Cllr Martin Hill is the Leader of Lincolnshire County Council.
The Conservative candidates in Lincolnshire approach the county elections in good spirit.
Representing a very Eurosceptic county, we were delighted with the referendum result last June and look forward to a quick exit from the EU so that we take advantage of the opportunities which will arise.
As an agricultural county with high levels of immigration we will need to influence the national negotiations so that our efficient farming sector has a level playing field to operate in, and businesses are able to access skilled workers under a controlled immigration system.
In common with all other councils, we are operating in a declining revenue situation due to the disastrous financial legacy of the last Labour government. However, as prudent Conservatives we have so far achieved savings of £245 million since 2010 and protected front line services which the public have identified.
For example, there are now more libraries open in Lincolnshire for longer hours but we are spending over £2 million less each year and we operate a countywide call-connect demand-led bus service keeping rural communities in touch with public transport.
Our children’s safeguarding is judged outstanding by Ofsted and we recently received a £37 million road maintenance grant from government in recognition of being rated in second place nationally.
Our Council Tax is the third lowest of all county councils and we are committed to keeping our level in the lowest quartile, nationally.
Lincolnshire is currently very unfairly treated by government funding formulas and if elected we will be campaigning vigorously and relentlessly so that we no longer languish at the bottom of the funding pile.
It cannot be right that we receive so much less than other areas to deliver similar services – we would receive an extra £137 million if we had the same levels of support per capita as Manchester City for example.
We are committed to continuing our substantial capital programme, well in excess of £100m a year, so that new schools, roads, flood defences and other infrastructure is provided for the future economic and social wellbeing of our county.
We will complete the countywide roll-out of fast broadband having already achieved 95 per cent coverage across the county.
We will work positively with partners in police, business, environment and health to provide joined up local services which are appropriate for a large geography being accessible for a dispersed population.
Our political opponents are in some disarray ( we’ve had two defections from UKIP recently, for example ) and show no inclination or ability to address the challenges ahead, but Lincolnshire Conservatives, united and resourceful, are determined to ensure that our great historic county faces the future with confidence and expectation.