Council and businesses pitch in during volunteer week

[Photo: Blaby District Council]

Over 500 hours of volunteering has been gifted to local voluntary groups during the second annual Blaby District Council Community Volunteer Week.

19 organisations from all over the local area will benefit from 115 Council employees joining volunteers in contributing to the district. Following the huge demand of last year’s event, the scheme has been extended to a fortnight, with more projects taking place this week.

Over forty volunteers from local business and partners have also contributed. Kirby Muxloe Primary School were visited by Everards Brewery, Leicester Marriott Hotel helped out at Danemill Primary School, whilst Everyone Active and Supporting Leicestershire Families volunteered at Thurlaston Primary School.

A huge range of tasks have been undertaken so far, including weeding and manure shovelling at Community Harvest Whetstone, helping serve food at the Commbus Lunch Club and leafleting for the Sapcote Good Neighbour Scheme.

Councillor Sheila Scott, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing Strategy, Economic & Community Development, said: “Our second Community Volunteer Week has been another major success, giving Council colleagues the chance to make a huge contribution to the local area. We are all very proud to have such a successful scheme.

“We are also particularly pleased to see our local businesses, Leicester Marriott Hotel, Everards and Everyone Active taking part too, and shows their commitment to their corporate social responsibility and being a part of the Blaby District community.”

Stephen Gould, Managing Director of Everards, said: “We were delighted to get involved with Volunteer Week. Pubs are at the heart of local communities so it’s natural for us to contribute in initiatives like this.

“As an independent, family business we are linked to a number of local causes as are the Everard family. We had a great day supporting the school which is local to our Glenfield base and the students seemed to approve of our work!”

Huncote Community Library were one of the early voluntary groups to receive help, with the Health & Leisure team pitching in to clear an overgrown area and improve access to the library. Treasurer Hilary Comyn said: “The four volunteers have done a marvellous job. They were enthusiastic even though it was hard work!

“This had needed doing for a long time and I’m not sure it would have been completed without the help of the volunteers.”

For more information about Community Volunteer Week visit www.blaby.gov.uk/community-volunteer-week or email strategic.partnerships@blaby.gov.uk.

The 19 projects who have benefitted from Community Volunteer Week:

Active Arts
Commbus Project
Community Harvest Whetstone
Countesthorpe Leysland Community College
Croft Happy Circle
Danemill Primary School
Foston Flower Festival at St Bartholomew’s Church
Greenfield Primary School
Huncote Community Library
Kirby Muxloe Primary School
Narborough & District Bowling & Social Club
Narborough & Littlethorpe Community Library
Our Space (Lunch Club)
Sapcote Good Neighbour Scheme
St Mary’s Church, Elmesthorpe
Support for Carers
Thistly Meadow Primary School
Thurlaston Primary School
Whetstone Good Neighbour Scheme

Visitors enjoy another year of ‘Open Gardens’…

 

Gardens 1 & 2Photos: T Green 

The sun shone last Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd June, helping to make this year’s Open Garden event one of the best ever, according to our local participants.

13 Bantlam Lane and 12 Alexander Avenue in Enderby combined their events, with much to delight visitors who were able to visit one location and then visit the other on the same entrance ticket.

At Bantlam Lane it was the first year that Clive and Helen Biggs have hosted an open garden event and Helen told Enderby EYE they had “somewhere around 150 visitors” and had received a lot of compliments.

Photo: OGS

Their garden is described as “A pretty cottage garden packed full of flowering shrubs and herbaceous perennials. There are many areas of interest with ornaments and water features.

A small courtyard garden opens into a wisteria covered pergola lined with a fern filled bog garden and large potted acers. This leads to a wildlife pond and additional paved seating areas surrounded with fragrant roses.”

Open GardenPhoto: OGS

The normal format of these events is for visitors to generally enjoy the gardens, purchase plants, cakes and tea/coffee, raising funds for the ‘Open Gardens Scheme’ charity.

On their inaugural event Clive and Helen decided to do something ‘differently’. The difference was in the form of bottles of Prosecco as an alternative to tea or coffee. However, due possibly to the time of day and the ‘age demographic’ the Prosecco experiment may be shelved for future events! Nevertheless, between the Prosecco and the plant sales, Clive said the location raised around £500 for the cause.

Further into the village at Alexandra Avenue, Pat and John Beeson welcomed visitors to what is described as a “….small town garden which has been carefully designed to make full use of the space available and to provide interest all year round”.


Pond at 12 Alexander (Open Gardens)View across the pond at 12 Alexander      [Photo: OGS]

The Beeson’s dispensed with the lawn giving them space to create different areas in the garden, including a pond. The area is also able to accommodate a wide variety of plants chosen for their colour and to attract wildlife.

