Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Thursday, 11 December 2014

What should we call new housing development?

Thringstone residents can't fail to have noticed that after many years The Fox public house has been demolished and a development of new homes is well underway.

But the question remains 'What should the name of the close at the new development be called?'

Councillors are usually asked for their views on street naming and as one of Thringstone's district councillors I would love to know your views.

Should we call the new development 'Theophilus Close' (after a Thringstone School Headmaster and  1st soldier to be killed on home soil in World War One), or maybe 'Reid Close' (in honour of local charity fundraiser Marlene Reid)?

You might think we should name the road after two notable 'Evans' (Councillor Rod Evans and Community Centre Warden David Evans) or maybe we should commemorate the site by naming it 'Fox Close'.

It would be great to hear your views, you may have a completely different idea.

Please leave a comment below.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Police warn about 'malicious' social media images

From Leicestershire Police:

It has come to the attention of the police that leaflets are being circulated using social media claiming that children in the Ashby area are being approached in suspicious circumstances.

Further enquiries are being conducted into the claims but at this stage there is no information to suggest that this is the case.

However if anyone has information or concerns they urged to contact the police on 101.

It is an offence to publish malicious or false information and this will be the subject of police enquiries to establish who is responsible for circulating the information.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Police appeal to identify man after Poppy Appeal collection box stolen

Update: A reward has been offered by a private individual for information which leads to a successful prosecution.

Crime number: LN/05287/14-5
Officers investigating the theft of a Poppy Appeal collection box from a supermarket in Thringstone have released a CCTV image of a man they wish to identify in connection with the incident.
The incident took place at about 6.35pm on Saturday November 1 when a collection box and two joints of meat were stolen from the Co-op in The Green.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Thringstone Fire - Update

Following a fire in his flat on Shrewsbury Walk on 15 October, an elderly gentleman was left with only what he stood up in.  His whole flat was destroyed, along with, sadly, his companion dog, Ben.
Residents from Shrewsbury Walk helped evacuate the gentleman and his neighbour and were themselves subject to problems from smoke inhalation.
Thringstone has a close community, and wheels were put in motion within 24 hours to try to help.  Thringstone Stores and post office has a collection tin, members of the housing department have organised clothing and will be helping with housing once the gentleman is out of hospital, and Friends of Thringstone have put out an appeal for help with clothing, household items and furniture. 
So far many offers have been made, and NWLDC housing officers are working on providing some storage facilities, so that any furniture donated can be kept safe until the rehoming process takes place, which is hoped to be very soon. Thringstone Co-op have also pledged their support.
If anybody wishes to help with donation of items, they are asked to contact Friends of Thringstone direct on 01530 223434.  Those wishing to give cash should go into Thringstone Stores.
Nita Pearson
Chair of Friends of Thringstone

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Call for action at Whitwick accident hotspot

A County Councillor is calling for safety measures to be considered further at a Whitwick accident hotspot.

Councillor Leon Spence is regularly contacted by local residents about speeding traffic and accidents along Hall Lane in Whitwick. However, after contacting engineers at County Hall he has been informed that although accidents are commonplace nothing will be done.

In an email from a council officer Councillor Spence was informed 'There have been eight recorded injury accidents along the one mile length of Hall Lane in the last five years. We have looked at the individual circumstances of each accident and unfortunately do not consider that there are any cost-effective measures that we can implement at the moment.'

Councillor Spence responded angrily 'We know Hall Lane is a dangerous road. There have been at least 8 accidents where people have been injured in the past few years, some seriously, and there will be more.

'Let's be clear the reason nothing will be done is about money.

'County Hall have told me they would happily introduce an improvement scheme if it was paid for by the Parish Council or an individual.

'I'm calling out to anyone affected by speeding traffic and dangerous driving on Hall Lane to contact me so that we can work out how to take this issue forward.

'With a proven accident record it's only a matter of time before someone else is very seriously injured or killed. It will be disgraceful if that could be avoided through a sensible improvement scheme but nothing is done.'

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Thringstone housing application approved

Outline proposals to build 85 new homes in Thringstone have been approved by North West Leicestershire District Council.

The application, which was approved with cross party support, will see homes built on land off Loughborough Road - but not until a developer has been found to progress the proposals.

District Councillor, Leon Spence, said 'I'm very pleased the application has been approved.

'Thringstone has been fortunate to avoid much of the development which has blighted the rest of North West Leicestershire. We were always going to have to have some development and it's good to know that these high quality proposals will fill much of that need.

'Of course there are important issues which still need addressing. We must make sure highways access is safe as we must also ensure that sewers are fit for purpose, not only at the site but also up and down stream. These issues were raised during the planning committee meeting and I am confident they will be address by planning condition.

'One concern which has been raised with me on a couple of occasions has been a worry that local schools will not have sufficient places available to cope with the number of new homes. It's pleasing to see that any developer will have to make sure they provide sufficient funds to allow schools to expand as needed.

'As local councillors Dave Everitt and I both also queried the possibility of any developer providing financial support to secure the long term future of Thringstone Community Centre.

'Any significant new development in Thringstone needs to contribute to the sustainability of our village, I'm hopeful that any potential developer will be committed to that aim.

'No development is ever going to please everyone, although the exceptionally low number of objections is perhaps a good sign.

'Approving planning applications is often a balancing act. I'm sure that when built these new homes will be a great addition to Thringstone as were Springfield and Bakery Court in the past.'

