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C O M M U N I T Y

APRIL 2014

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Pic: Carl Gunns (left) & Jim Garner

A RETIRED Birstall builder has bought an historic village building so that it will remain available for community use. Jim Garner, of Sibson Road, has bought the Reading Room on Birstall Road, currently in use as Gunns’ boxing gym. Jim said: “I heard that the building was going up for sale and I was concerned it might be developed as a bungalow.

“It was built as a village amenity and I want to dedicate it to the village as a village amenity – we have to look after buildings in our Conservation Area.” Jim bought the Reading Room for a

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Continued on page 2

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THE BIRSTALL POST APR 2014

Continued from page 1 five figure sum from the Church. It was built in 1876 by William Henry Walker who built The Holt. It was extended in 1906 and over the years has been used as a library, Scout hut, meeting room, dispensary and overflow classroom. Since buying the building Jim has worked on restoring and improving it, installing a timber window on the first floor, repairing ceilings and walls and installing an insulated real oak floor in part of the main room. The Reading Room will continue to be used by Carl Gunns as a gym, on a 25 year lease. Jim (78) said: “It’s a fabulous building, very much of its era, and I want to dedicate it to the village, it’s something I can do for Birstall as Birstall has been very good to me. I’ve got a great deal of satisfaction out of repairing it.” Carl Guns has been using the build-

Parish Council notes A FULL meeting of Birstall Parish Council was held on March 10.

Pics: (left) the new first floor window & (above) Jim & Carl standing on the new oak floor

ing as a boxing gym for the last 12 years. He said: “The work that has been done is just incredible, in my wildest dreams I didn’t think it would turn out as good as this, we have a floor

that I could eat my dinner off. ”The young people like it, they say it’s made the gym much bigger and brighter – sick, they call it! “It couldn’t have been bought by a better bloke, Jim is so genuine, without him and my other helpers Colin Powell and Colin Campbell the gym wouldn’t be here today.”

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Conservatory & Window Concepts Ltd received the report from the Consumer Protection Association, an organisation that helps the public to find safe, reliable contractors to carry out home improvements. CWC is run by local couple Byron & Mandy Manning. They said: “It’s thanks to our customers that we have received such a glowing report - it just goes to show that we always put quality first.”

Steve Bullen from Leicestershire County Council reported on the progress of the County’s plans to modify the chicane on Birstall Road near Church Hill. He said signalling the junction with traffic lights would be costly and cause delays for motorists and would look unsightly. As footways now have to be 1.5 metres wide for safety reasons, restoring the road to two way traffic was not possible. A resident commented that if the chicane were moved and the priority changed, traffic speeds would increase. Another resident commented that motorists constantly ignore the speed restrictions. Comment was made that the present layout was the best of a bad lot. It was agreed that Mr Bullen meet on site with residents who live near the junction, and with Cllr Iain Bentley. It was reported that Cllr Duncan LeMay had resigned from the Parish Council. Les Ashton was co-opted to fill a vacancy on the council. Youth Worker Helen McNulty reported that she will be offering alternative educational provision at the Birstall Youth Café, for young people aged 11-14 who are having difficulties in mainstream education. She will be working with up to 12 young people who will be collected from school by mini-bus. She reported that neighbouring local authorities considered the Birstall Youth Café to be a successful model and they were adopting its practices. The council has adopted a tree policy. The council agreed to spend £9941 on extending metal fencing along the boundary of the School Lane playing field along the A6. Borough Cllr Simon Sansome requested that audio recording of Parish Council meetings be put on the council’s website. He said people with dyslexia, like himself, had difficulty reading pages of text. Chairman Ann Marshall said that it was not a legal requirement and that the Parish Council website had the facility to read aloud the minutes to anyone looking at the site. Two councillors commented they were uncomfortable with the idea that their words were recorded. It was agreed that the cost of introducing audio recording be researched. It was reported that the council is waiting for a third quote from an architect for plans for the new community hall at Hallam Fields. Cllr Sansome reported that an issue frequently raised by parishioners he met on the doorstep was the lack of provision of grit bins. He said he had compiled a list of 33 locations where bins were needed. Comment was made that Kilby Avenue residents had joined together to buy their own bin which was filled with grit by the County Council. It was agreed to establish what responsibility the Parish Council had to provide bins and the extent to which they are really needed. Damage to grass verges on Loughborough Road and Greengate Lane were occurring repeatedly, it was reported. Comment was made that they need protection by installing wooden stumps if they are to be retained.


THE BIRSTALL POST APR 2014

3

Broadnook Garden Suburb: 1650 new homes THE CONSTRUCTION of 1650 new homes in ‘North Birstall’ could start in 2015.

Girl promises to grow hair for a year A TEN year old Birstall girl is growing her hair to raise money for a cancer charity. Abbie Williams (10) of Walker Road started her challenge on New Year’s Day and after one year is up will have it cut off and donate it to be turned into wigs for prople who have lost their hair following cancer treatment. Abbie, a pupil at Highclfife School, said: “I thought it would be a good idea to raise money for breast cancer care. Three members of my family have had it. “My dad’s auntie has died of breast cancer and my nanny and auntie had the same sort, but they are all better now and I hope it stays that way. “My goal is to get about £100 or more if I am lucky. Mum and Dad have given me £30 each which was very kind and that is more than half way to my goal! “I don’t like having my hair cut and I thought it would be a good idea to let it grow for a year and then donate my hair

Broadnook Garden Suburb

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ë

Pic: Red line shows maximum extent of land within which the planning application boundary will be defined

• the houses will be built close to the site of the old Bentley’s Roses • the land is owned by the PalmerTomkinson Trust, the Cooper family and Leicester City Council • the landowners are working in partnership with housebuilders Barwood Homes and Davidsons Homes • the development will include ‘local day to day shops and services’ and ‘a range of new employment opportunities’ • there will be bus routes through the site and the potential for a rail halt on the GCR line • a wide choice of homes for all income levels will be provided • land within three of the four quadrants defined

New primary school

ë

Details of the planned development at ‘North Birstall’ have emerged from documents submitted to Charnwood Borough Council by the landowners/developers. The ‘Broadnook Garden Suburb’ is part of Charnwood’s Local Plan which is still at the draft stage, currently being examined by a planning inspector.

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by the A6/A46 intersection is expected to be included in the application proposals – north west, north east and south east • the majority of the land to be developed is in the Wanlip parish boundary but some falls within Rothley and Thurcaston • there will be at least 1500 homes – up to 1650 – and 15 hectares of employment land in the north west quadrant • a primary school with a capacity of 420 pupils is planned • the ‘Broadnook Centre’ will include

WANLIP

local shops, small scale employment uses and a community centre, as well as restaurants, takeaways, and drinking establishments • outdoor sports facilities will include a bowling green and tennis courts •allotments and an arboretum are planned • residential dwellings will be mostly two or 2.5 storey with “three storey for emphasis at appropriate locations” • the build period will be 11 years commencing in 2015

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4

THE BIRSTALL POST

APR 2014

Bowls season starting THE NEW outdoor bowls season starts later this month and Birstall Bowling Club are looking for new members to join the club. The club play men’s, ladies and mixed friendly matches against other clubs in Leicestershire, as well as league matches and national, county, parks and internal club competitions. The club also has a good social side with various events taking place throughout the year.

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An open morning is planned for Saturday May 10 between 10.00am – 12.00 noon at the club on School Lane Playing Fields in Birstall. Everyone is welcome, all you need are a pair of flat shoes or trainers. All equipment is provided and club members will be on hand to offer assistance. For further details about the open morning or the club in general, ladies can call Diane on 0116 2675457 and men can contact Andy on 0116 2677969.

