Category Archives: Campaigns

Volunteers step forward to secure the future of Enderby Library

Enderby Library Needs YouAs an austerity measure, Enderby’s Library was threatened with closure by the Leicestershire County Council but Enderby Parish Council and a host of volunteers have stepped forward to keep Enderby’s Library open.

The Parish Council website reports that the Parish Council registered its interest in keeping the library open and this was accepted by the County Council.

After a great deal of discussion with the County Council and much negotiation and training of Council staff and volunteers, Enderby Parish Council, at its meeting on 12th August 2015, set up the Enderby Library Management Committee.

Five council members were appointed to serve on it, plus the chairman and vice-chairman, in an ex-offico capacity and volunteers were invited to join the Committee.

Of the members of the public who were present, five joined immediately, a sixth was volunteered by her husband and two others who had expressed a desire to serve on a Management Committee will be contacted with the details of what has happened thus far.

The Management Committee will meet at Enderby Civic Centre, at 6.30pm on Thursday, 27th August to consider a draft business plan.

Any alterations to the draft plan will be taken to the next meeting of the Committee on 3rd September, just ahead of the deadline for the submission of the business plan to County Hall which is Friday, 4th September, 2015.

The business plan is an intricate document but training in drawing one up was given by the County Council and the Council’s Clerk has spent many hours – and probably sleepless nights – working on it.

The plan, it is hoped, will include the library being open for 24 hours per week, more than it is at present.

Committee meetings will be open to members of the public and will be advertised in the same manner as any other Council and/or committee meetings; on parish notice-boards and on the Council’s website. The Parish Council’s Facebook page and Twitter feed will also carry news of what is happening.

View Enderby Parish Council’s website

Enderby teenager sets sights on volunteer role in Ghana

amy bowlerIn September, Enderby resident Amy Bowley plans to volunteer for 12 weeks on a development programme in Ghana as part of International Citizen Service (ICS).

ICS brings young people together to fight poverty and make a difference where it is needed most. The UK Government backed organisation provides volunteering opportunities to 18-25 year olds.

Amy has chosen to work alongside volunteers from Ghana and other partners on a project designed to increase peoples understanding of their rights to empower and foster growth and change.

ICS works with communities that have specifically requested their help. It also aims to inspire young people in the UK and overseas to become active citizens who are passionate about long term community development.

Speaking to Enderby EYE Amy said:

“I first thought about doing this trip after I’d been doing other types of volunteering with friends and saw the videos of the work people do overseas. My aunty said she knew someone who worked with the charity ICS and so I applied to them and I got on”

In order to fulfil her voluntary ambition, Amy needs to raise £800 for International Service who are one of the respected development charities that deliver ICS. This will allow them to continue to bring about positive change in the developing communities where they work.

Amy recently undertook a two day training session as one of a group of thirty volunteers. The training covered detailing the background of the [ICS] charity and the organising of projects to give the volunteers a taster of the work.

How is the fundraising going? Amy says she is reasonably confident.

Amy completed the ‘Living Below The Line’ challenge (chosing to eat and drink on £1 a day for 5 days), baking and selling cakes, bag packing and contacting local businesses for support.

“I bake cakes”, she said “…and I thought about setting up a website from which to sell cakes – rather than organising cake stalls on different days”.

With just over 6 weeks to go Amy also has plans to raise funds by further bag-packing at a supermarket.

Amy’s progress can be followed on her JustGiving page.

Details of the International Service charity’s work and its volunteer programme can be found here at http://www.internationalservice.org.uk.

‘Befriend Enderby Library’ meeting indicates large degree of support for taking over running of local library

enderby community library logo 269x164On Thursday 18th June, Enderby Parish Council played host to a meeting under the banner of “Befriend Enderby Library”

The meeting, which began at 6pm, drew together members of the community who had expressed an interest in taking on responsibility for maintaining a library service in Enderby, following the decision by Leicestershire County Council in November last year to close all but 37 branches of the county’s library service.

