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the Birstall post Y O U R




No. 318

Police crackdown leads to arrests A POLICE crackdown on Friday night antisocial behaviour in Birstall led to five arrests and 25 young people being spoken to. A police spokesman said: “The Birstall beat team and additionally allocated officers conducted pro-active patrols on Friday December 18 in the village centre to address concerns raised by the community over antisocial behaviour and criminal damage.” That evening Birstall’s Richard Carruthers was monitoring the village CCTV cameras and saw a group of young people damaging shop windows with graffiti. Following the arrival of response officers from Charnwood Local Policing Unit, five persons were arrested and interviewed in relation to damage to 10 commercial properties on Sibson Road. They were bailed pending further enquiries. The Police spokesman said: “Persons unconnected with the group were present in the street but failed to challenge the behaviour or call the Police that the damage was taking place.” Earlier that evening Police officers spoke to 25 young people: four were taken home to their parents due to being under the influence of alcohol, 14 alcoholic drinks were seized

and drugs paraphernalia confiscated for destruction. Two people received directions to leave following disorderly behaviour and one person was issued with a warning for antisocial use of a motor vehicle in the Sibson Road car park. The behaviour of a small group of people caused the youth workers to close the drop-in facility at the School Lane playing field pavilion early. Police say alcohol is believed to have played a major part in all the offences and that the majority of it was purchased locally on behalf of underage drinkers by adults who also live locally. Sgt Ian Stone, Charnwood LPU citizen Focus Sergeant, is visiting off-licences in the area providing support and advice regarding underage drinking • On Tuesday December 15, at 6.30pm, Police arrested five men suspected of an attempted burglary at the Posy Bowl on Sibson Road.

Tea & songs Speeding problems CONCERNED ABOUT vehicle speeds on Greengate Lane, a Birstall resident is looking for volunteers to help set up a Community Speedwatch Initiative. Kevin Preston, of Moorgate Avenue, said: “I see the speed limit broken often and the principal reason I’m concerned is I have a daughter at Highcliffe School. “Now we have the new junction layout at the A6 end it’s easier to get out, which could encourage more traffic from Beaumont Lays Lane. Ashton Green is also planned and it could become a pretty busy road.”

‘Community Speed Watch’ (CSW) enables volunteers to work within the community to raise awareness of the dangers of speeding and to help manage the problem locally. Volunteers are trained to use hand-held radar and laser gun s so they can record the speed of passing vehicles. As an alternative to the guns, Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) can be Continued on page 2

PUPILS FROM Stonehill school served tea and cakes and sang Christmas songs to elderly people at Riversdale Court in Birstall. The students are all taking part in a 10 week programme of activities that leads to an ASDAN award, and came up with the idea of visiting Riversdale Court after discussing it with their youth workers. Pupil Emily Spence said: “We’ve sang songs and served tea and cake. It’s been really nice to see all the smiling faces and everyone’s been really friendly.” Trish Richardson, trainee youth development worker, said: “I think this sort of activity helps break down barriers between the old and the young. I’d like to thank the warden, Anne Petrie, and the residents for their hospitality.”

Pic: top, the pupils singing to residents are (l-r) Georgia Smith, Clara Atkins, Beth Russell, Chloe Moore, Liam Hargrave, Emily Spence, Jessica Harby and Ella Pinsent Bottom: (l-r) Beth Russell, Chloe Moore and Emily Spence


the birstall post JAN 2010

School’s Christmas concert

Shapes winner OUR PICTURE shows Clare Halford (left), owner of Shapes Professional Hair Care on the Birstall Triangle with, Christina Court, winner of a hamper filled with Paul Mitchell products. The salon were offering the prize to celebrate becoming a Paul Mitchell Signature Salon.

Parish Council notes A FULL meeting of Birstall Parish Council was held on December 7. It was reported that residents and employees of businesses on Kingsgate Avenue were using the parking bay outside the shops for long stay parking. It was agreed that the Parish Council write to the shopkeepers alerting them to this issue. It was reported that the Youth Drop-in Speeding continued from page 1 positioned at the roadside to warn motorists if they are travelling at an excessive speed. Being recorded by one of the devices does not lead to prosecution – drivers receive a warning letter from the police instead – and the scheme helps towards underlining the community’s commitment to getting drivers to behave responsibly towards others and reducing their speed. Community Speed Watch is run by Leicestershire County Council and the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership with assistance from Leicestershire Police and aims to highlight the areas around the county that have problems with speeding. To learn more about the scheme visit or contact the Community Speed Watch Co-ordinator on 0116 305 7336. If you would like to indicate your support for the scheme or serve as a volunteer, email Kevin Preston:

Centre that had stated in November at the School Lane playing field pavilion was a continuing success, with no complaints received. The Council discussed the proposed Ashton Green development, near Beaumont Leys, and agreed it was impossible to stop the development and that the Council should do what it could to influence the scheme as it progressed. It was agreed to get up a working party that would meet to keep up to date with the proposals. It was reported that a Birstall resident was keen to see a Community Speedwatch initiative start in Birstall. These schemes involve police trained volunteers using speed guns to measure vehicle speeds on local roads. It was agreed that the Council would not lead any such initiative, but would support it. The Council agreed to make a one-off donation of £132 to the Friends of Birstall Swimming Pool to help pay for a lifeguard. It was reported that the regular problem of flooding in the parking bay out outside McColls on Sibson Road had been resolved. The problem had been caused by a collapsed sewer. Comment was made that the pavement near the Earl of Stamford is regularly flooded forcing pedestrians to walk on the road. A comment was made that the problems of graffiti and vandalism were continuing and that the Borough Council and Police need to be urged to do their bit. It was reported that the Parish Council had got through gallons of paint repainting cable boxes in the village.

