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Warwickshire County Council

autumn walk in the county better deal for older people youth and community focus working for warwickshire parklife volunteers what’s going on with the weather? putting people first from the author’s mouth what’s on in warwickshire

extend yourself

view Autumn/Winter 2008



A better deal for older people


Help and advice for when severe weather strikes

viewcontents Warwickshire news




Economy drive 6 Changing your driving habits could save you a packet Youth and community 8 Spotlight on the work of the county council’s youth & community service Better deal for us all 11 Life expectancy is on the up and so are our expectations Working for Warwickshire 14 What’s it like to work at the county council?

Kat’s no longer quiet as a mouse

p19 Extend yourself at your local school

Putting people first Conference looks to promote more independence


More from your schools Schools’ extended services programme moves up a gear


Parklife volunteers Volunteer your services and take to the great outdoors


Contact us How you can get in touch


What’s it like to ‘Work for Warwickshire?’


What’s on in Warwickshire 26 A host of activities up to Christmas and beyond Get some fresh air and exercise



New Shire Hall One Stop Shop unveiled in Warwick A sunny summer Saturday saw crowds flock to Shire Hall to celebrate the official opening of Warwickshire Direct, the new one stop shop which gives easy access to both Warwickshire County Council and Warwick District Council services. The facilities, including the Post Office, were officially opened by Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Martin Dunne, Olympic swimming star Sharron Davies, and the 1001st visitor, Gillian Cowley. The new centre includes dedicated customer service desks, private areas for confidential matters and computer terminals that people can use to find out information themselves. People will be able to access a whole host of services at the centre, from enquiring about their council tax and housing benefit to applying for a disabled parking blue badge or asking about free school meals. A team of friendly customer service advisors are on hand to answer people’s enquiries on a range of matters.

Ash Green pupils get a ‘pizza the action’ Year 11 students at Ash Green School near Bedworth, a Specialist Arts College, have taken on the challenge of running their own pizza business. The Business Challenge was co-ordinated by the Warwickshire Education Business Partnership, part of Warwickshire County Council, and aimed to help the youngsters be more prepared for the world of work. The 15 and 16 year olds took part in a computerised business simulation where they had to set up and run a takeaway pizza shop. The students were guided by expert advice from local companies such as Jaguar, Land Rover, the Army and Connexions. 4

Meat and two veg in a Jiffy Fresh local produce is reaching older people in their own homes across North Warwickshire thanks to a new initiative. A new ‘Jiffy’ vehicle is touring the more rural parts of North Warwickshire, offering older people everything from fresh fruit, vegetables and meat through to bread and cakes without leaving their homes. Warwickshire County Council’s County Transport Operations were approached by PHILLIS, a county council initiative which aims to give older people access to services to help them live independently in their own homes. Thanks to funding from Advantage West Midlands, the WRASP programme and the Local Transport Plan the project has now become a reality and the new Jiffy vehicle is out and about visiting older people in North Warwickshire. It is also helping to support the local economy with the produce on sale coming from local suppliers.

It could be time to MOT your driving skills Older drivers are being offered the chance to brush up on their driving skills and ensure they are still firing on all cylinders when climbing behind the wheel. Warwickshire County Council’s Road Safety Unit has launched a new safety scheme aimed at the ‘older’ driver – Drive for Life. And among the first to sign up for the new scheme was Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Cllr Martin Heatley. He said: “As we get older, our eyesight, hearing, mobility and judgement may not be as sharp as they once were, so greater care is needed everytime we go out in the car.” To help drivers stay in the driving seat for longer, the Road Safety Unit has developed and produced a free handbook with useful advice and tips.

In brief... Fire & Rescue proposals

Cllr Martin Heatley is put through his paces by approved instructor, Geoff Little.

As well as the handbook, drivers are being offered in-car assessments, which can be structured to suit the needs of individual drivers. Approved driving instructors are trained to assess clients in their own car and give suggestions as to how they might improve mobility, increase their confidence or resolve bad habits. The sessions cost £52 for two hours. For information call 01926 418062.

Cycle races pull in the crowds

The County Council Cabinet have given the go ahead for Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service to produce a business case to examine the possibility of closer collaborative working or combination. The business case is due to be presented to Cabinet in December 2008. The three options to be considered are: 1. Maintenance of the status quo position, 2. Expand collaboration or 3. Full combination into a single Combined Fire & Rescue Authority. County Fire Officer, William Brown from Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We recognise that any proposals will be about improving services, providing greater capacity and increasing resilience. It is not about making cuts or closing stations, the focus is clearly on how we can continue to provide a high quality service for the residents of Warwickshire.”

Advice to hand Warwickshire County Council’s Community Safety Team and Warwickshire Drug and Alcohol Action Team have launched a new mini website offering student safety information. ‘DAAT at College’ includes links to the club, pub and party guide ‘What’s your poison?’ and student safety tips on moving in/out and distraction burglary to name a few. Visit: www. and click on DAAT @ College.

Fantastic Fun With Words

A record crowd turned out to this year’s Warwick Cycle Races to enjoy action from top national and international cyclists and loads of other activities. The event was organised by Warwickshire County Council in partnership with British Cycling, Warwick District Council, TravelWise and Action 21.

Warwickshire County Council’s Library & Information Service secured funding of £12,000 from the Arts Council to run a week-long family reading and writing festival in the north of the county in September (see page 25). The Festival, staged at Nuneaton Library and Kingsbury Water Park, was packed full of events and activities including writers, illustrators, poets and storytellers, presenting performances and workshops. 5

Dispose of your garden pruning Warwickshire County Council is advising residents to ‘book early’ for their home wood chipping service this autumn. Mulching is an excellent way of controlling weeds and clearing ground. It works by depriving light, without which the weeds cannot grow. The charge for the service is £15 per hour. The home wood chipping service will chip twigs and branches of up to 12.5cm (5”) in diameter leaving customers with loose shredded chippings. These chippings can then be used as a weed suppressing, moisture retaining mulch or composted.

