Gainsborough MP backs £37 million investment plan for the area

Sir Edward Leigh MP
Sir Edward Leigh MP

The Conservative-led West Lindsey Council has come up with a clever capital investment plan to supports people in this part of Lincolnshire, writes Sir Edward Leigh MP.

The plan will see £37 million invested in regeneration, leisure, and helping local businesses grow.

The five-year plan is ambitious but well thought out and will include £2.2 million for housing infrastructure, £1 million on roadway improvements, £5 million on regeneration in Gainsborough town centre, and £7.1 on leisure facilities across the district.

This includes the new leisure centre in Market Rasen which is most welcome (though I wish it had a swimming pool).

To help provide small workplace units for businesses there is £1.1 million for the Saxilby industrial units, and £1.5 million will help unlock the potential of local food and farming businesses through the Food Enterprise Zone at Hemswell Cliff.

This area still faces a funding gap because of lingering differences in funding between urban and rural areas.

The Government has made a lot of progress on this but there is still clearly work to be done.

That’s why I wrote to the Police Minister backing Lincolnshire Police’s request for £4.8 million which is vital for maintaining law and order in our county.

Bigotry and ignorance have no place in Britain today, least of all in the civil service.

I have been extremely disappointed to hear that an Iranian Christian has had his application for asylum here in the UK rejected by an official who countered his claim that Christianity preaches ‘forgiveness and kindness’ as opposed to the radical form of Islam that is the state religion in Iran.

Unfortunately this is just one of a growing number of examples of ignorance and religious illiteracy on the part of Home Office civil servants who are put in charge of determining asylum cases and issuing visas.

I raised this with the Home Secretary on the floor of the House of Commons and was relieved to hear that he confirmed the grounds of the rejection were ‘totally unacceptable’ and that he has ordered an urgent investigation.

This is well worth following up in the fullness of time to make sure the Home Office is tackling the problems of ignorance and lack of religious literacy amongst its employees.

At the time of writing Parliament continues its deliberations over Brexit.

I think it’s insulting to voters to suggest the country has another general election when this Government hasn’t yet implemented the UK leaving the EU.

I remain opposed to Britain being in a customs union, which would mean it would be subject to EU laws and regulations while having no say in their drafting and passage.

This is not a compromise between leaving and remaining, it is the worst of both worlds.

As I have said time and again, the Government’s absolute priority is to deliver on the promise to implement the result of the referendum and to end this country’s membership of the European Union.

This needs to be done as soon as possible to reassure voters that democracy is still functioning.