A RECORD number of pupils took part in Stonehill School’s Christmas Concert which featured performances from a variety of ensembles, soloists and the choir. There are more than 40 musicians in the Stonehill Wind Band who wowed the audience with music on a theme of film in the first half, playing repertoire from Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and Jurassic Park. Around £750 was raised through ticket sales, proceeds of which will go towards Stonehill Staging Fund and resources for Performing Arts. The soloists chose a varied and eclectic repertoire ranging from a soulful version of ‘The Girl With One Eye’ played on guitar by Abi Duckham to the Beatles favourite ‘Love Me Do’ by Oliver Kidd Martin. Classical pieces included an accomplished performance of Telemann’s Italian Air by Meera Patel on flute and a jazzy piece by Patience Ablett on the piano. This year saw the crowd tapping their toes to one of Stonehill High School’s Rock Bands, Empire, who played a version of Underdog by the renowned Leicester Band, Kasabian. The 100 song choir who filled the entire stage sang a range of music from popular chart music by La Roux and Beyoncé, to Christmas classics, All I Want For Christmas Is You and Let It Snow! The finale of the show was a beautiful rendition of Hallelujah made famous by last year’s X Factor winner Alexandra. A moving tribute was made to Mark Elkington, PE teacher at Stonehill who was tragically killed in a motorbike accident at the end of November. The choir dedicating the fitting song Hero by Mariah Carey to his memory, singing with poise and grace throughout. Mr Monks, headteacher at Stonehill said: “This is the best concert Stonehill has seen. The standard gets better every year and the quality of music was outstanding. A big well done to all who took part.”

Pics clockwise from top: Kate Phipps conducts The Wind Band in full swing with a blues number; Charlotte Platts; Patience Ablett; Meera Patel; Oli Kidd-Martin



Farewells as priest departs

Pic: Rock Band Empire, back row: Oliver Hodgkinson, Siobhan Kirk, Joe Cookson, Danielle Wells, Alex Fearn, Heeran Bhundia, front row: Sophie Garner, Hannah Grant

Pic: Abi Duckham

Pic: Ashleigh Johnson

Burials in Rothley ROTHLEY HERITAGE Trust has pubhed its first book. The Departure of the Dead tells the story of burials in Rothley from the prehistoric settlement evidence, the Saxon Burial Site discovered during the building of the Great Central Railway, the mediaeval period with documents telling us how matters of death and inheritance were dealt with and how Elizabeth I was responsible for the start of


death registrations. It relates how the cemetery on Mountsorrel Lane took nine years to develop up to the first burial of Fanny Taylor on September 2, 1904 and ends with a short history of Frank Sleath, the builder responsible for laying out the grounds and the building of the chapel. This 124 page book with illustrations in a fascinating record of

Wanlip turbine PLANS FOR an 80 metre wind turbine on the edge of Rothley have been submitted by Severn Trent Water. The turbine, which will have an 80 metre hub height and a height of 132m to the tip of the blades, will help power the Wanlip Sewage Treatment Works. For the past 12 months a 60 metre monitoring mast has been measuring wind speeds. The proposed 3.4MW wind turbine, about one third the height of the Empire State building (381m), will generate 8.935 MWhrs per annum, enough electricity for the annual domestic needs of 1901 dwellings. The location of the mast is within the parish of Wanlip, 300 metres east of the A6 at the point where the traffic filters left for Rothley. To view the planning application go to The planning application number is P/09/2402/2

THE RECTOR of Birstall and Wanlip is moving on after four years in post. Rev James Shakespeare will be stepping down in January and moving to a part time post in another community to spend more time with his family. James said: “Change is never easy and it with a whole mix of feelings, joy, sadness, gratitude, affection and nostalgia, that Alison, Hannah, Edward and I anticipate leaving Birstall. We have had a very special time among you and will be leaving with much to give thanks for – so many special people, so much fun, so many blessings. “I give thanks for all of these experiences, but I know I now need to take some more time. This will mean moving and, for me, serving part time within another Christian community for a while, in order to give more time to the children while they are still young. I look forward to returning to being a Vicar elsewhere not many years from now.” James says some of the highlights of his time in Birstall include the pilgrimage to London in 2007 raising funds and creating St James Community Space, working with children, setting up a church-community partnership in Wanlip and re-developing Wanlip Church and Community Centre. Churchwarden Tony Bloxham said: “The people of Birstall and Wanlip are very sad to say farewell to the Rev James Shakespeare as rector of Birstall and Wanlip. Four years ago we were delighted to welcome a young priest and his wife with a young family, who brought freshness and enthusiasm to the parish. Sad as we are to lose a fine priest and a good friend, we do fully understand the difficulties of being responsible for a large and busy parish whilst at the same time meeting the needs of a young family. “James brought great enthusiasm to all aspects of his work in Birstall and Wanlip, meeting the spiritual, pastoral and practical needs of the parish. We have all benefited

Pic: Rev James Shakespeare with his wife Alison and their children Hannah and Edward

from his ministry, his concern for individuals, his work with schoolchildren and his drive in pushing forward the refurbishment of St James’ church to create a new community area. We are deeply appreciative of the warmth and friendship that he brought to us,

we wish him and all the family God speed, and pray that he will find the next stage of his priestly journey fulfilling, and at the same time meet the needs of his family. Thank you James, Alison, Hannah and Edward, we will hold you in our prayers.”

life in Rothley as well as death. Copies available from Brenda Sutherland on 0116 2302766 or email Price £7 to include p&p or £6 at Rothley Post Office or Rothley Library. Further detailed information on Click on Village History to the right of the Home Page, then Local Publications.

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the birstall post JAN 2010

Energy savers STONEHILL SCHOOL were winners in Leicestershire’s Big Switch Off week in October. The week long campaign, led by ENABLE and local authorities across the county, aimed to encourage households, schools and businesses o switch off all unnecessary electrical appliances and lighting. Stonehill were the winners in the secondary schools category, reducing their electricity consumption by 26kw or 0.62% compared to the previous week. The school has won a prize of a renewable energy education kit. Pupils took on the role of Energy Detectives, helping to ensure lights, projectors and monitors were turned off and closing doors to save on heating. Across the county, Central Networks recorded consumption as being 0.5% lower for the week, amounting to a saving of £50,000 for the week, equivalent to 195 tonnes of CO2.

