NOVEMBER 2020 GROBY SPOTLIGHT MAGAZINE

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Spotlight Groby & Field Head Mid-November 2020

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

Groby Post Office helps to deliver Magic Boxes for the Charity Steps

I AM THE team leader for Steps Conductive Education Centre. Steps is a registered charity that supports children with conditions that cause motor impairments or delays. We work with children who have Cerebral Palsy, possible chromosome disorders including Down’s Syndrome, or other conditions which affect their motor skills. Our goal is to help every child develop the skills that they need to progress and help them to maximise their potential. We also give parents the knowledge, confidence, and strength they need to understand how to help their child. This Early Intervention is carefully planned for small groups of children and their parents. Our service is completely free for our families. When we were forced into lockdown due to Covid-19 in the Spring of 2020 we needed to completely change our usual face to face service. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ...>

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY at Groby’s Leicester Road ‘Tommy’ I HAD HOPED to have a small gathering of people (wearing masks and socially distancing) at the Groby Tommy on Remembrance Sunday this year. The government guidelines that came into place on Thursday 5th November specifically state to stay at home and not to travel except for very specific purposes which does not include this purpose. It goes onto to state that gatherings should not take place. It is with regret but in order to comply fully with these government guidelines I had to cancel the meet at the Groby Tommy for Remembrance Sunday. From the start of the Poppy appeal in 2020 some netting has been attached to the Groby Tommy in order to facilitate people adding a Poppy in Remembrance. Whilst the photograph was taken many days before Remembrance Sunday in order to comply with article submission deadlines a significant amount of people had chosen to do so. Thank you to everyone who placed a Poppy, many with personal messages of loved ones and for all the positive comments received about how good the Tommy looked during this period of Remembrance as a result of the Poppies being placed upon it. At 11am on Sunday 8th November and again at 11am on 11th November it was good to see so many people take to their doorsteps for a minute’s silence.

Thomas Herbert Smith’s Trust Fund

Financial assistance for Groby folk

DO YOU KNOW of anyone living in Groby who might benefit from financial assistance?

Then consider the Thomas Herbert Smith’s Trust Fund. The Fund provides and supports with the object of improving the conditions of life for inhabitants of Groby. It has interests in social welfare by

providing facilities for the aged and poor or those who are sick or in distress. It also considers applications involving recreation and other leisure-time activities. So who was Thomas Herbert Smith? Well, he was a Groby businessman, who died in 1961 after which a charitable trust was set up from his Estate with aims interpreted to

assist individuals or groups who are experiencing hardship in one or more of the ways listed above. So if you know of a Groby resident or group who might benefit from the Trust please let the Clerk to the Trustees, who administers the fund on a dayto-day basis, know by telephoning 01162 835345 or by emailing andrew_york@sky.com or by post at 6 Magnolia Close, Leicester, LE2 8PS and he will help with making the application.

Next Issue Out On 12th December • Advert & Article Deadline Is 28th November


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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-NOVEMBER 2020 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

Groby & Field Head Spotlight

Magic Boxes ... from page 1

CHRISTMAS DAY FOR THE ELDERLY AND ALONE IN ANSTEY AND SURROUNDING VILLAGES FOR THE PAST 15 years there has been a meal for those who would be alone on the day but for obvious reasons we can’t do that this year - we usually cater for 95 people!

PO Box 8, Markfield, Leics. LE67 9ZT

Telephone

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: 12th December 2020 DEADLINE: 28th November 2020

Steps now runs digital sessions every day of the week. This is essential for the children to continue their progress. One of the difficulties we were faced with was that the equipment that the children would use at Steps was not available to them at home. We created a Magic Box of resources for every child (with the support of Ashby Rotary Club and Shephed Rotary Club). to use during the online sessions. The boxes were designed to include the familiar Steps logo so the children would associate it with attending a regular Steps session. An individual, personal letter to each child inside the box explained how much the Steps team missed them. The little note also encouraged them to explore all the equipment including musical instruments, mirrors and other toys as well as special ‘sticky mats’ to help them to maintain correct posture whilst participating in the digital sessions. It was a very exciting day when a huge package of fifty flat packed boxes arrived at my house! The following weeks had further deliveries of all the resources to be distributed for each box. My whole family and friends got involved in building and filling the boxes for the special Steps families. Then I had the challenge of getting the Magic Boxes to every child. The lovely ladies at the Groby Post Office could not have been more helpful in suggesting the best ways to wrap and post our precious cargo. Mountains of bubble wrap and miles of duct tape labelled ‘Fragile’ were purchased. I became a very regular visitor at the Groby Post Office, arriving every other day carrying half a dozen of boxes. It took weeks to post them all out! During lockdown the number of families wishing to access our service has also increased as with our remote service families can now reach us from further afield. I would like to thank the team at the Post Office for their valuable and professional help to get the Magic Boxes to our children. The children loved opening their boxes! Watch the video at: https:// vimeo.com/467674895 It costs £220,000 every single year to run Steps. We completely rely on fundraising events. These all had to be cancelled this year due to Covid-19. Our greatest challenge now is to be able to continue to provide our life changing service to those that need it most. You can find out more about Steps at https://stepscentre.org.uk/ as well as details on how you can donate and show your support.

Indila Simandi

BUT we want to do something, so we will be providing a goody bag as full as possible with foody treats! Could you spare a yummy treat? Perhaps a chocolate orange, box of chocolates, box or packet of biscuits, matchsticks or Aldi/Lidl equivalent, after eights, packets of crisps, sweets (denture-friendly ones !), anything non-perishable that’s not too heavy basically. ONLY FOOD PLEASE – No toiletries or other goods for this year thanks, that’s as I cannot mix the goody bags with other things as toiletries for example. They won’t be able to go into the bag with food. Usually we will do toiletries etc. as prizes but obviously things are different this year! PLEASE NO…. Cans, bottles, anything too heavy - as everything will need to be able to go into a carrier bag and our volunteers will be trekking around delivering them! If you can help with any of the above – Nationwide in Anstey have once again kindly offered to be a drop off point – so please drop any donations of food, cash or cheque (please make that payable to Christmas Day Alone) to them by 16th December - or contact me as below Thanks for reading Kerry Sharpe Mobile: 07979 607099 or email: kerryjane34@yahoo.com

And I quote ... Happiness is the experience of loving life. Being happy is being in love with that momentary experience. And love is looking at someone or even something and seeing the absolute best in him/her or it. Love is happiness with what you see. So love and happiness really are the same thing…just expressed differently.

Robert McPhillips

I’m eighteen years behind with my ironing. There’s no use doing it now, it doesn’t fit anyone I know.


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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-NOVEMBER 2020 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

Groby Surgery Patients Group November Newsletter

Small salmonella risk – how to check your eggs THE FOOD Standards Agency (FSA) has reported that a small number of eggs with October and November use by dates may be contaminated with salmonella bacteria. Symptoms caused by salmonella usually include fever, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps. Anyone who is concerned about symptoms should contact their GP or out of hours service in the first instance. The risk is small but the FSA advises consumers to check any unused eggs bought from selected suppliers. The stores included in the alert are Sainsburys, Aldi, ASDA, Morrisons and Costco. Affected eggs can be identified by the batch code 1UK15270 and the best before date stamped on the eggshell. If you want to see a list of use by dates for the affected eggs you can find a link by googling grobylinx and clicking on GrobyOnline. The FSA says that only the eggs listed and sold at the stores named are affected. No other eggs sold by these retailers or eggs sold at other shops are affected, and there is no need to change your shopping habits for eggs. Although your usual cooking habits for eggs needn’t change there is some specific advice if you think your eggs might be affected. You should thoroughly cook the eggs and this means the egg yolks and whites should not be eaten runny. Although the FSA says this will eliminate salmonella, and avoid risk of illness, you may prefer not to take the risk and to return the potentially affected eggs to the retailer. There’s also some advice for everyday good hygiene when handling eggs and associated packaging, including:

• • • •

storing eggs in the fridge until use using eggs by the best before date cleaning surfaces and kitchen equipment effectively after use, including the fridge washing hands thoroughly after handling of eggs, including packaging and eggshells.

NHS report published on hospital food THE NHS is the second biggest provider of meals in the UK public sector and in 2019 served 141 million inpatient meals In 2018 to 2019. The NHS spent £634 million on hospital food, at around £4.56 per patient meal including labour costs and overheads. Although 58% of patients surveyed in 2019 rated the food they received as good, or very good, there is a poor public perception of hospital food. In the summer of 2019, there was an outbreak of listeriosis in which seven patients tragically died after eating hospital sandwiches contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Following this a review of food served and sold in hospitals was announced, to include the safety, nutrition, quality and production methods of food for patients, staff and visitors in NHS hospitals. In October the report was published “Our recommendations are clear and comprehensive,” said report co-author Philip Shelley. “They cover staff, nutrition and hydration, food safety, facilities, technology, sustainability, enforcing standards, and the way forward. We are confident that we have identified the main areas of concern, the chief blockers to good practice, and the best solutions.” The 96 page report is too large to summarize in a newsletter, but is available to read online. Just Google grobylinx and click on GrobyOnline.

