COLUMN: ‘Lots to look forward to as we face a year of uncertainties'

I hope you have all had a good Christmas and had some time to relax and enjoy the festivities with family and friends.
Coun Wendy Bowkett.Coun Wendy Bowkett.
Coun Wendy Bowkett.

It’s been another challenging year but as we started the year still under the shadow of the Covid 19 pandemic, it’s good to see our lives have returned to normal and we don’t have to endure the restrictions on our freedoms which lingered for so long.

We do of course still face some uncertainties with the difficult financial climate. If anyone is struggling then help is out there – go the council’s website: which can direct you to support.

While we may have these concerns, there are of course millions of other people around the world who have much more to worry about. I’m thinking of families who have been forced to flee from their homes in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion and the ongoing war. It’s humbling to see so many residents come forward to help give these people a home and I thank all those who have reached out.


Despite the difficult times, it’s worth reflecting on what we have achieved - here are a few examples:

The war in Ukraine and people seeking sanctuary has seen a whole new service area of support for asylum seekers and refugees. We have responded superbly to provide essential support to house people with guest households in Lincolnshire. At the latest count there are nearly 1,000 Ukrainians being provided with accommodation support in the county and this number is expected to rise.

Adult Care received 36,000 requests from adults presenting with social care needs in 2021/22. This surge in demand appears to be continuing into 2022/23 with 21,000 new requests received to the end of September 2022.

We’ve expanded and developed more digital support to help people live independently in their own homes, with our care providers and our NHS partners.

On the Public Health front, we’ve had even more to cover through a Greater Lincolnshire Public Health pilot, with Derek Ward and his team now supporting the public health needs of North and North East Lincolnshire as well as our own.

Following a successful re-procurement, the new Carers Service contract started in October, giving enhanced support to so many of our fantastic carers who might heed that little bit of extra help. Approaching 10,000 carers have been supported by the Carers Service; an offer that will be strengthened by the recommissioning of the service with greater focus on outcomes and integration with health.

There is lots to look forward to in 2023.

The continued development of our extra care and supported housing provision will be pivotal in supporting individuals to remain independent.

I’m looking forward to the further development of our digital offer as that’s the way forward in supporting vulnerable residents and keeping them out hospital.

And there’s also further work to do with our Lincolnshire Ageing Better Partnership and working with districts on the Good Homes Alliance for more efficient, accessible and clearer support services.

I’ll finish with my very best wishes to you all for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year in 2023.