Page 1

the Birstall post Y O U R


MARCH 2012


No. 344

Plans for traveller sites PLANS FOR an authorised gypsy and traveller site on Greengate Lane have been announced by Leicester City Council.

Two other sites, one near Red Hill island and one in Beaumont Leys near the Leisure Centre, are also planned. The City Council say the sites are needed to tackle the problem of travellers setting up unauthorised camps in the city. The city’s one authorised site, at Meynells Gorse, is full. The three proposed sites will cater for both long term tenants and gypsies and travellers passing through the city for short periods. Tenants will not be permitted to keep any livestock or conduct any business activity on the sites. The Greengate Lane and Red Hill sites have 10 mobile homes and the Beaumont Way site has six. The Greengate Lane site, near the junction with Thurcaston Road, is already occupied by a traveller family and the new plans would see it enlarged. The Greengate Lane site was illegally occupied more than five years ago but Leicester City Council granted temporary permission to remain as one of the family had serious health problems. This temporary permission has been renewed on an ad hoc basis since. £1.5million of Government money has been granted to Leicester City Council to create new gypsy and traveller sites. Councils also receive additional money from the Government’s ‘New Homes Bonus’ for every new dwelling they provide. Continued on page 2

Celebrating 20 years of


Drives • Patios • Paths Garden Design Crazy Paving Slabbing Fencing Lawns Cut Hedges Cut Turfing

Slabs & Walls Cleaned

40 Spinney Rise, Birstall

2673767 or 07979 851976

Electrician Registered part P Fuse board upgrades Garage/Shed supplies Garden/Security lighting Extensions • Rewires Additional sockets/lights Landlord certificates • P.A.T. testing All work guaranteed

Mectric Electrical Services Jon Bradshaw Hill Rise, Birstall, Leicester

0116 2108591 or 0780 8259437

Retinal Photography New glasses for as little as £39 20% off glasses for the over 60’s* Wide range of designer frames

2 for 1 *

all-in-one prices* Complete Spectacles FREE on NHS voucher


* conditions apply, ask for details

655 Loughborough Road, Birstall Tel: 0116 267 7855 9 The Nook, Anstey Tel: 0116 234 0434

Sibson Road raids AN EARLY morning raid by thieves saw local businesses broken into on Sibson Road. Only small amounts of cash were taken but the raiders caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage. On January 28 thieves broke into Barclays Bank, Lily and Grace on Hannah Parade, the RSPCA shop and Ruby Tuesdays café. On January 30 they struck at the RSPCA shop a second time. At Barclays Bank, a small amount of change from a charity box was taken – the thieves did not access any secure area. At Lily and Grace the front door was smashed and some change stolen but the door cost £350 to repair and after insurance the owners are £200 out of pocket. Continued on page 2

COUNTY ROOFING Slating • Tiling • Felting Asphalt Roofs • Single Ply Fascias • Soffits • Guttering Building 20, Mill Lane, Syston Mills, Syston, Leicester LE7 1NS Tel: 0116 260 5400 Fax: 0116 260 5402



Continued from page 1 Tenants on authorised sites pay rent, council tax and for utilities. The sites are managed by either the City Council or a Housing Association Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Residents have raised with us their concerns over the numbers of unauthorised Gypsy and Traveller camps in the city, which cost a great deal of time and effort for the council to deal with. “Moving travellers on from these unauthorised camps doesn’t solve the problem – it just moves it to a different part of the city. “By creating enough space in authorised, well-managed Travellers’ sites, we can help ensure they are properly run and secure sites, where residents will pay rent, council tax and charges for gas, electric and water. “We’ve spent a great deal of time looking at what sites across the city could accommodate these needs, and the three we’ve identified are the most suitable.” Birstall Parish Council Chairman Stuart Jones said: “This morning, Friday February 17, whilst watching the BBC News, was the first notification of a consultation beginning that same day on the potential/proposed new authorised gypsy and traveller sites in Leicester City. “I was outraged, yet again, about the lack of communication from the City Council, despite their written promise in

Pic: the existing site on Greengate Lane

a letter dated October 13, 2011 which read: ‘Birstall Parish Council will be consulted, along with all the other Parish Councils adjoining the boundary, on the City Council’s Site Allocations and Policies Plan.’ “I don’t think finding out on national TV news on the day that the consultation began was the best method of communication by the City Council. Our staff had to deal with a number of outraged residents and had to trawl websites for information to give to these concerned members of the public. Would it not have been better practice to write to us with this information before the event so that we could have been ready for the numerous enquiries that we have received” He added: “It is vital that residents have their say on these proposals during the consultation period.” One resident of Queensgate Drive Pic: the location of the Red Hill Way site. Access will be from Thurcaston Rd

Pic: the Beaumont Way site

told the Birstall Post: “I’m concerned that if the Greengate Lane site is permitted property values may go down, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like this. Also, it could be the thin end of the wedge.” A Moorgate Avenue resident said: “We are concerned about the traffic implications of the proposed site on Greengate and feel that if the site goes ahead the access for caravans should be from the Leicester Road. Greengate Lane is not wide enough for caravans to be regularly manoeuvred in and out. We are worried about the rat run that Greengate Lane has become.” Birstall County Councillor Roger Wilson said: “I wouldn’t say all these sites are a problem for Birstall, but I have a great deal of concern about the site on Greengate Lane. It’s in an area of Green Wedge, one that is recognised by the City

We are currently registering new NHS & Private patients Late evening & early morning appointments available

and one we have fought very hard to protect. Cutting into that Green Wedge is something I would object to very strongly. “Another concern is traffic – there may be as many as 30 vehicles at the site pulling on and off Greengate Lane at all times of day, when we have Ashton Green planned and traffic calming measures proposed for the road. And what arrangements will be made for the children to attend school, when Highcliffe is already full?” He added: “I have nothing against travellers, they have every right to have a place to live. But I am very annoyed at the way these proposals were announced.” Leicester City Council has begun a six week consultation period on the plans which ends on March 30. During this time you will be able to have your say on the proposals. Questionnaires are available from Birstall Parish Council Office, the Customer Services Centre at New Walk, Leicester Central library and all public buildings in Beaumont Leys including the library and leisure centre. The questionnaire is also available online at es. There will be a community ward meeting about the plans on Wednesday March 7 at 6pm at Christ the King Church, Beaumont Way, Leicester LE4 1DS The plans will also be on the agenda of the March 12 meeting of Birstall Parish Council, 7pm, Birstall Village Hall. This meeting is open to the public. • The proposed sites are located on Greengate Lane near the junction of Thurcaston Road, on Red Hill Way behind the bowling club and Belgrave Rugby Clubs with access from Thurcaston Road, and behind Beaumont Leys Police Station, next to the leisure centre. Sibson Rd continued from page 1 The RSPCA had nothing stolen in the first raid but the second burglary saw £72 stolen from a charity box. A small amount of change was stolen from Ruby Tuesdays. Police Inspector Duncan Southall, speaking at Birstall Parish Council meeting on February 13, confirmed there was evidence from a taxi driver, that some forensic mater was recovered and there is CCTV footage of an individual in a blue top with a white stripe. Police enquiries are ongoing.

The April issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Mar 30. The copy deadline is Mar 16.

If you would like to join our friendly practice, please phone us on

0844 3879877 to make an appointment or come & visit us:

534A Loughborough Rd, Birstall, Leicester LE4 3EG email us at

Crochet is becoming the cool way to relax and do something useful. It is very easy to learn, extremely meditative and creative. And you will have a beautiful handmade item to show for your efforts! Venue: Cookys Cafe in Birstall from 7 March for 3 weeks. Beginners level: 10am-12md; Intermediate level: 12md - 2pm - Cost only £20! Introduction to Machine Sewing - explore the basic components of a sewing machine and learn how to use it properly. In these sessions you will make your own reusable shopping bag from scratch. Venue: Stonehill High School from 3 May for 3 weeks - 6-8pm Cost £45 reduced to £40 if you book before 31 March Booking essential - visit or call 07760232059


Parish Council notes A FULL meeting of Birstall Parish Council was held on February 13. PC Richard Carruthers reported there had been a marked reduction in antisocial behaviour in the village compared to last month. Inspector Duncan Southall reported that a Police operation to combat the rise in burglaries involved increased plain clothes police patrols. He said that he had been on patrol himself last week on the Gates estate and at 2am stopped and searched a man who was wearing latex gloves under his woollen gloves and was carrying a bolt cropper. He was arrested for going equipped. County Councillor Roger Wilson reported that he was unaware of any progress regarding the Hallam Fields school and recreation centre but was attending a meeting on February 27 to discuss the development. He said he felt annoyed for those families who had bought a property at Hallam Fields in the expectation that their child would be educated at the new school and may now have to make a difficult journey across the A6 to Riverside. Cllr Wilson reported that the 99 bus service and the provision of bus service to Wanlip were both being considered at the County Council. Cllr David Gaskell reported that the monthly Borough Councillor surgeries at the 10 Sibson Road building were working well. Issues raised included noise in the locality of a pub, the time limit in the Sibson Road parking bays and lorries damaging pavements. It was reported that Matt Bagley, Leicester City Councils Travellers Sites and Liaison Officer, would attend the next Parish Council meeting on March 12. It was reported that the Greengate Lane petition calling for traffic calming measures was still being prepared. It was agreed that the council seek listed building consent for the Forge on Birstall Road and built in 1870, and the War Memorial on Front Street. It was agreed to recommend to Charnwood that a new conservation area be designated in Birstall to include Park Road, Tempest Road, Station Road, Henson Close and Cliffe Road. It was reported that dog fouling and dogs being exercised off the lead was a continuing problem on the School Lane playing field. The Council is preparing plans to formalise the parking arrangements and layout outside the Village Hall. Following damage to the low wall next to the Stonehill Avenue toilets after a collision with a vehicle, it was agreed to remove the wall. The Council agreed to pay £1400 for the removal of rubbish dumped on Meadow Lane/Birstall United Social Football Club ground.