Danger warning - toy 'Worry Dolls'

Worry Dolls
Parents are being warned of a potentially dangerous a toy called Worry Dolls, after three of the four products failed basic safety tests.
Leicestershire Trading Standards tested four of the dolls, which were purchased online, and found that some of the dolls could be a choking hazard for younger children and some had concealed sharp points.
Children tell the small doll their worries and put it under their pillow before they go to sleep after which a parent will carefully remove it. The child wakes in the morning to find the doll has gone, taking their worries with it. 
David Bull, head of the county council’s Trading Standards Service said: “Three of the four dolls we tested, failed to comply with toy safety regulations.
“The dolls posed a choking hazard for young children and some were made with thread wrapped around sharp wires. There was also inadequate labelling, to warn consumers about the risks the toy posed to very young children and to allow the manufacturers to be traced. All these products have been removed from sale by the suppliers.
“I am asking parents or guardians to check their children’s worry dolls and if you are in any doubt - throw it away. We cannot be sure that all items in the supply chain have either been removed or recalled, as there are many other suppliers.”
Joe Orson, county council cabinet lead member for Trading Standards said: “Parents and carers should look for a CE mark on labelling, never give them to children under three, and feel for any sharp points. Remember that children aren’t good at recognising hazards, especially when they are sleepy.”
People can report products they think might be unsafe to the Trading Standards Service Citizens Advice Helpline on 03454 04 05 06; trading standards work with this Helpline to identify unsafe products.

Secondary school place closing date looming

A local County Councillor is reminding parents that the closing date for school place applications is looming and is urging them not to miss the deadline.
Last month, Leicestershire County Council sent around 10,500 letters to mums and dads, explaining the process for children who transfer to secondary school in the autumn term 2015.
Moving to the next school is not automatic and parents are encouraged to apply before the 31st October closing date.
The transfer process is the same for a local authority school or a recently-converted academy.
If parents apply late - even if they live next door to the school - their child may not get a place.
Anyone expressing a preference for a non-catchment school is urged to also apply for a place at their child’s catchment school.

Leon Spence, County Councillor for Whitwick, said: “I can't stress how important it is for parents to apply on time to get the very best chance of being offered a place at the school they want their child to attend.

"We are lucky to have some very good and popular schools in North West Leicestershire which are often over subscribed. It could be very tough to get a place at your preferred school if you apply late."

Last year, 96.2 per cent of children were offered a place at their first-choice school and 98.5 per cent were given a place at one of their top three however a small number of pupils, typically those who apply late, were only offered places at non-preferred schools.
To find out more, please visit , email or call 0116 305 6684.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Thringstone looking tidier than ever!

Friends of Thringstone have had a busy month, but not necessarily one they want to repeat!

During September members picked 170 bags of litter from around the village, the most since April.

In total volunteers from the group have collected 1,395 bags so far in 2014.

County Councillor Leon Spence said 'We are so lucky in Thringstone to have dedicated volunteers who continually strive to make our community a better place to live.

'The actions of a few thoughtless individuals could quite easily turn Thringstone into an eyesore. We owe a debt of thanks to those people who quietly but consistently make a real difference.'

Coalville Tip - winter opening hours

County Councillor for Whitwick, Leon Spence, would like to remind local residents that Coalville Tip has now changed to it's winter opening hours schedule.

Until 31 March 2015 Coalville tip will open from 9.00am to 4.00pm five days a week. The tip will be closed on Thursdays and Fridays.

Councillor Spence said 'This is the second year of reduced opening hours in the winter but it is easy to forget that Coalville tip is closed on Thursday and Friday.

'I would like to remind local residents that they can use both Lount and Shepshed when Coalville is closed.'

*Lount and Shepshed recycling sites are both closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the winter period.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Whitwick Remembrance service and parade

Details have been announced for the Whitwick branch of the Royal British Legion's annual Remembrance service and parade.

The parade will take place on Sunday 9 November. As in previous years the parade will leave Hermitage Leisure Centre at 2.15pm before marching to a service of Remembrance at St John the Baptist Church.

Further details will be published as the become available.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Special 2 for 1 Offer: Top quality entertainment comes to Thringstone Community Centre

This Saturday (4 October) Thringstone Community Centre plays host to top rated jazz singer Sarah Moule and as a special offer tickets are available at an unrepeatable 2 for 1 deal.

Described by BBC Radio 2's Russell Davies as 'a great talent' Sarah brings her one woman show 'Songs For Scarlet Women' to an intimate licensed venue with cabaret seating.

Tickets are just £9.00 each and are available from Thringstone Community Centre by phoning 01530 222337 or emailing

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Whitwick County Councillor reminds local groups closing date is looming for grant applications

The closing date is nearing for funding applications to a new grant scheme which will help offer more support to the vulnerable, young and elderly in Leicestershire.
The ‘Your Shire’ community grant, launched by the county council, has a £160,000 ‘pot’ which offers up to £2,500 to smaller groups and charities to develop activities they currently offer – or to give them a springboard to start something fresh.
There will be two rounds of funding and the closing date for round one is Sunday, October 19.
County Councillor for Whitwick, Leon Spence, said 'I would urge local groups to consider bidding for this important smaller grant funding pot.
'You Shire grants are very much aimed at groups looking to help vulnerable people as early as they possible can. Any local group who has identified a need and have innovative ideas how it can be addressed should visit as soon as possible.'
The funding will help to:
•        Support vulnerable people in the community (£15,000 available each round);
•        Encourage young people to achieve their potential (£15,000);
•       Support older people to live independently (£15,000);
•        Getting active in the community (£15,000);
•        Eating healthily for less (£20,000, round one only);
•        Supporting Carers (£20,000, round two only);
For more information, you can also call 0116 305 7034, e-mail or visit

Monday, 29 September 2014

Damage to motor vehicle - Church Lane, Whitwick

A motor vehicle has been damaged along Church Lane, Whitwick.

The incident, which happened some time between 9.00am on Saturday 20 September and 9.00am on Monday 22 September, resulted in the roof and sides of a vehicle being damaged.

Police are calling for witnesses to the incident. If you know anything please contact Leicestershire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Hensons Lane, Thringstone burglary - do you know anything?

Police are calling for witnesses following a burglary at a property on Hensons Lane, Thringstone.

The incident happened around midday last Tuesday, 23 September, when a property was entered and a wooden casket stolen.

Anyone with information should contact the Police on 101 or Crimstoppers on 0800 555111.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Temporary road closure of Mammoth Street, Coalville

Leicestershire County Council Highways has agreed to the closure of the above road.

The closure is required from the junction with Whitwick Road for its entire length.
The road will be closed from 07:30 hours on Monday 6th October 2014 for up to 4 weeks.

This will safely allow Leicestershire County Council carry out Footway Resurfacing.