Savings made in council buildings: • County Hall 5% • Leicester City Libraries and Leisure Centres 6.16% & 3% • Loughborough Town Hall & Council Offices 10.5% Chairman of Enable (Environmental Action for a Better Leicestershire) Prof Mike Preston said: “I am pleased to see that so many people took part in this year’s Big Switch Off. It goes to show that energy, and money, can be saved by taking a few simple measures. The actions we took during Big Switch Off week to save energy can be made on a day-to-day basis. “If people remember to take simple steps as switching off standby buttons on TVs and computers, unplugging phone chargers which are not in use and switching off unnecessary lights in rooms that are empty, we will see a real difference.”

Birstall nativity scenes THE CHILDREN at Rainbow Coop Pre-school Playgroup retold the traditional Christmas Nativity story to a room full of family and friends. Leader Julie Parker said: “We all had great fun dressing up and acting out the roles of the different characters. We then sang our favourite Christmas songs around the Christmas tree and finished off with mince pies and little cakes.” She added: “Thank you to everyone who has supported the playgroup over the last year. The new term starts on Monday January 4. Pop along and see us at the Co-op Sports and Social Ground on Birstall Road if you would like a place for your child. We wish you all a Happy New Year.” Top pic: the Rainbow Co-op Pre-school playgroup’s nativity play CHILDREN AT Birstall Rainbow Nursery acted out the Christmas story at their nativity play (bottom pic). Parents joined in with all the songs and everyone enjoyed the party with lots of mince pies that followed the performance.

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Help with relationships HELP IS at hand for people experiencing relationship difficulties in the New Year – thanks to Relate Leicestershire. January is the busiest month of the year for counsellors at Relate Leicestershire, who work with families, couples and children to resolve all kinds of relationship issues. Judith Stevenson, Client Services Manager, said: “New Year is an extremely busy time for Relate. By January, the Christmas spirit has worn off, people are short of money and fed up with the bad weather. That is when relationship issues often come to a head, especially when couples and

families have spent a lot of time together. “At Relate Leicestershire, we offer counselling to anyone affected by family breakdown or conflict at home, whether that is couples, children or other family members. We have trained relationship counsellors, family counsellors and young people’s counsellors.” Counselling sessions take place six days and four evenings a week at Relate Leicestershire’s headquarters at Aylestone Road and at twice-weekly clinics at John Storer House, Loughborough, on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Fore more information about counselling

services and advice on improving relationships, contact Relate Leicestershire on 0116 2543011 or visit the website at • about 90 per cent of people who visit Relate Leicestershire for relationship counselling stay together • more than 500 clients use Relate Leicestershire each month • more than 800 phone calls are made to Relate Leicestershire each month • Relate Leicestershire helps people aged from eight to 85-years-old


Country park Crime improvements report

Foundation supports orphaned children

IMPROVEMENTS TO Watermead Country Park are continuing as part of the Connect2 project to create new cycling and walking routes. In December, a new pedestrian and cycle bridge was lifted into place close to the new bridge at Thurmaston lock built in July 2009. The new bridge crosses the river Soar, weighs 4.5 tonnes and is 13.6 metres long. It cost £25,000. Street lighting is planned across the ‘causeway’ and along the route between Thurmaston lock and the access gate to the park on Whiles Lane. A county council spokesman said: “The proposal is for five metre street light columns and for lighting to be on, when needed, between the hours of 7am to 8pm.” Sustrans have 79 Connect2 schemes across the country and are proposing to add some public art in the form of a ‘portrait bench’ to each of them. These are benches with steel cut silhouettes of local people or places, produced following consultation with local communities.

A BIRSTALL couple have set up a charitable foundation to support the lives of children in the Cameroon. David and Joy Bark of 48 Queensgate Drive set up the Bark Foundation in 2008 to support the HOTPEC orphanage in every aspect of their work. Below, David explains how the foundation started: Joy and I were part of a group invited to travel to Cameroon with the Rev Edward Sakwe, who is on secondment to the Leicester North Methodist circuit, to attend the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon We travelled at our own expense and were hosted in families. One of our visits was to the orphanage, where we found a loving, dedicated staff working with few resources. On our return home we personally resolved to support the orphanage on a permanent basis. The orphanage is privately run and a Finance Officer of the Presbyterian Synod has kindly agreed to act as our agent, working with the HOTPEC staff on our behalf. We can therefore guarantee that the funds we send are received in total for the benefit of the children at the orphanage. Their most urgent need is for decent accommodation for the babies in their care. A primary school building (provided by donation) operates on the site with a nucleus of paid staff supported by volunteers. The Bark Foundation projects – following the provision of improved accommodation for the infants – will be to help towards the secondary and further education of the children, and training both in life skills and work skills to enable them to lead a successful life independently of the orphanage as young adults. When we embarked upon this (our first) project in January 2008 the cost of the reliev-


Pic: Sister Grace

Birstall Crime Report 9.11.09 to 15.12.09 Assaults and harassment 10, burglary 7, burglary non-dwelling 6, damage 18, damage to motor vehicle 20, drugs 5, fraud 4, public order 1, theft 13, theft of cycle 1, theft from motor vehicle 3, theft of motor vehicle 2, theft stores 4. Burglaries up this month with one detected. Crimes are up by 10 this month. One Acceptable Behaviour Contract is continuing and being effective. Detections have increased to 11 detections this month. The way markers are still in place in areas that have been historically problematic. The Special Constabulary still have the village set as a priority for high visibility patrols at weekends. From PC 2139 Richard Carruthers PBO Birstall & Wanlip

