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the Birstall post Y O U R

C O M M U N I T Y

FEBRUARY 2010

N E W S P A P E R

www.birstallpost.co.uk

No. 319

Trail of damage POLICE ARE appealing for witnesses after a number of shops and a car were damaged in Birstall over the course of a weekend. Police received a total of 16 reports of criminal damage that happened sometime between Friday January 15 and Sunday January 17, on Wanlip Avenue, Sibson Road and

Loughborough Road. The calls related to reports of large numbers of noisy, drunken youths causing a disturbance in several streets and damaging property. Two persons were arrested by the Police during the course of the evening. In all but one of the incidents reported the damage had been on the front windows of business premises. One car that was parked on Loughborough Road had also been damaged. Someone had scratched into each window a word that looks similar to “RAIN”. Sergeant Ian Stone, from Syston local policing unit, said: “We currently have officers patrolling the area, have informed Neighbourhood Watch and have spoken to the victims, but we are still looking for more information. “If you know anything about the person or people responsible for the damage then please call us. Perhaps you saw someone hanging around the shops in the Sibson Road area who were acting suspiciously? Maybe you recognised the person and know who they are or where they live? Or maybe you recognise the graffiti writing and know who did it? If so, then please call us. “Tackling criminal damage, in particular graffiti, in Birstall is a beat priority for us and we would like anyone who can help us find those responsible and reduce the likelihood of this happening again to contact us.” Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt 1666 Ian Stone on 0116 222 2222, follow the instructions to leave a message for an officer and when prompted key in his identification number 1666. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous, on 0800 555 111. In addition to the criminal investigation, the Police say multi-agency partnership work is being undertaken to develop preventative Continued on page 2

Pic: Award winners: (l-r) Joshua Smalley, James Bateman, Joseph Van Geffen and Melissa Berry

Lifesaving award winners FOUR TEENAGERS from Birstall have been awarded their bronze medallion award for Lifesaving. James Bateman (13), Joseph Van Geffen (13), Melissa Berry (14) and Joshua Smalley (14) have all been attending the Lifesaving Continued on page 2

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the birstall post FEB 2010

Damage continued from page 1

initiatives aimed at deterring young persons from engaging in anti-social and criminal behaviour. A Police spokesman said this will include: • enhanced police patrols in the village on Friday and Saturday evenings • those persons who during the course of the police investigation are found to be responsible for criminal offences will also be subject to multi-agency reviews in relation to ASB incremental measures such as Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and Anti-Social Behaviour Orders; • additional educational inputs at local schools and colleges outlining the negative impact of anti-social behaviour in local communities and the consequences if caught engaging in such behaviour; • continued use of Impact Youth Workers to engage with young people and seek to divert them from anti-social behaviour. Helena Edwards, Charnwood Borough Cllr for Birstall Wanlip, said: “I have been vigilantly reporting the ‘tags’, which are basically stylised signatures of the culprits applying them, whenever and wherever I see them.

This year however has seen weekend graffitiing sprees cost businesses and home owners thousands of pounds, with whole parades of shops having tags scratched into window glass and shutters, as well as having paint spray damage. Drunken youths, many not local, have been involved. So far this financial year, Charnwood Council has spent 25per cent of its Borough wide graffiti removal budget on cleaning up Birstall, £6,317 from April to December inclusive. “Whilst generally the response is fast and efficient there are legal complexities regarding privately and business owned sites, which mean some damage waits longer for remedy. I personally have exchanged well over 40 emails with Charnwood, listing and responding to graffiti, in the last 3 months alone. There is currently a review of how Street Management respond to graffiti being undertaken, however the best weapon we have is the people of Birstall.” Cllr Edwards added: “We must not stand by and do nothing when we see it happening as did some people on Sibson Road during December’s incidents. A Police car may well not roar up when you report it by phone to

the 2's, but officers may well stop a suspicious person later and be able to match them to the graffiti if it has been reported. Also graffiti is designated a ‘sentinel’ crime by the Police, and is used to focus their resources, including police presence, where and when it is most needed. So if it is not reported, we do not get our fair share of their response. The Parish council has used gallons of paint tackling NTL boxes alone, and their volunteer graffiti removers are due our grateful thanks.” Lifesaving continued from page 1 classes at Longslade swimming pool. The RLSS Bronze Medallion is a comprehensive lifesaving ward which covers rescue skills in and out of the water. Lifesaving teacher Pauline Chapman said: “It is nice to see the children develop skills that could one day save lives. Lifesaving has provided them with challenges to keep them in the pool and their hard work has really paid off.” The Lifesaving Class at Longslade pool is held on Mondays at 8pm. For details call 2673461.

Fish released THOUSANDS OF fish have been released into the River Soar. The Environment Agency said it had added 5,000 roach, 4,000 dace and 500 barbel into the river at Watermead Country Park. A further 2,000 chub were released into the Soar at Birstall. 25000 fish, specially reared at Calverton Fish Farm, near Nottingham, have been released across the East Midlands. The cost of the re-stocking was covered by money raised from the sale of rod licences.

BAGS’ White Horse night THE LADIES from Birstall BAGS and their supporters looked back on a year of fundraising at a Christmas meal at the White Horse, Birstall. ahead of us starting with our annual BAG lady Emma Shaw said: “We would disco/band night on February 27 followed by like to thank all of the ladies who came to the White Horse Duck Race in May and a our meal in December, it was a fantastic night and the food was brilliant. James, Char- sponsored triathlon in June, and these are just a few of our events this year.” lotte, Adi, Jenny and all the staff were more Tickets for the band night are available than helpful and made a huge effort to make from Emma 07837 028451 or Rachael 0798 sure everything went smoothly.” 9822173. BAGS raise money for breast cancer She added: “We have a very busy year charities

County’s cost cutting budget announced 650 JOBS will be cut by Leicestershire County Council over the next four years as it aims to axe £66 million from its budget. The conservative led administration says the cuts are necessary to tackle a “funding gap”. The job losses amount to one in ten of the full time posts at the County, excluding schools. Services will be cut and prices increased in a bid to save millions of pounds. Council Leader David Parsons said: “We have been very honest in setting out the size of the problems we face, due to Government debt, the recession and increased demand for adult social care and waste services. We have also lost £117 million of government grant over the last five years, compared with the average. “We’ve worked hard to find as many efficiency savings as possible and will continue to do so, but it is inevitable that people will see a reduction in some services and higher charges.” Adult Social Care Service reductions over the next four years amount to £10.3m. Key changes will see home help charges rise by 50 per cent over four years, from £8.60 to £13. The price of meals on wheels will rise from £2.95 to £3.20 a day. 5000 people who currently receive home help in the county are put into one of three bands: moderate, substantial and critical. 40 per cent of those receiving home help do not pay for it because of low income. After the changes, the moderate band will be scrapped and all recipients of home help will be re-assessed as either substantial or critical. Roads £5.3million wil be cut from the Highways and Transportation budget. Quick response to non emergency repairs will be scrapped, but emergency repairs will still be dealt with the same day.

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Grass Reducing the number of grass cuts across the county will save £1.25m over the next four years. The four cuts each year in rural areas are likely to be unaffected. Street Lighting Dimming and turning off lights will save £670,000 over four years. Around 1000 lights will be permanently switched off in rural areas and another 40,000 lights in the villages will be turned off between midnight and 5.30am. Buses Discretionary free bus travel to and from school will be scrapped, saving £800,000 over four years. Those services protected by law will be retained: free travel for five to seven year olds living more than two miles from school, and eight to 16 year olds living more than three miles away. The Council also subsidises 115 bus services operated in the county – some of the evening and Sunday services will be cut. Waste Management Savings of £6.2m are planned by reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and increasing recycling. The Council intend to invest an extra £6.5m in waste management to meet increased costs. Youth Services & the Arts Cuts of £2.5m are planned for Children’s and Young People’s Services, including school transport. This may involve reducing the number of youth clubs in the county. The Council’s subsidy for Arts in Education and the Adult Learning Service will be axed. Debt Advice The subsidy provided to Citizens Advice Bureau will be reduced by £550,000 over four years. Libraries & Museums Opening hours will be reduced. The amount spend on book stocks will be reduced by £2.9m over four years. Museums and arts grants will be cut. The County say the Council Tax will be frozen for three years from April 2011, but this is dependent on top-up funding from Government if the Conservatives win the General Election. Around 70 per cent of the Council’s budget comes from Council Tax The council says that despite the cuts, its annual net budget, excluding schools, will rise from £325m to £344m over four years, due to increased demands for adult care services and the development of more environmentally friendly ways of tackling waste.


