Page 1

the Birstall post Y O U R


MAY 2012


No. 346

Traveller site protest HUNDREDS OF residents have attended public meetings and thousands have signed a petition to express their concerns about proposals to create traveller sites in Beaumont Leys. The City Council initially identified three possible sites at Greengate Lane, Beaumont Way and Red Hill Way. The Greengate Lane site would contain 10

Pic: Swimmer Maddi Gregory celebrates her swim with mum Christy

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Super swimmer A NINE year old girl has swum 120 lengths of Birstall Pool in memory of her grandmother and to raise money for LOROS.


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Work to locally listed property to improve the energy efficiency of dwellings for residents

John Henry Burley, a banker, who died in 1914. John Henry Burley was the son of a Leicester Veterinary Surgeon and lived for a time at 'The Grange' in Birstall. Contacting the Trust

BURLEY HOUSES, a tranquil property that accommodates 14 people in a historic building in Birstall has recently undergone a series of improvements. Local contractors were employed to install new double glazed windows and repair the roof, chimneys and brickwork. The properties have cavity wall insulation, new heating systems and a communal aerial and satellite system has been installed. Trustee James Williams said: “The trustees are committed to providing well maintained and energy efficient homes for the residents and to retaining the integrity and character of the locally listed buildings.

given to widows or daughters of professional men including artists and literary men, as required by the Deed of Trust, other applicants can be considered. The Deed of Trust requires residents to have lived in the County of Leicestershire for a period of ten years, or has or had a husband or parent who meets the residential criteria. While all qualifying applicants are considered for housing the accommodation would be particularly suitable for retired ladies or those nearing retirement age.

amenities. There is onsite parking for residents and easy access to a regular bus service along the A6 running south to Leicester and north to Loughborough by way of Rothley, Mountsorrel and Quorn or by way of Sileby and Barrow. The self contained properties are unfurnished and although there are no private gardens all the residents have access to the well established and maintained grounds and wooded areas. Residents lead an independent life but are encouraged to make friends and share a wider social life through use of the meeting room and attendance at organised social events. All of the properties are supplied with a monitoring device linked up to the Charnwood Lifeline providing a 24-hour call-out service. A Charnwood Lifeline warden makes contact and visits each resident on a regular basis.

“The Trust endeavours to appoint local experienced contractors with a proven record of working on occupied residential properties. Contractors must be considerate and able to create and maintain a good working relationship with the residents. The Trustees would like to thank all of the contractors who have recently carried out work at Burley Houses and the residents for their cooperation and patience.” Midland Window Installations fitted the new windows and work to the roof, chimneys and brickwork was carried out by the Enderby Roofing Company

A resident is a beneficiary of the Charity and not a tenant and occupies the property under Licence In return for the accommodation, a resident is required to pay a Contribution to the Charity’s running costs. Residents may be able to get help with paying the Contribution through Housing Benefit and possibly Income Support. Residents are responsible for paying council tax, electricity, gas, water, telephone charges and the TV licence for their property.

A designated representative, the Trustee Contact, undertakes the day to day management of the properties and there is an emergency contact number if the Trustee Contact is unavailable.

Residents The trust provides single occupancy accommodation for single women, widows and divorcees, who are in housing need and although preference shall be

Location and Amenities There are twelve self contained houses under one roof and two lodges. Burley Houses, standing in large wooded and landscaped grounds, is located in Birstall, within walking distance of the village centre and all essential

JAMES J WILLIAMS CHARTERED SURVEYOR 16 Tempest Road, Birstall, Leicester, LE4 3BE Telephone - 0116 2676398

There is currently a vacancy at Burley Houses and if you would like further details or an application form please contact the Trust. The Trust would like to hear from local contractors or tradesmen who would like to be considered for future work at Burley Houses. James Williams is the Property and Construction Adviser to the Trust and the Trustee Contact and can be contacted using the following: • telephone on 01162676398 • email at • letter at 16, Tempest Road, Birstall, Leicester, LE4 3BE.

History The houses, which are locally listed as buildings of architectural interest, were designed by the architect of the De Montfort Hall – Mr Stockdale Harrison – and were first occupied by residents in 1932. The Burley Almshouses Trust is a Registered Charity run in accordance with the original Deed of Trust, dated 25th April 1928, and any subsequent amendments approved by the Charity Commission. Voluntary Trustees administer the Charity in accordance with Deed of Trust. The Charity was established in 1928 according to the provisions of the will of

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Cont. from page 1

pitches on the site that is currently being used by a traveller family. Now a total of eight potential sites have been identified. Residents and councillors have voiced concerns about erosion of the Green Wedge, litter and traffic pressure on local roads. The City Council say the sites are necessary if they are to satisfy the statutory obligation to provide sites for travellers. They have received £1.5million from the government to create new sites in the city. Responding to pressure from local residents, in April the City Council released details of the 350 sites it said it had considered before arriving at its shortlist of three. It has now added a further five possible sites, making a total of eight. Seven are in Beaumont Leys and one in Aylestone. The five new possible sites are: • land to the west of Thurcaston Road, Beaumont Leys • Tilling Road, Beaumont Leys • Strasbourg Drive open space, Beaumont Leys • Montrose Road South, Aylestone • Heachem Drive, Beaumont Leys A local action group has been formed to campaign against the proposals. The LE4 Action Group has collected 2300 names on a petition, meets every two weeks and has organised meetings with councillors and MPs Stephen Dorrell and Liz Kendall. For details go to Chairman of the Group is Roy Rollings, a Birstall resident. He said: “We are a group of concerned residents that have formed as a group to fight the City council’s plans. We demand that this undemocratic process stops and the City Council realises their mistakes. Placing three sites in such close proximity is unacceptable and the consultation process has been appalling from the beginning.” He added: “We are urging residents to visit our website and follow the directions to complain. We have a petition in many local shops, and members of the group are taking to the streets to gather signatures and raise awareness. Letters have been drafted so residents can add their name and signature to send in to the City Council in order to register a complaint. You must complain, it is crucial that the City Council know what local residents think. Also get in touch with your MP Stephen Dorrell.” Leicester City Council’s Scrutiny Commission is looking at the process by which the shortlist of three sites was drawn up. The City Council invited Birstall Parish Council Clerk Steve Blackburn and Parish Councillor David Gaskell to attend these meetings: four are planned. Steve Blackburn said: “We have been to two so far. City councillors have been quizzing officers on how they arrived at their decisions and from what I have seen so far I have no grounds for

Pic: Starlight students performing at the Babington Festival of Dance in March

optimism at this stage.” The County Council’s cabinet discussed the issue on April 3. County Councillors expressed concern about the impact on local services and traffic, the erosion of Green Wedge and the impact on securing a developer for Ashton Green. The County Council, along with MP Stephen Dorrell, are also suggesting that the City reconsider its plans in light of new planning policy guidelines released by the Government in respect of traveller sites. Leicester City Council is carrying out a consultation on the proposals. Residents can complete an online questionnaire or pick one up at Birstall Parish Council in the Village Hall. For details to go es. Also on the site are plans of the proposed sites, details of the 350 sites that were considered and answers to frequently asked questions. The consultation period ends on Friday July 13.

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Starlight students shine THE STARLIGHT Theatre School has had great success in local dance competitions. The school picked up eight trophies including best choreography

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award, highest mark in Junior, Inter and Senior Classical troupes and highest mark in Baby, Inter and Senior Cabaret troupes. The students also picked up awards for their solo achievements gaining many first places. Principal Tracy Liggins said: “All the children worked extremely hard and produced great results all round.” Starlight is now working towards it summer dance show to be held at the Palmer Tomkinson Centre in May. For enquiries regarding lessons or for ticket sales, please contact the office on 0116 2355495 or visit our website



Eggstra special Easter COLOURFUL WOOLLEN eggs were hunted down by dozens of local people this Easter as part of the first Woolly Egg Hunt in Birstall. The event was organised by the Knitting Guerrillas of Birstall (KGB) who under the cover of darkness and carrying a basket full of knitted woollen eggs, spent three hours placing them at locations throughout the village. Posters and flyers invited egg hunters to find as many as possible and send photos to the KGB. “We really weren’t sure what response we’d get but it has been great – at the last count we’ve had no less than 200 pictures of eggs, most of which we hope to publish on our blog” said Trout Mask from the KGB.

Pic: Luke with his Easter egg prize

“What amazed and delighted us most was that people didn’t just snap one egg and have done with it, they searched around Birstall until they found all the eggs they could find. “A special mention must go to Amy, Sarah, Ewan and Moon Biscuit – with a name like that we need to recruit her – who sent us a gorgeously put together pdf document containing over 20 different finds.” All those who sent in photos were put in a draw for a giant chocolate Easter egg – the winner was Luke from Birstall who submitted seven photos of his finds. The event was supported by Charnwood Arts, the Little Bird School of

Stitchcraft and Flexpress printers, who donated the Easter egg prize. Many of the woolly eggs were made and donated by local people, some anonymously. Comments by participants included: “This has brought so much fun and joy to people – thank you, please don’t stop, I love it” and “It made me proud of Birstall, we had quite a few friends of the kids and their mums over throughout the holidays and all of them were loving it.” Trout Mask said: “It turned out to be a feel-good community event beyond our wildest dreams! Lots of people have asked for a repeat egg hunt next year, so it looks like we have our work cut out!”

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Continued from page 1 Maddi Gregory, of Queensgate Drive, swam 3000 metres and raised over £1200. She said: “I did this sponsored swim for my nanna, Judy White. I swam 120 lengths in an hour and a half. Everyone’s very proud of me including myself and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who sponsored me and helped me raise money for my nanna and LOROS.” Maddi’s mum Christy said: “Maddi misses her nanna so very much, she came up with the idea herself so she could do something special to remember her by. We are all so incredibly proud of her and would like to thank all of those who supported her for their generosity.” Judy White died of gall bladder cancer in February 2011, aged 56, and only six months after diagnosis. She had lived in Birstall for most of her life and was well known through her work as a dressmaker and in local sporting circles.