John and Pat said their garden is an ‘extension of the house’, a place to potter, relax and enjoy.

John and Pat Beeson: Our garden is an ‘extension of the house’   [Photo: OGS]

This is the sixth year that the Beeson’s have taken part in the Open Gardens and John told Enderby EYE that he and Pat had sold around one hundred tickets at their venue which would be added to the number of tickets sold for the Bantlam Lane venue.

photo: open gardenPhoto: Enderby EYE

John said he thought there were probably more visitors this year “…probably because of the two gardens combining the events” and the money raised from plant sales, cakes and beverages overall totalled around £900.

The combined monies raised are forwarded to the ‘National Open Gardens Scheme’ which adds the amount to its general fund from which it awards money to a number of charitable  beneficiaries.

The National Scheme

The National Garden Scheme is the most significant charitable funder of nursing charities in the country, donating over £50 million since its first ‘open garden’ event in 1927 when ‘The National Garden Scheme’ was founded. In that founding year, Individuals were asked to open up their gardens for ‘a shilling a head’. In the first year 609 gardens raised over £8,000.

Current beneficiaries include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice U.K., Carer’s Trust, Queen’s Nursing Institute, Parkinsons U.K., MS Society, the Leonard Cheshire Homes amongst many others.

In 2017, on the 90th Anniversary of the Scheme, it celebrated with its biggest ever donation amount of £3 million to the beneficiary charities. That Included a new Gardens and Health beneficiary, which for 2017 was The National Autistic Society.

 

£20,000 fine for compliance failures in Sapcote

Mobile Homes[Photo: Google]

The owner of a mobile homes park in Sapcote has been ordered to pay over £21,000 and issued a Criminal Behaviour Order following failure to comply with 10 improvement notices.

Henry Johnson was found guilty in his absence of the ten offences at Leicester Magistrates’ Court. He was ordered to pay a £20,000 fine, £988.41 in costs and a £170 Victim Surcharge.

Mr Johnson was also served a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) which compels the defendant to comply with the compliance notices served. Failure to comply will breach the CBO, an offence which can carry penalties of an unlimited fine and/or up to five years in prison.

The mobile park in Sapcote, which contains 36 homes, was issued with ten compliance notices back in the summer of 2017 following lengthy investigations and inspection of the site by Blaby District Council’s Environmental Health team. The compliance notices required Mr Johnson to:

Upgrade the electrical supply
Improve the gas supply infrastructure
Install street lighting
Install a noticeboard displaying documents as per the Caravan Site Licence
Upgrade the water supply
These works had not been completed by the deadline of 13 November 2017. It is an offence under section 9B of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, as amended by the Mobile Homes Act 2013, to fail to comply with a compliance notice.

Councillor Iain Hewson, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Regulatory Services, said: “We are pleased with the ruling and expect Mr Johnson to undertake the necessary works to ensure residents can live on the site safely.

“Compliance notices are issued for a reason, and on this occasion the extremely poor facilities were not acceptable. We also had to carry out emergency electrical works on this site as it had been identified as an imminent risk.”

This is the first Criminal Behaviour Order issued by Blaby District Council. CBOs are issued when the Court is satisfied that the actions of a Defendant cause, or are likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress and the order would further present anti-social behaviour.

For more information on the work undertaken by the Council’s Environmental Health team, visit www.blaby.gov.uk.

Fine for Glenfield landlord

Glenfield fine for landlord[Photo: Blaby District Council]

A landlord has been ordered to pay over £5000 after being convicted of four offences under the Housing Act.

was fined £4,250 at Leicester Magistrates’ Court, and told to pay the Council’s full costs of £867.53 as well as a Victim Surcharge of £125. The £5,242.53 will be paid in £500 instalments.

The property on Dominion Road, Glenfield, Mr Phull’s former home, was converted into three flats without planning permission or Building Regulations approval and was considered to be a House in of Multiple Occupancy.

Part of the property was inspected by Blaby District Council’s Environmental Health Team on 10 October 2017.

A follow up visit was made three days later with a Fire Prevention Officer from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service and the Council’s Planning Enforcement team.

The condition of the property resulted in two Emergency Prohibition Orders being issued, with two of the flats immediately prevented from being used as residential accommodation.

A total of 12 failures were found under regulations 4, 7, 8 and 9 of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006. They included:

Fire detection, means of escape and fire separation were inadequate and posed an imminent risk of serious harm to any occupants of flats 9B and 9C.

