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Spotlight Groby & Field Head Mid-February 2021

The Monthly News & Information Magazine For Groby, Field Head & The Brantings

Groby Parish Neighbourhood Plan Update

LAST MONTH we published the first of what we hope will be monthly updates on the development of the Groby Parish Neighbourhood Plan and detailed how Groby Parish Council have applied to Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council to designate Groby Parish as the area to be covered by the plan (the neighbourhood area). Groby Parish includes Groby village, Field Head, Bradgate Hill hamlet, and part of The Brantings.

First snow of Winter arrives!

APRES SKI: Mike & Sue Pratt’s Snowman takes a breather.

The application has been published on the Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council website (www.hinckley-bosworth.gov.uk/neighbourhoodplanning) to bring it to the attention of people who live, work, or carry out business in the area. The consultation began Monday 11 January and will end at 5 pm on Friday 5 March 2021.

Volunteer Webmaster Wanted DEVELOPMENT of the Neighbourhood Plan is being led by volunteers who have formed the Groby Parish Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group. The group are now seeking a volunteer webmaster to join them.

Development of the Neighbourhood Plan must be transparent and creating and maintaining a website will be essential. Interested parties will be able to follow the progress of the plan and find more information when they need it. A website could be used for policy presentation and to assist with community involvement. The volunteer webmaster would collaborate with members of the Steering Group to design and maintain a website. At the moment, the prospective webmaster has a blank canvas! Depending on inclination, the webmaster could either join the Steering Group or act in a supporting role. If you are interested in being a webmaster for the group, please get in touch using the contact details below and one of the group will arrange an initial informal chat.

REDBREAST: A Robin poses for the camera at Groby Pool.

More Volunteers Needed We are seeking additional volunteers to help with this important work which may shape the future of Groby Parish for many years – can you help? If you feel you may be interested, please get in touch using the contact details below to start an informal, no commitment discussion. Anyone interested to contribute should get in touch by email to grobyneighbourhoodplan@gmail.com or through the Groby Council Offices, Village Hall, Groby, Leicester LE6 0DQ tel. 0116 287 6985.

Groby Parish Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

WINTER HAS ARRIVED: Groby Pool Car Park.

Next Issue Out On 13th March • Advert & Article Deadline Is 27th February

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For publication dates and details of advertising rates, visit the website at www.grobyspotlight.co.uk

Groby & Field Head Spotlight


From Groby Scouts to a career in the British Army! MY DAUGHTER Molly Mitchell has lived in Groby village all her life (21years old) went to Mrs Bell’s Nursery, Elizabeth Woodville Primary, Brookvale, and Groby College.

PO Box 8, Markfield, Leics. LE67 9ZT


01530-244069 Email us at: info@ grobyspotlight.co.uk Visit the website at www.grobyspotlight.co.uk 3,500 copies distributed 11 times a year (no issue in July) to homes and businesses in Groby, Field Head and The Brantings. Printed in Ellistown by Norwood Press.

The Spotlight is a monthly compilation of articles, press releases, events, general items of interest and news items submitted to us by local residents, groups, associations, sports clubs and local authorities. The opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the Spotlight Production Team. The inclusion of any group or organisation in this publication does not necessarily imply a recommendation of its aims, methods or policies. Groby & Field Head Spotlight cannot be held responsible for the information disclosed by advertisements, all of which are accepted in good faith. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information in this magazine, but no liability can be accepted for loss or inconvenience caused as a result of error or omission. Groby & Field Head Spotlight reserves the right to amend, shorten or refuse to publish articles and/ or advertisements submitted for publication. All contents © Groby & Field Head Spotlight. None of the articles contained in this magazine are to be reproduced in any way without first obtaining written consent from Groby & Field Head Spotlight.

NEXT ISSUE OUT ON: 13th March 2021 DEADLINE: 27th February 2021

Molly was also a Brownie, and then moved to Scouts and Explorers, taking a leadership course to become a Scout leader and supporting a Beaver group and Scout group for a few years. Molly is known by many Groby residents having worked at the village shop as a paper girl and then moving onto working the shop floor. Molly also worked at Glenfield Co-op and Groby Co-op, Harrisons Spice in Ratby and Groby Club. All this part time work not only funded Molly to complete Camp America, travel in America, and travel South East Asia for four months following her A levels, but also supported the community. Molly has finally been able to pursue her dream career. Molly applied, and was accepted to join the British Army in October 2019. Molly’s start date was delayed due to COVID and she has been waiting sometime! Finally, Molly was able to start her Phase 1 training at Pirbright Army Training Centre on September 6th and passed out on November 26th. Phase 2 Training at Southwick Park has started where Molly will train to become a Lance Corporal with the Royal Military Police (RMP). We are so proud of Molly’s achievements, for following her dream and most of all staying strong, in what has been a very challenging training period. Her time with Groby Scouts and traveling in Asia certainly helped prepare her!

Penny Mitchell- A very proud Mum!

Apocalyptic films more popular during pandemic YOU’D THINK that the real-life pandemic would be frightening enough, but instead apocalyptic films on streaming services have soared in popularity this past year.

And it seems that people who enjoy movies about zombies, alien invasions and apocalyptic pandemics may even be coping better than most of us. A recent study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences has found that people who like frightening entertainment are more likely to have ‘mentally rehearsed’ for the pandemic. Films like 28 Days Later and Dawn of the Dead “apparently serve as mental rehearsal for actual events.”

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The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh By Helen Rutter

A LAUGH-OUT-LOUD, against-all-odds triumph of a story.

Billy Plimpton is an eleven-yearold boy with a big dream. He wants to be a stand-up comedian when he grows up: delivering pinpoint punch-lines and having audiences hang on his every hilarious word. A tough career for anyone, but surely impossible for Billy, who has a stammer. How will he find his voice, if his voice won’t let him speak? The idea for this story came from Helen Rutter’s son, who has a stammer: she wanted to write the book that he would love to read, starring a child like him.

The chip blip

WHEN OUT shopping it’s embarrassing enough if you fumble and enter an incorrect PIN number, so it’s lucky that one reader spotted that the chip had dropped off his card.

An online search suggests it’s not unheard of and the advice is not to glue it back but to ask for a replacement. Have you had a similar experience you could share with other readers?

Little old lady seeks handsome young man AN ADVERT appeared in a student newspaper of a university: “Sweet little old lady wishes to correspond with good-looking university student – especially a six-footer with brown eyes, answering to initials J.A.D.” It was signed: “his mother.”

I bought the book ‘100 Things To Do Before You Die’. I got to 99 and thought I’d better stop reading now.


Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-FEBRUARY 2021 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

Flats plan for the Shires shopping centre

Is the future window shopping or shopping on Windows? TWELVE MONTHS ago no-one would have thought that driving an Arriva bus could become quite a lonely job, but over the year we have watched the buses pass through Groby virtually empty. Perhaps following the Great Vaccination Push this will change, as retailers eventually re-open and shoppers gain confidence. Many vulnerable or elderly residents may actually have refrained from visiting Leicester, and when they do return to city centre shopping it may be a rather different experience. Regular visitors to the city centre will have seen gradual changes over the past year, but others may notice some dramatic changes when they make their next visit. St Margarets bus station is in the throes of demolition and redevelopment, and a new link road from Belgrave Gate to Gravel Street, was opened late last year. Sites that were derelict may now have work in progress and those that had been begun may now be complete. With regards to the shopping experience, the pandemic has accelerated retail trends, and the growth of online shopping has been relentless. This has been driven by lockdowns and, some retailers claim, the unfairness of business rates. Familiar high street names may no longer have an outlet where one can browse and handle goods before you buy. Over the years we have watched the demise of shops like Woolworths, Comet, MFI, Dixons, C&A, Barratts Shoes and BHS. In the last year the list of store closures has grown with even a long established group like Debenhams closing stores and selling the brand. Well known names like Topshop, Topman, and Miss Selfridge will now only trade online. Meanwhile, as the demand for high street stores has been shrinking, resulting in oversupply, the demand for housing has carried on growing relentlessly, spurred by under provision.

Will Groby have space for Leicester city homes? For Groby there will be pressure to increase the number of houses which must be built on our very limited supply of suitable land, and this won’t be helped by the fact

sites we own that could be used to benefit local communities by providing quality and sustainable housing while providing a stable income for the Partnership.” Whether the move to home working is sustainable remains to be seen, If it is is the boom in office space might be reversed, providing further opportunities for alternative uses, including leisure, adding to the bowling, climbing, adventure golfing and other outlets already established.

Is the high street finished? that last year Leicester asked for neighbouring communities to help make up a shortfall of 8000 homes over the coming years. The locations that the City Council has considered for development range from larger strategic greenfield areas with enough space to take hundreds of homes to much smaller sites where a handful of houses could be built. Industrial plots, play areas, parks, former allotments and even portions of school playing fields, have all been looked at and the conversion of redundant retail outlets to homes is also a possibility. There’s nothing new about the conversion of businesses into homes, and Groby has it’s own examples of 2 redundant Coop convenience stores that were transformed years ago.

New homes in The Shires shopping centre? In the City the legacy of an industrial hey day has seen factories re-purposed as homes, and now the owners of the Shires shopping centre has been considering reducing the retail area and converting parts of the former Debenhams store to homes. This could mean 338 apartments for rent, in a mix of one, two or

three bedroomed apartments, with 4,400 sq ft of shared residential amenity space. There would be a landscaped courtyard and a rooftop terrace for residents. East Bond Street would have widened footpaths and new tree planting with views into the private, communal courtyard at the centre of the development. This would be a green space with trees, mixed planting and seating. Retail to residential conversions would make a contribution towards the shortfall of suitable sites for housing and help with urban regeneration. It is one of the options under consideration for the former Debenhams at Guildford, as well as being examined by John Lewis for any stores that face closure. “John Lewis holds assets in key locations across the UK, which, with the right development partner, could be unlocked to create muchneeded housing,” architect David Holt told The Retail Gazette. The Chair of John Lewis, Sharon White, said: “We’ve identified 20

It’s legitimate to say that the pandemic has done no more than accelerate the trend towards online shopping, but it begs the question about whether there will be a new generation of entrepreneurs who will see the switch to the internet providing an opportunity to fill a retail and leisure gap in the market. Yes, online is very convenient, particularly in the present circumstances, but staring at a screen isn’t quite the same as meeting friends or family in town, and sharing a shopping experience topped by coffee and cake. One particular attraction of the internet is that prices are often cheaper. And so they should be, without the same burden of business rates faced by bricks and mortar retailers. It may be Government taxation policy that holds the key to the survival of the high street. If they fail the city centre may be the place you go to shop at Primark, the great offline success story, or improve your bowling performance.

Norman Griffiths

I’ve discovered the cheapest place to get kids’ shoes is at the front of a Bouncy Castle.