The closures, say the County Council, are necessary to to “protect” the County’s 16 bigger libraries and deliver a budget saving of £1.4 million a year.

The County Council have undertaken to maintain a supportive role to those groups who get the go-ahead to provide a community run library.

A number of groups from around the County have made proposals (expressions of interest) to run their local libraries and most of these have yet to be formerly approved by the County Council. At the present time, ten of those groups have yet to submit an ‘expression of interest’.

Progress in formulating proposals by groups has been slow due to the complex nature of the process and the different ‘business models’ being examined/proposed.

Despite its popularity, Enderby Library was not designated as ‘protected’ and therefore stood in danger of closing unless suitable alternative arrangements using ‘community volunteers’ could be implemented.

Enderby LibraryEnderby Library’s position was further complicated because it is housed in the Civic Centre – owned by the Parish Council – with the Library ‘space’ being rented by the County Council.

As the deadline for formerly expressing an interest was fast approaching and, with no Enderby group emerging, the Parish Council took the lead and a street survey was conducted to ascertain essentially
1) the level of interest in retaining a Library in Enderby, and
2) the number of people willing to volunteer their time and skills.

The result was extremely positive and the Parish Council decided to take the lead by proposing that they (the Parish Council) take on responsibility for organising and running the Library – which could only be done with the help of volunteers.

The meeting on Thursday 16th June was designed to bring together those who had offered to volunteer their time and various skill sets in order to explain the current position and decide on the next moves.

Parish Councillor Tracy Green was joined on the top table by representatives from Leicestershire Libraries, including Paul Love, the Project Manager overseeing the transition process and a representative from Volunteer Action Leicestershire.

Paul Love explained that groups wishing to register their interest should do so by Monday of next week, as the County Council “….had to draw the line somewhere”. On 10th July the County Council will examine the submitted registrations of interest and successful applicant groups will (on 4th September 2015) move on to the next stage, which involves working with the County Council in honing the proposed business plan for presentation to the County Council Cabinet’s October meeting, where a final decision on whether Enderby continues to have its own Library.

The meeting had been called by Enderby Parish Council for the purpose of firming up the details of those volunteering their time and to explain how the Parish Council intended to operate the Library at Enderby together with an explanation of the next steps.

The Parish Council had already completed the registration of interest document and taken steps to investigate the legal and other considerations necessary to continue to manage and run the Library in its current location. It also had aspirations to enhance and expand the offering of the Library in terms of space for club/group meetings and new ways of delivering core library products.

The aim was to encourage use of the Library and make visits to the Library a richer experience for young and old.

In outlining the Parish Council’s plans, Cllr. Tracy Green said it was lovely to see everyone who had turned up and that a support package from the County Council was available and besides assistance from Volunteer Action Leicestershire there was also in-house experience of managing volunteers on a day to day basis. The Parish Council were in the happy position of already owning the building housing the Library and, spurred on by the results of the survey, the Parish Council felt it had legitimacy to move forward with its plans ….which could only be realised with the co-operation of volunteers within the community.

When the meeting opened up to questions from the floor, there were enquiries regarding funding necessary expenses (utilities, insurances, etc.) and the impact on the Council tax.

A representative from Enderby’s Brockington College said the College were keen to involve year 9/10 students in volunteering.

Another questioner asked how the arrangement would work if a group (other than the Parish Council) wanted to run the Library in its current location. Paul Love answered that would involve a slightly complicated lease arrangement between the various parties. That question prompted Cllr. Green to say that she believed, like possibly some others in the room, that there was confusion as to where we were at.

Cllr. Green said that the Parish Council had considered one model where the Parish Council took over the management, co-ordination and running of the Library and another model where an independent community group ran the Library – and if there were people at the meeting who wanted to set up such a group that would be fine. “We’re not fighting for the gig” she quipped.

Cllr. Green said it was possible such a group might eventually form from the ranks of the initial volunteers and take over the running of the Library further down the line. She reiterated that the Parish Council were willing to take on that role as representatives of the community but it [the Council] would not be able to do it without volunteer support.