A special playgroup BIRSTALL SPECIAL Needs Playgroup celebrated its 40th birthday with a party. Around 240 people attended the event at Birstall Methodist Church – the oldest playgroup attendee is now a young man of 28 who first came as a toddler. Started by Sheila Wilson and Mary Downs, the playgroup is now run by Sheila’s daughter Deborah Hoggar with a committed team of volunteers. It supports around 20 families offering one or two mornings of play for children. Parents Nick and Jeanette Shuttlewood attended the party. Jeanette said: “It is a wonderful playgroup, very relaxed, open, friendly and supportive. You couldn’t wish for anything better.” Another parent Helen said: “It has been a lifesaver to me, having a two year old and a baby and knowing they would look after my children so I could sit down and have a rest. It was brilliant the moment I walked in the door. You can come here and share any problems you have and leave feeling much better.” Pics (clockwise from top): Sheila Wilson and Deborah Hoggar cutting the birthday cake, guests inside the Methodist Hall, Emma (9), Rachel Shuttlewood rolling dough, Harry Hodges (2) playing in the sandpit




Hallam Fields: £4.2m Emily’s of developer cash poster £4.2MILLION of developer contributions were agreed with Jelson Homes after planning permission for Hallam Fields was granted in 2000. These contributions, knows as Section 106 agreements, are designed to address the impact on the area of new development, and relate to schools, parks, transport and other facilities. They are legally binding agreements between developers and local authorities. The sums agreed are index linked to account for inflation. The Birstall Post contacted Charnwood Borough Council and Leicestershire County Council to establish what money has been received and how it has been spent. Their responses are detailed below. • Primary school and Recreation Centre: £2.05million. In late 2008 the number of surplus places in schools in the vicinity of Hallam Fields had increased to such an extent that at that time it was no longer possible to justify the provision of additional school places in the form of a new primary school. Currently discussions are ongoing between the developer and the County Council about the nature and extent of a contribution towards the provision of additional educational facilities in the area and the recreation centre. • Contribution towards Park & Ride Service: £250,000 (five annual sums). First instalment of £60,582, paid on December 2, 2011, is being used to fund the Park & Ride service. • Contribution to improvement of Civic Amenity Site (Household Waste Recycling Centre): £20,000 £25,396 paid on August 6, 2007 (includes indexation) • Cost of design and construction of Palmer-Tomkinson Centre at Longslade: £700,000 This was a joint agreement with Jelson and the Palmer-Tomkinson Trust (PTT). The PTT has funded £71,000 towards planning and design and has recently provided £50,000 as match funding towards the cost of an all weather sports pitch next to the centre. An invoice for the remaining sum is likely to be submitted shortly. • Contribution towards upgrading reading material at Birstall library and Stonehill/Longslade libraries: £12,698

Paid on August 16, 2007 • Contribution towards public art: £57,142 Paid and allocated to the planned metal and wood cedar tree, designed by artist Charlie Carter and to be erected at Birstall park and ride • Environmental/Traffic management contributions: £131,666 Spent on environmental improvements to Hannah Parade and Sibson Road/The Triangle • Upgrading of GCR Leicester North station: £31,746. This paid for the canopy at the station • Maintenance of open space and structural landscaping areas: £135,000 & £245,000 These sum not yet due as none of the land has been legally transferred or leased to the Borough Council. • Provision of all weather sports pitch at Longslade College: £50,000 £50,000 of match funding provided in 2012 by Palmer-Tomkinson Trust • Cost of design and construction of community meeting hall: £350,000. Cost of future maintenance of hall : £25,000 These contributions have not been paid as the design of the hall is still being discussed • Contribution towards future maintenance of primary school and recreation centre: £25,000 Not yet due • Provision and improvement of bus transport: £150,000 Negotiations continuing, subject to demand, site access and development of a viable service. Leicestershire County Council has indicated it intends to expand Riverside school to accommodate children from Hallam Fields. In April, developers Charles Church, who recently obtained planning permission for 170 dwellings in Rothley, announced they were in discussions with the County Council about the provision of a 420 place primary school on Hallfields Lane, Rothley. The June issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Jun 2. The copy deadline is May 18.

design A STONEHILL pupil has come third in a national competition to design a poster with an anti-racist message. Fourteen year old Emily Harris from Birstall saw off entries from over 600 schools across the country in the national schools competition ‘Show Racism the Red Card’. Emily will attend an awards ceremony

this month at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United. Pic: Emily Harris with her winning design

Lunch with Queen A BIRSTALL schoolgirl had lunch with the Queen during her recent visit to Leicester. Karishma Shah of Went Road received her invitation as a representative of the UK Youth Parliament for Leicestershire. Sixteen year old Karishma describes her day: “The Royal Party had arrived an hour and a half late. Words can’t begin to describe how nervous I was before the event during the agonisingly long wait – then again, I was going to be in the

presence of the Queen! The nervousness didn’t disappear during the event either. The immense security was no help at all! On top of that, I also had the worry of keeping my passport safe, which I had needed to enter into the Guildhall and Leicester Cathedral. “There were a total of 126 guests ranging from dignitaries to volunteers and inspirational young people Some of the people I met were from the British Red Cross, Girl Guiding UK, Young Advisors, Scouts, Members of Parliament and Mayors and Mayoresses. Everyone was dressed up in incredibly smart attire: it was an incredible scene to view. “It was an amazing experience to see the royal family in person, not to mention the haute cuisine I was treated to during the meal! However, not realising that everyone had to finish eating once the Queen had, meant our main course remained unfinished. Once our desserts and come we were sure to eat it as soon as we could, resulting in the young people finishing twenty minutes before the Queen! This has definitely been something I shall cherish for a long time to come!” Pic: Karishma Shah


Stonehill in Wonderland A PLAY BASED on Alice in Wonderland was performed by students at Stonehill school in April. ‘Alice!’ was written by Drama Teacher Ann-Marie Brook. She said: “We have a splendid cast and we’ve even doubled up on some of the main parts so that one student performs on one night and one on the other. It has been hard work getting this production ready but it has also been very enjoyable and the students have taken their characters and made them their own.”

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Four men’s teams have been entered, along with two women’s teams, plus mixed and junior teams – there will also be participation in the veterans’ league. Last month saw hard-fought practice matches and all that remains is for fingers to remain crossed for fine weather to ensure that matches are completed on schedule. For anyone in the village who fancies joining the club, which has a friendly welcoming atmosphere, there are two dates for your diary in June. Two Open Days are being organised to attract players of all ages and abilities. The first one is on Wednesday, June 13 from 6pm and the other is on Sunday, June 17 from 9.30am1pm. Existing members will be on hand to chat to anyone interested in becoming a member and to take part in social or competitive tennis. Spokesman Dave Watson said: “Why not pop in and give it a go – you’ll have fun and make new friends as well. The club has three floodlit all-weather courts and is based at the Co-op Sports and Social Club on Birstall Road.”

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Village history revealed in book A POPULAR history of Birstall from 1900 to 2010 has been revised and updated by local historian John Kilby. John is the President of the Birstall Local History Society and is the author of ‘Birstall Village : A Brief History of Birstall 1900-2010’. He first published the book 10 years ago. He said: “I’ve expanded on some of the details and added new material. I hope the book will provide an interesting look back at the many happenings over the last 110 years.” Reviewer Glenys Ratcliffe writes: “I worked in Birstall for many years and saw the village develop. It is interesting to read John’s book and follow the expansion which is still continuing with Hallam Fields. “Birstall didn’t have one family living in a Grand Hall for generations and Birstall Hall was demolished in 1923. However Birstall was obviously a desirable place to live and many notable figures have occupied the larger houses. John’s list of the residents of the Curzon Avenue area reads like a Who’s Who of Leicester businesses.

“The trams to Belgrave were followed in 1899 by the Great Central Railway and then the Eclipse buses. I remember Allens, which were blue, Kemp and Shaw (maroon) and Boyers (yellow) Boyers had the reputation of never leaving anyone behind and were often packed solid at busy times. Sadly the local companies have been taken over. “John recounts the expansion of education and the churches in Birstall, the mixed fortunes of the shops and businesses and the rise and fall of the cinema. I wonder what someone living in Birstall in the early 20th century would think of the village today? “John’s local knowledge is extensive and these reminiscences will evoke memories for all his readers as well as providing information on many facets of Birstall village life. “There is a good selection of photographs and it has a comprehensive index. If you missed the first edition make sure you get this one. It will be enjoyed by everyone whether a Birstall resident or not.” The book is available, priced £6, from Birstall library, J Michael butchers, Birstall garden Centre or by mail order Pic: a Sibson Rd property, now Barclays bank (£7.50) 0116






Pic: the centre building is now Greengate Medical Centre & (inset) author John Kilby Pic: a view of Sisbon Road from the Triangle roundabout

Gala Queen

Pic: Leah Chalmers, Birstall Gala Queen 2012

NINE YEAR old Leah Chalmers will be the 2012 Birstall Gala Queen. Leah, a pupil at Riverside school, will be officially crowned on the morning of the Gala day, Sunday July 1, she will make a tour of the park with the Mayor of Charnwood, Diane Wise. Leah said: “I’ve been on the school council and stood up in front of 100

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Easter activities at Abbeyfield WET AND dismal weather didn’t dampen the spirits at Abbeyfield’s Easter egg hunt. Jenny Fitzgerald, the House Manager at Abbeyfield, explains: “Well it was the usual good old bank holiday weather dark gray, chilly, with odd bit of heavy rain, just right for hiding the multitude of Easter Eggs! Never daunted the staff at Abbeyfield set to as nothing was going to spoil the fun, we would just have to get inventive with our hiding. “The bunting was hung, the games room prepared, daffodils arranged, and the homemade cakes iced. Meanwhile back of house, the staff rolled their sleeves up and the conveyor belt started for the sandwich production. As tray after tray of delicious food made it’s way to the table, in the expectation of hungry crowds. “As the clock ticked round towards 3pm all was ready and we were off. What a crowd, the support was fabulous, friends of Abbeyfield old and new crowded in. The little ones excitedly showing their friends and relatives the beautiful bonnets they had made. The whispers started as eyes darted around spying the not so hidden eggs within the building. “With the skill of a professional, the

face painting began in earnest as Gruffalo’s, skeletons and creatures great and small appeared. And then with shinning eyes the hunt began, in out, under over, no corner unchecked. While the adults ranging from teen to 90 sat watching and chatting, exchanging memories of childhoods and the hunts of years ago. “The room was filled with the sound of laughter and chinking china as the