For publication dates and details of advertising rates, visit the website at www.grobyspotlight.co.uk


~ National Trust Leicester Association NEWS ~ A COUPLE of months ago I wrote about National Trust properties that were owned or lived in by famous authors. There was one author that I missed out but that was because he was more famous as a politician. That was Winston Churchill who lived at Chartwell in Kent, which he purchased in 1922. It was given to the Trust in 1946 on the proviso that Winston and his wife could continue to live there for their lifetimes. When he died in 1965 his wife decided to move out and it reverted to the Trust. Visitors see most of the house, especially his study, his art studio and many of the books he wrote. The house was built around 1855 on a hillside with wonderful views over the Weald of Kent. The other great Prime Minister whose house is now owned by the Trust is Benjamin Disraeli. Like Churchill, Disraeli was an author and wrote twelve novels, other short fiction as well as non-fiction and a political biography. He purchased Hughenden Manor, near High Wycombe, in 1848 on the eve of his leadership of the Conservative Party. He became Prime Minister in 1874 and led Queen Victoria’s most successful government with most progressive social policies and imperial foreign policies. Apart from Lord Melbourne’s house, Hughenden Manor is the only other Prime Minister’s house visited by Queen Victoria. On Disraeli’s death in 1881 the house passed to relatives and in 1936 to the Disraelian Society and then in 1947 to the National Trust, both organisations preserving the house and contents for the nation. Another politician whose house is now in Trust ownership is Nancy Astor, the first woman to take her seat in the British parliament in 1919. She was the conservative MP for Plymouth South, a seat she held until 1945. She actually lived at Cliveden, a large mansion on the banks of the river Thames near Maidenhead, often referred to as an Italianate Palace. It was built in 1851 for the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland and the architect was Sir Charles Barry who designed the Houses of Parliament. The house and gardens were given to the Trust in 1942 and is now leased as a hotel, though it can be visited on a guided tour. A diplomat rather than a politician, Lord Curzon was the Crown’s very successful Viceroy of India from 1899 to 1905. However he was also in government, as foreign Secretary, from 1919 to 1924. The family home was Kedleston Hall near Derby which was given to the Trust by Lord Curzon’s nephew in 1987. The house is considered to be the best house designed by architect Robert Adam and it also contains a large “Eastern Museum” containing Lord Curzon’s collection of oriental artefacts acquired during his Asian travels.

• The National Trust Leicester Association has currently suspended its meetings but continues to issue its monthly email Newsheet and its triannual printed Newsletter to members. It has also organised a “Zoom” meeting with speaker. Please check the Association web site at – www.leicesternt.btck.co.uk for details, including updates regarding Stoneywell Cottage.

Alan Tyler, Publicity Officer NT Leicester Association

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Won my first cage fight last night. The budgie stood no chance.


Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-FEBRUARY 2021 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

Groby Surgery Patients Group Newsletter

Great progress on vaccinations PATIENTS at Groby Surgery who are in groups 1 to 3 of the roll out plan have now been offered vaccinations, and by Friday 5 February group 4 had been almost completed.

Broadly speaking groups 1 to 4 cover: • all those 70 years of age and over • residents in a care home for older adults and their carers • frontline health and social care workers • and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals The surgery is still waiting notification of further deliveries, which are at short notice, and will continue to directly contact patients when it is there turn. If you have received your vaccination at sites such as the General Hospital or Thorpe Astley, don’t forget that your second dose will be given at the same place that you received the first. Queue jumping isn’t the same as queue dodging “Wait for the surgery to contact you,” was the advice last month, as the different groups have been worked through methodically without any queue jumping. It seems, however, that queue jumping isn’t the same as queue dodging. Last month the Sunday Telegraph revealed that the super-rich have been paying to skip the vaccine queue, with wealthy celebrities jetting abroad to get private jabs while they take a holiday in the sun. Readers may not like it and might think its not the right thing to do. It’s an expensive way to get a few pounds worth of vaccine into your arm, but who can say categorically what most people might do if they had that kind of money. “Dubai and Abu Dhabi are offering private appointments for the Pfizer vaccine. About 20pc of our clients have opted to fly out and get it,” said a spokesman for a firm that looks after royals, celebrities and business executives. “Dubai is also currently quarantine-free for British arrivals, so most are relaxing on the beach in the weeks between their doses,” A number of its clients who have received vaccinations would be well known to the public, he added. International travel is currently banned, although it is possible to go abroad if you have a business reason for doing so. Wealthy people with international business interests may be more able to find a pretext for overseas travel than others, reported the Telegraph. How quickly the situation has changed for the rest of us since last month, with a large proportion of the vulnerable and elderly having received their first Covid vaccination, thanks to the decision to delay the second jab to up to 12 weeks. The daily vaccination figures, combined with a reducing infection rate, are the bright spots in a bleak year. The country’s debt has grown like topsy, and so has the debt we owe NHS workers and all other front line staff across the economy.

Nurse Danielle Donlan is back

Get prepared for Census 2021

Census Day will be Sunday 21st March 2021 EVERY TEN YEARS, the census provides a unique snapshot of our society.

What the census is The census is a survey that happens every 10 years and gives us a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales. The census is unique. There’s simply nothing else that gives so much detail about us and the society we live in. All kinds of organisations, from local authorities to charities, use the information to help provide the services we all need, including transport, education and healthcare. Without the census, it would be much more difficult to do this. By taking part, you’ll be helping make sure you and your community get the services needed now and in the future.

The importance of the census in 2021 The census gives us information about households across England and Wales. At the Office for National Statistics (ONS), we’ve used past census information to help us understand how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected people in different ways. Census 2021 will give us fresh information to improve our understanding of the pandemic. It will also help to make sure that the services you use meet the needs of our changing society. This could include hospitals, schools, universities and job centres. Census Day is Sunday 21 March 2021 and will continue to happen on that date.

PATIENTS will be pleased to hear that Nurse Danielle Donlan is back from maternity leave.

Keeping the public and census staff safe

Norman Griffiths

At the ONS, our main concern is the safety of the public and our staff. We want everyone to be safely counted during the census. To do this, we’re making sure that our

She is also now a qualified Advanced Nurse Prescriber, and can deal with other acute symptoms.

for Groby Surgery Patients Group

plans are always in line with the latest government safety guidelines. Census 2021 is a digital-first census, which means that we will be encouraging people to respond online if they can. You will be able to complete the census using any device, including your mobile phone or tablet. If you need help, we’ve got it covered. We will have an online help area on our website and offer help by phone, webchat, email, social media or text message. We’re also encouraging people to get help from friends and family to complete their census. If it’s safe and within government guidelines, we will also be opening Census Support Centres to help people fill in their online questionnaire.

What to expect from our census field officers After Census Day, at the end of March and into April, our census field officers will be visiting households from which we’ve not received a completed census form. They will encourage people to complete the census and help you to access further help if you need it. Our field officers will never need to enter your house. Our field officers will be working in the same way as a postal or food delivery visit. They will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and working in line with government guidance. To find out more about how we will be making sure Census 2021 is completed safely during the coronavirus pandemic, please visit the ONS website.

You must complete the census by law You must complete the census by law. If you do not, or if you supply false information, you could be fined up to £1,000. Some questions are clearly labelled as voluntary. It is not an offence if you do not answer these.

The woman next door to me is a golf widow. Her husband got run over by a Volkswagen.




Written by RECESSION AFFECT ON THE Gemma Hawley PROPERTY MARKET The Coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the economy, with the UK officially going into recession in 2020 for the first time in 11 years. But is it really all bad news?

be an eventual drop in value for many properties. Much will depend on what happens after the Stamp Duty holiday and furlough

schemes end. Some property commentators What is a Recession? believe that prices could fall as much as 25%, A recession is officially caused when the but depending on how quickly the economy economy shrinks for two consecutive quarters, can bounce back in a post-covid world, the which occurred during the first half of 2020. drop in value may not be as sharp as that. A The nationwide lockdown due to the drop in prices is seemingly inevitable due to coronavirus pandemic led to a record 20.4% rising unemployment levels, reduced salaries fall between April and June, which followed a for those on furlough and pay freezes for those 2.2% drop between January and March 2020. lucky enough to have remained in full-time Despite a slight recovery in the second half of employment throughout the pandemic. the year, due to the ongoing COVID situation, Should the Stamp Duty holiday be extended it’s unlikely that the economy will bounce back then it may be sufficient to keep property to pre-covid levels anytime soon. The prices relatively stable. Similarly, if the furlough government’s Stamp Duty holiday and furlough scheme is extended beyond April and a large scheme – or Job Retention Scheme to give it it’s proportion of people who are benefitting from full title, have both helped to keep the property it can retain their jobs and get back to full-time market booming in recent months, but with the salaries then the fall in property prices may not Stamp Duty holiday due to end on 31st March be so dramatic. As with 2020 there’s likely to be and the furlough scheme coming to a close on a lot of uncertainty over the next the next few 30th April, 2021 is forecast to be a rocky road months, and the key to whether prices drop for the property industry. significantly or not, will rely on how quickly the economic recovery happens once lockdown How Will This Affect House Prices? ends and life begins to return to normal. We can’t say with 100% certainty exactly how house prices will be affected, however, based Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Property? on previous recessions, it’s very likely there’ll This of course will depend on your individual

circumstances. Yes it may be a good time to buy, but not for everyone. If you have a stable income that’s been unaffected by the pandemic and your job is as secure as it can be, then of course a drop in prices is beneficial for you as a buyer. Be aware though, generally speaking it’s harder to borrow money in a recession so you’re likely to need a larger deposit and there may be fewer mortgage deals available. Is Now a Good Time to Sell a Property? The market is currently still buoyant and so for most homeowners, it is a good time to sell your property. Even in a recession, people still need to move home and desirable areas will always remain desirable. For example, during the first lockdown, some of the major property websites reported a big jump in visitors searching for countryside properties with a garden, while flats in city centres saw a fall in demand. Therefore, depending on the type of property you own and its location, it may hold its value well, regardless of a recession. How Will a Recession Affect Me If I’m Planning to Stay in my Property? Again, we can only make an educated estimate based on the last recession, however, you may benefit from a fall in interest rates on your mortgage, leaving you with more disposable income each month. The fall in interest rates could also lead to some good deals out there for homeowners. Facebook Page @GrobyPropertyNews


Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-FEBRUARY 2021 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

County Councillor’s Report from Ozzy O’shea Email ozzy.o’shea@leics.gov.uk or ozzyoshea@hotmail.com

County Council Elections May 2021 I HAVE been reselected to stand as your County Councillor in this year’s election.