THE BIRSTALL POST, FEB 2010

Lighting park route PLANS TO erect 5m high lighting columns on a pedestrian/cycle route through Watermead Country Park have been announced by the County Council. The planning application states that the lights will be erected beside the route through the park between Whiles Lane, Birstall and Mill Lane, Thurmaston. The Council says that: “The route is heavily used for both leisure and commuting, especially during the lighter months of the year. The installation of lighting will enable the route to become more usable during the winter months after dark for commuting and leisure ie dog walking, especially for those who feel more vulnerable in the dark.” The lighting is part of the Connect2 improvements to the park which aim to create safe and convenient links within the park and to integrate with established cycle routes. The lighting columns will be spaced 40 metres apart with 42 watt bulbs. The cowling will direct lighting to the footway only and filters will be fitted to the lamps to reduce ultra violet light emissions that disturb bats. The lights will only be switched on be-

The March issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Feb 27. The copy deadline is Feb 12.

Thurmaston Lock

tween 0700-0900hrs and 15301900hrs in the winter. The Birstall and Wanlip Police Beat team were consulted about the plans, and made the following points: • the lighting will make it more welcoming for youths to gather in the park. This will admittedly take them away from the villages, which would be a positive. Have to bear in mind the historical gang rivalry, which may become exacerbated again. • the lighting would increase safety for walkers and dog owners during the hours of darkness, which will give them more confidence.

Pic: the design of the lighting columns proposed

• if the car parks at Meadow Lane are lit, they may attract gatherings of youths. This area is a beat priority due to antisocial behaviour, theft from cars and drug use. • if the lighting is to conclude at approximately 2000hrs it should be acceptable but the situation should be monitored. There will always be a balance to be struck between safety of the many against the anti-

Marketing Boxing show tribute company launched

A BOXING extravaganza has been organised by a local gym owner to pay tribute to Stonehill teacher Mark Elkington, who was killed in a motorcycle accident last year.

A FORMER Longslade student has launched his own marketing company.

Rik Merrikin (23, pictured above), who lives in Birstall, started small and loud marketing last summer. He said: “It’s from my time at school where I first became passionate about business, thanks to some inspired teaching.” Having graduated from university, Rik says he is keen to use his creativity, knowledge and experience to work with local businesses here in Birstall. He said: “Birstall is most definitely my home and just where I feel small and loud can flourish. We’re a highly creative company and passionate about what we do, we want to work with small local businesses on everything from business card to web design – no job is too small.” Go to www.smallandloudmarketing.co.uk for more details.

Carl Gunns of Gunns’ Gym on Birstall Road is organising the event, to be held on Sunday May 16 from 12noon to 5.30pm at Birstall Social Club. “I’ve known Mark for a long time” says Carl “He was bringing pupils from Stonehill to the gym as part of his Boys to Men programme. He was a great guy, very popular and I hope this event is a fitting tribute to him.” The event will feature boxing demonstrations, visits by a European and a Midlands Champion and an auction of boxing memorabilia including a signed Mike Tyson glove. Tickets cost £2 and are available from Carl on 2671494. Contact him if you have items of sporting memorabilia that you would like to donate for the

Tragic lake deaths TWO BROTHERS died after falling through ice on a frozen lake in Watermead Country Park. Dinesh Dattani (44) and Kisor Dattani (55) were unconscious by the time emergency services rescued them from the Mammoth Lake on Friday January 8. A third brother who fell into the water was rescued by Sam Trewick and Adam Whitehead who were sledging nearby when they heard screams coming from the lake. They crawled across 30 yards of ice and used a rope to rescue the man, who was treated for hypothermia in hospital. The Police have issued a warning and are advising people never to venture out onto frozen lakes or ponds,.

Parcels SIXTY SEASONAL hampers containing groceries were delivered to elderly people living alone in Birstall this Christmas. Birstall Parish Council is carrying on the annual tradition of Birstall’s Land and Lewis charity, which was set up to help the poor. Parish councillors packed, wrapped and delivered the parcels in the days before Christmas. The cost in 2009 was £892 and the contents of the hampers are provided by Somerfield.

auction. All proceeds will go to Mark’s girlfriend and his unborn child.

social behaviour of a few. The County Council will be determining the planning application at a committee meeting on February 18. At the time of going to press, they had received three letters of objection from residents which all expressed concerns about antisocial behaviour. The planning application is P/10/0028/2. The County Council identity number is 2009/L170/02

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the birstall post FEB 2010

Birstall roadworks saga MINOR MODIFICATIONS to a major road junction in Birstall are being considered by the County Council. The A6/Sibson Road/Greengate Lane junction roadworks brought months of disruption in 2009 to both residents and local businesses, with many saying the County Council’s communication with the village was poor. In December, Birstall Parish Council wrote to the County Highways Department identifying their concerns. • Southbound traffic on the A6 is moved to the left at the end of the bus lane and is guided to do so both by arrows and by a hatched area in the right hand lane. This then ceases to form the right hand lane for Greengate Lane. The Parish Council feels this hatching is superfluous and routinely ignored by traffic wishing to turn right. The County responded by saying the hatching does not cause undue problems and that burning it off would result in an unsightly appearance. They will keep it under review and remove the hatching if necessary.

• Pedestrians are crossing the A6 from the Firs dental practice to the vets and the Parish Council feels this should be discouraged for safety reasons, either by removing the refuge or erecting barriers on the pavements. The County’s response was that it was awaiting the recommendations of a safety audit. • Traffic turning right from Sibson Road towards Loughborough, or right from Greengate Lane towards Leicester has only three or four cars length before arriving at the next lights. Vehicles crossing on amber do not have room and are blocking oncoming traffic. Yellow hatching would discourage this. The County responded by saying the timing of the traffic signals have been changed to help clear turning traffic. • The six month construction period was too long, having a severe impact on commuters and businesses on Sibson Road. Work ceased mid afternoon and appears to have been conducted at a leisurely pace. The additional costs of overtime and night time work-

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ing should have been weighed against the disruption and the impact on Birstall businesses. The County’s response was that the work was co-ordinated to minimise disruption. National Grid, Eon, BT and Virgin Media all had to carry out service diversions and alterations in the highway before some of the highway improvement work could be completed. The roadworks took this length of time on site due to the extensive nature and complexity of the project including the co-ordination and management of the requirements of each utility company. Work was carried out at weekends, but work out of normal hours had to be balanced with causing disruption to residents fronting the works. A few residents did complain about work taking place at unsociable hours and weekends, • Having arranged for a County Council officer to speak to the Parish Council about how the scheme would be planned, no-one turned up. The Parish Council should be kept more closely informed in the event of future schemes. The County responded that it was unfortunate their representative did not turn up and that it could not explain why. A review of procedures will be carried out to ensure that in future there is better communication with affected communities.

Crime Crime Report: December 7, 2007 to Jan 11, 2010 Burglary dwelling 4, burglary other 6, theft from motor vehicle 1, theft of motor vehicle 1, assault 12 (mostly domestic), criminal damage 22 (1 detected). Total crime: April 1 – December 31, 2009: 591 (a reduction of 8 on the same period in 2008)

Pat Hipwell IT WAS great sadness that members of the Birstall Flower Club learnt of the death of their Vice President and friend Pat Hipwell.

Pic: Pat Hipwell

Pat had joined the Flower Club shortly after its foundation in 1961 and remained an active member until her death in December 2009. She spent two periods as chairman, in 1982-1984 and later 2001-2005. She then became Vice President. A spokeswoman said: “Pat will be sadly missed by all of us for her unfailing cheerfulness , good humour and especially for her friendship.” Over 400 people attended a church service at Birstall Methodist Church to celebrate Pat’s life.

Grant for windows A LOCAL church has had new windows fitted with the support of a landfill tax grant. All rubbish, whether collected by the Council or private operators, that ends up on a landfill site is subject to ‘landfill tax’. Most taxes that most of us pay usually end up in government coffers to pay for everything that the state funds including the Health Service, education, roads and defence. Landfill Tax however, is collected by organisations that operate landfill sites. These organisations then are able to distribute the tax they have collected to local community projects. As a result of this the Methodist Church Centre in Birstall were able to apply to La Farge Communities Fund for a grant to double glaze a number of west facing windows at the rear of the premises. A spokesman for the church said: “This has had a beneficial effect in reducing the cost of heating whilst making the rooms warmer. This will not only help the church but is of benefit to the wider community as the Methodist Church Centre is widely used by different organisations within Birstall. “The La Farge Communities Fund is administered via the Derbyshire Environmental Trust and the church are grateful for their successful funding application, especially during the recent very cold spell of weather” The total cost of the windows was £3300 and the grant given was £2000. The church funded the difference.