Talented schoolgirl a medal winner A NINE year old girl from Birstall has the potential to become a future world champion at kick boxing according to her coach. Amelia Pancholi, a pupil at Riverside school, trains at the CKI school of mixed martial arts along with her brother Joseph. She recent took part in her first tournament in Manchester, the National Karate & Kickboxing Championships, where she won a bronze medal and automatic selection to represent England in the World championships in Montreal, Canada in October. Amelia said: “I enjoy having fun, keeping fit and working towards the belts and tournaments. I am currently a blue/black belt. The best thing is having an interest that keeps you off the streets and knowing that if needed, I can stick up for myself. “The worst thing is getting up on a Saturday morning to train.” Amelia’s mum Maria said: “We’ve decided that Amelia still needs more experience at tournament fighting and is still young, so will not go to Canada this year. We hope she continues to train hard and maintain her success.” Pic: medal winner Amelia Pancholi

DA Roofing & Building Tiling • Slating • Repointing Guttering • Fascias • Soffits ALL WORK GUARANTEED Over 20 Years Experience

Tel: 0116 2675904 Mob: 07789 116726 60 Hill Rise, Birstall


14 YEARS EXPERIENCE CSCS SPECIALIST WORKING AT HEIGHTS QUALIFIED For a Free Quotation Call Lee 0116 2126901 Mob: 07884 187 185 Front Street, Birstall




New salon opens A NEW beauty salon has opened in Birstall. Be Beau Beauty Salon on Front Street opened its doors in February and offers a full range of spa therapy services. Sammie Hanna, the Director of the business said: “Elemis is the leading luxury British spa and skincare brand favoured by as many as 6.5million spa goers per year. The successful combination of natural active ingredients with cutting edge technology has enabled Elemis to bring to market some of the most influential anti-ageing products and professional spa therapies the beauty industry has ever seen.” To launch the face and body services Be Beau is offering a 20 per cent discount on Elemis. Other services within the salon include high fashion beauty brands such as Sienna x spray tanning, CND nails such as Minx and Shellac, and luxury honey waxing services. Sammie added: “I’m passionate about offering the very best brands in the area and am working closely with the salon next door, Shapes Hairdressing, to offer customers the convenience of having all your hair and beauty needs in one place.”

Police operation to combat burglary A SHARP rise in burglaries, many of them in Birstall, has seen the Police in Charnwood launch a campaign to tackle the problem. Since January 1, 2012 there have been 56 burglaries across the policing area – an increase of 22 compared to the same period last year. 17 of the burglaries have been committed in Birstall prompting the police to believe they may be being committed by people travelling out of the city. The other offences have occurred in the larger villages such as Rothley, Mountsorrel, Anstey, Quorn and Thurcaston. On six occasions the homeowner’s high value cars have been stolen as well. In response, the police have launched an operation using high visibility and plain clothed operations. They are increasing the use of Automatic Number Plate Technology (ANPR) ensuring coverage on all the main arterial routes into and out of the borough and they are carrying out enforcement days to arrest people wanted by the police to disrupt

their criminal behaviour. They are also sharing information with colleagues in the city and other Forces to see if known offenders are travelling into the county to commit crime. In the last four months, 25 people have been arrested on suspicion of burglary in the Charnwood area. Officers are also running a crime prevention campaign promoting the use of forensic DNA property marking, and general crime prevention advice. A new leaflet campaign is also being launched and messages are being sent out on Facebook, Twitter and Neighbourhood Link. Inspector Duncan Southall, Commander of Charnwood Local Policing Unit, said: “The Charnwood policing area covers one hundred square kilometres which is a very large area for officers to cover. There is no pattern to these burglaries and no one method of entry is being used either so establishing a pattern isn’t easy. We think ten of the recent burglaries may be linked and on six of those occasions the car has been stolen as well. “Modern cars are very difficult to steal without the keys so criminals are breaking into houses, stealing large items such as televisions and using the homeowner’s car to get away. We are carrying out a number of plain clothed operations and using the latest technology to help us identify possible suspects. We are stopping lots of vehicles travelling along the main roads particularly late at night or in the early hours of the

morning to ask motorists to account for their movements. “We need the public to help us by securing their homes and cars; keeping their car keys out of sight when they are at home and using their garage if they have one. Registering property free of charge on immobilise is an excellent way of deterring criminals and ensuring we can return property to its rightful owner if we recover any. By working together we can stop this current increase in burglaries and hopefully reduce crime.” Anyone with information about these burglaries is urged to call Leicestershire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous, on 0800 555 111. You can register your property free of charge at and sign up to Neighbourhood Link to get the latest information from your local officers at

Van donated A DAIRY firm has given a van to a local charity. The van, donated by Kirby & West, will be used by Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland to transport furniture to its charity shop on Sibson Road, Birstall.

Can you hike it? CAN YOU find a team of three, aged between 13 and 17, the £13 team entry fee and face the challenge of the 2012 Charnwood Hike? For more details do look at the website which gives you some idea of how the hike works. You will need the Ordnance survey maps 129 & 140. Be prepared to walk around 12 to 14 miles or so across Charnwood Forest, take part in various incidents, and get a meal at the finish at the outdoor pursuits centre on Loughborough Road. The Birstall Boys Brigade company (2nd Leicester) have organised this competitive hike for around 40 years and teams participate from many parts of the country. Last year Birstall ATC scored the most points and were outright winners, a Nottingham team were 2nd and Luton 3rd. If you are 18 or over, there are a limited number of veterans teams that can enter. For more information see the website or phone 07801 923 984.


Have fun singing


Director faints but show goes on!

A WOMAN who likes to sing has started a singing group where everyone is encouraged to sing their hearts out. The ‘Sing Your Heart Out’ group was set up by Birstall’s Louise Hall and meets weekly in Syston.

Pic: Louise Hall Louise said: “Gareth Malone on TV’s ‘Choir’ has shown what an amazing, uplifting thing it is to come together and sing! So why not give it a go? “Singing is our birthright. For thousands of years all over the world people have sung – to express joy, celebration and grief, to accompany work and devotion, to aid healing – without worrying about having a ‘good’ voice or ‘getting it right’. Song has been a part of life, a way of bringing people together, for a very long time. Perhaps now is a time for you to reconnect with this joyful, yet powerful activity.” Louise Hall has loved singing all her life, taking part in many singing groups, including Leicester’s Amika Choir that ‘wowed’ the crowds at the Curve’s ‘Festival of Choirs’. In summer 2011 she led a singing workshop each day at a week long summer festival which was so successful she decided to set up a place for people to ‘Sing Your Heart Out’ on Sundays in Syston Community Centre, from 7-8.45pm Louise said: “We have fun with different types of songs and we learn by listening and repeating, so there’s no music reading involved. We start with a warm up and have a laugh with some action songs. You can come along every week or just when you can. Men, women and children are welcome.” Comments from some people who come along: “I go out on a high and it lasts all week, thanks Louise” “Louise teaches songs that are straightforward to learn but sound great because they have such wonderful harmonies”. “I can’t believe how great we sound!” The fee is £5 or £4 each time you come, depending on your means. Just turn up, no booking required. For further information call Louise on 0116 2677007

WITH BRIGHTLY coloured flamboyant costumes, great enthusiasm, and a ‘suitably expressive’ cast the 2012 Methodist Pantomime ‘Jack & the Beanstalk’ was well received by appreciative audiences. One audience member described it as: “A fun event but moving too – all that effort, camaraderie, warmth and love – not just between Jack and the Princess! A wonderful evening. Please give our thanks to the whole drama team, shining examples of community spirit.”

The choreography, by Sally MontagueMason, included a ballet, and the music was led by David Bark, who, like Sally, was very patient with the ‘slow to learn’ cast! The week did not go without problems. Two cast members caught a nasty sickness bug, and stage hand Adrian Robinson stood in as understudy for two different cast members on Tuesday and Wednesday. There was real drama on Wednesday when the director Richard Tinley, playing the Dame, fainted on stage – but he was back playing his full and exuberant part the next day. The Radio 4 - Gardeners Question Time

section had the audience being given advice about slugs, blackfly, Jeyes Fluid, and manure – and getting very involved too! Any men who would like to join the cast for 2013 are welcome – rehearsals start in late September, ring 2209462 or 2675128 now and the Panto team will remind you nearer the time. Pics (clockwise from top left): The Princess Carolina (Isaak Harrison) meets ‘Jack’ (Elliott Harrison); Paul Young as the Fairy & with Tony Moore in his arms; Richard Tinley as Widow Goodbody; Chorus singing ‘Raindrops’ (l-r) Tony Moore, Roger Dickman, James Moore, Michael Kerchey, and Peter Tinley; The King played by John Towson



Hearts knitted with love A VALENTINE’S day yarnstorm saw knitted hearts displayed in public spaces. Following an appeal in last month’s Birstall Post, the knitting guerrillas of Birstall (KGB), had 105 knitted hearts for their display. KGB spokesperson Trout Mask said: “Our chosen site for a portion of the hearts was our faithful tree outside Greengate Medical Centre and we created a ‘tunnel of love’ at the labyrinth, Beacon Hill. It is very dark in there after nightfall when we crept in to hang the hearts.” KGB are now planning the next event, with an Easter theme. They are appealing to knitters and crocheters to join in and donate Easter Eggs and Easter themed items. Trout Mask said: “Once again, the creations can be dropped off at the Birstall Methodist Coffee Shop in an envelope marked ‘FAO David Bark for the KGB’ – we promise that he is an innocent party in our escapades! The coffee shops is open 10am till 12noon Monday through to Saturday and the last day to receive the ite


ms is April 4. Alternatively you can get in touch with us via the Blog or Facebook. As before, the location is secret until the display has been installed, and we wo

EASY ACCESS BATHROOMS • Level Entry Showers • Quality Ceramics & Brassware • Stylish Tiling & Decoration • Non-slip Flooring • Shower Seats & Grab Rails etc

Chris Canham 0116 2376683 • 07983 227 491

Gala royalty sought TO COMMEMORATE the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Birstall Parish Council are holding a competition to find their very own Queen & King for this year’s Gala.

Dogs in water

LANDLORDS’ PROPERTY MAINTENANCE 59 Glebe Close, Mountsorrel City & Guilds Carpenter • 20 Yrs Experience

n’t be able to return the items. However, we will take as many photos as possible and try our best to credit everyone for their involvement. “We hope to get a great response once again from local knitters, both old and new, who would like to join in the fun and raise a smile or two!”

All work guaranteed We are a local company

Call Phil 0116 2207835 Mob: 0794 193 0704

CALL 999 and ask for immediate assistance if your dog becomes trapped in partially frozen water. That is the advice issued this month by Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Service, who routinely assist at incidents of this type – on Sunday February 5 they were called out twice to rescue dogs in difficulty. Officers are specially trained and equipped to deal with these types of incident. A spokesman said: “Do not enter the water if your dog does. In general, dogs will find their own way out – resist the temptation to jump in yourself. “You should keep your animal on a lead at all times when close to frozen water.”

“If you are aged between 9 and 11 years old and you would like to open the gala with the Mayor and Mayoress of Charnwood and The Chairman of Birstall Parish Council on Sunday July 1 and be the most important person in Birstall for the day then simply complete the entry form and return it to us” said Deputy Parish Clerk, Sue Coulson. Birstall Parish Council, Council Offices, Birstall Road, Birstall, Leicester LE4 4DH You can obtain a copy of the form from the Parish Council offices, the Village Hall, Birstall Road or you can download the form from the Council’s website on the Gala page. This must be completed and returned to the Parish Council offices by no later than Friday March 16. The entrants will be invited to attend a selection night at 6pm on Monday March 19 in the Village Hall on Birstall Road where the Gala Committee will appoint a Queen and King. In order to be chosen you must complete and return the application form before the deadline, attend the selection night on March 19 and be available to attend the Gala on July 1.