It has been an absolute honour and privilege to represent residents for the past 8 years. I hope you will be able to offer me your support in the forthcoming election, so that I can carry on representing and working for you on the County Council. At present the government are saying that the County Council Elections will still be taking place on the 6th May. I must admit I am surprised as we are still in the middle of the second wave of this awful Pandemic and I believe the elections should be postponed for 4 to 5 months. However it is not my decision. Residents may wish to apply for a postal vote. You access how to apply by following the below link. https://www.hinckley-bosworth.gov. uk/info/200172/how_to_vote/454/ voting_at_the_polling_station_by_ post_and_by_proxy/2 Or you contact Electoral Services Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council Hinckley Hub, Rugby Road Hinckley Leicestershire LE10 0FR Telephone: 01455 238141

Chance for residents to seek advice on warm homes FOLLOWING Big Energy Saving Week (18 – 24 January), Leicestershire County Council is working with E.ON to provide people across the region with free, first-time gas central heating installation, and is urging eligible residents to apply now.  Households not connected to mains gas and currently relying on inefficient ways of heating their homes, for example old electric storage or panel heaters, could be eligible for the measures, which are part of the Leicestershire Warm Homes Fund Project.  Residents on certain income levels or those in receipt of certain benefits, including child benefit, or those who are now receiving Universal Credit due to the pandemic, may also be able to apply for the support.  Qualifying homes could also receive a free gas network

connection through the Affordable Warmth Solutions programme.   Residents taking up the offer could save an average of around £630  per year on fuel bills and benefit from a warmer, more comfortable home. The project follows a successful funding bid by the council to the £150 million Warm Homes Fund, established by National Grid, and community interest company Affordable Warmth Solutions, who administer the fund on behalf of National Grid. In addition to the first-time gas central heating, eligible residents may also be able to receive free insulation measures for their homes, including loft and cavity wall insulation, further improving the warmth and comfort of homes across the county. As part of the scheme, residents may also be able to benefit from free energy efficiency advice, tariff advice and support on how to better manage their income, from Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland.   Residents do not have to be an E.ON customer to benefit but do need to meet certain eligibility criteria.  We’re committed as a council to tackling fuel poverty, and this scheme enables residents to take advantage of available gas infrastructure and insulation grants to support the warm and affordable heating of homes. Nigel Dewbery, Director of Residential Solutions at E.ON UK, said: “By working with Leicestershire County Council to offer the free first-time central heating systems and new gas connections to eligible residents

across the county, we hope to ensure that everyone, no matter what their circumstances, can stay warm and healthy at home and demonstrate our commitment as an energy company to help improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing.” Eligible residents can find out more by typing in the following link or go to Leicestershire County Councils web site type in warm home. So ring the below contact number. https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/ news/chance-for-residents-to-seekadvice-on-warm-homess Eligible residents can follow the link above or call E.ON on 0333 202 4481 to find out more about how to apply.

Cycling and Walking Strategy for Leicestershire THIS CONSULTATION runs from 27 January - 10 March 2021. We’re asking for your help to put the strategy together. We want to find out how you usually travel and what, if any, barriers you face which stop you making more of your journeys on foot, wheelchair, mobility scooter or by cycle. We have created a short survey to capture your views on what we can do to make it easier for you to cycle in Leicestershire and would be very grateful if you could please spare a few minutes to complete it: you can complete the survey by following the following link, or email or telephone the County Council. https://www.leicestershire. gov.uk/have-your-say/current-

consultations/cycling-and-walkingengagementYour views will be used to develop the Cycling and Walking Strategy, which is due to be published in summer 2021. Please get in touch with us if you require any materials in alternative format. You can do this: By email or telephone Email: CaWS@leics.gov.uk Telephone: 0116 305 0002

Scam alert - Fake Covid19 Vaccine Invitation Emails I WAS made aware of another Vaccine Scam circulating via email. I have alerted trading standards who have put the following report out to the media.

Leicestershire Trading Standards has received reports of another vaccine scam. This time it is a fake email inviting you to accept a coronavirus vaccine. Once accepted, you will be redirected to a FAKE page that looks very similar to the NHS website. The unscrupulous criminals go on to ask for personal details and then bank details which they claim is used to verify your identity or make a payment. Remember • You don’t need to register or apply for the vaccine – the NHS will write to you by sending a letter • You don’t have to pay the vaccine, it is provided by the NHS free of charge • You don’t need to share bank details to verify or confirm your identity. Please do share to make others aware - #ScamAware

A message from Leicestershire Trading Standards HAVE YOU BEEN CONTACTED OUT OF THE BLUE?

Scam calls and e-mails can be difficult to spot – try these dos and don’ts to help protect yourself: · Don’t click on links or attachments in suspicious e-mails or text messages · Don’t respond to messages asking for personal or financial details · Do be suspicious of cold callers offering ‘technical support’ and don’t install any software, or grant remote access to your computer · Do challenge - genuine companies don’t ask for financial information, passwords or log in details when

I mistakenly ate daffodil bulbs instead of garlic and now I’m in hospital. Doc says I should be out in Spring.


For publication dates and details of advertising rates, visit the website at www.grobyspotlight.co.uk

Tel 0116 2394336 or 07808 585825 contacting you. Your bank wouldn’t ask you to move money to a ‘safe’ account · Don’t send money to someone you don’t really know – for example, someone you have only met online. Caller at the door? Bogus Callers may look and sound the part but will often give false details. · Do use a door chain if you decide to open the door and make sure your back door is locked · Do you know who they are? – check identity with the head office, a number from the telephone directory or recent bill. Don’t use any number on their ID badge · Don’t agree to any work at the door Finally – · Do be scam aware; talk to family, friends and neighbours and learn more https://www. friendsagainstscams.org.uk/training/ friends-elearning · Don’t feel embarrassed if you have been a victim of a scam – anyone can get caught out. To report a scam, contact the following organisations: Action Fraud – https://www. actionfraud.police.uk/

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Citizen’s Advice Consumer Helpline - 0808 223 1133 For up to date scams information and advice follow Leicestershire Trading Standards Service’s at: https://www.facebook.com/ leicstradingstandards I would like to take this opportunity to thank residents for your continued support. Remember I am only an Email or a phone call away. I am always here to help in any way that I can. Kind Regards

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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-FEBRUARY 2021 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

Developer cash secured to support new facilities OVER £17M of housing developer cash was collected last year to help fund new school places, road improvements and other important community facilities.

Infrastructure Funding Statement


January 2021 The figure features in a new document setting out how much money Leicestershire County Council has used, sought and received from developers. This shows that during 2019/20, the council has also: • invested nearly £5.5m in creating extra classrooms or refurbishing 22 schools, buying new books and equipment at 25 libraries and wide-ranging road improvements, including traffic calming, cycle schemes and junction changes • negotiated another £10m • secured £45m of contributions over the next five years – this is allocated to projects and includes over £30m for education New homes are needed across Leicestershire – with the community facilities required costing many hundreds of millions of pounds over the next 15 years and the council works closely with developers to agree contributions from them known as section 106 agreements. Councillor Trevor Pendleton, cabinet member for strategic transport, said: “Leicestershire is growing – and it’s important we invest in the future. “Securing funds from housing developers is a vital part. Not only does it reduce the burden on the tax payer and the pressure on our budget, it ensures that the right schools, roads and more are in the right place at the right time. “By shaping where hew homes are built, focusing on the environment and putting the right infrastructure in place to support communities and generate employment, we’re building for tomorrow.” The Government now requires all councils in England to publish an Infrastructure Funding Statement each year detailing payments made through section 106 agreements and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). Download a copy from: https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/sites/default/files/field/ pdf/2021/2/3/LCC_Infrastructure_Funding_Statement_2019-2020%20FINAL.pdf

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council

Grants available for businesses ordered to close

BUSINESSES in the Borough of Hinckley and Bosworth that have been forced to temporarily close or severely affected by government restrictions in December and January may be eligible to apply for several new grants.

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council is currently administering several different grant schemes from central government as part of its COVID-19 support for businesses. A number of grants are now available for businesses - such as nonessential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality – which were told to temporarily close to the public. The grants are fixed with the amount depending on the rateable value of the premises. These include: • Tier 4 grant for the five days the borough was under Tier 4 restrictions in late December • National lockdown grant funding effective for six weeks from 5 January • Closed lockdown payment, a one-off top up grant In order to make it as simple as possible for eligible businesses, the council will contact all businesses who previously qualified for a local restrictions support grant for the November national restrictions and invite them to confirm their circumstances haven’t changed and that they wish to apply for the new grants. Once this declaration is received, the council will use the details previously supplied to make any new grant payments the business is eligible for. More about Tier 4 grant funding Any remaining businesses which were told to close as part of November’s national restrictions and which have not yet applied for the local restrictions grant are urged to do so as soon as possible by visiting https://www.hinckley-bosworth.gov.uk/ localrestrictionsgrant Council Leader Stuart Bray added: “As new grants are made available to support our local businesses, the teams have been working hard to streamline the application process as far as possible under the strict and complex criteria we given in a bid to reduce the administrative burden and ensure our businesses receive the support they are entitled to. We are determined to get these grants out to our local businesses as soon as we possibly can at this difficult time to try to mitigate the impact of these restrictions on the local economy.”

Both of our churches here in Groby are closed again due to lockdown. Please be assured that we are still here for your spiritual needs during this time of great challenge. Whether you meet with us face to face, via our facebook services or via telephone.

Rector – Rev Ed Bampton 01162396520 Rev Noel Colley 07757 302271 www.facebook.com/StPandStJ www.achurchnearyou.com/church/5501 !"#$"% #$&% '()%*+%, )%-.#*) '%)&$/%' *' 01##12'3 4&%)5 =1",*5 6.%',*5 @%,' *( 78+ 91+8#$"% 4&%)5 6:.)',*5 *( ;<*+ =1)"$"- >)*5%) 4&%)5 ?.",*5 *( ;<*+ =1)"$"- @1)':$8 Telephone Church, 11.15am every Sunday Call 0333 0164757, then enter room number 10336316# then pin number 1920#. Call charged at local rates.

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How to stop STRESS getting the better of you WITH THE THIRD lockdown, too many of us are facing a torrent of stress over job insecurity, home schooling, isolation, illness, or all of the above!

Stress makes us want to eat badly, exercise less and drink more. It also has a profound effect on our immune system. While brief or ‘acute’ stress can spur us on to some specific achievement, the opposite is true of ‘chronic’ stress, which does only damage. It suppresses our immune system, making us more susceptible to bugs. That is why a stressful event can leave you feeling run down, or trigger a bad cold, shingles, or asthma. So how do we give our immune systems some help during this crisis? • Eat well. A balanced diet includes at least all six plant-based food groups: fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, legume, nuts and seeds. • Exercise every day: regular moderate exercise helps your immune system. • Get enough sleep. It has been called “the foundation of the immune system.” Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and keep devices, laptops or screens away from you for an hour before bedtime. Instead, stretch and relax, and consider a hot shower or bath. • Finally, don’t be mean to yourself. Practise some self-compassion. Give yourself some private time, forget perfectionism, and accept that ‘sometimes half-good is good enough.’ Be kind to yourself – because even that will help your immune system.

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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-FEBRUARY 2021 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk


SINGLE STOREY WRAP AROUND SIDE AND REAR EXTENSION - at 7 Ulverscroft Drive, Groby, Leicester LE6 0YA

THERE WAS no meeting in January due to the continuing Covid-19 restrictions. The current restrictions are in force until March, when they will be reviewed. Until then, the Society can’t make any plans for this year.

So, Brexit is done, the Covid-19 vaccination program has started, and Joe Biden finally got the keys to the White House. January was yet again a wet month, with rainfall well above average, and significant snowfall. The usual areas of Leicestershire flooded, and in the North and West there has been prolonged flooding as the rivers and drainage systems were overwhelmed. Storm systems continue to roll across the Atlantic, bringing sometimes mild rainy weather, sometimes dry. According to some sources, 2020 was the warmest year ever recorded, within accepted levels of variation, so the pattern of mild, wet winters and dry, hot summers interspersed with periods of heavy rain may be here to stay. Difficult conditions for farmers to cope with, and problematic for the home gardeners and allotment holders. How many plants can cope with flood, drought and extremes of temperature? The “Beast from the East” may not have materialised this year (yet!) but Siberia recorded record low temperatures of -73C in January. The RHS have said that gardening is beneficial to people’s mental health. Much has been made about the effect of lockdown on mental health, so anything that helps has to be a good thing. The longer days and increased amounts of sunshine make everyone feel better, and invite you to get out into the garden and inspect what needs to be done. Spring is approaching, and

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Movement over mind?