Norman Griffiths

Letter Request for Groby Old School memories I AM trying to put together a webpage to document the history of the “Old School” in Groby. I have a small collection of photos going back to Victorian times. I am looking for anyone who would like to contribute photos or short articles with their memories of the school. The school was built in 1873 and closed as a school about 40 years ago and may also have been used as a village hall and a shop. I would be interested to talk with any past pupils or teachers with stories to tell about the Old School. If you would like to contribute or talk then please email Briony Pulford at brionypulford@hotmail.com

Briony Pulford

for the Groby Surgery Patients Group

I’ve never been married, but I tell people I’m divorced so they won’t think something’s wrong with me.


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Bradgate Park Calendar goes Global!

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Get in touch today for your office quote THE 2021 Bradgate Park calendar, produced by Bradgate Rotary, is making its way to all parts of the world as local families send them to their loved ones across the globe! So far it has been reported that they have been sent to Australia, New Zealand, California, Sweden, South Africa and India.

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Bradgate Rotary, based in Groby, and covering the villages surrounding Leicester’s top attraction, Bradgate Park, have produced the official Bradgate Park calendar available for just £5.00. The calendar, features some of the best photography of the Park, following a recent photography competition, attracting entries from photo enthusiasts to snaps taken on phones. From the 500 plus entries the top 12 were selected to form the calendar. Bradgate Rotary raised all the funds with their recent pizza delivery service, aided by the Stamford Arms staff, and sponsorship from local companies. This has enabled the calendar to be produced and printed with all the proceeds of sales going to Bradgate Park and other Rotary- supported local charities, including LOROS Hospice and Leicester Children’s Holidays. The Rotary members have been selling calendars in Bradgate Park at weekends and have already sold over 400 to visitors to the park. The calendars are available from: Bradgate Park, The Stamford Arms, Groby PO and Groby, Ratby, Anstey and Markfield libraries, or mail order on the website www. bradgaterotaryevents.co.uk

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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-NOVEMBER 2020 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

Hi, my name is Beverley Shooter a Groby resident of 20 plus years I just thought it would be nice to share this image “The Kiss” with our Groby residents it was taken in Bradgate at twilight on 22nd October 2020.

Are you in loaf with baking? Could you be in the class of 2021? Applications for THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF are NOW open! Who’s the best baker you know? We’re looking for Britain’s best home bakers to enter the tent! If you or someone you know is a smart cookie in the kitchen maybe it’s time to take a whisk and apply! DEADLINE FOR ALL APPLICATIONS IS SUNDAY 6th DECEMBER 2020! APPLY ONLINE: www.applyforbakeoff.co.uk Or get in touch for more information: Tel: 0207 067 4837 Twitter: @BritishBakeOff Facebook: @greatbritishbakeoff

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Keep Your Home Safe This Winter

Darker Nights Police Campaign THE AIM of the Darker Nights campaign is to raise awareness about the risks of being burgled during the darker nights, as well as providing tips and advice on how to keep your home safe. We also want to encourage people to report suspicious behaviour to the police. This message is a long term message to be considered throughout the Autumn/Winter period. Please take a few minutes to have a look through some of the below advice and links for further information. • Protect your home from burglars, keep valuables out of sight and don’t leave cash or keys near windows and doors. • Burglars will often target items such as cash and jewellery. Please try to limit cash at your property. Ensure all jewellery, even if just of sentimental value is kept out of sight and put somewhere secure and difficult for a criminal to find. • A house without a light on can look unoccupied, there are simple things you can do to make sure your house looks lived in, even when you’re out. • If you have a house alarm, ensure you set it before you go out. Ensure all doors and windows are locked.

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The Dreamer BY RICHARD Ap pl i cat i on sCLIFF f or THE GREAT EARLY EVENING on Saturday 13th September, Cliff Richard The RI TI SH B1958, AKE OFand Fa reNOW open! Drifters appeared on ITV’s pop show Oh Boy!, electrifying living rooms across the nation with their now legendary performance of ‘Move It’.

Overnight, the 17-year-old Elvis fan with big dreams became a real-life teen idol, and Britain had their first rock ‘n’ roll star. A new chapter had started in the history of music. Over sixty years later, with a hit in every decade since and over 250 million record sales, Cliff Richard performes live to sell-out audiences with continued success as a recording artist, while era-defining pop stars have come and gone. Cliff is one of the biggest-selling artists of all time, and he has achieved that while always following his own path, on his own terms. Here he tells his story in his own words, through the toughest times he has faced, to the biggest dreams that came true.

Consider security items such as window alarms. • Lights on indoors gives the impression someone is home. Use timer switches to automatically turn on lighting and lamps when you’re away or out for the evening. • Burglars don’t like external security lights, make sure you use these during the darker nights, for more tips on keeping your home safe, visit: https://www.leics.police.uk/cp/crimeprevention/residential-burglary/ • Burglars will often look for homes that seem unoccupied during the darker nights, if you see someone acting suspiciously in your street please report this to us online www. leics.police.uk/report-online or by calling 101. Always call 999 in an emergency or if you witness a crime in action. Worried about keeping your home safe during the darker nights? Don’t be – Leicestershire Police Whave lots of information & advice on our website about how to keep your home secure https://www.leics.police.uk/cp/crimeprevention/residential-burglary/ Did you know you can report crime and incidents using the online portal. Please visit https://www.leics.police.uk/ and click on REPORT. In an emergency dial 999.

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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-NOVEMBER 2020 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

Proposals to improve hospital services up for public consultation

P

ROPOSALS to spend £450 million transforming acute hospital and maternity services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland have begun public consultation. The public in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are encouraged to get involved in the consultation and have their say. This could be as patients themselves, but also to spread the word among their family, friends, neighbours, and any patients they interact with, about the consultation and how to get involved. Whether people like the plans or feel they could be enhanced – we would like to hear all views. The Building Better Hospitals for the Future proposals are set to deliver a number of significant changes in improving patient care, achieving better patient outcomes, and getting staff all working in the best place to make this happen. The public consultation, ending on 21 December 2020, concerns the services delivered at the three main hospitals in Leicester, run by University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) NHS Trust, as well as services delivered at the midwifery-led unit at St Mary’s Hospital, Melton Mowbray. The proposals would provide 139 more hospital beds and change acute and maternity services by moving all acute services to the Leicester Royal Infirmary (in the city centre) and to Glenfield Hospital (on the outskirts of Leicester on Groby Road). Acute care includes patients receiving treatment for severe injury or illness, urgent medical conditions, or during recovery from surgery. Among the improvements to patient care is the creation of a major planned care treatment centre at the Glenfield Hospital. This would separate planned operations and emergency procedures and help stop urgent pressures leading to patients having their routine surgery cancelled. The treatment centre, along with the delivery of more outpatient appointments virtually or closer to where patients live in the community, would reduce the number of patients attending the Leicester Royal Infirmary site by more than half a million per year – reducing city centre traffic and creating space for other exciting services. The proposals would see the creation of the first dedicated singlesite children’s hospital in the East Midlands, based in the Kensington Building.. It would also see a new maternity hospital developed on the site, providing better births for women.

Meanwhile, two ‘super’ intensive care units with 100 beds in total (almost double the current number) would be developed at the Leicester Royal Infirmary and Glenfield Hospital. The investment would also see the creation of a welcome centre to help people find their way around the hospital sites, modernised wards, operating theatres and imaging facilities, and additional car parking. It is proposed that a new ‘community health campus’ with non-acute services would be created on the site of Leicester General Hospital, in Evington (east of Leicester city centre on Gwendolen Road). The proposals include in-patient beds for patients recovering from a stroke, new GP direct access imaging facilities such as x-rays and scans to help diagnose patients’ conditions quicker, and the retention of the existing diabetes centre of excellence. The proposals may also see a new primary care urgent treatment centre, observation facilities, community outpatient facilities for a range of mental and physical conditions, and additional primary care services. In addition, the proposals include potentially relocating the midwiferyled unit at St Mary’s Hospital, Melton Mowbray to the Leicester General Hospital campus. This means that this care and service will be accessible to many more women living across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, while ensuring they would be closer to specialist medical support should they need it. The existing unit is under-used, with less than three births per week, despite efforts to promote it. The consultation will also consider greater use of hydrotherapy pools in the community, replacing use of the hydrotherapy pool at Leicester General Hospital. GET INVOLVED

Latest news from the Groby Gatherers AT THE start of lockdown it looked as if the Groby Gatherers would sadly not be fund raising this year. However regardless of the Covid situation I continued to collect items to sell and also had some donations left from the previous year. I began to sell on a well known auction site and social media and then the car boots were given permission to trade. Giving me another selling opportunity. I am delighted to report that I handed over £1135 to the Leicestershire Hedgehog Rescue Society on Friday 16th October 2020. This would not have been possible without the generous donations of items from friends, family and the community. Thanks to all of you in supporting me, the hedgehogs are really going to appreciate it ! I received a letter from Colleen Powell our hedgehog rescue spokesperson and she was overwhelmed as she herself had not been able to do any talks or fund raising at all, her sleepless nights worrying where the money would come from have now been replaced by a great sigh of relief and a huge smile with a detailed letter on exactly where the money will be spent. Looking forward to being joined by the full group of gatherers in 2021 and hopefully we will beat this years donation.