Parish Council notes A FULL meeting of Birstall Parish Council was held on January 11. Kam Chauhan from the County Council’s Impact Project gave a presentation to the Council. The Impact Project engages with young people on the streets who are causing concern for local residents. The project, which has been at work in Birstall in 2009, works with young people aged 10-19 and identifies the issues that are leading to ASB, works to address those issues and directs young people towards positive activities available in the local area. Mr Chauhan said the results in 2009 in Birstall had been very positive. He characterised the ABS problem as being related to “cross border issues”: young people coming into Birstall from Beaumont Leys. Tom Kiernan from Charnwood Borough Council’s ASB Unit emphasised the importance of reporting incidents of ASB, including graffiti, to the Unit on 01509 634533. He said that £6000, 25 per cent of the Borough’s funding for graffiti removal, had been spent in Birstall, not because the village had a special problem but because the village had been effective at reporting incidents. A Police representative reported that total crime for April 1 to December 31, 2009 was 591 recorded crimes, a reduction of eight on the same period in 2008. Criminal damage had increased from 126 to 166. The Parish Council are concerned about the safety of a damaged bollard on Sibson Road outside the Davies & Greenwood salon. It was agreed to write to the landlord requesting that repairs be made.

The Council agreed a precept for the year 2010/11 of £345,024, an increase of 2.9%. The precept for 2009/10 was £335,298. Parish Clerk Steve Blackburn said: “Balances have been reduced to avoid a larger increase but still maintain a prudent level of reserves.” The Parish Council precept is a component of the Council Tax and amounts to approximately £75 per household in Birstall.

Sing in a choir A CHOIR is looking for new members, whatever their experience or ability. The Fosse singers are led by Hannah Brine. She said: “Don’t let the word ‘Choir’ put you off! If you’ve been inspired by the BBC’s The Choir or always fancied yourself as the lead role in Sister Act, don’t be shy – give us a try. Come and sing some great songs from around the world, meet some lovely people and have a good blast for a couple of hours each week. Singing is good for you.” Fosse Singers community choir meet on Wednesdays during term time at the Fosse Neighbourhood Centre, Mantle Road (off Tudor Road) from 7-8.45pm. Hannah said: “You don’t need to have any experience, be able to read music or audition. As long as you enjoy singing you’ll be in good company. We are anything but stuffy and enjoy singing a range of styles including pop, folk, gospel, spirituals and jazz.” Fosse Singers was established in September 2007 and already has over 60 enthusiastic member. They are a mixed choir and ages range from 16 to 75+. They have performed at Leicester Cathedral, Derby Cathedral, The Guildhall, the Y Theatre, at a number of old people’s homes, in the massed choir charity event Sing for Water, and as part of the Orange Unlit tour. www.fossesingers.co.uk For more info contact Hannah on 0781 493 5049 or fossesingers@hotmail.com


THE BIRSTALL POST, FEB 2010

Pic: an artist’s impression of the new building

Dunelm’s new HQ HOMEWARES RETAILER Dunelm Mill has reported increased trading figures and announced its plans to build a new head office. The group intends to build new premises in Watermead Business Park, Syston, which will be twice the size of their existing headquarters on nearby Fosse Way. Dunelm Mill say they hope to have the new building open in 2011 and expect to increase the current head office workforce of 150. Chief Executive Will Adderley said: “The new site will provide spacious new facilities for the business and all Dunelm Group head office staff and provide onsite car parking. “Remaining in the Syston area was an important aspect in our choice of site for the head office as it has proved to be a successful location for the business. We are all looking forward to moving to the new offices.” Tom Watkinson, managing director of Raynsway Properties, which owns Watermead Business Park, said: “Dunelm is one of Leicester’s biggest success stories and we are delighted to have agreed this land deal which

will enable them to relocate to the Watermead Business Park.” Dunelm Mill, founded in 1979 in Leicester Market, has grown consistently in the past 30 years. On Christmas Eve it opened its 100th store in Cheltenham and has doubled its number of stores in seven years. In November the firm said that despite economic uncertainty it had seen sales rise to £154.7m in the 17 weeks to October, compared to £123.3m in the same period last year. Dunelm employs 400 people in Leicestershire at the head office and manufacturing facilities, including a curtain factory in Blackbird Road, Leicester. The property slump has helped the group because is has opened up more potential locations for stores, while the recession has seen the end of some of Dunelm’s competition –notably Rosebys and Woolworths.

Memoirs found in attic THE STORY of a fascinating life discovered in an attic by a Birstall woman has been published as a book. The typewritten copy of the memories of Vivian Crosby (1905-1907) was found by Joy Lambell of Worcester Avenue. She said: “I was fascinated to read about the life of my uncle Viv and decided to complete the work he had begun. After many hours transferring the typewritten copy onto computer and searching for photographs to help bring the memories to life, the book is now finished.” Viv’s brother was Honorary Physician to the Queen, hence the title: ‘My brother was the queen’s doctor but I never amounted to much.’ It tells the story of Viv who was born in Highfields, Leicester, the younger son of a busy and well known Leicester doctor. His home was one of the first in

Election A BY-ELECTION will be held later this month following the resignation of a borough councillor. Conservative Rick Astill was elected to represent Birstall Watermead Way in May 2007. He has resigned for personal reasons.

the country to be purpose built as a doctor’s home and surgery. Viv tells of his boyhood when he lived on London Road and what school life was like for him. Victoria Park was his playground where he got into trouble with the park keeper one day for playing with his new ball – no ball games were allowed on Christmas Day. Viv had many different jobs. His first, after a few months at university, was in the hosiery trade at a Leicester factory and he was a commercial traveller selling clothes to London shops. He ran a tobacconist shop for 20 years from 1933 on Belvoir Street later adding a small café where famous names from radio programmes the Archers and Much Binding in the Marsh would meet. During rationing Viv would go out in the morning having no idea what food was available to prepare for the lunch time customers. Later he became landlord of the Bell public house in Burton Overy. He played rugby for the Tigers and spent many evenings as the drummer in a dance band called the Bacchanalians. Copies of the book are available at £10 each from most LOROS shops and from Thurmaston Print Shop, 814 Melton Road, Thurmaston. All proceeds from the book go to LOROS.

Students clear bed

George looks back

THIRTEEN STUDENTS from Longslade College helped rangers at Watermead County Park conserve an important wetland habitat. The group cleared and raked cut reed and other vegetation from the park’s crake hide reedbed. Dale Osborne, Senior Ranger said: “Reed bed management is a physically demanding Pic: Like Pollard job which the rangers undertake on an annual basis. It’s lovely to involve local communities and schools in this worthwhile project. The students from Longslade equipped themselves adequately and we hope they enjoyed their day helping us at Watermead.” The participating students were Joshua Carter, Hollie Davison, Benjamin Dunn, Jade Hadley, Ollie Hall, Mackenzie Hearne, Thomas Herbert, Georgina Irvine, Ross Masterson, Luke Pollard, Luke Simms, Teti-Sheri Sykes and Joseph Whelan.

THE OLDEST man in Birstall has published his autobiography. George Higgs celebrated his 103rd birthday on January 1. His book, entitled ‘Born Too Soon’ relates the story of his life from how his parents met, the death of his father when George was only three, his life in Coventry where he met and married his wife Millie and his working life as an engineer. In the book George also reflects on what is valuable in life and how these modern times compare with the lives of ordinary people in those far off days of his youth. George, who lives on Saltersgate Drive, remains healthy and active and goes dancing every Saturday night at Birstal Social Club

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with his good friend Stella. He says in the book: “I feel there is a lot more in life than just the planning of my inevitable demise. The world is a wonderful place to live in, still is for me. My memories are sometimes of those who have passed on and of what they endured with me. But the memories are mostly a source of pleasure, a break from all the talk of global warming and economic disaster. “I am hopeful that the present difficulties will seem petty by comparison to what has gone by during my lifetime.” Copies of the book are available from George at 19 Saltersgate Drive on receipt of a small donation to the Air Ambulance service. Pic: George Higgs with a copy of his book ‘Born Too Soon’

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Fund raising match BIRSTALL RUGBY Club’s annual President’s Day match will raise funds for one of their players who was paralysed after breaking his neck during a match. The match, on May 2, will boost the funds for a trust set up by the club to support Richard Engelgardt (37), who was injured when a scrum collapsed during a pre-season game in August. The aim of the trust is to help buy mobility equipment for Richard’s home. Loughborough MP Andy Reed plays for the club and has been President for 10 years. Mr Reed, who is from Birstall, will be relinquishing that role in May and hopes his final game as President will help support Richard’s trust.