EXERCISE can be just as effective as mindfulness when it comes to reducing your stress and anxiety. Such is the conclusion of a recent study at Cambridge University. at the time of writing snowdrops are showing in many gardens, and spring bulbs are sending out shoots. In some sheltered, sunnier settings daffodils are already in bloom, and blossom is beginning on cherry trees. By the time you read this, the equinox will only be 5 weeks away, gardens may be showing early spring blooms, and you may see scarecrows that have been made for the Scarecrow Festival organised by Bradgate Rotary. After that, it won’t be long till you’re sitting in the shade, admiring the freshly mown lawn, admiring the results of the boxing day drench on your roses, and wondering if you’ll need to water the plants! One of the effects of this wet

winter has been that that your daily exercise has almost certainly involved muddy conditions, especially if you’re venturing across the parks or open fields. Be careful when you’re tempted to get out into the garden, make sure you don’t overdo things. The last thing the NHS needs now is a queue of people with sprains from energetic gardening, or a cut from some overenthusiastic pruning. Enjoy your garden when you can. Stay safe. (If you have any queries about the society, please email Helen Box on helen_box@hotmail.com in the first instance.)

Keith Poole

Mindfulness is a form of meditation which involves focussing your thoughts and sensations, and it has become popular in recent years. But now Cambridge University experts say that it should not be assumed that meditation will always have a positive impact. Instead, people can reap mental benefits from physical exercise. As one doctor said: “The main message here is, don’t assume mindfulness will work. We have much more evidence for the mental and physical benefits of physical exercise.” Last year it was found that people who exercised for 30 to 60 minutes at a time, for two to six hours a week, recorded the fewest days of poor mental health per month.

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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-FEBRUARY 2021 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

Bradgate Rotary News Covid hits the Groby Valentine Scarecrow Festival BRADGATE Rotary have issued an apology to everyone disappointed by the news that their inaugural Scarecrow Festival weekend has been postponed due to the risks of people gathering and social distancing. Rotary member, Adrian Walker said “We are sorry, but the Scarecrow event may create unnecessary Covid-19 risks to the village, and Rotary would certainly not wish to be the instigators. We believe the event is a great idea and will be holding in later in the year when more people have been vaccinated and the virus is under better control.” The revised date will be September 11th /12th and will have a theme of “Heroes”, which should give a wide scope and acknowledge the great work done by the NHS, essential workers, and heroes in the community. Profits from the event will be going to Bradgate Rotary charities, including LOROS Hospice and Leicester Children’s Holidays.

Events still in the planning AGAIN, due to the pandemic, Bradgate Rotary are putting a hold on the Walking Market event and the Family Funday and Obstacular for this year as these could present Covid safety issues.

The Great British Pooch off! ONE EVENT that can’t be affected by the Covid pandemic is Bradgate Rotary’s virtual dog show, “The Great British Pooch off!” Already there have been many entries from people showing off their fabulous pets in the various categories (or should that be dogories?) This is a fun event with winning entries displayed on the Rotary Facebook pages and the great bonus of raising funds for local charities. The closing date for entries is 7th March so you still have plenty of time. At just £3.00 per category entry, why not join in? There are a whopping 20 different categories, and multiple entries are welcome. Some are photos whilst others can be short videos uploaded to the website www. bradgaterotaryevents.co.uk All funds raised will be donated to local charities – Leicestershire Children’s Holidays and the LOROS Hospice. Specialist judges will make the final decision and the overall winner will receive a cash prize of £100.

Groby and surrounding villages in bloom!

Stress and depression for home-schooling parents PARENTS are under enormous pressure just now, as they seek to juggle the demands of work, homeschooling, and of meeting their children’s emotional needs.

A recent Oxford University study has found that parents of primary schoolaged children between 5 and 10 years old are suffering high levels of stress because they are concerned about their children’s behaviour, and their emotional and social development. On the other hand, parents of secondary school children, aged 11 or older, report more symptoms of depression. More than four in ten of such parents report deep concern about their children’s education and future career opportunities.

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL NEWS From Groby Ex-Servicemen’s Social Club IT IS A DELIGHT that many members have called and emailed about membership renewals for 2021. The Management Committee of the Club have voted to keep the price exactly the same as 2020. We hope that you appreciate the decision of which the Committee think is the best thing to do in supporting the Club.

AS WE START seeing signs of Spring starting to appear look out for large areas of purple emerging from the ground. Bradgate Rotary provided over fifteen hundred of purple crocus bulbs which have been planted in the various places including just inside the gates of the cemetery and the around the Tommy memorial, plus in the planters outside the Newtown Linford entrance to Bradgate Park. The purple crocuses are planted to help promote and acknowledge the work that Rotary International and the Bill Gates Foundation have contributed towards eradicating Polio from the world via immunisation. There are now only minor outbreaks in two countries so the battle continues. Bradgate Rotary are looking at several environmental projects throughout the village and the area and would welcome any support or ideas you may have. Anyone interested in joining their local Rotary and helping the community please email Adrian Walker on walk77a@yahoo.com

There will be the below options to enable you to renew your Memberships for 2021:-

Next few EkoJoe dates

If anyone would like to become a Member of the CIU, please wait until we open our doors for you to purchase.

AS WE keep going through a difficult winter it’s good to look out for the simple things we can do to make our world a better place.

Life Members: 1-100 £0.00 (£3.50 if you have a CIU Pass Card) Life Members (25 Years) £4.00 (£7.50 if you have a CIU Pass Card) Club Members: £8.00

One of these is to shop at EkoJoe. EkoJoe is a mobile re-fill shop that visits the village every other Friday. They are plastic-free and you can stock up on all sorts of things from spices to soap, pasta to peanuts, and flour to dried fruit. It’s a simple way to reduce the amount of plastic you are using and has the added advantages of being very economical and out in the open air! You’ll find EkoJoe on Groby Club’s car park every other Friday morning. The dates for the month ahead are: 19th February, 5th March, 19th March.

Ruth Mwenya

• Post an envelope through the door on your daily exercise (if able) with your name and address on with the correct money inside, do not include your club case or card as it isn’t needed. Cheques are welcome. • Post (Via Stamp) your correct money in an envelope to the Club and have a note inside with your name and address on. Do not include club case or card as it isn’t needed. Cheques are welcome. Cheques should be made payable to Groby Ex- Servicemen’s Social Club. Also, please if you have an email address include in the envelope as we are collating a database to send updates. If you are a CIU Member please put in a stamped address envelope so we can send you your 2021 pass card. You will receive confirmation weekly preferably by Email if you have one but if not you will receive a phone call. We will be extending the deadline date to the end of April 2021.

Membership renewal fees are:-

CIU Affiliated Members: £11.50 If you would like to become a new member then this can be done when we are back open. Please help us and pass on the message to anyone you know and check our Facebook page if you can for regular updates. We thank you for your support and understanding during this pandemic and we hope you are all staying safe and we cannot wait to see you soon.

Club Officers and Committee

Someone just rang me, sneezed, blew their nose and then hung up. I hate cold callers.


As we are now heading into spring the Parish council is still meeting on Zoom, this new experience though challenging represents a commitment from the www.groby.com Parish council that it’s Tel: 0116 287 6985 • Email: parishclerk@groby.com • Website: business as usual. The office team are working from home and our estates team are out and about in their new transport; please contact the office on the details below for all enquires.



Speed Activation - We have through grant funding, two signs for the S WE ARE nowSigns heading into Spring the Parish Council isacquired still meeting on Zoom. This Parish,new Weexperience, would like to thankchallenging, Cllr O’Shea for his support and installation place though represents a commitment fromwill thetake Parish council that it’s business as usual. The office team are working from home and our in Spring.

estates team are out and about in their new transport. Please contact the office on the details below for all enquiries.

Marina Park – The Estates team are happy to confirm that we have a new area of play equipment ready to install inhave March 21. Wegrant havefunding, also designated offor wild flowers Speed Activation Signs - We through acquired an twoarea signs the ensuring and natural grown open and spaces, something that place is high Parish. Wesustainability would like to thank Cllr O’shea forin hisour support installation will take inon the Parish council agenda. Spring. Marina Park Estates team are happy to confirm that we have new area offinancially play Bradgate Hill– The Groby Residents Committee – We supported thisacommittee equipment ready to install on March 21st. We have also designated an area of wild flowers who engaged highways consultants providing two reports submitted by the committee ensuring sustainability and natural growth in our open spaces, something that is high on the for objections regarding a planning application for land off Wallace drive, the planning Parish Council agenda.

application was refused.

Bradgate Hill Groby Residents Committee – This committee, which we supported financially, engagedIIhighways consultantsofwho reports. The reports were of the Queen Elizabeth Park – Installation theprovided Oak Treetwo to commemorate 400 years submitted byTrust the committee part whilst of theirconditions objection to planning off Wallace Sacheverell has taken as place, dida not allowapplication us to celebrate this Drive. The planning application was refused.

event this year; the Parish council has plans to celebrate this event with our local group and event teams.II Park – Installation of the Oak Tree to commemorate 400 years of the Queen Elizabeth

Sacheverell Trust has taken place. Whilst conditions did not allow us to celebrate the event this year, the ParishPlan Council has plans to celebrate this event with our local group and event Neighbourhood – We have a project plan and a communications strategy and are teams. actively recruiting people with skills to help take the group forward. Engaging with

residents is the next step to see what we want the Parish to look like and how it will

Neighbourhood Plan – We have a project plan and a communications strategy and are developrecruiting in the next twenty actively people withyears. skills to help take the group forward. Engaging with residents is the next step to see what we want the Parish to look like and how it will develop in the Planning Many are now modernising properties within the village; planning legislation next twenty–years.

has changed in recent years for information. Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council

Planning – Many arethat nowoffers modernising properties withinwe theadvise village,before and planning have a department help and advice which embarking on legislation has changed in recent years. Before embarking on improvements, we improvements. recommend contacting Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council’s help and advice This can be found on their website searching “Do I Needfor Planning Permission” for department, which can be found on their website - search “Do I Need Planning answers. Permission”.

Neighbours Parishlike Council congratulate the residents of Neighbourson onthe theRookery Rookery- -The I would a bigwould shoutlike outtofor the residents of Rookery Rookery Lane as, during three Lockdowns, the community spirit theislane has been Lane; during three Lockdowns the community spirit on theon lane amazing. Theamazing. use of The use of the Neighbours WhatsApp Group has been a joy to be part of and shows clearly how the Neighbours WhatsApp Group has been a joy to be part of and shows clearly how working together as neighbours has not only resulted in a new community spirit but one that working as neighbours has not only resulted in challenging a new community has helpedtogether and supported all on Rookery Lane through these times. spirit but one

that has helped and supported all on the Rookery Lane through these challenging times.

