Letters to the Spalding Guardian editor – December 24, 2020
Still trying to get answers
I can resonate with Mr Brandon-King’s letter (about Sutton Bridge Marina) in last week’s Lincolnshire Free Press. I too have been trying to get answers to various questions for quite some time now.
In the end I deduced that the way forward would be to do it through a Freedom of Information request. But despite the time lag of several months, I have not heard anything.
I do appreciate that it may take time to find the answers, but surely an acknowledgement of a request would be the right protocol.
The waiting continues - with no idea if I am to get success.
We need proper parish elections
Regarding your story: ‘Seats on council could be reduced’.
The suggested reduction in the number of parish councillors on Sutton Bridge Parish Council could lead to a very unbalanced mix of councillors, possibly leading to a situation where a small group/cabal could end up ‘running Sutton Bridge as some sort of minor fiefdom’.
That is not only potentially undemocratic as Mr Clery stated, but could lead to the passing of resolutions which only suited that small group!
An active ‘opposition’ is always beneficial to modify the total control which could be created by a group of co-opted ‘partisan’ members.
That can only be achieved by a proper election where prospective candidates can offer alternative views to those entrenched on the ‘current’ council.
Readers are asked to remember the situation some years back when the ‘old’ council, under the chairmanship of Coun Helen Rowe, was swept aside by the electors, unhappy with the ‘road calming’ measures that had been introduced on Bridge Road.
Readers/electors, please do not allow that to happen.
Urgent action is required
UK demand for electric vehicles (EV’s) will grow rapidly as regulatory measures take effect and consumer pressure grows.
The recent UK Government’s announcement prohibiting new sales of ICE-powered vehicles post-2030 must be accompanied by a comprehensive industrial strategy and plan that provides for a just transition for the UK automotive sector.
Investment in a standardised charging infrastructure is urgently required, alongside a developing capacity to manufacture high-value EV components, batteries, motors and drivetrains here in the UK.
The UK falls dangerously behind our European competitors in terms of both investment and securing the alliances necessary to bring battery manufacturing and its associated component supply chain to the UK.
Forecasted UK demand for 130 Gwh by 2040 will require eight Gigafactoriesat 15 Gwh each and could support an additional 60,000 jobs if supply chain and component manufacturing is built into the programme.
Failure to manufacture here in the UK could cost 114,000 automotive jobs by 2040. This will be sooner if environmental targets and regulatory controls tighten.
Without action to secure a long-term supply of core minerals used in the manufacturing process, and control of UK cathode/anode and cell manufacturing, we will fall victim to a global shortfall of extracted supplies as early as 2022.
Utilisation of UK mineral and metal resources to support battery manufacture could see a transformation of the Cornish economy and build resilience into the UK supply of necessary raw materials.
Lithium-ion battery technology for EV’s is already providing manufacturers with opportunities to diversify into the manufacture of domestic and commericial energy storage equipment central to the Government’s strategy and to build new homes.
There are currently plans for some 140 lithium-ion battery manufacturing facilities globally, with a projected 70% in China, to support the transition from combustion engines to full electric vehicles.
Unfortunately, the UK Government has limited its investment to £128million in battery reseach and development (Faraday Institute), a sum that includes construction of the Battery Industrialisation Centre in Coventry.
In comparison, France and Germany are estimated to have provided financial incentives totalling £750million and £1billion respectively to battery manufacturing firms. This is prior to additional sectoral level funding tied to reduced emissions stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Faraday Institute predicts UK demand for one Gigafactory in 2022 and two by 2025. In reality, we need eight to meet predicted demand as we transition from Combustion to EV’s. Each could take up to five years to construct, given the requirements for licences, permits, land and the construction timeframe.
Forecast UK demand for 130 Gwh by 2040 will require eight Gigafactories at 15 Gwh each and could support 60,000 more jobs if supply chain and component manufacturing is included. Failure to support this could see thousands of UK automotive jobs lost.
So the scale of the challenge is massive, but also the opportunities are there for the taking to support a world class UK automotive manufacturing sector.
To succeed we must connect political and industrial will to priortize UK manufacturing as a central element of a recovery and rebuild strategy from COVID- 19 and Brexit.
Labour Party union delegate for South Holland & The Deepings Labour Party
Christmas in 2020
So this is Christmas
Good cheer to all today,
But don’t come close to me
Forwhat you want to say.
For now my face is lipstick-free
My earrings on the run.
I’m mumbling through three layers of mask
My patience is undone.
And now the film called Home Alone
Has all but come to land,
And the best way not to touch your face
Is a wine glass in each hand.
The one thing that has had us cheered
When chatting on the zoom.
If we have heard enough of them
We can mute them from the room.
And now I hear a little jab
Will have us all in hand,
Shame we will have to hug and kiss
The ones we cannot stand!!
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: The shining light of Christ
Riding through the villages on my bike and in my locality, as I do on most days during the year, there is a noticeable change in nature.
It is at this time of the year that the biggest change is in the villages where, suddenly, a large number of houses ‘grow’ lights.
This year they appeared earlier than ever, perhaps in an attempt to brighten what has been a cheerless world. A sign of hope for the future, perhaps.
There is one light that signified that things in the world were about to change, though. Wise men saw a bright light in the sky, a star that was to lead them to a stable in Bethlehem.
In that stable they saw a
baby who they recognised as someone special, a king.
The Jews were expecting a Messiah, but did not recognise Jesus as him.
Jesus is the light that can lighten our lives and He offers all the hope that we need now and in the future.
We read in Chapter 1 of St John’s gospel “in him was life, and that life was the light of mankind, the true light that gives light to everyone”.
Jesus can lighten our darkness in that he helps us to cope with whatever the world throws at us.
This year has been difficult, one we may wish to forget, but we know that things will improve because God promises that he will not leave us.
The celebration of Jesus’ birthday may be different this year, but it still needs to be celebrated in whatever way is possible for you.
Have a blessed Christmas and may you know the shining light of Christ
Rev Paul Winn
All Saints Church, Moulton