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Pic: the existing cooking facilities ing the situation of the youngest children at the orphanage was £20,000. We are proud that, as a very small charity with only three ‘workers’, we have instigated the raising of £18,000 to date. Unfortunately the recession has lowered the exchange rate, even against the African Franc, with the result that we now need £29,000 to reach the same objective. It is our aim to raise sufficient funds to complete the project by June 2010 – before the rainy season begins again. The orphanage now has 15 infants and 71 older children which means severe overcrowding as no child

is turned away. We were able to send funds for the walls of the building to reach roof level before work had to cease for the rains this summer and have sufficient in hand for the roof. Further progress will depend upon more finance being raised. Several fundraising events are planned but it is clear that we are going to need support from other sources if we are to reach our goal by next June. A recession is not a good time for anybody, but as always it is the poorest who are hit hardest. We would be most grateful for just a small donation to help us. • To make a donation online

Birstall baby signing A NEW baby signing class starts at Birstall Village Hall on January 15. Baby signing classes help babies to communicate with signs before they can talk. TinyTalk Leicester is run by Heather Avul, mother to 28 month old Azad. She said: “I started to sign with Azad from day one but more so from when he was 4 months old and he did his first meaningful sign ‘more’ at 9 months. By 13 months old, Azad had a signing vocabulary of 15-20 signs



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with some of his favourites being milk, more, car, duck, bird & flower. I really feel that signing has helped us to avoid the frustration many babies feel when they try to communicate but we adults are unable to understand them.” Heather’s Birstall class starts with a free taster session and runs every Friday during term time from 1.30-2.30pm. For more details contact Heather 0780 0852443,,

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Jan 30. The copy deadline is Jan 15.

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the birstall post JAN 2010


The Birstall Post welcomes your views and opinions on any subject. Letters, which must include your name and address, (though not necessarily for publication) can be posted to: The Birstall Post, Longslade College, Wanlip Lane, Birstall, Leicester LE4 4GH, or handed in at Birstall library or email:

Bad behaviour On the evening of Friday 18th December 2009, in my capacity as a Parish Councillor, I visited the new youth facility on School Lane playing fields to see how our money is being spent. I saw there some 30 youngsters enjoying themselves. They were playing table games or sitting around talking to each other. There was a lot of noise. They were kids being kids and they were well supervised. Our money was being well spent and if someone could see fit to donate a computer to them, then that would substantially increase the facilities available to them. Outside the premises there was a group of yobs who epitomized everything that appears to be wrong with so many young people. They were swearing, drinking alcohol and generally misbehaving. One of them took a running jump at one of the roller shutters and then turned to me as if egging me to do something about it. I did. I told him succinctly what I thought of him. His mates all laughed at him and he, and I and them all went our separate ways. I rang the police when I got home. Later that night there were problems in the village with youngsters causing criminal dam-

age in the village centre, in full view of a large number of people outside the Earl of Stamford. No one saw fit to ring the police. Fortunately, through good policing and the use of the available C.C.T.V. the police were aware and when they had the necessary manpower they moved in and detained all of those concerned. I make mention of this because it seems to identify one or two areas of concern. For example the vast majority of kids using the youth club were good kids enjoying themselves, whereas the ones outside, who were in a substantial minority, appeared hell bent on causing trouble. The later incident in the centre of the village involved a relatively few youths, the majority of whom I believe came from outside the village. They were intent on vandalizing our village. It is often said that all it needs for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. The police need to be made aware of the idiots who would destroy the good name of the new youth club and to be informed when antisocial behaviour is taking place in the village The police have a great deal of sophisticated equipment but crystal balls they have not! It is equally important that parents should be aware of, and take an interest in, what their children are doing. If the children are brought up to respect law and order and to be accountable for their actions then generally they react positively. And finally, the police are only part of the criminal justice system. Once offenders have been caught, then their punishment is decided by others. The Crown Prosecution Service, the Courts as well as the police, in determining that punishment are all governed by the rules laid down by the Home Office. These rules have evolved over the last ten years or so and during this time the laws of the country have become a laughing-stock. However, these are the rules we are presently stuck with and we must learn to use them to our advantage where we can, if the streets are to be reclaimed from the yobs. We can all do our bit to help achieve this. We constantly hear that ‘There is no point in ringing the police. Nothing ever happens!’ Well, all I can say is that I have tried it and it does work from time to time. When it does not, then I complain long and loud until I get action. It will only improve if we all adopt the same policy. Please, keep the police informed. D J Gaskell

Dogs So…again… I am brought to writing to your letters page regarding the matter of dog fouling in Birstall, School Lane Park. I have been a resident of Birstall for thirty three years, and a dog owner for 26 of these and I am sick and tired of the constant whinging of Birstall Parish Councillors on this matter. The only reason we (dog owners) are being targeted on this is because these councillors cannot find any solution to the real

Noticeboard all details printed free That Blood You Always Meant to Give Can We Have It Now? People can’t give when they’ve got the flu. To build up supplies in preparation for the flu season, NEW DONORS ARE NEED NOW. Please don’t leave it to someone else. Your next blood donor session is at Birstall Methodist Church Rooms, Thursday February 18 To book your appointment for a session call 0300 123 23 23 or visit problems on Birstall School Lane Park – which are – the youths that congregate there every evening. I myself walk my dog on this park (on the lead), poo bag at the ready – and have to say that I very, very rarely meet any other dog owner who does not do the same. If these councillors got off their butts and came to the park (which I doubt any of them have done in the past year!), in fact why don’t some of them volunteer to be our next Dog Warden, they would then see for themselves that gangs of youths, on bikes, motor bikes, cars, on foot – drinking, throwing their rubbish down are the real problems on Birstall Park, not dog owners. So…come on councillors – start dealing with the problems in Birstall and stop picking on us just because you think we are an easy option to much more difficult problems. Pat Herbert There is no doubt that there is a dog mess problem and that it poses a risk to children and others, as well as our staff who have to maintain the grass, and it is a worthwhile objective for the council to try and keep its land in good condition. Steve Blackburn, Clerk to Birstall Parish Council