Tax freeze CHARNWOOD BOROUGH Council has announced it is freezing council tax for 2012/13. The County Council has made a similar commitment for the next three years. Charnwood’s budget for 2012/13 contains £1.3million of ‘savings’. There are plans for a Community Facilities Grants fund of £150,000 over two years, to help parishes and towns renovate and improve community buildings. Across the country more than 150 councils have announced that they are freezing council tax or reducing it. Around 30 are planning a rise, of which 11 are Conservative controlled. The Government has set aside £805million in grants to compensate any council that agrees a freeze. Those authorities who agree a freeze will be paid an amount by Whitehall equivalent to the amount of money they would have raised if they had increased council tax by 2.5 per cent. This ‘freeze grant’ will end in 2013/14. Councils that announce an increase greater than 3.5 per cent are now required to hold a local referendum to approve the rise.

Art and the park events A PAINTING workshop with a local artist and a guided tour of Bradgate Park were the first two activities of a planned series of community events. ‘Events Extra’ is a new programme of social events for all organised by the Parish churches. Organiser Rose Parrott said: “On Valentine’s Day 15 adults and young people aged 9 to 80 joined the Bradgate Park Ranger to find out all about a place we all can see and spend many happy hours enjoying the Park. The weather turned out to be mild, the snow and ice still there in parts, but the park was bathed in sun” Later that week at Wanlip Church and Community Hall, local artist Sue Faulks

Hallam Fields: new school provided? THE PROVISION of a new school at Hallam Fields remains unresolved. A County Council spokesman told the Birstall Post: “We are continuing to negotiate with the developers of Hallam Fields to ensure suitable and adequate provision is created to serve the residents of the development. At this time no decision has been taken to expand Riverside. “There isn’t a precise timescale but detailed negotiations are ongoing and the parties involved hope for a resolution as soon as possible.” In Spring 2011 the County Council said it had decided a primary school would not be needed at Hallam Fields and that it would consult with Riverside school about accommodating the children there. The County had deemed that a school was necessary when Jelson Homes was granted planning permission for Hallam Fields in 2000. As part of a section 106 agreement, Jelson was required to contribute £2,050,000 for the provision of a primary school and recreation centre. The County’s position in Spring 2011 that a school was not needed means that the S106 agreement has to be renegotiated, with Charnwood Borough Council stating that it would press for the ‘recreation centre’ part of the deal to be retained. It is these negotiations that are still ongoing. Concern has been expressed locally that if Hallam Fields children are accommodated at Riverside, the existing traffic congestion near the school would worsen and those children walking to school would have a dangerous route, having to cross the A6. Some sources say the County’s decision that a school is not needed is a financial one - £2million is not enough to build a school and the County would have to fund the shortfall at a time when there

are pressures on its budget. One option for the site would be the provision of a Free School. These are an extension of the Government’s Academies programme, are funded directly from Whitehall and are not controlled by the local authority. The first 24 Free Schools opened in autumn 2011. 79 additional Free Schools were approved in October 2011, most of which will open in 2012. Free Schools can be set up wherever there is a parental demand and can be set up by groups of parents, teachers or charities. The new Schools Network is a charity that was set up in 2009 to promote and facilitate the creation of Free Schools Critics of the Free School model say that Free Schools will be funded more favourably than local authority schools and admit more children from wealthier backgrounds, as they will have greater control over their admissions policies.

PALLATT BROS. Ltd Corgi Gas Reg. Installers

Pic: (top) Sue Faulks leads the workshop and (right)one of the paintings helped 12 adults and young people, as young as 5 and up to 80 to paint snowdrops. Some were using water colours for the first time, others were trying out different painting techniques. Find out more about the Events Extra programme at (choose Activities, then Social Events), or pick up a leaflet at Birstall library, Lambourne Café, Birstall Methodist Coffee Shop or the Parish churches. Rose Parrott 0781 1662235

Struggling with that New Year’s goal? Still waiting on those results & not seeing them? Want to have fun whilst losing weight & toning up? Come & join the party & Zumba with Lara!

ZUMBA Classes!

STONEHILL HIGH SCHOOL, BIRSTALL Monday: 6.30-7.30pm - Main Hall BOOKING Thursday: 6.30-7.30pm - Gym RECOMME N D ED Only £4.00 Per Class! For more information Contact Lara on: 0788 5899947 or email Or add us on facebook! Zumba-with Lara Please arrive at least 10mins early to fill out a health questionnaire




Cricket Corner BIRSTALL VILLAGE CC have had a promising turn out of players for the 2012 season.

NHW news & crime report Holidays Approach It is bad enough losing your purse or wallet when close to home but it can be a disaster if it happens while you are away, especially abroad. A few simple precautions taken before you go on holiday can make life a lot easier should the worst occur. First of all, do not carry all of your cards and money together, split them between two or even three pockets or bags while you travel and store all but

what you need on a daily basis in the hotel safe once you have arrived. Keep your passport there too but carry a photocopy of it with you in case you are asked to produce identity. Make a note of important telephone numbers, especially those you need to cancel cards, and keep it with your passport. Put the numbers into your mobile phone as well but remember that it can also be stolen or lost. A written list of important numbers can be invaluable. Make sure that you have two separate cards with which you can draw money in an emergency but do not keep them together. Then, if you have to cancel one, the other is not affected. If you are travelling with a companion that you trust, it is a good idea

for each of you to carry the other’s spare card whenever you are unable to keep them in a safe. Some banks are now offering emergency telephone cash services if you are stranded without your cash card. It is worth checking with your bank about this. Take care to avoid pickpockets in crowded places both at home and abroad. Travel wallets that you can hang around your neck under clothing are available, although not highly regarded as fashion-accessories! Your holiday is well earned and meant to be enjoyed. A little care and forethought can prevent it turning into a nightmare. Bon voyage. Ed Chambers, Secretary, Birstall and Wanlip Neighbourhood Watch Crime Report : Birstall Jan 5 – Feb 13, 2012 Assaults 12, harassment 1, burglary 20, burglary non-dwelling 11, damage 10, damage to motor vehicle 5, drugs 3, fraud 4, theft 4, theft from motor vehicle 4, theft stores 2. There has been a marked reduction in antisocial behaviour in the villages, a drop or 29 per cent. Also a clear drop in the theft of cycles. Thanks to the NHW for their efforts in postcoding bikes over the last few months. From PC 2139 Richard Carruthers, PCSO 6611 Mark Butler, telephone 101

Nets at Grace Road have been encouraging with many old players returning and a few new faces looking to strengthen the club. BVCC 1st XI won the Premier Division title for the third time in five years and look forward to having another big season. The club has seen the emergence of talented juniors who if they continue the early form in the nets should make an impact in the senior teams. Birstall Village encourages and warmly welcomes any new players, young or old, who wish to join the club. We are about to begin our pre season training so if you want to join or just get an early hit out in the nets then come along! Pre season net dates at Grace Road (within the LCCC ground): Every Thursday night from 9 – 10pm with the last net on March 29. Under 15 Nets at Longslade School Sports Hall Every Monday evening until the end of April from 7 – 8.30pm with a fully qualified coach who will provide these juniors with experienced and skilled advice on all elements of the game. If you would to find out any more information about our Senior teams, please contact Club Chairman and Secretary, Andy Merry on 07708473308 or 1st Team Captain, Dave Sharpe on 07527186705. For more information about our junior teams please contact Prad Sood on 07531339320. For regular updates throughout the season, keep your eye on the BVCC website: We once again look forward to you support for another successful season. From Joshua Saye Pic: Birstall Village Cricket Club Juniors from the 2011 season looking to make their way into the senior teams this year.

Let your children join in the Zumba craze Limited Sp aces: call or text for more info

0788 5899 9


Keep them from getting bored this Easter holiday by having fun, learning to dance & making new friends! Disguising exercise with fun & games, it’s the perfect way to keep your children healthy! • CRB Checked STONEHILL HIGH SCHOOL, BIRSTALL April 2 - 6: 12 - 1pm 4 to 7 yrs, 12 - 2pm 7 to 12 yrs £20 for the week 10 week course of Zumbatomic classes starting April 21 BIRSTALL VILLAGE HALL 11 - 11.45am 4 - 7 yrs, 11.50am - 12.35pm 7 - 12 yrs



Donate old spectacles CHURCHES IN Birstall and Wanlip are marking the season of Lent by asking people to donate any old or unwanted spectacles. 670 million people in the world are disabled or disadvantaged because they don’t have glasses. Specs will be sent to “Vision Aid Overseas” via the Sibson Road branch of Henry Smith & Hamylton (Opticians) Ltd. The charity will either recondition the glasses for direct use in Ethiopia and Burkina Faso or else will raise cash for their work by reclaiming recyclable materials. Rachel Parkinson, speaking for Churches Together in Birstall and Wanlip, said: “Methodists, Anglicans and Roman Catholics are gathering together each week in Lent to study the healing works of Jesus recorded in the Bible. We want to extend this focus on health and healing by taking a practical action which can involve the whole community. I know I’ve got at least one pair of glasses lying around the house that I don’t need and I’m sure other people will be the same. Let’s see how many pairs we can get together.” Collection points will be set up in local churches as well as in Riverside and Highcliffe Primary Schools. Publicity materials have been made by the Birstall Messy Church and include ‘totem poles’ of spectacle-wearing faces. Glasses in any condition or without their cases are welcomed. Andrea Wright, General Manager of Henry Smith and Hamylton, said: “We are delighted to be part of this project being run by the Birstall Group of Churches. We have for many years collected old spectacles for Vision Aid Overseas as well as donating any surplus ophthalmic equipment to this very worthy cause. We hope that the Healing Project proves to be a resounding success and look forward to receiving the donated spectacles.”

Author with a passion for writing “OFTEN THE best way of learning something is from a story” says a Birstall writer whose stories are now available on the Kindle Store. Anne Jordan (60) of Malling Close entered a BBC writing competition in 2007 and won a prize. She said: “My story was about a cat who got lost in the snow but eventually found his way home. It occurred to me, how about including a character that has a learning difficulty in some more cat stories with the same cat character. I teach adults with learning difficulties and they say you should write about what you know best.” She added: “My latest venture is to put the stories I have written so far on to Amazon Kindle with the title ‘U.R.Normal’, the spelling is deliberate. There are five stories for adults with a small explanation of the learning diffiPETE INGHAM Plastering & Property Maintenance

Professional Services Include All Types of Plastering

Garden Work Fencing Slabbing Block Paving Patios

Free Estimate ( 267 4194 and Personal Attention Guaranteed Workmanship TOTAL COMMITMENT TO QUALITY 51 Walker Rd, Birstall

BIRSTALL’S PREMIER TREE SERVICE Just like the rest of your property, have you considered your trees require a little maintenance from time to time?


With 20 years experience in all aspects of tree work we would be pleased to offer you FREE expert advice & a FREE quotation without obligation

PHONE NOW ON 0116 2505842

culty mentioned in each story at the end of each one. I am calling these factbytes as they are meant to give a small bit of information only. Hopefully this will lead you to doing your own research! I have also included the five cat stories I have written.” Anne has not had any of her stories published yet but regularly enters a monthly fiction competition in the Writers’ Forum National Magazine and recently one of her stories made the shortlist for that month. Anne said: “My aim is to continue writing stories with characters with learning difficulties in them. I have a long way to go but I love writing.”