Debra Clark

THERE ARE a number of ways in which people can find out more including attending our online events. Full details of the consultation are available on our website at www.betterhospitalsleicester.nhs.uk, including details of our events and a link to the questionnaire. There are also videos and consultation documents that explain the plans in more detail: www.betterhospitalsleicester.nhs.uk. Versions of the consultation document can be made available in other languages, and are in easy read, video and large print. To request a copy of the questionnaire to fill in at home or to arrange to complete the questionnaire with a member of staff telephone us on 0116 295 0750 or email beinvolved@ LeicesterCityCCG.nhs.uk

I’ve never fired anyone in my life. I had a cleaning lady once I couldn’t fire, so I had to move.


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9

National Trust Leicester Association

The impact of lockdown on the National Trust

Just My Luck By Adele Parks IT’S THE STUFF dreams are made of – a lottery win so big, it changes everything.

WHEN THE country went into the first coronavirus lockdown the National Trust had to close all of its properties overnight. This led to a loss of £200m of income over the spring period, mainly from entry fees, tea room and shop sales and on site membership sales. During this time approximately 95% of all staff from properties, regional offices and head office were placed on the government furlough scheme to save money. A working party was immediately set up to look for ways of saving around £100m per annum over the next few years. Following the working party report published in July, the Trust announced that it was proposing to make 1,200 staff redundancies across the whole organisation and to make significant changes to working practices to achieve the savings. These proposals were then circulated to all NT staff, volunteers and the officers of NT Associations and Centres, for comment. One result of the consultation was that over 700 members of staff offered themselves for voluntary redundancy which means that only 514 compulsory redundancies will be required. In addition to the redundancies approximately £40m will be saved by reducing travel and other general office costs. Also, approximately £120m will be saved by stopping or deferring non essential projects. Locally, from an operational point of view, Calke Abbey will continue to be a pre booked property for the foreseeable future and Stoneywell Cottage will almost certainly not be open seven days a week.

For fifteen years, Lexi and Jake have played the same six numbers with their friends, the Pearsons and the Heathcotes. Over dinner parties, fish & chip suppers and summer barbecues, they’ve discussed the important stuff – the kids, marriages, jobs and houses – and they’ve laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything more than a tenner. But then, one Saturday night, the unthinkable happens. There’s a rift in the group. Someone doesn’t tell the truth. And soon after, six numbers come up which change everything forever. Lexi and Jake have a ticket worth £18 million. And their friends are determined to claim a share of it.

• ON A MORE PLEASANT NOTE, Belton House near Grantham, will hold its “Magical, after dark, illuminated Christmas trail” again this year, commencing on 27th November. This is a spectacular light show covering a very large area of the garden and grounds. Full details are available on the property web site, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/belton-house or by telephoning 01476 566116. The National Trust Leicester Association has currently suspended all of its activities. Please check the Association web site at – www.leicesternt.btck.co.uk for updates, including details regarding Stoneywell Cottage and the Association’s bookshop.

Alan Tyler, Publicity Officer NT Leicester Association

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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-NOVEMBER 2020 • 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

A simple Guide to the National Lockdown Rules HERE ARE all the things you can and can’t do from Thursday, November 5: • People will be told to stay at home except for education, work (if it can’t be done from home), exercise and recreation, medical reasons, shopping for food and other essentials, or to care for others • All pubs and restaurants will have to close (takeaways and deliveries can continue) • All non-essential shops will have to close (supermarkets can sell nonessential goods) • Households will not be allowed to mix with others indoors, or in private gardens • Individuals can meet one person from outside their household in an outside public space • Support bubbles for people who live alone and households made up of single parents and children can continue • Children will be able to move between homes if their parents are separated • Schools, nurseries, colleges and universities will remain open • Hotels will only open for people who have to travel for work plus a number of other limited reasons • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will not be allowed, apart from exceptional circumstances • Places of worship will generally close but funerals, with a maximum of 30 people attending, individual prayer, and a few other activities will be allowed • Workplaces will be asked to stay open if people cannot work from home - including construction and manufacturing • Outdoor exercise and recreation will be allowed, but gyms will have

to close • Clinically vulnerable advised not to go to work if they are unable to work from home After 2 December, different regions will return to the tiers system, depending upon the rates of infection

Leicestershire County Council steps in to extend free school meals HALF-A-MILLION pounds is being earmarked to extend free school meals during holidays for the rest of this academic year, Leicestershire County Council has announced. The move is designed to ensure that children and young people won’t go hungry during the Christmas, half-term and Easter breaks – and will benefit the 12,000 pupils across Leicestershire who are eligible for free school meals. During the pandemic, the council has also: • Given over half-a-million-pounds of Government funding to food banks and community groups this autumn – Leicestershire’s slice of the £63m from Defra • Launched a £1.5m fund to support communities – a hospice, a homelessness service and a charity supporting young, older and vulnerable people are just three of those awarded money • Established a £750,000 fund supporting small businesses to get back on their feet – with around £400,000 awarded so far • Set up a dedicated team to ensure the 25,000 people identified as ‘shielded’ by the NHS have support and care in place, if required – and delivered hundreds of emergency food parcels and prescriptions • Criteria for free school meals are set by the Government.

I EMAILED the leader of the Council Nick Rushton requesting that our council look at supporting children across County. I am pleased that our officers at his request have managed to crunch the numbers to find the money to support our vulnerable children. Nick Rushton Council Leader said: “Times are still tough – and we simply can’t have children going hungry during the pandemic. So we’re stepping up to plug the gap and help thousands of families who need support. “Our schools have already had their half-term but we’re committing funding for the rest of this school year. Not only is this the right thing to do, it underlines our commitment to providing the help and support our children and families need.”

New SEND plans given the go-ahead THE AIM is to strengthen the support for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities in Leicestershire New plans to help strengthen the support for children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Disabilities in Leicestershire have been given the thumbs up. Leicestershire County Council, East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and West Leicestershire CCG worked with schools, parents, carers and young people to draw up the plans, known as a Written Statement of Action (WSoA). The requirement to submit an action plan followed the inspection of the county’s SEND offer by OFSTED and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which took place in February. Although a number of positives were highlighted, inspectors did say that urgent action was needed to improve Education, Health and

Care (EHC) Plans and develop a joint commissioning strategy. Now Ofsted has written to the council and CCGs approving the Written Statement of Action which it says is comprehensive, provides clear timescales and focuses on tackling the two concerns raised in their inspection report. Improving the experience for children, young people, parents and carers who go through the process of needs assessment for EHC plans is a key focus of the changes. Deborah Taylor, cabinet member for children and families said: “We would like to thank all the children, young people and their families who have worked with us to share their views and co-produce these new plans, whilst at the same time helping us to put a number of changes and improvements in place over the summer. “Their input has been invaluable, and we are delighted that Ofsted has recognised the work that has gone into formulating them. Improving SEND services here in Leicestershire is one of our very top priorities, which is reflected in the £30m we are making to build new schools and specialist SEND resourced bases in our schools.” Caroline Trevithick, Chief Nurse to the CCGs said: “The inspection findings in February have afforded us an opportunity to shine a light on areas that were underdeveloped, and it has focused our attention on improving services for children and young people with education and health needs. Joint working with local authority partners, schools and most importantly the co-production with those affected has been key and has resulted in a robust and deliverable plan.” There are nearly 203,000 children and young people aged 0-24 in Leicestershire. More than 11,000 have SEND support and 3,801 have

I was sitting drinking coffee in my slippers this morning, when I thought to myself, I really need to wash some mugs.


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11

Remembrance Service at Groby Club I AM SORRY that we could not have our normal Remembrance Service this year due to the Covid 19 lockdown.

an EHC Plan.

Work Scheduled on Street Lights Leicester Road, Groby THE WORKS will commence on 30.11.20 until the 03.12.20 and will cover columns numbers 4,5 & 7, 9-16 Leicester Rd adjacent properties will all be letter dropped and as usual we will keep disruption to a minimum.

Advance Notice of a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order Road Closure. A TEMPORARY Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) is to be made for the following location: Ratby Lane, Field Head, Groby. The purpose of the TTRO is to allow Western Power Distribution to facilitate a new connection. The TTRO will incorporate a temporary road closure. The duration of the restriction is not anticipated to exceed a period of 1 day commencing on

the 24thNovember 2020. Diversion is Ratby Lane, Launde Road then A50 and reverse route.

FINALLY I want to thank you all for your continued support and remind you that should you need my help or advice, I always pride myself on making myself available to residents.

Wreaths this year were laid by Ted Hollick for HBCC and Eddie Padgett for the Ex-Servicemens Club, also a thanks to Libbi from Ratby primary school for the A4 paper tribute with the poem surrounded by poppies. Three more wreaths where laid later in the day, one from the Guides, Brownies and Rainbows and two private wreaths. I would also like to thank the 20 or so people who turned up for the two minutes silence at 11.00am for keeping to social distancing rules. Hopefully next year we will be back to normal. Many thanks to you all.

Paul Brudenell

Remember I am only a phone call or email away.

Ozzy O’shea Always Working for you Tel 0116 2394336 Mobile 07808585825 Email ozzy.o’shea@leics.gov.uk Email ozzyoshea@hotmail.com

Every fish you catch and release goes home with an alien abduction story.


