New era for libraries

Lincolnshire’s 15 major libraries will be run from 1 April by not-for-profit organisation Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL).

GLL will also handle the county’s online library services and specialist support for those unable to reach their nearest library because of, for instance, disability, age or ill-health.

It is predicted that the arrangement with GLL could reduce costs by as much as £500,000 on top of the £1.9m we’ve already saved by delivering library services in more cost-effective ways.

In addition to running core library services, GLL will support a network of more than 30 community hubs.

These have been developed by the council in partnership with local groups, and many are already offering better services than ever before.

For more information on local library services, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/libraries.

Changes to waste and recycling services

The majority of Lincolnshire residents will still have quick and easy access to a Household Waste Recycling Centre, despite the closure of sites at Leadenham and Whisby.

Councillors have made the difficult decision to close the two centres, which are owned and operated by FCC Environment on behalf of the council, when their current contracts expire on 31 March 2016.

The move is a result of central government funding reductions and, as a result, we need to scale back our spending. Waste services needs to play its part by cutting its annual waste and recycling budget by £400,000.

Our policy is to make sure that 95% of residents are within a 12-mile radius of a recycling facility, and the closure of these closures won’t affect that. These sites are privately owned and would require investment by the council.

Residents who used Leadenham are encouraged to visit Sleaford and those who used Whisby should visit the site at Great Northern Terrace in Lincoln.

Changes to contributions policy take effect

Changes to the policy which explains how much adults are expected to contribute towards their non- residential care and support will take effect from 16 April.

This follows a public consultation, scrutiny and decision by the Executive in November 2015.

Everyone affected will receive a letter before the end of March with details of what their contribution will be. Social work and financial assessment staff have been briefed to support service users with any questions about the changes.

Our new Non-Residential Adult Care Contributions policy brings us into line with policies for similar authorities and takes account of new duties and powers under the Care Act. People will still have a financial assessment before they start paying for their care.

Those that are assessed as not able to afford to contribute towards the cost of their care will be protected and won’t have to pay. The policy will be available to read in full from 16 April on the council’s website.

New sexual health service to launch

Lincolnshire Community Health Services will be the main provider of sexual health services in Lincolnshire, on behalf of Lincolnshire County Council from 1 April.

The public will see little change to services on the ground, though access to services will be improved overall with extended opening hours and additional clinics.

Following a re-tendering exercise, a new model will be introduced which will see one overall primary contractor managing the majority of services.

The new Lincolnshire Integrated Sexual Health (LISH) service will be delivered by Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), funded by Lincolnshire County Council’s public health grant.

LISH will also provide outreach services, HIV treatment and care, and community sexual health testing and treatment, together with contraception, chlamydia screening and sexual health promotion initiatives.

Some additional sexual health services remain commissioned directly by the county council. These include the sexual health outreach, HIV prevention and support service, GP based Long Acting Reversible Contraception and pharmacy-based emergency hormonal contraception and pregnancy testing.

LCC and LCHS will be working together to ensure streamlined service delivery.

Review of home to school transport to grammar schools

Lincolnshire County Council’s Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee has considered a review into discretionary home to school transport to grammar schools. Two options have been agreed for the Executive to consider at its meeting on 5 April.

The first option is to leave the grammar school transport policy as it is, but review it in two years.

The other is to charge pupils living in grammar school designated transport areas for transport to a grammar school where it is not the nearest suitable school.

This would be introduced to new pupils, excluding pupils with siblings at the same grammar school, on a phased basis with financial support for pupils in receipt of free school meals.

Any proposed changes would be subject to widespread consultation.

Council announces more efficient street lights

Lincolnshire County Council is making changes to how it manages street lighting to deliver annual savings of £1.7million and will be achieved through:

 Swapping 17,000 of the county’s 68,000 lights for low-energy LED ones which can be dimmed

 Introducing ‘part-night’ lighting in mainly residential areas, where lights will turn on at dusk and, in many cases, remain on until midnight. Lights will then be switched off until morning. This will affect 38,000 street lights

 Up to 3,000 street lights, away from built up areas, have been identified for possible switch off, subject to further assessments

There will be no changes to street lighting at some locations, including those where there are road safety features, there is a significant record of night-time crime or there is sheltered housing, warden-controlled accommodation or a care home.

Our carbon footprint will be reduced by over 6,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, which is a third of our five year target.

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