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the birstall post FEB 2010

YOUR SAY... Noticeboard all details printed free Charity Bridge Drive

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: editor@birstallpost.co.uk

Responsibility To D J Gaskell (Bad Behaviour): I don’t like to say ‘I told you so’ but…until we as a society are able to set punishments which deter these idiots and insist upon a level of parental responsibility which would ensure these hooligans aren’t on our streets in the first place, we will continue to suffer the consequences. To Pat Herbert and Steve Blackburn (Dogs): As a Birstall boy born and bred, I remember the times when dogs were completely banned from the playing fields, and anybody trying to take their dog onto said area would be immediately admonished by a man in a peaked cap who was in charge of the playing fields. There was a notice board with the regulations clearly displayed. Perhaps we should have a separate area for dogs to use as a toilet. Even the most diligent owner cannot remove all the faeces from the grass. Failing this, perhaps we should return to the ‘good old days’ and make the playing fields dog free once again. I am sadly of the opinion that apart from country dwellers, it is fast becoming impossible to own a dog in our society. As to the problem of hooligans using the park, see above. Nicholas G Black

Well done From one poppy seller to another Mr Eric Buckley - I salute you sir. What a fantastic total of £5865 collected by you. I thought my total was good for Birstall of

organised by Loughborough Lions at the Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley Wednesday April 14 at 11.30am with afternoon tea provided Cost £6 per person To book a table please contact: Jackie 0116 2303317 or Ann 01509 232422 ••• Loughborough Farmers Market Devonshire Square, Loughborough Between 9am and 3pm Every month Next market February 10 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: markets.fairs@charnwood.gov.uk or log on to www.charnwood.gov.uk

••• £522.77. Very well done. Val Joyce Vice President Birstall Women’s Section of the Royal British Legion We will remember them.

Park life As a regular user of School Lane playing fields, I find myself in total agreement with Pat Herbert (Birstall Post Jan 2010). What the Parish Council is probably not aware of is that there is a small but nonetheless dedicated group of dog walkers (which includes myself) who take it upon themselves to pick up litter from the car parks and the area around the basketball court on a daily basis. Far from dog walkers being the main problem , the evidence on a Monday morning is that the football club (in addition to the groups of youths) are the main offenders when it comes to littering. The tell tale signs are countless bottles of sports drinks and plastic coffee cups up and down the various touchlines. No doubt there are dog owners who do not clean up after their pets but from my own experience these people constitute a very small minority. The Parish Council would therefore do well to acknowledge that the problem involves several groups all of which have a part to play if we are to keep these fields clean and tidy for the benefit of everyone. Dominic Young

Birstall Royal British Legion Members Notice Sat Feb 6: John Stacey (M/V) Sat Feb 13: Dee Smoove (M/V) Sat Feb 20: Double Trouble (duo) Sat Feb 27: Steve Sinatra (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 Feb 14 & 28 starting at 9pm Acoustic night Sunday Feb 21 Rock & Roll nights Wednesday Feb 3 & 17 Food available every Sat 12-2pm •••

Thurcaston Toddler Group We are open every Tues morning during school term times from 9-11am at The Memorial Hall (close to Richard Hill School), Anstey Lane, Thurcaston LE7 7JA Just drop in to our friendly parent run gathering and for the admission cost of £2 your child gets to play with different toys, do a craft activity and have a drink plus a small snack (tea & coffee for the adults also) Our group also arranges the occasional night out (minus the toddlers) and have a local park schedule during the summer holidays for anyone still wanting to meet up on a Tuesday morning Go on and give us a try! •••

Friends of Birstall Swimming Pool Needs adult swimmers to join them on Fridays from 12.30-1.30pm £2 first visit contact Lesley on 2671625 ••• Highcliffe Amateur Theatrical Society presents

Fish Out of Water a comedy by Derek Benfield Thurs/Fri/Sat, May 13/14/15 at 7.30pm Highcliffe Primary School, Greengate Lane, Birstall Tickets £5. £4 concessions, disc for group booking Tel: 0116 2128757 or 07757854719 or email hatsbirstall@hotmail.co.uk A play that will give you everything from a quiet chuckle to a raucous belly laugh Don’t delay book today! ••• Direct from the West End The Kenneth Williams Extravaganza

Stop Messing About Robin Sebastian as Kenneth Williams Set during a live recording, packed with

sketches, parodies and songs Featuring ‘Joan Sims’ and Hugh Paddick’ The Curve, Leicester Feb 16-20, £18-£24 www.curveonline.co.uk/0116 242 3595 ••• Birstall Methodist Church

Good-as-New Boutique & Table Top Sale (Tables @ £10 – 0116 2672606) Saturday March 27, 10am-2pm Tea/Coffee/Cakes plus Soups & Hot Dogs Admission free ••• The Bark Foundation (raising funds for Cameroon Orphanage) presents a

Chinese New Year Celebration Tai Chi and Chinese Fan Dance Demonstration Saturday February 27, 2.30-4.30pm At Birstall Methodist Church Hall Tutor Sue Hon: student of a Tai chi ‘Grand Master’ in Hong Kong Come and learn how to keep supple using exercises of special benefit for joint movement. Simple, gentle movement suitable for all ages. Places limited so book early please to avoid disappointment Tel: 2677576 or email: bark_foundation@btinternet.com Tickets £7 (concessions £6) inc refreshments ••• The Bark Foundation (reg charity no: 1129762) in support of HOTPEC Orphanage, Cameroon

Coffee Morning

At Birstall Methodist Coffee Shop

Fashion Show Friday March 26 at 7.30pm At Birstall Methodist Church Hall Tickets: £5 inc tea/coffee and cakes Come and buy ‘Designer’ labels and clothes from some of your favourite High Street stores such as M&S, Per Una, Principles, Wallis, Next, GAP, Monsoon, Etams and Dorothy Perkins – all at bargain prices. Tickets can be ordered by tel: 2677576 or by email: bark_foundation@btinternet.com ••• Birstall Ladies Bowling Club

Coffee Morning Birstall Methodist Church Hall, Wanlip Lane Saturday March 6 10am to 12noon •••

Beetle Drive Saturday February 27 Guide HQ, Johnson Road, Birstall 2-5pm Simple game with prizes. All ages from 5 to 105. Tickets £3 each including afternoon tea Booking essential, tel: 2671043 In aid of Girlguiding Birstall HQ fund ••• The Friends of Belgrave Cemetery Group

Annual General Meeting Saturday March 20, 10am to 12noon The Methodist Church, Fellowship Room, Wanlip Lane All are welcome Further info: www.leicesterchronicler.com.belgravecem etery.htm •••

Saturday February 13, 10am to 12noon

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THE BIRSTALL POST, FEB 2010

Quorn Live: Are You Experienced Saturday March 20, 7.30pm Rawlins Community College, Quorn Charity Event: Help for Heroes Europe’s BEST Jimi Hendrix Tribute band, plus local support bands Tickets £7.50 from Midland Diving, Apple Tree (Quorn), Bradley’s (Quorn) or Ticket Hotline 07812 166 846. No tickets on door/over 18s •••

Calling All Messy Toddlers Bring a grown up to our parent & toddler sessions Our sessions are fun and interesting and very messy Lots of painting and sticking, so don’t wear your best clothes Biscuit and cake decorating – nature time-musical instruments Stories & singing & lots of toys Grown ups enjoy a cuppa and adult conversation while the little ones munch on a well earned snack It’s a great place to spend an hour and a half of your day Interested?

Call Karen for available days and times at Acorn Toddlers 2672795 (reg charity) 12 months to 3 years. Only £2 per session (pre-paid every half term) Venue: Highcliffe Primary School Community Room

•••

Leicester City Male Voice Choir St James Church, Church Hill, Birstall April 24 at 7pm Tickets £6 inc light refreshments Tel: 0116 26777023 Proceeds to St James Day Centre •••

Film Presentations ‘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.

‘Morris – a Life with Bells on’ Friday March 12 (100 mins) This film is a heart warming British comedy about a Morris dancing troupe who incur the wrath of traditionalists by pioneering an extreme version of freeform Morris dancing. ‘Morris’ scored exceptionally in the Seattle Film Festival. We anticipate a light-hearted, fun evening. ‘Julie and Julia’ Friday April 9 (123 mins) 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.

