Stephen Phillips MP upped the ante in his ongoing battle to get speed limits on all roads in towns and villages across the County set at a maximum of 30mph by bringing Roads Minister Stephen Hammond MP up to the constituency to see the position in Lincolnshire for himself. Government guidelines are clear that all roads through villages and towns should have 30mph limits in place and, supported by residents and Parish Councils throughout the constituency, Stephen has been campaigning for two years to have the guidelines followed in Lincolnshire. Speaking during the ministerial visit, Stephen said, "We have many villages in the constituency where there are inappropriate and confusing speed limits. We need a consistent policy across the County so that drivers know when they enter a village they have to reduce their speed to a maximum of 30mph, to ensure the safety of children and the elderly in particular." The minister stressed the importance of the guidelines issued by the Government, adding that "if local councils follow the guidelines, that will help them give their residents, both car users and pedestrians, the safest roads, be they urban or, as they are here, in a rural setting."
The National Centre for Craft and Design is a world class facility, right in the heart of Sleaford, part funded by the Arts Council and the District Council and dedicated to the exhibition, celebration and promotion of international and national craft and design. Cllr Mrs Marion Brighton OBE, civic leaders and local MP, Stephen Phillips, were treated last week to a performance showcase of everything which is going on at NCCD, showing its importance to the arts throughout Lincolnshire, the East Midlands and nationally. Touring the gallery and performance spaces as part of the specially commissioned work before joining staff and performers to congratulate them, Stephen said, "I have been absolutely blown away by the quality of work on display and the performances which I have seen today. NCCD is a huge asset not just to Sleaford and the whole area, but to the whole of Lincolnshire. It attracts huge numbers of visitors every year and just how important this resource is for us all has been really brought home to me today. I will be asking the Secretary of State to come and see for herself just how good NCCD is."
Leading onshore wind opponent and former Conservative MEP for the East Midlands, Chris Heaton-Harris MP, paid a visit to the constituency on Friday to help local MP Stephen Phillips and local residents in and around Stubton and Brandon with their campaign against the proposed Loveden Wind Turbines for which an application is shortly expected to be made. Stephen recently led a debate in Westminster Hall in which he made clear to ministers the objections and concerns of many of his constituents to the further development of Lincolnshire countryside to accommodate turbines which most oppose. Speaking at the well-attended event, Stephen said, "Onshore wind development ought only to go ahead when it has the support of local people which I am repeatedly finding it does not. Our part of the County is not suitable for these projects given wind loadings, and they are only being built because of the ridculous subsidies put in place by the last Government. I have repeatedly made clear to ministers that those subsidies must stop."
Engineering remains a cornerstone of the economy throughout Lincolnshire and Stephen Phillips QC MP recently paid a visit to Destec Engineering near Washingborough to hear more about what the Government can do to help SMEs in this vital sector. Meeting with Chairman Barry Porter, the founder of this highly successful exporter, Stephen heard how reducing red tape further would assist British businesses in accessing key export markets across Europe and beyond. "Barry and his management team are highly skilled and innovative engineers and businessmen employing more than 80 people in this part of my constituency," Stephen said. "It is imperative that I get to listen to businessmen like Barry so that I can represent the concerns of small and medium size companies down at Westminster as best as I can. There are a number of issues which have been raised with me today and I will be passing all of them on to ministers so that we can try and ensure the best possible environment for all our exporters."
"Young people need all the help we can give them to get into the job market", Stephen Phillips MP was told on a visit to Sleaford Jobcentre Plus last week. Stephen asked to visit and meet the staff working to help those out of work get into new jobs following conversations with constituents about the work done by the Sleaford branch, where he met Elaine Hume and her staff. "We are incredibly fortunate in Sleaford and North Hykeham to have very high levels of employment and a highly skilled workforce, " Stephen said during his visit. "I know that for those who are finding it more difficult to get work, Elaine and her colleagues provide support and a resource to enable them to find work and get off benefits, something which is incredibly important for them and for the taxpayer." Through Government initiatives and the work of Jobcentre Plus, employment rates in the constituency are at record highs, with both the number of benefit claimants and those classed as long term unemployed significantly lower than this time last year.