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THE PARISH Council continues to receive many complaints about dogs fouling the parks and footpaths. Charnwood Borough Council have recently announced that they will soon be able to provide training for dog wardens, which will include the necessary training and authority to issue on the spot fines. Parish Clerk Steve Blackburn said: “A number of people are already lined up for this training and more volunteers will be welcome. “Residents are reminded that dog waste must always be picked up, on pain of a significant fine and with the added risk of bad publicity and the opprobrium of their neighbours. The Parish Council can supply free waste bags and all bagged dog waste can be put into ordinary bins.”

atmosphere abounded with jolliness. Meanwhile back in the kitchen the staff were busy working in rotation replenishing the sandwiches and the fast disappearing cakes, while the teapots were filled for the tenth time. “Then it was time to award prizes for the best bonnet and select the winners of the raffle. The bonnet entrants ranged from four to the oldest at 94 and all were rewarded for their artful efforts. The raffle prizes were selected and glee-

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fully received, while the results of the games tournament were declared. All then started to drift away thanking us for a fun day. “The staff would like to take this opportunity to thank all those that kindly supported our Easter Event and to say that we are looking forward to seeing you all at the Birstall Gala where we will be having a cake stand.” Pics (clockwise from top): Bernadette Gurney & Doreen Gurney; Joe McMillan, Mae McGreal; Sophie Laheen; Sylvia Collinson, Annette Bunney, Eileen Lewis &Jenny Fitzgerald


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nated them for sale, Sharon Bingham, Natalie and Karen Baines and Gail Haye. And a big thank you to the local shops and people who donated raffle prizes and vouchers. The night was such a great success and we would like to make it an annual event! Many thanks again. Paula Clifford (host)

Street party

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:

Thanks We would like to thank all friends and neighbours for their lovely cards of sympathy and kindness that were sent to us in our very sad loss of a dear husband and father Keith Bond, he will be sadly missed by all. Thank you. Chloe, Susan, Tracey & Coral Bond

Thanks A huge thank you to all who attended and helped raise a massive £1080 for the Macmillan Cancer Trust at the Star Light Supper on March 10. I would especially like to thank all my family for their help and support, Michelle Clifford, Sarah Clifford, Sharon Bingham and to Keely Dixon who kindly let us hold the night at the Birstall Trees pub and cooked all the food! To Mark Patrick, Silver Dale, The Cooperative and Asda for donating all the food so there were 100% donations. Also those who made cupcakes and kindly do-

The Birstall Post has received an anonymous letter from a reader about closing a road for a street party on the Gates estate. Letter writers MUST include their name and address. These will not be published or disclosed to anyone if the sender so indicates. Jerry Jackson, Editor

Scruffiest In response to Mr Blackburn, the parish clerk in his letter 'Forum Funds' in January's Birstall Post, I should like to say that I was aware that the £15,000 funding would be divided between the Charnwood Villages. My point was to state that perhaps Birstall should be allocated some funding for a change as - whatever he thinks Birstall IS the scruffiest and least well kept of the Charnwood villages! The flower displays are poor in comparison to others, anyone who cares to look can see this. Also, it seems he chose not to mention why Birstall has the awful green bus shelters that are more fitting for a town centre than a village, as opposed to the lovely rustic wooden ones featured elsewhere in Charnwood villages - and I happen to have it on very good authority why this is. Birstall residents might be interested to learn that the bus shelters in Birstall were unwanted 'cast-offs' that were surplus from Loughborough Bus Station. This is why they look so out of place in a village - they weren't even meant to be here! These simple things really alter the look and feel of a place. I wonder what happened to the money that should have been spent on the bus shelters that we SHOULD have had in Birstall? And who decided (on residents’ behalf) that these town centre bus shelters


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would do for us? I say do the decent thing - give Birstall the village feel it deserves. Give us the same rustic wooden shelters the same as other Charnwood villages (along with some decent floral displays) we pay and deserve these things just the same as the other Charnwood residents. I look forward to Mr Blackburn's response on this page. A Godby

Thanks I would like to thank all the ladies who attended the pamper evening at Scissors Art, which has now changed its name to Lotus Hair and Beauty. It was an absolutely magical and funfilled evening. The ladies enjoyed the massages, tarot card readings, wash and blowdrys, eyebrow threading and henna tattoos, having their own personalised jewellery made and also enjoyed speaking to the aloe vera specialist representing Forever Living products. I would also like to thank the therapist Hina Urvashie, the tarot card reader Varsha, Dina who made the jewellery and Tracy from flp who helped in organising this magical event. Due to the popularity and positive feedback from those who attended the fun-filled evening we will be hosting our next events on May 11 and June 8, so ladies make a note in your diaries. Due to limited spaces available please reserve your place as soon as possible. You can email me on or call 0116 367095. Bina Hinglajia

Travellers Why is that, should one person of a particular life-style or occupation show some disagreeable trait, certain people in our community immediately decide that everyone with that life-style or occupation must be tarred with the same brush? Conversely, people who argue certain points are immediately assumed to have the same passions as the opponent, but to have grossly misinterpreted the ‘facts’ to come to a different conclusion? May I take two points to illustrate my concern. Some years ago I wrote a letter which was mildly critical of the view-point of a certain religious person – as a scientist I had had a different grounding in the point. I was accused of being as passionate about science as this gentleman was about religion. I could not understand what he was on about, however, until I heard on the radio (Thought for the Day, 7.50am) a speaker decrying science as a bogus religion. He seemed to think that science was purely emotional as he was about his religion. For reasons I will not go into at any depth, science (from the Latin scio, to know) should not be emotional. On March 14 there was a meeting concerning the travellers at the Social Club. I made the mistake of sitting at the back: behind me was the usual line of baying types who tried at every opportunity to shout a speaker down when that speaker transgressed their agenda. On the platform was one lady, whom you could pass in the street and not notice as ‘anyone different’, who was a static traveller, had a full-time job, paid her taxes, and conformed in every possible way to the ‘donkeys’ in the back row, save in that she was a traveller. She had to go early. One donkey then shouted “We don ‘t want you here”. Who is this “we”? Who elected him to be the mouth-piece of the community? Why did he insist on damaging my ear-drums by shouting out of turn? Does his brain-cell get lonely? Dr D A C McNeil

Bentley Road Please allow me to use your columns to express a concern I have which may affect motorists using Bentley Road to access the Loughborough Road and also to the estate beyond Sycamore Road. I recently learnt through a neighbour that a planning application has been submitted to build a two story detached house on Bentley Road. It would be sited, apparently, where at present there are the garages from a defunct taxi business, at the end of the garden of 713 Loughborough Road. The property would occupy most of the existing space, and there appears to be no other grounds attached to it, least of all for a vehicle to be parked. Should any occupant be of a mind to park a vehicle on the road, any such vehicle could block traffic going into the estate if a queue of traffic were to be held at the lights controlling access to the Loughborough Road. Under extreme circumstances the tail-back could block the bus lane going in to Leicester and cause considerable inconvenience. Three solutions come to me; either there is parking space available on the site of the proposed house (I could not detect any garage space in the building, but the plans I viewed were on a small scale); or there are parking restrictions introduced on both sides of Bentley Road; or the application is rejected. Do any of your readers have any views on this please? Dr D A C McNeil Planning application ref is P/12/0709/2

Allotments Anyone reading Sue Coulson’s recent letter about the allotments would think everything was sweetness and light but that is far from the case and it would make a pleasant change if we heard from the Councillors themselves. Then for example the Chair of the Estates Committee could respond to the following points: Why have we been told there were no complaints about the rent rises when there were? Or that “the rents have been accepted without question” when he must know that cash refunds have been issued and further plots offered rent free so that currently there must be ten or more different rents when there are only two sizes of plot? Despite him making a personal apology last year why are “notices to quit” still being issued in error and complaints about this just shrugged off with no apology given? What examples can he give of how the Community Engagement Strategy has been used with regards to the allotments, or for that matter anyone in the Parish? Why has he allowed the claim to be made that the allotments cost £11400 per annum to run when he knows no record of costs is kept? If he really believes the allotments cost such an astronomical amount what has he done to reduce costs for example by encouraging “self management” like many other Councils? Or say reducing staffing / office costs by stopping the issue of incorrect / threatening letters to tenants or collecting rents and then refunding them? It’s little wonder that our Parish precept went up by an eye watering 5.9% when the County and Borough Council’s froze theirs and it seems like the rest of the inhabitants of Birstall we allotment tenants are paying a First Class price for a Third Class service. Maybe the Chair of the Council could ask Sue Coulson to carry out a “comparison exercise with other Parish Councils” and let us know how our 5.9% rise compares and explain why the Parish Council-


lors felt such an eye watering rise was necessary during a recession? Several allotment tenants

