Lightbulb Programme sees continued success

More than 5,400 people across Leicestershire have benefited from a pioneering housing support partnership in its first two years.

Lightbulb is a centralised service, hosted by Blaby District Council, in partnership with Leicestershire County Council, district councils, local Clinical Commissioning Groups, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Fully launched in 2017, Lightbulb has seen a drastic reduction in the processing time for residents’ Disability Facilities Grant applications from enquiry to completion, reducing from 48.5 weeks before launch, improving to 32 weeks, and now standing at 20 weeks across all Districts.

The latest customer satisfaction ratings have seen 100 percent of those surveyed confirm that Lightbulb had met their expectations.

The improvement in the time taken to deliver adaptations in homes across the county has also ensured that focus can be spent on more complex cases, as well as delivering 37 percent more cases overall than was projected at the planning stage two years ago.

It has saved an estimated more than £360,000 for the local economy, with medium to long-term savings estimated at around £2.1 million.

From the installation of grab rails to small house extensions, Lightbulb is focused on making sure that residents can stay independent in their homes for as long as possible, benefitting both the local health economy and the wellbeing of those individuals supported through Lightbulb.

In one case, a lady in Melton was struggling to live in her property due to a combination of difficulties accessing the property and with using the furniture within it. Through one Housing Support Coordinator, the resident was able to have a comprehensive housing “MOT,” leading to grab rails being installed both inside and outside of her property, as well as a bed lever and a small armchair.

These relatively small changes have had a big positive impact, enabling – enabling this lady to live more comfortably in her own home, instead of having to consider a move to any sort of supported accommodation.

Jane Toman, Chief Executive of Blaby District Council, said: “As we reach two years of the service I think it’s important to highlight just how much of a positive difference Lightbulb is making across Leicestershire. This service supports vulnerable individuals and our priority has been to ensure the correct help they need is delivered to them as efficiently and quickly as possible.

“We have worked with partners from across the county working collaboratively together can make a huge difference and save hundreds of thousands of pounds for the local health economy.”

Lightbulb has been recognised with three awards, named ‘Best Collaborative Working Initiative’ by the Association for Public Service Excellence and Commended at the Home Improvement Agency Awards. It was also given the honour of best Public/Public Partnership at the 2018 Local Government Chronicle Awards.

Residents requiring minor or major adaptations can contact Lightbulb by calling 0116 305 0004 or visit www.leicestershire.gov.uk.

Whetstone Remembrance Sunday Parade and Service

 

The parade will meet  at 9.50 am at Dog & Gun Lane, Whetstone.  The parade will start at 10.00 am and then march down Wychwood Road, Laundon Way, Burnham Drive, Brook Street and finally onto High Street to the war memorial.  The service starts at 10.45 am.

Minor delays can be expected as the parade passes.  High Street Whetstone will be closed between 10.45 am and 11.10 am between Station Road and Wale Road.

All are welcome to join the parade and service

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM

 

Skills programme launched

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A free programme to help residents gain key skills to secure work experience and employment has been launched by Blaby District Council.

The sessions run from 1pm-3pm on Wednesdays at the Council’s Narborough offices and delivered by experienced staff to ensure each session is tailored to individual requirements.

All sessions are free and open to any residents of Blaby District, and there is no obligation to attend all of the sessions, only those of interest.

Anyone taking part in the programme will have their needs assessed to ensure they get the maximum amount of support from the sessions, with the opportunity to be referred to services who may be able to help after the sessions have finished.

A list of the sessions on offer is below. For more information or to register interest to attend can contact the Community Services team by filling in the Contact form.

Date
Session
Wednesday 24 October Confidence Building
Wednesday 31 October Cyber Security and Scams
Wednesday 07 November Making the most of your community
Wednesday 14 November Healthy Eating
Wednesday 21 November Budgeting and Debts
Wednesday 28 November Tenancy Management
Wednesday 05 December CV Writing
Wednesday 12 December Mock Interviews

District heroes honoured at awards night

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A fantastic celebration of those who make the District of Blaby a great place to live took place on Thursday 03 October, at the sixteenth annual Outstanding Achievement Awards.

Eight finalists along with their friends and family joined special guests and sponsors at the Marriott Hotel to enjoy the evening to honour the district’s unsung heroes. BBC Radio Leicester’s Ady Dayman hosted the ceremony.

Winners included Glen Parva’s Ann Dixon, who took Volunteer of the Year. Ann was founder and chair of the Blaby and Glen Parva Community Service for 53 years, which supported local people in the community.

Braunstone Town’s Julie Oldfield took the Good Friend/Good Neighbour honour. Julie is a pillar of support to 20 older people in the area, offering a helping hand to them for tasks from collecting prescriptions to cooking hot meals.