During the closure, the alternative route for users will be : Signed and coordinated on site.


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Pedestrian crossing in Whitwick Market Place gets nearer

Over the years concerned residents of Whitwick have called for a pedestrian crossing in Whitwick Market Place.

Petitions have been signed and councillors, not least Tony Gillard my predecessor as County Councillor, have made the case forcefully at County Hall that a crossing is needed.

In fact approval for a zebra crossing was given some time ago.

Since becoming County Councillor in May 2013 I have continued to apply pressure for a crossing to be built as soon as possible.

One issue holding the crossing up has been the fact that Midlands Co-operative Society (who are opening a convenience store on the Sports and Social Club site), will be responsible for part payment of the build costs and their financial obligations do not fall due until their project has started.

I have confirmed to council officers that the Co-op project is now well underway and hopefully we are one step closer to seeing a zebra crossing in Whitwick Market Place.

I will update residents as soon as I get more information.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Coalville Library - temporary closure

It's a little way off but I have been advised about a temporary closure of Coalville Library.

Works are due to be carried out to build additional meeting rooms to 'facilitate further adult learning classes' and increase capacity for hiring rooms to other organisations.

As a result the library will be closed from Monday 24 November to Saturday 6 December inclusive

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

School place planning consultation

Leicestershire, like many parts of the country, is facing in the very near future a shortage of school places for our children.

With an increasing population and demands for significant numbers of new homes it has become clear that we need more capacity in county schools.
Unless action is taken there is a real possibility that in many parts of Leicestershire we could run out of school places in just two or three years.
I would like to take this opportunity to highlight Leicestershire County Council's current consultation exercise to seek the views of local people as to how we ensure our education places strategy is fit for the future.
I would urge parents, teachers and developers to respond to the County Council consultation.
You can give your views by visiting .
The consultation is open until Friday 17th October but its outcomes will be felt for many years to come.
Our children deserve the very best facilities please take a few minutes to let the County Council know how that can be delivered.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge

Well, I couldn't avoid it.

Thanks to nominations from Michael Wyatt and Mark Hurst I have said I would do the Ice Bucket Challenge.

So here it is!

Donations made to MND and HCPT.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Proposals to develop land at Loughborough Road, Whitwick

A developer is asking for views and suggestions from local residents about their proposals to develop fields off Loughborough Road, Whitwick.

Radleigh Homes are planning on building 44 homes on the site which backs on to King Richards Hill.

The developer and their professional consultants, Pegasus Group, have created a website,, to allow local people to give their views. The consultation is open until 8 September 2014.

County Councillor for Whitwick, Leon Spence, said 'It's vitally important after all the fights to protect the Green Wedge to maintain the integrity of Whitwick as a village community. This application must do just that or be refused.

'I would strongly urge local residents to give their views and constructive suggestions during this consultation phase and just as importantly the developer to heed them.

'I am happy to facilitate a public meeting to discuss the proposals should local residents or the developers think that it may help.'

Friday, 8 August 2014

The Oak, Whitwick - Update

Further to concerns from local residents I have been speaking with executives at Midland Cooperative Society, who own The Oak.

A number of residents have reported to me that people have been seen onsite at the disused pub and lights have been seen switched on. MCS have informed me that they have had a number of professional consultants working at the property over the past few weeks however they will ensure that the site is inspected today to make sure it is secure.

MCS have also confirmed to me that whilst they are not in a position to publicise their final plans at this point they are hopeful, subject to planning permission being granted, that construction work on redeveloping the site will commence before Christmas 2014.

I will keep local residents informed with information as it becomes available to me.

Update: 12:29 PM 8 August

Further to my earlier post I have had another telephone conversation with an executive at MCS.

I have been advised that I had been provided with some incorrect information regarding The Oak.

Whilst MCS are committed to developing The Oak site there are still commercially sensitive issues which need to be resolved prior to work commencing. It is unlikely that redevelopment work at The Oak will commence before Christmas 2014.

As local residents will also be aware MCS own the former Sports and Social Club site in Whitwick Market Place. It is this site which is hoped to commence prior to Christmas 2014.

How would you spend £20,000 to improve Whitwick and Thringstone?

A councillor is urging community groups in Whitwick and Thringstone to apply for funding which will help pay for exciting and innovative projects in his division.

County Councillor Leon Spence is urging charities, schools, sports clubs and other community groups to considering applying for North West Leicestershire District Council's £20,000 for Seven campaign, which will see local people applying for funding and AND deciding who receives it by a public vote.

One of the Seven pots of funding will be allocated to an area which includes Whitwick, Thringstone and the Snibston area of Coalville.

Councillor Spence said 'This is an exciting initiative and it would be great to ensure that this money comes to our villages. Groups need to think creatively what  our community needs and how they can communicate their idea so that they can win a public vote.

'One project from our area will receive £20,000 funding towards a £40,000 project whilst groups can also bid for seven £10,000 pots towards £20,000 projects.'

Any bids must be deliverable in 18 months, must be match funded from another source and submitted by Monday 29 September.

Wendy May, Community Focus Team Leader at North West Leicestershire District Council said: 'We are looking for new, exciting and innovative projects.  We are keen to see projects that are new to your specific area, but they might be projects that have been developed successfully elsewhere. 

'We are particularly keen to encourage projects that will make a real difference to communities across the district.'

Further information about the scheme can be visiting the £20,000 for Seven website.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Woodstock in Whitwick - coming soon

Whitwick's annual music festival for charity takes place on Saturday 16th August.

A great day for our community.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

County Council to reduce frequency of grass verge cutting

Conservative Leicestershire County Council have announced plans to reduce the number of times grass verges are cut each year.

At present the County Council mow verges in towns and villages 'up to 9 times each year' but believed to be on average 7 times.

However a letter sent to Parish Councils, asking them whether they would like to take on responsibility for mowing in 2015, states that there will be an expectation to deliver '5 cuts a year'.

The letter explains that a public consultation exercise last year concluded that the County Council should be 'spending less on grass address part of the £110m savings over the next three years'.

Whitwick Parish Council are due to discuss whether to take the County Council up on their offer at a special meeting tomorrow.