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:

Allotments In response to Mr Cherry’s letter in the Feb issue of Birstall Post: I disagree with your accusations of this Parish Council ‘flaunting’ any regulations that they agree to. To answer your questions

in more detail: 1) The Allotments Act 1922 defines ‘allotment gardens’ as ‘an allotment not exceeding forty poles in extent which is mainly cultivated by the occupier for the production of vegetables and fruit crops for consumption by himself or his family’. (Section 22) You are confusing maximum size with minimum, for which there is no legal definition. 2) Referring to your second point and the points raised in a copy of a letter from Liz Bunting – Legal Advisor for NSALG to MF. the Allotments Act 1950 states at Section 10 (1): Land let by a council under the Allotments Acts, 1908 to 1931, for use as an allotment shall be let at such rent as a tenant may reasonably be expected to pay for the land if let for such use on the terms (other than terms as to rent) on which it is in fact let: It is considered that the annual rent of £30.00 (0.576p per week) which includes water charges, is thought to be a very reasonable rent for the benefits received, bearing in mind the following, we have: 34 tenants out of the 140 paying the £30 rent = £0.576p per week 20 tenants paying £12 rent = £0.23p per week 43 tenants paying £14 rent = £0.269p per week

I. Wardle Maintenance Services (Birstall DIY) Do you need any of the following work carrying out? If so, please phone or email me. FENCING: Erection & Repairs GARDEN MAINTENANCE: Turf Laid, Mowed & Hedges Cut etc BUILDING REPAIRS/WORK: New Guttering & Repairs INTERIOR WORK: Curtain Rails Fitted, Mirrors Hung & Painting LANDSCAPING: Gravel Drives & Paths Laid FLOORS: Concrete & Laminate Laid

Free estimate with no obligation • Tel: 0116 2671584 Email:

13 tenants paying £24 rent = £0.461p per week 30 tenants paying £7 rent = £0.134p per week The rates are set after a comparison exercise with other Parish Councils. All of our new tenants have accepted the £30 rent without question and have recently signed up again for their second year at £30, and so I find it difficult to see where your problem lies. 3) We clearly give 12 months notice of any increases in the form of a letter with new tenancy agreements The £30 rent did not increase for 2013. The reason for increasing the other rents is to bring all plots gradually into line with the annual rent of £30 to help recover some of the £11,600 deficit incurred in the management of the allotments. Full recovery of the costs would result in an annual rental averaging £90. A similar principle applies to the hire of football & cricket pitches and it is our view that the subsidy of allotments and sports is, of necessity, a widespread feature of Parish Council authority. All fees are reviewed annually. I am well aware that offers have been made by Birstall Allotment Society regarding the management of the allotments and can only refer you to Mr Blackburn’s letter dated 31 August 2010 which outlined the reasons for the Councils decision to decline. As members of the NSALG we took the opportunity of contacting the our NSALG area representative to ask their advice on these “three r’s” and she had no idea whatsoever, she also thought that our rents were very reasonable indeed. Sue Coulson, Deputy Clerk Birstall Parish Council

Jane Shilcock It was with deep sadness that we early morning swimmers and the staff at Cossington Street Pool heard of the sudden and tragic death of Jane Shilcock. Jane swam in her own distinctive style for over twenty years, first at St Margaret’s Baths and then here at Cossington Street. She was a friendly and active woman who walked here every weekday morning from her home in Birstall. She cared for her elderly mother, grew her own vegetables and loved walking and dogs. Jane will be much missed and remembered with affection by us all. Jenny Cook

Use the crossing At one of our surgeries, the issue of speeding traffic on Greengate Lane, particularly during school times, was raised. I agreed to look into it, together with Cllr Stuart Jones. We found that there would appear to be such a problem and so, as a member of the Highways Forum, I agreed to raise this with them. This I did on Tuesday January 17 and was assured by them that they were already aware of the issues and were taking remedial action to help rectify this. I was reassured by their comments but we will be closely monitoring their actions to ensure that their words match their deeds. However, in the course of my survey I noticed that parents bringing their children to Highcliffe from the Woodgate Drive area were not bothering

to take them down to the manned pedestrian crossing but rather walking straight across Greengate Lane, directly opposite Woodgate Drive ie very adjacent to the brow of the hill. This is inherently dangerous and as well as not using the safety facilities available, gives the wrong messages to their children. Basically it is saying, 'Don't bother using the safety facilities available if you don't want to.' How silly is that? The County, Borough and Parish Councils can all do as much as they can to protect your children's safety but they do require you, as parents, to do your bit. Cllr David Gaskell

Funding answers My letter about S106 funding published in last months Birstall Post has been included as an agenda item for discussion at the next full Parish Council meeting on March 12 at 7pm. Unfortunately the intention seems to be to bring me to account for writing the letter rather than addressing the issues raised such as to why so little of the funding has been used to benefit the village as a whole and why no one is able to answer simple questions regarding the funding. It wasn't me that promised to build a school, signed a contract with the builders for them to pay £2,050,000 towards the cost and then changed their mind. I want to make it crystal clear that i feel the the blame lies firmly with the three layers of local government, that the builders are blameless and that I would be failing in my duty as an elected councillor if I didn't try to get the the bottom of this fiasco. If anyone has an questions they want to raise about this you can pass them to me through the Parish Council office or send them direct to me using my contact details on the Parish Council website. Julian Howe

Ivy Clay I hope you can help me. I am trying to get in touch with the relatives of the late Ivy Clay who lived in Birstall most of her life. My name is David Mawby, and I live in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Ivy was my birth mother, who I found about 35 years ago, and we were in contact with each other up until about 10 years ago, and I assume she died. I am not sure who in the family knew of me, so it could be delicate. I was born in Leicester on the 8th September 1945. I was adopted when I was six weeks old. My birth name was Paul Clay, but was changed when I was adopted. Ivy told me why I was adopted, and I understood and accepted the reason. I do know that she had more children, and it would be nice if they could contact me, if they wish. I do hope you can help me in this search, or put me in touch with someone who could. My email is: David Mawby

Deposits We are concerned about dog deposits in Gwendolin Avenue, made by a very large dog daily. Hoping the owner will take heed and take the dog deposits


home. The school children are up and down this road regularly and are walking in it. Name & address supplied PS I have been caught twice.

Grit After enjoying a day at the park sledging with my family. I returned home to Went road to find people emptying the grit box (which is for the roads) to use on their drives. Do these selfish people realise that the grit is for the use on our roads, and not their driveways? As a resident of Went Road I was unable to grit the road, which I have done over the past few years. Which lead to a school bus getting stuck picking a resident up from our street on Monday morning. This would not have happened if these selfish people (they know who they are) purchased their rock salt from a local DIY to do their drives. Name & Address supplied

Traveller sites You may not be aware but Leicester City Council is about to commence public consultation on proposals to establish three permanent Traveller sites on the outskirts of the City close to Birstall. The three sites under consideration are at Greengate Lane, Beaumont Way and Redhill Way. The largest of the sites is the current ‘temporary’ pitch on Greengate Lane which is to be enlarged to accommodate ten pitches. However, looking at the plan and the layout of the access road it is not beyond the realms of possibilities that once established the site could be expanded further south along Greengate Lane in the future. Notwithstanding the fact that this site is significantly closer to Birstall than the majority of Beaumont Leys, the City Council have said that there are no plans to consult residents outside of the City Council Boundary. That doesn’t mean of course that residents do not have the right to make their views known. Further information can be found on the Leicester City Council’s web-site at where there is to be an online questionnaire for people to make their views known to the City Council. Questionnaires are also available from Beaumont Leys Library or Leisure Centre. Matt Bagley, of the Multi Agency Travellers Unit is, I understand, to discuss the plans at the next Birstall Parish meeting. I would suggest that anyone looking for further information should attend the meeting and make their comments to their local councillors. Name & address supplied

Final nail? So on top of everything else that others have mentioned on this letter page (an unwanted Park and Ride, extensive overbuilding, lack of leisure facilities) it seems that Birstall is now the proposed target to be surrounded by three gypsy camps that will sit within an area of less than two miles; one on Beaumont Way, one on Red Hill Way and the other on Greengate Lane. The argument in favour of the Greengate Lane site is that the gypsies have been here for years anyway. This may be true,

but they first set up here ILLEGALLY and have remained here because the councils have failed to do anything to shift them. They should be moved, not given permanent homes at the tax-payer's expense. I urge ALL residents who care about the value of their homes, personal safety, crime levels and the environment, to do all they can collectively to ensure this preposterous proposal is stopped. Contact your MP Stephen Dorrell, as well as your local councillors and push them to take action. I truly hope our councillors, who have been chosen to represent us, will have the conviction to rise to the fight. I also hope that they will be arranging a public meeting in Birstall, so that residents can show their opposition, as public meetings advertised so far are in City Council areas. When/if such a meeting is known about PLEASE attend do not think that others will do this. Our strength will be in the number of people that show how passionate they are about stopping these sites. Remember, if these sites go ahead you will not be able give your property away - let alone sell it - so you will be stuck surrounded by gypsy camps for ever, which will only grow in size. One thing is certain, if this proposal is successful, it will surely be the final nail in Birstall's coffin. Name & address supplied

Thanks Thank you to all who sponsored me growing my moustache. I raised a massive £500 with donations still coming in. Manny Sanghera

Hazard on path I'm trying to do something about a hazard on a Birstall public footpath. Last August some of you may have read about my accident where I ruptured my Achilles heel, as a result of being chased by an aggressive horse, whilst taking the

Woodcock Farm Shop Manure,

Home Grown NEW Potatoes Wilja Desiree Marfona Maris-Bard

Woodchip Mulch, Topsoil & Compost:

Fresh Fruit & Veg Local Honey & Preserves incl Marmalade & Chutney

we can deliver bulk loads of these items, call or visit for further details

DIY Liveries, Menage for Hire

Horse & Pony Feeds, Goat Feeds, Poultry Feeds, RabbitFood, TOP QUALITY HAY Straw & Shavings ORNAMENTAL TREES

And lots more!