Bookings can be made by telephone on 01926 738827, between 9.30am and 12.15 pm. There is an answerphone service outside these hours.

Work gathers pace at innovative new school Construction work on the new North Leamington Community School and Arts College is well underway. The new school, situated on Sandy Lane in Leamington, will house 1,500 students aged 11 to 18. The school is on course to be completed by summer 2009 and you can view the progress of the building minute by minute. Check the webcam at: www.northleamingtonschool.

Top ten tips to drive smart and save money When you have to use a car, there are many ways in which you can drive in a more eco-friendly way. Smarter driving could save you up to £230 a year in petrol or diesel.

1 Avoid short journeys - cold engine uses almost twice as much fuel 2 Remove unnecessary weight - like roof racks, bike carriers, and roof boxes which affect your car’s aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. 3 Use air conditioning less as it increases fuel consumption.

 4 The most efficient speed depends upon your car but is typically around 45-50mph (at 70mph you use 30% more fuel than at 50mph).

 5 Check your tyre pressure regularly - under inflated tyres are dangerous and can increase fuel consumption by up to 3%.

 6 If you’re stuck in a jam, switch the engine off to save fuel if you expect to be there for more than a minute or two. 7 Check your revs - change up before 2,500rpm (petrol) and 2,000rpm (diesel). Change up to a higher gear as soon as possible.

 8 Drive away immediately when starting from cold - idling to heat the engine wastes fuel and causes rapid engine wear. An idling engine produces 80% more pollution than a vehicle in motion.

 9 Anticipate road conditions and drive smoothly, avoiding sharp acceleration and heavy braking. This saves fuel and reduces accident rates. 10 Plan your journeys to avoid congestion and road works. Motorists also waste 350,000 tonnes of fuel per year just getting lost!

 Source: and Department for Transport
Helpline: 0800 512 012 © Energy Saving Trust.


Calling all male shoppers I was shocked to learn that the average carrier bag only has a lifespan of 20 minutes.


hen it comes to men using reusable bags at the checkouts many are left severely wanting – step up Warwickshire’s face of the Man Bag. Several promotions will be taking place around Warwickshire in the coming weeks to offer male residents the chance to pick up a free man bag in a bid to get them to ditch the carrier bag. To help with the promotion Warwickshire County Council carried out a search for the ‘face of the Man Bag’ and after almost 800 votes Craig Fletcher

was selected as the face of the Man Bag. Winner Craig, who works for the county council’s Children Young People and Families Directorate, said: “I’m delighted to win, and I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me. I’m looking forward to getting the message out there to stop people creating waste, and make them think about reusing bags when going shopping. I was shocked to learn that the average carrier bag only has an average life span of 20 minutes from being brand new, to going into someone’s bin!”

Helping with the furniture A furniture reuse scheme, which takes quality second-hand furniture and gets it to households who need it, is proving more and more popular. In fact, in its first year of operation the 2nd Chance Furniture Re-Use Project based in Weddington in Nuneaton, has prevented more than 100 tonnes of potential furniture waste going to landfill. The scheme works by residents ringing in to find out if the project wants the item of furniture, (furniture should be in a good state, otherwise it is turned down). The collection is made and the project asks for a collection donation of £5 to help with costs. It would cost the resident £15 or more for collection by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council. The same applies for delivery, a donation is asked for, with the cost of the sale. Warwickshire County Council funds the renting of a warehouse in Weddington Terrace, Nuneaton, which is open from Monday to Friday 9.30am-4.00pm with ‘late night’ opening on Tuesdays and Saturday morning opening on the second Saturday in each month. The scheme has enabled many individuals to get started in their first homes without incurring too much debt. For more information contact Peter Whitehead on 024 7632 6189.

New cycle route Cycling between the Weddington area of Nuneaton and the town centre will soon be easier thanks to a new cycle route being developed by Warwickshire County Council, which should be open by the end of the year. The new route will extend along Weddington Road and over the Leicester Road bridge, linking to an existing cycle route around the ring road. 7

Kat finds h Warwickshire County Council’s Youth & Community Service has a very simple objective: ‘Helping young people to achieve their full potential and become active members of their community’.


Young people like me shouldn’t be afraid to try new things. If something interests you, just go for it. If something doesn’t work out it doesn’t matter as long as you know you’ve done your best. 8

at Smedley, 19 from Nuneaton, (pictured left), has been involved with Warwickshire County Council’s Youth Service for over seven years. She found out about the service through her friends from Alderman Smith School and signed up to join them on a week long residential trip to Marle Hall Outdoor Education Centre in Wales. This sparked an interest in Kat who really wanted to get more involved. So when she got back she began to attend the Nuneaton and Bedworth Youth Forum. The forum - one of five in the county - is led by young people who meet to discuss issues and develop projects offering support to other youngsters. When Kat started with the group she was very quiet and withdrawn. But over time, Kat found her feet and through teamwork sessions and project work, her confidence increased and she stood in the County Youth Panel (CYP) elections in 2005. The CYP is a group of young people elected by their peers as representatives to use the youth voice to influence local decision making within the county council and partner services. Kat got herself elected and served on the CYP for 18 months. A highlight from her time as a CYP member was taking part in an international debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Kat enjoyed the experience as she got to meet a lot of other young people from different backgrounds and debate important issues. As her confidence grew so did her involvement with youth service activities. She has been a member of the Youth Opportunity Fund group from their first meeting, getting the chance to have a say on how funding bids should be implemented. Success in this venture now sees Kat running the Nuneaton and Bedworth group, promoting the fund and

Stratford High take on the Duke

her feet Factfile: The Youth and Community Service:

• Provides opportunities for all young people aged 13-19 and for some targeted work between 10-25. • Runs 30 youth and community centres plus support for around 30 other providers through grants. • Undertakes project work with partners ranging from short courses to longer programmes of work. • Conducts detached work, working with young people where they normally meet. • Operates two mobile youth facilities that mainly operate in the rural parts of the north and south of the county. • Offers access to two Outdoor Education facilities - Marle Hall, in North Wales and Kingsbury Water Park Outdoor Education Centre. • Offers access to Duke of Edinburgh Award programmes. supporting other young people in making a difference in their local communities. Kat’s positive experiences sparked a desire to give something back and she successfully applied for a part-time job as a Detached Youth Worker earlier this year. She started with the team in February and has been working with young people out and about around Bedworth. Kat’s experiences have put her in good stead for the future as she begins a degree in Youth and Community at De Montford University in September. She applied to do a foundation course but after speaking of her involvement as a young person and youth worker she was fast tracked to the full degree.