County Councillor for Whitwick, Leon Spence, said 'Perhaps the largest part of my post bag is complaints about the state of grass verges.

'Reducing the number of cuts from 7 or 8 a year to just 5 is only going to cause more public anger and more complaints.

'Ultimately this is the decision of a Tory council who are having to enact cuts forced through by a Tory-lead government.

'The County Council are justifying this reduction by relying on last years public consultation exercise, I'm sure these service reductions will go down very badly with local people.'

Legally the County Council, as highways authority, must conduct a minimum of three cuts a year.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Hall Lane, Whitwick - temporary road closure ***Further Update***

Authorised diversion route

Leicestershire County Council Highways has agreed to the closure of the above road. 

The closure is required adjacent to 398, Hall Lane. 

The road will be closed from 07:30 hours on Monday 18th August 2014 for  up to 2 weeks. 

This will safely allow the Excavation for and installation of combined outfall sewer and connection to existing STW apparatus within Hall Lane 

During the closure the alternative route will be via : Meadow Lane, Leicester Road, Hall Lane (part) & Vice Versa.

Update - 11.01 AM on Tuesday 5 August

County Councillor, Leon Spence, has confirmed that he has been in contact with Severn Trent Water to ascertain the reason for the work being carried out and whether it is to accommodate existing capacity or potentially prepare for the building of hundreds of new homes off Hall Lane, i.e. Whitwick Green Wedge.

Councillor Spence said 'I have contacted Severn Trent to ask why this work is being carried out.

'If it is necessary to enable existing problems to be dealt with then it is entirely understandable but if it is to prepare for massive amounts of new build on the Green Wedge it is entirely presumptuous and may well damage our fight to protect it in the future.

'I will be demanding answers from Severn Trent as a matter of urgency.'

Further update - 11.36 AM on Wednesday 6 August

Severn Trent Water have confirmed to me that the road closure is to specifically allow the connection to the foul sewer of 8 new homes which are being built off Hall Lane.

STW have also confirmed that sewer relining will take place in fields off Meadow Lane commencing in late August. These works will not necessitate road closures.

There is no inference that any of these works are to prepare for new home building on the Whitwick Green Wedge.


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

County Councillor allowances information published

Every year Leicestershire County Council are obliged to publish details of the allowances paid to all County Councillors.

Details for the financial year 2013/14 have just been published.

In the interests of full transparency I feel that it is only right that I publish details of the amounts paid to me on this website.

Since being elected on 6th May 2013 until 31 March 2014 I was paid £12,544.55. This amount was made up of £9,169.55 basic allowance which is paid to all councillors and  £3,375.00 special responsibility allowance paid to me as Chairman of the Children and Families Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

Records show that I also received £324.05 in respect of public transport. This amount was not paid to me directly but relates to rail tickets to London on two separate occasions. When travelling by rail the protocol is that officers book tickets on a councillors behalf. Typically open return tickets are booked which I believe prove to be very expensive. Should I need to take rail travel in the future I will ask that wherever possible specific off-peak trains are booked to reduce costs. 

I have not claimed for any other public transport, mileage, subsistence or other costs.

All allowances are subject to income tax.

Full details of expenses and allowances paid to all county councillors can be viewed here.

Friday, 4 July 2014

What should North West Leicestershire look like in 20 years?

Map of North West LeicestershireNorth West Leicestershire residents are being asked what should be included in a new Local Plan for the district, which will set out how the area will develop and change over the next 15 to 20 years.

The plan will shape how the district will look in the future – how many homes, roads, offices, and shops are built and where, and which open spaces will be created and protected.

Local people now have the chance to say what they think should be included in the Local Plan at this early stage, using an online form at

The proposed contents include, amongst other subjects:
  • Affordable housing numbers
  • Sites identified for housing
  • Suitable sites for employment
  • Sites of ecological importance and value
  • The National Forest and Charnwood Forest
  • Transport – including HS2, the National Forest line and Ashby Canal.
Over the next two years, the public will be asked for their thoughts on various other aspects of the plan.

A draft Local Plan is planned for summer 2015 with the council’s preferred version being produced in early 2016. This plan will then go through an independent examination, probably in autumn 2016, and the aim is to adopt the Local Plan in December 2016.

Councillor Trevor Pendleton, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Planning at North West Leicestershire District Council, said: “The Local Plan will guide the development of our district over the next 15 to 20 years. These decisions affect everyone. They affect where our children can live when they leave home, how we spend our leisure time, what jobs are available to us and how we feel about our surroundings.

“We hope that local people will take a look at what we think should go into the plan at this stage, and let us know where they feel the focus should be. We need to get this plan right for communities, so we’re hoping local people will help us do that.”

Members of the public have until Friday 19 September 2014 to make comments on what should and should not be included in the Local Plan.

10th July 2014 Public sector strike - Local impact

A number of trade unions, including NUT, Unison, GMB and UNITE, have announced a strike on Thursday 10th July 2014.

This page will be updated with detail of how the strikes will affect services accessed by most Whitwick and Thringstone residents.

This page will be updated as further information becomes available.


Whitwick St John the Baptist: School will be open as normal but kitchen will be closed, please send children with a packed lunch.

Whitwick Holy Cross: School will be open to Years 1, 4 and 5. School will be closed to Years 4+, 2, 3 and 6. Pupils attending must bring a packed lunch.

New Swannington Primary School: Closed

Castle Rock High School: Open as normal.

De Lisle School, Loughborough: Open as normal.

The above schools have provided notification to parents of their plans on Thursday. It is, of course, possible that circumstances may change which will affect their status.

Other Services

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue: A reduced service will be available from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Leicestershire County Council - Coalville Community Resource Centre: Closed

Monday, 30 June 2014

'Choose how you move' coming to Whitwick and Thringstone

Leicestershire County Council have announced plans to extend their 'Choose how you move' personal travel planning project to Whitwick and Thringstone over the next two months.

The project, which is supported by the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, aims to reduce car use and transport costs for 8,000 residents of the area.

Throughout July and August homes in Whitwick and Thringstone will be visited by 'travel advisors' who will be able to provide personalised advice, maps and discount schemes on cycling, walking and public transport.