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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-NOVEMBER 2020 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

Bradgate Rotary News Christmas Trail - 12 Days of Christmas – 12/12/20 10 to 12 IT’S ALL the 12s for the Bradgate Rotary Christmas Trail! On 12th December we will be holding a 12 Days of Christmas, familyorientated trail around the village, starting at 10am and finishing 12noon. Starting from Groby Village Hall, where there will be take-away refreshments available, follow the route around the centre of the village, find the pictures and letters and work out Santa’s Secret Message! Santa and his sleigh will be there too! Only £3 per family. All funds raised will be for local charities -LOROS Hospice and Leicester Children’s Holidays. (Subject to any Government Covid restrictions that may apply.)

Bradgate Park Calendar goes Global

MANY PEOPLE will be glad to see the back of 2020 so the perfect tonic would be to buy one of the 2021 Bradgate Park calendars showcasing some of the best photography of our most treasured local park. With over 400 sold by Rotary members we are sure that Bradgate Park and our other two charities LOROS Hospice and Leicester Children’s Holidays will benefit hugely. Calendars are just £5 and are available from Bradgate Park, the Stamford Arms, Groby PO and Groby, Ratby, Anstey and Markfield libraries.

Santa and his Sleigh

LOOK OUT for the posters and social media posts regarding Santa’s December visits to Groby and other local villages. The Rotary Club are looking to create a Covid-safe way of ensuring children and young-at-heart adults get to see Santa.

Coming up in 2021 …

PLANS ARE already being made to include a Valentine Scarecrow Weekend over the 13th/14th February, a Walking Market event in May and the very successful Family Funday and Obstacular at Ulverscroft Grange in September.

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A message from a visitor to Quarry Park

I am a mole and I live in a hole THERE’S been some unwanted underground activity at Quarry Park. Mole hills have appeared, so there’s at least one visitor causing concern to the Parish Council, as the park is used for football. Although there are reports that King William III was thrown when his horse stumbled on one, and that he subsequently died from complications, the risk of a trip and fall because of the mole hills is small. Nevertheless, the Council still has to deal with them to ensure the safety of visitors. The photo shows some of the mole hills. A line of mole hills often follow the route of a tunnel but sometimes they indicate the ends of short sidetunnels. They eat soil-dwelling creatures such as earthworms and although they don’t feed on plants their tunnels may damage roots and could adversely affect grass and other plants. It seems that moles lead a lonely life and only get together to breed, generally from February to June. A female will build a nest underground and have three or four young. THE MOLE IN THE HOLE QUIZ I’m not a bat or a rat or a cat, I’m not a gnu or a kangaroo, I’m not a goose or a moose on the loose, I am a mole and I live in a hole. These lyrics will bring back memories for some readers, but how well will you do in our quiz? The answers are on page 23. If you need to remind yourself of this novelty song you can hear it again on You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=jdwLp0co6C0. Q1 : What was the name of the 1950’s vocal group that recorded the song? a) The Midnighters b) The Beverley sisters c) The Southlanders Q2 : In what year was the record issued? a) 1951 b)1958 c) 1955 Q3 : What entertainer is the son of the group’s bass singer? a) Gary Wilmot b) Lenny Henry c) Stephen K Amos

Don’t forget to send us your news WE LOVE to hear from groups, organisations and individuals about what’s happening locally. Include a photo if you can. Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk Thanks!

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13

Supporting Hope Against Cancer

Local businesses team up with Mark Morrison to create charity single AN ORIGINAL charity single titled ‘It’s Christmas”, to help raise money for Hope Against Cancer, is due to be released shortly. The song has been produced and recorded at Mark Morrison’s (Return Of the Mac) studio - Macklife, with 8 local Leicester business owners. A music video is on its way to complement the recording and is set to reach the souls of many people, whilst aiming to raise as much money and awareness as possible for the local charity. The performers include Tommy Reid & Sam Halden from BHIB insurance Brokers, Jo Peters - JSP Virtual, Pete Simpson - MME mortgages, Satwinder Singh - Paradigm Wills, Byron Dixon - Microfresh, Gavin Dilkes - Synergy Personal, Steph Beeston-Clarke - Beeston Clarke Management Solutions, Tracey Hallam - Hope Against Cancer. Tommy Reid, writer and organiser of “It’s Christmas” commented: “I called on a network of business owners to come together to try and add some fun and joy in what has been a very challenging year. They all gave up their busy time to record and will give more time for the video. “I approached Mark Morrison and his new Macklife Studio team to help record it and they went over and above in supporting us. We were supplied with a highly experienced vocal producer which was definitely needed! We believe this song is fun, relevant and would love to get it exposure to help raise more money for our beloved HOPE Against Cancer” “It’s an extremely Fun, relevant and smile spreading song that gives joy to all the children this year for Christmas, when there is lots of worry and concern in the world as everyday people are feeling a little anxious and scared right now.” The theme of the song is all about Christmas spirit and how, whatever happens in between now and then, Christmas is most certainly not cancelled and lets make the best of what we have. Not missing also, that some family members may be forced to celebrate alone so we mustn’t forget to call on the big day! The original single is will be available to download on all major streaming platforms and social media platforms, plus all proceeds will go to HOPE Against Cancer.

Samantha Halden

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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-NOVEMBER 2020 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

Letter & reply

I READ with interest the report on the Groby Surgery Patients Group Zoom meeting. However, I was surprised to note that there was no mention of Dr. Justin Trayner since on the website it states that Dr Chotai and Dr Trayner hold the NHS contract for General Medical Services (GMS) at Groby Surgery with NHS England and that our named accountable GP’s are Dr Nainesh Chotai (male) and Dr Justin Trayner (male. On systmonline it states that my Usual GP is Dr. Justin W Trayner. I therefore telephoned Groby Surgery and explained to the receptionist what I had read in the Spotlight and she told me that Dy. Trayner is a ’silent’ partner and that he would never actually be at Groby Surgery. I asked how he could possibly be my accountable GP if he was never going to be there and she implied that if I specifically wanted to consult him I would have to attend Glenfield Surgery. She also added that patients almost never see their accountable GP. So, we have a situation here where, of the two partners, one only attends Groby Surgery 20% of the time and the other 0% and they are both still working at Glenfield Surgery. This may not actually be a takeover with the intention of closing Groby Surgery but it does seem to indicate that Groby Surgery is little more than a ‘branch office’. It remains to be seen how accessible the other skilled clinicians mentioned in the report are.

Paul McCormick, Groby Resident Dear Editor THANK YOU for drawing my attention to the concerns raised by one of our patients regarding a report in the Patients Group Newsletter in the October Spotlight, and for the opportunity to both clarify the position and give some reassurance about the status of Groby Surgery. Dr Chotai is the Principle Partner at Groby Surgery and the surgery will continue as a separate entity. We are not a “branch office”. I agree that the comments made by the staff member when the patient contacted the surgery were misleading, and it may be true to say that there was some misunderstanding by the staff in the transferring of the GMS Contract to the new partners, as this was done during the start of the pandemic and lockdown. We apologise that the information given to this patient was incorrect. Clearly some aspects of staff training regarding the new circumstances and procedures might have fallen short of our normal standards, but the focus in those difficult times had to be the care of our patients. We would like to explain that in order to comply with our NHS contract, each patient has to be allocated a “Registered GP” and a “Named Accountable GP”. The Registered GP will be the name of the GP who holds the GMS Contract, in this case Dr Chotai and Dr Trayner. Our list is fairly split between these two partners. The Named Accountable GP, or “Usual GP”, as shown to those patients who have access to Systmonline, would be the name of the GP who would be ultimately responsible for looking at any test results, paperwork etc, and is for internal administrative and clinical matters and does not impact on patient care. At the time that patient care was transferred from the previous partners to the current new partners, the same information for the Registered GP was given to the Usual GP. This is why the patient would have seen Dr Trayner’s name as their usual GP. Work is continuing on re-allocating the “Usual GP” list to ensure that all patients have the name of an accountable GP who they can see at Groby Surgery. Even if they see they have a named “Usual GP” that they never normally see, this does not stop them from seeing any of the other clinical staff at Groby Surgery, as again, this is purely for administrative purposes. There may be circumstances, for example, where a female patient may prefer to discuss a problem with a female doctor, or a male patient may prefer to discuss a problem with a male doctor. With regards to the accessibility of the skilled clinicians mentioned in the Patients Participation Group’s Newsletter, the initial reaction from our patients has been very favourable. We would like to reassure our patients that their care is of the utmost importance to us and we are always striving to improve the services that we currently offer. With the help of our PPG, who have done a tremendous job supporting both our surgery and patients, there is scope for services to improve further.

Noelle Smith – Practice Manager Groby Surgery

What a Load of Rubbish!

THERE HAS been a lot of mention recently about the amount of rubbish littering our countryside. You would begin to think that this would get through to those who happily do this, but sadly, no. Over the past 7 weeks, two of us have walked the same route each week, from the Post Office to the Welcome Stone at Groby Pool, and each time we’ve collected at least two bags of rubbish. That’s a total of 14 bags of rubbish along one short route in Groby. Now Imagine those 14 bags emptied out and scattered along that route – it just doesn’t bear thinking about. Groby Pool is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It’s a beautiful spot to be around, but sadly over the past few months it has had its fair share of dumped rubbish. It’s difficult to understand why some people come to this area and then leave bread wrappers, drinks cans, plastic bottles, sandwich containers and fish and chip trays around on the ground, stuffed into the hedgerows and even floating in the water. Now Imagine what it would look like if nobody bothered to pick this litter up - it just doesn’t bear thinking about. Leaving it to the Council is not an option. Their resources and finances are so stretched at present due to the virus that they can’t even manage to collect the litter before they mow the grass verges. This has recently resulted in shredded plastic bottles and badly mangled cans being strewn along the side of main roads and country lanes. The job of collecting this litter has now become 10 times worse!