For more information about the Youth and Community Service and to find local contacts visit the website at youthandcommunity or call 01926 742491.

A group of Year 10 pupils from Stratford-upon-Avon High School have completed a Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award programme delivered by Warwickshire County Council’s Youth and Community Service, Connexions and Outdoor Education. The programme was introduced to engage young people who are under achieving, have poor attendance or who are disengaging with education. Completing the four programme modules (skill, physical, service and expedition) involved sessions at the Outdoor Education Centre at Kingsbury Water Park and further work at school. The different units gave the young people a number of practical skills including basic first aid, healthy eating, budgeting and skills in independent living and volunteering. The group needed to work well together for the expedition module, after practicing in open canoes on the river Wye at Symmonds Yat, the group went on to successfully complete a two-day qualifying expedition navigating the Birmingham and Fazeley canal. In addition to gaining the award the young people also experienced personal and social development with regards to their self-confidence, selfesteem and self worth. Youth Worker, Anna Stowe said: “Seeing the pupils develop highlights how the Duke of Edinburgh Award can be used to engage harder to reach young people in a positive learning experience”.


Give a dog a phone Bottles and paper are recycled on a daily basis by many people, but when it comes to mobile phones only one in ten people in Warwickshire takes the greener option. Warwickshire County Council has facilities for recycling mobile phones at all nine Household Waste Recycling Centres. The mobile phones are then passed on to Guide Dogs for the Blind who raise funds through recycling them. All funds then go towards funding a guide dog puppy.

Rare finds under car park The development of the new Warwick Bus Station made for some interesting archaeological finds during the early stages of works. Archaeologists’ discoveries ranged from Neolithic pits containing worked flints and decorated pottery, dating back about 5,000 years through to the foundations of the old Mulberry Tree pub. An exhibition is also now on at the Market Hall Museum in Warwick, displaying some of the finds from the excavations of the original development in the 1960s. The new bus station is being built on West Gate Car Park in Warwick town centre, and will mean that buses no longer have to do a loop through the town. For more information visit: busstation


Fostering success for the county young people in matters concerning Warwickshire’s Fostering Service has their care and their future, including been rated as ‘outstanding’ in its latest contact arrangements. Ofsted inspection. Ofsted also Ofsted awarded praised the “efficient the service its Foster carers in management and highest ‘outstanding’ leadership” of the rating in all of its Warwickshire currently team and that the categories: overall, provide homes for around service “is well helping children to integrated into the be healthy, protecting 480 children and young local authority’s children from harm children’s services people. or neglect, helping and, invested in children achieve, it, are excellent helping children supportive resources”. make a positive contribution and The inspectors added that organisation. developments in Warwickshire fostering The report recognises Warwickshire “augur well for maintenance of its fostering team as one of the best in the excellent quality of service.” country. Foster carers in Warwickshire Ofsted said the service was “exemplary” in caring for young people’s currently provide homes for around 480 children and young people. health and had “coherent and robust Depending on the needs of children, child protection measures”. foster care placements can range from The inspectors noted that young just one weekend a month to others people are “being enabled to achieve that last for many years. personal fulfilment because the service Carers look after many children in helps them to recognise their potential, many different circumstances – from talents and interests and provides the children over 10, to brothers and support necessary to pursue them”. sisters, disabled children, children They highlighted the service for from other cultures and dual heritage listening to the views of children and children. The service has five district fostering teams operating in each of the county’s geographical areas. They also have an emergency duty team who can provide out-of-hours short term placements and a Family Link team which provides short break care. For more information call 01926 413313.

Wh y at ww ou A better deal for older people do w. t wa h ink ca rwi Life expectancy is definitely on the up. More of us re ck a s 01 nd hir ? are living longer - quite a bit longer in fact. More people than ever before are going to make it to 85 and beyond.

That’s the good news. If there is a downside to living longer then it has to be the increased likelihood of experiencing both the physical and mental problems associated with old age. Reduced mobility is a fact of life for most older people, even if they are otherwise relatively healthy. And an ageing population means there will be many more people with dementia in the decades ahead. Recent research forecasts vary but suggested increases are between 56 % and 100% by 2025.

Care and Choice If living longer is beginning to sound like a mixed blessing - it shouldn’t. Old age and quality of life should not be distant cousins, but close family. However, given the rising numbers, we are going to have to work hard to make Warwickshire a good county to grow old in. The work started last year (July 2007) with the launch of the Care and Choice (Accommodation) Programme. Don’t let the name put you off - CACAP really is good news. Basically it’s about modernising care and support services to give older people more choice and control, a wider range of services to help them remain independent for longer, and specialist residential care if and when independence is no longer a safe or realistic option. Many of our existing care homes were built 30 or 40 years ago and quite frankly are not up to modern-day standards. Rooms without ensuite facilities and only having one lift are not uncommon problems.