LOUGHBOROUGH RD, ROTHLEY Tel (0116) 230 2215 James 07802 915559 Fred 0797 7014606 OPENING TIMES Mon-Fri 9am to 6pm Sat 9am to 5.30pm Sun 9.30am to 5pm Please note these times may change during public holidays. Ring us for details.

public footpath from Birstall Road to Netherhall Lane. I was contacted by another lady who had a very similar frightening experience This account also appeared in the Birstall Post. Since these reports Leicester City Council has had over five separate people contacting them with similar accounts. It is such a lovely walk through to the lakes and I would hate anything to happen to anyone else. I would like to see some sort of safety procedure put in place before others finds themselves in this awful position. I am still not at work properly and still undergoing physiotherapy on a weekly basis at the hospital. The impact has been long and arduous on my health and my family. I want to do all I can to make sure no one else goes through this. I am curious to know if anyone has ever reported anything to anyone, regarding incidents, before my accident, perhaps the owners of the field, the horses, or our own local council perhaps? Spring/ Summer is approaching and the days are drawing out, the perfect time for a late evening stroll, a dog walk or out and about with the children. I want all to be able to enjoy this safely. I would really appreciate any other accounts and who if anyone, you told. Many thanks have a ‘safe summer’. C Stafford

Traveller sites I find it strange that some people feel the need to lead a travelling lifestyle instead of settling down in permanent accommodation but I suppose we have to accept that there will always be so-called travellers and therefore they do need official sites with adequate facilities, regulated and properly supervised by local authorities. In regard to Leicester City Council establishing an official site off Greengate Lane, I feel as a resident of that road,


that I must object for several reasons. At least a ‘minority’ of travellers have shown over the years that they disrespect and abuse the environment, not just by leaving litter strewn around but by destroying fences and cutting down trees and that abuse seems likely to continue. Whenever travellers have camped in the vicinity ie on the grass verges at the sides of the roads which lead off from the end of Greengate Lane going towards Leicester and Thurcaston there seem to be increased reports of burglary on Greengate Lane and parts of the Gates estate. Fortunately, so far I have not suffered a burglary but I have often been pestered by travellers offering to tarmac my drive for a very low cost (according to them!). When told I am not interested in having any work done they have been very reluctant to take No for an answer and usually have become persistent and thus very annoying. Also, when travellers have been residing in the area, albeit mostly just for a few weeks I have heard shooting by a shotgun or shotguns which has seemed to come either from the railway or from fields adjacent to the railway. I cannot say for certain that the shooting is by travellers but more often than not it coincides with their presence in the area. A lot of people walk their dogs either along the

Continued on page 12


Plumbing & Heating All Domestic Plumbing Full Central Heating Boiler Swaps & Upgrades Fully Fitted Bathrooms Wall & Floor Tiling ALL WORK GUARANTEED Local Business • Call Rob Scott:

Tel: 0116 2209311 Mob: 0796 7695631



Continued from page 11 railway or in the fields alongside it and it worries me that they are possibly putting themselves and their dogs at risk when shooting is happening. I wonder if the police check as to whether any of the travellers own guns and if checks do take place and guns are found to be owned by some travellers, whether the police would agree to them having licences? It has been announced that several local authorities across Britain are going to celebrate and commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by creating in their areas a site of woodland to be known as a Jubilee Wood. I have suggested that Leicester City Council do likewise particularly as the Council likes to regard Leicester as Environment City and especially as the Queen is visiting Leicester in March as the first place she is visiting this year. When she does visit it would be very appropriate and would probably raise the status of Leicester for the city mayor to tell the Queen that the city is going to create a Jubilee Wood. I have suggested that an ideal site for that would be the area bounded by Leicester Road, the Western By-Pass, the Great Central Railway and Greengate Lane. I understand this area is to remain designated as a greenfield site, a green wedge and it seems timely and logical to transform it so that it can be used and enjoyed by the general public. That area planted with hundreds of trees and criss-crossed by pathways would be a wonderful facility for walkers and cyclists and indeed for wildlife ant it could perhaps be part of a greater facility by linking it in some way with Watermead Country Park and perhaps with Beaumont Park. If a Jubilee Wood were to be created in that area and hopefully it will be, it would be very inappropriate, in fact ridiculous and indeed very worrying for a travellers site to be established in Greengate Lane, to be attached like a blister to what would be a wonderful facility for a lot of people, whilst remaining a greenfield/green wedge site. J Woods

Thanks Many thanks to all local residents who supported Wreake Valley Rotary Club’s Santa Sleigh so well in December. Many, mainly local causes will benefit from the proceeds. During the last year those organisations we have supported include: Birstall ATC, Birstall Juniors and Community Football Clubs, Thurmaston Guides and Brownies and Syston Youth Project. Don’t forget to look out for details of our upcoming 8th annual Charity Real Ale Festival which will be held at Syston Community Centre from April 19 to 21. The Wreake Valley Rotary Club Advertise in

The birstall post 47 x 59mm £26 • 47 x 120mm £44 98 x 59mm £44 • 98 x 120mm £78

1) Decide what size you want 2) Send us a sketch of your ad 3) We design, publish This Siz & send e you the Wednes bill days


CALL 2674213 for an advertising rate card, or view online at The prices above exclude VAT

Noticeboard all details printed free Coffee Morning Methodist Church, Howe Lane, Rothley March 10 From 10 to 11.30am Proceeds in aid of Air Ambulance and Methodist Church Funds Raffle, tombola, cake stall, white elephant Entrance fee £1 Inc tea and coffee, biscuits ••• The Rothley Centre 12 Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley LE7 7PR Friday April 27 at 7.30pm presents

The upBeatles in a Charity Concert in aid of The Leicestershire & Rutland Branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association Registered Charity 294354 Tickets £6 From John on 0116 2674040 •••

Can You Help? Rothley History Society is arranging an exhibition, to be held later this year, which will illustrate the physical changes that have taken place in the village since the enclosures of 1780. In more recent years farming and industry, which were major activities in the village, have all but vanished and the land they used is now occupied by residential development. To illustrate the earlier uses we would like to borrow photographs showing factories, farms or the peo-

ple who worked in them. If you can help please contact John Brooks on 0116 2302625 or email ••• Avoid being targeted by rogue traders Put your mind at rest and visit the Age UK Business Directory, where you will find a large selection of trustworthy traders and businesses which have been checked by local Age UK staff who are available to help If you do not have a computer we will happily search the Directory for you – just call us FREE on 0800 5999435 Leicestershire & Rutland Age UK •••

Birstall Birdwatching Club presents

Fluttering Jewels by Steve Houghton Looking at his project to photograph the entire butterfly species in Leicestershire & Rutland. Steve has been photographing wildlife for over 25 years and the results are stunning. Tuesday March 13 at 7.30pm The Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley Visitors welcome £2 Contact Ken Goodrich 0116 2674813 •••

Charity Bridge Drive Organised by Loughborough Lions Club The Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley Wednesday April 18 at 1.30pm Afternoon tea provided at a cost of £6 per person To book a table please contact Jackie on 0116 2303317 or email:

••• Mountsorrel Methodist Church presents the Third in the Eleventh Series of Sunday Night @Eight

Organ Recitals on Sunday March 18 at 8pm by Josef Laming & Jack Thompson Admission free Donations for the Church’s Development Buffet from 7.30pm •••

Charity Whist Drives Held on the first Thursday of every month at the Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley at 7.30pm. Admission £2 The next whist drives will be held on Thursday March 1, April 5 & May 3 organised by Derek Farr ••• Birstall Social Club Wanlip Lane

Come and dance the night away Every Tues & Sat night ballroom and sequence dancing Cash Raffle Thurs Bingo Thurs, Sat and Sun Games Room Secure parking New members welcome Function rooms available •••

Photography Evening Wed April 18 Ellis Tea Rooms, GCR Station, Rothley Improve your digital SLR and Photoshop skills Contact Lesley Peasant 0116 2302234 (evenings) •••

Aspergers Syndrome Find information and sources of support at ••• Birstall Flower Club

‘Dancing With Flowers’ Pauline Foster Wednesday March 28 at 7.15pm Birstall Village Hall Visitors very welcome


Sylvia Simes 2674206 ••• Birstall & District Local History Society Thursday March 8

‘The Lost Houses of Stoneygate’ speaker Neil Crutchley 7.30pm in the Birstall Village Hall, Birstall Road Visitors are very welcome •••

St James Age Concern 200 club winners: 1st Mr Richard Green No.105 2nd Mrs Gwen Bradshaw No.45 3rd Miss Emily Ball No.37 4th Mrs Pam Potter No.133 •••

Birstall Royal British Legion March 3: Double Trouble (F/DUO) March 10: Leanne Green (F/V) March 17: Leighton Morell (M/V) March 24: Vinney (M/V) March 31: Sam Bailey (Award Winning F/V) Dancing every Saturday night with live entertainment Bingo Free meat raffle and not forgetting Open the Box Every Tuesday night Bingo starting at 9.15pm Quiz nights Sunday March 11 & 25 starting at 9pm Acoustic night Sunday March 18 Rock & Roll nights Wednesday March 7 & 21 Open for Bank Holiday Monday (Jan 2) Families welcome Food available every Saturday Wakes catered for ••• Birstall Ladies Bowling Club

Coffee Morning Saturday March 31 10am to 12noon Methodist Hall, Wanlip Lane, Birstall Raffle, Tombola, Cakes, Bric-a-brac, Books etc •••

Knit2gether Group Birstall Last Wednesday of every month at the White Horse Pub in Birstall, 7.30pm onwards Next meeting Wed March 28

All are welcome to join in our social knitting and crochet group Meet like minded friends and learn about participating in public art projects. There’s no charge to join but we can’t provide materials or equipment (though we welcome donations) as there is no funding for this group just yet For more info contact Lisa Pidgeon at or call/text 07760232059 ••• Saturday March 24

Easter Craft Morning and Café Birstall Guide HQ, Johnson Road, Birstall 10am to 12noon Crafts to buy and make Easter bonnet competition with judging at 11am Easter bunny, egg hunt, stalls and refreshments •••

An Evening of Faure’s music (including the popular Requiem) sung by the Cossington Voices (conductor Alexandra Lewis) on Saturday March 31 at 7.45pm at St James’ Church, Birstall Organist Simon Murphy Soloists: Caroline Sharpe, soprano Robert-John Edwards, baritone Tickets £6 (inc refreshments) at the door Proceeds for Cossington Church Restoration Fund and Children’s Homes in Bethany, Palestine ••• The Bark Foundation

Coffee Shop Sat March 17 10am to 12noon Tombola, raffle, lucky bags Jewellery stall (lots of new items) Fashion Show & Sale Friday April 20 at 7.30pm Many bargains for you Tickets £5 (inc refreshments) Available now by telephoning 01162 677576 Both events at Birstall Methodist Church •••

Councillors’ Surgery March 31, 10-12noon Old Council Office, 10 Sibson Road Please raise any issues of local con-

Enjoy a complimentary therapy treatment in a calm relaxing atmosphere. Meet & chat to other patients & carers over a cup of tea. Therapies available include aromatherapy massage, reflexology, Indian head massage & reiki

cern with your Borough Councillors •••

Macmillan Starlight Supper March 10, 7-11pm At the Trees pub (lounge area) Please come along and help raise valuable funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and make a difference to the lives of people living with cancer! All you need to do is each make a secret donation in the envelopes provided on the night in exchange for your supper and no doubt great company. Every penny raised from the Starlight Supper will go to the Macmillan Cancer Support. There will be food, cakes, bar, music & raffle to help raise funds Families and friends welcome, please let us know estimated numbers for the supper. We hope to raise as much as possible. Hope you can make it, every penny counts. Please text/call Paula: 07934551563 for your free invite or to donate ••• National Childbirth Trust

Baby & Children Nearly New Sale Sat March 24 1.30-3pm (1pm for NCT members) Beaumont Leys School, Anstey Lane, Leic LE3 OFL £1 admission (in aid of NCT), children free Sale of good quality used baby & children’s clothes (0-12 yrs), maternity wear, nursery equipment, books, toys & games •••


Film Presentations From Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council “One Day”

Friday March 9 (107 mins) Based on a best-selling novel by David Nicholls, this film is an epic funny but sad love story. Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess play Emma and Dexter who graduate on St Swithan’s Day, vowing to remain good friends for ever. They occasionally meet up while dealing with the joys and heartbreaks of life in teaching and in television, during the next twenty years. Then their fates unexpectedly entwine…

“Jane Eyre” Friday April 13 (120 mins) Mia Wasikowska had never seen an earlier version of this film when she took on the role of Jane Eyre. We swing from the strange happenings in the house out in the wilds back to Jane’s hard childhood and then to the electrifying attraction between her and Mr Rochester. However, secrets threaten that glimpse of happiness…

‘My Week with Marilyn’ Friday May 11. “The Iron Lady” Friday June 8. Thurcaston and Cropston Parish Council will be showing these films at Thurcaston Memorial Hall. Starting at 7.30pm, tickets cost £4-50 and concessions are £4. The price includes refreshments and a lucky prize draw. Advanced tickets can be purchased via the parish office 0116 236 7626 or at the door.