Travellers Traveller and Gypsy camps and where to site them are a serious problem and obviously the best solution would be to site them on those unused and massive areas of land which is well clear of existing housing and properties such as the cities park & ride terminals. These vast money wasting parking terminals and associated transport , designed and thought up by our shrewd minded city councillors must be running at a tremendous loss. The car parking is rarely filled by more than 10% capacity , and the 40 plus seater coaches are continually running through the city from Fosse Park to Birstall all day long with approx. 1 or 2 passengers and sometimes empty. So how about allocating say approx 50% of these two massive and unused parking areas into car and caravan areas. They already have substantial car and coach access, with pre prepared areas for vehicles. Water, sewage, & elec. mains are already available on these sites, so their would be no problem in siting wash & toilet blocks if required, and don`t forget these parking areas are already situated in areas which I doubt would offend anyone, and the revenue created could be used to offset the horrendous costs of running these park & ride schemes. After all, these vast areas are for parking so why not car and caravans. The police would then have somewhere to direct them to when moving them on from parking illegally. This I believe has always been a problem in the past. Our councils seem to relish in directing our lives regardless of costs ,and seem to forget that they are there to serve the people, and not to nanny, control, and fleece them. This parking business is just another example of how out of touch they are with peoples wishes as no doubt the coming public meetings findings on these matters will be totally ignored. Be advised, the already overtaxed rate payers in the Anstey heights, and Beaumont Way areas of the city, together with the Greengate Lane, Birstall areas will see their properties seriously devalued if this scheme goes ahead as planned. I`ll bet that none of these city councillors pushing this scheme live in the affected areas, and I wonder why. Be warned, they intend to crown their time in office by dumping these disastrous camping sites amongst honest hardworking taxpayers. Who will you vote for at the next Council elections? A Concerned Resident

this is? I queried it with one of the chaps on site (who are normally all extremely helpful) but was met with a shrug and an expression of "who knows". Are we now to stop putting soft plastics in the Green Bin? If not, are they also being sorted out to be dumped in landfill - thus wasting both our time and the Charnwood's current recycling company. Harry A spokesman for Charnwood Borough Council said: “You DO NOT have to differentiate plastics for the Green Bin which is provided by Charnwood Borough Council. Indeed, one of the benefits of the green bin is that residents can just lump most of their recyclates into it to make it easier for them to recycle materials.” en_recycling_bin

Wasteful Every time I drive past the Birstall Park and Ride when it is closed, the floodlights are on throughout the whole of the parking area. I could understand the office being lit up out of hours but is it really necessary to light up the whole area? I assume it is lit for the whole night which must cost a fortune. The parking area is secure and locked up at night so why do they feel it necessary to waste money in this way. Especially as on many roads in Leicestershire the street lights are being dimmed and switched off at night to save money. Name & address supplied

Travellers Regarding the traveller site concerns for Birstall. Most residents here do not want it, and with supposedly 350 other sites, why should Birstall have one? There is hardly any grassland left in Birstall now. Who do all three sites have to be in this area? Why can’t they be evenly distributed around the city? There are plenty of other villages around, smaller than Birstall, with lots of surrounding fields. Why Birstall? If city mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, and Andrew Smith, the Director of Planning, Transportation and Economic Development, insist that the developments were essential, I have a suggestion. Why don’t they volunteer to have these travellers where they live, in their areas, or is it a case of ‘Not in my Backyard’! I passed the small site today at the top of Greengate Lane and it looked filthy. Also some travellers have established themselves on the grassy verge across the road from the proposed site. Word must be getting around that Leicester City Council are sympathetic towards them! Birstall Resident



I was interested to read the article in The Birstall Post regarding the achievements in Charnwood with the recycling of rubbish. Like the vast majority of us, we carefully sort our rubbish according to the instructions supplied by the Council and would agree that this has been much simplified by the introduction of the Green Bin - into which virtually everything recyclable goes. But, having had occasion to visit the recycling centre at Mountsorrel last year and noting that, not unreasonably, they require the recyclables to dumped into separate containers - paper, plastics, card, metals, wood etc, I made sure that on subsequent visits I had pre-sorted the stuff I was taking. Imagine then, my astonishment at finding that items of plastic now had to be split into hard and soft plastics with the soft plastics going to landfill (i.e. Non-Recyclable) !! Does anyone know why

I write concerning the ridiculous ‘Give Way’ system at the corner of Birstall Road. On Wednesday April 4 I was driving home from Leicester, and on approaching the narrow part of the road which is my right of way, two white vans deliberately drove at my car and very nearly caused a crash. This proves that the so called right of way is utterly useless, and should be removed before an accident does take place, the same situation as on the Wanlip Lane approach to Wanlip. I should like to hear comments from the county surveyor regarding this now dangerous hazard. C B Smith




P/12/0971/2: 2A Stonehill Ave – erection of single storey extension to rear and side of dwelling P/12/0967/2: 4 Oakfield Ave – detached double garage to rear of dwelling P/12/0913/2: 102 Birstall Road – crown reduction of l beech tree by 50% (Conservation Area Notice) P/12/0909/2: 10 Curzon Ave – erection of single storey side extension and boundary wall P/12/0911/2: 1 Park House Close – removal of overhanging branch of one fir tree (Tree Preservation Order) P/12/0765/2: 32 Henson Close – erection of porch to front of dwelling P/12/0861/2: 5 Hawthorn Ave – single storey extension to side of dwelling P/12/0840/2: Birstall ATE, Fielding Rd – installation of replacement 12.5m telecommunications mast and equipment P/12/0709/2: Land rear of 713 Loughborough Rd – erection of two storey detached dwelling P/12/0704/2: 13 The Coppice, School Lane – crown thinning to 1 cedar tree and 1 sycamore tree (Tree Preservation Order) P/12/0981/2: Severn Trent Sewage Treatment Works, Fillingate, Wanlip – LCC Application. Erection of an electrical kiosk P/12/0802/2: 2,4 & 12 Church Rd, Wanlip – rending of external wall insulation to dwellings

A NEW singing group is welcoming new members. Sing Your Heart Out! meets on Sundays in Syston and are preparing to join other singers next month when they will take part in the Leicester Riverside Festival on June 10. They will be singing water related songs to raise money for Water Aid, a charity that provides clean water in developing countries. Sing Your Heart Out’s leader is Louise Hall: “We have been going a few months now and the singers are having a lovely time on Sunday evenings at Syston Community Centre. “We are always open to new members, you’re welcome to come along and see if it’s for you. It’s a relaxed environment where we learn songs and sing easily in rounds or in parts – you don’t need to read music. We do some silly songs to have a laugh because it’s all about enjoying the process and not feeling too self conscious!” The group meet on Sundays from 7-8.45pm at Syston Community Centre, School Street. The fee is £22.50 for five weeks or £6 a week. Details from


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THE OUTDOOR bowls season started last month and Birstall Bowling Club are looking to build on the successes of last year where they picked up 18 county, parks and league winners and runners up trophies. The club would welcome new members: for further information about what the club has to offer, ladies can call Diane on 2675457 and men can call John on 2677273 or visit the website



Noticeboard all details printed free Coffee Morning Saturday May 12 10am to 12noon at Methodist Coffee Shop Wanlip Lane, Birstall Various stalls, raffle, cakes All proceeds to Mothers’ Union Chalet Holidays (Holidays for families in need) Mothers’ Union Christian care for families •••

Secret Gardens of Cossington Bank Holiday Weekend Sunday and Monday, May 6 and 7 11am – 5pm each day Passport to Open Gardens Adults: 3.50 Children and car parking free Village gardens open, art exhibition in church, displays, plant and other stalls, tombola, raffle, quiz, refreshments, Pimm’s tent, hot dogs, children’s activity and much more For more info contact: 07754 892842 or All proceeds towards church repairs, extension and refurbishment ••• Highcliffe Amateur Theatrical Society presents

‘Free and Easy’ by Bill Cronshaw at Highcliffe School, Greengate Lane, Birstall Thurs, Fri and Sat, May 17,18,19 at 7.15pm Tickets £6 (£5) from box office tel: 0116 2671181 or on door

••• Birstall Methodist Thursday Group

Coffee Morning Saturday May 26, 10am to 12noon at the Coffee Shop, Wanlip Lane In aid of Alzheimer’s Society & Renal Unit, Loughborough. All the usual stalls – home made cakes, tombola, books & puzzles etc Everyone welcome •••

Open Church For tea and cakes At St Leonard’s Church, Swithland Saturday and Sunday May 12/13 2-4.30pm Donations in aid of Church Funds ••• Charnwood Conservative Association

Spring Fair at the Rothley Centre Saturday May 12, 10am till 12noon Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell MP will be attending Admission 50p Raffle, tombola, books, plants, produce stalls, games, cakes & bric-abrac ••• The Parish of Birstall & Wanlip

Fifties Evening To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Saturday June 2 Birstall Village Hall at 7.30pm Music provided by the KB Band Prize for ‘Best Fifties Outfit’ Quizzes/Games/Raffle Tickets £8 inc supper (children under 10 free) Tel: 2676550 or 2677238 •••

Rothley Bowls Club Mountsorrel Lane, behind Library

Open Day Sunday May 13, 2pm Prospective new bowlers welcome All ages, membership free for 1st year Come and try bowls Please bring flat shoes Geoff Hall 2303266 •••

Farm Open Day

Early morning, late evening and Saturday morning appointments available If you would like to join our friendly practice, please phone us on

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

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Thursday May 3, 5-11pm Friday May 4, 5-11pm Saturday May 5, 12noon-11pm Sunday May 6, 12noon-3pm The new venue for this year’s event will be Syston Social Club, 36 High Street, Syston, Leic LE7 1GP •••

On Monday May 7 at Pick’s Organic Farm at King Street, Hamilton Grounds, Barkby Thorpe from 10am until 4pm to help raise funds for Soar Valley Music Centre, a music charity based in Leicester Live music from students and staff of the music centre, craft stalls, cream teas, barbecue, games, a bouncy castle, animals and lots more to entertain the whole family Free entry & parking For more info on the Farm Day, tel: 0116 2693548, more info on the Music Centre tel: 0116 2664153 or see the website •••

A workshop for mums Provided by Charnwood BRAS Information on practical issues like transporting breastmilk and on Employment Law Wednesday May 9, 10am to 12noon Mountsorrel Children’s Centre, Mountsorrel School Admission free To book call 07583 041054 •••

Ladies Pamper Evening

A Celebration of Outdoor Adventure!

in support of LOROS Many stalls offering mini beauty treatments, beauty products, jewellery, gifts, cakes and much more Quorn Village Hall June 15, from 7-9.30pm Tickets £5 each and include a complimentary Pimms or soft drink First prize in the raffle is a Spa day at Eden Hall All enquiries for stallholders or tickets purchase at or phone Susan on 07837712001 ••• Mountsorrel Methodist Church Presents the 5th in the 11th Series of Sunday Night @ Eight

at Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre, Red Hill Island, Leicester £1 entrance fee (refundable on completion of a questionnaire) FREE activities including archery, canoeing, the City Skylines Aerial Challenge, Olympic sports & much more! Competitions & Prize draws Food & refreshments For more information visit: 0116 2681426;; •••