Instead we want to build new, stateof-the-art, residential care homes, some specialising in dementia. We also want to develop ‘extra care’ housing - complexes of self-contained flats suitable for older people with a care team on site and on call 24 hours a day. More not less The bottom line is CACAP is about providing more not less. Warwickshire County Council has identified potential sites for the first two CACAP phases which could create at least four extra care housing developments and five new specialist residential care homes over the next few years. If approved and progressed, these developments would provide more than 280 extra residential places for older people who need them.

92 or ca choice.go 6 7 ll e 45 61 7

Check out the CACAP website: careandchoice and complete our consultation questionnaire online. Or you can visit your local library and pick up a paper copy of the questionnaire. Alternatively give us a ring on 01926 745617 and we’ll post you a copy.

Your views However, nothing can or will be done without full consultation. So it’s over to you. What do you think?

These developments would provide more than 280 extra residential places for older people who need them. 11

What’s happening to our weather? More extreme weather, increased rainfall and higher temperatures are all happening in Warwickshire. We are all aware of the floods that ravaged the county in July 2007, but the weather is not always as mysterious as it might appear – did you know for instance that in nine years of the last 20 the 10th of January has had gales (winds of over 32mph)? A new report, the first of its kind looking at the impacts of climate change in the county, called the Warwickshire’s Local Climate Impact Profile (LCLIP), aims to increase understanding of the relationship between the weather in Warwickshire and how vulnerable we are to the impacts of the climate. It looks at everything from the extreme weather events of the last five years, through to projections of how climate change may hit the county in future years. Master’s student Lili Fu from the University of Warwick Business School, working with Warwickshire County Council, compiled the report, and made some fascinating discoveries. The project built a clear picture of the general weather trends over three, thirty year periods and the extreme weather events that have happened in the county in the last five years.


The LCLIP will help put in place short to medium-term emergency planning. It will also prove useful in the development of a climate change adaptation strategy and action plan for Warwickshire to try and ensure we are as prepared as possible for severe events. People in Warwickshire can also play their own part in getting prepared. In bad weather it is more important than ever to be aware of those who are vulnerable and may need your help. One of the best ways to be prepared for such severe weather events is to be aware of what you can do to help yourselves, your families and your communities – this can really help reduce the risk. Listen to weather forecasts and be aware of any severe weather warnings issued by The Met Office. If you live on or near a river make sure you have signed up to the Flood Warning

scheme operated by the Environment Agency which warns those at risk of potential and imminent flooding. If your home is at risk of flooding make sure you have your own supply of sandbags and sand or consider the purchase of the readily available flood prevention products recommended by The National Flood Forum. Advice on whether schools are open or not is available from the Warwickshire County Council website, text messaging service and is broadcast on local radio. Make sure you follow the advice of the emergency services and other organisations such as The Highways Agency – if they recommend that you do not use the roads except in emergencies then heed their warnings. If you have to travel in severe weather always leave longer than you would normally expect to take, make sure you have plenty of fuel and other essentials such as a mobile phone and some extra warm clothing.

Indestructible music club Warwickshire County Council Emergency Planning Unit has produced a leaflet – “What to do when severe weather strikes” – which provides simple advice for people to follow when severe weather is predicted. The leaflet, which includes contact details for all agencies mentioned above, can be read or downloaded from the Emergency Planning Unit’s webpages at: or call 01926 410410. • Storm (high winds) damage has resulted in more than £133,000 damage to county council property (21 schools and 4 other council properties) in the last five years.

Musically minded young people now have the opportunity to develop their talents at a new music club which opened in Leamington Spa in September. ‘Indestructible’ is a new youth music venture set up by Warwickshire County Council’s Youth and Community Service and Hybrid:arts, enabled with funding from an Arts Council England grant. The club, the first of its kind in the county, is open every Wednesday 4pm – 6pm and Friday 5pm – 8pm during term time. The club will also be open during school holiday with times to be announced. The emphasis is to provide young people aged 12 to 18 with facilities to practice music, join a band, record MC’s, learn about music technology and perform at regular concerts. Sessions will be helped along by a Hybrid:arts peer mentor, a music producer and a qualified youth worker. Special sessions will include visiting artists specialising in either performance or production. For more information please contact Hybrid:arts Creative Director Tim Ellis on 01926 886188 or visit indestructiblemusicclub or www.

• WCC insurance claims due to storm damage went up 50% each year from 2003 to 2006. • More than 1,000 homes in Coventry & Warwickshire were blacked out when high winds brought down power and phones lines in the last two storms. • High winds closed Nuneaton market at a cost of £4,000 to the local council, estimated losses of the cancellation for market traders was put at up to £15,000 with potential huge losses for loss of trade to local businesses.


working for

warwickshire Warwickshire County Council employs around 18,000 people at locations all over the county. They carry out a huge range of jobs from social care and education to forestry and fire safety.


avid Dewis has spent most of his working life repairing cars. As a teenager, David, now 60, was persuaded by his Dad that art was not the right career for him, so he started an apprenticeship in tin-smithing at Adams and Walters in Coventry - repairing and renovating vintage cars. He then set up his own body repair shop which he ran for 20 years He then moved to North Wales with, his wife and two-year-old daughter, to a small farm in sight of the beach until they divorced in 1993. He lived alone there, until one terrible morning in 1995 he was found by a farmer neighbour, lying outside his house in a pool of blood. An unknown attacker had hit him and left him unconscious with a serious head injury. He was in a coma for a week and then, on the road to total recovery which took some five years, he had to rebuild his confidence and relearn many basic skills. He said: “I have no idea who it was or what happened. Close friends carried me through it but it changed my whole perspective. “I just decided to do the things I had been putting off. Studying art for six years just hadn’t been an option financially but I just thought - it’s now or never.” He went to Bangor University to do an art