Groby Litter Pickers United is a small group of willing litter pickers who want to see a tidy village. We generally meet once a month and target one or two areas. We can socially distance as we go about our work, but we can’t do what we used to do in the good old days and that’s ending up at someone’s house for a well-earned cup of tea and piece of cake! In between the monthly meet, members will often do their own pick and we encourage others to open their eyes to the problem and start doing likewise.

Groby Litter Pickers United (facebook.com/Groby-Litter-Pickers-United)

An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one.


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The one benefit of a Covid Christmas? A COVID Christmas (no more than six) could actually help take some financial pressure off you, according to Martin Lewis, the personal finance expert. The Money Saving Expert founder recently pointed out that because of the enormous pressure on people to spend, spend spend at Christmas, the festive period has become one of the ‘biggest causes of debt and misery’ in the UK. This year, though, could be different. Most of us will be visiting fewer people, buying fewer presents and having smaller dinners. So, ‘it might just take the pressure off people.’

Over two million homes with no smoke alarm LATEST government figures for 2018-19 show that nine per cent of households in England – about 2.17 million – do not have a working alarm. And only 26 per cent of people who do own an alarm bother to test it at least once a month. This is despite experts warning that people are around eight times more likely to die in a fire in a home with no working smoke alarm. The Local Government Association, which represents councils and fire authorities in England, points out that fire risk goes up in the winter months, as people use heaters and open fires. They strongly urge people to buy a smoke alarm for themselves, and for any less-able family member or neighbour.

Shop Safely Online DURING ‘LOCKDOWN’, Online Shopping fraud has increased and it is really important people know what to look out for and how to protect themselves from this type of crime especially in the run up to Christmas. How does online shopping fraud happen? Online shopping fraud happens when you discover a problem with something you’re buying or selling in an online auction or marketplace, such as eBay, Gumtree or Etsy. Online auctions and marketplaces have become a very popular way of trading online, but fraudsters are using them to take advantage of your trust to sell poor-quality or non-existent items. You may find that something you’ve bought online arrives late or never at all. In some cases the products you’ve paid for are less valuable than shown in the advert, different from the original description, or you weren’t told crucial information about the product or terms of the sale. What can be done if you are a victim? If you paid via bank transfer, debit card or PayPal this guide from consumer rights organisation Which? explains how you might be able to get your money back after you have been scammed. www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/ advice/how-to-get-your-moneyback-after-a-scam How to shop online safely • Before you enter your payment details into a webpage, ensure that it’s using a secure connection. Look for a small padlock symbol in the address bar (usually next to the web address). The web address of the payment page should begin with https. The ‘S’ stands for secure. Avoid carrying out any financial transactions over unsecure

connections, such as public wi-fi. • Remember, when you’re making a payment online, you’ll be asked for the 3 digit security (CVV) number on the back of your card; but you should never be asked for your card’s PIN or any internet banking passwords. • If you’re buying something online that costs between £100 to £30,000, credit cards offer increased consumer protection over debit cards. • If you’re unfamiliar with a site you want to buy something from, do some research first and look for ratings and reviews from customers that have previously used the site. Always be cautious about offers that seem too good to be true, or if a site or seller requests payment via a bank or money transfer service. • Always ensure that you install software and app updates as soon as they’re available for your device. Install anti-virus software on your devices and remember to keep it updated. Some forms of malware can intercept and steal the payment details you enter into online shopping or banking sites. How to shop safely on online market places • Check the item description carefully and ask the seller questions if you’re unsure of something. • Know the terms and conditions of the auction website, including its dispute resolution policy. • Pay on the auction site every time and don’t click on links the seller sends to you. Never pay by money/bank transfer – use a recognised service such as PayPal which protects your money until you’ve resolved any problems with the seller.

Ozzy O’shea

Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of getting men to put the toilet lid down.

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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-NOVEMBER 2020 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

An Inspiring Lockdown Story!

2021 flower baskets – price freeze or price cut? LAST MONTH concerns were raised at the Parish Council Estates Committee about the quality of the flowers in the lamppost baskets, as although attractive they did not have same impact as previous years. There also seemed to be premature wilting of some plants. The explanation was that the supplier had difficulty sourcing plants during the spring Covid lockdown, and with regard to the premature wilting it appears that the watering schedule ceases in September. When fully watered the containers are very heavy. Discontinuing watering makes it easier for the supplier’s operatives to lift them down and helps with Health and Safety, but at the expense of some of the plants. At the October Estates meeting it was reported that these issues had been taken up with the suppliers, who had offered not to increase their charges for 2021 by way of compensation. One member said that this year a neighbouring village had a better display at a lower price, so it was agreed that potential alternative suppliers should be assessed.

LOCAL RESIDENT Lisa Rimmer decided to use the lockdown period to complete one of her children’s stories “The Lost Star” which has been inspired by her son’s business project “Home Eddie Bear” raising money for the Leicester Children’s One Site Hospital Charity Fund. “I was so inspired by James’s determination to raise awareness for children’s mental health and raising money for the charity that I decided to get on with completing my story.” James has also got through to the final of the Leicestershire Lord Lieutenant’s Young Person Award to be held in November, an acknowledgement of all his hard work. All the profits from the book will be added to the charity fund alongside the bear project. The book and bear make wonderful presents and raise money for the children’s charity. If you would like further information please go to the website www. homeeddie.co.uk where you can order your very own copy of the book and bear. There are various places to buy the book including Amazon, Feedaread, Waterstones to name a few! The bear can only be purchased through the website as the virus situation means there are no live stalls until further notice.

THANK YOU TO THE SPOTLIGHT ADVERTISERS! Your support has made publication of this issue possible.

Norman Griffiths Don’t forget to send us your news! Thanks!

If YOU’D like to advertise your business in the magazine, call Mike on 01530 244069 or email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

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17

GROBY GARDENING SOCIETY NEWS THERE WAS of course no meeting in October due to the continuing Covid-19 restrictions. Instead, a few observations on the gardening year. October brings a noticeable change since daylight saving ends and we revert to Greenwich Mean Time for the next five months. Changing the clocks has been contentious since its introduction in 1916, and there have been many variations since then, with a growing movement that the UK should stick to British Summer Time all year round. One of the original justifications was to allow more time for harvest to be completed, which is not really relevant now that far fewer people are needed because of the increase in mechanisation in agriculture. To add further confusion, not all countries adopt daylight saving for the same period as the system is UK. Domestic animals and wildlife approaching on the conveyor belt don’t seem to mind, they just notice with another soaking for already that the humans are around earlier saturated ground. Temperatures than usual. And next March we are fluctuating quite widely. undo all the changes, Brexit or no However, we still have an outdoor Brexit! tomato producing flowers (which A practical upshot of daylight clearly won’t produce anything), saving is that the evenings are the grass is still growing, and there shorter, giving less time to tidy up are still apples on the tree, making the garden, plant the spring bulbs it tricky to decide when to do any and cut the grass. The hedgehogs pruning. have been turning up for food In November there are often earlier too in our garden, please large gatherings of starlings keep a look out for them if you’re murmurations as they’re known sweeping up leaves. - where thousands of birds prepare Gardens throughout the UK are to roost at sunset, huge numbers now beginning to wind down for swirling and twisting in the sky the approaching winter (sorry to in ever changing formations. mention that!), trees and shrubs are Fascinating to watch, as long as dropping their leaves - often with they don’t decide to roost in my spectacular colour changes - as the garden! You may also see on your temperature and daylight levels fall. travels a skein of geese, a badling Fallen leaves can be a useful source of ducks, a parcel of deer, or a host of mulch and can also be added of sparrows but hopefully not a to the compost bin, or set aside to mischief of rats! break down into leaf mould. Pictures from the past this month Seasonal changes have been less show a colourful border spotted reliable in recent years; rather than on the Society’s trip in 2018, and gradual changes they’ve often been a mysterious plant growing at sudden and variable. At the time of Pershore Horticultural College. Can writing yet another Atlantic storm

Only Here For A Visit By Alan Brazil THE HILARIOUS, no holds barred autobiography from sporting legend and broadcaster Alan Brazil.

you guess what it is? Enjoy your garden. 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

As Alan recounts tales from his extraordinary life, he relives the sporting occasions, radio broadcasts and famously long drinking sessions that have defined his career. He takes readers inside the talkSPORT studio for a behind-the-scenes view of his most memorable interviews, and talks for the first time about the onpitch rivalries and dressing room debriefs of his footballing career.

I went for a medical for some life insurance. All they would give me was fire and theft.