In previous years participants reported an 18% reduction in car trips for work and a 14% increase in pedestrians.

County Councillor Leon Spence said 'We all know that roads are getting more congested and car use is constantly costing us more.

'I'm hopeful that this project will show that there are realistic options for many of us to use other than simply jumping in the car.' 

1200 tonnes of plastics recycling sent to landfill and incineration

A County Councillor has expressed shock at discovering that plastics disposed of at local tips are not being sent for recycling but are in fact being sent to landfill or for incineration.

On a recent visit to a local tip County Councillor Leon Spence was informed by a staffmember that 'there was no point in recycling plastics as it all goes to landfill'.

A disbelieving Councillor Spence undertook to take the point up with officers at the County Council.

He has since been informed that due to worsening market conditions no plastics dumped at tips throughout Leicestershire have been sent for recycling since Summer 2013.

Whilst plastics make up for only 0.4% of all materials disposed of for recycling at tips in the county there has been over 1200 tonnes sent to landfill and incineration in the past year.

Councillor Spence said 'I am absolutely astonished that this is happening. I can understand that there may be financial reasons why recycling is not possible but at the same time a lot of Leicestershire residents people have take the time and trouble to separate their rubbish when they go to the tip.

'This is about trust and transparency. Local residents should be told when their rubbish is not being recycled. Otherwise how can anyone really believe that any materials are being put to use?

'We've all heard apochryphal tales about how rubbish isn't really recycled. It's vitally important that when it actually isn't we tell people otherwise we begin to lose trust.'

It is important to note that the landfilling and incineration of plastics does not include household waste collections for which North West Leicestershire District Council have given assurance that recycling DOES take place.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

End of an era at the George & Dragon

This coming Saturday (28 June) marks the end of an era at a Thringstone pub when landlords and local business owners Pete and Ann Gough & Steve and Margaret Fern move out of the George & Dragon.

The four owners have been responsible for the business for 7 years during which time they have consistently sought out diversification opportunities, including business breakfasts and selling local produce, to ensure that in a world where village pubs were regularly closing the George & Dragon continued to thrive.

Peter said 'It has been a long,difficult road but among all the bad times there have been lots of really good ones and we have made some wonderful friends along the journey.
'We are also delighted to tell you that the pub has been sold to a local businessman (I think you know who it is) and his intention is to uplift the whole of the ambiance and decor of the Dragon to enable people to carry on eating and drinking in the last of the original Thringstone pubs.
The management team have done an incredible job over the years in ensuring that Thringstone could be proud of its last real pub. Thanks will go out from every villager for the good times that Pete, Ann, Steve and Margaret have provided at the pub. Everyone will wish them well in their future endeavours.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Police appeal for witnesses following aggravated burglary in Thringstone

Crime number: LN/2977/14-2
Detectives are appealing for witnesses after two elderly people were burgled in Thringstone.

The incident took place at approximately 8:15pm on Saturday June 21, 2014, when two men entered a house in the Booth Road area of Thringstone.

One of the men entered the property carrying what is believed to be an imitation weapon. The men stole cash before leaving on foot.

One of the suspects is described as white, approximately 30 years old, around 6’tall and slim to medium build. The man was wearing a baseball cap and waist length coat with dark trousers and shoes.

The second man is described as white, approximately 30 years old, 5’ 10” and of a stocky build. He was wearing a black hooded jacket and all dark clothing.

Detective Constable 4433 Melanie Fisher said: “This is a serious incident which has shook up two elderly residents, it was very distressing for both of the victims. It is an isolated incident and we have not received any further similar reports in the area, however, we are taking the incident very seriously and need to catch the people responsible.

“I would like to speak to anyone who saw two men dressed in dark clothing that fit the descriptions provided, it was a very warm day and the suspects were not really dressed for the weather conditions if you thought that was unusual or had any suspicions please contact us.

“I would urge anyone with any information about this incident to come please get in touch”

Anyone with information in relation to any appeals featured on this site is asked to contact the relevant officer on 101, follow the instructions to leave a message for the officer and when prompted key in the officer’s identification number. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous, on 0800 555 111.

Calls to 101 cost 15p for the entire call from both mobile ‘phones and land lines. Please note some mobile ‘phone service providers may charge for calls to Crimestoppers.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The battle to protect the Green Wedge recommences

A developer has reignited the spectre of mass house building on the Whitwick Green Wedge after writing to local residents to tell them of their intention to apply for planning permission for a new housing estate.

Jelson Homes have contacted residents off Hall Lane, Tiverton Avenue and surrounding roads to tell them of their plans to build 240 homes on fields which local campaigners have been fighting for years to protect.

Local residents are acutely concerned that approval of the development will set a dangerous precedent for further house building across the Green Wedge and will simply lead to the vital separation between Whitwick and Coalville being eventually closed up by stealth.

Jelson's documentation states that their proposals will 'keep the vast majority of the... Green Wedge free from development and whilst maintaining a significant degree of separation between Coalville and Whitwick.' The same document shows additional fields being part of the parcel of land subject to proposals with sufficient highway space left to build more homes.

County Councillor for Whitwick Leon Spence said 'The fight for the green wedge was hard won by councillors, residents and most of all the Whitwick Action Group.

'We always knew these developers would be back and would have a different approach. These 240 homes are just that. Be in no doubt, given the opportunity, developers will seek to build across the Green Wedge.

'Major developers want to take the Green Wedge by stealth. Everyone who played a part last time worked far too hard to let them be successful now. The difference is this time we are battle hardened and ready to fight tooth and nail to protect our precious open space.'

Further information about Jelson's proposals can be found by clicking here.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Plaque unveiled commemorating Charles Booth

Glorious sunshine was the backdrop to an important day for Thringstone with the unveiling of Leicestershire County Council's first ever green plaque erected to commemorate the lives of important people in the history of the county.

Civic dignitaries, lead by Lord Lieutenant Lady Jennifer Gretton, descended on the community centre to mark the life of Victorian social reformer and philanthropist Charles Booth.