Case Study Yvonne Shuck – Senior Midday Supervisor, Coten End Primary School Supervising hundreds of pupils across two playgrounds and two halls has been child’s play for Yvonne Shuck for the past 22 years. Yvonne, aged 61, started out as one of a group of what used to be called ‘dinnerladies’ at the school in Warwick. Over two decades she has seen many changes yet still finds the job as rewarding as her first day. “Lunchtime is the only time when you can interact and have a conversation with the children,” she said. “As a midday supervisor you really get to know them when they sit down to eat and are out playing. “You have to be patient, kind and willing to listen, and it really helps if you are a mum. I have enjoyed every minute of working here and being around the children.” The school is currently looking for new midday supervisors. Call Yvonne on 01926 491 329 for details.


glance at the back page of this magazine will show you the huge range of services the county council provides. That means a huge range of different jobs and skills to provide those services. For example, administrative staff are involved in many different tasks, and are vital to the smooth running of every department. We also employ a broad range of skilled people to deliver essential frontline services direct to the public, such as catering, cleaning, home carers, care assistants and classroom assistants. The ICT function is vital to the whole county council. It is important that our staff have ICT skills but we also employ specialists, such as programmers and

The jobs section of the county council website gets around a million hits a year.

Our online application form

technical support staff. Trading Standards Officers ensure that legislation designed to protect the consumer is followed. Maintenance of the roads and transport network in Warwickshire is the responsibility of staff in County Highways and Street Lighting Maintenance divisions. Social workers and occupational therapists often visit people in their own homes to assess their needs. and youth and community workers organise social, recreational and educational activities to meet the needs of particular sections of the community. These are just a few examples of the types of occupations at the county council. The jobs section of our website receives around a million hits a year but If you don’t have access to the internet, don’t panic, there’s a full printed list of our vacancies available in all Warwickshire libraries and we also advertise regularly in the local press.

Case Study There’s no hiding the passion 26-year-old Graduate Civil Engineer Richard Roberts has for his work at Warwickshire County Council. Richard has been working for the county council for three years since graduating from Warwick University. He’s currently based with bridge maintenance, renovation and repair and structural inspection. “I’d had work experience in the private sector and worked in London and I had three offers of employment; two in the private sector and the one from Warwickshire County Council, and the county council was by far my first choice. “The industrial mentoring scheme, an excellent working environment, a good balance of working in the office and on site were all factors, and of course the chance to get involved in fabulous schemes, not available in the private sector.”

Richard Roberts Graduate Civil Engineer 15

Warwickshire Walks - Weddington • Nuneaton This is the second in a series of featured walks around Warwickshire. This walk starts in Church Lane, Weddington. 1 From Church Lane go over the footbridge across the River Anker and follow the stoned footpath keeping the river on your left. 2 After approximately 1/3 mile follow the path that bears to the right alongside the steel fencing. Go through the gate and follow the path between the two fences before joining the Green Lane.

Distance 2 miles



Stay on the Green Lane for approximately ¾ mile before 3 crossing the A444 (remember to take care!). On the other side of the A444 rejoin the Green Lane and continue on for 300 metres before 4 turning right (almost back on yourself) down the embankment to a kissing gate. Go through the gate and follow the path down the edge of the field, keeping the hedge on your left. After 100 metres go through another gate into the next field. The path now continues across two more fields with the hedge now on your right. 5 At the end of the second field go through the kissing gate onto the farm track, turn left at the A444 and follow the pavement into Weddington.

Cut out and keep

About 1 hour’s walk

Dame Tanni on hand to listen, learn and inspire More than 250 people attended a ground-breaking conference organised by Warwickshire County Council to launch radical new plans for Adult Social Care. Councillor Alan Farnell, Leader of Warwickshire County Council explained: “This is a priority for Warwickshire County Council. Older people have a right to lead safe, dignified and independent lives with accessible services to support this.” Leading the presentations was Dame Tanni Grey Thompson (pictured, right). Her inspirational speech focused on the need to take control and the importance of making your own decisions. Staff, service users and carers were all represented and contributed with their views on the new agenda. All were unanimous in their support for a system that will give individualised support for people’s needs. Over the next few years everyone in Warwickshire, who is eligible for adult social care support, will move to a system of personal budgets. This will increase the opportunity for independent living for all adults in the county.

This is the most exciting and challenging change that social care has faced.

Putting People First in Warwickshire aims to ensure adults with disabilities and older people achieve a better quality of life. The only way this will be achieved is by public sector bodies in Warwickshire working in partnership with users and carers. Graeme Betts, Strategic Director for Adult, Health and Community Services for Warwickshire County Council, said “This is the most exciting and challenging change that social care has faced. The conference was a memorable event with communities and agencies all working together to make Putting People First a reality.




Local schools providing more and more services Ninety nine per cent of Warwickshire schools are now offering access to extended services - two years ahead of the Government target. The complete range of additional activities are now available in 246 Warwickshire schools. The services are available for pupils, their families and the wider community, including; study support, sport and music clubs, parenting and family

support, ICT and sports facilities, and childcare in primary schools. In addition to numeracy and literacy classes, Warwickshire offers a variety of activities including singing, breakdancing, chess and mandarin. The Training and Development Agency, who coordinate the programme for the Government, described Warwickshire as “performing to a high standard nationally and regionally, and is one of the leading

shire authorities in the country, significantly ahead of the regional average and the national average”. Extended services fulfils the Government’s agenda to improve attendance and behaviour of pupils, enable better access to services, supports parents and families and have more motivated pupils to improve their attainment. For more information visit: services or call 01926 742244.

Government praise for Children Centre work

Online reporting to parents

Warwickshire has been praised by the Government for the successful designation of 30 Sure Start Children’s Centres across the county. The centres are for families with children under five years old and offer childcare, activities, and access to services and support, either through facilities onsite or in local communities. The county has successfully completed the second phase of the Government target to have a centre in every community by 2010. The third, and final, phase is now well underway - an achievement recognised by Beverley Hughes MP, Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families. The Minister said: “This is a significant achievement and an important milestone and I’d like to offer my congratulations to everyone involved. “Children’s Centres will play a major role in making a reality of our vision, set out in the Children’s Plan, for excellent, integrated services built around the needs of children and their families.”

