Tag Archives: Blaby District Council

Council’s Chief Executive to retire in 2016


094-sandraThe Chief Executive of Blaby District Council, Sandra Whiles, has announced her retirement after 11 years at the helm.

Approved by District Councillors at a meeting on Tuesday 3 November, Sandra’s retirement will commence at the end of May 2016.

On retiring, Sandra (pictured) said:

“It will be really hard to leave people but I’m incredibly proud of what the council has achieved during my 11 years as Chief Executive. I absolutely love my work and no Chief Executive can succeed for this long without having amazing people to work with.

“I have been blessed to work with so many incredible colleagues, councillors and partners over my time and I have every confidence that the Senior Leadership Team at Blaby will carry on growing, thriving and delivering for the area well into the future.”

Sandra joined Blaby District Council in 2003 as Strategic Director, leaving her previous position as a Director at South Derbyshire District Council.

She was appointed to the position of Chief Executive in May 2005.

The council has had many notable achievements during Sandra’s tenure, including achieving the Customer Services Excellence award for the whole Council, supporting the development of Leicestershire’s Citizen’s Advice Bureau and developing strong relationships with businesses within the district.

The council also became the first District Council to set up a Local Authority Mortgage Scheme to help first time buyers and stimulate the housing market.

Earlier this year, Blaby District was also reported to be the sixth happiest place to live in the country by the Office of National Statistics

Terry Richardson
Cllr. Terry Richardson

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council, said:

“Our district has been extremely lucky to have someone of Sandra’s creativity and ability as Chief Executive for over a decade.

Under her leadership this council has managed to adapt to the vast changes we, and every other council has faced, coming out a much better local authority for it.

“We will all miss her desperately, and we can only thank her for the strong and healthy position she will be leaving Blaby District Council in.”

The appointment of Jane Toman, the council’s current Director of People, as the Interim Chief Executive, was ratified at meeting of councillors on 8 Dece mber.

Ms. Toman will take up her duties from 1st March 2016.

Success as District Council achieves above-average scores from Local Government Association

council-officesResearch from the Local Government Association (LGA) has shown the council’s performance is above the national average in 19 of 21 key indicators.

The report compares data from across all Local Authorities in England and focuses on Housing, Planning, Environmental, Cultural and Central services offered by each district/borough council

Highlights of Blaby’s achievements in the report include the council’s performance on planning applications, with 86% of minor planning applications being processed within 8 weeks, compared to the national district average of 69%. In addition, 80% of major applications are processed within 13 weeks compared to a 70% for district authorities.

Blaby District also sends 50.57% of household waste for recycling, above the national district average of just 43.78%.

Councillor David Clements, Portfolio Holder for Performance, People, Special Projects & Cabinet Support, said:

“This is fantastic news and I’m proud of everyone who has helped achieve this. These indicators are a great reminder of how hard our
staff work to ensure we offer the best services we can to our residents.”

Director of People Jane Toman, said:

“I’m absolutely delighted to see these figures. They give us important insight into our performance compared with other district council’s across the country. The fact we’re doing so well considering our size is excellent and testament to everyone at Blaby District Council.”

The news of Blaby District’s success in the LGA performance table comes weeks after research from Experian saw Blaby District come in the top five for the most desirable places to live for first time buyers in the country, and was also declared one of the happiest places to live in the county.

Save time and ….do it online!

Photo: Blaby DC websiteBlaby District Council have announced they will shortly be launching a new resident account feature on their website, designed to offer easier access to Council services ….and more.

The new feature builds on the reputation gained in 2014 when Blaby District Council’s website was named as one of the top 20 best websites in the country and awarded ‘four stars’ by SOCITM (Society of Information Technology Management) which promotes the effective and efficient use of Information Technology in Local Government and the Public Sector.

Star ranking is given to each site based on a structured survey of 259 questions which includes navigation, use of search, A-Z list, accessibility, etc.

Shortly, residents in Enderby and elsewhere in the Blaby district will be able to register for an account on the Council’s website to receive the benefits outlined below:

  • Access services through a single online account
  • View their Council Tax account
  • View their Benefits account
  • Book sports and leisure activities at the Huncote Pavilion
  • Register for email alerts to keep up to date
  • Track progress and keep a history of their requests
  • Save time as forms will be ‘pre-populated’ (resdy filled-in) with their contact details when logged in
  • Subscribe to receive email alerts
  • Subscribe to the Council’s email alerts service to find out when new online services and information become available.

Former eyesore given new lease of life

8385867-largeA previously boarded-up property in Braunstone Town that had once been a beacon for vandals, squatters and rats, has been brought back into use.

Blaby District Council sold 3 Narborough Road South to local developers Teresa and Nathan Evans.

The couple who own Brown and Green ltd have since refurbished the house and new tenants have moved in.

Teresa said:

“We tend to look for properties that are a bit different and unusual, that have history and offer a challenge. This house certainly ticked all those boxes. We were aware it had been derelict for a long time, and were surprised that despite this the property was in a relatively good condition from a structural point of view.

“We had to use a flashlight to look round it as the house had been boarded up, and there were some rooms that we were unable to go into. Lots of it was untouched with old furniture and 1950s wallpaper, and we’ve managed to salvage some of the original features such as three of the fireplaces.”

The house became the Council’s property through the use of a Compulsory Purchase Order in June this year.

Cllr Guy Jackson, portfolio holder for Neighbourhood and Environmental Services at Blaby District Council, said:

“This former eyesore was simply standing empty and was having a detrimental effect on residents. It’s fantastic to see the property part of the community once again, and returned to a habitable condition.”

boarded-up property in Braunstone
Cllr. Jackson said the property was an ‘eyesore’

Blaby District Council has a pot of funding available to bring empty properties back into use.

The maximum amount of funding available per property is a grant or (0% interest) loan of up to £10,000 dependent on circumstances and subject to inspection by a council officer.

The funding is available to address disrepair issues and redecoration at the property, and bring the property up to a let-able standard.

For more information visit www.blaby.gov.uk/emptyhomes, email emptyhomes@blaby.gov.uk or call the grants and loans department on 0116 272 7536

Council Grants available for Community Groups in Blaby District

communityactionpartnershipA new round of funding is available for community groups in Blaby District wanting to expand or develop their activities.

If your group is based in Blaby district, and benefits people in the district, you may be eligible to apply for a Blaby District Council community grant. Community Action Partnership administers the grants programme on behalf of the District Council
Funding is now available for groups to apply for grants. The different funding streams are as follows.

1) Capital Grants up to £5,000 for larger projects but must be match-funded by at least 50% of the total project cost.

2) Revenue grants up to £500 for projects or small capital purchases that benefit the community

3) Staying Healthy Grants up to £1000 for projects that meet the staying healthy key priorities

The grant programme aims to support a wide range of community groups. Groups that have received a grant within the last two years are not eligible to apply and priority will be given to groups that have not applied previously, and that focus on the District Council’s key objectives of Children & Young People, The Environment, Safety, Strength & Health of the community and Valued Public Services within the community.

Applications for the community grants are accepted quarterly and the next deadline is
Friday 30th May 2014, 12 noon.

For more information, or to request an application pack, please contact the Community Support Organiser at Community Action on 0116 2727669 or email jenny@communityap.org.uk

You can also learn more by attending a grants drop-in at The Pavilion, Sportsfield Lane, Huncote on Tuesday 13th May between 7:00 and 8:30pm. No appointment necessary.

Details of the grants programmes can be found on Community Action’s website: www.communityactionpartnership.org.uk