Pic: Nick Marshall receives his award from the Chairman of Leicestershire County Council, Rosita Page

Library’s green star A BIRSTALL library assistant has won an award for his commitment to the environment. Nick Marshall (51) has worked at Birstall library for eight years and was presented with an ‘Environment Awareness’ award at Leicestershire County Council’s You’re a Star awards ceremony in February. The judges recognised his work as a GoGreen champion encouraging colleagues to recycle more and cut the use of resources such as energy, water and paper. He signed the Birstall library team up for the Green Impact award scheme and achieved Bronze Level in 2013 – they are now working towards Silver. Nick said: “I strongly believe we should take care of the world we live in. I studied environmental science at university and worked as a countryside ranger for many years before moving into museum work and then libraries. It is nice to have an aspect of that interest which I can apply to my library job. In addition to its environmental benefits, this helps to reduce landfill tax, energy and other costs for the County Council and saves money that can be spent on maintaining services and I am pleased that this ‘hidden’ aspect of my work has been recognised for the benefits it produces.”

Water pressure WANLIP RESIDENTS experiencing periods of low mains water pressure have seen the situation improve after local councillors met with Severn Trent bosses. Birstall County Councillor Iain Bentley arranged a meeting with Severn Trent to discuss the problems – he was joined by Cllr Serinda Shergill and Pauline Harrison, Chair of Wanlip Parish meeting. A spokesman for Severn Trent said: “We’d like to say sorry to customers in certain parts of Wanlip Village who have been experiencing variable water pressure. While the pressure doesn’t fall below or above our agreed service standard, we understand that it is causing concerns for our customers. “To understand what is causing this problem, we’ve carried out an investigation and we believe it could be linked to water supply being used as part of sewage treatment processes at Wanlip. To help stop water pressure levels from changing, we are working with some short term solutions and we are developing a longer term plan for improvements, which we expect to complete during the summer. We will keep the local community up to date on our progress and we’d like to thank them for their patience and understanding.” To report any issues call Severn Trent free on 0800 783 444.


THE BIRSTALL POST APR 2014

5

Garden centre plans coffee shop AS VILLAGE shopping streets continue to struggle a planned coffee shop and delicatessen at Birstall Garden Centre aims to restore some economic vitality to our village centre. Birstall Garden Centre’s plans for a delicatessen, coffee shop and lounge will also feature an information point promoting local places of interest. The planning application states: “Our proposal is to dramatically improve the existing garden centre making it a focal point for the village – an eco friendly environmental hub with a unique ‘bygone Birstall’ character – a centre for leisure gardening and local information.” The Gibson family of the Grey Lady Restaurant will run the coffee shop and deli on the same rural theme as their new Grey Lady deli in Newtown Linford. “We would like the new centre to be an integral part of the local community and something for Birstall to be proud of … a unique and different example of

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what can be achieved in areas where villages are becoming ‘tired’ and local businesses struggling” states the application. Birstall Parish Council Chairman Ann Marshall has welcomed the plans. She said: “I’m very much in favour and I think it is encouraging that they want to give it a go, if it can help rejuvenate Birstall at all that is a good thing. It’s also in a good place, being right next to the car park.” Charnwood Borough Council’s planning department are recommending that approval be granted conditionally. They say: “The extensions as proposed are considered suitable in scale and appearance to serve the needs of this commercial property which is located within the district centre – the change of use of part of the buildings owned by the garden centre will be a welcome addition to improve the range of services and shopping options within the village and improve toilet facilities and refreshment opportunities to its customers.” The plans include new disabled facilities, toilets and a modern user friendly entrance. The frontage will see a slated roof supported on oak posts, surrounded by flower filled planters. The coffee shop, deli and lounge will be located with the properties at 19 and 21 Sibson Road, next door to the Aromaspice restaurant. Planning application reference: P/14/0263/2

WI busy making bags ON MARCH 3 the Community Rooms at Highcliffe School were filled with the sound of whirring sewing machines and clicking knitting needles Birstall and Wanlip WI members were making Morsbags and knitted squares for a picture being made for Rutland Hospital by Lisa of the KGB. Morsbags are reusable cloth bags made by volunteers out of recycled donated fabric and given away as an alternative to plastic carrier bags. Throughout the evening we completed six bags and cut and pressed another 13. We have already made 33 so this is a fair contribution to the 25,000 already made in Leicester by numerous organisations. The Greenacres Centre at Leicester North Station hold Morsebag workshops on the last Wednesday of every month. See www.morsbags.com for more details and you could help save the environment from ecologically damaging plastic carrier bags. Homemade refreshments enhanced our productive evening and special thanks to Linda who dropped in to help on the sewing machine.

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THE BIRSTALL POST APR 2014

Grace’s cakes are a sell out success

Extra help on the bus

A CAKE stall at her Woodgate Drive home helped eight year old Grace Clarke raise money for the World Wildlife Fund. Grace, a pupil at Highcliffe school, goes to the 2nd Birstall Brownie group and decided to raise some money for the WWF for her Friends to Animals

badge. She said: “I started by sending invitations to my neighbours and to some of my friends. It took me two days to make all of the cakes. I did have some help from my mum and brother. We sold lots of yummy cakes at the cake stall. They were delicious cakes and even I tried one. “When my grandma and granddad arrived they brought a ginger cake to sell and that sold really fast! So I did not get to try a

PEOPLE WHO travel by bus and need a little extra help can use a new card.

piece. I had fun making and selling the cakes. At the end we had sold all of the cakes so me and my friend Evie counted the money and we had a total of £39.80 so that was close to £40” She added: “I would just like say thank you to all the people who bought cakes so that we could send the money off to the world Wildlife Fund to save endangered animals.” Pics: (top) Grace selling cakes & (left) with a poster she made

Bus operator First have introduced the Safe Journey card. A spokesman said: “They let you tell the driver that you need some extra help to make your journey on the bus. It may be that you need more time to reach your seat or that you want the driver to speak up because you are hard of hearing. Whatever you need, you can use these cards to let the driver know in a private and discreet way – there are even blank spaces for you to fill in yourself for details of your destination or special instructions.” Disabled customers may also want to carry a Better Journey Card. The spokesman said: “This card has been designed following consultation with disability groups around the UK, and is intended to give disabled people a way of letting the driver know that the may need additional help. It includes messages such as ‘Please be patient I

have a hidden disability’, ‘Please face me and speak clearly, I lip read’ and ‘Please help me find a seat. There are also some blank spaces for you to use if you want to include a different message.” He added: “Keep the card in your wallet or travel pass and when you get on the bus show it to the driver. The driver should then offer you the necessary assistance. Carrying these cards is voluntary – you do not need to use one if you don’t want to, but you may find it a useful way of asking for any assistance you may need.” To download the cards, go to www.firstgroup.com and choose Bus Accessibility. Or go to tinyurl.com/p7xta8d

New café THE FORMER Notions card shop on the corner of Sibson Road and Stonehill Avenue could re-open as a café. A planning application has been submitted to Charnwood Borough Council in which the applicant states: “I propose to open a deli/café/coffee shop with freshly prepared oven cooked and grilled hot food. No frying of any type will occur on the premises.” The type of food prepared is listed as hot paninis, baguettes, jacket potatoes and potato wedges, cold sandwiches, grilled hot rolls, quiches, pies and pasties, and cakes. The café will not offer takeaway food. The proposed opening hours are Mon-Fri 9-4, Sat 9-4, Sun & Bank Holidays 10-2. The planning application reference is P/14/0372/2.