United group of friends

Methodist church news Pic: Belgrave cemetery

THE FRIENDS of Belgrave Cemetery Group formed in September 2004 soon after some of the memorials were vandalised by graffiti. In 2005 our secretary Odette received a Certificate of Commendation which was presented at the Town Hall, Leicester, this was quickly followed by five more group members receiving Community Service Volunteer medals for commitment. Notices are placed in the group’s twice yearly newsletter inviting members to attend the CSV’s ‘Make-a-Difference’ days, which take place in spring and autumn at the cemetery. Members come along and tend family graves, thereby making the difference. These events are very well attended with coverage by the local press. Steven Butt of Radio Leicester produced a Poem/DVD and designed the website www.leicesterchronicler.com/belgraveceme tery.htm. This, together with guided walks has brought further interest, both from members of the public in this country and abroad, to this beautiful 128-year-old Victorian Cemetery. Joining the National Federation of Cemetery Friends gained us information and support. The book ‘Belgrave Memories’ published by East Midlands Economic Network which mentions Belgrave Cemetery gave an insight into life in Belgrave from 1945 to 2005. The committee feel our greatest achievement came in 2008 when with help from

Voluntary Action Leicester we received a grant from the Big Lottery Fund ‘Awards for All’. This enabled us to publish a Roll-of-Honour book entitled. ‘Soldiers of Belgrave Remembered’. In conjunction with Leicester City Council Bereavement Service department came the placing of a new War Memorial in Belgrave Cemetery with a dedication ceremony on November 9, 2008. Although a solemn occasion it was a memorable morning. Members have worked with the British War Grave Commission to record the 97 Killed-in-Action commemorated on family memorials in the cemetery. Taking part in the Leicester and Rutland family History Society 35th Anniversary Fair at Rothley in September 2009 proved informative and brought additional members. During 2009 membership of the Friends has risen steadily and we gained our 204th member in December. Having the use of the cemetery keeper’s porta-cabin is very handy for the team of dedicated members who are in attendance each and every Sunday morning to set out records enabling members of the public to trace family graves. From a Friends group that began with a passionate desire for improvement we have now evolved into a united group of friends, constantly rewarded in the knowledge of helping the public find their lost loved ones’ final resting place. From Dorothy Marshall, FOBCG

Parish church news Saying Goodbye Naturally enough, for the people of Birstall and Wanlip churches, the departure of Revd. James Shakespeare from our parish at the end of last month was a great sadness, as we had all grown to respect and love him and his family, and the parish has benefited greatly from his time with us. Everyone wishes him well in whatever direction his new life takes him and as they will be living in Market Harborough we may still have the pleasure of seeing him and the family from time to time. In the meantime… As is usual when the rector/vicar of a parish leaves, there is likely to be a time lapse before the arrival of a new ‘incumbent’, so everyone will be rallying round to ensure that services, pastoral care and all the other activities of a busy church will carry on. We are very fortunate that Revd Stephen Crofts came to Birstall as curate last year and he will be ably supported by Revd. Robin Martin who has retired from full-time ministry to live in Birstall, and Revd Colin Rushforth who is a non-stipendiary minister (he has a full-time job in the NHS). Together with the churchwardens, there is also a ministry team of lay people who may take informal services and help in day to day administrative, pastoral or other practical matters, so neither of the churches is likely to fall apart in the months of waiting! Ongoing activities Much progress has been made with the re-ordering of the back of St. James church and the screen has proved its value in the cold winter months. Attention has now turned to the old church, where services take place every working day, to select new seating

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and flooring in keeping with the age of the church and the needs of those who use the area. Wanlip Church Rooms have also undergone a transformation in the last few months. This has been achieved with the co-operation of the church and through the efforts of a very active support group from the village. Wanlip Church and Community centre is the refurbished and re-decorated result. The first church social event to take place there this year will be a Beetle Drive for all the family on Saturday February 13 at 7pm. Tickets are available at £1 by phoning Joan on 2672010 or Mary on 2673568 and you are asked to bring food and drink for a bring-and-share supper. As Easter falls at the beginning of April this year, Lent starts with Ash Wednesday on February 17 with services at 9.30am at Wanlip and 7.30pm at Birstall St James. This year’s ecumenical Lent course has the intriguing title of “Christ and the Chocolaterie” and starts on Sunday February 21 with a showing of the full- length film “Chocolat” (12) – in English! - at the Methodist church at 2pm. For the following five weeks the course will be held at 2pm on Monday afternoons in the Methodist church and at 7.30pm on Wednesday evenings at St. James church. Please ring Laurie on 2675194 if you wish to order a course book. From Beryl McHugh

The March issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Feb 27. The copy deadline is Feb 12.

Pantomime Tickets A few tickets still remain for the very traditional family pantomime, Dick Whittington. It will be presented by the Birstall Methodist Mens Pantomime group during the week of the half-term holiday February Tuesday 16 to Saturday 20. You can follow the story of Dick and his cat, and the characters they meet on their travels. This is a new script for the group, which children & adults will find easy to follow – oh yes they will! All tickets are £5, and young children can select a small seat at the very front if they prefer. Phone Victoria on 2122513 for bookings. Performances each evening at 7.30pm with a Saturday Matinee at 2.30pm. Chocolat – Lent Course 2010 Everyone is welcome to the Lent course being jointly run and organised by Birstall Methodist Church and the Parish of Birstall and Wanlip. We are using the course Christ and the Chocolaterie by Hilary Brand which bases discussion around the film Chocolat.

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It has been used by many churches before and comes highly recommended. The course starts with a full showing of the film ‘Chocolat’ on Sunday February 21 at 2pm (The film carries a 12 rating). There are then two options EITHER at the Methodist Church on Mondays 2-3.30pm or at St James on Wednesdays 7.30-9.30pm. The only cost is for the purchase of the course book (£4) – for more details contact Laurie on 2675194, or any of the clergy. Book a ‘Table Top’ A Good as new & Boutique and Table Top Sale is to be held on March 27, 10am to 2pm Contact Mary 2672606 if you would like to book a table. The cost is £10 per table. Sturdy Sewing Machine Needed The ladies who make the costumes for the annual Mens Pantomime are looking for an unwanted but sturdy sewing machine. An industrial one would be useful. If you can help, phone Wendy on 2677077.

Home Carers Required

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8

the birstall post FEB 2010

Food Adult producers learning courses

A LOCAL group that sells produce is looking to expand. The Glenfield Country Market, formerly the WI market, is hoping to expand into Anstey and is looking for new people. Spokeswoman Irene Marriott said: We are looking for people, male or female, who would like to sell their produce such as home-made cakes, savouries, jams and chutneys; or home grown plants, fruit & vegetables; or hand-made cards, knitting, sewing, jewellery etc. We are also seeking volunteers to serve, set up and put away.” The group meet every Friday at St Peters Church Rooms, Church Road, Glenfield, selling from 9-11am. There are also a LOROS bookstall and a cook who specialises in gluten free items. For more information contact Irene Marriott tel: 0116 2364295 or email irene.marriott@ntlworld.com or visit Glenfield market.

IT’S NOT too late to enrol for an Adult Learning Course at Longslade. If one of your New Year resolutions was to get fitter, the college offers courses in Pilates, Circuit Training and Tai Chi starting in February and March to help you on your way. If you need to learn or improve your skills on a computer they have a range of courses to suit you whether you are a complete beginner or a confident user. The Leicestershire Adult Learning Service also offers courses in Visual and Performing Arts, Languages, Literacy, Numeracy, Skills for Jobs and other general interest courses. For information and advice or to enrol, please telephone the freephone number 0800 988 0308 or contact Longslade on 0116 2673389

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Kitchen volunteer needed A LOCAL football club is looking for a volunteer to help out, serving in their kitchen on Sunday mornings. Birstall United Juniors FC would like a volunteer to serve refreshments on Sunday mornings (9.30-12.30) at their new clubhouse on Meadow Lane. Duties will involve making teas/coffees, selling sweets and cooking bacon/sausage cobs in the club’s new fitted kitchen. The successful applicant will require a CRB check from the FA. The club will pay for this. Phil Hughes, manager of the under 7s said: “The kitchen is am important fundraiser for the club. The money raised goes towards buying new training equipment for the kids and it also helps pay for the end of season presentation evening where the kids get their appearance and merit medals for their hard work over the season. “Sundays are match days at the club, and not only is the kitchen great for the home teams, but it’s also a great service to put on for the visiting teams and enhances the club’s reputation. On average there will be 10 teams down there on a Sunday morning so having the kitchen closed is a missed opportunity to raise much needed funds for the club. “If any reader is looking for something to do on Sunday mornings and enjoys meeting people and wants to give something back to the village, then this is an ideal opportunity.” If you are interested, please contact Ian Hay on ianhay@tesco.net. BUJFC is a thriving club with over 350 children in 24 different boys and girls teams.

