Tag Archives: Council

Join in the next online webchat with Blaby police

KeyboardThe police in Blaby are inviting residents to take part in their next joint online webchat.

Officers will be available online on Thursday June 27, between 6.30pm and 7.30pm along with their colleagues from the Blaby Community Safety Partnership to discuss local issues and answer any questions you may have.

Log on to www.leics.police.uk/blabywebchat to discuss any issues or concerns in your area or find out more about your local police officers.

On the panel will be Sergeant Mike Cawley and Sergeant Dean Lewis from Blaby Local Policing Unit (LPU) and Debbie Griggs from Support Services at Blaby District Council, who will be happy to answer any questions you have on community safety, crime, anti-social behaviour (ASB), crime prevention and support services.

Sergeant Cawley said;

“If you live or work in the Blaby, Narborough, Enderby, Whetstone, Glen Parva, Cosby, BraunstoneTown, Glenfield, Leicester Forest East, Kirby Muxloe, Countesthorpe and surrounding villages, Thorpe Astley, FossePark or any of the Fosse villages please join in and chat directly to your local officers.”

Blaby consultation events are held regularly online on the last Thursday of every month.

For details of other upcoming and past online chats please visit www.leics.police.uk/blabywebchat.

Log on to http://kimtag.com/blabylpu for ways to contact your local beat officer

Country’s finest – Blaby District Council recognised as one of the best

Blaby District Council is in celebration after being awarded the highly respected Customer Service Excellence Standard.

It is only one of a handful of local authorities to achieve this honour for the organisation as a whole.

Customer Service Excellence was launched by the Government in 2007 as part of its drive to improve customer service in the public sector.

A rigorous self assessment took place between October 2012 and January 2013, with a final two day assessment taking place at the end of January, which secured the Council’s accolade.

Neil Potentier, Customer Service Excellence Assessor, said:

“Blaby District Council clearly demonstrates a corporate commitment to customer service excellence and also clearly put their customers first. They are to be commended for pursuing quality of service as opposed to quantity.”

Sandra Whiles, Chief Executive at Blaby District Council, said:

“At Blaby we pride ourselves in being different and have often been described as doing things ‘the Blaby way’.

“Putting our customers at the heart of everything we do is really important to us and I am extremely pleased with how hard all our staff work to make this happen. Receiving this award is the icing on the cake.”

For more information on the Customer Service Excellence Standard visit www.customerserviceexcellence.uk.com

Bag yourself a bargain at Council Chairman’s fashion show

fashion show1Those wanting the latest in high street fashion, but for a fraction of the price will have the chance to pick up a bargain whilst raising money for charity this February.

Jill Blackwell, the Chairman at Blaby District Council, is hosting the charity fashion show on Tuesday February 26, at the Council offices in Narborough.

Clothes will be from a variety of well known high street stores including Next, Marks and Spencer, RiverIsland, Gap, Monsoon, Pilot, New Look, Oasis and Gap, with sizes ranging from 8 – 26.

Tickets are £5.00 with all proceeds going to the Chairman’s charities The Cinnamon Trust and Leicester Animal Aid.

Councillor Jill Blackwell said:

“This is set to be a great event, not only do people get the chance to buy clothes for a fraction of the normal price, they can feel guilt free with the knowledge all money raised is going to charity.”

The fashion show starts at 7.30pm and is run by SOS Fashions from Nottingham.

For further information and to buy tickets call Jo Robinson on 0116 272 7512.

Next expansion hindered by Council delays

Enderby based Next has voiced criticism over delays it is experiencing in its plan to create hundreds of jobs by opening new stores across the country

The company wants to open up to 17 major units, combining fashion, homeware, gardening and DIY products under one roof.

Two prototype stores have already proved a success with another due to launch next spring – and bosses are keen to roll out the concept across the country. Securing planning consent from the relevant local authorities on some of the sites is being cited as the problem.

The firm’s finance director, David Keens, told local media:

“We are looking at up to 17 other sites and would like to open these over the next five years, creating hundreds of jobs,” he said.

“We have identified sites, we now need to talk to the owners of these sites. Most of them already have buildings on them, and most of them have the relevant permissions.

“The issue with some is it’s taking much longer than we would like to get through the council process and getting the permission to get these sites up and running.

“It’s well known there’s a difficult economic environment, so why should it take so long when you have a company that’s expanding and wants to create jobs?”

Mr Keens went on to say that the programme was the next big move for the company, with room for 20 units over the next 5 years.


New Lubbesthorpe

Decision on Lubbesthorpe homes plan

Plans for a major new housing development in Lubbesthorpe have been approved by Blaby District Council’s Development Control Committee at their meeting on Thursday November 1.

The decision means that the planning application will now be referred to the Secretary of State, as it is a departure from the Local Plan (1999).

The development proposals are for  4,250 homes, shops, schools, community facilities, public open space, two motorway bridges (across the M1 and M69) and 21 hectares of employment land.