THE BIRSTALL POST APR 2014

7

England stars visit TWO ASHES winning England cricketers visited Stonehill school where they led an assembly and got involved in a coaching session. Fresh from their Ashes victory in Australia, Danielle Hazell and Jenny Gunn led an assembly for Year 7 students which featured footage of exploits down under. Teacher Debs Butler said: “The students did an excellent job quizzing the athletes on their experiences as elite cricketers, and the girls managed not to lose too many wickets to those two fantastic players.” Students from Highcliffe school and Longslade College also attended the

event. In March, a group of 45 Stonehill girls visited Twickenham Stoop to watch the England women’s team beat Wales

Scooter shed leads way A PURPOSE built mobility scooter storage shed at Birstall’s Riverside Court is being used as a model for sheltered housing across the borough.

35-3 in the six nations tournament. Before the game the group took in the World Rugby Museum at Twickenham stadium and met some of the players pitchside after the match. Debs said: “Stonehill’s Under 13 team are currently looking forward to the regional 7s tournament

Charnwood Borough Council have allocated £150,000 for the sheds, after seeing how Birstall’s Borough Councillors had identified the problem at Riverside and have organised a solution. Cllr David Gaskell said: “I identified the problem on one of my regular visits to Riversdale Court. I saw extension cables being used to charge batteries and mobility scooters parked in hallways. This was obviously dangerous, the residents were aware of this and wanted a scooter store.” Grant funding for the store was secured from Leicestershire County Council’s Area Forum and a local supplier provided the building, which is now in regular use.

Pics: (top) England players Jenny Gunn (left) and Danielle Hazell (right) with Stonehill students & (far left) a warm up session. Above: trying on shirts at the Twickenham museum

The May issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST

where they will be representing Leicestershire. The team are unbeaten this year, hopefully seeing the victorious England Women’s side will inspire them to future success.”

will be published on May 3. The copy deadline is Apr 18.

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THE BIRSTALL POST APR 2014

YOUR SAY...

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

Thanks Following the Birstall/Wanlip by-election I wish to thank everyone who voted for me, and all those who gave their time to help. Naturally I'm disappointed that I did not win, but it was more disappointing that only 25% of those eligible to vote actually used their vote. Are 75% of the electorate really not interested in maintaining the high standard of services delivered by the Charnwood Borough Council? I ran a truthful campaign, making no promises I would not be able to keep, and highlighting what the Conservative Councillors have achieved and what will be done in the future. Fortunately it won't be long before you can vote again, and by that time you will have found any failings of the new Councillor. Many of you have experienced the help with your queries and problems which you bring to your three honest Conservative Councillors we have, and who can be contacted at their surgeries in the old council offices on Sibson Road the last Saturday of each month, no matter what your political persuasion is. Mary Allen

Disgruntled At last someone has seen sense regarding the chicane on Birstall Road. I can’t see that it has made any difference to safety. Lots of drivers ignore the priority of traffic approaching the village and have caused me to brake sharply, expecting outbound traffic to give way, only to find they are trying to barge through. It would appear to me that when planning the first chicane nobody stood on Birstall Road and looked out of the village to see what sort of view outbound drivers would get with the bend in the way. Instead of moving the chicane to the other side of the road why not just move it altogether. The council seems intent on just wasting money (our money!) I always thought that councils were there to consider things that were best for the community, now it is going to cost twice as much, first to remove the old one, then replace it. Come on council, if you have that sort of money to waste spend it on something that has needed doing for a long time now, ie the roundabout on Birstall/Sibson Road Every time we have a downpour this roundabout floods, surely you must have been informed of this. Let’s get our priorities right. Disgruntled road user/ rates payer and Birstall resident M Denningberg

Chicane The proposed reconstruction, as reported in the March 'Post', forgets a primary reason for installing the chicane as it now exists. This is the safety of pedestrians using the pavement along Birstall Road past the roadnarrowing at the old Forge. Before the chicane was installed, there was unrestricted 2-way vehicle traffic but only a half-metrewide pavement. Southbound vehicles were far too close to pedestrians, causing a serious hazard. This pavement, which is now protected by the chicane, is the only route between the Church Hill/Front Street area and Birstall Road towards the city, and the bus stops there. Pedestrians must be protected through that narrowing. If southbound traffic is given free passage, this will re-instate the hazard to pedestrians, as your sketch clearly shows. Has no risk-assessment of the chicane reconstruction been carried out? Furthermore, the present system allows

traffic turning right into Church Hill an opportunity to cross southbound traffic, which has to stop North of the Church Hill entrance. In my experience, this works reasonably, as most southbound traffic obeys this feature. If southbound traffic were given priority, traffic for Church Hill would have to wait before the chicane, then dash round it, hoping that no southbound traffic arrives (as the priority flow) to block the Church Hill entrance. This would cause another hazard. So I feel strongly that the present chicane should be left unchanged. I think it's the least bad solution to the problem arising from the narrowed road. The alternatives of traffic lights to regulate flow north/south, or a one-way system north or southbound only through the narrowing (including a suitably wide pavement), bring their own issues and substantial costs. The chicane issue is made worse, of course, by the remarkable proposal for a 'Wanlip Bypass' - also reported in your March issue. This would clearly increase traffic along Wanlip Lane, heading for/from the City. Most of that traffic would have to pass this same chicane. A K Drury

Safety Following a recent incident at the pedestrian crossing leading from Fielding Road over the railway, Great Central Railway PLC would like to send a message to all residents of Birstall and the surrounding area. Many people like to take advantage of the pedestrian crossing over the railway for dogwalking or just to enjoy the countryside. We do not wish to hinder your enjoyment but would request that when crossing the line, utmost vigilance should be maintained in both directions to check for the presence of approaching trains before making your way across. This particularly applies when children or dogs are present who might not be aware of the dangers. Neither should people presume that trains only pass at certain times. For our part, we apply strict protocols on the Drivers of the locomotives involving the whistle or horn, speed restriction and vigilance on approach. We take our responsibility in this respect very seriously and through risk assessment try to minimise the risks to pedestrians. But it would be to our mutual benefit to ensure a similar approach to the dangers of the crossing is made by our neighbours. Please let us work together to ensure we

never have an accident on this pedestrian crossing. Thanks to you all for your co-operation. Bill Ford, Managing Director, Great Central Railway

Bypass The proposal for a 'Wanlip Bypass' - your March issue - is to me quite remarkable. It seems, as reported anyway, to overlook any effects of such a road after the southern end of Wanlip Village. Have 'planners' not learnt that 'more roads generate more traffic', and 'a bypass merely shifts the problem to a little further on' - the two classic experiences of any efforts to 'improve' traffic flow? The road sketched on your plan would clearly increase traffic along Wanlip Lane, heading for/from the City. Straight through Birstall village. There is no word of how the additional hazards from increased traffic to: • pupils and staff Longslade College/Stonehill School and Riverside Primary school • users of Birstall Library • customers of the shops near the Co-op store • users of, and those living near, the Birstall Road 'chicane' would be overcome. In addition, the designers neatly provide a bypass to the Birstall Park & Ride, so drivers are not tempted to give up driving into the city! That should really help improve low P&R usage! All in all some poor thinking by planners and councillors, in my view. What is needed urgently, Councillors, is a traffic strategy for Birstall, as befits a busy living suburb of a large city, and to serve for the next decades. This would need to take into account the rapidly growing population here, with its needs for suitable transport, AND the essential changes in the nature of that transport. It should consider, for example: • improving the quality of life as affected by transport for Birstall residents. • giving public transport, cycling (for which there is almost no consideration in Birstall) and pedestrian traffic the highest priority. • 20mph zones, say from Wanlip Lane at Wanlip to Birstall Road south of the chicane, and for Sibson Road, must be considered. Segregated cycle lanes must be provided. • the strict limitation of through traffic to a single corridor. All debatable suggestions, of course, but