Six-year old Lydia Kettlewell has overcome a tough start in life to make great strides at karate, and took Young Achiever of the Year. Best Community Group/Achievement was awarded to Blaby Mind Matters, a group who battled back from losing their funding to continue offering vital support for their members.

Fosse Park, Leicester Marriott Hotel, Ford and Slater and Aggregate Industries were sponsors of the awards categories, as each winner deservedly took home £500 and runners-up won £250.

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council, said: “These awards are our chance to say thank you to all of the people and groups who highlight how the District of Blaby is a great place to live.

“All of the nominations deserve praise for the selfless work they do in their local community. We know that the thousands of volunteers and hundreds of groups in the district really do make a huge difference to people’s lives.

“Every year I am amazed by the incredible work we get to hear about. We would like to thank everyone who nominated and I want to congratulate all the finalists and to personally thank our sponsors who make this event possible.

“These sponsors ensure the awards go ahead and contribute to Blaby District’s prosperous economy.”

Full list of winners and runners up:

  • Good Friend/Good Neighbour – Winner: Julie Oldfield (Braunstone Town), Runner-up: Beverley and Ken Bunney (Kirby Muxloe)
  • Volunteer of the Year – Winner: Ann Dixon (Glen Parva), Runner-up: Bruce and Andrea Carman (Stoney Stanton)
  • Young Achiever of Year – Winner: Lydia Kettlewell (Narborough), Runner-up: Shantelle York (Braunstone Town)
  • Best Community Group/Community Achievement – Winner: Blaby Mind Matters, Runner Up: Croft Good Neighbours

Flooding update

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With the current heavy rainfall, certain areas in the district are at an increased risk of flooding. If you’re in an affected area (or know someone who is) please follow the advice in this email.

Flood Warnings

Use the Flood Warnings Information Service to find information for your location.

Before travelling, check any roads both in the district or across the county to see if any roads have been closed because of excess water.

Check Area Traffic Control on Twitter or use the AA Traffic News website. BBC Radio Leicester will also have updates.

Sandbags

We have a limited supply of sandbags and can only use them to protect:

  • Life and important buildings such as hospitals or substations
  • The elderly, disabled and vulnerable residents
  • Access for emergency vehicles

If your scenario is not covered above please buy sandbags from DIY stores or building merchants.

You can also prepare for any flooding by using the Bluepages Independent Flood Directory.

In a flooding emergency contact 0844 736 9545.

Valuables

If you are at risk of flooding we strongly recommend moving any valuables you have upstairs, or as far away from any potential flood damage as possible.

Business Breakfast returns to Santander

 

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Blaby District Council’s popular Business Breakfast event for businesses in the district is returning to Santander’s offices for the autumn meeting.

The free breakfast event takes place on Wednesday 30 October at Carlton Park, Narborough, LE19 0AL. Breakfast is served from 8am with the opportunity to network before the usual line-up of speakers.

Delegates will hear updates about key development sites in the district and the latest business support. Training provider ‘SERCO’ has information about fully funded skills support for the workforce. The support can lead to improvements to performance and to staff motivation.

North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College will present their apprenticeships programme, and describe how the college works with businesses to improve productivity and teamwork with an apprentice.

A question and answer session with guest speakers and more networking opportunities are available at the end of the event.

The meeting is part of the fifth annual Leicester Business Festival – the region’s largest business festival, running from 28 October to 8 November across the county.

Businesses and individuals are being encouraged to book early and secure one of the limited places by contacting the Economic Development team.

New Car Park rules begin

Free parking bays in Narborough car parks are now available after new parking plans were implemented.

Two free twenty-minute spaces at Leicester Road and one twenty-minute space in the Narborough Station car park are now available, following feedback from residents and local businesses.

The free bays will be marked in green with clear signage above. Visitors using the spaces will not need to get a ticket from the machine. The maximum time to park at Leicester Road car park has also increased from two to three hours.

Changes to car parks were approved by Councillors earlier this year following feedback from residents and businesses. The move looks to make sure that car parks in the district become sustainable financially for both the Council and car park users.

In July a two-hour free tariff was introduced to Johns Court and Enderby Road car parks to support businesses following the closure of Waitrose. Supermarket chain Iceland confirmed they would be opening in place of Waitrose at the start of 2020.

More information about car parking changes in the district can be found at www.blaby.gov.uk.

Pilot funding to boost district

Key services at Blaby District Council are set to benefit following a £400,000 boost from a pilot scheme.

After entering a joint bid with Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service and District Councils to be part of the Government’s Business Rate Retention Scheme pilot, the Council was successful in securing nearly £400,000 which will be reinvested back into important services.

This funding will be spread across four areas of the Council. £100,000 to tackle homelessness will be made available following the Council’s increase in demand for the temporary accommodation of residents, like many other local authorities nationally.