Puzzle challenge LIBRARIES ACROSS Charnwood will be challenging youngster with free code breaking and puzzle solving activities during the February half-term. Free activity sheets aimed at children between 6 and 12 years of age will be available for children to pick up and puzzle over in the library or at home between Saturday February 13 and Saturday February 20. The challenges include logic puzzles, hidden picture colouring, a maze and a doubly difficult word search. Anyone wishing to take part in Puzzle Mania is invited to drop in to Birstall library and pick up a free activity sheet.

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Volunteer opportunities TIRED OF making the same old New Year resolutions? Fancy trying something new for 2010? If the answer is yes then why not try volunteering? A spokesman for Voluntary Action Leicestershire (VAL) said: “Volunteering is simple. It’s about giving your time to do something useful, without getting paid, apart from expenses. In return you get the satisfaction of time and effort well spend. “In addition, volunteering can be a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and gain useful experience, it should also be fun. Volunteering can also be a way to get an up to date reference for re-entering employment. The range of opportunities is huge. Whatever

skills and experience you have, there is something that you can do.” VAL provides work throughout the County: thousands of people already volunteer throughout Leicester and County but VAL says many more are needed. To find out about the opportunities visit www.do-it.org.uk or drop in to visit Volunteering Advisor Ilir Demaj on Monday and Friday mornings from 9.30am or Thursday afternoon from 2pm at John Storer House, Loughborough, or Thursday mornings from 10.30am at the Shepshed Volunteer Centre. Alternatively call the VAL helpline on 0116 2575050 to book an appointment at a time convenient to you.

Police meeting

Planning

THE POLICE led Joint Action Group meets regularly to share information and concerns about anti social and criminal behaviour. Representatives from Birstall Parish Council joined councillors and officers from Charnwood and the Housing and Youth Offending Agencies at the January meeting. Birstall Parish Council Clerk Steve Blackburn said: “The recent increase in anti social behaviour in Birstall took up a large percentage of the meeting’s time and we were assured that action is being taken to bring offenders to justice. The Police did, however, express their dismay that members of the public made no calls to the Police, even though passers by and pub regulars witnessed some of the damage as it was being done. Some of the vandalism and the indifference of the public has been caught on CCTV footage which is being actively studied. Some arrests have already been made and others are expected to follow.” The Charnwood Community Safety Partnership have produced a booklet ‘Safe and Secure’ which gives practical advice on how to deal with behaviour issues and how to report problems to the Police. Copies of this booklet are available free of charge from the Library and from Birstall Parish Council Offices.

New green fuel A NEW environmentally-friendly solid fuel made from rapeseed is available now in Birstall. Birstall DIY on Birstall Road are stockists of Green Dragon briquettes, made using all of the co-products from rapeseed oil production. A Green Dragon spokesman said: “The briquettes are made from the rape meal that’s left over from the crushing process that produces oil for food and fuel. Each one burns three times longer than wood and gives off twice the heat.” Gill Wardle from Birstall DIY said: “We are excited to offer a new alternative fuel made from 100% rapeseed. It’s an eco-friendly product and the ash can be used to fertilise the garden. “We will be offering a free sample with each coal order for a limited period while stocks last and would be pleased to hear feedback from customers on 2671584.” A box of 12 briquettes costs £9.99.

5 Malling Close – erection of single and two storey side extension Watermead Country Park, Wanlip Road, Syston – installation of 5m high lighting columns between Mill Lane, Thurmaston and Whiles Lane Highcliffe Primary School, Greengate Lane – erection of canopy over external play areas 1B Sibson Road – display of internally illuminated signage Phase 1C, Hallam Fields, land off A6/A46, Birstall – erection of 39 dwellings, 6 maisonettes, 5 flats over garages and 9 apartments

School places PARENTS OF children due to start school for the first time are being urged not to miss the closing date for places. There are around seven weeks left for applications for infant or primary school places for children who will be four years old by September 1. All parents need to apply and must do this by February 22 – even for their child to attend their catchment area school. Late applicants may not be offered a place at any of their preferred schools, or even their catchment area school so parents are being urged to make sure they don’t miss the closing date. To apply for a place, please visit ww.leics.gov.uk/admission, contact the County Council’s Allocations Section for a form or pick one up from local schools. Ivan Ould, County Council Cabinet Member for the Children and Young People’s Service, said: “It is very important that all parents apply on time to give their children the best possible chance of being offered a place in their preferred school. If parents are late and there are a lot of requests, even if they live next door to the school, they are unlikely to get a place for their child.” Last year we were very successful in meeting parents’ preferences but as always, late applicants run the risk of disappointment as schools do become full.” For a form or more information, please contact the Allocations Section on 0116 305 6684 or email admissions@leics.gov.uk

Walks A PROGRAMME of guided walks has been announced by Charnwood Borough Council. They take place across Charnwood from February 2 to April 6 and many are free and don’t require booking. Copies of the programme are available from libraries or go to www.charnwood.gov.uk/pages/walkingforheal th


THE BIRSTALL POST, FEB 2010

AGE CONCERN State Pension Changes The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has begun to tell people about the changes to the pensions system. The first goal of the DWP is to help people approaching the State Pension age identify whether they are affected by the State Pension changes from April 2010 and to provide simple steps for any action they may need to take. This will help to ensure that people do not miss out on money for their future. A summary of communications activity so far: • In April, DWP began a phased mailing to all women affected by the gradual equalisation in State Pension age. This will be completed in January 2012 • The State Pension Profiler tool on www.direct.gov.uk/pensions has been launched. This allows people to input information about their personal circumstances to find out how the changes may affect them and what they need to consider next • Articles and advertorials have been placed in a wide range of local and national media • Carers UK are producing a booklet which contains initial information on the new Carer’s Credit • DWP has produced a leaflet – Workplace Pensions are Changing – which outlines how the changes will affect employers from 2012. This can be downloaded from www.dwp.gov.uk/pensionsreform (follow the links to Workplace Pensions Reform) • The DWP’s – Our State Pensions Reform briefing pack - will be of interest to anyone advising people on issues affecting their planning for retirement, savings, or benefits in later life. Containing top-level information and more detailed fact sheets, it can be found at www.dwp.gov.uk/adviser • DWP has begun to work with voluntary and community organisations to provide them with tools and messages for their own websites and newsletters • From early 2010, the DWP will be broadening the efforts to tell a wider audience about the changes in April, so people know where to find more information and why it is important to start planning and saving for the future. Bereavement and the Tax System This report by the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) looks at the different

INFO

ways someone may need to deal with HMRC after bereavement and sets out the difficulties that people can face. It concludes that life could be made much easier for bereaved people if government departments were more joined up and administration systems more automated and streamlined and makes a number of specific recommendations.

NHS Constitution : A Consultation on New Patient rights This consultation proposes new patient rights to: • a treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks from a GP referral and to be seen by a cancer specialist within two weeks from a GP referral, or where this is not possible, for the NHS to take reasonable steps to offer a range of alternative providers; and • NHS Health Checks for those aged 40 to 74 to assess their risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease It also welcomes views on areas where we believe we will soon be able to offer rights, such as dentistry, evening and weekend access to GPs, personal health budgets, the ability to choose to die at home and rapid access to diagnostic tests. Choose and Book : Guidance The Department of Health is using new guidance on the effective use of the Choose and Book system. This national electronic referral service gives patients a choice of place, date and time for their first outpatient appointment in a hospital or clinic. The guidance entitled ‘Responsibilities and operational requirements for the correct use of Choose and Book’ is supported by the BMA. It follows a BMA review of local experience around Choose and Book, published in January 2009 and provides greater clarity on the responsibilities of the NHS and clinicians. Care Home Handbook Counsel and Care has published the third edition of its Care Home Handbook funded and supported by the Department of Health. It explains how to get an assessment of care needs; what alternatives there are to care homes; choosing a care home; paying for care and the financial assessment; your rights in a care home; and how to make a complaint. Care Home Handbook Counsel and Care