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THE BIRSTALL POST APR 2014

being increasingly welcomed and implemented elsewhere, and more socially responsible than the present messy, fragmented ideas about traffic through Birstall. The 'Wanlip Bypass' appears to be 'kneejerk planning' in relation to fragmentary developments. Such schemes will always merely shift the 'problem' to another area. Let this NOT be Birstall village! A K Drury

Parking In reply to last month’s letter regarding parking outside my gym, it would be nice if the writer would get their facts correct. First of all the cars parked outside my gym are mostly the Scouts’ parents picking up their children, leaving their hazard lights on for ages while they go inside the Scout Hut. This happens very often, sometimes they are parked right up Birstall Road, they do this regularly and sometimes even park right outside the gym steps. I'm not saying some gym members don’t park on yellow, some do and I try and tell them when I can to park on the car parks which most of my members do! I knew we would get the blame, but it’s not always us, the Scouts’ parents park anywhere when it suits them. Yours in sport Carl Gunns

New councillor On Monday March 10 Birstall Parish Council welcomed Councillor Simon Sansome, the newly elected Liberal Democrat Borough Councillor for Birstall and Wanlip to his first meeting. Our Borough and County Councillors are furnished with meeting dates for the Parish Council and have an allocated slot on the agenda should they wish to update Councillors or raise any issues. Councillor Sansome had requested that two items, namely, grit bins and recording/filming of Parish Council meetings be put on the agenda, which they subsequently were. However, following discussion, councillors wished to gather further information to inform future decision making. It was therefore disappointing that Councillor Sansome then chose to report the issues on the social media site Facebook/Spotted Birstall. This gave a subjective and inaccurate perspective of the discussion. Grit bins have always been provided by Leicestershire County Council Highways Department and Birstall Parish Council is not aware of any change to that. Currently, Parish Councils are not legally obliged to record meetings, only principal authorities have to provide such facilities. If Birstall Parish Council were to introduce this, the costs are likely to be very high. Therefore, we need to investigate, as funding would have to come from Birstall tax payers via the precept. Birstall Parish Council conducts its business in a transparent manner. Members of the public are free to attend meetings and there is a slot for them to speak should they wish to do so. Minutes are published on the council’s website and meetings are reported in the Birstall Post. These avenues ensure accuracy and accessibility to the residents we serve. Cllr Ann Marshall Chair of Birstall Parish Council

Natalie I am writing in response to Natalie’s Mum’s letter in last month’s Birstall Post. I can’t believe that some people can think that Natalie and her mum should stay at home and not have a little bit of pleasure by going out. Years ago you were taught not to stare, so why watch what Natalie did? Name & address supplied

Sympathy I wish to extend my sympathies towards Cllr Duncan LeMay who was evicted by the Birstall Parish Council from his allotment plot by the Estates and Recreation Committee

(Birstall Post Mar 2014). I do not know him personally but I am familiar with the heavy handed and hostile methods of the Council in relation to the running of the allotments. Their actions in "chickengate" certainly do not reflect how I'd like to see a fellow allotment holder treated and therefore I fail to see why they could not have been more understanding in the circumstances. Allotment holders imagine that they will enjoy a peaceful time on their plots, companionably growing their fruit and veg, yet it's really not the case. Indeed, many allotment holders have left Birstall's boundaries and I understand that they can now be found having a much nicer time at Red Hill Allotments. I'd recommend that anyone interested in a plot applies there first to save the hassle of moving later. I'm not entirely sure who the BPC is serving - but I'd very much like to see them replaced with a team who truly serves the local community at the earliest instance. Name and address supplied

Cats Calling All Cat Owners. Would those cat owners who do not already do so, please behave responsibly by training your cat to use a litter tray in your own home/garden. Then other garden owners (some of whom are elderly and arthritic) will not have to deal with the excrement left by your cat. We can then all cope with and enjoy our gardens. Name and address supplied

Thanks I should like to thank Cllrs Iain Bentley and David Gaskell for their hard work in helping to resolve a long standing issue in Birstall. The situation had been ongoing for some years; this was highly stressful for those on the receiving end of the nuisance and other channels had been unsuccessful in fully resolving the problems. However, following the first meeting at the Birstall council surgery, just knowing that the Cllrs were willing to investigate and take appropriate action was incredibly helpful and supportive. This was backed up by their genuine concern for the well being of those involved and a tenacious determination to ensure all avenues of resolution were fairly considered. Many thanks to you both. Jayne Spence

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& crime report Holiday Time Again As summer approaches many of us will be looking forward to our holidays. Unfortunately, there will be criminals still at work just waiting to take advantage of our relaxed attitude. A few simple precautions can prevent a pleasant holiday turning into an ordeal. • It is most important to have good travel insurance that will cover any losses, especially medical costs. • Do not carry all of your cards and money together, split them between two or more pockets or bags while you travel and keep all but what you need on a daily basis in the hotel safe. • Keep your passport there too; but carry a photocopy of it with you in case you are asked to produce identity or provide details. • Make a paper list of key telephone numbers, especially those you need to cancel cards, and keep it with your passport. Numbers in your mobile phone are of no use if you lose it. • If possible, have two independent cards with which you can draw money but do not keep them together. Then, if you have to cancel one, you can still use the other. • Take care to avoid pickpockets in crowded places. Travel wallets that you can hang around your neck under clothing are available; although not highly regarded as fashion-accessories! • Advise your bank in plenty of time that you might be using your cards abroad to prevent them from suspecting criminal use and blocking them. In the majority of holiday countries, the Emergency Number 112 works exactly the same as the local number. However, it is 911 in the United States. Your holiday is well earned and meant to be enjoyed. A little care and forethought can ensure that nothing happens to spoil it. Bon voyage. From Ed Chambers Birstall and Wanlip Neighbourhood Watch

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Crime Report: Feb 2014 Assaults 6, burglary 2, burglary non-dwelling 2, damage 1, damage to motor vehicle 1, fraud 2, theft 5, theft from motor vehicle 8, theft of motor vehicle 2, theft from store 5 The total number of crimes reported this month has unfortunately risen slightly, mostly due to an increase in theft from motor vehicle offences of which we have had eight this month, compared to none in January. The majority of these incidents have happened overnight and in three cases entry was actually gained due to the vehicles being left insecure, and so I would urge people to ensure that vehicles are left secure at all times, even if they are only left unattended for a short period. We are working closely with officers from other areas which border Birstall to try and identify the persons responsible for these offences and will also be looking to increase patrols in the areas that have been affected. There have been two thefts of motor vehicles reported this month and in both of these cases it was actually motorbikes that were targeted as opposed to cars. If you own a motorcycle/moped please make sure that these are secured with a good quality lock and if possible store them in a garage or shed overnight where they will be much safer than being left out on driveways or in gardens. We have recently set up a new Neighbourhood Priority to tackle speeding vehicles on Wanlip Lane and Birstall Road and the intention is to start conducting some speed checks on these roads as and when we can. It was decided to look at this issue as members of the community have been telling us that this is one of their main concerns – we will keep you updated with any work done on this priority in future bulletins. Burglary dwelling offences have remained fairly low, with only two offences reported in February. A swift response by Officers in relation to one of these incidents actually resulted in a male being arrested, however unfortunately due to a lack of evidence he was later released without charge. As always, please remain vigilant at all times and remember to report any suspicious people or activity to either Leicestershire Police or your local Neighbourhood Watch. From PC1759 Dave Jaeckels & PCSO 6611 Mark Butler Tel: 0116 2677355 or 101. Twitter: @birstallpolice

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THE BIRSTALL POST APR 2014

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Noticeboard all details printed free Charity Bridge Drive Organised by Loughborough Lions Club at the Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley Wednesday April 9 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

Soar Valley Bowls Club We would like to extend a warm welcome to all age groups who would like to try bowling We are holding two open days on April 26/27 from 10am to 12noon for anyone who would like to have a go All that you will need is a pair of flat soled shoes and we will supply the equipment Our bowls green is situated on Loughborough Rd, Mountsorrel, opposite Hilltop Garage

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We will also tea and biscuits to calm the nerves! If you would like any more information please phone 0116 2364246 Or email hilbil1@virginmedia.com Remember it’s not just for the aged! Wreake Valley Rotary Club

10th Real Ale Festival Syston Community Centre April 10, 11 & 12 Thursday 10th & Friday 11th will be 5-11pm and Saturday 12th will be 12noon- 11pm We will be offering 20 different ales to sample and on Saturday there will be a quiz to keep the grey matter stimulated. As usual all the proceeds will be used to support local and international charities throughout the year. Birstall and District

Art Society Tuesday April 8 at 7pm You are invited to join us at the Palmer Tompkinson Centre at Longslade College to listen to well-known local artist Peter Gadsby giving a talk on ‘Exploring Ideas into Printing’. Refreshments available at the interval. Demonstration to end at 9pm. Members £1, Guests £3. Free raffle. Ample parking and wheelchair access.

