Young ideas on PCC’s Five “Vs”

Organising police station open days and using Leicestershire’s universities to get voluntary support were among suggestions made by young people to the County’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Lord Willy Bach last week.

Members of Leicestershire’s Youth Commission were invited to meet the PCC to tell him how they think he can meet the five priorities he has set in his Police and Crime Plan 2017 – 2021 which was launched in March.

The event saw a range of interesting ideas put forward to feed into the PCC’s five key strands of opportunity that he has labelled “the five Vs” – Viable Partnerships, Visible Policing, Victim Services, Vulnerability Protection and Value for Money.

Better use of free resources such as social media sites was one of the ideas that came up during the Value for Money discussion and recruiting Community Volunteers was put forward as a way of helping protect the vulnerable.

The police station open days idea was put forward during the discussion about Visible Policing and the use of awareness-raising videos, specifically in relation to Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) came up under Victim Services.

Commenting on the event, Lord Bach said:

“I welcome discussion around ways in which everyone in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland can work together to reduce crime and reassure people and the members of the Youth Commission had some excellent ideas.

“We will be looking at the notes taken during the session and seeing how we might develop some of the suggestions made.”

Leicestershire Youth Commission allows young people between the ages of 14 and 25 to support and challenge the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Leicestershire Police.

It enables young people to become a part of the solution, rather than being seen as part of the problem.

[Source / photo.: Office of the P.C.C.]
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Danemill School abandons early finish proposal

Danemill Primary SchoolCash-strapped Danemill Primary School will not be finishing at 1.05pm after angry parents stood up to the head teacher.

Suggestions of an early finish time on Fridays from October at Enderby’s Danemill Primary School were put forward by the head teacher last month.

The letter had stated that it was due to funding cuts, but parents said it would not fit in with work commitments.

Executive head teacher Dawn White and the head of school Tracey Lawrence said the Friday afternoons would become planning and preparation time for teachers.

The letter cited budget cuts and the ‘current economic climate’ at the school for the planned change.

However the idea has been panned by parents concerned about having to find additional child care on Friday afternoons.

One parent, speaking to the Hinkley Times, is quoted as saying:

“This is in the middle of the working day. Lots of parents have to work to make ends meet.

“It is lunch time. How can they even suggest ending the school week at this time? It is unworkable madness.

“This is not the best option for the children or their parents but it may be the best option for all the teaching staff.”

When another local paper, the Leicester Mercury contacted the school on 25th June, a spokeswoman said:

“It is only a proposal.

“This is all we have to say.”

The matter was raised with South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa who met head of the academy trust responsible for Danemill Primary, the Discovery School’s Trust, in Westminster last week.  The M.P. says on his website that he is committed to working with Leicestershire County Council to deliver fairer funding for Leicestershire.

The school has now written again to parents saying the plans have been scrapped.

Mr Costa said:

Alberto Costa M.P.

Alberto Costa M.P.

“I am delighted to hear that the school have made the correct decision following their consultation, and will not be closing early on a Friday afternoon.

“I was very concerned to hear of these plans initially and this was reiterated by a number of calls and emails from parents who were displeased with the proposals, hence why I was very keen to make urgent representations to the school on behalf of my constituents”.

Chief executive of the Discovery School’s Trust Paul Stone said:

Paul Stone

Paul Stone

“I am grateful to Mr Costa and to the parents that contributed to the consultation.

“This was a very useful exercise to gain important stakeholder views.

“I can confirm that we will not be proceeding with the outline plan to close early on a Friday afternoon, clearly this reflects the views of parents and other stakeholders.

“The school will continue to look to improve teaching and learning opportunities for all our children in partnership with parents.”

Mr Costa added:

“I do hope this announcement from the school will seek to reassure parents regarding this matter.

“Understandably my constituents were concerned about the potential impact these plans could have had, if they had gone ahead, but ultimately I am pleased that the school have listened attentively to the views of parents”.

Happy faces at Summer School

School ‘Tweet’ shows happy, smiling faces!

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Car Parking changes to be introduced across Blaby District

Blaby District Councillors have approved plans to change car parking provisions in the District.