It is the Government’s strategy for all parents to access regular electronic reports on their children’s progress. ‘Online reporting’ means parents will be able to access the latest information on children’s achievement, progress, attendance, behaviour and special needs – using secure, online systems. The Learning Platform is a secure online environment for communications and sharing information that can be accessed by pupils, parents, governors and teaching staff. All schools in Warwickshire will be given access to the Learning Platform by January 2009. Although in the early stages, schools in the county are beginning to use the Learning Platform and Canon Maggs CofE Primary in Bedworth is already up and running. All parents have access to the Learning Platform and have been provided with sessions as part of parents’ evenings to learn how to use the new system.


park life Tearing into a bramble patch or delving into filthy ponds has become a regular activity for an increasing number of people as they look to escape their weekday desk-bound existence.


There is something almost everyone can get out of it.


olunteering at Warwickshire Country Parks is providing a release for people keen to get out in the fresh air, enjoy exercise and tackle countryside challenges. Ellie King (pictured left) is a regular volunteer at Ryton Pools Country Park and says she looks forward to her visits, whether it’s digging, hammering or clearing ponds. Ellie said: “I’m in an office all week, and I only have a very small garden at home, so I love to get out and about, volunteering and helping with various projects. “I can’t wait to get stuck in. Just recently we’ve been clearing brambles and ragwort, which have gone crazy in the mild and wet weather, but the work is really varied. I used to work abroad doing environmental conservation work, so this is a great way to keep my hand in. “The nice thing about volunteering is

The idea is to get a lot of people involved in a job that is both satisfying and productive.

I’m in an office all week, and I only have a very small garden at home

that there is something almost everyone can get out of it. We get all kinds of people coming along to Ryton, from Duke of Edinburgh Award participants through to retired people looking to enjoy some manual labour in the outdoors.” Regular sessions are now held at Ryton Pools Country Park where volunteers can get along on one Saturday a month. The next session at Ryton is on 1 November, followed by another on 13 December. Craig Earl, (pictured below) a senior ranger and coordinator of the volunteers at Ryton, said: “The idea is to get a lot of people involved in a job that is both satisfying and productive. No experience is necessary, but anyone planning to come along should wear outdoor clothes and sturdy shoes. We’ll provide all the training, and even the tea and biscuits.” Volunteering sessions are also available at other country parks in Warwickshire at Kingsbury, Hartshill Hayes, Burton Dassett and The Greenway in Stratford, and more information is available in the countryside section at: For more information on volunteering call 024 7630 5592.


Have your say on the web

Skills for Jobs helps mum back to work

As part of our ongoing commitment to delivering excellent levels of service we’re looking at ways to improve the Warwickshire website Whether you’re a regular user of the site, have only used it a couple of times or even if you’ve never used the site before, we want to hear from you. Anyone completing the survey will also be eligible to enter a prize draw. You can find the survey and further information online at:

Customer Service Week Warwickshire Direct celebrated National Customer Service Week in October, with a variety of activities around the county. The annual event, which aims to raise awareness of customer care, saw staff hit the road in the Warwickshire Direct bus to visit locations such as Stockingford, Sydenham and Lillington. Customer Service Advisors and Councillors were also on hand at a number of markets and Warwickshire Direct centres to provide advice and information about district, borough and county council services.

Quality of life in Warwickshire A report into aspects of quality of life in the county has been published by the Warwickshire Observatory. The document is now available on the Warwickshire Observatory website, www. and to read at local libraries. Cllr Alan Farnell, leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “The quality of life research shows that we are making good ground in our key objectives of creating a sustainable economy and environment, looking after older people and raising levels of education for all ages.” 22

A mother of four has had a helping hand in going from her life as full-time mum to full-time work. Alison Charity decided that with her children now aged 16, 15, 12 and 10 it was time she got back out into the world of work, but thought she might need some help brushing up on her interview skills. Through her work as a volunteer at the Nuneaton and Bedworth Volunteer Centre, Alison spotted a leaflet advertising the new Warwickshire County Council Skills for Jobs project. This is aimed at Warwickshire adults who have been out of work for at least 12 months, partuclarly those who have taken a career break to care for children, those who have been caring for an elderly relative, or the long term unemployed. Offering a host of free services ranging from free ICT training, to interview skills, confidence building and even food hygiene tuition, Alison decided this was

the way forward for her and headed to the Nuneaton centre. She said: “I’ve kept pretty up to date with computers and technology, but my fear was that I didn’t have the qualifications or experience to prove that I knew these things, which is a real problem when you’ve not been working for a while. “Skills for Jobs was a great help. The biggest single thing was doing the practice interview technique sessions, as this gave me real confidence that I was the right person for the job. They also went through my CV with me. “I’ve now just started a job as and administrative assistant with a company in Exhall, not far from where I live in Bulkington. I’m still in touch with Skills for Jobs though as they are now putting me through my NVQ in Business Administration.” For more information or to book an appointment call 024 7664 1664 if you live in the north of the county, or 01926 487405 in the south of the county.

The biggest single thing was doing the practice interview technique sessions, as this gave me real confidence that I was the right person for the job.