Birstall Flower Club Meeting April 23 at Birstall Village Hall 7.15pm Lynda Stamp: ‘Let Nature Exist’ Visitors welcome Birstall & District

Local History Society Thursday April 10, 7.30pm Birstall Village Hall, Birstall Road, Birstall Speaker Sam Dobson, ‘History of Leicester Symphony Orchestra’ All visitors are very welcome Parking is available on the Birstall Playing Fields via the School Lane entrance

From Classics to Jazz Concert by Rachael Lawson (clarinet/saxophone) and Stephen Waterhouse (piano) Saturday April 12 at 7.30pm at Syston Methodist Church Tickets £6 (including light refresh-

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UFOs in the spotlight A talk on unidentified flying objects (UFOs) will be given at the meeting of Leicestershire & Rutland Dowsers on Saturday April 5 The speakers will be Stuart Hague and Norma Blakey The meeting will take place as usual at St James’ Day Centre Birstall Village Hall starting at 10.30am Admission £3 for members, £5 for non-members All welcome

All Together Service Sunday May 4 at 10am St James Church, Birstall You are warmly invited to our short monthly family-friendly service The theme for this month is ‘Journeying On!’ Christian Aid

Coffee Morning Saturday May 3 Birstall Methodist Church From 10am to 12noon Cakes, raffle, bring and buy, tombola, plants

Save a Life – Give Blood Friday April 11 1-3.30pm and 5-8pm Birstall Social Club Wanlip Lane, Birstall To book an appointment visit blood.co.uk or call 0300 1123 23 23

Craft Sessions at Birstall Library Whatever you do, sew, knit, crochet or anything else bring it with you and enjoy an hour with our friendly group just crafting and chatting. On the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 10.30-11.30am There is a charge of £2 per person •••

Afternoon Tea Book Group A new book group meeting at Birstall Library The first meeting will be on Monday April 7 From 2.15-3.15pm and then from Monday May 19 on the 3rd Monday of the month Everyone is welcome, so if you want to chat about books with like minded people come along to find out more Contact the library on 0116 305 8756 or email birstalllibrary@leics.gov.uk

Birstall Royal British Legion April 5: Double Trouble (F/Duo) April 12: Dee Smoove (M/V) April 19: Laren Rose (F/V) April 26: Jacqui Daniels (F/V) Dancing every Saturday night with live entertainment Bingo, free beer raffle and not forgetting Open the Box


THE BIRSTALL POST APR 2014

Every Tuesday night Bingo starting at 9.15pm Quiz nights Sunday April 13 & 27, starting at 9pm Acoustic night Sunday April 20 at 8pm Rock & Roll nights Wednesday March 2 & 16 Food available every Saturday 12-2pm Wakes catered for Happy Easter to all our members

Room for Hire at Birstall Library Following a small alteration to the library layout there is now a Meeting Room at Birstall Library which is available for hire Depending on availability it can be hired for full days, half days or by the hour Call in any time during normal opening hours to view the room and discuss charges

Borrow a DVD for Easter Birstall Library has a wide range of DVDs available for hire including new releases DVDs are hired on a weekly basis but any taken out on Friday April 11 or Monday April 14 can be kept for 2 weeks for the same price so if you are looking for something to watch over Easter call in and have a look

Minibeasts & Composting Find out how to make compost and about all the insects and minibeasts in the garden At Birstall Library on Tuesday April 15 from 2.15-3.45pm For children aged 5-10 years £1.50 per child If each child could bring an empty 2 litre pop bottle it would be very helpful but not essential Booking is essential

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

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Life in the Trenches Continuing our series of lunchtime talks by Nick Marshall about the First World War Thursday April 10 at 12.30pm Tickets are £2.50 or £3 for non library members For more details on library events contact 0116 305 8756 or email birstalllibrary@leics.gov.uk

Film Presentations from Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council ‘Philomena’ Friday April 11 (134 mins) This British film is a moving true story about one woman’s quest to right a terrible wrong. Philomena is played remarkably by Dame Judi Dench. She and the journalist, played by Steve Coogan, form a beautiful relationship as he investigates her son’s disappearance. ‘Sunshine on Leith’ Friday May 9 (100 mins) This romantic comedy is an upbeat happy musical with many songs by the Proclaimers. Two friends return to Scotland from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. They again enjoy their girl friends’ company while Davy and Liz’s parents celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. However, there emerges a dark secret from the past. ‘12 Years a Slave’ Friday June 13 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. Advance tickets can be purchased via the parish office - 0116 236 7626 or at the door.

Tea Dance Ballroom, Sequence, Latin and Jive Friday April 11, 3.30-5.30pm St James Village Hall

Birstall Road, Birstall LE4 4DH £3 inc refreshments all welcome, come along for a great afternoon of dancing, music and company for more details contact Joan 07718519480 or email: guido@derosa.me.uk Saturday April 26 at 7.30pm St James Church, Birstall Cossington Voices present

Round Britain in Song Tickets £5 at the door, inc glass of wine. Proceeds for Jeel-al-Amal Orphanage in Bethany, Palestine Birstall Watermead Tennis Club

Open Days Wed April 30, 7-9.30pm & Sunday May 4, 10am-1pm Co-op Sports & Social Club, Birstall Road Half price new membership offer on the days Have a go on court, meet the coach and members Highcliffe Amateur Theatrical Society presents

Birstall Parish Councillors invite you to the

Annual Parish Meeting Monday April 7 at 7pm Birstall Village Hall There will be a presentation from the Chair of the Parish Council, Cllr Ann Marshall, reporting on the successes and achievements throughout 2013/14 • representatives from Charnwood Borough Council • representative from Leicestershire County Council • Leicestershire Constabulary • Neighbourhood Watch • Youth Café • Community Heartbeat Trust – Defibrillator Come and get the answers to your questions from the right representative Free refreshments available on the night

‘The Queen and I’

Thurmaston Bowls Club Elizabeth Park Sports Centre

The hilarious comedy by Sue Townsend Thursday, Friday, Saturday, June 12,13 & 14 at 7.15pm Highcliffe School, Greengate Lane, Birstall Tickets £6 (£5 Concs) Box Office 0116 2209594 or 0116 2128757 Email:hatsbirstall1@hotmail.co.uk Don’t delay, book today!

