     Re-painting of equipment at play areas
*     New signage and CCTV installed where necessary.
Some residents in South Holland will see their recycling and refuse collections altered over the Festive period.
Changes to collections will take place for households who have a collection on Christmas day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, as set out in the table below.
For people who normally have their bags collected on a Thursday (Christmas day and New Year's Day) the collection date will be moved to the following Saturday, December 27 and January 3 respectively.
For people who are due a collection on Boxing Day (Friday) the collection will take place the following Friday, January 2 2015.
Normal collection day   Revised collection day
Thursday, December 25  - Saturday, December 27
Friday, December 26 - Friday, January 2
Thursday, January 1 -  Saturday, January 3
If you are still unsure of your revised collection date or for more information contact 01775 761161 visit http://www.sholland.gov.uk or tweet @SHDCWaste on Twitter. 


Rent a new home in Pinchbeck

People with a local connection to Pinchbeck have a unique chance to rent a new home in the village. Fourteen houses are being built in Flaxmill Lane, Pinchbeck, as part of a scheme set up by the Pinchbeck Community Land Trust (CLT) and supported by
South Holland District Council. The £1.4 million development of two and three bedroom properties will be completed in early spring 2015 and the Lincolnshire Rural Housing Association will then take management of the homes. The houses will benefit from a number of features including an allotment area.

Cllr Christine Lawton, the council's portfolio holder for housing, said: "The new homes are exclusively available to people who live in Pinchbeck, and we want to ensure that local people do not miss out. "The local connection criteria concerns those who live in the parish, work in the parish, have family who live in the parish, or those who lived their previously and had to move away due to issues in finding accommodation in Pinchbeck. "Anybody who wishes to register an interest in the homes needs to speak to the council's Housing Advice team, who will advise on the application process." For more details contact South Holland District Council's Housing Advice team on 01775 761161, quoting the Flaxmill Lane development.


Funding promised to reduce flood risk
The county council has joined the Government in reaffirming its commitment to investing in local flood defences.
The Government has today confirmed a £2.3bn investment in over 1,400 flood defence projects around the country, resulting in 300,000 homes being better protected. And among those to benefit is Boston, which has been awarded £73m.
The Government investment will be complemented by £17m of county council funding, which will be used complete the delivery of the Boston scheme and projects in Louth and Horncastle.
Cllr Marc Jones, Executive Member for Finance and Property, said: "We have first-hand experience of the devastating impact that flooding can have on people's lives.
"That's why we're working hard with our partners to do everything we can to reduce the risk to Lincolnshire homes.
"Obviously, this is a difficult time for us financially, but thanks to careful management, we're still in a position where we can make the significant investment that's needed to make these new defences a reality."
Lincolnshire's Flood Risk Partnership was recently recognised in a national report for its planning and response to the 2013-14 coastal surge. The full report is available on the National Audit Office's website at http://www.nao.org.uk.


The 12 online frauds of Christmas
Lincolnshire Trading Standards is taking part in a national campaign to help protect residents from cyber-fraudsters.

From Cyber Monday, one of the busiest days of the year for internet shopping, the service will be sharing tips to raise awareness of a dozen online frauds that could ruin your holiday fun.
Organisations from across the country are taking part to raise awareness of different seasonal scams, from Christmas e-cards to smart phone viruses.
Please like Lincolnshire Trading Standards on Facebook or follow @LincsTS to find out advice on;
1: Christmas e-cards
2: Auction fraud
3: Holiday fraud
4: Loan and investment scams
5: Ticketing fraud
6: Donating to charity
7: Mobile malware / malicious apps
8: Money transfers
9: Social media scams
10: Dating/romance scam
11: Mobile payments 
Emma Milligan, Principal Trading Standards Officer, said:
“Christmas is an exciting time when many of us try to find gifts our loved ones will cherish – while not causing too much damage to our bank accounts!  Shopping online can be very convenient for shoppers but people need to be careful of what they are buying and who they are buying it from.
"Fraudsters are always trying to find a way to con unsuspecting people, and this year we are supporting a campaign which will help to raise awareness of their latest tricks.  Please be extra vigilant at this time of year to avoid disappointment."
For more festive advice for consumers, please visit http://www.lincolnshrie.gov.uk/tradingstandards
If you believe you have been caught out by a scam please report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040