Cash spent on homes CHARNWOOD BOROUGH Council will invest £60million to improve its housing stock over the next five years. The Council’s Cabinet approved the proposal in February as part of the Council’s 30 year housing business plan. Properties in greatest need of refurbishment will take priority under the improvement plan which will see insulation work completed on all Precast Reinforced Concrete (PRC) properties by 2015 and all Decent Homes work complete by 2021. Also high on the list will be improved heating systems. The investment has been made possible thanks to changes in Government rules about the way council housing is financed. Councillor Jane Hunt, Charnwood Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Housing, said: “Under the new rules, the Council is allowed to keep all the rent it collects rather than pay it in to a national pot. This gives us more control over the money, and most importantly means we can increase how much we spend on improving our housing stock. “Over the next five years we plan to spend around £60 million on a programme of improvements which will


Physics challenge using spaghetti

Odd Job Man No Job Too Small Gardening • Slabbing Painting • House Painting

ELEVEN OF Longslade’s Gifted & Talented Year 11 students took part in a Construction Mania event organised by Riverside Primary School, Birstall in December. Elina Garton, Emily Manship, Ben Martin, Emily Mason, Kirsty Naismith, Meera Patel, Charlotte Platts, Josh Smalley, Hayley Taylor, Matthew Well-

born and Tom Wilkes took part. The challenge was for groups of students to compete against each other to build the tallest possible free-standing structure. However, there was a catch – the only materials available were marshmallow and sticks of spaghetti. Longslade students led teams of primary schoolchildren from various schools around the area to the dizzying heights of tower construction, with some fantastic and very sticky results. The eventual winner was Josh Smalley and his team, building a tower of almost two metres, with Hayley Taylor’s team a close second. Pic: (l-r) Hayley Taylor, Ben Martin, Matt Wellborn and Elina Garton

• Burglar Alarms • CCTV • Access Control • Fire Alarms



25 Years Experience • OAP Reduced Rates All Work Guaranteed For All Your Security Needs contact: Kevin O’Connor, Lambourne Rd, Birstall

0116 2925407 or 07971 189329

include works to Precast Reinforced Concrete (PRC) homes and the ongoing Decent Homes programme. “This is fantastic news for tenants, especially those whose homes are in greatest need of investment as they will be the first to benefit from this investment scheme.” Because of the rule change, the Council will first have to pay £79.2million to the Government, which it will borrow and pay back over the thirty years. This means that all the investment can be paid for out of the Council’s own housing account, which will be made up of loans, government grants and around £18million a year income from rents. Charnwood Borough Council has 5,847 rented, 287 leasehold dwellings, 18 leasehold shops and 824 garages. These are managed on behalf of the Council by Charnwood Neighbourhood Housing. Council house rents will increase by £4.80 per week, from £61.82 to £66.62 per week


0116 2674703 0770 8419134

9 Kedlestone Ave, Birstall

SERVICING & REPAIRS to all makes of vehicle • Cambelts fitted • Specialist in Engine Management fault finding • All electrical work & MOT’s arrang ed wiring faults undertaken • ABS, Airbags, EMS, Keys Coded

FOR A FAST & FRIENDLY SERVICE CALL All Major Credit & Debit Cards Accepted


Mob 07843 253963

Unit 8, 59 Sibson Rd, Birstall (rear of Posy Bowl)


Village church news Giving up for Lent? Instead of ‘giving something up’ for Lent why not join the series of meetings which are being jointly arranged through the Methodist, Anglican & Roman Catholic Churches in Birstall. The meetings will follow the theme of “Jesus’ healing works and ours”. Each Tuesday evening meeting will start at 7.30, and be led by different people. There will be opportunity to listen to a talk and then an opportunity to discuss the material in groups. Refreshments will be served too. The next meeting is entitled “Faith & Healing” at St Theresa’s on March 6. On the 13th at Wanlip the title is simply “Touch”. March 20, “Deliverance” at the Methodist Church, and the final meeting at St James “To ask or not” on March 27. A real Irish Night An evening of Irish Music, with a supper is planned for Saturday March 17 at 7.30pm, arranged by the lovely Irish Eileen and Peter. It is in celebration of St Patricks Day. The cost is £8 with proceeds going to Action for Children and The Bark Foundation. Tel 2929670 for tickets. Special Needs Playgroup reaches 40 In December the Church playgroup reached its 40th Anniversary. Now in March the ‘Special Needs Playgroup’ reaches the same anniversary. For those that have been involved with the group there is an Anniversary Party on March 24 and on Sunday March 25 the morning service will celebrate this anniversary. Christ in the Centre Friends from our church will be stewarding at this City Centre event on Good Friday April 6, when the scenes that led to Christ’s crucifixion will be played out in the centre of Leicester. From Tony Moore, Methodist Church Spring in the air? What a relief, March has arrived! With the days lengthening and hopefully the dullness and cold of January and February behind us, Spring is becoming a reality. There is plenty on our church calendar to rouse us from our winter lethargy, starting with a call to all women on Friday March 2, when at 7.30pm at St. Theresa’s church we celebrate the Women’s world day of prayer. This year the women of Malaysia give us a revealing insight into the injustices of their country, where women are still discriminated against in education and employment.

Sunday March 18 is that very traditionally British occasion, Mothering Sunday, which will be celebrated at St James at the 9.30am service, when posies of flowers are presented to all women in the congregation. The road to Easter… As described in last month’s Post, the inter-denominational Lent talks each Tuesday evening at 7.30pm on the subject of Healing, will continue during March. “Faith and healing” is the subject on March 6 at St. Theresa’s; “Touch” on 13th at Wanlip; “Deliverance” on the 20th at the Methodist church and “To ask or not” on the 27th at St James. Everyone is welcome at any of these meetings, as well as to the short meditations, which will be held from 7.30 to 8pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Holy Week (April 2-4). Our Curate, Stephen Crofts is continuing his series of ‘Quiet Days’ with a Pilgrimage on Saturday, March 24, starting from St. James at 10am and arriving about 1pm at Wanlip for a light lunch. Phone Stephen on 3279781 for more details. Cossington Voices will be singing a programme, of music by the French composer Faure, including his muchloved Requiem, on Saturday March 31 at St. James church at 7.45pm. The organist will be Simon Murphy with the soprano soloist Caroline Sharpe and baritone, Robert-John Edwards. (See the Noticeboard page for more information). …and beyond? After the very successful Alpha course (the well-known introductory course to the Christian faith) held last autumn in the evenings, it has been decided to offer a daytime course starting after Easter. If you, or someone you know, is interested in exploring what it means to be a Christian, you are invited to get in touch with Stephen on 3279781, either for more information or to sign up for the course. From Beryl McHugh, Parish Churches What’s in a Name? Different words are used for the names of those people who lead a local church and many of you will be familiar with such terms as ‘vicar’, ‘rector’, ‘minister’, ‘curate’ or ‘priest’. In B.I.B.C. we use the name ‘elder’. This is one of the words used by the translators of our English Bible. During the period immediately after the ascension of Jesus Christ, Paul and the apostles established churches in modern-day Turkey and Greece and this

work is recorded in the New Testament. These letters and records were originally written in Greek, as that was the common language of the Mediterranean world at that time. Three main Greek words are used interchangeably for local church leaders: episkopos, which means a ‘superintendent’ and it can also be translated as ‘bishop’ or ‘overseer’ (e.g. 1 Timothy 3:2 & Titus 1:7); presbuteros, which means ‘senior’, ‘elder’ or ‘presbyter’ (e.g. Acts 14:23 & 20:17; Titus 1:5) and oikonomos, which means a ‘manager’, ‘overseer’ or ‘steward’ (e.g. Titus 1:7). In his letters to Timothy and Titus, Paul outlines the qualifications needed for the post of ‘elder’. Such a person acts in the local church as an ‘under-shepherd’ of Jesus Christ and points to Him in the preaching, which is the main purpose of the church along with worship. Sunday Services Our Sunday services are at 10.45 a.m. in the Community Room at Highcliffe Primary School and Community Centre, Greengate Lane (LE4 3DL). Our visiting speaker on March 4 will be Mr John Todd from Loughborough. You will be most welcome to join us. For further information please ring 0116 2214883. From Anne Taylor, Birstall Independent Baptist Church

Youth activity scheme THIS SUMMER young people in and around Birstall will have the chance to take part in a free groundbreaking national programme to help them learn new skills and support their local community. National Citizen Service (NCS) is a flagship government initiative which aims to promote a more cohesive, responsible and engaged society by bringing young people from different backgrounds together to make a difference in their communities. It is a voluntary summer programme for 16 year olds which focuses on their

Planning P/12/0369/2: 2A Stonehill Ave – erection of single storey extension to rear and side of dwelling P/12/0239/2: 30 Sycamore Rd – retention of conservatory to rear of dwelling P/12/0325/2: 30 Wanlip Lane – erection of conservatory to side of dwelling P/12/0283/2: Land off Geoff Monk Way – display of various illuminated and nonilluminated signs and flagpoles P/12/0302/2: 32 Iris Avenue – erection of 2 storey extension to side of dwelling P/12/0248/2: 34 Blenheim Rd – erection of a brick garden shed

D. J. Upton Block Paving - Drives Patios - Paths Free Estimates Competitive Rates

Ask fo ra FREE QUOTE

Over 20 years experience in the trade

Tel: 0116 269 6982 Mob: 0781 2335825 2 Birchwood Close, Syston, Leicester LE7 2BL

Local emergency denture repairs & denture cleaning Pick-up & delivery service available in Birstall Call Steve

0116 2676252

personal and social development which includes challenging activities, from awayfrom-home residential experiences to a self-designed social action project. Now in its second year National Citizen Service is scheduled to run throughout England in July and August with over 500 young people expected to be involved from Leicestershire in the three week programme. Nationally up to 30,000 16 year olds will be involved. National Citizen Service is open to all Year 11 students, although places will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. Those signing up will be expected to spend a residential week at an outdoor centre team building and developing personal skills before undertaking 30 hours of activities on a team project in the community. Spokeswoman Abigail Kearley said: “National Citizen Service gives young people a structured and creative way to spend part of their summer, while giving something back to their local community. It will also give them the edge with their job search and university applications.” Anyone wanting more information about National Citizen Service in Leicestershire can contact Abigail Kearley at

Rak Tailor Home Improvements Fitted kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms & flatpack Tiling (walls & floor) Laminate floors laid Internal & external doors hung Fencing & gates Home & garden furniture made to order Decorating

Tel: 0116 267 4798 Mob:07790 835 747



Equipment that saves lives LEADING FIRST aid training provider St John Ambulance has cut the cost of a vital piece of emergency medical equipment in a bid to encourage more businesses and organisations in Leicestershire and Rutland to help save lives.