Groby Parish Council is comprised of up to 16 unpaid members. stershire LE6 0DG They are supported by a Parish Clerk, Deputy Clerk, Estates Manager, Tel: 0116 287 6985 • Email: parishclerk@groby.com • Website: www.groby.com a Grounds Maintenance Operative and two Gate Keepers. Parish Council Office, Village Hall, Leicester Road, Groby, Leicestershire LE6 0DG Tel: 0116 287 6985 • Email: parishclerk@groby.com • Website: www.groby.com

PARISH COUNCILLORS Brian RIGBY (Chairman) brianrigbygpc@icloud.com PARISH COUNCILLORS Rick GUNN (Vice Chairman) Brian RIGBY (Chairman) rick.gunn@icloud.com brianrigbygpc@icloud.com 0116 232 2680 Rick GUNN (Vice Chairman) Geoff BAKER rick.gunn@icloud.com ggbaker1@hotmail.com 0116 232 2680

Sylvia BAKER BECK Geoff 0116 287 6716 ggbaker1@hotmail.com Jim COLEY Sylvia BECK jim.coley@btinternet.com 0116 287 6716 07860 523567 Jim COLEY Elizabeth EMMERSON jim.coley@btinternet.com e.emmerson1@sky.com 07860 523567 0116 231 2111 Elizabeth EMMERSON James EVERSON-CRANE e.emmerson1@sky.com crane.james20@gmail.com 0116 231 2111

Ted HOLLICK James EVERSON-CRANE ted.hollick@outlook.com crane.james20@gmail.com 0116 287 5955 Ted HOLLICK Natasha JONES ted.hollick@outlook.com natjones222@outlook.com 0116 287 5955 07910 980810 Natasha JONES Sandra JONES natjones222@outlook.com 07910 980810 Carol LINCOLN carol@cornerway.co.uk Sandra JONES 07910 980810 Carol LINCOLN Helen LINDSAY carol@cornerway.co.uk henrysal6@virginmedia.com 07910 980810 0116 231 4487 Helen LINDSAY Eileen MARVIN henrysal6@virginmedia.com 0116 287 0116 231 6799 4487

Colin MULLINS Eileen MARVIN colinmullins@outlook.com 0116 287 6799 0116 287 0407 Colin MULLINS VACANT POSITION colinmullins@outlook.com 0116 287 0407 VACANT POSITION PLUS TWO VACANT POSITIONS BOROUGH COUNCILLORS Martin Cartwright BOROUGH COUNCILLORS boroughcouncil@appliancehome.co.uk 0116 287 4500/ 07850 707050 Martin Cartwright boroughcouncil@appliancehome.co.uk Ted Hollick 0116 287 4500/ 07850 707050 ted.hollick@outlook.com 0116 287 5955 Ted Hollick ted.hollick@outlook.com COUNTY COUNCILLOR 0116 287 5955 Ozzy O’shea COUNTY COUNCILLOR ozzy.oshea@leics.gov.uk 0116 239 4336 / 07808 585825 Ozzy O’shea ozzy.oshea@leics.gov.uk MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT 0116 239 4336 / 07808 585825 Mr Edward Argar MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT 0116 260 8609 Mr Edward Argar 0116 260 8609


Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-FEBRUARY 2021 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk


Intruders in garden

MY PARENTS wanted to make contact with you regarding an incident at their residence in Groby recently.

They know you share such information with the community and thought it would be useful to let residents know so that all can be vigilant and report any similar incidents or strange behaviour in the future. I am writing this on their behalf. They reside in the Sycamore Drive / Chestnut Walk area. At approximately 10 – 10:30pm, they noticed that all three of their security lights at the rear of their property were on. They were both still up and some of the bungalow internal lights were on. They went to investigate but found nothing. Next morning however, it was obvious that they had had intruders in the garden at some time in the night. It is not certain whether it was later in the night or when the security lights were activated. Footprints of two people were clearly visible in the snow across both the lawn and paving areas. None of these were their own footprints from the day before due to the size and tread pattern of the shoes. They can see the trail from one side of the garden to the other. Entrance was either over the gate that leads from the front to the rear of the property or via a fence from their neighbour’s garden. It cannot be determined which due to the snow being partially melted on discovery. On checking the property doors, entrances and windows, no damage was found and nothing was missing from the garden. It seems possible that their property or other properties in the area were being staked out? The lights may have acted as a deterrent. I completed an online Police Report of the incident for them as I felt it very important so that patterns can be ascertained as to if there have been any similar incidents that have occurred in the area. My parents photographed the prints in the snow. This is hugely concerning so anything you can do to spread the word and keep residents and their homes safe will be appreciated.

Jo Purtill

(on behalf of my parents, who live in Groby)

Elderly People Duped Out of Large Sums of Money The Switch From Ozzy O’shea LEICESTERSHIRE Police are issuing a warning following a number of elderly people being duped out of large sums of money after being contacted by bogus police officers.

Since 10 December last year, they’ve received 17 reports of courier fraud. Seven of those victims suffered losses of more than £135,000. During the incidents the victims have received a call from someone claiming to be a police officer who’s investigating counterfeit currency or fraudulent use of the victim’s bank card. One such recent report was received from an Oadby woman in her 80s who was initially contacted in December last year by someone claiming he was a police officer from London who was investigating counterfeit currency. Over a period of time the suspect gained the victim’s trust and subsequently told the victim to withdraw a large sum of money and purchase gold so they can check the money isn’t counterfeit. A courier was then sent to the victim’s home address to collect the gold.  The victim lost more than £30,000. In another incident a Knighton man in his 80s was contacted over a period of two weeks in December by someone claiming he was a police officer from London, he said he was investigating fraudulent transactions on the victim’s wife’s bank card. The suspect claimed the bank card was used in a department store to purchase two high value watches.  He was told to withdraw a large sum

of money from his bank and purchase some gold bars from a local jewellers. Gold bars to the value of £40,000 were purchased and subsequently picked up by a courier. Paul Wenlock from the economic crime unit, said:  “We are growing increasingly concerned about these types of offences.  Suspects are gaining the victim’s trust over a period of a few weeks and ensuring they don’t speak to anyone about the calls.  They sound genuine and victims feel they have no choice but to do as they are told. “These types of offences are borderless crimes, those responsible target victims not necessarily in their own area but across the country.  We work closely with forces across the country to ensure any intelligence identified during investigations is shared.  “A number of warnings have been issued about these crimes but we know not everyone accesses social media or the internet, so we are asking the public to help us by informing their neighbours or relatives about these offences. “They should be advised that police officers would never contact them in this way.  If they are called they should disconnect the call straightaway and report the incident to the police using another telephone, as on some occasions calls can remain connected. “On some occasions suspects will use local taxi or courier companies, who unknowingly accept the job.  We would ask that people remain vigilant and if they are contacted to collect packages be mindful of who they are collecting these from if they have any suspicions to report them to the police immediately.

By Beth O’Leary

LEENA is too young to feel stuck. Eileen is too old to start over. It’s time for The Switch...

After blowing a big presentation at work, Leena takes a two-month sabbatical and escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen . . . A life swap seems the perfect solution. But with a rabble of unruly OAPs to contend with, as well as the distractingly handsome local schoolteacher, Leena learns that switching lives isn’t straightforward. In London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, and with the online dating scene. But is her perfect match nearer to home than she first thought?

Your daily walk ... a sacred ritual

An easy way for fathers to feel closer to their children

We have developed views on our neighbours’ gardens, on their oddly coloured garage doors, and on their dogs, children and cars. If we go out at the same time every day, we may even be saying hello to the same people we don’t know every day. For many of us, that daily walk has become the high point of our day. After all, it is one of the few liberties we have left. Some of us go early, to enjoy the relative peace and quiet. Some of us go midday, to at least see other people, even if we can’t talk to them. Others of us opt for dusk, the dark comfort of a street with lit houses and stars in the sky. Whatever time you most enjoy, make sure you do make the time to go for your walk. Your mental and physical fitness can only improve!

A study at the University of Essex said that “the synchronising of brain activity is interesting, because we knew it happened between mothers and children, but didn’t know if the same was true with fathers. “This is important for two reasons. It shows that men are biologically wired to provide off-spring care; and second, dads are increasingly being recognised as care-givers and attachment figures to their children.”

UNDER lockdown, millions of us who rarely walked around our immediate locality are now well acquainted with every nearby driveway, every crack in the pavement, and every pothole in the road.

WHEN fathers work with their children on puzzles, it helps them grow closer, because their brains ‘synchronise’. This leads them to being more ‘psychologically in tune’ with each other.

I asked my barber what kind of cut would make me look good. A power cut was not the reply I was looking for.

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Business groups join forces to help reimagine Leicester city centre post-Covid RADICAL new thinking is needed if Leicester city centre is going to not just survive, but thrive, beyond the pandemic. That’s the message from a trio of business groups, which have joined forces to help reshape the city as one fit for purpose in the postCovid world. East Midlands Chamber, Leicestershire Business Voice (LBV) and BID Leicester will take research presented by the Centre for Cities think-tank at a recent roundtable discussion to inform Leicester City Council as it develops its next Local Plan. The study of its commercial property make-up and footfall data showed Leicester was over-reliant on retail within its city centre mix and weekend trade – with a suggestion it needs to focus on attracting businesses that employ high-skilled professionals, who will have better spending power. During a webinar on 29 January, titled Learning from economic trends and the pandemic to create better places for the future: How is Leicester shaping up?, Centre for Cities researcher Valentine Quinio presented a series of datasets that showed how Leicester lags behind the national average for

highly qualified workers, quality and quantity of office space, and transport accessibility. The think-tank regards a “strong city centre” to have about threetimes as much office space than retail, which is viewed as less of an asset now due to the industry’s transformation to online. Leicester is composed of 40% retail and 27% office space, while its 15% high street vacancy rate is three percentage points higher than a stronger rival. However, its relatively large proportion of industrial space (15% – double the recommended level) offers scope for repurposing into different uses, such as offices. Footfall data from pre-pandemic and during the Covid-19 summer recovery showed the city centre was busiest during weekends, but Valentine said activity peaks on weekdays in the most prosperous cities as this offers more opportunities for income. She added: “Online shopping is less of a threat than the lack of spending power, so the challenge now lies in attracting these high-

skilled businesses, which will in turn benefit the whole economy. “Policy needs to focus on making the city centre an attractive place for businesses to locate and this will require investing in skills, commercial and office space, transport and the public realm.” The Chamber, LBV and BID Leicester will present the research and other takeaways from the discussion – which included the need to create flexible and coworking spaces for young workers, and establish reasons for people living outside the city to visit – to Leicester City Council and the Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership for further exploration on how they can be turned into action. In November last year, the council began a consultation on the Leicester Local Plan, which sets out policies and proposals for the city’s growth over the next 15 years – covering a wide range of issues including future plans for housing, employment, transport and economic development.

Paradise lost? A YOUNG mother stood in her kitchen and watched her baby screaming, her sons fighting, her daughter crying, the washing machine leaking, and the dog being sick. She sighed and said to her friend: “I sometimes wish I’d loved and lost.”