Organ Recitals

We are currently registering new NHS & Private patients

Wreake Valley Rotary Beer Festival

Sunday May 20 At 8pm By Dr Simon Ainge Admission free Donations for the Church’s Development Fund Buffet from 7.30pm •••

Return to Work while Breastfeeding

Open Weekend May 19-20 10am to 5pm

Guildhall Antique Fairs are proud to announce their new venue Palmer-Tomkinson Centre, Wanlip Lane, Birstall for their next Antique and Collectors Fair on Sunday July 15, from 9am to 3pm Admission £1.50 For stall bookings and enquiries please call 0116 2321966 or visit our website for details ••• The Charnwood Orchestra

Annual Summer Concert June 30, 7.45pm at St James the Greater Church, London Road, Leicester Schumann Genoveva Overture Wagner Wesendonck Lieder – soloist Marie Vassiliou Elgar Symphony no.2 Tickets £10 (£8 concessions), £3 for accompanied children under 16. Available from the Box office: 07718


153117 or email:, from members of the orchestra or on the door There will be an interval bar selling wine, Castle Rock Brewery real ale and fruit juice •••

Film Presentations From Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council ‘My Week with Marilyn’ Friday May 11 (99 mins) In 1956 Marilyn Monroe came to Pinewood Studios to make a film co-starring Lawrence Olivier and Dame Sybil Thorndyke. Although Marilyn was the greatest movie star in the world, there rose a clash of culture with Olivier’s intensity and punctuality. Played in our memorable film by Kenneth Branagh, Olivier quipped “Teaching Marilyn is like teaching Urdu to a badger!”

‘The Iron Lady’ Friday June 8 (105 mins) In 1975, grocer’s daughter Margaret Thatcher became the first woman to lead a major UK political party. Four years later she became Britain’s first female prime minister. This film is a poignant character study that revisits key moments in Margaret’s career as seen through the eyes of this lady in her eighties.

‘The Artist’ Friday September 14 Thurcaston & 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 2367626 or at the door. •••

Birstall & District Local History Society The next meeting will be Crime and Punishment in Old Leicester Speaker Robert Gregory Thursday May 10 at 7.30pm Birstall Village Hall, Birstall Road Visitors are very welcome •••

Wanlip Fair is to be held on Saturday May 26 between 10am and 1pm at Wanlip Hall, next to Wanlip Church Proceeds towards the ongoing improvements of the hall. Stalls include plants, cakes, tombola, raffle, bric-a-brac etc Light refreshments available Entrance free •••

Birstall Rugby Football Club

President’s Day Stonehill School playing field Sunday May 6, 12.30pm Everyone is welcome for a fun day which includes two exhibition games, a BBQ, and fully licensed bar! •••

Patient Information Day Advice and discussion on aspects of travel for the stoma patient Thursday May 31 10am to 12.30pm approx Loughborough Town Hall, Victoria Room

Refreshments available Ring 0116 2585184 to book a place (need to book to attend) •••

St Petersburg Blagovest Ensemble conductor: Olga Kozlova An Evening of Russian Choral Music Sacred and Folk Mountsorrel Methodist Church LE12 7JB

Sat May 12 at 7pm Tickets £5 obtainable from Geoff Wainwright, 0116 2376979 •••

Birstall Watermead Tennis Club Open Days to be held on Wed June 13 from 6pm Sunday June 17, 9.30am-1pm All welcome, juniors and adults, all levels of ability At the Co-op Sports & Social Club, Birstall Road •••

Pentecost Service at St James Whit Sunday May 27 at 10am at St James Church, Birstall All Together A Special Family Communion for Pentecost. All ages welcome (children’s activities) •••

Christian Aid Week May 13-19 Can you help with the house to house envelope collection during Christian Aid Week please. Many streets in Birstall have no collector at present. If you can spare a few hours to help Christian Aid buy tools and equipment for the poorest people in the world to help themselves out of poverty, please ring Mary Bruce on 9116-2675154. You must be at least 18 years old. Your assistance will be much appreciated. ••• St James Day Centre 200 Club winners for April 1st


Mr John Healey; Mrs Maria Green 3rd Mrs Connie Nagle; 4th Mrs Jenny Burton


Birstall Flower Club The Burrell Collection Georgina Burrell Wednesday May 23 at 7.15pm Birstall Village Hall Visitors very welcome Sylvia Simes 2674206 •••

A Royal Scarecrow Festival Fun Day Sunday May 27, 1-4pm Meet the Royal Scarecrows at this fundraising event organised by Girlguiding Birstall Belgrave Hall Museum and Gardens LE4 5PE

Stalls, afternoon teas, children’s crafts and activities plus a campfire singsong. £2 admission. Dress up! ••• Birstall Methodist Women’s Group

Coffee Morning at Methodist Church Coffee Shop Wanlip Lane, Saturday May 19, 10am to 12noon

Various stalls ie raffle, tombola, plants, cakes, books Proceeds to Our Space Charity – a children and young adults new cancer unit at the Royal Infirmary. All are welcome. The women’s group meet on a Monday evening to start at 7.30pm. We are a small friendly group and if you wish to know more you can contact Margaret on 2671181 or 2673674.


Cheeky Cherubs

Our programme is as follows: April 16 Just Soaps and Body Care April 23 Auction – View 7.15pm May 7 & 14 No Meeting May 21 Planter demonstration May 28 Cycling in Christianity June 4 No Meeting June 11 Flowers by Lily & Grace June 18 The Forest of Dean June 25 Red White & Blue evening

Parent Baby/Toddler Group 0-4 years Held at Birstall Methodist tea rooms. Every Monday 10-12 inc holidays Feel free to come along and join in the fun, you don’t need to have your name down or a weekly commitment Very friendly, separate baby section for safety and for new mums to meet others Great range of toys and crafts table £2 per child 50p additional children (over 1 yr) £1 additional adults Healthy snack for kids, unlimited teas and coffees for parents For more info contact Paula on 07934551563 Hope to see you there! •••

••• Birstall Social Club, Wanlip Lane

Time Out for Carers

Come and dance the night away Every Tuesday & Saturday night Ballroom & Sequence dancing Cash Raffle Thursday Bingo Thursday, Saturday & Sunday Games room Secure parking New members welcome Function rooms available •••

Birstall Royal British Legion May 5 Rachel Ball (F/V) May 12 Jenny Brookes (F/V) May 19 Warren Dewitt (M/V) May 26 Slaters (M/DUO) Dancing every Sat night with live entertainment. Bingo Free meat raffle and not forgetting Open the Box Every Tues night Bingo starting at 9.30pm Quiz nights Sun May 13 & 27 at 9pm Acoustic night Sunday May 20 Rock & Roll nights Wed May 2 & 16 Food available Sat 12noon-2pm Open Bank Holiday Mon May 8 – families welcome Wakes catered for


Tea Afternoon Wednesday June 6 To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Wanlip Church Rooms, 2.30-4.30pm Various stalls, raffle All proceeds to Mothers’ Union Outreach Projects Reg Charity no. 250038 Mothers’ Union, Christian Care for Families •••

Knit2gether Group Birstall Last Wed of every month at the White Horse Pub in Birstall 7.30pm onwards Next meeting Wed May 30 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 don’t provide materials or equipment as the group is currently unfunded – we welcome donations or sponshorship!

For more info contact Lisa Pidgeon at or call/text 07760232059 •••

Carers Drop in Session Tuesday 22nd May at Loughborough Library from 10.00 – 11.30 am Drop in session for carers to meet up with other carers and member of team from Support for Carers Leicestershire Arranged by Support for Carers Leicestershire Contact us on 0845 689 9510 for further details Advertise in

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Buy your duck for annual race BANK HOLIDAY Monday on May 7 is the date of the fourth annual White Horse duck race and promises to be the biggest yet. This year The White Horse will host the charity event for six young people’s groups in Birstall: Girl Guiding, Scouting, Boys Brigade, Girls Brigade, the Special Needs Playgroup and the Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre. “It is great that the duck race has turned into such an important community event” said Charlotte Foy of the White Horse. “All of the groups are really working together to raise as much money as possible and will share the proceeds”. Over the previous three years the annual White Horse duck race has raised a

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total of £8,500 for local charities and this year there will be even more stalls and games to make it a great family day out. The fun starts at 12 noon, and there will be a visit from Peppa Pig who will start the duck race at 2pm. Other attractions for the day are; face painting, a bouncy castle, Teddy tombola, stocks, hook a duck, raffle, mini duck race, coconut shy, Duck Derby, bell boat rides and kayak trips, cake stall, tuck shop and BBQ. Ducks are available now from Girl Guiding, Scouting, Boys Brigade, Girls Brigade, the Special Needs Playgroup, the Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre and of course the White Horse, Birstall. Other ‘duck outlets’ in the village are Went Road Newsagents, Head rush on Kingsgate, The Dinning Room, Revive, J Michael, Lily and Grace, and Rothley Chip shop - The Time & Plaice. There are cash prizes to be won of £100, £50, £25 and many other prizes donated by local businesses. “Ducks can also be bought on the day of the event so come on down and join in the fun!” said Charlotte. For more information visit or call 0116 2671038.

Special Easter bonnets A BIRSTALL Preschool organised an Easter bonnet parade. Children at the Acorn Under Fives preschool proudly wore their colourful creations and Owen Jackson, Sam Bouchard and Joseph Bernard were announced as the winners. Spokeswoman Jacqui Booth said: “We’d like to thank the Acorn Under fives committee and the parents who helped enormously to make the event a success, along with all the local shops and businesses who donated raffle priz-

es. We’d also like to thank the children for singing and making and wearing such glorious bonnets!” As well as being fun, the event raised £420 which will go towards a giant outdoor water trough with buckets and pulleys for the children to play, explore and learn with. We think it’s going to be a really popular and well used addition to our outdoor area.” Pic: Easter Bonnet winners Owen Jackson, Sam

Singing stars in choir TWO PUPILS from Highcliffe school will be performing in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at Curve in Leicester. Cate Alvey (8) and Jamie Tank (9) will be performing in the choir. Cate said: “I could burst, I’m so excited about it.” The pupils, pictured above, both go to the Dupont Dance Stage School.