Band seeks new members A MARCHING brass band is looking to recruit new members. Thurmaston Marching Brass Band meet once a week at the Scout and Guide HQ in Thurmaston and regularly take part in local and national events from parades and carnivals to competitions and royal performances. No experience is necessary to join and an instrument and uniform is provided. New members must be 7+ (no upper age limit) and belong to any Scout or Guide Association. Contact Richard Warrington on 0116 2353812 or 07831 105648.

Grant for green energy MEMBERS OF the community group Transition Leicester are celebrating after being awarded £30,000 of grant funding to develop a new community energy cooperative for Leicester and Leicestershire.


0116 2674355 • 07580161980 47 Copeland Rd, Birstall

The funding, secured from the Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, will be used to identify local installation sites for solar electric panels and woodchip boilers, and to set up a community-run organisation to deliver local projects to cut fuel bills and generate renewable energy. The new company will enable local residents, community groups and businesses to invest in local energy provision, by buying shares to fund new renewable energy installations. The organisation will be volunteer-led and run for community benefit, with any profits being paid as a dividend for local investors, or reinvested in local energy saving schemes. The cooperative will be launched at the Green Light festival in Leicester on Saturday March 31. The coop has been initiated by local volunteers from Transition Leicester, who are working with renewable energy experts from Sharenergy and Run by the Sun Ltd. Sam Woods said: “The new coop is great news for organisations that would love to install renewable energy but can’t meet the upfront costs, and for anyone that would like to invest in a positive and sustainable future for their local area.” The project team are asking local organisations to get in touch if their premises could be suitable for investment in solar PV and woodchip boilers. The team are looking for buildings with large south-facing roofs, or premises in off-gas areas spending more than £5000 a year on heating bills. For further information or to discuss possible installation sites, contact Samantha Woods on or 07890 587 611.

The April issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Mar 30. The copy deadline is Mar 16.

To coincide with National Heart Month in February, St John Ambulance has introduced a new price for a package of a defibrillator and comprehensive training for up to eight people for £1,695. St John Ambulance wants to see more Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) available at businesses and locations like doctors and dentists surgeries, leisure facilities and shopping centres where they could save someone’s life if their heart stops beating. An AED is an importance piece of equipment that can save lives in the minutes after someone suffers a cardiac arrest. The machine shocks the heart back into action and can be operated by anyone, regardless of the level of their first aid knowledge. In the UK one person dies every six minutes from a heart attack and as many as one in three will die before they reach hospital. Thirteen per cent of all workplace casualties are cardiac arrest victims and for each minute that passes

without defibrillation, the chances of survival fall by up to 10 per cent. Mel Fox, Regional Director for commercial training at St John Ambulance in the Midlands, said: “St John Ambulance believes that no one should die because of a lack of first aid when they need it. The survival rate increases by more than 50 per cent if an AED is used within the first four minutes, so immediate defibrillation could be the difference between a life lost and a life saved. This is a fantastic package offering all you need to have an AED on site with confidently trained staff, but in an emergency anyone can use a defibrillator as the machine talks you through the process. The more AEDs that are located throughout the county the more lives that can be saved.” Anyone interested in purchasing an AED, or to request more information about first aid training through St John Ambulance, should contact St John Ambulance on 0844 324 5535. AED training and requalification courses can be delivered through any of St John Ambulance’s training centres in the Midlands, including locations across Leicestershire.


Junior football tour BIRSTALL UNITED Juniors Under 15s boys team are holding a Family Race Night on Saturday April 7 at Stonehill High School to help pay for the kids to go on a football tour of the UK. Manager, Manny Sanghera said: “The current under 15 boys team have been trying to go away on tour abroad for the last two years. However this has not been possible mainly because the costs have increased massively, and the underlying fact that people have less disposable income now. Therefore they can’t spend as much on kids’ trips that can give so much experience and memories that they will never forget. “With kids having missed out on previous years, we had decided to try and arrange a tour in the United Kingdom for them. We had booked on a tour in the United Kingdom at Southport, which has now been cancelled by the tour company and it now looks gloomy for another year. “Myself and the other manager have decided enough is enough and have organised a ‘Family Race Night’ to help raise funds, to still send the kids away this year. This will be held at Stonehill High School on Saturday April 7, with all profits from the evening going towards the kid’s cost of the trip. “If you would like to sponsor any of the races, there are 8 in total, or the event itself then please contact us, or if you would like to donate any gifts for our raffle this would be greatly appreciated.” All are invited to attend this family race night in Birstall, doors will open at 7pm and tickets will be sold in advance, but can also be purchased on the night. Tickets priced £2 for adults & £1 for children. To book tickets or for more information please call Manny on 07940 528279 or Gail on 07962 147916.

Cemetery memorial wall BIRSTALL PARISH Council is making improvements to the Memorial Wall at Greengate Cemetery. The main part of the work will involve the removal of plaques and their remounting on new wood, which is intended to be a long lasting solution and help keep plaques in place. All plaques will be replaced in the same place after this work has been completed. Some works to the surrounding area have already begun. The main work to the wall will begin during early March. If you have any enquiries, the Parish council is inviting you to contact them on 0116 2676191.

Bicycle ride’s second spin from Rothley FREE HOME-MADE cakes are promised to those who cross the finish line of the second Charnwood Forest Cycle Ride. More than 100 cyclists took part in the 20 mile ride in 2011 – this year the ride will again take you through a circular route along the leafy lanes and pretty villages of Charnwood, starting and finishing at Rothley school on Sunday April 29. Organised by Rothley School PTFA the event is raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and new play equipment for the school. Spokeswoman Emma Hallam said: “Huge thanks go out to our event sponsors: Taylor Bloxham Printers, Bradley’s Superstore and the Woodies pub in Rothley, meaning 100 per cent of all money raised will go direct to the charities.” Halfords will be selling helmets and offering free bike checks and there will be a crafts and games area for children under 14, accompanied by an adult. The ride is suitable for all levels of ability and families are welcome –

young people aged 14-18 can take part if accompanied by an adult. There is a £15 registration fee. For more details and entry forms call 0116 2374867 or visit:


School governor THE GOVERNING Body of Riverside Primary School has a vacancy for a Community Governor. A school spokesman said: “Anyone who lives within our local community can become a Community Governor. No experience is necessary just interest, enthusiasm and a willingness to give up some of your spare time. Our team of Governors work together to ensure that every child at Riverside gets the best education possible to enable them to reach the highest standards of achievement.” If you would like more information about becoming a school Governor please write to Rachael Boyall, Chair of Governors, c/o Riverside Primary School or email:

WOODGATE CLINIC OSTEOPATHY & PHYSIOTHERAPY - Any muscular pain or strain - Any joint from head to toe - Neck Pain (especially after road accidents) - Frozen Shoulders - Low Back Pain - Sciatica - Tennis Elbow • Golfers’ Elbow - Cranial treatment for babies - We now have a female practioner


0116 237 4522

Unit 12, Lazarus Court, Woodgate, Rothley LE7 7LJ



Rothley station’s extended tea room opens VISITORS TO the Great Central Railway’s Rothley station can sample the award winning tourist attraction’s latest completed project.

Severn Trent: no water restrictions SEVERN TRENT Water has announced it is not currently predicting any usage restrictions this year, despite record low rainfall over the winter period and the Environment Agency stating that parts of the region are officially in drought. The situation remains under constant review however and the company is taking steps to ensure supplies are resil-

ient this year and next. Over the last six months the company has focused on moving raw water supplies across its water ‘grid’ from the wetter West to the drier East to balance out regional supplies. Careful water resources management from river and ground water sources, including the development of a new over-land pipeline at Draycote Reservoir has also helped to strengthen the system. The company is also reminding customers to use water wisely and save

water in the home and garden, with free water saving kits available for all customers at Severn Trent water resources manager, Marcus O’Kane said: “Dozens of individual measures are being taken to ensure our customers do not face any usage restrictions this year, but we can’t afford to be complacent. Although we would never rule out the prospect of restrictions, we are confident we have the situation under control at this time.”

Elliott & Ball Plumbing & Heating Est 1968

General Plumbing Bathrooms & Tiling Landlord Certificates POWER FLUSHING


New Installations & Upgrades Gas Boilers/Fires Serviced & Repaired LOCAL BUSINESS • CALL GARY ON

Tel: 0116 2692167 Mob: 0792 1703 765

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is still required if you are selling or renting out your house. Call David Jackson on 0781 5519490 to arrange your EPC

The popular Ellis’s Tea Room at Rothley station has been extended to cope with demand and was officially re-opened on Saturday January 14. The tea room only opened three years ago in a building converted from a former grain store at the station. With only 26 seats it quickly became full during busy gala events – the new extension has almost doubled the length of the building. The majority of the funding for the £35,000 project has been provided by generous supporters of the Great Central Railway through its dedicated charity, the David Clarke Railway Trust. However, £10,000 was provided through a Leicestershire County Council ‘Inspire’ Visitor Development grant after a successful application. With the original conversion of the building three years ago great care was taken to preserve the character of the building. It isn’t listed, but the station buildings at Rothley, right alongside, are. The finishing details reflect the original structure but a stepped design indicates where the old building finishes and the extension starts.