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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-FEBRUARY 2021 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

How Vitamin D Could Relieve Vaccine Pressure OPTIMISM continues to grow with the announcement of several vaccines offering over 90 per cent protection against COVID-19. However, reports suggest that for a majority of people, the vaccine will not be available until the second quarter of 2021. Until then, trials continue on the potential support of supplements. Queen Mary University of London recently launched a study into vitamin D, assessing the effectiveness of the supplement in reducing the risk or severity of the coronavirus. The effectiveness of vitamin D is now being recognised by both national and devolved governments in the UK. Some scientific advisers are now suggesting that a national provision of vitamin D could be used to help reduce infections or hospitalisations until the vaccine is ready for widespread administration. However, will vitamin D be used to help ease the burden of viral infections while vaccines are rolled out across the country?

A national deficiency While the NHS recommends that additional vitamin D supplements should be used between October and early March due to limited sunlight hours, in 2020 the public health body has suggested that the vitamins should be used year-round as a consequence of lockdowns and limited outdoor time. A deficiency in vitamin D is an attributing cause of rickets, especially among children. A study also found that COVID-19 patients are almost twice as likely to be deficient in vitamin D. There is not yet enough evidence that vitamin D can prevent coronavirus. But, with little to no side effects involved in taking the supplement, could its use be a tentative win for public health?

Concurrent trials The quick development of vaccines for COVID-19 has been hailed by medical professionals, the latest Oxford vaccines demonstrate up to 90 per cent efficacy. However, studies continue to explore how vitamin D can help to alleviate symptoms and reduce recovery time. Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties. This means it may provide assistance to the body’s immune response to respiratory illnesses. Lung damage as a result of the coronavirus can an inflammatory cytokine storm. Essentially, an overwhelming inflammation caused by your body’s immune system releasing proteins. The inflammation can cause serious illness or be fatal. There are suggestions that vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory effects will alleviate this condition.

Meanwhile, Queen Mary University continues its randomised clinical trial. They are testing whether the implementation of a test-and-treat approach which will correct insufficient levels of vitamin D will result in reduced risk or severity of COVID-19 and other acute respiratory infections. The trial is supported by pharmaceutical company, Pharma Nord, and NHS trust charity, Barts Charity. Their support highlights the potential effectiveness of vitamin D against respiratory illnesses, particularly among older generations.

Government support News of vitamin D’s potential effectiveness against the coronavirus has reached UK Parliament. Before implementing the second national lockdown in England, on 2nd November, the Prime Minister was questioned on the specific benefits of the supplement. MP David Davis suggested: “[Vitamin D] could reduce infection rates by half and case death rates by half again. “The Scottish Government are sending four months’ supply of vitamin D to everybody who shielded in Scotland. Given that it is low cost and there is no medical downside, will our Government consider the same approach in England?” Boris Johnson responded that the results were promising: “We are indeed looking at the possible beneficial effects of vitamin D, and I know that we will be updating the House shortly.” Following this, it was announced that vitamin D supplements will be delivered to more than two million clinically vulnerable people. This includes all care home residents across England. Beginning in December, the supplies are intended to last throughout the winter. Speculation continues whether this roll-out could be extended to more individuals or for a longer period as the government supports more trials into the effectiveness of vitamin supplementation. Health Secretary Matthew Hancock reiterated optimism surrounding the idea: “I have asked the scientists to look once again at the impact of vitamin D on resistance and immunity.” Using vitamin D to support the vaccine administering is being made as a clear and achievable objective for governments across the UK. (https://www.pharmanord.co.uk/).

My wife thinks I’m financially irresponsible. Wait till she finds out I’ve won the Nigerian Lottery.

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Vaccinators needed Help us overcome the virus HEALTHCARE professionals are being asked to come forward to help administer the Covid-19 vaccines in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. A number of new vaccination centres are being set up, and each one requires dozens of staff to administer the jabs. Any registered healthcare professional can play a part after appropriate training – most of which they can do online at home. Retired professionals can join a temporary register up to five years after they have left the permanent register. Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust is recruiting staff on behalf of the local NHS. Anne Scott, director of nursing, allied health professionals and quality said: “We are looking for staff who are registered healthcare professionals, or could easily re-register. This includes a wide range of professions such as physiotherapists, pharmacists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists as well as nurses and doctors. “We will be offering full and part-time work over the next few months. You will be very welcome. “Staff who have already been involved in the programme have said it is hugely rewarding to help deliver vaccines which protect life, and will help the country return to normal.” We are also looking for administrative staff to welcome patients and to help ensure accurate records are kept for members of the public receiving the vaccination. In addition, this project is looking for volunteers to help patients at the vaccination sites. For more details and to apply, please visit: www.leicspart.nhs.uk/ supportvaccinations

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Not many people know that Yoda had a last name. It was Layheehoe.

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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-FEBRUARY 2021 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk


Still risking Windows 7 when you can upgrade free of charge?

And Now You’re Back By Jill Mansell

IN ALL THE DISCUSSION about the availability of devices to facilitate home schooling during the pandemic, little has been said about the risks of resurrecting old machines that may have been retired but not disposed of. It’s now more than 12 months since Windows 7 reached the end of its life in January 2020 and was discontinued by Microsoft. That means there are no security patches, software updates or technical assistance from Microsoft. Although support for the operating system ended a year ago, between 100 and 200 million machines are estimated to be still running on Windows 7. ZDNet has been analyzing numerous industry estimates of the proportion of PCs using Windows 7 by businesses and home users, and most agree that it still makes up around 20 percent of PCs. “Windows 7 quickly became a massively popular version of Windows, especially with businesses,” said Tom Warren on theVerge.com. “It was clear from looking at the market share of the operating system that it would take a year or two to get Windows 7 firmly below 10 percent market share.” He believes it may take even longer for Windows 7 to finally disappear, especially after a year when many have turned to PCs for remote working and home schooling. “Microsoft reported an increase in PC demand and usage due to the pandemic. It’s likely that part of that PC usage also came from households dusting off old PCs and laptops they haven’t used frequently, and some of these devices could still be running Windows 7.” Although Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) include updates for critical and important issues as defined by Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) for a maximum of three years after January 14, 2020, the ESU is not aimed at home users and is only available for Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise versions and users who have Windows 7 for Education. With a cost of up to $350 dollars per machine for cover to 2023, upgrading to Windows 10 may seem a better option on computers with the right specification. Last October an online poll of Windows 7 users, conducted by ZDNet, brought 3200 responses, Only 6% of poll respondents said they’re paying for ESUs, with another 3% admitting they’re not sure. The remaining 91% are, presumably, doing without security updates. When asked if they intended upgrading within the next 12 months only 16% said Yes. Microsoft reminds users that security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal your personal information. Malware can spread much more easily on obsolete platforms because, without security updates, known vulnerabilities will remain unpatched. As a result, they believe it’s crucial to move away from unsupported operating systems as quickly as possible.

What to do if you can’t upgrade The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) supports the most critical organisations in the UK, the wider public sector, industry, SMEs as well as the general public. The NCSC recommends upgrading instead of continuing at risk, but recognises that this is not always feasible. The NCSC website suggests two ways to reduce the risk from obsolete products : 1. Reduce the likelihood of compromise by preventing the devices from accessing untrusted content (effectively making it hard for malicious content to reach the device and exploit it) 2. Reduce the impact of compromise by preventing access to sensitive data or services from vulnerable devices (so even if the devices are compromised, the damage will be minimised.)

What to do if you can upgrade Though some users opt for an alternative operating system such as Linux, most prefer to stick with Windows and if you have a PC that is capable of running Windows 10 this is considered by many the best option. “Some may be put off by the cost,” said local expert Sadhana Stokes of Groby Computers, “but it is still possible to upgrade at no cost if you have a your licence number for your existing installation. Microsoft even allows you to install and use Windows 10 without a Licence with slightly limited functionality, although this is subject to change.”

Stay safe If you are interested in upgrading for free there are websites that will entice you and then steal your password details. To stay safe it is recommended that you only use the link provided to the Forbes website, the largest global business media brand in the world. You’ll find the link that explains how to upgrade for free by googling grobylinx and clicking on Groby Spotlight links. The same link will also lead you the guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre if you want to continue using Windows 7 and accept the potential risks.

Norman Griffiths

ONE MAGICAL winter’s night in Venice, Didi fell in love. But it ended - and he left without even saying goodbye.

Now, thirteen years on, Shay Mason is back. The old spark is still there, but Didi’s determined to ignore it. As manager of a stunning Cotswolds hotel, she’s happy at last, and soon to be married. Anyway, Shay isn’t staying. He’s made a promise to his father. He’s going to keep it. And then he’ll be gone. But Shay’s return stirs up longforgotten emotions, and the scandal that led him to leave raises its head once again. It’s time for buried secrets to come to light. And it seems that this was someone’s intention all along . . . From the beloved author of IT STARTED WITH A SECRET comes a fabulous new novel about love, friendship and finding the way to your best life.

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I don’t wish to brag but I just ate my lunch without taking a picture of it first.

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Call Mike today on 01530 244069 or email your details to info@grobyspotlight.co.uk We had a bite to eat in our local village - Horse and Hounds. I won’t be ordering that again.



Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-FEBRUARY 2021 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

Local advice and free rail travel for women and men suffering domestic abuse THE WELL PHARMACY on Ratby Road, Groby is one of the pharmacies participating in a support scheme for those suffering domestic abuse.

The government has worked with independent pharmacies and Boots to launch a domestic abuse Ask for ANI codeword scheme from the middle of January. Last year Boots Pharmacy announced that anyone suffering domestic abuse would be able to access safe spaces at consultation rooms across the country, where they could contact specialist domestic abuse services for support and advice. The scheme was in response to the desperate situation facing many who are isolating with perpetrators during lockdown. Domestic Abuse Charity, Hestia, says while 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience domestic abuse, the charity was concerned that the figures would be much higher during lockdown, making access to support critical. “While lockdown and social distancing measures continue, it is restricting those affected reaching out to their friends, family and coworkers for support,” said Lyndsey Dearlove, Head of the UK SAYS NO MORE Campaign. “We know there is an increased level of uncertainty for people looking to escape an abusive relationship. Self-isolation offers a new method of control, making it very difficult for them to seek support.” The Ask for ANI scheme allows those at risk or suffering from abuse to discreetly signal that they need help and access support. By asking for ANI, a trained pharmacy worker will offer a private space where they can understand if someone needs to speak to the police or would like help to access support services such as a national or local

Free rail travel to a refuge

domestic abuse helplines. Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins said: “I know that lockdown restrictions are especially difficult for those experiencing domestic abuse. Home should be a safe place, but for those confined with an abuser it is clearly not. The codeword scheme will offer a lifeline, ensuring they get urgent help in a safe and discreet way.” The launch of the scheme came as the Home Secretary announced

new laws to reform pre-charge bail which it is believed will allow for better protection to victims and witnesses in cases of violent and sexual offences, including domestic abuse. Meanwhile, in an open letter to all UK employers, the Business Minister has outlined a few key, practical steps they can take to build awareness of domestic abuse, ensure they are noticing warning signs, and helping workers access the support they need.