Thanks Dear friends Once again I am writing to thank you all most sincerely for the wonderful poppy total outside McColls, Sibson Road of £522.77 This breaks all previous records and I am truly amazed and heartened by all of your efforts, special thanks to Krustys for the lovely mugs of tea, that kept me going. Thanks to you all for the £10 and £5 notes and all monies in between and the little boy who bought a cross for one penny from me, a poppy seller in waiting who knows. Bless you all see you next year again along Sibson Road. Val Joyce Vice President Birstall Women’s Section, Royal British Legion

If this session is not convenient for you please call or visit the website to find out about other local blood donor sessions •••

Loughborough Farmers Market Devonshire Square, Loughborough Between 9am and 3pm Every month Next market January 13 Wide variety of local produce: meats, sausage, bacon & cured meats, rare breed meats, meat, savoury & fruit pies, fruit & vegetables inc organic, plants & flowers, herbs, therapeutic herbal products, honey & beeswax products, chutneys & pickles, jams & preserves, homemade cooking sauces, wholemeal flour, muesli, fruit juices, eggs & cheeses, bread & cakes. To book a stall or find out more call Markets and Fairs team 01509 634624, email: or log on to ••• Improve your conversational

Spanish or German by joining a free group that meets in Birstall once a week. To find out more contact Ellen on 2674876 ••• Birstall Methodist Church Saturday March 27 10am-2pm

Table Top Sale Tables @ £10 Contact Mary 2672606 ••• Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council

Film Presentations ‘The Boat that Rocked’ Friday Jan 22 (104 mins) They say that laughter is good for us. January’s comedy is the high-spirited story of how the world was changed by rogue disc jockeys who broadcasted from a boat in the middle of the North Sea. The songs they played united and defined an entire generation and drove the British Government crazy. This film features an unbelievable selection of music ‘Creation’ Friday Feb 19 (108 mins) Based on the biography of Charles Darwin’s great, great grandson, it recounts the relationship of Darwin with his daughter Annie as he writes the ‘Origin of Species’. Having just returned from the Galapagos Islands, Darwin feels a rift with his wife, Emma, concerning their Faith. With great soul-searching, the manuscript is finally completed and Emma packages it up for the publishers. Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council will be showing these films at Thurcaston Memorial Hall. Starting at 7.30pm, tickets cost £4, concessions £3.50. Price includes refreshments and a lucky prize draw. Advance tickets can be purchased via the parish office 0116 236 7626 or at the door •••

The Women’s World Day of Prayer 2010 Arranged this year by women of Cameroon Preparation Day Lunch & Slides on Sat Jan 23 at 12noon Birstall Methodist Church Hall •••

Birstall Royal British Legion Members Notice Advertise In

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Sat Jan 2: Disco Sat Jan 9: Slaters (duo) Sat Jan 16: Mick Knight (M/V) Sat Jan 23: TBC Sat Jan 30: Jeff Lee Walker (M/V) Dancing every Sat night with live entertainment Free meat raffle, Bingo and not forgetting ‘Open the Box’ Every Tues night Bingo starting at 9.30pm Quiz nights Sunday Jan 10 & 31 starting at 9pm Acoustic night Sunday Jan 24 Rock & Roll nights Wed Dec 6 & 20 Food available every Sat 12-2pm


Trip to College staff’s Commons massage break

Christmas bike ride

LOCAL RESIDENTS are being given a unique opportunity to raise vital funds for a local charity while visiting a famous London landmark. Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People are inviting people to take part in an organised guided tour at the House of Commons in London with all proceeds going towards supporting their ‘Building for the Future’ Campaign. The tour has been arranged by Loughborough MP Andy Reed, a supporter of the hospice. Speaking about the upcoming trip, Andy said: “People are always curious about what the inside of the House of Commons looks like. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to see the historic building firsthand whilst raising money for a local charity.” The trip, which takes place on Friday January 22 will offer a chance to explore some of London’s sights and lunch, before visiting the capital’s iconic parliamentary buildings. Events fundraiser Nicola Adcock said: “This will be a fascinating and exciting day for anyone who has ever wondered about the goings on within parliament, and we are extremely grateful to Andy Reed for arranging this event for us. We hope that people will join us for what promises to be a very memorable day.” Tickets cost £50 per person and all money raised from the sale of the tickets will go towards meeting the final £500,000 needed for a planned £4 million expansion for accommodation and training rooms at Rainbows. For more information and to book your space, please contact Nicola on 01509 638 026 or

TWO THERAPISTS from a local beauty salon treated teachers and staff at Longslade College to a relaxing massage during their lunch break to raise money for Rainbows. Zoe May and Clare Pipes from the Blue Moon Beauty Salon on Birstall Road donated their time, providing Indian head massages and hand massages over four days in November. Clare said: “Between 12.30 and 2pm the staff usually have meetings but as a treat they had a week free of meetings and instead tea, coffee and freshly baked cakes and biscuits and our 10 minute taster sessions were provided. Treatments were open to all staff, not just teachers and we were fully booked, treating 27 people over the four days.” The college donated £2 for each member of staff treated and Clare and Zoe donated all their tips from their salon clients in November, raising £170 for the Rainbows Children’s Hospice. Clare said: “I would like to say how much Zoe and myself enjoyed ourselves and that we very much appreciate Longslade College’s kind donation. We also would like to thank all of Blue Moon’s clients and the staff at Longslade for their very generous donations.”


Mini fencing club for kids CHILDREN CAN learn the sport of fencing at a new club that starts this month. The Mini Fencing Club is for young people aged six to 10 and will be held at Burleigh Community College, Thorpe Hill, Loughborough. The 10 week course costs £25 and is on Fridays from 5.30-6.30pm. It starts on January 15. To enrol call 01509 554400 or visit college reception.