Here’s your chance tell us what you think about what you’ve read in the magazine or any other issues you’d like to raise about our services. You can write or email to the addresses below.

contact us email:


View Editor, Warwickshire County Council, Communications Division, P.O. Box 9, Shire Hall, Warwick CV34 4RR

Rugby relief road continues to take shape Work is progressing well on the £37m Rugby Western Relief Road with even minibus tours of the site being offered to local people to give them glimpse of the work going on. Children under 14 should be accompanied by an adult. If you would like to take part please contact Peter Bones on 01788 513125. Places are allocated on a first come first served basis but Warwickshire County Council will do its best to accommodate all those who are interested. For more information on the project go to:

Complaints Procedure Councils are now able to deal with any complaints regarding councillors who breach their Code of Conduct. Complaints about Warwickshire County Councillors are handled by a sub-committee of the council’s Audit and Standards Committee, which will assess whether or not your complaint falls within the scope of the Code of Conduct. If you want to complain about the conduct of a member of Warwickshire County Council, you must submit your complaint to: The Monitoring Officer Warwickshire County Council PO Box 9 Shire Hall Warwick CV34 4RR Or by fax to The Monitoring Officer 01926 412946 Or by email to monitoringofficer@ For more information regarding the complaints procedure, visit: You can also use the above address if you are dissatisfied with the conduct of any member of Warwickshire Police Authority (excludes complaints regarding Police operational matters or individual officers, as these should be directed to Warwickshire Police). As with the County Council, complaints, where appropriate, will be dealt with by a sub-committee of the Authority’s Standards Committee. For more information, visit

National award for station Coleshill Parkway has won national acclaim, winning a highly commended award as railway station of the year. Warwickshire County Council attended the National Transport Awards in London after Coleshill Parkway was shortlisted as ‘Rail Station of the Year’. 23


n acclaimed author with a string of novels for children and adults to his name, Alexander McCall Smith (pictured left) is visiting Warwickshire. He is probably best known for his No.1 Ladies Detective Agency’ series about the Botswanian lady detective which was also featured in a recent BBC drama. If you’re lucky you might just be in time to see Alexander at Guy Nelson Hall, Warwick School for a ‘Warwick Words xtra’ festival event on Monday 27 October at 7.30pm. For ticket information (while stocks last) call 01926 776438. If you missed him, don’t forget his books are available in Warwickshire Libraries along with those of all the authors profiled here.

author’s straight from the


Warwickshire is fast becoming a magnet for leading authors with a string of big names attending events in the county.

The Miracle at Speedy Motors Alexander McCall Smith Re Sta vi ff Back to Tlokweng Rd, Botswana, ew and the hot, dusty, colourful world of Mma Ramotswe, Mma Makutsi, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni and friends. Traditionally built Mma Ramotswe continues her success as The Number One Lady Detective, but is unsettled when she receives a nasty, threatening letter. Suspicious thoughts creep in. Mma Makutsi loses her cool when faced with practical matters linked to her engagement while Mr J.L.B. Matekoni’s heart is set on a miracle. Botswanian magic, wisdom, good humour and gentleness in twists and turns and mini plots unfold their stories. And - The Miracle at Speedy Motors is revealed. A delightful read. Review by: Heather Shilling, Operations Manager, Warwickshire Youth Offending Service.


Photograph Howard Walker

Clare Morrall Clare (right) lives in Birmingham and shot to literary fame when her first novel, ‘Astonishing splashes of colour’, made it to the Booker prize shortlist in 2003. She enthused an audience at Alcester Library in August and is working with Warwickshire as a partner in our National Year of Reading activities. We hope she will join the judging panel for our writing competition ‘Be Inspired’.

Roger Ellory We are delighted to welcome Roger (pictured below) back to North Warwickshire after his successful part in ‘Fantastic Fun With Words’. Recently listed on the Richard & Judy bookclub, he will be at Coleshill Library on Thursday 4 December at 7pm for a Readers’ Evening hosted by Coleshill Library Reading Group. You’re advised to book in advance, further information from Coleshill Library on 01675 463307.

Fantastic Fun with Words A long awaited Arts Council funded festival took place during September in venues across North Warwickshire and Nuneaton and Bedworth. The Festival was a highlight of the 2008 National Year of Reading celebrations promoting the fascination and enjoyment of reading. Organised by Warwickshire Libraries, the festival started and ended with fun days - at Nuneaton Library and Kingsbury Water Park - when award-winning mobile library ‘Romeo’ provided a backdrop to actors from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Featured authors included storyteller Clive Cole helped by Horrid Henry (pictured below) and children’s stand-up comic Ian Billings. The week created a buzz around reading and writing among children and families in the north of the county and provided a great showcase for library services.

Boys into Books Boys in Warwickshire primary schools are receiving books as part of a national government-sponsored scheme in the National Year of Reading to get them hooked on reading! So far 35 schools have received boxes of books, and some of the lucky lads were able to work with author Tony Mitton to design a wonderful reading diary known as the ‘Boys Book Blog’. Warwickshire’s Schools Library Service is overseeing the project including book distribution, training for school staff and evaluation. Pictured right; Tony Mitton gets children into the reading habit.


october 24

Big Switch Off Mark the end of Switch it Off Week and see how much energy you can save between 4.30 and 6.30pm. For more information visit:

24-25 Runaway Mop Fairs

Stratford and Warwick mop fairs return with fairground rides and attractions. Call 01926 410815 (Warwick) or 01789 267575 (Stratford) for more.

25 Oct - 01Nov Apple Week

Mary Arden’s House and the Shakespeare Countryside Museum in Stratford present activities and entertainment including cider making, apple juicing, wood turning, morris dancing and juggling. 10am-5pm. £8 adults, £4 children.

25 Oct - 02 Nov Haunted Hallowe’en

Hunt Kenilworth Castle for spooky clues and collect your prize in the ‘Dungeon of Doom’. Adults £6.20, concessions £5, children £3.10. Call 01926 852078 for more details. 10am-5pm. £8 adults, £4 children.


Pumpkin Day A day of pumpkin filled fun at Ryton Organic. 10am - 5pm. Admission £6 adult (one child goes free), concessions £5.50, extra child £3. Call 02476 308 224 or visit

what’son november contd

14 Nov - 04 Jan Rugby Open

20-22 Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake

Warwick’s Playbox Theatre bring the landmark 1968 Small Faces album to the stage. Tickets £10.50 or £7.50 for concessions. Call 01926 419555 or visit to book.