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available at: www.counselandcare.org.uk/helpingyou/carehomehandbook Alternatively, to order a copy free of charge (plus postage and packing) telephone Counsel and Care’s dedicated publication orderline: 020 7241 8522 or email your request with your name and full postal address to: sharon.ridsdale@counselandcare.org.uk Personal Care at Home Bill and Consultation The Personal Care at Home Bill was presented to Parliament on November 25, 2009. The Bill will provide for those with the greatest care needs to be offered free personal care at home. The government estimates that the bill would help around 400,000 people with care needs and guarantee free personal care for the 280,000 people with the greatest need. It is hoped it will come into effect by October 2010. A consultation paper on regulations and guidance was issued by the Department of Health with responses requested by February 23, 2010. It is proposed that regulations will define’ highest need’ with Reference to Fair Access to Care Services Critical band and the need to require significant help with four activities of daily living. Regulations will also specify that councils will have the function of making free personal care conditional on a person undergoing a period of intensive support or reablement for a period of up to six weeks before a formal community care

assessment of needs is undertaken. Guidance will cover the details of the assessment process, eligibility criteria and examples of what an intensive support package could include. Personal Care at Home Bill Available at: http://servicesparliament.uk/bills/200910/personalcareathome.html Personal Care at Home – A Consultation on proposals for Regulation and Guidance. Available at http.//www/dh.gov.uk/en/Consultations/Liveco nsultations/DH_109139 Dogs in Care Homes : Society for Companion Animal Studies Campaign The Society for Companion Animal Studies has launched a campaign for care homes and sheltered housing facilities to have responsible pet policies to ensure that residents, particularly older people, can keep pets or maintain contact with animals. Currently only a third of care homes have such policies. Index to Information Guides Information Guides are a clear and concise overview in booklet form on a topic with signposting towards your next steps. If you are looking for information on something for the first time, start with these guides. Information Guides can be downloaded via www.ageconcern.org.uk or obtained via the free-phone helpline 0800 009966 01 Help with care in your own home 02 How to find a care home 03 Housing choices in retirement 04 Your health services 05 Planning your retirement income 06 Help with legal advice 07 Adapting your home 08 Going into hospital 09 Making the most of your money 11 Your employment choices 12 Your guide to healthy living 14 What to do when someone dies 15 Putting your affairs in order 16 Planning to live abroad 17 Protect yourself from scams

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18 Later life as an LGB person (Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual) 19 Going solo 24 Making the most of the Internet 25 Care home check list 26 Attendance allowance 27 Bogus callers – how to protect yourself 28 What to expect as you get older 29 Your tax health check 30 How to claim benefits 31 Your home your choice 32 Be money smart 33 What can you claim 34 Save more pay less ID 8164 Home safety checker. Protecting yourself (How to get help if you start to feel unsafe or mistreated) Age Concern Leicester Shire & Rutland Information and Advice Service: Money Matters; Welfare Benefits; Housing & Property; Residential & Nursing Care; Leisure & Social Activities; Family & Personal Matters; Your Rights; Local Services; Most other issues that affect your quality of life We are a registered charity and do not charge for this service. Donations to Age Concern Leicester Shire & Rutland will help us continue to provide this valuable support to local older people. If you would like to make a donation, please send a cheque payable to ‘Age Concern Leicester Shire & Rutland’ at Lansdowne House. We are committed to equal opportunities and will not discriminate on the grounds or age, disability, ethnic origin, gender, religious belief or sexual orientation. We expect these values to be respected by those who use our services. We have a CLS Quality Mark and a complaints procedure. Age Concern Leicester Shire & Rutland, Lansdowne House, 113 Princess Road East, Leicester LE1 7LA. Tel: 0116 299 2233. Fax: 0116 299 2276. enquiries@ageconcernleics.com www.ageconcernleics.com from Jex Woods

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the birstall post FEB 2010

REGULAR MEETINGS NIFTY FIFTIES Tues 11.40am to 12.40pm Sileby Parish Community Centre. An exercise class designed for the active 50+ age group. Fun, sociable & very good for you. Fully qualified instructor Kate 2412646 AEROBICS & BODY CONDITIONING (RSA Qual.Instructor) Co-op Sports & Social Club Tues 6.30pm Step/Total Body Conditioning; Thurs 6.30pm Aerobics/bums & tums. Tel:Sue 077 396 36650 or try personal training in the privacy of your own home ROYAL BRITISH LEGION WHIST DRIVE Every Thur: 2.30pm Legion Club, Front St. ROYAL BRITISH LEGION WOMEN'S SECTION Meet 3rd Thursday each month, Legion Club, Front Street 8pm. New members welcome. Tel:2674817 ROYAL BRITISH LEGION BRANCH MEETING Members meet on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 7.30pm. Legion HQ, 19 Front St, Birstall COFFEE SHOP Tues-Sat 10-12noon, Birstall Methodist Centre BIRSTALL SOCIAL CLUB Every Tue: Seq Dancing 8-10.30pm BIRSTALL SOCIAL EVERGREEN CLUB Every Tue:2.15pm Birstall Soc Club DIANE GROSE SCHOOL OF DANCE & DRAMA Dance, Drama & Fitness Classes for Children & Adults Enq 2674775 ROYAL AIR FORCES ASSOCIATION Meet Royal British Legion, 4th Wed in every month tel:2609658 ROYAL ANTEDILUVIAN ORDER OF BUFFALOES Every Mon:8pm. The Sir Henry Pearce Lodge No.30. Every Fri:8.30pm. The Progressive Lodge No.6565. Meet at Birstall Social Club - all members of RAOB, GLE welcome BIRSTALL CARERS SUPPORT GROUP Welcomes all carers. Regular meetings at the St James Day Care Centre, Fridays at 2pm. (Except the last Friday in the month). For further information contact Marlene 2674714 ACORN UNDER FIVES Tel: 0116 2672795, Pre school groups: 8.30-11.30am and 12.30-3.30pm, 5 days a week. Toddler group: 1-2.30pm, Mon & Wed. Place: Highcliffe Community Centre, Greengate Lane, Birstall BIRSTALL QUILTERS Every Wed afternoon 1.30-3.30pm Birstall Methodist Church Rooms, Wanlip Lane RAINBOW CO-OPERATIVE PRE-SCHOOL PLAYGROUP (Charity No:1045204) Co-op Sports & Social Ground, Birstall Rd. Open weekdays 9.30am -12noon, also extended care available for a small extra charge.Children from 2yrs - 5 yrs. LEA funding available for all 3+ yrs. Our new play area provides the addition of safe outdoor fun. Enquiries tel Julie 2671828, mobile:07793630612 HIGHCLIFFE AMATEUR THEATRICAL SOCIETY (HATS) Every Wed 7-9.45pm, Greengate Hall, Highcliffe School. New members welcome. Tel: Jenny 0116 2128757 BALLET, TAP, MODERN JAZZ & MUSICAL THEATRE DANCE CLASSES Children’s Dance and Musical Theatre classes (Dance, Drama and Singing) held weekly at Birstall Methodist Church on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. IDTA exams taken in the above subjects. For further information tel: Sharon Wood on 01509 550 923 BRIGHT HOUR Every Tuesday, 2.30pm. Birstall Methodist Centre BIRSTALL LABOUR PARTY Second Thursday 7.30pm Luther King Centre, Longslade Community College. Sec Tel: 2674293 THURCASTON EARLY LEARNING PLAYGROUP 9am-1pm, Thurcaston Memorial Hall, Anstey Lane. Please contact Lisa Sterland on 07904 170 196 for a free prospectus BIRSTALL & WANLIP NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH Advice shop every third Saturday of the month at old Council Offices, 10 Sibson Road. Information and help on home secu-