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THREE LONGSLADE students raised money for a children’s charity with a sponsored bike-ride. Roy Rollings (16), Thomas Manship (17) and Devin Patel (17) raised over £500 for a Winter Wonderland party for children in care in the county, held annually at the Aylestone Leisure Centre. Dressed in festive outfits the trio cycled on a tandem and a penny farthing to Leicester’s Clock Tower and back. Roy said: “We did it

Planning 100 Wanlip Lane – erection of conservatory to rear of dwelling 20 Newton Drive – erection of first floor ex-

last year and raised £190. The party is a fabulous event, the children absolutely love it and really look forward to it.” Roy and Thomas were recent recipients of Longslade’s Students of the Year award, along with Janine Watt. Pic: (l-r) Thomas Manship, Devin Patel and Roy Rollings tension to side and porch to front of dwelling Severn Trent Sewage Treatment Works, Fillingate, Wanlip – erection of a single wind turbine measuring 80m to the hub with a blade tip height of 132m plus

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the birstall post JAN 2010

College creativity

Pics: Tom O’Neil on bass guitar, Joe Wheelan plays the xylophone

NHW news

A CHRISTMAS concert and an exhibition of art were two end of term events at Longslade College in December. Music and performing arts students took to the stage while Year 10 and 12 students studying Fine Art exhibited their work in the Design & Technology building. Head of Art Cath Kinder said: “They are really talented, have worked hard and produced great work.”

A POLICE officer observed a number of persons acting suspiciously at the side of the Posy Bowl shop on Sibson Road on Wednesday December 16 around 18.05 hours. Police attended and found the premises to be insecure and the door lock damaged. A car was stopped nearby and the five occupants were arrested in connection with the incident. Detectives interviewed the suspects and were later bailed pending further enquiries. If you have any information on this incident, please contact Sergeant 1666 Ian Stone on 0116 222 2222 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 000. If you would like to speak to local officers about issues within Birstall & Wanlip please

Pic: singer Georgia Betts

come along and chat to a police officer at the monthly ‘Police Surgery’, they do appreciate your views on life in the village. Don’t just grumble to your neighbours, grumble to a police officer. They might very well be able to help! The next surgery is Sat Jan 16, 1012noon, Sibson Road car park. There has been a recent spate of damage to vehicles in Birstall, if your vehicle has been damaged and you have not reported it please do so on 0116 222 2222. It is important that the police have an accurate report of crime figures within the villages to ensure resources are allocated efficiently. Problem areas need to be identified quickly so that the Police can deal with the situation before it escalates. From Roy Rollings, Birstall & Wanlip NHW Advertise in The birstall post 53 x 70mm £26 • 53 x 142mm £44 109 x 70mm £44 • 109 x 142mm £78 1) Decide what size you want. 2) Send us a sketch of your ad. 3) We design, publish & send you the bill

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Charnwood recycling rate

History society Poppy appeal collection A D-DAY veteran and a member of Birstall Golf Club for 36 years collected a record breaking sum for November’s Poppy Appeal. Eric Buckley (85), from Thurmaston, has been collecting for the Royal British Legion’s appeal for the last three years. This November he collected £5865. Eric served in the navy during WWII, initially as a stoker on multi-torpedo boats, then on destroyers. He was aboard a repair ship on D-Day, off Sword beach, and watched as Allied troops stormed the beaches, with many falling under the intense machine gun fire. For the next six weeks Eric and his shipmates were under artillery bombardment – he lost two of his friends. Eric said: “Until the 60th anniversary of D-day I had not told my wife and daughters I was there – it was too upsetting to talk about.” Eric was in Normandy in June 2009 to pay his respects to the fallen, as part of the official commemoration of the 65th anniversary of D-Day. Pic: Eric Buckley

FORTY TWO per cent of household waste in Charnwood was recycled in 2008/09, compared to 39% in 2007/08. The increase has been put down to a wider variety of items that are now accepted for kerbside recycling and the introduction of a single bag, reducing the amount of sorting done by residents. Charnwood Borough Council say they aim to achieve a 45% recycling rate for 2009/10.

LAST YEAR marked Birstall Local History Society’s Silver Jubilee. For the past 25 years the Society has presented a variety of talks, visits and publications on the history of Birstall and Leicestershire and looks forward to further serving the village in the coming years. Meetings are held in the village hall on the second Thursday in the month. The programme for 2010 is printed below and all meetings are open to visitors who are always assured of a friendly welcome. Jan 14: AGM followed by The Church in Victorian Leicester, Bert Tegg Feb 11: Leicester Slums, Ned Newitt Mar 11: 19th Century Computer Pioneers, David Herbert Apr 8: Digging up Leicester, Dr Alan McWhirr May 13: Leicestershire Privies, David Bell Jun 10: Wanlip Church – An Evening Visit, Chris Palmer Jul 22: Tour of Beaumanor Hall Sep 9: Life in the Workhouse, Wendy Freer Oct 14: Looking for Bosworth Battlefield, Richard Knox Nov 11: Members’ Evening Dec 9: English Music Hall, Felicity Austin

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AGE CONCERN Unwanted Presents or Sale Purchases? “After the festive season, many people will be contemplating how they will get rid of unwanted presents or dispose of household furniture in order to accommodate new purchases made in the sales. Age Concern is the answer!” says Tony Donovan of the local Age Concern. The credit crunch is affecting stocks of clothes, books and furniture in Age Concern Leicester Shire & Rutland’s 26 shops upon which the charity so heavily relies. Tony Donovan, the charity’s executive director, added: “It’s a Catch 22! On the one hand, more people are saving money in these difficult times by buying the high quality goods which we sell, whilst on the other, traditional donors are apparently more inclined to ‘make do and mend’ rather than donate to our charity’s shops. If the situation continues, this could directly affect the level of services which we are able to provide in the future.” Items can be delivered to any of the charity’s shops – for convenient locations, ring 0116 2992233 – whilst large quantities or large items such as furniture can be collected from homes by calling 0116 2781208. Benefit Overpayments : Court of Appeal Decision The Court of Appeal has ruled that the DWP cannot recover overpayments of social security benefits through the courts where the claimant is not at fault. The case was brought by the child Poverty Action Group in response to letters sent to claimants telling them they could be taken to court under common law if they did not pay back overpayments even though payments were not recoverable under social security law. The Government is considering the decision. Cold Weather Payments to remain at £25 for Winter 2009/10 The Government has announced that this winter Cold Weather Payments will again be paid at £25 for each qualifying week of very cold weather. These payments are made to certain groups of people receiving income-related benefits including older people claiming Pension Credit. DWP Consultation on Data Sharing with