Another questioner asked about opening times and Cllr. Green answered saying the current intention was to open regularly each afternoon, based on a proven consultation. With suitable volunteer contribution, Library hours could be extended beyond the baseline envisaged by the Parish Council.

One attendee highlighted concern about the existing paid staff and the job insecurity and anxiety that occurred during the ‘transition’ process. Paul Love responded saying job security was an issue, but every effort would be made to re-deploy library workers displaced by the closures. The meeting expressed its appreciation of the current staff and praised their application to the work.

As the meeting drew to a close. a number of attendees called for a vote of confidence in the Parish Council’s efforts to date and give a mandate to carry forward the process to save Enderby Library. The vote in the room was unanimously in favour.

Enderby Parish Council invite residents to attend a “Befriend Enderby Library” meeting

enderby community library logo 269x164As part of a continuing campaign by Enderby Parish Council to secure the future of Enderby Library, the Council is inviting residents to a meeting where it will outline its plans and detail how members of the community can be involved.

The decision to proceed with an application to run a Community Library in Enderby was taken at a Council Meeting earlier in the year and following an in-depth public consultation to gauge support for a Library in Enderby.

In January 2014 Leicestershire County Council announced it intended to “protect” its 16 bigger libraries but wanted to save up to £1.4 million a year by transferring 37 of its smaller branches to communities.

Where nobody comes forward there is strong possibility the Library will disappear.

The Parish Council stepped-in following Leicestershire County Council’s decision to close a number of its libraries unless the local communities affected undertook to ‘take over’ their libraries and run them in partnership with the County Council’s Library service.

The meeting will take place in the Civic Centre on Thursday June 18th 2015, commencing at 6pm.

Members of the Parish Council’s Library Working Group will be present, as will representatives from Voluntary Action Leicestershire who are working with the Parish Council in formulating a sustainable business plan.

enderby library large

Marie Curie Fundraising Group set to raise valuable funds with a Blooming Great Tea Party and quiz

Join the Blooming Great Tea Party [Graphic]The event, on 24th June, is being held in Enderby by the South Leicestershire Marie Curie Fundraising Support Group, who have already raised over £5,200 with the Daffodil appeal held in the area in March 2015.

The support group are already on course to raise even more valuable funds in 2015 with a Blooming Great Tea Party and quiz in Enderby.

Cara Ackerman, a Marie Curie Fund Raising Volunteer said:

“Sadly, it is a question that none of us would like to ask, but research has shown that 65% of people who have a terminal illness would prefer to die at home surrounded by their family, friends and in familiar surroundings.

“Marie Curie nurses enable this to happen by offering nursing care to patients but also essential support to the family. Whilst a Marie Curie nurse is present family members are able to rest.

“The South Leicestershire Fundraising Group formed in spring 2010 and we have steadily increased the amount we raise each year, with a grand total of over £28,000.00. All this money goes towards nursing and support in the Leicestershire area.

“We’d like to invite everyone to our Blooming Great Tea Party to help raise even more funds to help more Marie Curie Nurses to provide free care to patients with terminal cancer and other illnesses in the comfort of their own homes or one of the charity’s hospices.

“It’s going to be a fantastic event and a great way to get together with friends old and new.”

Blooming Great Tea Party
Date: Wednesday 24th June 2015
Time: 2.00pm
Place: 52 Abbey Road, Enderby LE19 2DA

Tickets: Adults £2-50 available in advance or on the day Children free (includes cake and tea or coffee)

Everyone is invited.

The tea party will include tea and home made cakes, plant sale, nearly new toys, tombola, Phoenix cards, a raffle, bric-a-brac, jewellery, and much, much more!

There is also a fun quiz to answer and be in with the chance to win £20.00.

The South Leicestershire group’s tea party will join others taking place across the country this June 20-29.

Last year across the UK the Blooming Great Tea Party for Marie Curie raised £667,000, which pays for 33,350 hours of vital nursing care.

Follow updates on social media using #BloomingGreat.

Guests at previous year's Blooming Great Tea Party

blooming great tea party group wide shot 1