Development sites sought CHARNWOOD BOROUGH Council is asking residents to suggest sites in their locality that are suitable for development. Sites suitable for housing or employment land will feature in the Council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). The assessment is a part of the Council’s evidence base for its Local Development Framework (LDF) – a set of documents that guide planning and development in the area. Residents have until March 16, 2012 to take part in the consultation at capacitystudy



Tel: 0116 2601851



INFO Pension Incomes Recent research by Prudential has revealed that pension incomes are expected to hit a five year low for people retiring this year, meaning that one in five will have to survive on less than £10,000 a year. The recession has seen a fall in pension funds and annuity rates, which, when combined with inflation rises mean that thousands will struggle to make ends meet. However, this isn’t just a problem facing future pensioners. Today’s pensioners are already struggling; yet many are not aware of the financial support available to them. Two thirds of pensioners on low incomes, who could be eligible for Pension Credit do not believe they qualify; yet a quarter of them struggle with bills, a third with housing costs and 1 in 10 are forced to skip meals. The latest government figures show that the amount of Pension Credit unclaimed annually was between £1.6bn and £2.9bn. The charity Turn2us says it is important that pensioners are aware of their potential welfare benefits entitlement. A spokesman said: “Pensioners have to deal with a terribly complicated benefits system, which often deters them from claiming much-needed funds. Yet, it is easy to access the free Turn2us benefits calculator and establish entitlement, how much is available and where to claim Those without internet access can call our freephone helpline on 0808 802 2000.” Arthritis Arthritis is a disease characterised by inflammation of the joints, which results in pain and swelling. It is estimated that arthritis affects over 9 million people in the UK. The most common form of the disease is osteoarthritis which affects over 8 million people in the UK. This type of arthritis causes the cartilage between the bones to wear away, causing the painful rubbing of ‘bone on bone’ joints. Knees, spine, hands and hips are the most frequently affected joints, which become swollen and sore. Joint related conditions increase the age of onset, but it usually develops in those aged 45 years and over. Arthritis is diagnosed by your doctor using a combination of X-rays, scans, blood and urine tests ( Diet, with vitamin supplements, has shown some evidence at reducing the symptoms of arthritis, if taken in moderation. Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fresh fish) can reduce inflammation and there is some evidence of Vitamin E (nuts and cereals) also reducing inflammation and preventing damage to bones. Lack of Vitamin D (sunlight) is well known to cause brittle bones and is essential in bone development. An exposure of 15 minutes a day, to natural sunlight, is recommended. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are thought to nourish damaged cartilage, and are recommended by

General Practitioners (GPs). A recent review by the British Medical Journal has however stated that these supplements have no effect on reducing joint pain (BMJ2010;341:c4675).

There is no cure for arthritis; however there are a number of treatment options. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can help reduce the swelling, as well as corticosteroids. Painkillers are also given to reduce the pain associated with the disease and in severe cases surgery can be an option. Knee and hip replacements are the most common type of surgery, with a quick operation that does not require an overnight stay in hospital. From Samantha Price

Warm Front Warm Front energy help scheme getting a frosty reception in the East Midlands Consumer Focus and National Energy Action are warning that the Government’s flagship scheme to help the poorest households in England to make their homes warmer and cut their energy

bills, is set for up to a £30 million underspend this year. This means many older people, families and people with long-term health problems will miss out on much-needed help. Warm Front has seen a dramatic decline in applications for help. In April to December 2011 applications in the East Midlands fell to just over 3,000, down from over 11,000 the year before. A fall of 72% - the second highest percentage fall in applications (see table in notes for full regional breakdown). In England less than 40,000 people applied for a Warm Front grant compared to over 130,000 applications in the same period in 2010. The scheme was oversubscribed in 2010 but funding was cut by almost two thirds this year. The Warm Front scheme - which offers heating and insulation improvements to households living on low incomes – is expected to see up to a fifth of its £143 million worth of funding for this year going unclaimed. This money could help up to 16,000 households in England struggling to afford their energy bills to cut their costs by a potential £650 per year. A combination of factors are likely to have led to this fall in applications. The eligibility criteria were made stricter and the Government did not advertise the scheme as it was anticipated demand would again exceed supply. The milder winter weather may mean not as many people have been driven towards the scheme, but it is also seems that the number of advice organisations referring people to the scheme must have dropped significantly. They are likely to have been concerned people would end up not getting the grant given eligibility restrictions and the much smaller funding pot. Consumer Focus and National Energy Action are urging people to put in a claim now before the funding for this year ends on March 31. People on certain income-related benefits and living in homes that are poorly insulated or do not have a working central heating sys-


24 Years Experience Free Quotes & Advice Tel: 0116 2941336

Mob: 07989 451048

39 Copeland Rd, Birstall

Are you a caring person? Like varied work & job satisfaction? Join our team of carers in the Mountsorrel, Cropston, Quorn, Sileby, Syston, Birstall & Wymeswold areas. Flexible shifts, 10-40 hrs per week, & mornings, evenings and weekends available. No experience required as all training will be provided. Up to £7.25hr, plus travel expenses. Telephone essential. Ring Debbie between 8.30am & 4.30pm for more information on

0116 2696247 (quoting reference BP) Help At Home (Egerton Lodge) Ltd

tem are eligible for Warm Front grants. Anyone who is eligible for Cold Weather Payments can claim the grant such as: older people receiving pension credit; families with a child under five and in receipt of Income Support, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance or income based Jobseeker’s Allowance; and people with higher rate disability premiums. Audrey Gallacher, Director of Energy at Consumer Focus, said: “The poorest pensioners and families will have been hit particularly hard by high energy prices. Many are living in cold homes, which could put their health at risk. It is very disappointing that people who need Warm Front help to make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat are likely to miss out. We’d urge anyone who thinks they may be eligible to put in a claim. This help is free and can make a big difference in affording your energy bills and keeping warm and well.” Full details of who can claim help under the Warm Front scheme and how to apply are available on Directgov People can apply for the scheme online, by post, or by phone on 0800 316 6004 (or textphone 0800 072 0156), Monday to Friday 8.00 am to 6.00 pm and Saturday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

The Midlands Co-Operative

Sports & Social Club Birstall Road The ideal venue for for

Weddings • Parties Christenings etc Large Function Room with use of Kitchen

Separate bar for that quiet moment

Car Park with CCTV coverage Disabled facilities Mid Week Functions taken Give us a call at Birstall Rd on

2674059 or 07837 690287

M&G Plumbing Services All Plumbing & Heating work undertaken Sycamore Rd, Birstall

0116 2677905 07834 600384


Extra Points Alarms Rewiring Security Lighting Electrical Testing Part P Registered

Control Electrics Ltd Tel: 0116 2682910 FREE ESTIMATES



Help us in our work helping others less fortunate than ourselves

All gifts and donations gladly accepted at the ROYAL BRITISH LEGION 19 FRONT STREET • BIRSTALL

or Ring 2674817


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

0116 2674213 Correspondence, news etc can be handed in at: Birstall Library or to our office in the Youth Centre, Longslade College, Birstall



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.

BIRSTALL BAG’S have embraced the Department of Health’s Be Clear on Cancer campaign and are using the campaign material for the first time at the BAG’s Cancer Awareness Coffee Morning at Birstall Methodist Coffee Shop on Saturday March 3. The campaign is an excellent initiative and the BAG’s really hope to keep Birstall informed with its progress. The Be Clear on Cancer brand was developed by the Department of Health and has been in use since January 2011 to promote awareness and early diagnosis of cancer locally, regionally and nationally. The campaign aims to raise public awareness of symptoms of cancer and encourage people with symptoms to see their GP earlier. Each campaign is tested locally to see how people respond and what impact it has on their behaviour. The results then inform whether the campaign is taken forward more widely. Which tumour types are covered by

the Be Clear on Cancer brand? Be Clear on Cancer has been developed for bowel, lung, breast and blood in urine, as a symptom of bladder and kidney cancer. An additional breast cancer version specifically for women over 70 years has been developed. Oesophago-gastric cancer will be added to the suite of materials for Be Clear on Cancer during 2012. Timings of the Be Clear on Cancer campaigns? From 30 January 2012, the Department of Health has run the first national bowel cancer campaign to raise public awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer and help improve earlier diagnosis. The campaign will feature on national TV, radio and press, as well as on buses, pharmacy bags, TV screens in GP practices and online, providing people with multiple opportunities to see the Be Clear on Cancer message. Meanwhile, lung cancer became the focus of a regional pilot in the Midlands, running from 10 October to 13 Novem-

ber 2011, and 18 new local projects are piloting activities to raise awareness of the symptom of blood in urine (for bladder and kidney cancers), breast cancer in women over 70, oesophagogastric cancer and lung cancer in 2012. Look out for Be Clear on Cancer materials around Birstall. The messages these materials convey lead to earlier diagnosis and save lives, take note and take responsibility for your own health, if you are concerned SEE YOUR GP. For more information: ancerearly/naedi/beclearoncancer/ Macmillan Cancer Support free phone help line 0808 808 000 Monday – Friday 9am-8pm. University Hospitals of Leicester Cancer Information Centre on 0116 258 6189. Or contact Department of Health’s Be Clear on Cancer campaign email To reflect the interest and support of the local community Birstall BAG's seeks to be inclusive of all cancers and the group welcome villagers to support the many events they organise each year within the local community. Our next fundraising event is our annual Live Band Night at the Birstall Social Club on Saturday March 17th - Ticket only event.

e Hom n llatio Insta Sales er & Aft vice Ser

Television LCD • Plasma DVD recorders Digital Radio

Washing Machines Tumble Dryers Dishwashers Refrigeration

Microwaves Vacuum Cleaners

Built-in Appliances

Free 5 Year Warranty

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 MATHS & PHYSICS tuition. Popular, experienced private/college tutor, (PGCE, BSc Hons) offers excellent tuition and exam preparation for GCSE and A-level. Call 07980 749992 for more details. COOKER VALETING Cookers cleaned inside and out, drives and patios pressure washed, conservatories cleaned inside and out. Also general house cleaning. Tel: 0116 2215079, Mobile 07955175177 REIKI TREATMENTS at Blue Moon. First visit half price. Vouchers available. Visit for details FOR SALE ‘Simply Yoga’ DVD and instruction book. Never used gift £7.50. Stainless steel boules with carrying case and rules – hardly used £10. Small box of health books mainly heart problems £5. Can deliver Tel: 0116 2925824 ACCOUNTANCY SERVICES provided by qualified accountant. Low rates for sole traders/small businesses. Tel: 2673951 PIANO TUITION: Friendly professional tuition for all ages. Lessons tailored to individual needs. Chris White 07587177851 FOR SALE Bungalow detached, culde-sac location, bottom of Greengate Estate. 2 beds, south facing gaarden. Side extension, gfch/dg. Garage & parking for 3 cars. Please ring 2676926/07855 730029

on the latest models of selected Panasonic Televisions

The April issue of


TEBBATT ELECTRONICS The Crossroads, Thurcaston 0116 2362333

will be published on Mar 30. The copy deadline is Mar 16.

Quality spectacles at the best prices

need an

electrician? “Local, Reliable,Clean & Tidy” That’s what our customers are telling us! see our web site for more testimonials. • Fuse board upgrade/Rewires • Additional sockets & lighting • Landlord safety certificates/PAT testing • Electric showers fully installed • All work guaranteed • Free call out for elderly people

visit our showroom proSP CS eyewear GET A QUOTE FROM US BEFORE YOU BUYYOUR NEXT PAIR OF SPECTACLES Same day service on most plastic lenses Top quality lenses including Varilux, Nikon, Zeiss

Simon Oates Electrical Contractors 18 Cliffwood Ave • Birstall • Leicester

0116 2672675 or 07816 288765


Contact Mike or Teresa Keily on 0116

237 6098

Unit 3, Victoria Mills Fowke St, Rothley Easy Parking

Birstall Post (344) Mar 2012  

Birstall Post Mar 2012

Birstall Post (344) Mar 2012  

Birstall Post Mar 2012