Energy Suppliers : Age Concern and Help the Aged response Age Concern and Help the Aged has responded to proposals for Pension Credit data to be shared with energy companies in order to enable companies to provide an automatic payment to help with fuel bills. It is proposed that the payment will be around £80 to £100 and to people receiving Pension Credit guarantee alone. The scheme will act as a pilot for a wider proposed scheme from 2011 onwards. Pension Credit Payment Pilot : DWP Discussion Paper This paper summarises the Department for Work and Pensions’ plans for a pilot scheme to use data already held to make payments of Pension Credit without people claiming. During 2010, it is planned that 2000 people who are thought to be entitled to Pension Credit will be paid their estimated entitlement for 13 weeks. To continue to receive payment they will need to make a claim in the normal way. The scheme is designed to test out attitudes to automatic payments, evaluate ways to use existing data to increase take-up and to consider if long-term changes to benefit rules would make delivery easier. Consultation on Ending Age Discrimination in Services and Public Functions : Age Concern and Help the Aged Response In our response to a Government Equalities Office consultation, we call for the Equality Bill’s prohibition on age discrimination in services and public functions to be implemented promptly and robustly. Key points are: • the proposed exemption for financial services firms goes too far in allowing them to justify discriminatory treatment on commercial grounds and to continue imposing age limits. Age limits should be prohibited, and greater transparency is needed. • tackling discrimination in health and social care should be implemented in 2012. • public sector age-based concessions or benefits should be capable of being objectively justified. • the retention of the default retirement age in the Equality Bill is misguided and

unnecessary • failing to ban age discrimination in housing goes against the spirit and intent of the Bill. Annuities : Age Concern and Help the Aged Policy Briefing Age Concern and Help the Aged have put forward proposals for improving the pension annuity market. The paper calls for more attention to be paid to the needs of people with small and modest pension funds, including reform to the process of ‘trivial commutation’ which allows small pension funds to be drawn in cash. Vulnerable Adults : New Vetting and Barring Scheme A new vetting and barring scheme for people who work with children and vulnerable adults was introduced on October 12. the new scheme, established under the 2008 Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, replaces the current Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) list. The planned timetable for implementation is: • 12 October 2009 – it is unlawful to employ a barred person. There is a legal duty to refer a person to the new Independent Safeguarding List (ISA) if they have harmed or demonstrated the potential to harm a child or vulnerable adult; • July 2010 – registration with the ISA begins for new employees and people moving jobs (including volunteers); • November 2010 – new employees and volunteers must be registered with the ISA; and • April 2011 – registration of existing employees begins. Independent Living and Older People Information Resource The Office for Disability Issues, along with the Centre for Policy on Ageing and the National Development Team for Inclusion, have set up a new website aimed at people who are working to develop independent living strategies for older people. It contains links to a range of publications and other resources, examples of older people’s stories, and an explanation of how independent living fits in with local and national performance targets and to other government strategies.

NHS Continuing Care : New Directions The Department of Health has issued new directions on the responsibilities of the NHS for continuing healthcare. It has also produced a leaflet for the public giving information about NHS continuing health care and NHS funded nursing care. Market Survey of the Care of Older People: Laing and Buisson Laing and Buisson have published their latest annual market survey of the care of older people. It confirms the decline in the demand for care home places has ended. The number of private payers has risen to 41% and third party top ups are more prevalent with 28% of council funded residents being in receipt of top-ups. Occupancy of homes has dropped to an average of 89.8%. Fee inflation has slowed down to an average of 1.9% for nursing homes and 3.2% for residential homes. The average cost of private home for older people in the UK is £684 per week for nursing care and £482 for residential care. Some 26,000 residents are funded by the NHS. Future of cheques


In response to the Payment Council’s decision to set a target date of 2018 to close the cheque clearing system‚ Andrew Harrop‚ Head of Public Policy for Age Concern and Help the Aged‚ said: “This move by the Payments Council will leave millions of older people worrying about how they will manage their finances without cheques. “2018 is the date set for the withdrawal of cheques‚ but we are concerned that this will give the green light to banks and retailers to start phasing them out even sooner. Chip and pin is problematic for many older and housebound people and we know 6.4 million over 65’s have never used the internet. Without cheques‚ we are very concerned people will be forced to keep large amounts of cash in their home‚ leaving them vulnerable to theft and financial abuse. “The Payments Council needs to urgently come up with some practical alternatives to replace cheques or it will be condemning thousands of older people to extra worry‚ cost and financial insecurity.” From Jex Woods

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the birstall post JAN 2010

Lights dimmed

Club’s Christmas BIRSTALL FLOWER Club’s annual open meeting took place on November 27 and was well attended by members and their guests. The evening had a very Christmassy feel to it with the flower arrangements being bright and cheerful in gold and red, and in many cases exotic with orchids and lilies. Ann Horsley was an entertaining demonstrator with many amusing anecdotes. There was also a raffle in aid of Breast Cancer Research. The prizes included hampers, bottles of wine and even a night out at a nearby fish restaurant. We are now looking forward to our AGM ‘Big Picnic’ on January 27. Anyone interested in joining the Flower Club should telephone 0116 2674206 From Marjorie Smith

Brownies’ GCR visit ON SATURDAY November 7, 2009, Brownies from everywhere in Leicester were at the Great Central Railway, having the time of their lives, going on most of the trains, filling in booklets, eating sweets and going to gift shops.

