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.