Guest column: Shocked at lack of ambulances available across the district

Sir Edward Leigh
Sir Edward Leigh

Winter is a very difficult time for our emergency services here in Lincolnshire as snow and ice bring extra challenges to providing an effective response time.

The East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) receives, on average, 2,500 emergency or urgent 999 calls every day.

I was surprised, therefore, to learn that for the entire patch of West Lindsey, EMAS only devotes one and a half ambulances.

This is an area of more than 400 square miles and surely requires more availability for emergency medical responses.

I have written to EMAS asking how residents can expect a timely response, especially when services are stretched during the cold season.

Those who have observed me during my career in Parliament to date know that I am far from a big spender.

The Government cannot just tax hard working people and spend it recklessly.

It must be devoted to keeping taxes as low as possible and taking as little of people’s money as possible while ensuring the optimal situation for our country.

Money doesn’t grow on trees but our health service, schools, and infrastructure are worth investing in.

Our county has made a particularly notable contribution to defence over the past hundred years, not more so than during World War II when our farms were turned into landing fields for the RAF.

Defence is one of those expensive areas of life when the price of not spending enough is far higher than the cost of spending a great amount.

I have argued again and again that we need to maintain a full range of capabilities in order to ensure that the Government have all options on the table when this country is faced with threats.

This month, I emphasised in the Commons that many of us are sympathetic with the Ministry of Defence in their continual battles with the Treasury to secure better funding for the armed forces.

Proper defence is also about knowing when and how to use our armed forces.

Since the turn of the millennium we have seen the UK participating in military actions which have not just been extremely unwise but counterproductive as well.

Our intervention in Libya only made the country worse and provided a vast section of the north African coastline for people smugglers to take advantage of some of the most vulnerable on the planet.

In the Commons, I recently suggested to the Foreign Secretary that we must learn the lessons of Iraq, Libya, and Syria and that we should not attempt to use military force to remove unpleasant authoritarian regimes only for them to be replaced by disastrous totalitarian movements.

Government at all levels doesn’t function without the contribution of hard-working individuals.

I was sorry to hear Tony McArdle is standing down after 12 years as chief executive of Lincolnshire County Council.

He has been a model of professionalism and his dedication to this county and its people has been remarkable.

A job well done.