Descendants of Mr Booth were joined by children from Thringstone Primary School and residents from the nearby Meadows care home to celebrate the historic day.

Local community volunteer Nita Pearson, who nominated Booth for the award, said 'It was a cracking event. I am so proud of the village.'

Lady Gretton with Cllr Nick Rushton, Leader of Leicestershire County Council

Cllr Rushton with Cllrs David Snartt (Vice-Chair of LCC) and Graham Allman (Chair of NWLDC)

Dignitaries, relatives and local residents celebrate the unveiling of the green plaque

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Air Cadets join up with Friends of Thringstone for community litterpick

Members of community group Friends of Thringstone joined up last Saturday (14 June) with young people from 1188 (Coalville) Squadron of the Air Training Corps to spruce up the village by carrying out a community litter pick.

The litter pick has become a regular event over the years for the ATC, who are one of a number of young peoples organisations who have shown a commitment to improving the environment for the benefit of local residents.

Local Councillor Leon Spence joined the cadets on the litter pick, he said 'I never fail to be amazed at the hard work our young people put in to making our villages better places to live.

'All too often we hear about children being responsible for anti-social behaviour. We hear all too rarely about the significant good that they do.

'Thanks must go out to the ATC, and not forgetting Friends of Thringstone, for the commitment they show to the community.'

Monday, 2 June 2014

Anger at 'ludicrous' planning decision

A councillor has expressed his anger at the decision of a planning inspector to grant planning permission at a controversial site in Whitwick, overturning a previous decision of North West Leicestershire District Council, who had previously rejected the application.

Following an appeal by applicant Hazleton Homes a Government Inspector, Chris Preston, has granted permission for 8 homes at land adjoining Whitwick Filling Station on Talbot Street in Whitwick.

The site has been subject to significant concerns being situated at a locally recognised accident black spot on Talbot Street, and directly on top of a steep bank which many residents strongly feel will worsen problems along the already flood prone Grace Dieu Brook.

District and County Councillor Leon Spence said 'The decision of the Planning Inspectorate is frankly idiotic. I doubt very much whether the Inspector will be around when local peoples homes are flooded or a pedestrian is killed as a direct result of this ludicrous decision but local people will be.

'It's a sad day for the residents of Talbot Street and Coverdale. The Planning Inspectorate should hang their heads in shame.'

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Grass verges 'simply not good enough'

A Councillor has criticised Leicestershire County Council for the state of grass verges around Whitwick and Thringstone.

Leon Spence, Labour County Councillor for Whitwick, says he has been contacted by a number of local residents all of whom are unhappy with the lack of regularity and quality of the County Councils grass cutting service.

Councillor Spence said 'It's simply not good enough. Our grass verges are public spaces that are noticeable to both taxpayers and visitors to the county. People see verges that are uncared for and they form a negative opinion of our communities.

'We know that the County Council has to save money and reductions in mowing is one area where it is likely to happen.

'I'm sure that the administration will point out that grass cutting was a service highlighted for reductions in last years public consultation, but the results of that consultation certainly don't agree with the views of the majority of taxpayers I have spoken with.

Councillor Spence concluded 'I will keep pushing officers to ensure that both Whitwick and Thringstone have grass verges that are in a state we can be proud of.'

Local residents with concerns about the state of grass verges are urged to contact Councillor Spence on 07828 194768.

Whitwick Parish Council - land transfer completed

After nearly 3 years of negotiations, the transfer of public spaces and other sites in Whitwick from NWLDC to the Parish Council has finally been completed.

The Parish Council is now the trustee for Whitwick Park and Parsonwood Hill Recreation Ground (which are King George Field charities) and is the owner of open spaces, play areas and other land at Briers Way, Ashford Road, Elsdon Road, Howe Road, Hermitage Road/Green Lane, City of Dan, Thomas Road/Elsdon Road, Stinson Way, Holly Hayes Road, Rosslyn Road, Hilary Crescent, Cademan Street, King Richards Hill, North Street and Thornborough Road along with Car Hill Rock on Gracedieu Road, a section of the former railway line off Dumps Road, part of Cademan Woods, George Street Allotments and the old Railway Station.

Play areas/open spaces at Briers Way and Robinson Road have also been transferred direct from developers.

Negotiations are continuing in respect of the open space at The Elms which is still owned by the developer and Thornborough Road allotments which are leased from Wyggeston's Hospital Charity.
The Parish Council's land will continue to be maintained by NWLDC until at least March 2016 under the terms of the Parish Creation Order and a subsequent Management Agreement.

The cost of grounds maintenance will switch from NWLDC to the Parish Council in next year's Council Tax bill. NWLDC will continue to provide car parks, the cemetery and maintain the closed churchyard which be charged separately as a 'special expense'.

County Councillor welcomes 3G pitch for Whitwick

County Councillor for Whitwick, Leon Spence, has welcomed an announcement by North West Leicestershire District Council that Hermitage Leisure Centre is due to benefit from a new 3G all weather playing field.

The facility, which is due to be open by September, will replace the existing Astroturf at the Leisure Centre.

Councillor Spence said 'It's great news that the district council have decided to invest £140,000 in a 3G pitch. I've called for investment in and introduction of 3G pitches for some time. 

'There is a clear appetite for sports clubs and leagues to use these state of the art facilities and the resulting demand means that there is a clear business case as an investment during these difficult financial times.'

Third Generation playing surfaces are the latest development in artificial grass technology and are designed to natural turf in how they look and play.

3G pitches provide a viable option as a training area for football and rugby, and have been accepted by the FA for some competitive matches.

A512 planned closure - impact on public transport

Leicestershire County Council have confirmed that part of the A512 will be closed for resurfacing works on 28th and 29th May (Wednesday and Thursday).

During this closure Arriva have confirmed that the 126 service (Leicester - Loughborough - Shepshed - Coalville) will operate using a significant diversion.

From 6.00am on Wednesday 28th May to 6.00pm on Thursday 29th May the 126 will not serve Loughborough Road, Talbot Street, North Street or Market Place.

An alternative route utilising Swannymote Road will be used during this time.

Normal routing will resume at Silver Street, Whitwick.