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& crime report Think Like a Thief There are criminals who spend weeks ‘casing’ a house and its security systems before committing the perfect burglary with military precision; but few of them exist outside cinema or television drama. Not many of us have items in our homes valuable enough to make such an investment in time and effort worthwhile for the few who do exist in the real world. Yet an awful lot of us are burgled by thieves who simply spot opportunities and take advantage of them on the spur of the moment. The distress of the victim is often mixed with disbelief that it could possibly have happened in the simple way that it did. So why not take a few minutes to think like a thief and ‘case’ your own property. If you were going to break in, how would you do it? Are windows and doors easy to open from the outside? If you have extra security locks, do you actually use them every time? Use your imagination and get one step ahead of the burglar. It may be a sad fact of life that we have to think like this but if we spot these things ourselves and put them right, they will not be there for the thief to exploit. Just be alert and take simple precautions. You can get friendly advice and a range of security devices, some of them free to members, every third Saturday of the month at the Advice Shop on Sibson Road Car Park (opposite the garden centre) between 10 a.m. and 12 noon. The next date is May 19. Do take care. Ed Chambers, Birstall and Wanlip Neighbourhood Watch

Crime Report : Birstall 12/3/12 to 16/4/12 Assaults 5, harassment 3, burglary 8, burglary non-dwelling 4, damage 2, damage to motor vehicle 6, drugs 5, fraud 4, public order 1, theft 3, theft of cycle 1, theft from motor vehicle 7, theft of motor vehicle 1, theft stores 4. Birstall remains the main focus for the Police for patrols. Automatic number plate recognition cameras have been deployed at four key static locations in Birstall. Antisocial behaviour is very low in the village. Total crime and burglary crime statistics show a reduction by a fifth compared to last year. Total vehicle crime is down 17.7%. From PC 2139 Richard Carruthers and PCSO 6611 Mark Butler

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River trip inspires artwork A BOAT trip through Watermead Country Park inspired wildlife paintings at an art workshop – the latest activity of the Events Extra programme organised by local churches. A group of 13 took part, ages ranging from 6 to adult, who were taken on board the St Clare barge, captained by Pete Anderson from the Baldwin Trust. There was time for sketching and taking photos on board in readiness for the art session at St James’ church. The passengers disembarked at the church, refreshments were provided and the painting session began, led by local artist Sue Faulks. Pic: (l-r) Alex Woodhead, Fabrizia Talbot, Jo Leatherland, Mary Bennett, George Merry, Sue Faulks and Eloise Grooms

Pic: Mallard by Diane Woodhead

Pic: Fox by Daniel Grooms

Pic: Daisy Merry

Jubilee gala THIS YEAR’S village gala will be the Birstall Jubilee Gala, on Saturday June 30 and Sunday July 1. “We are hoping for fantastic weather and for your support to make this year’s gala an extra special weekend in honour of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee” said Sue Coulson, Birstall Parish Council’s Deputy Clerk. Stalls at the gala are available now – if you would like a stall, stand or some space to promote your business or charity contact the Parish Council office for forms and further information on 2676191, or go to The Citizen of the Year award is presented annually at the Gala and aims to recognise those who do hard work for the community whether it be in a voluntary capacity or in connection with their work in Birstall. Nomination forms are available from the Parish Council office or downloadable from the Council’s website.



Tel: 0116 2601851

Sue said: “Each person had a canvas on which they could choose to paint either a scene or an individual animal, bird, insect or flower – a visual memory of the day. “It was great to see people who didn’t feel that they could draw or paint being brave enough to have a go and then surprise themselves with the lovely work they produced – it was wonderful.” The paintings will be exhibited at the church on Saturday May 26/27. A similar event is planned for the summer holidays – all are welcome. Go to for booking details.

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Gym’s donation & Breakfast fundraiser college visit GUNNS’ GYM on Birstall Road received a donation of £220 in March. Neil Wooton, who works for Alltruck PLC , chose the gym to receive the money as part of his firm’s scheme of charitable giving. Each month Alltruck pick an employee of the month who can then choose a local charity or good cause to receive £220.

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Neil said: “I was brought up in Birstall and when I was growing up there was never anything to do. It’s good to see Carl has set up his gym, it’s getting young people off the streets and giving them a bit of exercise as well.” Carl was also invited to speak at Loughborough College’s Higher Education Enterprise Conference in March. He took five girls with him from the gym including six year old Scarlett Harrison from Birstall, accompanied by her mum. The event featured presentations to students by entrepreneurs who had successfully started businesses and social enterprises. Pic (top): Neil Wooton (left) presents a cheque to Carl Gunns & (below) young people from the gym visited Loughborough College

APPLICATION FOR VARIATION OF PREMISES LICENCE NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN That Birstall Parish Council has applied for a licence to use the premises known as School Lane Playing Field, Birstall for the purpose of Regulated Entertainment (Live Music, Recorded Music, Boxing Display and Performances of Dance)for the Birstall Gala 2011: 30th June & 1st July 2012 Dated: 1 May 2012 Any objections or representations in respect of the application should be made in writing to the Deputy Partnership & Customer Services, Charnwood Borough Council, Council Offices, Southfield Road, Loughborough, LE11 2TX. Representations/objections must be received by: 28 May 2012 The applicant will be supplied with copies of any objections. A record of the application can be inspected at the Council Offices at the aforementioned address during normal office hours. It is an offence to knowingly or recklessly make a false statement in or in connection with an application. Any person found guilty of such an offence shall be liable on summary conviction to a maximum find in the sum of £5,000.00

FOR THE fifth year running the Charnwood Branch of Cancer Research held a Big Breakfast event at the Birstall home of Jan and David Gaskell to raise funds for research and treatment into the many forms of cancer. “What began in 2007 as a ‘one off’ event with just 23 people participating in breakfast or afternoon tea has now become a very well supported annual event” said Jan Gaskell, Chair of the Charnwood Branch. “For some of us, this past year has been a very sad time with many of our closest friends battling with the illness. This gives us even greater impetus in our efforts to raise fund for this research” she added. Chefs David and Doug cooked 50 breakfasts in the confines of a domestic kitchen over a four hour period. “As the two television presenters of MasterChef would say – it doesn’t come any tougher than that!” said Jan. This was followed by some other friends coming round and being served tea and cakes during the afternoon. Jan said: “We would like to thank all the 80 people who supported the event and donated £831.80 in support of

Pic: David Gaskell (left) & Doug Sutherland & (below) guests enjoy a cuppa

Cancer Research and to our friends who kindly gave items for the breakfasts, stalls and raffle. A big thank you to Myles at Nandos and Anne-El-Maria for vouchers given as raffle prizes. “This was a truly amazing outcome and encourages us to say, with Cancer Research UK, ‘Together we will beat it!’”

Hair like a princess A NINE year old girl from Birstall is having her hair cut at a local salon and donating it to a charity that provides real hair wigs. Alice Joyce of Went Road first heard about the charity, the Little Princess Trust, a year ago and decided to grow her long hair even longer before having it cut. The charity provides real hair wigs, free of charge, to boys and girls, who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment and other illnesses. Stephen Thomas of Stephen Thomas Hair on Went Road will be cutting Alice’s hair on Saturday May 5. he said: “Come and support Alice whose little idea has grown into big things! It shows that in hard times acts of kindness and compassion can really make a difference.” In addition to donating her hair, Alice is also raising money for the charity at

Pic: Alice Joyce

Old specs go overseas LOCAL CHURCHES who organised a Lent appeal for old spectacles are offering their thanks to the residents of Birstall and Wanlip. More than 300 pairs of spectacles were donated and will Pic: Members of Birstall Methodist Sunday Club with some of the donated specs be sent to Vision opticians Henry Smith & spectacles can still take them to Aid Overseas via Hamylton. Anyone with old the opticians.


Parish Council notes Student’s day as 31 mile football manager swim

BIRSTALL PARISH Council’s Annual meeting was held on Monday April 16. Mr Peter Ashford from the newly formed Greening Birstall campaign introduced this community led initiative that aims to engage the community in simple steps to reduce carbon emissions. The group is currently securing funding and aims to begin publicising the campaign at Birstall Gala followed by a public meeting and a launch. For details about how the process works go to Birstall Parish Council’s Senior Youth Worker Helen McNulty presented a report on the Youth Café that meets in the School Lane playing field pavilion. The café has been open Tues-Fri in every school holiday. In term time it is open on Wednesdays and Fridays. Sources of funding to enable the café to open five evenings a week are being sought. The café would also like to extend services to young people aged 8-11, and start an after school club. In the previous year young people had acted as water monitors at Rothley Lions 10k road race, collected money at Birstall’s Christmas lights switch on, been on a camping trip and raised £110 for Birstall Special Needs playgroup. The new pavilion extension means the café can now accommodate 55 people. It is now registered as a centre that can provide young people with accredited qualifications and is recognised as a model for Parish Council provision of youth work. Young people from Hallam Fields are using the café. The Annual meeting was followed by the April meeting of the Parish Council. It was reported that young people were repeatedly breaking down a fence on the School Lane playing field to enter the garden of a property on Beechfield Avenue to retrieve balls. PC Richard Carruthers said he would visit the site. PC Carruthers reported that four number plate recognition cameras had been erected in the village as a result of a spate of house burglaries earlier this year. Comment was made that it would be helpful if they could identify the HGVs using Greengate Lane illegally. Terry McGreal, a member of the LE4 Action group that is campaigning to stop traveller sites being located near Birstall, reported on the group’s activities. There are 50 members and 12 on the steering group. There have been meetings with MPs Stephen Dorrell, Liz Kendall and councillors. 600 names were collected on its petition on a Saturday morning in Birstall, with members of the public reporting they were unaware of the proposals. There are more than 2000 names on the petition. Mr McGreal said the group was not against travellers per se, and accepts that provision for them is necessary, but feels sites should not all be concentrated in one area but spread around the city. The website for the action group is A resident commented on the lack of a bus service from Birstall to Syston for students attending Wreake Valley College. The Council has received a letter from Cllr David Slater, the leader of Charnwood Borough Council, congratulating the Parish Council on being awarded Quality Status. Cllr Julian Howe commented that the Parish Council component of the Council Tax had risen by 5.9%, when the minutes of the meeting where the Council had agreed the precept indicated that the increase year on year would be just over 1%. Vice Chairman Pat Cleere said there had been a mistake made. The mistake had arisen because of the different way the Parish had calculated the number of dwellings, compared to the method used by Charnwood. A 5.9% increase amounts to an annual increase of £4.91 for a band D dwelling. The Council is planning to erect Union Flags in the Christmas tree mountings along Sibson Road to mark the Queen’s Jubilee.