Sign up to a winter warmer of savings on gas and electricity bills for 2015 with the Lincolnshire Energy Switch Scheme.
The latest opportunity to join the scheme starts tomorrow, Tuesday 2 December and runs until Monday 2 February 2015. It could bring you hundreds of pounds of savings – freeing up extra cash that will help pay for the cost of Christmas or to put towards improvements to your home next year.
In a recent auction, households that accepted offers saved an average of £234.
Nearly 5,000 Lincolnshire households have registered to join forces to get better deals from energy suppliers, making the county’s residents one of the biggest groups to tackle the energy companies for better tariffs. 
Households are again invited to register for the scheme, organised by Lincolnshire County Council and Community Lincs and administered by the UK’s leading collective switching expert, iChoosr Ltd. 
To register submit your details at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/switch. If you don't have internet access, a friend or family member can do this on your behalf or call the free phone number 0800 048 8439. The registration number is open 8am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday. 
Once households have registered their interest, the energy suppliers will be invited to compete with their best offers.
The scheme is free for households to join and there is no obligation to take up the winning supplier’s tariff offer.
All can register, whether you rent or own your home, whether you are on dual fuel, electric only, pay monthly or quarterly or have a prepayment meter. You don’t even have to live in Lincolnshire.
The scheme is open to all those in the UK so let friends and relatives know about it.
Councillor Colin Davie, executive member for the environment at Lincolnshire County Council, said:
“Shopping around for a good deal on energy bills has never been more popular and understandably we all seek to make savings that can add up. 
“Registering online or calling the freephone number is a simple solution to what can be a time consuming process of changing energy provider.
“Therefore we recommend residents choose this hassle free option which has no obligation. If you register, you're offered a deal after the auction and it’s a simple choice then whether to take it or not.
“The more people who register, the more interested energy suppliers are securing them as customers and the better the deal they offer. 
“But you have to register to have a chance to take up the saving so register today and tell your friends, family and neighbours about the scheme too.”




Share your views on fire and rescue proposals
A 12-week consultation on proposals to update the way Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue delivers services has been launched.
Feedback is being sought on proposals contained within the Integrated Risk Management Planning consultation document 2015/16. In brief, the proposals are around:
Potential savings options to meet anticipated budget reductions.
Introducing an alternative crewing arrangement on some Retained Duty System fire stations so that fire engines with fewer than four firefighters can attend certain incidents.
Revising the way in which the response standard to house fires and road accidents is presented.
Increasing the number of fire stations that provide a co-responder service for medical emergencies.
Setting the service priorities for 2015/16. 
The full details can be found in the Integrated Risk Management Planning consultation document 2015/16, available on Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue's website http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lfr, where people can also respond to the consultation.

Unsightly graffiti was blasted from the walls of a notorious Spalding eyesore as our Pride in South Holland campaign gathers pace.
Efforts to clean up the former Bull and Monkie pub site continued this week with another blitz of the area on Tuesday.
Workmen steamed graffiti from the walls and permanent fencing including a new gate was put up at the front of the site to secure the area.
This follows a clean up earlier this month which saw bushes, weeds and shrubs removed.
The building's owners, Crispen Holdings Limited, were previously served a notice to clean up the site, but failed to respond.
Council officers acted quickly to carry out the work, with the cost being billed to the owners.
The Pride in South Holland campaign, which was recently launched to clean up derelict eyesore sites across the district is gathering momentum.
In addition to the work at the Bull and Monkie, a street cleaning hit squad has been tackling roads and alleyways across South Holland, clearing up fly tipping and other rubbish.
Cllr Roger Gambba-Jones, portfolio holder for planning, said: "We're only a few weeks into the Pride In South Holland campaign, but have already made great strides.
"The Bull and Monkie site has been transformed in a matter of weeks and at no cost to the taxpayer.
"We are putting together a full list of eyesore sites to be tackled as part
of the campaign and these will be revealed shortly."  
Over the coming weeks the Pride in South Holland campaign will see local areas spruced up with a range of actions to ensure the district stays clean.
The campaign will also include:
*     Additional cleaning of town centres.
*     Community payback service carrying out improvement tasks.
*     Re-painting of equipment at 18 play areas
*     New signage and CCTV installed where necessary

New lorry panels launched

Our fleet of refuse lorries have been given a new look - with eye-catching
Agripa panels fitted to their sides.The panels include colourful designs promoting our Green Bag Lottery scheme,
street markets as well as general advice about recycling. They were recently fixed to our fleet of 13 vehicles and can now be seen as the lorries make their way across the district on collection rounds. The panels are fastened with Velcro designed to withstand pressure of around one tonne.
Roger Gambba-Jones, portfolio holder for Waste Management, said: "The panels certainly stand out and look very smart.
"We are serious about promoting recycling through the Green Bag Lottery as well as supporting markets.
"The panels will be seen by people all over the district and I am confident they will raise awareness of our services."
For more information on recycling and waste collection in South Holland visit www.sholland.gov.uk/environment/waste/ or www.greenbaglottery.co.uk.
Our waste and recycling team can also be contacted on Twitter at @SHDCwaste.