Open Day

Mountsorrel Methodist Church presents the 4th in the 13th series of Sunday Night @ Eight

Organ Recitals Sunday April 13 at 8pm by David Crick

11

Hinckley United Reformed Church Admission free Donations for church’s development fund Buffet from 7.30pm

Sunday April 13 at 2.30pm ‘Roll Up Night’ is Wednesdays about 6pm – just come along – no uniform required just flat bottomed shoes FREE coaching is available by qualified coaches, with use of equipment

Guided Bluebell Walk Outwoods, near Loughborough April 16, 10am – 12noon From Outwoods Car park on Woodhouse Lane Led by Charnwood Borough Council’s Ranger Service

Now enrolling new students in all age groups: BABY BALLET - 2-4 YEARS BABY STAGE - 5-7 YEARS JUNIOR STAGE - 8-10 YEARS INTER STAGE - 11-14 YEARS SENIOR STAGE - 15 AND OVER Weekly classes in the following subjects: Classical Ballet, Classical Greek, Modern Jazz,, Lyrical, Tap, Speech & Drama, Acrobatics, Stage, Musical Theatre, National & Commercial

We offer a ‘FREE FIRST LESSON’ to enable prospective students to come and join in and have a look round. Starlight Theatre School Hadrian Road, Mowmacre Hill, Leicester LE4 2PQ

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12

THE BIRSTALL POST APR 2014

‘Olivia’ A musical A Dickens of a show with a twist performed by Thurmaston Showstoppers Friday June 20, Saturday June 21, Sunday matinee June 22 Thurmaston Community Theatre, Silverdale Drive. Tickets £5 from 2200698 White Horse

Duck Race Monday May 5, 12noon Ducks now on sale Buy your ducks from the White Horse The Youth Café on Birstall Park or from the Council Offices.

Contact Angela 07973 479844 Sausage cobs, cakes & drinks available

50+ Fitness Classes Birstall and Sileby If you are over 50 or have been referred for exercise by a doctor, come and join our low impact aerobics, toning and Tai Chi sessions at Sileby and Birstall Sileby: Tuesdays 12.30-1.30pm Sileby Community Centre 41 High Street, Sileby Loughborough LE12 7RX

Birstall: Tuesdays 2-3pm Village Hall, Birstall Road, Birstall LE4 4DH

For more info please contact Soar Valley Leisure Centre, Mountsorrel, 0116 2375267 or email: gp-referral-charnwood@fusion-lifestyle.com

CLASH 2012 Free Exercise Sessions for individuals with arthritis and any other musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. Tuesdays 1-2pm General Fitness Sessions and Wednesdays 1-2pm Chair Based Exercise Sessions Sports Hall, Peepul Centre, Orchardson Avenue, Leicester LE4 6DP Call Karen for further information on 07954584402 CLASH 2012 a UK Online centre, provides basic

Computer Training at its After School e-learning sessions held at Longslade Community College in the Palmer Tomkinson Centre, Thursdays during term time only 3.30-4.30pm. For further information please contact Conrad 07919844629 or Mark 07801718908 At the CLASH 2012 monthly meeting on Wednesday April 9 from 7-9pm at the Palmer Tomkinson Centre consultant Dr Moorthy will be speaking on ‘Post Arthritis Diagnosis a Clinical Perspective’ On Wednesday May 14 DMU Dr Graham Gasten will be speaking on ‘Blood Analysis for People with Arthritis and any other Musculoskeletal (MSK) Conditions’

Table Top Sale St Peter and St Paul Pre-School, High Street, Syston May 10, 10am-2pm, Tables £7

Leicester Amateur Operatic Society

‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ Wed – Sun June 25-29 Curve Theatre, Leicester The seminal ‘rock-opera’ and depicts the story of the last seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazareth through the eyes of Judas Iscariot Containing a varied score of hit songs such as ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him, ‘Heaven on Their Minds’ and the title song ‘Superstar’, the show is a rousing example of musical theatre at its best.

Plaque for VC winner? BIRSTALL’S JOHN Hannah, who won the Victoria Cross in WWII, is on a shortlist of 12 famous people and buildings to be awarded a green plaque commemorating their lives. The County Council is now asking the public to choose six from the list who will receive a plaque – all have connections to Leicestershire. Sergeant John Hannah, a wireless operator/air gunner won the Victoria Cross after he put out a fire on his bomber aircraft, first with two fire extinguishers then with his bare hands. He succeeded, sustaining terrible injuries, and the pilot was able to bring back the aircraft safely. His citation for the Victoria Cross read. “This airman displayed courage, coolness and devotion to duty of the highest order…” He died in 1947 and is buried in St James’ churchyard. Other names on the shortlist include comedian and writer

Tickets £13.50 to £18.50 plus transaction fee* £2.50 discount for under 16s, over 60s, and registered unemployed

Pic: Sgt John Hannah & (inset) his fire damaged aircraft

*transaction fee is £3 for all card payments made online, by telephone and in person at our ticket desks. Excludes Curve members, groups 10+ and customers printing tickets at home

Cropston Cricket Club

Cricket Coaching Junior teams. Fridays 6.30-8pm Under 10,11,13, 15 & 17 teams Beginners and experienced players Season begins Friday April 18 Contact Ethan Hawkins on: 07513956954 for more information

Graham Chapman, Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Rice who took part in the Dambusters Raid in 1943, printer Henry Wills, Nobel prize winner Henry Bragg

and artist John Kenney, who created the image of Thomas the Tank engine. Buildings on the short list include the Old Courthouse in Melton and the John Taylor Bell Foundry in Loughborough. The public can vote for their choice on voting forms available at local libraries. The closing date is April 7. www.leics.gov.uk/greenplaques

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Longslade appoints new leader LONGSLADE COLLEGE has a new acting principal after the departure of Mrs Kirstie Black. In April the Lionheart Multi-Academy Mrs Black was appointed interim Trust will become operational. It will be principal in April 2013, on secondment from Melton Vale Post 16 Centre, part of led by Beauchamp College and will include all Birstall’s schools, the Belvoir Melton Academy although Longslade can not Trust (BMAT). join the trust until Ofsted In March Longslade’s remove it from special governors agreed that it was measures. It is not expectan appropriate time for Mrs ed that this will happen Black to return to BMAT. before summer 2014. Vice Principal Mr Jason Once Longslade has Smith has been appointed joined the trust as a sponacting principal. sored academy, the planChair of Governors Mr ning for merging Stonehill Tony Stott said: “In her and Longslade into one time in post Mrs Black 11-19 school, announced shared our passion for Pic: Acting Principal in January 2014 can begin. Longslade and improving Jason Smith Acting principal Jason the education that all its Smith said: “I feel privileged and humstudents received. She demonstrated leadership, drive, energy and enthusiasm bled to be leading Longslade Community College. We are ambitious for the future, in bringing about changes in the College committed to improving rapidly and we at a difficult time. Governors would like believe that every student can achieve to place on record their thanks for all excellence.” the work that Mrs Black undertook at Longslade in helping to improve the College. We wish her well for her future career.” He added: “The work of improving teaching and learning and raising the achievement of all students continues. The HMI will carry out his next monitoring visit in the summer term when we are determined to demonstrate that we continue to improve and aspire for the students to achieve well. The college will be led by Mr Jason Smith, Vice PrinciA BEGINNERS running propal, who will be Acting Principal with support from Mr Hugh Howe, Beaugramme in the village has champ’s Principal and his team as the been so successful organNational Support School prior to sponsorship.” isers have said they will

Keep on running

Boogie Bods nominated THE BIRSTALL organisers of music and movement sessions for children under five have been nominated for a national award. Boogie Bods Music & Movement, based on Kevin Wood Close, are one of only two nominations in Leicestershire for the What’s On 4 Junior awards, 2014. Heidi Bruce from Boogie Bods said: “We’re very excited to have reached the voting stage and would like to thank everyone who has helped us get this far.”