A TEENAGER with a passion for football spent a day shadowing Cardiff City’s manager.

BIRSTALL SWIMMING Club took part in the Sport Relief Mile swim in March. A club spokesman said: “A staggering 31 miles was achieved by all members joining together and swimming their best, including the teachers! This exceeded the club target of 26 miles and was a fantastic result. “A big well done and thank you to all those who took part and helped raise in excess of £500 for the sport relief charities!” Birstall Swimming Club has been in existence for more than 25 years providing swimming teaching for hundreds of young people from Birstall and the surrounding villages by volunteer qualified swim teachers. For volunteering opportunities or to enrol your child please contact for more details.

Wind turbine SEVERN TRENT have announced plans to invest £45million upgrading the Wanlip Sewage Treatment site. Severn Trent currently produces 23% of its energy needs from renewable sources and aims to increase this to 30% by 2014/15. It says the majority of this growth will come from wind energy. The planned wind turbine at Wanlip will be 132m from ground to black tip, the same size as the London Eye. It will be operational by the first quarter of 2013. The site currently uses equipment originally built in the 1960s to treat sewage sludge and produce gas which runs engines to provide green/renewable power for the site and to export to the National grid. A new sludge digestion plant is planned. A further £15m will renew the inlet works over the next three years. Dale Collison, project manager for Severn Trent Water said: “Severn Trent can generate a form of clean energy by harnessing the methane that is created when sewage sludge breaks down, and we have been required by OFWAT (the independent water regulator) to do this at more of our sites by 2015. The replacement of the old Wanlip digestion plant is key to Severn Trent Water’s strategy for efficiently dealing with sewage sludge and optimising renewable gas production in the eastern part of its region.”

13 year old Rahul Karia, a pupil at Stonehill school, was a winner in npower’s ‘What’s Your Goal’ campaign, which aimed to find enthusiastic young people and provide them with work experience roles in football. Rahul spent the day with Cardiff manager Malky Mackay and his coaching team as they completed their daily activities at the club, including taking part in a postmatch manager’s interview. Rahul said: “I have had such a brilliant day at Cardiff City Football Club shadowing Malky Mackay. I was able to take a peek behind the scenes at a championship side and really learn how to develop my leadership skills and managerial qualities. Spending the day with Malky and the Cardiff team has been an amazing experience, and fun too! I am so glad that I won, it really has been a once-in-alifetime opportunity and a brilliant way for me to make my football dreams come true.” Malky Mackay said: “It’s been a real pleasure spending the day teaching Rahul how to lead an established championship side and showing him what it takes to be a manager. I have been

Pic: Malky Mackay & Rahul Karia impressed with Rahul’s determination, professionalism and a real instinct for the role, I hope we’ve been able to give him a leg-up in his quest to a football manager. npower’s What’s Your Goal campaign is a brilliant way to engage with the game’s next generation and will inspire them to explore the vast career options in the football industry.”

Visit gardens in the Walker Road, Goscote Hall Road Went Road & Fielding Road area Birstall Methodist Church’s

GARDEN TRAIL Saturday and Sunday 9th and 10th June 2012 2.00pm – 5.30pm Adults £3.00 in advance (passports obtainable from local retailers or telephone 0116 2677576) £3.50 on the day Accompanied children (16 & under) free

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Sounds of the 60’s HATS SPRING Production is a comedy with music called ‘Free and Easy’ and is written by Bill Cronshaw.

THIRTY COMPETITORS took part in the Redhill Revolvers first rifle shooting competition. The event took place at the club’s base at the Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre. For further information about the club contact Steve on 0116 2676252.

Pic (top): Junior winners (l-r) Gold: Josh Spooner, Silver: Jacob Pantlin and Bronze: Yusuf Karim Pic: Senior winners (l-r) Bronze: Andy Brown, Silver: John Masterson and Gold and overall champion: Steve Hancock

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Do you remember the sounds of the 60's? ‘These Boots Were Made for Walking’, ‘Downtown’ and many more? If so, come and re-live those sounds and follow the possible demise of the ‘Last Drop’ public house, famous for its Free & Easy nights, now subject to the devious plans of Dodgy Ron. Will they survive to entertain their regulars again or fall prey to his evil plans to close the pub and turn it into an entertainment centre? Full of fabulous 60's songs and not forgetting those famous miniskirts! Come and relive your youth or find out what it was like in mum and dad’s youth! Performances are at Highcliffe School, Greengate Lane, Birstall on Thursday 17, Friday 18 and Saturday 19 of May 2012 at 7.15pm. Please note that there is some adult humour in this production. There’s only a couple of weeks


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to go before the show kicks off so hurry and order your tickets now. The tickets are £6 (£5 concs) and can be obtained in advance by phoning the box office on 0116 2671181 or writing to 14, Fielding Road, Birstall, Leicester LE4 3AJ or by Email at There may be a few tickets on the door for those who cannot book in advance. From HATS

Man charged A 31year old Birstall man has been charged with burgling a shop in Birstall. He is alleged to have broken into the RSPCA shop in Sibson Road on January 30, and stolen cash. He is due to appear at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on May 11.

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Cricket Corner BIRSTALL VILLAGE’S defence of their 2011 title got under way on April 28 against runners up Newbold Verdon. The fixture is always a tasty one with two strong teams going head to head with great points to prove. Newbold has the home ground advantage but in previous years BVCC has had some success playing there. Birstall Village’s 1st XI has their first home game on Saturday May 12 against newly promoted Braunstone Cricket Club who will making every effort to shake up last year’s champions. The next home game for the 1st XI is the following Saturday against Burbage CC who struggled last season but im sure will want a positive start to their 2012 campaign. Birstall Village 1st XI will field a very similar team to last season with the addition of some young exciting talent to replace injured Rich Sharpe. Captain Dave Sharpe will lead the way with the bat to be heavily supported by this year’s vice captain Jono Gaydon, all rounder Joshua Saye and hoping to get back to form Andy Galpin. Pete Sharpe will again play an integral part with the ball this season to be supported by Mark Forknall, Jono Gaydon and Joshua Saye. The success of last year was the contributions off all members of the team and to have many ‘match winners’ within the team to be called upon when needed. This season will be no different. The Birstall Village 2nd XI this season will be the breeding ground for the club’s future success. Bringing through young talent such as Joe Carnan and Jack Wright to be supported by the more experienced members including Steve Findley and Andy Lord. We have high hopes for both teams this year. Birstall Village will be entering an under 15’s team this year and all reports from pre season nets have been very positive with an array of enthusiastic and talented young cricketers. This has been an extremely important step for the club having an under 15’s team to bring through talent to ensure the success of the senior club in the future. Up coming home fixtures for BVCC (All fixtures are Saturday 1.30pm start) May 5 – 2nd XI vs Leicester Ivanhoe 4th XI May 12– 1st XI vs Braunstone Cricketers CC 1st XI May 19– 1st XI vs Burbage CC 1st XI May 26– 2nd XI vs Market Edge Taverners 2nd XI June 2– 1st XI vs Bharat Sports CC 1st XI BVCC Social events Saturday May 12 - early season BBQ (sausage sizzle!) Come and join us for a beer and a bite to eat after the 1st XI’s first home game. All members and supporters of the club are more than welcome. Look out for our monthly social events that will be taking place throughout the season. All information can be found on our club’s website from player profiles, fixtures, results, match reports and a large photo gallery for the 2012 season – will your face be on there? We look forward to another successful season on and off the field – all supporters of the club are welcome to make use of our bar and club facilities. From Joshua Saye


INFO Parkinson’s Disease Parkinson’s UK (the UK’s largest charity for the disease) is seeking out newly diagnosed individuals with Parkinson’s disease to take part in their largest study to date. The study will aim to discover more about the illness, develop simple tests for diagnosis and improve the chances of one day finding a cure. Parkinson’s disease is characterised by a resting tremor, movement problems, memory lapses and digestion problems. It is important for doctors to identify the disease early so that the correct drugs can be given to reduce symptoms. Researchers need 3,000 people who have been diagnosed in the last year, were under 50 when diagnosed and their siblings. The study will aim to look for simple markers of the disease in the blood of individuals with the disease and monitor their symptoms for up to five years. For further information or to take part in this UK-wide study entitled Tracking Parkinson’s visit Rise in state Pension Last month a £5.30 weekly rise to the state pension was introduced by the government, equating to £107.45 a week after inflation in September, or £124 a week along with other additional pension payments. The government raised the weekly pension after it was criticised for the treatment of pensioners during March’s Budget. In the Budget Mr Osborne unveiled plans to ‘scrap’ age-related tax allowances for the elderly, with some older people losing as much as £259 a year. Benefits Calculator Many families and individuals are under financial pressure yet many are simply unaware of what welfare benefits they are entitled to or are put off by the stigma of claiming government assistance. Of the 13.5 million people living below the poverty line in the UK, only 5.4 million are claiming state support, with a £19.8 billion left unclaimed every year. Research recently published by charity Turn2us found that only a fifth of people on low incomes believe that those claiming benefits have the right to do so, and over one in eight would rather go without food than claim assistance. The free and confidential Turn2us Benefits Calculator, available at, is designed to help people work out which welfare benefits and tax credits they might be entitled to. Self funders of care services paying more than ever before says Age UK Older people who need social care are paying more than ever before, according to Age UK. New analysis suggests that private spending on social care has risen by 4.5% (£380 million) in the last year and is likely to continue to increase each year.