Several stops will not be served by the 126 during this time.

The normal 126 timetable is available by clicking here.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Love Your Local Market in Coalville

Click for further information
As part of the Love Your Local Market celebrations, this Friday will see a fantastic Craft Fair come to Coalville offering a wide range of shabby chic and lovingly hand-crafted items.
The Craft Fair will be held at Coalville Market on Friday 16th May, where the usual items will also be on offer, including fresh meats and fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, clothing, cards and gift ideas, electrical goods, books, make-up, confectionary and cakes, fresh flowers, furniture, and much, much more.
The Craft Fair runs from 8am – 4pm and shoppers can also take a break and visit the Market Cafe serving delicious hot and cold food and drinks.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Controversial planning application rejected

A controversial planning application to build homes off Loughborough Road, Whitwick has been rejected by North West Leicestershire's planning committee.

A planning application, which had been called in by District Councillor Ray Woodward, had been submitted for four homes to be built behind existing properties at the site on the edge of the village.

Over 200 letter of objection had been submitted by local residents who were against the proposals.

County Councillor, Leon Spence, said 'I'm delighted that the application has been rejected. Clearly the site is unsuitable for further development and it is good to see the committee recognise this.

'It's particularly pleasing to see all of the local members who sit on the planning committee take into account the strongly held views of Whitwick residents.'

Councillor calls for better parking enforcement

A councillor is calling for more enforcement at illegal parking hotspots in Thringstone.

District Councillor for Thringstone, Leon Spence, says he has been contacted many times by local residents angry at finding pavements blocked as a result of inconsiderate and illegal parking.

Councillor Spence said 'I have been approached by a number of older residents and young mums who find that they have to step into the road and around parked cars because of the thoughtless actions of a small number of motorists who simply do not consider the needs of others.'

Councillor Spence has confirmed that he has contacted North West Leicestershire District Council and Leicestershire County Council to ask them to step up enforcement patrols in hotspot areas.

'Most of the complaints I receive are about The Green, Main Street and Glebe Road. Drivers will often claim that they are only parking illegally 'for a minute' but it only takes a second for an accident to happen.

'I'm very much hoping that if motorists are aware that more patrols are on their way the possibility of a parking ticket will encourage them to park legally.'

Monday, 5 May 2014

Looking back on #LiveBelowTheLine

This time last week I was starting my #LiveBelowTheLine challenge. To live on less than £1 a day for 5 days.

The whole aim of the challenge was to raise awareness of the 1.2 billion people on this planet who do the same. The crucial differences being that they have to pay for EVERYTHING out of that amount, not just their food and drink bill as I have done, AND they have no choice about taking part.

Let's be honest my challenge was a gimmick.

I can't for a second claim to understand what the very poorest in society are going through. I made a choice to take part in the scheme and if things got too tough I could have given up.

Nevertheless I think the whole challenge opened my eyes a little to the problems that are very much hidden right here in our own communities.

The first thing that struck me during the week was that it's not difficult to stay full on a pound a day, there is always 18 pence noodles from budget supermarkets which contain 600+ calories to fall back on.

It is however exceptionally difficult to eat healthily. When you are faced with a choice of a filling meal for less than 20 pence or fresh vegetables, currently being heavily advertised by one leading supermarket, at 49 pence the choice (or lack of it) is fairly obvious.

What was a surprise was the number of people right here in Coalville who are living on around a pound a day today and every day.

We hear so much about food banks but simply by talking to people about food poverty you will hear stories about how people you never imagined are living on the edge.

I have been  shocked to hear so many stories of local people who after paying utility and other essential bills are eating on miniscule amounts.

The stories of people waiting until 9.55pm before going shopping as the supermarket closes to ensure that they will pick up food at its most reduced price.

The stories of mixing stock cubes with super noodles to make filling soups which will make the 18 pence staple last two days!

The stories of parents missing meals to try and pay for children's shoes or a simple birthday present.

Because we don't see people starving it doesn't mean people aren't going hungry.

Perhaps the biggest thing that struck me though was the isolation that follows.

When I went to Coalville Town's vital play off game (and I do know if I had really been on the breadline I wouldn't have been able to afford going to the football) I couldn't afford to have my normal beverage. It felt like I was left out.

When cakes were being given out at work I couldn't have one because if my challenge were real I couldn't afford to reciprocate. I felt a little ostracized.

And then I remember the elderly lady who used to look forward to her lunch club and could no longer go because of cuts. She doesn't feel a bit left out, she feels lonely, isolated and desperate.

I'm not going to change the world by taking part in #LiveBelowTheLine. I do very much hope that I can tell people about my experience and hopefully by working together we can consider just a little more those people who have no choice but to live on the edge.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Volunteers spruce up Thringstone

Volunteers from community group Friends of Thringstone have been busily preparing the village for the summer.

Members of the group have funded planting (and carried out the backbreaking work!) at a number of locations throughout Thringstone.

As we move into the warmer months photographs have been submitted to show how Thringstone is coming of life.

If you live in Thringstone and would like to help out why not join Friends of Thringstone? If you live elsewhere why not volunteer in your community? Hardworking volunteers do so much to make our communities better places to live.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Local councillor to 'live below the line'

District Councillor for Thringstone, Leon Spence, is this week taking part in 'live below the line' - an international project to raise awareness of extreme poverty.

The campaign, which supports charities including Unicef, Save the Children and Oxfam, challenges people from western countries to eat and drink for 5 days on a budget of just £1 a day - the internationally accepted 'Extreme Poverty Line'.

It's calculated that currently 1.2 billion people around the world, around 20 times the population of the UK, live in extreme poverty.

Leon said 'I'm really lucky. Taking part in 'live below the line' is something I can do but be safe in the knowledge that I've got a roof over my head and something to fall back on. Hopefully it will help me to better understand some of the discomfort millions of people around the world go through on a daily basis without having that backup.

'For many £1 a day has to pay not only for food and drink but everything else as well. For most people in this country making the conscious decision to live 'in poverty' is a discomfort with a clear end date, it's not the lifelong predicament millions see themselves in with hope of escape.