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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-NOVEMBER 2020 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

GROBY ALLOTMENTS NEWS Scarecrow Competition DUE TO COVID, the Allotment Society has not been able to hold any of our fund-raising and social activities this year. However, fed-up of having to give up all of our social occasions, we felt that we could safely hold our usual Scarecrow competition this year. This we did, giving people all of halfterm to make and site their entries on the plots. Scarecrows on plots are naturally self-isolating and as we asked that the rest of the members observe social distancing when walking around judging the entries, and the judging took place over five days, we felt we were fairly safe. The judging forms were posted into a Scarecrow Post Box on site, being left for a few days before counting them. People seemed to have had some fun judging the entries, with families walking round, bringing children and grandchildren to help judge. The standard of the entries was excellent! The imagination and inventiveness employed was really impressive! They just seem to get better year on year! It was obviously a hard job finding an adult winner and a child winner as there was not much difference in the marks between entries. We ended up with two entries in the adult section sharing joint First Prize and one First Prize winner in the child section. I think they all deserved prizes myself as they were all so good but here are the winners. Next month, I hope to you show you photos of the winners accepting their certificates and prizes and perhaps a few of the runners up. Next year we may be able, Covid-willing, to open up the judging to the whole village and make a day of it? Here’s hoping!

Benefits of Gardening I WAS SURPRISED to see in ‘Autumnwatch’ on BBC 1 this week that one of the presenters waxed lyrical on the benefits of getting up close to nature, smelling the aroma of soil, enjoying the intricate patterns of flowers and leaves, and watching animals in their usual habitats in order to relax and boost your happiness hormones. This emphasized my assertion in the Allotment Spotlight article last month to get up close and sniff the soil. Someone was recently extolling the virtues of having an allotment, saying that for about £20 a year they had fulltime access to a gym, social counselling and friendship, a tanning parlour and fresh fruit and veg! I can agree with them about the gym – I certainly feel like I’ve had a workout after a few hours on the plot!

Bonfire time OUR TENANCY agreements allow us to begin lighting bonfires again from 1st November to 31st March. The timing is based on the fact that we are not likely to annoy our neighbours with the smoke because it is cold enough for most people to keep their windows firmly closed this weather. This gives us chance to burn the non-compostable, woody remains from our summer fruit and vegetable plants. I think the weather knows as the rain has been very heavy recently, so not much hope of lighting a fire with such a wet pile! This is the season of bonfires and so can I put out a request to everyone who is about to light a bonfire please? Your pile of sticks, branches, woody discarded plants, despite being a lovely prospective bonfire for you to enjoy is also regarded

as an excellent place to hibernate for the winter by hedgehogs and lots of other animals and beneficial insects. So, before you light that fire, please move it a few centimetres to the side to allow any hibernating animals and insects to find a new home before they are burned alive!

Sub-Letting! I TRY NOT to burn anything myself, having been told some years ago that everything composts down eventually, even us! I have a ‘log’ pile on the plot made up of discarded woody stems and raspberry canes which seem to already house several insects and I think a frog or two. I have also refrained from cutting down some tall plant stems this year as I notice that ladybirds have set up residence in them and I need to keep the ladybirds on my side next Spring to munch their way through all those pesky greenfly that enjoy my tomato plants so much! I braved the rain this morning to go down to my shed and I notice that even this is home to several creatures. I have a chrysalis on the inside of the door, several caterpillars waiting to pupate around the shed door and several spiders with their nursery of eggs in the crevices sheltering from the weather. I have a feeling that the caterpillars and chrysalis will turn into the butterflies that eat those big holes in brassica leaves. I shall have to cover my broccoli, cabbage, etc very early next year to persuade them to find a new home! Last year in my shed I sorted out a pile of old plastic bags, used to carry home my produce. To my amazement, I found a perfect ball of chewed pieces of plastic bag at the bottom of the pile which had obviously been a cosy bed to a mouse for the winter. The ultimate in recycling?

Carol Lincoln

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LETTER

Good news- £450m for Hospitals Revamp? AS A GROBY resident since 1994, and reliant on the services of the NHS in Leicestershire, I am pleased about the much overdue £450m Government funding for the transformation of Leicester/shire hospitals, but I believe the proposals are flawed and a rethink is required before it is endorsed. At last, the long awaited consultation has been announced and is in the public domain, it will run from 28th of September until the 21st December 2020, however the promised leaflet to every household which gives information has yet to be received by me. I am however reliably informed that you can view the consultation document/s by logging on to http://www.betterhospitalsleicester.nhs.uk/ it is 1700 pages long but essentially it means the plan leaves two main hospitals, the LRI and the Glenfield, with the General closed as a critical care hospital. Upwards of 80 services will be removed from the General to the other sites which leaves 3 to 4 main services remaining, one of which will be the diabetes centre, and another, the GP lead Evington Primary Care Centre which may contain a midwife lead birthing centre, but that’s only for a 12 month trial. A main driver, and necessary part of the £450m plan is the intended sale of the majority of the land at the General, leaving no space for future development to cope with our aging population. I applaud the plans to bring all the children services into the LRI, but how much more can be located on a very cramped site with already major access and parking problems and in an area of high air pollution. Things are not much better at the Glenfield. The proposal claims to provide 139 extra beds by 2024 which is not adequate and there is no consideration on how the plans can cope with the demand necessary to deal with pandemics. NHS managers claims in the media that they have coped well with Covid-19 ignores the fact that little other urgent surgery has taken place, and practically no elective surgery or regular monitoring of medical conditions has taken place either. Hospital staff are exhausted by the tremendous demand on their skills and the stress of working under so much pressure. This has been made worse by the current low staff levels, and the inability to meaningfully recruit and replace the many leavers. There does not seem to be any financial provision within the £450m plans to cover the cost of the necessary increase of personnel. It is intimated that any extra future accommodation needs will not be necessary as this will be covered by Care in the Community, but there are no actual plans to to meet this already inadequate provision. Another concern is the proposed closure of St Mary’s hospital in Melton Mowbray. People in the area fear that having to travel to Leicester for maternity matters, with particular worries about traffic and delays at the time of birth, will result in tragic circumstances. I am please to see that the Leicester Mercury Patients Panel and the “Save our NHS Leicestershire” campaign group (see http://saveournhsleicestershire. org/), are expressing their concerns and how the plans can be improved. I would encourage all residents to take time to consider the proposals and respond to the consultation.

John Wallace

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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-NOVEMBER 2020 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

HINCKLEY & BOSWORTH BOROUGH COUNCIL NEWS Councillor Martin Cartwright reports

COVID-19 AS I WRITE this month’s article we head back into a lockdown with many shops and businesses forced to close. Travel and overnight stays are banned both home and abroad for all but business travel. Pubs and restaurants forced to close except for offering takeaway meals; the one great exception is that Schools and Universities remain open. The new restrictions last until 2nd December when they will be reviewed. Who knows at this stage what happens post December 2nd.

MY ARTICLE this month largely focuses on planning issues specifically the Klondyke:

Klondyke Issues & Potential Appeal: Appeal Submitted THE KLONDYKE is a complicated site with many different plots of land divided up into the whole site. The compound as it is known is a very small piece of land that was granted planning permission by CLEUD (certificate of lawful development) at appeal. Recently an application to replace what was granted as a dwelling (part caravan, part shed steel structure) by a new bungalow dwelling which was refused by the planning authority Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council which could be going to appeal by a Government inspector. The applicant had six months from the date of the refusal notice to appeal. That time element in order to appeal lapsed on 21 October 2020. An appeal was submitted by the applicant timed at 5.09pm on 21 October 2020 but as yet it is not known if the appeal has been accepted or rejected. If the deadline was close of business on 21 October 2020 then the inspector is able to reject the appeal as being timed as submitted at 5.09pm was after the office had closed for the day and that would be the end of the matter for the applicant and his appeal. If the deadline is 11.59pm the same day and subject to the caveat below the appeal would be heard, this does not mean however that the appeal would be won. Even if the deadline is 11.59pm

which means the appeal was submitted only hours before the deadline, in order for the applicant to have the ability to do so if any of the required paperwork required by the applicant is missing or incomplete, then there is no time left for the applicant to make those adjustments and the appeal would again fail. It is a requirement of the appeal process for the applicant to place the notice below. This has been placed in the Leicester Mercury by the agent on behalf of Mr. J McDonagh on 22nd October 2020 outside again of the time framework. For clarity it does not mean the appeal has been validated and the 21 day period therefore has not kicked in. It could however mean that the appeal is rejected in the first instance. I will make you aware in a future article in the Spotlight that an appeal is live and how to make comments to the inspector should you wish to do so at the time. This will not be until sometime next year. Personally I have no control over if the appeal is valid or not, that is for a Government inspector to decide for which the rules and guidelines are very clear. If the government inspector refuses to take the appeal I should know in time for next month’s Spotlight article. If the appeal is accepted by the inspector then it does not become a live appeal for which people can comment until it has an appeal start date and reference number from the inspectorate, this would take place sometime next year.

New Building ADJACENT to this dwelling application, but not part of the same land ownership being on a different plot, a building has been erected without the required planning permission and on a plot of land that still has a court injunction dating back to 2007, that forbids such a building.

Council officers have started enforcement action against this breach of planning. The plot owner can appeal the enforcement notice - to date, as I write, they have not done so.

Expired Enforcement Notices TWO PLOTS were issued with enforcement notices to remove and clear the planning breaches. One plot owner attempted to appeal the enforcement notice but was too late with the appeal documentation to the Government inspector who in turn declined the appeal. Result: Appeal Dismissed. Both plot owners had six months to comply with the enforcement notices. Neither has done so indeed both plots of land are in a worse state now than at the time the planning enforcement notices were served. It is up to the district Council (HBBC) to decide now what happens next in respect of the failure to comply by the relevant plot owners with the enforcement notices in the time period laid down by the notices to comply. I am having talks with both the leader of the Borough Council and Council officers in respect of what happens next and hope to be able to update you all in due course as to what happens next.

