Gainsborough MP delighted that Riseholme College future is secure

Sir Edward Leigh MP
Sir Edward Leigh MP

It gave me great pleasure to learn that a successful agreement has been reached to ensure that Riseholme College will continue to use the facilities and land owned by the University of Lincoln at Riseholme, writes Sir Edward Leigh.

This new agreement backed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency means that, instead of ending next year, agricultural education, training, and skills acquisition will continue at Riseholme under Bishop Burton College for nearly a century further.

Practical land-based further and higher education are vital to ensuring our county continues to compete on a national, European, and even worldwide scale, giving our agri-food sector the extra support it needs to flourish and thrive, and giving young people the experience they need.

Riseholme College has been going since 1949 and with its new campus at the Lincolnshire Showground, has been moving from strength to strength.

Just last year, Secobra Recherches, a leading French agricultural firm, agreed to team up and help train future farmers there, ensuring a cross-channel cooperation beyond our upcoming departure from the European Union.

Important as the agri-food sector is, man does not live by bread alone.

Recently I took part in the West Lindsey Churches Festival, a brilliant event which takes place across two weekends and highlights the rich bounty of beautiful churches in this part of Lincolnshire.

In one weekend alone I managed to visit Bishop Norton, Glentham, Normanby by Spital, Owmby by Spital, Saxby, Spridlington, Hackthorne, Welton, Scothern, Sudbrooke, Nettleham, Riseholme, Scampton, Brattleby, Glentworth, Blyborough, Grayingham, Waddingham and Snitterby.

It’s important to appreciate the architectural and historic legacy of these structures.

But as a Christian I also appreciate our continuing spiritual connection to the generations of those before us who worshipped in these holy places.

But the churches festival is not just for believers like me: all are welcome and I salute the work done by volunteers in making this celebration of our churches possible.

If you miss it this time, be sure to look it up and put it in your diary for next year.

Our landscapes here in Lincolnshire are a reminder of the importance of our environment.

Certainly, walks in the countryside are one of the things that endear me most to our county.

For all the harping on about the environment, it is informative to take a look at countries that have a good environmental record and those that don’t.

The socialist command economies of the Warsaw Pact wreaked a devastating environmental impact from which they are still recovering.

China is the biggest carbon offender and the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy has been a maritime disaster.

Meanwhile, this year the UK went a whole week without using any coal power for the first time since the Industrial Revolution.

Since 2010, the Conservatives have made the UK a leader in cutting carbon emissions amongst G7 countries in Europe and will leave our children a cleaner, greener country.