Leaders from across Lincoln’s civic, business and academic communities have offered messages of support to the City’s MP Karl McCartney on the tenth anniversary of his maiden speech in Parliament.
Testimonials marking the 12th July milestone included messages from heads of local industry, from both the University of Lincoln and Bishop Grosseteste University, as well as from fellow politicians both at Lincolnshire County Council and in the House of Commons.
Lincoln’s business community in particular recognised Mr McCartney’s successes in delivering on key pledges made during his first speech in Parliament a decade earlier, ranging from major road infrastructure improvements, to the City’s first direct, fast train to London.
“Having spent time with Karl, in a business capacity, I’m very aware of the efforts he goes to champion our great city,” said James Kirby, Managing Director of construction firm Stirlin. “Karl was influential in delivering over £50m of Government funding to deliver the Eastern Bypass -- and many other road improvements -- which is now heading towards completion.”
Andrew Webster, Finance and Administration Manager at global engineering firm Bifrangi Ltd, said: “Karl works tirelessly promoting Lincoln and Lincolnshire, and as a long-standing supporter of industry here in Lincolnshire he has always been interested in understanding the daily challenges and concerns that we in manufacturing face. Karl promotes our strengths and capabilities and has always been available to listen to our concerns offering advice and support and ensures that Parliament is aware of Lincolnshire’s needs.”
Lincolnshire County Councillor, Richard Davies, said: “Karl has been a fierce and formidable advocate for roads and transport, both inside and outside Parliament. I have no doubt that without his support multi million pound developments such as Lincoln Eastern Bypass and Lincoln Transport Hub would never have succeeded.”
Jane Kendrick, Chairman, Lincoln Conservative Association, added: “As Chairman of the Lincoln Conservative Association, I have seen first-hand how hard Karl works for the City of Lincoln and its constituents – he is a tireless champion of the city’s interests both locally and in Parliament. Huge congratulations to Karl on this very well-deserved, milestone achievement.”
And Mr McCartney’s commitment to championing the needs of Lincoln constituents in Parliament was also recognised by fellow Parliamentarian, Huw Merriman MP, Chair of the Transport Select Committee.
“Karl and I have sat on the Transport Select Committee for some years now. He’s a fearless advocate of the modes of transport which his constituents use and need. He looks to the future as well as the ‘here and now’. Whether it’s one of our own Ministers, a Chief Executive or a Union Leader, Karl gets the answers his constituents, and our committee inquiries, need,” Mr Merriman said.
There were also messages of support from Lincoln’s leading educationalists, for Mr McCartney’s advocacy for investment in the city’s young people -- ranging from the one of the Country’s first University Technical Colleges, to the Career Academy at the new Skellingthorpe Road City Academy School and growth of Lincoln College and Lincoln’s two universities.
‘Passionate and highly committed’
Gary Headland, CEO of Lincoln College Group, said: “From the moment I first met Karl McCartney MP, around six years ago, I knew that he was passionate and highly committed to championing opportunities for young people in our region, as well as through life-learning and re-training for adult learners.
“We really value his strong support and encouragement of us and his recognition that further education colleges have an essential role to play in rebuilding our economy by focusing on getting people trained and ready for when the labour market begins to grow again. Heartfelt congratulations to Karl on the tenth anniversary of his maiden speech in Parliament, a terrific milestone achievement.”
And University of Lincoln Vice Chancellor, Prof Mary Stuart, said: “The University of Lincoln is grateful for the support from our MP, Mr McCartney. Over the last ten years the University has grown and developed in size and reputation. We have worked with our MP, together, to support our wonderful city and we look forward to continuing that positive approach to enhance the facilities and services for the people of Lincoln over the next few years.”
While Bishop Grosseteste University Vice Chancellor, Prof Peter Neil, added: “The period since Karl was first elected to Parliament in 2010 has been the most significant in our history and included Bishop Grosseteste University’s most important developmental landmark – the conferment of university title in 2012.
“We were grateful for Karl’s support in the final stages of a prolonged and rigorous process. Looking to the future, we are delighted to be a signatory to the city’s Civic University Agreement as we plan for an optimistic and exciting post-Covid future with Karl as our MP.”
Responding to the messages of support, Mr McCartney said: “It has been an incredible honour and my privilege to represent the historic constituency of Lincoln, the oldest seat in the Country and I have enjoyed all the ups and downs over the years before I was first elected and since. In my maiden speech I mentioned the various facets of transport infrastructure that were important to me and my constituents and the businesses and organisations based in and around our great and lovely City. I have since then spent a lot time and ‘political capital’ ensuring that I achieved my aims in enhancing and improving the infrastructure of our City and the surrounding areas as we all benefit through better education, work opportunities and transport links, be that if we live, work, study or are just visiting the lovely constituency of Lincoln and its position as the gateway to the greater County of Lincolnshire”
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