Boogie Bods’ sessions introduce music and rhythm to babies and toddlers through singing and play activities. The winners of the What’s On 4 Junior awards will be announced in June. The competition is now in its eighth year - in 2013 there were 80,000 votes cast and 6000 nominations. www.boogiebods.co.uk

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Organiser Dave Snutch said: “It has been hugely successful and no-one wants it to stop at the end of 10 weeks. As a result we are not going to! A second course is going to run back to back with the first.” The ten week programme aims to give complete beginners the chance to try running in a group, led by qualified leaders from Birstall Running Club. Dave said: “There have been over 50 people turn up at one point or another during the programme – most are Birstall residents. Two have already progressed to running with clubs and four have taken part in park runs. “Seeing these folk develop has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had the pleasure of being involved with.” The free 30 minute sessions are run on Wednesdays at 7pm from the car park of Birstall Royal British Legion on Front Street. “We are on safe routes only and advice and encouragement is freely given. Come on down and be amazed at what you can achieve and its completely free!” said Dave. For more details contact Dave Snutch 07834 140354. david.snutch@sja.org.uk

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14

THE BIRSTALL POST APR 2014

Day at museum

Tennis open days THE COURTS at Birstall Watermead Tennis Club are set to be busier than they have ever been this summer with 16 teams competing in the leagues. “Leading the way are the talented youngsters, with no fewer than seven junior teams taking part. Then come the men, with four teams, two ladies, two veterans’ and one mixed team” said a spokesman. The expanding club has a half-price offer for potential new members at two upcoming open sessions. There will be opportunities to see what the club, based at the Co-op Sports and Social Club on Birstall Road, has to offer on Wednesday, April 30, from 7pm until 9.30pm, and a few days later, on Sunday, May 4, from 10am through to 1pm. “Anyone, regardless of age, who decides to join the club on the day, can claim a 50 per cent reduction on membership fees – on condition that they have not been a member for the past three years” said the spokesman. “There will be a chance to meet existing club members, club coach Laura Morley, and of course to bring or borrow a racket on to court and have a

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go. “Laura, who has brought through scores of youngsters at the club, will be on hand to give advice as well as a demonstration of Cardio Tennis – everyone is welcome to try this out.” Coaching sessions are a regular part of the tennis scene at the club, with Laura taking sessions for children aged from three to 18, as well as coaching for adults. Her Cardio sessions will be on Wednesday evenings and additional ones are to begin soon on Monday evenings. If you want to know more about the club, which has three floodlit courts, go to: http://birstallwatermeadtennis.co.uk

BIRSTALL CUBS enjoyed a day trip to London’s Natural History museum as leader Ged Sessions explains. “7.15am is a bit early in the morning for some kids, but Birstall Cubs were ready and waiting for the bus to whisk them off to London for an exciting day at the Natural History Museum. “On arrival at this awesome building they were amazed at the huge snake out front of the building – and that was just the queue to get in. But once inside they are immediately confronted with a fossilised dinosaur six metres

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high and 20 metres long. “Having whetted their appetite it was straight into the dinosaur exhibition to discover more of the fossilised beasts, until rounding the last corner they were confronted with Tyrannosaurus Rex himself,

full sized, moving and roaring. “Then it was off to the Charles Darwin ‘cocoon’ where each cub was given a computerised card that they could use to collect specimens of butterflies, bees, leaves and turtles, from the labs that they entered, learning about the science behind all the displays at the centre. “To end the day we went to earth mammals and discovered whales and dolphins as well as lions, tigers, cheetahs and polar bears plus about a thousand humming birds. “All in all a great day out and one which the Cubs can’t wait to do again, there is so much to see you can’t possibly cover it all in a day.” Pics: admiring Tyrannosaurus Rex & getting a close up look at a lion’s skull

Cricket Corner THE 2014 season is only days away for BVCC. With the amalgamation of the Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket Leagues, BVCC are eagerly awaiting the new challenges that face them this season. The season begins on Saturday April 19. The Birstall 1st XI will play their home game vs Leicester Caribbeans away at Sileby due to the wicket being unavailable following the football season. Birstall look to add to their already strong line up, but with the loss of Dave Sharpe who is moving club to play with his sons, we will have a huge hole to fill. Dave has been an integral part of the club both on and off the field for many years and has fortunately decided to continue his role and involvement as club secretary. Birstall still welcome any new players who would like to join the club. Any interested players can contact Jon Gaydon 07717533690 (senior team) or Joe Carnan 07827332601 (under 17’s). Early season dates to keep in mind

Every Wednesday evenings (8-9pm) – Training at the ECB indoor nets, Loughborough University, Epinal Way, Loughborough. All welcome. Sat April 19: Season begins for both senior teams Sat May 3: First home game in Birstall. (1st XI vs Ratby Town 2nd XI) Looking forward to another great season! From Joshua Saye, Birstall Village Cricket Club


THE BIRSTALL POST APR 2014

News from the churches Spring has sprung! Sunday April 20 is Easter Day this year (almost the latest it can be in the calendar) and there are various events taking place in the weeks before that. The first one is the annual church meeting on April 2, at 7.30pm in St. James’ church, Birstall, when the previous year is reviewed, new church council members are elected and plans for the future are discussed. Only those who are on the electoral role of the two parish churches can vote at this meeting but all parishioners can vote to elect the churchwardens. The bi-monthly meeting of the Men’s Group is at 7.45pm on Sunday April 6 in the British Legion, when the subject will be “Development of the railways in Leicestershire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries”, an illustrated talk by David Bodycoat. Visitors will be welcome. Supporting charity As in previous years, the Mothers’ Union are collecting small Easter eggs to give to the children of Asylum Seekers in the city, and any donations of eggs will be gratefully received (before April 13 please). Donations for Christian Aid are invited at a hunger lunch at St James on Saturday April 12 at 12.30pm, when soup and a roll remind us how little, many people in the world have to eat. Names to Sandra for this please, on 2677238. Then a charity pub lunch, in aid of Save the Children, takes place on Wednesday April 30 at the White Horse, Birstall. Tickets are £16 for a two- course meal plus tea or coffee. To book your place, ring 0116 267 4252, or e-mail ajbsums@tesco.net (before April 23). The road to the cross – and beyond Holy Week (April 14-19) will be observed with a series of short, informal, reflective services on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at St James at 7.30pm. On Maundy Thursday a simple supper at 7pm will be followed by the traditional foot-washing ceremony and Communion service. Anyone wishing to attend the supper is asked to add their names to the list in Birstall or Wanlip church or ring 2674913. On Good Friday, members of all the churches in Birstall will be taking part in a procession of witness starting at 10am near Barclays Bank in the village, and finishing with hot cross buns at the Methodist church. That afternoon at 2pm, Jesus’ last hour on the cross will be commemorated, with a quiet service at St’ James. On Easter Sunday we celebrate the risen Christ with services at 6am (vigil) 7am and 6pm (evensong) and 10am at Birstall. A spring concert Cossington Voices will be visiting Birstall St. James on Saturday April 26 at 7.30pm. With their conductor Alexandra Lewis and accompanist Lynne Glover, the choir will present an entertaining programme of familiar traditional (and more modern) songs entitled “Round Britain in song” .Tickets will be £5 on the door, and include a glass of wine at the interval. Proceeds will be for the Jeel-al Amal Orphanage in Palestine which the church supports. From Beryl McHugh