Pic: Bernie Dwelly, one of the winners of the Breast Care Raffle

Methodist news Book Now for Dick Whittington The 2010 Pantomime booking office is now open. All tickets are £5 and can be booked by phoning Victoria on 2122513 (not after 8.30pm please). The all male cast has a number of new young talent, as well as old favourites. First night is Tuesday February 16, running each evening until Saturday 20, with a Saturday Matinee. It is the week of the halfterm holiday. Oh yes it is! Six New Windows & a Canopy The metal built west facing windows in the premises (in the Concert Hall and Fellowship Room) have been replaced with UPVC double glazed units. Much of the cost came from a grant from the Derbyshire Environmental Trust. Money has also been received from the County Council to build a canopy over the outdoor play area which is used by the PreSchool and the children with special needs. Golden Result from the Golden Fanfare The display of golden tableaux and other art forms in November in the church was pictured in last month’s Birstall Post. The church is grateful to the many groups and

individuals whose talent & expertise produced such wonderful displays. The display together with the various stalls and Christmas market raised well over £6000 for church funds and ‘Action for Children’. If you missed the display there are pictures on our web-site From Tony Moore

WEA courses THE BIRSTALL and Rothley Branch of the Workers’ Educational Association offers three choices for spring 2010. The English Country House This is our very popular Tuesday morning history class and enrolments must be made by post to secure a place. Please do not turn up at the first class as you could be disappointed! Enjoy history with this popular tutor. Tutor: Colin Groves Venue: The Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel

We did lots of activities too! Everyone had to wear a hat. There were green hats, there were white hats, there were pink hats, there were orange hats and there were red hats. We, Birstall Brownies, wore pink hats. It was so much fun! We had to take a pack lunch. We ate our pack lunches sitting on Railway sleepers! We all went into the craft tent. In the craft tent

we made colourful clips. We made lovely swinging Brownies. We made foam bracelets. We set a table. We cleaned some shoes and we tied a knot. I thought the day went brilliantly. By Hannah Shakespeare (aged 8) Pic: Birstall Brownies at the Great Central Railway

Lane, Rothley. Date and Time: Tuesday 12th January 2010 for 10 weeks 10.00-11.30am Fees: £43.50 Concession A £39.15 (not available for those retired) B Free Afternoon Tai Chi This is a lovely way to keep your body supple or gently move those flagging knee and hip joints. The soft-flowing movements to quiet music promote stress reduction and well-being and this class is suitable for all ages and abilities. The tutor will be pleased to discuss the movements if you have doubts about your ability to participate in this enjoyable form of exercise. Beginners and those with experience will be very welcome. Tutor: Laraine Tucker Venue: Birstall Methodist Church, Wanlip Lane, Birstall Date and Time: Tuesday 12th January 2010 for 11 weeks 1.30-3.30pm Fees: £63.80 Concession A £57.40 (not available to those retired) B Free Art And Expressionism From El Greco to van Gogh to Jackson Pollock, this course explores the many and different ways art is deemed to be ‘expressionist’-art that is intended to move us,

that raises subjective feeling over objective observation. No previous knowledge is necessary-just a lively, open-minded interest in art! Tutor: Janis Baker Venue: The Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley. Date and Time: Wednesday 13th January 2010 for 10 weeks 7.15-9.15pm Fees: £58 Concession A £52.50 (not available to those retired) B Free For further information please contact Franca Freeman 0116 2362566 Postal enrolments to the WEA Treasurer John Laurance, 35 Seagrave Road, Sileby, Loughborough, Leicester LE12 7TN 01509 813005 Visit for an enrolment form or pick up a brochure from your local library. The Workers’ Educational Association is a charity registered in England and Wales (number 1112775) and in Scotland (number SCO39239) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (Company Number 2806910. Our Registered Office is at 70 Clifton St., London EC2A 4HB

Tel: 0116 267 2583 Mob: 07967 191975 Buy DELL products here

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SAVINGS OF £700,000 a year are planned by the County Council by reducing the levels of street lighting across the county. The Council currently own and maintain 66,000 street lights and 12,000 illuminated signs. It now uses low energy bulbs when replacing street lights or installing new ones, reducing energy consumption by 30%. The council are also removing illuminations from signs wherever possible. The council plans to dim some of the brightest lights on main roads between 10pm and 7am and to switch off some lights in rural areas or in other locations where there are no houses fronting onto the roads. In consultation with local communities, the Council also intends to switch off lights in residential areas between midnight and 5.30am. The Council say the measures will reduce CO2 emissions by 3,000 tonnes a year, a reduction of 23% of street light emissions, and save £700,000 a year. A design and risk assessment will be carried out for every area in which changes are proposed. The plans are currently being developed and no specific decisions on which street lights will be affected has been made.

Small Ads Small ads are 25p for the first 16 words. 17-32 words: 50p. Enclosing payment, post your ad to us or hand it in (inside an envelope) at Birstall library. Trade/business rates for small ads are 25p a word. You are liable for the trade/business rate if you are offering a service for which you are asking for payment, or if you are advertising new goods for sale. All text will be printed bold. Box outline £1 extra. Max 50 words. Phone numbers count as one word.

AIRPORT CARS Birstall. Airports, Seaports, Long Distance, Courier. Tel: 0777 1984806 TELEPHONE EXTENSION Sockets fitted by ex-BT engineer. Cable, BT and digital TV. Over 25 yrs experience. John 2675132 ACCOUNTANCY SERVICES provided by qualified accountant. Low rates for sole traders/small businesses. Tel: 2673951 AMLI DESIGN Architectural Consultancy. Plans drawn and submitted. Extensions, conversions, new build. David Ives B.Sc.(Hons) FBEng MCIOB 0116 2674395/07974807111 FOUND: pair of ladies glasses, purple, on The Crossways, December 9. Contact 0116 2675779 Mr Cadman

Birstall Post Jan 2010 (318)  

Birstall Post Jan 2010

Birstall Post Jan 2010 (318)  

Birstall Post Jan 2010