Victorian Christmas Evening Victorian stalls and entertainment in Warwick town centre from 4 – 9pm. Visit or call 01926 492212 for more information.

28-30 Bedworth Winter Folk Festival

Enjoy a weekend of music, song and dance at the UK’s biggest annual winter folk event. See or call 0844 3577434.


Dickens Night Dickens night in Atherstone includes the switching on of the town’s Christmas lights, stalls, music, a fairground and fireworks display. Visit to find out more.

november 01

Ghost Cruise Enjoy a ghostly cruise along the River Avon in Stratford with ’The Man in Black’. Boarding at 7pm. Adults £9, Children £6. Call 01789 292478.


Bonfire Night Enjoy a bonfire, fireworks displays and BBQ at Ragley Hall. Lighting of the Bonfire at 5.30pm, fireworks at 6.30pm. Entry after 4.30pm costs £6.50 for adults, £3 for children. Call 0800 093 0290.



Annual Remembrance Parade Parades take place throughout the county to celebrate Armistice Day. Contact your district or borough council for further information.

Art exhibition celebrating creative talent in the region. Exhibits will include ceramics, paintings, photography, textiles and sculpture. Rugby Art Gallery, open from 10am Tuesdays to Sundays. Call 01788 533201 for more information.

december 01

Behind the scenes at the County Record Office Take a tour of the record office and learn how to use the public searchroom. 10.30am – noon at Warwick County Records Office. £5. Please book by calling 01926 738959.


Clothes Show Live The largest fashion and beauty event in the world returns to the NEC in Birmingham. For tickets call 0870 040 0386 or see

06 Dec - 04 Jan The Christmas Castle

Warwick Castle celebrates Christmas with a magical Christmas Tree Forest and more. Visit for times and prices.


farmers’ markets

Warwickshire Farmers’ Markets: 9am- 2pm (unless stated) Call 01608 664659 for more information, or go to: Enjoy all things festive at Stanford Hall in Rugby. 11am – 4pm. Call 01788 860250 for more information. Coleshill, Market Hill, Fourth Friday of month, 10am-2pm 18 Dec - 04 Jan Coventry, Spon Street, Second Thursday of month Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Believe the impossible with Playbox Theatre’s journey Kenilworth, Abbey End, Second Saturday of month Leamington Spa, Pump Room Gardens, through Wonderland. The Dream Factory, Warwick. Tickets £11.50 adults, £7.50 concessions. Call 01926 Fourth Saturday of month 419555 or visit for tickets. Rugby, Clock Tower, Last Thursday of month Southam, Market Hill, Second Saturday of month 18-24 Santa’s Grotto Stratford-upon-Avon, Rother Street Visit Santa in his magical grotto, say hello to his First and third Saturday of month reindeer and meet the nativity animals as you hear a Christmas story at Hatton Country World. Warwick, Market Square, Third Friday of month 10am – 5pm. Call 01926 843411 Details of dates and times of Council meetings open to the public can be found or visit for more information.


Christmas Fair


Carols at the Castle Join in the festive fun at the annual carol concert in the grounds of Kenilworth Castle. Hosted by Kenilworth Lions. Visit for more details.


Duck Race Join the crowds and cheer the ducks along! Race starts at 12 noon at Kenilworth Castle Ford and finishes at Abbey Fields Swimming Pool. Tickets are available on the day for £1.

at or by calling 01926 410410. All information is correct at time of going to press, but we would advise you to check before making your journey. Some events require you to book in advance and may incur a small charge or require the purchase of tickets. For details of events at: County Record Office call 01926 738959, Warwickshire Museum 01926 412500, Heritage Education 01926 412034 or visit www. Advertisement

january 13 Jan - 08 March Photography from Columbia

Emerging and established Columbian talent rarely experienced in the UK is on display at Rugby Art Gallery Museum & Library. Call 01788 533217 for more information.


Teen Idol Auditions Audition and be in with a chance to take part in the free Teen Idol Training Scheme which ends with a spectacular performance at the Royal Spa Centre. Open to all Warwickshire teenagers. Leamington Town Hall, from 10am.

february 12

Kaleidoscope Concert The East Warwickshire Music Centre perform at Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College from 7 – 8pm. For further details call 01926 742630 or visit 27

what your

COUNTY COUNCIL does for you Autumn/Winter 2008

Adult Education & ICT Learning Centres Archaeology Archives & Records Arts Births, Marriages & Deaths Registration Business Support Community Safety Construction Consumer & Business Advice Country Parks & Recreation County Council Property Maintenance County Highways County Record Office Disability Services Early Years’ Centres Ecology Economic Development Education Emergency Planning Employment Environmental Design Family Information Service Farms & Forestry

Fire & Rescue Foster Care Grants Heritage Education Homecare Libraries Museums Nature Conservation Parents’ Centres Planning Quality & Environmental Support Systems Regeneration Projects Residential Homes Roads, Footpaths & Rights of Way Road Safety School Meals Social Care & Policy Trading Standards Transport & Local Bus Services Tree Work Warwickshire Calibration Services Waste Management Youth Services

contact us call 01926 410410 (minicom 01926 412277) web email write View Editor Communications & Media Division Warwickshire County Council P.O. Box 9, Shire Hall Warwick CV34 4RR This magazine is printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper. When you have finished reading this copy of Warwickshire View please recycle it again.

Our normal office hours are 9 - 5.30pm Monday to Thursday & 9 - 5pm on Friday. However by calling the number on the left you can obtain advice, help or signposting to any of our services from 8am - 8pm weekdays & 9am - 4pm on Saturdays. If this information is difficult to understand we can provide it in another format, for example; in Braille, in large print, on audiotape, in another language or by talking with you. Please contact us on 01926 412758. Warwickshire View magazine is written, edited and designed in-house by the Warwickshire County Council Communications & Media Division.

Warwickshire View - Winter 2008  

Warwickshire County Council residents magazine

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