Rev Rachel Parkinson, the Methodist Minister at Birstall Methodist Church, reaches her 50th birthday this year. By way of celebration Rachel is to run in the Paris Marathon on April 6. Sponsors are welcome as Rachel is raising funds for ‘Action for Children’. The charity has strong Methodist links and used to be known as NCH (National Childrens’ Home). As Birstall Post goes to press it seems that Rachel has raised over £700 in sponsorship. To donate visit www.virginmoneygiving.com & search for Rachel Parkinson. Six Mile Walk? If the thought of our minister running 26.2 miles takes your breath away, you could consider doing a 6 mile sponsored walk around the Hambleton Peninsular on Saturday April 26 in aid of the Leprosy Mission. Contact Sylvia 2671420 for more details. Safe Space Counselling Service The Safe-Space service is available to anyone who wants to talk a problem through with a counsellor. For an appointment phone 07938779477. The counsellors are all volunteers and expertly trained. You do not need to be part of the Methodist Church to avail yourself of this service. Bruce Kent In Birstall Bruce Kent, former General Secretary of CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) will call into the coffee shop at the Methodist Church on Wednesday April 9as part of a national tour about nuclear weapons. He will give a short presentation at around 10.30 in the lounge for anyone interested in hearing his views. £311 for LOROS The collections at the Men’s Pantomime (Snow White) for LOROS raised £311.70. Thanks to all who contributed. The 2015 Pantomime is expected to be Aladdin. Rehearsals begin in late September. Hotpec Orphanage The Methodist Church has supported The Bark Foundation in its work towards the building of proper premises for the orphanage in Cameroon. Recently their latest building project, a volunteer and training centre, has been completed. There will be a celebration service on Sunday April 27 at 10.30am led by Rev Rachel Parkinson who is also Chaplain of the Foundation. A video will be shown at 10.20am before the start of the service. A lunch will follow - phone David or Joy Bark (2677576) to book tickets for the lunch. Plac-

No Garden Trail In Birstall After 24 years the Methodist Church is no longer to arrange a Garden Trail in Birstall. The church is grateful to the many kind folk who have supported this project through the years; garden owners, stewards, those who helped in so many ways, and Birstall Garden Centre who sponsored the event. Easter Services At Birstall Methodist In common with the whole Christian community throughout the world we shall remember the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, (10.30 service led by Sheila McGowan) and as Holy Week progresses, we have a special Maundy Thursday Service (led by Rev Tony Pick) at 7.30pm. We remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday as we join with other congregations in Birstall in a walk of witness (starts 10am) and celebrate his Resurrection on Easter Sunday (10.30 service led by Rev Rachel Parkinson). All are welcome to any of these special services this Eastertime. Methodist Minister To Run In Paris

Mob: 07989 451048

ALAN CHAMBERS

es are limited to 100 at the lunch. Welcome Weekend As part of the Big Birstall Yard Sale on Saturday 5th July, the Methodist Church will be open for food and drinks throughout the day. We are inviting the many different groups who use our premises to have a ‘stall’ as part of a ‘Summer Showcase’ so the whole community can see the varied activities that take place on our premises. Contact Sylvia 2671420 for more details or to book a stall. From Tony Moore

Discussion Topic We talk about the ‘crux’ of something, meaning the heart, core or most decisive/important point at issue and this word comes from the Latin word for ‘cross’. The crucifixion at Calvary of the Lord Jesus Christ is central to Christianity, but people have different ideas about what happened and the significance of the event. Some have claimed that it did not happen; others that Jesus was simply a victim or identifying with the oppressed or merely leaving us with an example. The Bible speaks of the penal substitution Jesus made on the cross. Our Discussion Topic for April is: “What is the meaning and message of the Cross?” As always, these discussions are open to individuals of any denomination or religion (or none) and they are free of charge. It is expected that participants will show respect for others’ views. If you would like to attend this month’s discussion, then please contact the number given below to register your interest and state your preference for day(s) and time (morning/afternoon/evening) and we will get back to you with an agreed date, time and venue. Sunday Services These services will be in the Community Room at Highcliffe Primary School (LE4 3DL) and begin at 10.45am and we will be pleased to welcome you to any of them. Please ring for the venue on 20th and 27th, as we are not in the school because of the Easter holiday. Good Friday Service There will be a joint service at Holywell Free Church, Berkeley Road, Loughborough, LE11 3SJ on 18th April at 7.45pm when the preacher will be Paul Oliver from Southampton. Further information: please ring 0116 2214883.

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THE BIRSTALL POST APR 2014

Birstall BAG’s cancer corner The Medical Innovations Bill Birstall BAG's would like to bring to your attention a public consultation regarding the Medical Innovations Bill which, because it is being sponsored through parliament by Lord Maurice Saatchi, it is referred to as the 'Saatchi Bill'. Hopefully none of you will be in the position of needing medical innovations, that currently are not accessible

through the NHS but many people do and if passed this bill will enable doctors to consent patients to receive the latest possible treatments before they are available as standard practice. The Bill has been drafted with input

and guidance from eminent clinicians, lawyers and judges including Lord Woolf, Former Master of the Roles and Lord Chief Justice, Baroness Butler-Sloss, former Lord Justice of Appeal and leading Professors from the Oxford School of Medicine among others. The Medical Innovation Bill will support medical doctors who want to prescribe novel drug therapies which have been proved to be safe for patients and possibly effective, or have been tested and approved for use on patients with different diseases for which the drugs are not technically licensed. Going ‘off label’ as it is known, may currently leave medical doctors open to litigation if the drugs don’t work as hoped. Full clinical trials will always remain the gold standard, driving evidencebased medicine which in turn creates new treatments. But there are not enough trials taking place for rare diseases and cancers. Randomised Clinical Trials require high volumes of participants, cost millions and can take many years to create an effective treatment. Rare diseases, which in cancer account for 53% of all cases diagnosed, do not always have the high volumes of patients required for large clinical trials meaning they often don’t happen. Treatments are then not made available. The patient dies and science doesn’t advance. Doctors

should be able to follow the accountable and transparent procedure set out by the Medical Innovation Bill, and with consent of the patient, safely and responsibly trial new treatments with patients on an individual basis, which then builds up the evidence base and helps develop new treatments. Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt says: “The government should do whatever is needed to remove barriers that prevent innovation which can save and improve lives. We must create a climate where clinical pioneers have the freedom to make breakthroughs in treatment.” Cancer Research UK aresupporting the bill. A spokesman said: “Cancer Research UK have often blogged about the need to reduce barriers to innovation, from the need to cut ‘red tape’ to make it easier to run clinical trials through to a more flexible approach to drug development.” To hear about the potential benefits of passing the Saatchi Bill please view the video footage from patients and carers at saatchibill.tumblr.com The Government will only pass the bill if we tell them we want it. MAKE YOUR VOICE COUNT: It takes 2 minutes to tell the Government you want the bill. The current public consultation runs until April 25. You can have your say at: http://medicalinnovationbill.dh.gov.uk/ For further information University Hospitals of Leicester Cancer Information Centre on 0116 258 6189. For more information on the funds we have raised, projects we support and forthcoming events see www.birstallbags.co.uk Contact us by email birstallbags@hotmail.com

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Planning applications P/14/0579/2: 2l Palmer Square – the erection of an extension extending beyond the rear wall of the original house by 5.0m with a maximum height of 3.5m and height to the eaves of 2.1m P/14/0538/2: 2l Palmer Square – the erection of a single storey rear extension extending beyond the rear wall of the original house by 4.0m with a maximum height of 3.5m and height to the eaves of 2.1m P/14/0498/2: 20 Lyngate Ave – erection of single storey extension and formation of pitched roof to rear of dwelling P/14/0371/2: 180 Birstall Road – erection of a replacement garage to rear of dwelling and metal gate (1.38m high) with dropped kerb P/14/0411/2: 23 Sandgate Ave – erection of a single storey extension to rear of dwelling P/14/0384/2: Birstall – request for scoping opinion for sustainable urban extension on land north of Birstall P/14/0377/2:6 Church Road, Wanlip – the erection of a single storey rear extension extending beyond the rear wall of the original house by 5.6m with a maximum height of 4.0m and height to the eaves of 4.0m,

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Birstall Post (369) April 2014