'The aim of the project is very much to raise awareness but also funds. If anyone would like to know more then they can check out, it's not too late.'

Further information about 'live below the line', or to sign up, can be found by going to

Controversial planning application due to be decided

A controversial plan to build four new homes off Loughborough Road, Whitwick is due to be considered by the Planning Committee of North West Leicestershire District Council.

The plan to build three bungalows and one detached house on a plot accessed from 191 Loughborough Road has seen 204 letters of objection from local residents sent to the council and has been 'called in' by Whitwick District Councillor, Ray Woodward.

Whilst planning officers are recommending that the application be approved local residents are highlighting many areas of concern including the site being in the least sustainable part of the village,  the impact on surrounding countryside being unacceptable and the dangerous precedent for further development approval would set.

The application will be determined on Tuesday 6th May.

What do you think? Should more houses be built on Loughborough Road? Will permission create a dangerous precedent that starts to endager the beautiful countryside? Leave a comment

Charles Booth awarded Green Plaque

Leicestershire County Council have announced that Victorian philanthropist and social reformer Charles Booth will be honoured by becoming one of the first six recipients of the authorities prestigious 'Green Plaque' scheme.

Booth, a successful businessman who lived in Thringstone, organised and funded a survey on poverty and was instrumental in the introduction of the universal old age pension.

The plaques whose recipients were voted for by Leicestershire residents are aimed at recognising the significant contributions made by notable places and people in the county.

Chair of Friends of Thringstone Nita Pearson said “Friends of Thringstone is exceptionally pleased to learn that Charles Booth has been granted a Green Plaque. As a village, we are incredibly proud of our association with the Booth family. Charles Booth did a lot for the village, but also gave to the nation as a whole by working to highlight the issues of poverty."

Ray Woodward, District Councillor for Whitwick, who also nominated Mr Booth commented “This is wonderful news! It recognises Charles Booth as the entrepreneur and philanthropist who gave the community centre to the local area.”

Charles Booth is in prestigious company as a recipient of the award. Plaques have also been announced for Brigadier-General James Lochhead Jack, Dambuster pilot Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Rice, missionary Alice Young, founder of Monty Python Graham Chapman and the John Taylor Bellfoundary of Loughborough.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Picnic in the Park 2014 – call for stalls

Community groups and charities are invited to book a stall at one of Coalville’s biggest family days of the year – Picnic in the Park.

The event, which will be held in Coalville Park on Sunday 29 June from 12 noon to 5.30pm, is just one part of a whole weekend of family friendly events and activities in Coalville.  

Pitches are available to community and charity organisations from £18, giving a chance to raise the profile of groups, boost funds and enjoy a good day out. 

The fun-filled weekend is organised by North West Leicestershire District Council and the Coalville Town Team.  

Included on the bill is the popular Motorfest in the town centre on Saturday 28 June, followed by Picnic in the Park on Sunday 29 June.  The relaxed Sunday event gives families the chance to meet at the park for a picnic, whilst enjoying the traditional atmosphere, family entertainment and a choice of community and charity stalls. 

Councillor Alison Smith MBE, Portfolio Holder for Community Services and Deputy Leader at North West Leicestershire District Council, said “Visitors to our annual event have always enjoyed relaxing in the park, and this year we’ve reverted the name back to ‘Picnic in the Park’, simply because that is what everyone calls it! 

“The event has a reputation of being a fantastic family day out, with lots of things to see and do.  Adding to all the greenery and relaxing atmosphere, the park will be filled with arts and crafts, live music, cycling activities, children’s entertainment, community and charity stalls and food and drink, which will bring it alive with fun and laughter.”

 Any groups that are interested in booking a pitch should contact Julia Harley on 01530 454604 or email 

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Post Office confirm move to new Thringstone premises

The Post Office have confirmed that they will be proceeding with a move to new premises in Thringstone.

In a letter to customers who responded to a recent consultation the Post Office have confirmed that the current branch at 6 The Green will close on Wednesday 21 May with the new branch opening at Thringstone Stores, Loughborough Road the following day.

The three page letter from Adrian Wales, Regional Network Manager for the Post Office, acknowledges customer concerns raised as part of the consultation process 'I am confident that the new branch is suitably located and that this new way of offering Post Office services will meet customer needs, whilst helping to provide future sustainability for the branch.'

County Councillor for Thringstone, Leon Spence, said 'I'm delighted that the long term future of the Post Office in Thringstone has been secured.  For many people, particularly the elderly, the Post Office is a vital lifeline and it's great to know that it will continue to be there for them.'

A copy of the Post Office's decision letter can be viewed here.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Plans formally submitted for 85 new homes on Loughborough Road, Thringstone

Property company Investin Properties Ltd have submitted an outline planning application for 85 new homes at Loughborough Road, Thringstone.
Developers sketch of potential layout

The application follows a public consultation on the proposals at Thringstone Community Centre, which was held on Thursday 27th February.
Whilst the application specifies the building of 85 homes it does not state the mix of privately owned and affordable housing options or how many bedrooms each property will have.

The applicants state that having listened to local resident concerns following their public consultation event that 'the exact amount of affordable housing the development will provide will be determined in negotiation with the Local Planning Authority based on evidenced local need.' 

Perhaps the most contentious aspect of the application with local residents is the potential detrimental effect on local roads, particularly where the site is proposed to access on to Loughborough Road and any domino effect on access to the nearby A512.

The applicants have contracted civil engineers Armstrong Stokes & Clayton Limited to conduct a transport assessment. Their 130 page report shows that at peak times the development would generate 53 traffic movements per hour (or 461 over a 24 hour period). They conclude 'The development will not have a detrimental impact on the operation of the local highway network in the vicinity of the site...'
County Councillor for Thringstone, Leon Spence, said 'It's vitally important that any application ensures that road safety and capacity isn't adversely effected. I will be asking the County Council, as highways authority, to provide substantial assurance that our roads can cope with the extra traffic generated.

Cllr Spence continued 'Local people are understandably going to be concerned about any large development such as this, for example they will have worries about the knockon effects  to local schools and services. I would strongly urge any concerned residents to contact me and I will be happy to represent them.'

Proposed site access