Plot for Sale GROBY PARISH Council has been approached by one of the landowner’s next of kin relating to a plot of land on the Klondyke to see if the Parish Council wishes to purchase this plot of land. The Parish Council’s stated view is that they are considering this as it would result in the Parish Council having access to their then owned part of the site and a view of the surrounding plots. For clarity this would be tiny fraction of the overall

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

@CllrCartwright

cllr.martincartwright

site area at the Klondyke. Personally, I have seen no evidence and do not believe that the landowners estate, (as he has passed away), has the right to sell the land. Secondly, if the Parish Council believes the surrounding landowners would give unfettered access to that land once the purchase has gone through, then I think they are mistaken. As to the value of the land the person wishing to sell has almost certainly got a far higher figure in mind than the land is actually worth in its current state. As part of a previous process the District Council had the land valued by the District Auditor at the time who returned a nominal value of £1.00 for the whole Klondyke site, not this plot in isolation given the contamination issues and planning breaches that bequeath the site. If the estate of the deceased owner is able to sell it then all the Parish Council would be able to pay for it would be £1.00 under current legislation. Private buyers could pay whatever they wish with sufficient funds but Public Bodies such as councils do not have such a free hand. The land in question is subject to significant clearance costs and subjected to a planning breach enforcement notice. Irrespective of who should purchase this plot of land the sale of the land does not remove these issues simply places them upon the new owner of that plot of land in this case that would become the responsibility of Groby Parish Council and the Council tax payers, Groby Parish Council’s money is Your Money as that is how it gets its funding. I am well aware that many Groby residents will be concerned about all the above issues relating to the Klondyke. I will keep you updated as much as I can.

I am here to help you AS YOUR Borough Councillor I am here and available to help you. If you live in Groby and are experiencing any difficulties please contact me and I will do all I can to help you Home Phone: 0116 2874500 Mobile Phone: 07850 707050 Email: hbbchelp@appliancehome. co.uk To keep residents updated I am posting as much relevant information as I can on my social

I’m pleased to be here. Let’s face it, at my age I’m pleased to be anywhere.


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

HootS - Head out of the Sand – Groby Responding to the Climate Emergency at a local level.

media channels. Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Facebook: Cllr Martin Cartwright Twitter: Cllr Martin Cartwright @CllrCartwright Instagram: cllr. martincartwright 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. Kind regards,

Cllr Martin Cartwright

Words of Wisdom IF YOU WANT happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.

Chinese proverb PLENTY OF PEOPLE miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.

William Feather

Get on your bike! ONE OF THE ways we can lower our carbon footprint is by choosing cleaner ways to travel. One of the benefits felt during the Covid lockdown was the reduction in traffic, leading not only to cleaner air but also to many more people feeling confident to take to the roads on two wheels. I am not the most confident cyclist and was really pleased to find a sign on the way to work one day during the lock down which said: drive slowly – more cyclists and pedestrians! Cycling has so many benefits. For the individual it is cheaper than a car or bus and helps in keeping fit, both physically and mentally. We are fortunate to have an extensive network of cycle paths connecting us to Leicester City – making the ride into town safer - and the bike park at Town Hall Square is currently free to use. Being on your own in the fresh air makes it a Covid-safe way to travel. The community benefits through less noise and air pollution and, of course, the planet benefits from the reduction in emissions. Electric bikes are becoming more and more popular, enabling people to ride more challenging and longer routes than they normally would, and making a commute to work by bike feasible for more people. I am sure that it is not just my imagination that there seem to be more cyclists around Groby these days: maybe it’s something more of us can consider – using the car and bus less and a bike more – even as the winter draws in. Our behaviour has a direct impact on the planet – let’s encourage each other to make the changes that we can to lower our carbon footprint and live more sustainably. HootS – Heads out of the Sand – Groby, is not meeting at the moment due to the current restrictions in place to keep us safe. HootS came into existence to respond to another threat to our safety – the climate emergency. This has not gone away and I know that many of us continue to do what we can to speak up and act for our planet. If you would like to know more about HootS please find us on Facebook, or contact us at: hoots-groby@hotmail.com

Ruth Mwenya • EKOJOE– a mobile refill business – visit Groby on alternate Fridays. EkoJoe are a zero waste company. They have a wide range of products: herbs and spices; dried fruit and nuts; pasta and rice; flour and yeast; cleaning and laundry liquids; face soaps and shampoo bars. You will find them in the car park of Groby Club from 9am until 1:30 every other Friday morning. The dates for the month ahead are: November 13th / 27th, December 11th.

Do you know anyone living in Groby who loves reading but has sight problems?

THOMAS HERBERT Smith Trust has a Visiobook which may help and is available to borrow.

Contact the Clerk to the Trustees for details on 01162 835345 or email: andrew_york@ sky.com

21

Library Update GROBY Community Library is closed due to the current lockdown regulations. We hope to reopen on Friday 4th December 2-4pm. Looking forward to welcoming you all once again.

Dr.Janet Harrison

Trustee Groby Community Library

The over-sized packaging challenge

IT’S MORE than 10 years since Which, the Consumer Association, ran an item about excess packaging. It featured a photograph of the author sitting in the box in which her two tubes of cat treats and two fairly modest cat toys arrived. One would have hoped that in the intervening years, and the increase in environmental awareness, suppliers would be ensuring that packaging is proportionate to the size and fragility of the goods being transported. A reader has sent a photograph showing the box she received from a national home and leisure retailer. It contained 3 small packets of craft goods which would have fitted quite safely into a jiffy bag. Whilst it is true that both the box and brown paper packaging can be recycled there seems to be little justification for such excesses.

Can you beat this example? Take a photo and send it to the Spotlight.

Norman Griffiths

‘There, there dear …’ A RECENT poll has found that the over-60s often face patronising, though usually well-meant, comments from the younger generation. One older woman was amused, when going into a shop before Christmas, to be met by a younger assistant who asked, ‘And how are we doing so far today?’ ‘I suspect she had taken one look at me and decided that I was lucky to have even made it alive to lunchtime!’

Women don’t gamble as much as men because their total instinct for gambling is satisfied by marriage.


22

Groby & Field Head Spotlight • MID-NOVEMBER 2020 • Tel: 01530 244069 • Email: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk

Spotlight Small Ads • Stress Less DOG BED, 25ins Round grey. Nearly new. Price: £7.00. Tel: 01530 244049 (Stanton-under-Bardon)

• Glass top COFFEE TABLE - £10. • BEDSIDE CABINET, light wood - £5. • BEDSIDE CABINET, yellow/white £5. Tel: 01530 245482

• SNOOKER TABLE, 6 ft x 3ft with cues,rest and balls. As new. An ideal Christmas gift. Price: £75.00. Tel: O1530 243200 or 07841 780282 (Markfield)

• UNICORN, large soft toy, new. Unwanted gift. Price: £5.00 • MEERKATS Aleksandr Batman, Yakov, Maiya, Vassily, Alexsandr, Sergei - all boxed with certificates - excellent condition. Price: £5 each. Tel: 07547 901657 (Groby)

• PUZZLE CADDY - Closed size: 80 x 58 x 3cm - holds up to 1000 piece jigsaw. Compact and lightweight with hinged sides to use whilst completing the puzzle and also to secure the jigsaw pieces when not in use. As new. Price: £15.00. • LEGO - Large box full of assorted Lego pieces, all in good condition box measures 28cm x 39cm x 25cm. Price: £30.00. • LEATHER HANDBAGS - selection of black leather handbags, various sizes, all in excellent condition. Various prices. Tel: 01530 242318 (Markfield) New/unopened CRAFT KITS for sale, suitable for Christmas gifts: • 2 x Crochet animal kits in gift case, £10.00 complete set. • 1 x Knitted hat kit, £5.00. • 5 x Felt make your own decorations kits, £10.00 for complete set • 3 x Cross stitch kits, £5.00 for complete set. Tel: 01530 230389 (Bagworth). • TRONEX – 200+ crazy circuits - £65 – unopened gift - £35 • SCIENCE4YOU – Explosive science – unopened gift – £8 • Yamaha PSR175 – KEYBOARD with stand and carry case - £50 • Gear4music – ELECTRONIC DRUMS DD40 – as new £30 • NIKE – Mercurial FOOTBALL BOOTS – dark grey & yellow (ankle cuffs) – still boxed - £25 • Large Cerise & purple bedroom CURTAIN, lined, & QUILT COVER/ pillow case as new £25. I can send whatsapp photos. Tel: 07843 290665 (Markfield) • Double Panel Convector central heating RADIATOR 750 high x 450 wide, 4 yrs old, looks like new, complete with mounting brackets. Price: £10. Tel 0116 2876 715 (Groby) • 12 Assorted JIGSAW PUZZLES, 1,000 pieces each. All complete. £1.00 each for charity. Tel: 0116 287 6790 (Groby). • CANE ARMCHAIRS with deep cushions. Autumn colours. Price: £60 o.n.o. for the pair. • Oatmeal FABRIC CHAIR plus TWO-SEATER SOFA (all recliners) and square FOOTSTOOL. With fire safety label. Price: £40.00 o.n.o. • Black toughened glass TV TABLE to take up to 42” TV. Price: £10.00. • Box of assorted LP RECORDS, mostly musicals and big bands. Offers invited. Tel: 01530 249171.