In praise of Mothers A mother’s love endures through all. - Washington Irving Life doesn’t come with a manual. It comes with a mother. - Anon Life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face. - George Eliot Mothers are like buttons. They hold everything together. – Anon A mother understands what a child does not say. - Jewish Proverb All I am I owe to my mother. - George Washington Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. - Erich Fromm I can imagine no heroism greater than motherhood. - Lance Conran A mother is the one who fills your heart in the first place. - Amy Tan A mother’s hug lasts long after she lets go. – Anon Sooner or later, we all quote our mothers. - Bern Williams

Sometimes those suffering domestic abuse need to get away, and this may mean travelling to a safe place. But those experiencing domestic abuse may find accessing money difficult. It can be a huge barrier to support and may stop them from travelling to safety. The Women’s Aid Rail to Refuge scheme, launched in the South of England in March 2020, allows those with a confirmed refuge space to travel for free across England, Scotland and Wales. The scheme extends across all of Britain’s rail networks, and runs at least until the end of March 2021. To qualify there needs to be a referral to a refuge by a domestic abuse service which is a member of Women Aid, Welsh Women’s Aid, Scottish Women’s Aid or Imkaan. Once a place is confirmed a refuge can book a train ticket and send the ticket and collection details via a mobile phone. An e-ticket sent to a mobile phone can be used, or the ticket can be picked up from the station using any debit or credit card. They can travel like normal, without having to declare the ticket was free or that they are fleeing from domestic abuse. Children travelling to the refuge can be included on the ticket. Twenty two Women’s Aid member services also provide refuge places for men. If a man has a confirmed refuge place in one of them, they can book the ticket for him and any children. Additionally, Respect, who run the Men’s Advice Line, can book tickets. USEFUL LINKS - www. womensaid.org.uk/rail-to-refuge and https://mensadviceline.org.uk.

Norman Griffiths

I once dated a girl with a lazy eye. It tuns out she was seeing someone else on the side.

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GROBY ALLOTMENTS NEWS FEBRUARY is a fairly quiet month on the allotments, and it has certainly been very quiet recently with all the rain, snow and really cold winds keeping most folk at home organising where they will plant their veg this year whilst sipping a nice hot cup of tea or coffee!

With the alternative being sliding about on a very muddy plot getting chilled to the bone, it’s a no-brainer! My seed potatoes, onion sets, and garlic have now been delivered and so my potatoes are near a window in the spare bedroom sitting individually in egg boxes “chitting” nicely. They will be ready to plant out in March and letting them have some time inside in the cool and light will get them to start sprouting so that when the ground is warm enough, I can plant them out and they will have a head start on growing into good plants. The only thing I have to remember is to make sure that I put them in the egg boxes the right way up, with the ‘eyes’, the buds, facing upwards! I already planted out one lot of onion sets and garlic last autumn, but these new ones will keep me going in both onion and garlic for a good bit of the year. One tip I always follow with both onions and garlic is that I always put a layer of net over them until they get established as the birds love to pull at them just after planting. Perhaps they think they are worms? I have no idea why, I just know that just after I’ve planted out my rows, I come back day after day to find some more have been pulled out of the soil and just lay on the surface, never getting a chance to grow roots.

Biodiversity HELPING the birds, bees and butterflies to thrive is my big project this year!

I’m going to be growing more wildflowers both on my plot and in my garden. I’ve been so happy during this last year to watch and appreciate the natural world more during lockdowns. Beautiful wildflowers, bees buzzing busily about, butterflies and insects have all cheered me up, as have the birds with their lovely songs. We have several tame robins on the allotments who stay by your side as you dig and then dart in to grab a worm you unearth. I’ve had to sit and wait till

they have finished feeding before I can carry on several times! One of our members feeds the robin on her plot with a few dried mealworms every day and so it turns up for it’s treat every morning and if it feels it wants a bit more, keeps coming back and hangs around waiting for her to take pity on it. Growing a variety of wildflowers either on the plot or in the garden is really good for biodiversity because most caterpillars and plant-eating insects (also known as pests!) only feed on particular plants. Growing native wild plants that these planteating insects love not only means that they are less likely to eat your prize veg but also lots of birds feed their young on these caterpillars. Amazingly so do shrews, spiders and other small animals, so lots more native wildflowers bring many more species into your garden or plot. And the more species that are around to eat up the insects that eat your veg, the less your veg will suffer. Even better, those lovely wildflowers will also be food for many pollinators, particularly bees who will pollinate our vegetables or fruit bushes more efficiently and give us even more fruit and veg! It’s a win-win situation and I will also get to appreciate the beautiful colours and scent of the flowers as well! One of our members has been growing some vegetable and flower seeds to sell to other members this last year. She has been doing it to help fund-raise for the Society. With all the restrictions in place, it was the only way we could do any fund-raising at all. Well, her green-fingered skills will now be able to go into overdrive as we have acquired a Society greenhouse! It was offered to us for free by a very kind member as long as we dismantled it and moved it ourselves. This we did, as well as disposing of all the glass as it is not allowed on our sites. We ordered some polycarbonate panels as replacement and they were delivered to the site one morning at the end of January. A team of four member volunteers turned up and it was all glazed and finished by lunchtime! So, we expect great things this year! It is good to be able to raise some money until we can get going again with our main event, our Open Shed Sunday socials. We used to have such fun and we will again and more importantly be able to make more improvements to our allotments. Here’s to better things ahead!


By Belinder Bauer


Pensioner Felix Pink is about to find out that it’s never too late . . . for life to go horribly wrong. When Felix lets himself in to Number 3 Black Lane, he’s there to perform an act of charity: to keep a dying man company as he takes his final breath . . . But just fifteen minutes later Felix is on the run from the police - after making the biggest mistake of his life. Now his world is turned upside down as he must find out if he’s really to blame, or if something much more sinister is at play. All while staying one shaky step ahead of the law.

Recuperating TWO MONTHS after my operation, the doctor says I can start to do some light housework. The trouble is I live 50 miles from the coast.

Forgetful I WENT out for a run yesterday but had to go back soon after because I’d forgotten something. I’d forgotten I was fat, out of shape and couldn’t run for more than two minutes.

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I remember when I could stand up without sound effects.



Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-FEBRUARY 2021 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

HINCKLEY & BOSWORTH BOROUGH COUNCIL NEWS - Councillor Martin Cartwright reports

Tel: 0116 287 4500 Mob: 07850 707050 Groby Pool - improvements and repairs AS REPORTED in my column last month new litter bins have been installed at two locations within the Groby Pool area.

These bins have been a great success and each time the bins have been emptied a lot of rubbish has been placed into them, resulting in the rubbish going into the correct waste system not the pool itself, surrounding area and hedgerows. Some people still choose to litter rather than use the bins provided or to take their rubbish home with them, there are no excuses for this behaviour. Whilst the vista at Groby Pool has always been spectacular, disregarded rubbish was spoiling that view and harming the environment at the same time. There were two other issues at Groby Pool both due to the significant use, these were: 1: One bench has a plank of wood missing to the seat section 2: Both benches have had the ground underneath them worn away over the many years of feet rubbing the ground and both have wet and muddy areas around where you put your feet as a result, Admittedly, worse after the significant rainfall we’ve just had. At times this would render the benches unusable. Following rainfall the benches at Groby Pool were rendered unusable. Even the Swans thought they had found a new Pool! Following me asking Groby quarry to address these concerns they have installed new stone to fill in the worn away ground by both benches. The missing slats have also been replaced. Thank you to Groby Quarry for carrying out both the bench repairs and remedial work to the ground in front the benches so as to ensure visitors have the best possible experiences whilst visiting the Groby Pool area. Your swift action is very much appreciated. All of this benefits both the natural surroundings, wildlife in and around the Pool, the environment as well as those seeking exercise and solace at Groby Pool.

Work Starts on Hinckley Crematorium BUILDING WORK has started on a brand new crematorium on a site off the A47 Leicester Road between Hinckley and Earl Shilton.

The Borough Council has appointed Kier Group Plc to undertake the building project which is due for completion in early 2022. The £5M construction contract comprises a ceremonial hall suitable for multi faith services, as well a crematory hall to hold the crematorium plant and equipment as well as administrative offices. External works include memorial gardens, covered walkways, new roads and car parks. A new access road to the site will be formed from the A47.

Coronavirus – Vaccination Scam AS OF 7th January 2021, Action Fraud had received 57 reports from members of the public who have been sent

text messages claiming to be from the NHS, offering them the opportunity to sign up for coronavirus vaccinations.

The texts ask the recipient to click on a link which takes them to an online form where they are prompted to input personal and financial details. In some cases the online form looks very similar to the real NHS website. Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said: “Remember, the vaccine is only available on the NHS and is free of charge. The NHS will never ask you for details about your bank account or to pay for the vaccine. If you receive an email, text message or phone call purporting to be from the NHS and you are asked to provide financial details, this is a scam.” How to protect yourself: In the UK, coronavirus vaccinations will only be available via the National Health Services of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a local GP surgery or pharmacy, to receive your vaccination. Remember, the vaccinations are free of charge and you will not be asked for a payment. The NHS will NEVER: • Ask for your bank account or card details • Ask for your PIN or banking passwords • Arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine • Ask for documentation to prove your identity, such as a passport or utility bills If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to report@ phishing.gov.uk. Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726, which is free of charge.

Business Fined for Flouting Lockdown Rules BUSINESSES in the area have been reminded of the need to follow advice on lockdown rules to avoid an expensive fine.

The reminder comes after Borough Council environmental health officers issued a £1000 fine to a hand car wash business in Hinckley after the owner flouted repeated advice and warnings telling him his business was not permitted to stay open under the government’s national lockdown rules. Officers had previously warned the business owner that the hand car wash was operating in breach of national lockdown rules before going on to serve a prohibition notice instructing the business to close, but when council officers returned later that week, the business remained open so a fixed penalty notice for £1000 was issued to the business owner for failing to comply with the prohibition notice. The business is listed as a restricted business and not deemed essential under the government guidance which currently does not permit hand car washes to remain open. The Council has also sent warning letters to another two businesses requiring them to close their premises or cease their activities since 6 January 2021.

I am here to help you Should you have any comments or problems you would like me to mention in my article please get in touch. Please remember if I can ever be of help to you or your family please do not hesitate to contact me. My contact details are listed above. Keep safe, take care.

Martin Cartwright Cllr Martin Cartwright Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council – Groby Ward. Executive member for: Licensing, Environmental, Climate Change, Rural Issues & Klondyke Community Hub

Call: 0116 287 4500 Mobile: 07850 707050

E-Mail: hbbc@appliancehome.co.uk Write : Maverick House,10 Pine Tree Avenue, Groby, LE6 0EQ

Cllr Martin Cartwright


Goats mate for life. They stay together for the sake of the kids.


For publication dates and details of advertising rates, visit the website at www.grobyspotlight.co.uk

Asking for a Friend By Andi Osho

THREE BEST friends are going to solve their relationship woes once and for all.

Forty-something Jemima’s life is on track – well, sort of, she just need to bat her niggly ex away for good. Twenty-something Meagan is in the midst of her five-phase plan and is nearly ready for phase three: a relationship. While thirty-something Simi has had more ‘it’s not yous’ than any ‘I dos’. These best friends decide it’s time to ditch the dating apps and play the love game by their own rules. They’re going to ask people out in real life…but only for each other. What could possibly go wrong? Comedian Andi Osho’s hilarious and uplifting debut novel features her trademark wit and is perfect for fans of Candice Carty-Williams, Lucy Diamond and Mhairi McFarlane.