The landlord was unable to state which electricity supply fed the lights in communal areas and the boiler as it was provided on three separate prepay meters. As a result occupants were in danger of the communal lighting and boiler running out.

Three live exposed electrical conductors were found in flat 9A, two at reachable height.

Insufficient waste disposal facilities were provided, with waste left at the front of the property as a result.

Mr Phull also owns the Victoria Hotel on London Road, Leicester, an electrical shop and is currently in the process of converting a property into a Bed and Breakfast.

In mitigation, Mr Phull’s barrister referred to him as “not a professional landlord.” He has also subsequently carried out sufficient works to the property to ensure the Emergency Prohibition Notices Order was revoked.

Cllr Iain Hewson
Cllr. Hewson

Councillor Iain Hewson, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Regulatory Services, said: “This ruling once again highlights our message to landlords that we will not tolerate poor living conditions in the district.

“As the owner of a hotel Mr Phull should be fully aware of fire safety, particularly in the wake of terrible tragedies such as the Grenfell Tower incident. We urge anyone living in rented accommodation that thinks may not comply with the law to contact us so we can investigate.”

Anyone concerned about the condition of the property they are renting within the district can contact the Environmental Health Team via 0116 275 0555 or email environmental.health@blaby.gov.uk.

Get your wings at the ready, as the Butterfly Walk returns!

Leicester 'Butterfly Walk'This year will see the third annual Leicester Hospitals Charity Butterfly Walk at Leicester Racecourse on Saturday June 9.

Hosted by Leicester Hospitals Charity and the Breast Care Centre at Leicester’s Hospitals, the walk is in aid of raising funds for the unit and raising awareness of the impact of breast cancer.

As the largest screening and symptomatic centre in East Midlands, the unit has made a commitment to make this year’s walk bigger than the last.

Since the unit opened in 1990, attendance has grown, with over 165,000 women invited for a breast screening.

In 2017, over 1000 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed within Leicester’s Hospitals, which highlighted a new need for improvements to areas within the unit.

Amanda Gibby, General Manager for Breast Imaging at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “Being diagnosed and treated for breast cancer will have a huge impact on any patient’s life.

“1 in 8 women nationally are diagnosed with breast cancer which is why we feel it is important to raise awareness and invite patients, friends and relatives to our Butterfly Walk.

“At our dedicated unit we are able to provide care throughout a patient’s journey. The unit is purpose build for our multidisciplinary teams who investigate, diagnose and treat all patients that come through our doors.

“We want to make sure everyone gets involved and raise as much as possible to help make our unit a calmer space for patients, as well as making the whole unit fit for purpose as needs and demands change.

“At the event there will be live bands, stalls, prizes and lots of things for the whole family to do, so we welcome everyone to join us for a great cause.

“Fancy dress is optional, but there will be lots of pinks, fairy wings, and tutus!”

Jean Smith was diagnosed in April 2017 with breast cancer after finding a lump. She was referred by her GP and received treatment with the unit. After a mastectomy and therapy she is now returning to her normal life. Jean said: “I never thought I was going to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

“When I first arrived at the Breast Care Centre, I felt scared. I knew deep down there was something to worry about.

“The team explained everything to me. The nurses were so kind and they really made a difference.

“I saw the same people each time, walking the corridors and speaking to me like a person rather than a patient.

“The support from the Unit has been incredible; they are always at the end of the phone for not only me, but my family and friends.

“The care I have received has made my life worth living, it has given me life. If I hadn’t of had the care from the Unit, I wouldn’t be here. You have two paths to choose to walk down and I chose the path to survive.

“I will be walking with my husband, who has been my absolute rock, on June 9 to celebrate my life and raise the important awareness and money we need to keep on fighting breast cancer.”

Gez Salt was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2013 and has worked for the NHS since 1991. She was treated by the Breast Care Unit in September 2013 and has since been recovering, returning back to her demanding job. Gez said: “The Unit is truly one of a kind. Every member of staff at Glenfield gave me the support and guidance I needed to navigate my way through an extremely worrying time in my life.

“From my initial appointment, right through to my treatment, I was always made aware of everything that was going to happen.

“Even after, I always felt like I could get in touch with someone to talk through my experiences.

“The Butterfly Walk this year is so important to me. I will be walking, armed with my tutu and wings, with everyone else to not only support the Unit, but also say a huge thank you, from the bottom of my heart for the amazing care I received.”

This year’s Butterfly Walk will be happening on Saturday June 9 at Leicester Racecourse.

Registration is from 10:00 with the main walk starting at 12:00.

» Leicester Hospitals Charity Butterfly Walk