A priority for the Council will be installation of new systems to ensure compliance with new housing legislation. It will also ensure residents have access to quicker and improved temporary accommodation. This will assist some of the most vulnerable people in the district during a particularly difficult time.

As the main town centre in the District of Blaby, the Council recognises the need to invest in support for the town during a national trend of stores closing their doors. £100,000 of funding has been made available by Councillors for this support.
A dedicated officer will be appointed with the funding to shape how the Council supports the District’s town and village centres and help to make improvements. Work with existing businesses and the Parish Council will also continue, including the potential to offer grants to help improve shop frontages.

£83,000 has been put towards pilot partnership projects to help the Council support people with complex needs and underlying health concerns. This funding helps to look at ways of reducing the demand on Council Tax payers and enhancing residents’ lives.

The remaining £100,000 will go towards developing a larger scheme with Leicester City Council to enhance cycling and walking networks linked to the Sustrans National Cycling Network and the City Centre. The potential project would cover highways road and pathways improvements/enhancements, including improved signage, surfacing, maps, lighting, secure cycle racks etc.

The projects would be delivered in conjunction with City and County Councils, Parishes, local Businesses and Business Parks, Rutland Cycling and Sustrans.

Councillor Maggie Wright, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Assets, said: “We are delighted to be able to utilise the funding from this pilot to support these initiatives. Homelessness is a national issue which is also felt in the District of Blaby, and we have a duty to make sure we have the best resources to handle each case that comes to us.

“Being a part of the Business Rates pilot is extremely important for the Council. Not only is it our responsibility to show that local authorities can benefit from an additional share of business rates, but it will go towards several key strategic projects that we would not have been able to undertake without this funding.”

Community grants deadline approaching

The deadline for the next round of Blaby District Council’s Community Grants scheme is fast approaching!

Community groups and sports clubs across the District of Blaby can apply for up to £4,000 to help with their projects, with a record £90,000 made available to support local organisations during 2019-2020.

Grants can help to meet any community group’s need, ranging from equipment hire and materials to building refurbishments or upgrades. Grant applications for the second quarter of 2019-2020 close on Thursday 05 September.

More than £21,000 of grant funding was given away to 15 community groups back in June, and £22,000 as available in the latest round. Two more deadlines – in November and February 2020 – are also to come. Youth Grant applications for up to £500 can be made at any time.

Councillor Sharon Coe, Portfolio Holder for Health, Wellbeing and Regulatory Services, said: “We are lucky to receive a fantastic mix of applications, from large capital projects to the much smaller scale but vitally important activities.

“Even more organisations are coming forward to apply for funding and receive financial support for their group or project, and I’m looking forward to reading through the applications from the amazing voluntary groups we have.”

Community Grant applications can be completed online. For more information, including terms and conditions, application deadlines and how to apply visit the Community Grants page

Two fined for flytip offences

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Residents of are being urged to come forward and report fly-tipping following the prosecution of two residents for not co-operating with Blaby District Council’s investigations.

Under section 108 of the Environment Act 1995, a person is required to provide information relating to a fly-tip investigation. It is an offence under section 110 of the act to fail to comply with this requirement.

As a result of these powers, two people under investigation for fly-tipping rubbish in the district were ordered to pay fines and costs each by Leicester Magistrates’ Court after failing to provide information about the incidents.

Investigations into a fly-tip on Aston Lane, Aston Flamville, revealed that the rubbish contained personal information of a resident in Leicester City. They were invited to attend an interview under caution on three occasions but did not turn up. Two of those interviews were re-arranged to accommodate the person under investigation.

They did not attend Leicester Magistrates’ Court and were found guilty in their absence. A £250 fine was imposed, and they were ordered to pay the Council’s costs of £700.67 plus a £30 victim surcharge.

A second investigation into a flytip that had been witnessed on Rowland Way, Glen Parva, uncovered waste containing the personal information of another resident of Leicester City. They were twice invited to attend an interview under caution but failed to turn up and failed to make any contact with the Council.

In their absence they were fined £150 at Leicester Magistrates’ Court and ordered to pay the Council’s costs of £263.84 as well as a £30 victim surcharge.

Councillor Sharon Coe, Portfolio Holder for Health, Wellbeing and Regulatory Services, said: “When we investigate fly-tipping we will not go away if you just ignore us or continually fail to turn up for an interview. No longer can suspected fly-tippers avoid facing consequences for their actions by just pretending nothing has happened.

“Our Environmental Health team pursue any evidence they find when fly-tipped waste has been reported to us. Anyone not complying with us can and will be prosecuted under Section 108 of the Environmental Act, so we urge anyone who witnesses flytipping to report it to us so we can investigate.

Residents are urged to report any fly-tipped waste and can do so by visiting the Flytipping page.