North Kesteven is a local government district in the East Midlands. Just over 100 miles (160 km) north of London, it is east of Nottingham and south of Lincoln. North Kesteven is one of seven districts in Lincolnshire, England and is in the centre of the County. Its council, North Kesteven District Council, is based in Sleaford in the former offices of Kesteven County Council.
It was originally planned to have the council offices in Bracebridge Hall on Newark Road in Lincoln, then the base of North Kesteven Rural District. In November 1973, a decision was taken to base it in The Hoplands in Sleaford, the base of East Kesteven Rural District. In January 1974 it was realised that this building was far too small for the size needed, and the 81 rooms of Kesteven County Council's headquarters on East Road in Sleaford would suit the new council instead. The Hoplands has now been demolished for housing.
The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972. It was a merger of the previous urban district of Sleaford, along with East Kesteven Rural District and North Kesteven Rural District, all from the administrative county of Kesteven.
North Kesteven borders West Lindsey (along the Foss Dyke and the River Witham) and the city of Lincoln to the north, East Lindsey to the north-east (along the River Witham), Boston (borough) to the east, South Holland to the south-east, South Kesteven to the south, and the county of Nottinghamshire to the west.
North Kesteven covers an area of 356 square miles (920 km2), of which 94% is classified as green space, which includes agricultural land and open space.
The district is characterised by small settlements and large areas of arable farmland. More than 80% of the population live in rural settlements or a market town.
North Kesteven also has a relatively underdeveloped transport infrastructure. As a result, local communities have historically been self-reliant, with parish and town councils providing services, such as playing fields or play areas, which are frequently provided by district councils elsewhere.
The district has two main RAF stations - RAF Cranwell (near Sleaford), and RAF Waddington (near Lincoln), both situated close to the A15, the main north/south road running through North Kesteven. The district is also home to RAF Digby, which lies between Sleaford and Metheringham. The former RAF Swinderby, which can be found adjacent to the A46 near the western edge of the district, closed in 1995.
The predominantly rural nature of the district has encouraged people to move to the area to take advantage of its quality of life, low crime rates, relatively low house prices, good-quality education and local heritage. This is reflected in research, which has shown 90% of residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live and 82% of residents feel their area is a place where people from different backgrounds can get on well together.
North Kesteven's residents live in around 100 mainly small communities. Major concentrations are in Sleaford, with a population of over 17,000; North Hykeham, with around 13,500 residents; and 10 larger villages with populations of over 2,500. Within the district, 40% of the population live in the "Lincoln Fringe", the area immediately surrounding Lincoln City. 72 parishes serve the district communities, comprising 58 parish councils, two town councils and 12 parish meetings.
The population of the district is 104,800 equating to just over one person per hectare. The population grew by 11.5% between 2001 and 2007, making the district one of the top six fastest-growing districts in England and Wales. This rate of growth is a result of high house-building rates and consequent in-migration to the district from elsewhere in England, as opposed to natural population change.
At the 2001 census, there were 94,024 citizens in the district. Of all districts in Lincolnshire, it contains the highest proportion of married people and the least number of divorced people. According to the Indices of deprivation 2007, it is the least socially deprived area in Lincolnshire, with South Kesteven, the next.
The district has comprehensive schools in North Hykeham, Branston and Welbourn. The area around Sleaford (including Ruskington) has selective schools. In 2007, the district had the third best results in the county at GCSE. Other schools in the area include Kesteven and Sleaford High School and Branston Community College.
On Thursday 23 June 2016 North Kesteven voted in only the third major UK-wide referendum on the issue of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union in the 2016 EU Referendum under the provisions of the European Union Referendum Act 2015 where voters were asked to decide on the question “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union” by voting for either “Remain a member of the European Union” or “Leave the European Union”. The result produced a large "Leave" majority by over 60% of voters on a high turnout of 78%. The result was boasted by local MPs Stephen Phillips and Karl McCartney who both campaigned for a "Leave" vote.
|United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016
|Leave the European Union||42,183||62.26%|
|Remain a member of the European Union||25,570||37.74%|
|Invalid or blank votes||38||0.06%|
|Registered voters and turnout||86,468||78.40%|