The charity’s analysis shows that in England more and more older people are paying for their own care, supporting its call for a new clear and transparent care and support system that will allow people to plan for the cost of care in later life. At the moment there is no realistic way for people to avoid potentially catastrophic costs – it is estimated that one in ten of those needing care spend over £100,000. Over the same period of time there has been a fall in public sector spending on older people’s care of £341 million or approximately 4.5%. That is a decrease from £7.65 billion in 2010-11 to an estimated £7.3 billion in 2011-12 (2011 prices). In 2011/2012 private expenditure on social care, which includes charges for council-funded services, top up payments to supplement local authority payments that do not completely cover residential care home fees, and privately purchased home and residential care was an estimated £8.78 billion(1), in comparison to £8.4 billion spent on private expenditure in 2010/2011. Age UK estimates that by 2015, an extra £2.2 billion will come out of older people’s pocket to pay for social care services. Age UK fears that continued increases in care costs could result in a number of older people not being able to afford their current care packages, leading them to either cut back or do without. This extra spend comes at a time when public expenditure on social care is falling in real terms even though the population is rapidly ageing – the number of people aged 65 years and over is expected to rise by 65% in the next 25 years to over 16.4 million by 2033(2) Four fifths of councils now only provide care to those with either substantial or critical needs and anyone who doesn’t meet the eligibility criteria of their local council has to pay for any care they need. At the same time, means test thresholds are not keeping pace with inflation. In fact there has been no increase to the threshold levels in the last two years. From April this year, the means test threshold continues to be £23,500 – which means that older people have to use all of their savings above this level before they qualify for state financial support. For some this means selling their house. In comparison to 2005’s means test threshold(4), an older person in residential care today would be £2,200 worse off. The charges that local authorities make to individuals to use their services have also significantly risen in the last four years. In 2010/11, care charges were £150 per year higher than in 2009/10 for each older person using local authority care services and £360 higher than in 2008/09.


Church news Making friends Welcoming strangers and newcomers and helping them to feel loved and respected in a community is part of Christian church life. Making friends in large organisations or church communities however is not always easy so the social activities organised by the churches are one way in which new friends can be made. There are the regular meetings of such groups as the Mothers’ Union – this month there is a coffee morning, on Saturday 12 from 10am - 12pm in the Methodist Coffee Shop, and a meeting on Friday May 25 at 7.45pm in St. James Community Area. More information from Joan Folland on 2672010. On the second Monday each month, St James Monday Group meets, with a varied programme of talks and outings, and new faces are always welcome. On May 14, there will be a service at St James at 7.30pm in the church, with a speaker from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, the charity which the group are supporting this year. Find out more from Jane on 2673761. The Men’s Fellowship meets on the last Sunday of the month at the British Legion at 7.45pm, usually with a speaker talking about topical issues. Bert can supply further information on 2673817. Then there are organisers like Sandra Robinson at St. James, who, like Daphne Stevenson at St. Theresa’s, has become skilled at arranging holidays for members of the church and friends: a party from St. James has just arrived home from a trip to Bruges, whilst earlier this year St Theresa’s organised a holiday in Harrogate. Outings are also arranged, which anyone is free to take part in. On Wednesday May 23 a local outing is planned, to Ulverscroft Grange and a coach trip to Ely will be taking place on Saturday June 23 (contact Gill on 2675086). Joint discovery However there is a different way of getting to know one another within the church. Currently there are six different home groups meeting in Birstall, some meeting in the daytime and some in the evenings, to discuss and discover more about their faith and to share fellowship with one another. If that idea interests you, phone Doreen on 2674680 to find out more. The Anglican, Methodist and Roman Catholic churches in Birstall have agreed to share many of their activities, and all are welcome at any of the events, which they organise. From Beryl McHugh, Parish Curch

Retreat Methodist Ministers like clergy of all denominations do a very demanding job, clearly not in a physical sense, but dealing with people’s problems, bereavements, conducting worship, leading a church, and occasionally needing to poor oil on troubled waters. All of this can be exhausting mentally, and spiritually. Ministers can’t simply stick to a 9 to 5 routine. Evening meetings often take place several times a week. So it was good that our Minister Rachel Parkinson (who in addition to Birstall has oversight of 3 other Methodist Churches in Belgrave) was able to go on a week’s retreat in Exeter to meet other Methodist Ministers, have a time of quiet reflection and contemplation. Pentecost The significance of Christmas and

Easter are understood by most of us, but the celebration of Pentecost is rather more difficult to understand. It celebrates the receiving of the Holy Spirit by the disciples. Each Wednesday in May there are sessions to broaden our understanding and experience of the Holy Spirit. If you have questions then you are welcome any Wednesday at 7.15 for a 7.30 start to finish by 9pm. On Pentecost Sunday (older readers may remember this at ‘Whit Sunday’) there is to be a Circuit outdoor ‘Pentecost Praise’ service at Syston Park at 6pm on 27th May. There will be games & a picnic from 4pm. Annual Church Meeting The Annual meeting, to which all members and friends are invited, will be held on Sunday May 13 at 4pm in the coffee shop. Of special interest this year will be the proposed reordering of the church which will be discussed. Christian Aid Week This year runs from May 13-20. Please support this worthy cause to help people living in poverty to come out of poverty in some of the poorest parts of the world. There will be a house-tohouse collection with collectors from ‘Churches together in Birstall’ taking part. Garden Trail Passports will be available in mid-May from all the usual retail outlets along Sibson Road and the church Coffee Shop. This year the trail is on Saturday & Sunday June 9 & 10 from 2 to 5.30pm. This year the gardens in Goscote Hall area of Birstall will be open. The church is grateful to those householders who have kindly opened their gardens for this popular event. From Tony Moore, Methodist Church

Examinations The month of May can be a stressful time of year for many pupils and students who are facing various tests and examinations. Some of these have a major impact on a young person’s immediate future and facing them can seem an enormous hurdle. However, these assessments should be kept in perspective and, providing a student has prepared thoroughly, he or she can only do his or her best. Whatever the exam results, each child or teenager is still a unique individual, valuable in God’s sight and we all learn by our experiences, both good and bad. We wish every young person (and teacher) the very best for this year’s tests. At any time of the year, however, we can assess our own spiritual standing. The Old Testament king, David, acknowledges in Psalm 139 the loving care and omniscient knowledge God has of him and concludes by asking God to test him for his own good. He says (verses 23-24): “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts, and see if any wicked way is in me; and lead me in the way everlasting.” May we join with David in asking God for this kind of examination. Services Our regular Sunday services are at 10.45am in the Community Room at Highcliffe Primary School and Community Centre, Greengate Lane. Our visiting speaker on May 20 will be Tim Berry (from Stanton Lees, Derbyshire). We invite you to join with us. Course If you are interested in finding out more, we offer a free, six-week introductory course to Christianity (which will be arranged at a mutually convenient time and venue). For further information please ring 0116 2214883. From Anne Taylor, Birstall Independent Baptist Church



Understanding Supportive and Palliative Care Cancer care is not just about investigations and treatment; patients and their families need access to supportive care too. Birstall BAG’s work in partnership with Coping with Cancer to provide the Time Out group held at the Birstall Village Hall on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, this is an example of supportive care but there is far more to it than that and cancer services pay equivalent attention to providing supportive care as they do chemotherapy care for instance. In 2004 the National Institute of Clinical Excellence published guidance for Improving Supportive and Palliative Care for Adults with Cancer. Everyone facing life-threatening illness will need some degree of supportive care in addition to treatment for their condition. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has defined supportive care for people with cancer. With some modification the definition can be used for people with any lifethreatening condition. Supportive Care Defined Supportive care helps the patient and their family to cope with their condition and treatment. It should be fully integrated with diagnosis and treatment. It

encompasses: Self help and support User involvement Information giving Psychological support Symptom control Social support Rehabilitation Complementary therapies Spiritual support End of life and bereavement care Palliative Care Defined Palliative care is part of supportive care. Palliative care is the active holistic care of patients with advanced progressive illness. Palliative care aims to: Affirm life and regard dying as a normal process Provide relief from pain and other distressing symptoms Integrate the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care Offer a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death Offer a support system to help the family cope during the patient’s illness and in their own bereavement Who Provides Palliative Care? Palliative care is provided by two distinct categories of health and social care professionals: Those providing the day-to-day care

to patients and carers in their homes and in hospitals Those who specialise in palliative care (consultants in palliative medicine and clinical nurse specialists in palliative care, for example - LOROS, Macmillan Nurses) Those providing day-to-day care should be able to: • Assess the care needs of each patient and their families across the domains of physical, psychological, social spiritual and information needs • Meet those needs within the limits of their knowledge, skills, competence in palliative care • Know when to seek advice from or refer to specialist palliative care services • Knowing a little more about the services available to you should you be diagnosed with cancer can help you get more out the services. If there are any particular areas or subject you would like the BAG’S to write about in the Post please contact the editor. For more information: 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. 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. For more information on the funds we have raised, projects we support and forthcoming events see

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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.

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Driver robbed THIEVES ENTERED the car of a woman as she sat inside it on a Birstall street. The woman returned to her car, a green Peugeot, in Church Hill and got into the driver’s seat. Two men then approached the car. One of the men opened the passenger door, got inside and took the woman’s mobile phone and her purse, which contained cash and bank cards, from the dashboard. The Police are appealing for witnesses to the theft at 10.30pm on Saturday March 17. Contact PC Jones 4482 on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111

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

Birstall Post (346) May 2012  

Birstall Post May 2012

Birstall Post (346) May 2012  

Birstall Post May 2012