• Two full length MIRRORS, good condition. Price: £10 each. Tel: 01530 485614 (Markfield) • Rectangular frosted Glass TV STAND with 2 shelves. Excellent condition. £15 • Wooden GATELEG TABLE with cupboards 132 cm x 93 cm open. £30 • 3 drawer BEDROOM UNIT. White melamine. 80 cm x 50 cm £20. • Brass UPLIGHTER with twisted stem. £30. • Light wood 6 DRAWER UNIT. Excellent condition. £40. • Light oak NEST OF TABLES. Excellent condition. 60 cm x 36 cm. £40. Tel: 07789 436551 (Groby). • Electric heated PROPAGATOR. Price: £5.00. Tel: 07527 893144. • SPARE WHEEL complete, Continental tyre, 175/65. From my Ford Fiesta includes jack,wheel brace, boot tidy, wheel locking. Brand new. Price: £50 o.n.o. Tel: 0116 287 7381 (Groby). • SHOWER PUMP - 1.5 twin bar Stuart Turner. Price: £30 for Loros. Tel: 0116 287 3251 (Groby) • Retired line dancer has several WESTERN BOOTS for sale at £5.00 per pair. Size 3-4. Tel: 0116 223 5720 or 07701 307776 (Groby) • BOOKS - Danielle Steel x3, Amanda Prouse x2, Dilly Court x3. Price: 50p each. Tel 07788 886531 (Groby) • Dark wood COFFEE TABLE - excellent condition, not old-fashioned, needs to be seen. Size: 21” x 39”. Price: £50.00 • Ladies black real leather KNEELENGTH BOOTS. Nearly new. Size 4. Price: £45.00 Tel: 01530 484119 (Markfield) • Wanted: PLAYING CARDS - must be unused or as new. Tel: 0116 231 4304 (Groby) IF YOU HAVE any household items which you’d like to advertise FREE in the Spotlight, please SEND DETAILS by post or email - sorry, we can’t take them over the phone. Maximum EIGHT items please. Our postal address is: Spotlight Small Ads, PO Box 8, Markfield, Leics. LE67 9ZT or you can email details to: info@grobyspotlight.co.uk PLEASE ENSURE that you put ‘SMALL ADS’ in the subject line, and INCLUDE YOUR FULL POSTAL ADDRESS (not for publication, just to know where you are).

HINCKLEY & BOSWORTH BOROUGH COUNCIL NEWS

Councillor Ted Hollick reports Concerns Raised about Proposed Planning Overhaul COUNCILLORS and planners have raised concerns about sweeping Government proposals to overhaul the planning system. The Borough Council was asked to respond to a consultation on the Government white paper, ‘Planning for the Future’, which proposes the largest reforms to the planning system since 1947 with changes it says will ‘streamline and modernise’ the planning process and remove perceived barriers in order to boost the supply of new housing. The council has responded in detail to the consultation, stating that while it wishes to work with government to find ways to improve the planning system, it believes many of the aims of the government are already being met, or have the potential to be met by the current system and that now is not the time for a radical overhaul. In particular the council’s response expresses its concerns that the consequences of the proposals may be many more new houses in the borough; less public input into planning applications; less infrastructure investment and fewer affordable homes. While the proposals state they aim to give communities and neighbourhoods a more meaningful voice in the future of their area, the council is concerned that the proposals will actually result in a significant transfer of decision making and power from local government to central government. Under the White Paper, initiatives include quicker development and creating ‘zones’: categorising land into growth, renewal or protection, a system which the council points out is an untried, untested system different to that used elsewhere in the world which could reduce the council’s ability to decide what development goes where. Any areas that are labelled as growth are expected to have outline planning permission in place that would allow developers to create housing without councils debating

the principle of the scheme. It is also proposed that central Government will decide how many new homes are required in each council area and local councils will be asked to plan for the new homes, with no opportunity for local authorities and residents to influence how many new homes are built in their area. Councillor David Bill, Executive Member for Planning said: “There is a clear obligation on all of us to ensure that there is an adequate supply of housing and employment sites to meet the growing needs of the people we represent and in particular the aspirations of people to live in their own homes. Unfortunately, these Government proposals will limit the ability of local councils like us to influence local development and meet these expectations. The proposed changes are considerable and if the reforms are implemented as outlined, they would have significant implications for all local planning authorities. We hope that the Government will heed our concerns and recognise the strength of opposition to these proposals.” The full council response to the consultation can be read here: www.hinckley-bosworth.gov.uk/ planningwhitepaper

Doorstep deliveries A RESIDENT has contacted me to advise of a situation that had happened to her. It was with regard to a parcel left on her doorstep which had been delivered while she was out. It was for three items that she had ordered through the internet, on returning home and picking up the parcel which had obviously been opened a pair of trainers (one of the 3 items ordered ) were missing. She would like me to alert residents to the vulnerability of leaving packages in full view. As we are now subject to another national lockdown and more people will be ordering online it seems opportune to issue a cautionary note. STAY SAFE and KEEP WELL.

Ted

Councillor Ted Hollick Call: 0116 287 5955 Mobile: 07962 373983 E-mail: ted.hollick@outlook.com Write: 7 Shaw Wood Close, Groby, LE6 0FY

Giving away baby clothes and nursery furniture is a major cause of pregnancy.


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

10 ways to avoid stress this Christmas • Change your expectations this Christmas. Don’t waste time lamenting what should have been. Instead, try and enjoy whatever is possible this year. • Make a list. Include sending cards, buying presents and organising food for the big day. Having a lists helps keep you in control of your life. • Set a reduced budget this year. With a pandemic raging, this no time to take on Christmas debt. If you can’t pay for it this month, probably best not to buy it. • Exercise each day - it releases happiness-inducing serotonin. That will help you to keep calm and positive over the festive period. • Don’t overindulge. Too much alcohol and rich food won’t improve your life. • Keep calm and keep kind – urge your family members to try and avoid any flare up of family tensions. If you need to cry, cry, but then, keep on keeping on. • Remember those everyday essentials: batteries for new toys, toilet paper, milk, paper towel. Those things you never think about – until they are gone. • Entertain the kids: plan ahead various films, games and whatever it takes to give them a memorable Christmas. • Make the most of Zoom this year with far-flung relatives and friends. • Most of all, include God in your Christmas! This is His Son’s birthday - include Bible readings and carols in your family routine over the festive period.

23

More animal news ...

L

AST MONTH I wrote about Veronica, the little hedgehog we have adopted. Regular readers will be pleased to know that she has settled in nicely and has nearly reached her target weight to survive the winter outside. She had taken up residence under the living room book shelves but on the grounds that it is easier to remove hedgehog poo from vinyl l than from carpet we decided to confine her to the kitchen, back lobby and downstairs shower room. We put a barrier across the door from kitchen to living room that the cats can vault and Veronica can’t. Her strong instinct to find somewhere dark to sleep has taken her behind the fridge, under the shower and behind drainpipes, leading to prolonged games of hide and seek. We got bored before Veronica did so we are now adopting a policy of “she’ll come back when she’s hungry”. We are planning a staged return to the wild. Veronica now happily sleeps in her plastic feeding station which we will move outside and we have a hibernation box at the end of the garden from a previous hedgehog rescue. David has ambitious plans to construct a wire mesh tunnel between the two. We will continue to feed her of course. The next step will be let her run free. There is an extensive shrubbery at the end of the garden and holes in the fence to allow her to roam. The internet tells me she needs access to ten gardens to hunt for food so our neighbours can expect nocturnal visits. In other pet news, our little cat Sammy gave us a fright when he suddenly became very listless and poorly, refusing food. An emergency dash to the vets revealed fur blockages in his throat and bowel. He is a very enthusiastic groomer. We’ve tried brushing him but he resists strenuously. He is now back to normal except for a strange new predilection for paddling in his water bowl. A pair of Muscovy Ducks have arrived at Groby Pool. They posed nicely for me to have these pictures taken.

Lindy Hardcastle

Answers to the Mole in a Hole Quiz Q1 : The Southlanders Q2 : 1958 Q3 : Gary Wilmot. Gary’s big break came when he featured as part of a comedy double act with Judy McPhee on the New Faces talent show. His father Harry Wilmot, who was the group’s bass singer, arrived from Jamaica in on the Empire Windrush in 1948. Harry died of a brain tumour three years after the mole record was released.

Short Story GROBY RESIDENT Ernie Twells has written a ghostly short story, based in the local area.

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

Entitled ‘The Phantom Coach’, it features a duo of paranormal investigators who carry out some research into spooky goings-on in the Groby and Field Head area. Unfortunately, we don’t have space in the Spotlight for short stories at present, but we’ve uploaded it to the website - www. grobyspotlight.co.uk - and you can download it from there.

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Christian Booklets/Gospels/Magazines and DVDs - have been put outside the church on Chapel Hill for anyone who is interested and would find them helpful.

When I was a baby, my father used to throw me up in the air and then go and answer the phone.


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