The plans include eight car parks being transferred into the ownership of Parish Councils, as well as small price increases at four car parks, and the introduction of a charge at one car park in Narborough.

Blaby District Council currently operates 22 car parks in the district, with the current deficit running at £82,300 for 2015/16.

The Council consulted residents and stakeholders between February and May for their views.

Following opposition to plans included in the consultation for Croft’s Winston Avenue car park, the proposals were changed to ensure Croft Parish Council were transferred all of the land.

Seven other car parks in five villages (Countesthorpe, Enderby, Kirby Muxloe, Stoney Stanton and Whetstone) will be transferred to the Parish Councils.

Options on the disposal of the land for two car parks in Glenfield will be explored after the Parish Council rejected the transfer of the car parks into their ownership.

Narborough parking cost increases

From 04 September 2017, the Railway Station car park and Weavers Court in Narborough will see price increases, as well as the introduction of a 30p charge for the Car Park on Leicester Road.

In Blaby, Johns Court, Enderby Road and Wigston Road will see an increase of 10p.

All car parks supporting parks, countryside areas and leisure facilities in the district will remain free-of-charge to encourage their use.
Important community assets should be “cost neutral”

Councillor Iain Hewson, Portfolio Holder for Health Improvement, Leisure and Regulatory Services, said:

Cllr Iain Hewson

Cllr. Iain Hewson

“The Council recognises that car parks play an important part in promoting the vitality and viability of town centres, and assisting residents and businesses.

“However, car parks cost the taxpayer over £82,000 per year and we would like this to be a cost neutral service.

“These plans ensure we keep car parks as important community assets and do not take away parking provision in the parishes. This will also secure the future of each plot of land for car park usage in the medium-term.”

For full details of the plans for each car park in the district, visit www.blaby.gov.uk/carparkingchanges.

[Source: Blaby District Council Communications]
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Local MP raises flag at A Place to Grow open day

MP for South Leicestershire Alberto Costa took the honour of raising the Green Flag Community Award at Blaby District Council’s A Place to Grow open day.

With good weather 315 people visited the open day to enjoy the garden and special activities on offer, including cake, children’s games and a BBQ. Two performances of loveable rogue Reynard the Fox, in partnership with Centre Stage, Fabularium and the Arts Council were also well received.

A total of £1,333 was raised to help support the garden. A Place to Grow is a free, sustainable Community Garden that supports Health and Wellbeing in the district by encouraging people to be physically active, get involved in the community and meet new people in a friendly, informal and safe environment.

Alberto Costa MP said:

Alberto Costa M.P.

Alberto Costa M.P.

“I was delighted to attend A Place to Grow’s Open Day today, it is truly an excellent initiative for the local community and it does an incredible amount of good work in promoting Health and Wellbeing to my constituents in Blaby District.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the volunteers, staff and site users on their award of the prestigious Community Green Flag from ‘Keep Britain Tidy’. This is a particularly well deserved accolade and I am very pleased to see that the great work of those involved with this project has been rightly recognised.”

Councillor Iain Hewson, Portfolio Holder for Health, Leisure and Regulatory Services, said:

Cllr Iain Hewson

Cllr. Iain Hewson

“This open day is our chance to show residents what a fantastic garden and set of volunteers we have here in Enderby, and how useful it could be to people.

“We were so pleased to welcome Alberto to the event and raise our Green Flag Community Award, which honours all the hard work taking place all year round.”

For more information about A Place to Grow, and for volunteering opportunities, visit www.blaby.gov.uk, e-mail leisure@blaby.gov.uk or call 0116 272 7703.

[Source and photos: Blaby District Council Communications]
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Further arrest made in Megan Bannister investigation

Officers investigating the death of 16-year-old Megan Bannister have released the man arrested as part of their ongoing investigation.

The 34-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday 17 May on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.

He has been released from custody under investigation.

Detectives launched the investigation following the discovery of a body in a car on Sunday 14th May.

Megan Bannister’s body was found following a collision between a car and a motorbike, in Desford Road, Enderby, at around 11.45am.

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