Transport to vaccination centres provided for elderly residents

LOCAL TRANSPORT service Dial a Ride has joined forced with local charity Hinckley & Bosworth Community Transport to respond to residents’ concerns about getting elderly and disabled relatives and neighbours to a vaccination centre.

The Hinckley & Bosworth Community Transport, Dial a Ride Service, along with Westfield Community Centre, is able to assist residents of Hinckley and Bosworth by providing lifts to and from a local vaccination centre. This is being provided free of charge at the moment but, please note that owing to the potential high demand, it is only for those who have no other option in getting to their vaccination appointment. Executive Member for the Voluntary Sector, Cllr Keith Lynch said: “This service is another illustration of the great community spirit in our borough. It can be difficult for our elderly and disabled to get from one place to another at any time but receiving this vaccination is vitally important. So please share these to details of this service to anyone who may benefit from it. It may not be the first vaccination a resident needs help with but the second. Thank you to all those involved.” All volunteers are DBS checked and are following all covid-19 guidelines are followed. Contact details are: Hinckley & Bosworth Community Transport on 01455 250462 or email: dialaride21@hotmail.com or Westfields Community Centre on 01455 637516/07980 631255 or email: westfieldvolunteers@westfieldcc.org.uk

Why is it that when someone takes their baby into the changing room, they always come out with the same one?


Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-FEBRUARY 2021 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

Leicester Animal Aid is still caring for dogs and cats in Lockdown ALTHOUGH things are very challenging at the moment, Leicester Animal Aid, a rescue centre in Huncote, is still caring for dogs and cats in need until they can find loving forever homes. We may be operating differently due to the current restrictions, but we’re still only a phone call away.


Councillor Ted Hollick reports Bus Shelter News (not good I’m afraid) LCC Highways engineers have advised the PC that they would not give permission for a shelter near to Wallace Drive as it was unsuitable due to the footway being of insufficient width to accommodate it.

If you need to rehome your cat or dog, please do give us a ring and chat to us. If you’re looking to adopt an animal, then you can fill in an ‘interested parties’ form which can be found in the ‘Rehome a Pet’ section on our website or you can give us a call at the Centre. We want to say a massive thank you to our supporters who continue to donate food, essential items and toys and treats at supermarket donation points and through our Amazon Wish List. It really is appreciated and makes a big difference to us in these challenging times. There are lots of different ways you can help us to continue to care for vulnerable animals in need and some won’t even cost you a penny! By signing up to Amazon Smile and Easyfundraising you can raise free donations for us when you shop online. Generous donations and support from the community enable us to help special animals, like cute and cuddly Chester. He is a real home bird and all he wants is a new family to call his own. You can find out more about him and the type of home he needs on our website. Leicester Animal Aid • 01455 888257 • www.leicesteranimalaid.org.uk • Charity No. 242560

Jane Walters

A similar problem has now arisen with the Laundon Way one whereby it would be necessary to cut into the bank at the edge of the Co-operative car park in order to avoid moving the RTI (real time indicator) which would have been extremely costly. An additional problem is we would have required the land owners agreement to set it into the bank and as the Co-op are the leaseholders and not the land owners they cannot give permission for us to do that it also means that GDPR rules are making it difficult to ascertain who the landowner actually is. A possible solution is to utilise a cantilever type of shelter with just a back (or front) and a roof as an alternative which is being investigated.

many of them including Groby are working hard to produce a comprehensive Neighbourhood Development Plan.

The initial stage of the Groby Plan is with the Borough Council Planning Department already and the public consultation first stage is available to read on the Borough Council website for members of the public to make comments, still subject to revision.

Twycross Zoo S.O.S I MAKE no apology for including a plea from the Twycross Zoo for requesting the publics support in raising desperately needed funds to help feed the numerous animals some of whom are classed as an endangered species.

Fly Tipping THE INCREASE in Fly Tipping is becoming more prevalent across the whole Borough which is probably not helped by having to make an appointment to deposit rubbish at the Council’s waste tips.

Be a part of Census 2021

Thank you to the resident who reported a large quantity of white bin bags dumped near to the entrance to the Groby Pool car park which I am pleased to say were quickly removed by Borough Council operatives.

Census day is 21 March 2021. By taking part and encouraging others to do the same, you’ll help make sure your community gets the services it needs.

Build Build Build over Britain THE GOVERNMENT policy in providing more and more houses (300,000 per year for the next five years) is going to be very painful for many villages across the country so it is not surprising that Find out more at www.census.gov.uk Social icon

Circle Only use blue and/or white. For more details check out our Brand Guidelines.

It really is disgraceful that the government proudly announced a 100 million pound fund for zoos of which only 3million pounds has been released to smaller zoos and Twycross which is a vitally important world leading Conservation zoo does not qualify for any help, and this is a scheme that finishes in March. The lockdown has meant NO visitors which in turn means NO income that the Zoo relies on for everyday running costs. The Zoo has had to take out bank loans in order to keep the animals fed and cared for. As this is considered to be one of the Borough’s valued assets with up to 60,000 children visiting in a normal year, this is a facility that needs our support. To donate visit Information@twycrosszoo.org Once again, Take Care, Stay Safe, and Remember HANDS, FACE, SPACE.

Ted Hollick

Councillor Ted Hollick

Follow @Census2021

Call: 0116 287 5955 Mobile: 07962 373983 A4GIP1


E-mail: ted.hollick@outlook.com Write: 7 Shaw Wood Close, Groby, LE6 0FY

Before the crowbar was invented, most crows drank at home.

For publication dates and details of advertising rates, visit the website at www.grobyspotlight.co.uk



Stamford Arms

AT THE HEART OF GROBY SINCE 1921 Our lockdown 3 takeaway menu will be available online 4th Jan www.stamfordarms.co.uk featuring Pizzas, Pastas and plenty of our traditional main meals for collection, or free delivery to Groby.

TEAM TAKEAWAY SUCCESS Thank you for your support in lockdown 2 giving us the ability to

We are pleased to announce thatChatty our Takeaway Project support many charities, especially our Shelter to help has now secured funding for our Chatty Shelter. support mental health in our community. the Christmas Lockdowns heretoatthe the Stamford Arms WThroughout e have provided Dinners Groby and Ratby we recognise that many are finding isolation a struggle, Community Response Team, delivering a bit of Christmas Spirit. in the winter Promoting youthespecially sports at Newtown Linfordmonths. Cricket Club, by This Chatty Shelter will provide a place chat supporting the annual Boxing Day Duck Race for andinformal raising £300. when normality returns; a location is now being reviewed. Raising over £8000 with our Bradgate Rotary Club in 2020 Working our charities Bradgate Club and in supportwith of local andRotary the Bradgate Parkvolunteers, Calendar. we have delivered over 200 free meals to Key Workers or those We celebrated our traditional Christmas Carols for Churches isolated in January; this being recognised by the BBC East Together here at the Stamford Arms on 17th December 2020, Midlands Today.

spreading the message of Christmas to local families in Groby.

IF YOU can find 12 WORDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE WEATHER in the Wordsearch grid above, you could win yourself a meal for two and a bottle of house wine at The Stamford Arms in Groby. All you have to do to go into the draw is find - and mark a line through - 12 TERMS TO DO WITH THE WEATHER. These can run vertically, horizontally or diagonally (and backwards!). Send your marked entry forms to: IT’S BLACK OVER BILL’S MOTHER’S, Groby Spotlight, PO Box 8, Markfield, Leics. LE67 9ZT to arrive by Saturday 27th February 2021. Please remember to fill in your name and address. The sender of the first correct entry drawn out of the hat will win the voucher for a Meal for Two and a Bottle of House Wine at The Stamford Arms, Groby - thanks to the generous sponsorship of Brian Rigby - owner of The Stamford Arms. (Redeemable whem restrictions allow.)

Here are the 12 WEATHER TERMS you have to find:

ANEMOMETER • ANTICYCLONE • BEAUFORT SCALE • BLIZZARD DEPRESSION • DEWPOINT • HEATWAVE • HUMIDITY ISOBAR • THUNDERSTORM• TORNADO • WARMFRONT Name: .............................................................................................................. Address: ............................................................................................................. .............................................................................Postcode: ............................. Last Month’s Winner was:

ANDREW PAGE of Leicester Road, Groby. Congratulations! Your voucher will be sent to you soon!

Our Takeaway Menu is now available on our website:

New Takeaway Menu Starting 7th January


~ Spotlight Small Ads ~ • 3 Magnolia Roller Blinds: 57ins wide drop 45ins with all fittings. Very good condition £25 ono. • 1 Roller Blind, mushroom, 90ins x 57ins drop with all fittings. I ordered the wrong size. Brand new, never used cost £60 will accept £45.Tel: 0116 212 1753 or 07741478967

• Wheelchair - used a few times, but like new. Black. Price: £25. Tel: 07925 565526 (Markfield)

• L Shaped Settee Blue, size 8 ft long - Price: £180 - would normally be £400.Tel: 01530 244572 or mobile 07729 332067. (Stanton under Bardon)

• FOUR dining chairs brown and chrome: £25. • Child’s bike red with stabilisers, suit from 3/4 years, little used: £10 . • Dolls house with furniture and people: £15 • Kinzo 650 watt router with box of bits: £20. Tel: 01530 243182 (Field Head)

• Swivel car seat cushion £5.00. • Bike pannier £5.00. • Lightweight ladies cycle jacket med/large £5.00. • Lightweight gents cycle jacket large/ Xlarge £5.00. • Small bike bag £3.00. • Bike computer new in box £10.00 Cost £25 - unused. Tel: 07779 552320 (Groby) • VAC BLADE cordless cleaner with attachments. Price: £20 Tel:01530 243428 (Markfield) • 5x 1000 pieces jigsaw puzzles in one box. Beautiful cottage landscape scenes . Used only once. All bagged separately. Great to do in lockdown. Price: £15.00 which is £3.00 each puzzle - a bargain. Can supply photos. Tel: 07790 734858 (Groby)

• Dark wood cabinet. Opens from top and side. Small scratch at top. Picture available. £15. Tel: 07881 885927 (Field Head).

• Grey double sofa bed for sale. Price: £40. Happy to forward measurements and photos if interested. Tel: 07511 641318 (Groby) • CAMPER-VAN WINTER COVER - Fits Ford Duetto or similar £40. • BULLDOG EUROCAMP WHEEL LOCK For camper-van £20. • METAL VAN STEP £2. • ‘PEGGY-PEG’ Screw -in awning pegs £20. • ‘GOW- PRO’ Pegs (20) unused £5. Tel: 0116 287 6724 (Groby). Email: info@ grobyspotlight.co.uk or post to Small Ads, PO Box 8, Markfield, Leics. LE67 9ZT

My auntie was a lollipop lady. She had a very thin body and a big sticky head.




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Groby Spotlight is the FREE monthly news and information magazine for people living in Groby, Field Head and The Brantings areas of Leiceste...


Groby Spotlight is the FREE monthly news and information magazine for people living in Groby, Field Head and The Brantings areas of Leiceste...