Helpringham Parish Council recently asked local MP Stephen Phillips to take up the case of another Network Rail failure in the constituency, on this occasion the revamped road bridge between Helpringham and Burton Pedwardine. The upgrade of the line has resulted in a number of bridges across the constituency being remodelled, but the roadway on this new bridge, together with the barrier works, has given rise to a considerable hazard for local motorists using the route due to the narrowed carriageway and blind crest. Promising to write immediately to the Secretary of State for Transport to raise and try to resolve the issue, Stephen said, "I have had a number of problems with Network Rail since I was elected in 2010 and they seem to be answerable to no one in riding roughshod over local opinion. The works which have been done here are clearly dangerous and I will be pressing the Secretary of State hard to take action to remedy the position."
North Hykeham Mayor, Cllr Ross Little, and local MP Stephen Phillips, recently joined cadets and directing staff from 1237 Sqn North Hykeham Air Training Corps for their annual presentation evening. Cadets gave presentations to the assembled audience about their expeditions and activities from the last year and awards and promotions were handed out by a number of distinguished guests, including 92-year-old Les Rutherford, a navigator bomb aimer in the 2nd World War who became a prisoner of war and last year gave interviews to enable a number of cadets to complete essays on Bomber Command. In a brief address, Stephen thanked the Squadron for inviting him to celebrate their successes and commended all those who had taken part and received awards, as well as Flight Lieutenant Jo Wood and her staff for ensuring that the Squadron goes from strength to strength. "This has been a fabulous evening demonstrating the success of some of our best young people," Stephen said. "I've been honoured to be here, particularly in the company of Les Rutherford and other heroes who gave so much to ensure our freedom, and I wish the Squadron and all its members every success in the coming year."
Local Conservatives all over the Sleaford and North Hykeham Constituency have been raising money for LIVES -- the Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service. LIVES, which is unique to Lincolnshire, has been serving the people of the County since the 1970s, when it was established by local doctors troubled by the number of unnecessary road deaths as a result of a lack of early treatment. Fully integrated with the Emergency Services, LIVES medics and responders, all of whom are volunteers, ensure that assistance for road traffic accident victims and other trauma cases is provided as soon as possible, as well as treating those suffering from suspected heart attacks. Handing over a cheque for over £500 to LIVES fundraiser Stephen Hyde, local MP Stephen Phillips said, "We are all immensely proud of the network of medics and first responders who do so much to improve survival rates here in Lincolnshire and I am thrilled that the Association has had such a worthwhile charity to support this year. It costs an awful lot to ensure that our unique provision in the County survives in these tough times, and I hope that the money local Conservatives have raised will inspire others to raise money for this important organisation."
Recent flooding in the constituency has demonstrated, again, that many homes remain at risk in and around Sleaford & North Hykeham from our changing climate and pattern of rainfall. Friday, Stephen Phillips MP met in Swaton with representatives of the village and the Parish Council, the Environment Agency, the Internal Drainage Board and Lincolnshire County Council to discuss what can be done for some of the worst affected areas around the Swaton Eau. With the water coincidentally rising during his visit, Stephen attempted to facilitate a long-term solution for affected constituents by persuading the relevant agencies to put forward plans by the end of January to address flooding issues in the area. Speaking afterwards, Stephen said, "An important aspect of my job, even where I have no direct influence, is trying to help people persuade the bodies which do to treat their problems seriously and address issues that they have. That's why I have been here today and I hope that with my involvement, flooding in and around Swaton will now be dealt with properly."
Pregnancy and sexual health is a topic that many parents, teachers and carers find it difficult to discuss with young people which is why it is important that confidential counselling and advice remains available. That's the message local MP, Stephen Phillips, heard on a recent visit to congratulate trustees, organisers and staff at the Alternatives Pregnancy Advice Centre in Sleaford on their work. Trained counsellors work with young people who are thinking about pregnancy, have become pregnant or have suffered the loss of a baby, as well as dealing with issues surrounding decisions to become sexually active. The centre also offers a meeting place for young people in the town. Stephen said, "I have been impressed by the facilities I have seen today and by the work that the volunteers here do. There are many issues surrounding planned and unplanned pregnancies which are too often swept under the carpet and it is good to know that there is always someone independent on hand to talk to."
Welcome, and thanks for visiting my website. On 6th May 2010, I was elected by an overwhelming majority of more than 50% of voters as the Member of Parliament for the Sleaford and North Hykeham Constituency. It's a great honour to have this responsibility of fighting for this beautiful part of Lincolnshire and I hope that my website will answer any questions you have. You'll find some information about me, about what I and my party stand for and about how to get in touch. Please don't hesitate to do so: what matters to you matters to me. I'm passionately committed to serving the interests of all of our community as best as I can.