rity & NHW & postcoding of bicycles. 10am to 12 noon BIRSTALL INDEPENDENT BAPTIST CHURCH Sundays 10.45am and 6.30pm (except July/Aug) at Highcliffe School Community Centre, Greengate Lane. For details/enquiries tel:2214883 WANLIP PRE-SCHOOL Wanlip Church Hall Mondays to Fridays 8.30-12.30, 1.30-4.30 Children from 2-5yrs, funding from 3yrs. Ofsted Registered Tel: 2672192 BIRSTALL METHODIST PRE SCHOOL Children from 2. Funding for 3+. Mon & Fri 12.15-3.15pm, Tues, Wed & Thur 9am12noon. Tel 2675690 session times or Laura Freer 2671910 or Kay Hilton 2207045 BIRSTALL ST JOHN AMBULANCE COMBINED DIVISION Badgers First Aid & activities for 5-10 yr olds. Thur 6-7pm Tel: 2209188. Cadets:First Aid & activities for 10 yrs to adult. Thur 7.15-8.45pm Tel: 2106237. Adults: Friday 7.30pm. Phone Eddie Sim on 0116 2719168, mobile 07841 448126 TEA DANCE - every Thursday, 2-4.30pm, Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Admission £1.50 contact 2303013 STARLIGHT THEATRE SCHOOL Tuition in Ballet, Tap, Modern Jazz, Lyrical, Drama, Acrobatic, Greek & Modelling. Exams & Medals taken in the above. BTDA Exams are part of the National Curriculum and means they are equivalent to GCSE or A level Dance. Details ring: 0116 2355495, Mobile 07703 472702 COMMUNITY BIBLE STUDY Thursdays, 9.45-11.30am at Birstall Methodist Centre. Peter Molesdale 2929670 BIRSTALL UNITED JUNIORS FC. Football Academy for boys and girls aged 4-6 every Sat 10.30am to noon. All welcome. Bring appropriate clothing, shin guards and football boots. GENTLE EXERCISE TO MUSIC CLASS Birstall Village Hall, 2-3pm every Tuesday. Open to exercise referral members and nonmembers. Further details ring Nita at Charnwood Borough Council on 01509 634836 SINGING SALLY’S Tuesdays Highcliffe Community Centre, Greengate Lane, 1.45-2.30pm £3 per session. Contact Singing Sally on 01536 772545 GUNNS BOXING GYM The Reading Room, Birstall Road. Mon-Fri & Sun Morning. Contact Carl Gunns 2671494 BIRSTALL RUGBY CLUB Training at Longslade playing fields, Wanlip Lane, Tuesdays 7.15pm, 1st team, Social & Vets Teams for the 08/09 season. Players wanted. Tel: D Bonser 07841584206 BIRSTALL AIR TRAINING CORPS Tuesday and Thursday 7.30-9.30pm, 1947 Squadron Headquarters (in grounds of Riverside Primary School). New members aged 13 to 17 welcome. Tel: 0116 267 2868 ST JAMES CHURCH BABY & TODDLER GROUP Birstall Village Hall, Monday 1.30-3.30pm during term-time. Contact Marion 2673817 or Elaine 2673030 CLASH Community Leicester Arthritis Self-Help Group meets on the second Wednesday of each month at Longslade College in the Luther King Centre from 7-9pm. Contact Christine Thomas 2200988, www.leicestershirevillages.com/birstall/clash.html CAPITAL ARTS CHILDREN’S CHOIR Children aged 6-16, meets Tuesday evenings, Loughborough Town Hall 5-6.30pm, Kathleen Shanks (Musical Director) Tel/Fax 0116 2672035. Phone or email for details: capitalarts@btconnect.com THE WAY AHEAD group for people with learning difficulties, Highcliffe Primary School, Greengate Lane, Thursdays (term time only), 7-9pm. Enquiries: Deborah 0116 2606309 or Pam 0116 2674818 or Gemma: sportygem19@hotmail.co.uk 1st BIRSTALL GIRLS’ BRIGADE Are you aged between 5 and 18 yrs? Would you like to make new friends, have fun, earn badges and go on camp? The Girls’ Brigade is an exciting Christian organisation that meets every Tuesday during term time at Birstall Methodist Church, Wanlip Lane, Birstall. From 6.30pm. For further information ring Susan Wheeler 2209318 INDOOR BOWLING: Tuesdays & Thursdays, from 10am to 12noon. Open to the public. Birstall Village Hall. 0116 2676191 FITNESS CLASSES Gentle Circuit/Body Conditioning, for all ages and abilities. A great way to keep fit. Wednesdays 7.45pm

Longslade College, Wanlip Lane, Birstall. 0116 267 0807 for further details IN B TWEENIES A parent, baby and toddler group run by ADAPT for parents with children who have been on a neo-natal unit. The group meets every Tuesday from 10am to 12noon at Syston Community Centre, School Street. Tel: Nicky on 07771 718041 www.prembabies.co.uk. ADAPT reg charity 1080112 RED POPPY JIVE First & third Wednesdays every month at The Royal British Legion Club, 19 Front Street. Free admission from 8.15pm. Old & new rock’n’rollers welcome. You can phone 2671202 or 2673233 for more information LEICESTER WINDSURFING AND SAILBOARD CLUB at Watermead Country Park welcomes new members. For more info call Ricky Driver on 0116 2365213 or visit website www.leicestersailboardclub.co.uk FACES ARTS Thursdays, Highcliffe School, dance, drama & art. Jody_chesterton@hotmail.com or 07971423201 TICKLED SKINK Children’s singing sessions themed around habitats of the world. Exotic animals. For 2-5 yrs old & their younger siblings, Tuesday, 1.45-2.30pm at Pavilion, School Lane, School Lane playing field 07951853204 BIRSTALL WOMEN’S INSTITUTE Monthly meeting plus speaker and much more. New members and visitors welcome. 7.15pm Highcliffe School Community Centre, Greengate Lane MON 1 BIRSTALL METHODIST WOMEN’S GROUP Introduction to Bats. Ms Natalie Cossa MON 8 BIRSTALL METHODIST WOMEN’S GROUP What is Dementia? Mrs Amanda Bee TUES 9 BIRSTALL BIRDWATCHING CLUB Madagascar – the weird and the wonderful, Mike Webster. Rothley Centre, 7.30pm THUR 11 BIRSTALL & DISTRICT LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY Leicester Slums. Ned Newitt. Birstall Village Hall, 7.30pm MON 22 BIRSTALL METHODIST WOMEN’S GROUP Beetle Drive & Quiz WED 24 BIRSTALL FLOWER CLUB Anything Goes. Jackie O’Hare, Birstall Village Hall, 7.15pm

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 AMLI DESIGN Architectural Consultancy. Plans drawn and submitted. Extensions, conversions, new build. David Ives B.Sc.(Hons) FBEng MCIOB 0116 2674395/07974807111 www.amlidesign.co.uk RISE-RECLINE motorised arm chair. Cost new over £1000. Looks like new and has had only minimal use. £150. tel: 07973 309 987. Could help with local delivery DISABLED PERSON’S triwalker, as new, £20. Commode, top quality and looks like an ordinary arm chair £30. Various disabled aids, all like new and under £5. tel: 07973 309 987

Index of Advertisers Accommodation Abbeyfield Society......................................9 Personal Care Help At Home (Egerton Lodge) Ltd.............7 Children Nikki Arkley (Baby Signing).........................6 Birstall Rainbow Nursery.............................6 Tiny Talk Leicester......................................5 Clothes Supacare....................................................6 Computers NTL Computers...........................................10 Energy Performance Certificate David Jackson.............................................8 Feet Foot Medics................................................2 Financial Services Ask Accountancy.........................................7 Food The Fryers..................................................5 Woodcock Farm Shop..................................8 Funeral De Montfort Memorials................................ Edward Gamble...........................................6 Midland Co-op Funeral................................9 Garage Services Chips Away.................................................3 Cropston Garage......................................... Doyle's Autos.............................................9 KM Vehicle Services....................................7 P Moore.....................................................3 Garden Co Arb........................................................5 CP Services.................................................9 AG Holland.................................................8 Lancaster Landscapes.................................1 J Oughton...................................................8 Martin Page................................................8 Seasonal Plants..........................................4 D Upton......................................................5 Hair Davies & Greenwood...................................3 Elizabeth Zehfewkes...................................7 Health & Beauty Blue Moon Beauty Salon.............................10 Home Abacus Domestic Heating............................6

Acorn Builders............................................4 Birstall Alarms............................................2 Birstall DIY..................................................8 Birstall Plumbing Ltd...................................10 Control Electrics Ltd....................................7 County Roofing...........................................1 DA Roofing & Building.................................3 Elliott & Ball...............................................2 Peter Ingham..............................................7 JPM Air Conditioning...................................9 Mectric Ltd.................................................3 Simon Oates...............................................1 Pallatt Bros.................................................9 Permahomes..............................................9 Rak Tailor Home Improvements...................9 Ridgewell Fitted Furniture...........................4 RWS Plumbing............................................4 SAI Alarms..................................................10 Soar Valley Heating....................................4 Steven Squance..........................................5 Leisure Elizabeth Jelley (Yoga)...............................2 Tebbatt Electronics.....................................10 Mini Cab Airport Cars................................................10 Optical Opticare.....................................................1 Prospecs Eyewear.......................................10 Henry Smith & Hamylton.............................2 Personal Care Foremost Healthcare (Leicester) Ltd............4 Photography Louise Kelham Photography........................2 Plans Drawn Amli Design................................................10 Cedarwood Design......................................2 Post Office Birstall Post Office......................................5 Telecoms J Rigley......................................................10 Therapy Robin Batten...............................................7 Woodgate Clinic..........................................6 Venue for hire Midland Co-Op Sports & Social Club.............9 Windows Midland Window Installations.......................1 Weatherlock Windows Ltd............................8 Wilson Windows..........................................1

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Longslade College, Wanlip Lane, Birstall, Leicester LE4 4GH Editor: Mr Jerry Jackson Editorial/Advertising (Tel & Fax)

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Birstall Post Feb 2010

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