If the Secretary of State decides not to intervene then the permission will be granted.

During the recorded vote, 13 councillors voted in favour and four against.

The decision came as a blow to opponent groups who have been campaigning hard to halt the development, with the main objections being around issues of excessive strain on the area’s existing infrastructure and air quality.

Extended meeting

The often tense meeting of Blaby District Council’s Development Control Committee  had to be extended to over three hours due to the number of people wishing to speak. So many in fact that tickets needed to be issued, live screenings were held in two other venues, and the meeting was streamed on-line.

Cllr J Dickinson

Councillor Jackie Dickinson spoke saying that, despite the intention of the Government’s Localism Bill being to give weight to the views of local communities and find ways to enhance and improve their areas, she felt that the resounding “No” voiced by the communities of Enderby, Leicester Forest East, Kirby Muxloe and Braunstone Town had been ignored.

Enderby resident Rob Heywood

Enderby resident Rob Heywood spoke saying he was deeply opposed the whole planning application saying he belived it was on the wrong sites, contained ‘largely erroneous’ supporting calculations, would cause harm to the neighbouring communities on a very big scale because of pollution, loss of agriculture.

Mr Heywood, who is a retired architect with some experience of public works, went on to say he believed the plan was “desperately over ambitious” and unlikely to be completed because schemes of such size very seldom are.

Mr Heywood said that should the Council be minded to approve the application, he would ask that a by-pass and other pieces of infrastructure be physically put in place (not just proposed or projected) before any other construction work took place. Also he expressed concern that no development should take place across land belonging to the historic Enderby Hall.

In a measured contribution to the proceedings, Mr Heywood brought his five minute time slot to a conclusuion by reminding the Council the application was in two distinct parts – Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE) and Strategic Employment Site (SES) – and they were able to make a ‘split decision’. So serious are the problems with the land use of the SES Mr Heywood strongly recommended the split decision option.

Campaigner Paul Fox, from Leicester Forest East Residents Action Group, (LFE RAG) said:

Paul Fox

“We want houses in Leicester Forest East and around but this area just will not accommodate the amount of traffic that the new town will develop.

“We are talking about 4,250 houses, 7,000 cars, and the existing road network just cannot cope.

“The land use is 1,000 acres, which is the same size as Market Harborough.”

“Opinion is massively against this development”, he said, “Only three people of 1,371 commenting in the latest consultation were in favour of this – that’s 0.2 per cent.”

He also said  it would be “highly unlikely” that the government would block the application.

The decision quickly sparked responses on the LFE RAG’s Facebook page.

A message thread began:

Bad news. Development control committee have voted 13 4 in favour of passing the development subject to the secretary of state. The cllrs on the committee who were against it and voted for it as I quote “reluctantly” should be ashamed. Spineless…

Other comments included:

“Speechless and livid.”
“That’s devastating news. The spineless ones should be named and shamed”
“Can’t believe it – those councillors who have “reluctantly” agreed to vote for this development don’t appear to be representing the local residents who are opposed to this massive development!!!”

Scott C Smith wrote saying he was “Disgusted”. He went on to comment “…the new Localism Act has supposedly given us new rights and powers for communities and individuals; reform to make the planning system more democratic and effective; reform to ensure that decisions about housing are taken locally. Clearly none of this applied to the application”

Michael Blunt, of Braunstone Lane, told the Leicester Mercury:

“It’s always the ones with the most money who get their way. Residents haven’t been listened to at all.”

His wife Pat told the paper:

“I just don’t believe it. I’m stunned. How can they (councillors) sleep at night, knowing what their decision will do to people?”

Developers: “Appreciate that change causes concern”

The developers began public consultations over the plans in 2010 and a planning application was submitted in early 2011.

The plans, which  include homes for families and first-time buyers as well as bungalows for the elderly, were changed because of some concerns raised during the consultation and the application was updated in May this year.

The developers, Davidsons, Hallam Land Management and Barratt David Wilson, say that apart from the new homes, the development will feature 75 acres of new woodland and 250 acres of open space and park land. The business park could create more than 1,500 jobs. The centre of the development would include space for shops, a health centre and a community centre.

Paul Burton, speaking for the developers, called the ‘New Lubbesthorpe Promoters Group’, said:

“We appreciate that change causes concern and we have sought to ensure that this is a very high quality development.

“Almost half of the site will be green space, with woodland and hedgerows providing an attractive setting and helping to maintain the separate identities of existing communities.”

Opponents have argued that the area already has enough green space, including well-farmed and arable land, woods, footpaths and wildlife habitats.

It is now up to the Secretary of State to decide whether to hold a public inquiry.

The full committee meeting, which took place at the Council offices in Narborough, will be available to watch online from Monday November 5 at www.blaby.gov.uk/webcast

For more information on the Lubbesthorpe plan, visit http://www.blaby.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/planning-and-building/new-lubbesthorpe/