Budget Survey launched for residents’ views

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A survey for residents to give their opinion about how Blaby District Council’s share of the Council Tax budget should be spent has been launched.

Open until midnight on Sunday 17 February, the Budget Survey will ask where the Council should prioritise its services and whether Council Tax should be frozen or increased by an average of 10p per week.

In total Blaby District Council receives only £5.2m of the £58m that it collects in council tax in the district each year. The rest is distributed to the County Council, Leicestershire Police, Fire and Rescue Service and residents’ local Parish Council. Council Tax only contributes to 44% of the Council’s overall running costs.

With local government funding changing, Blaby District Council could face significant financial challenges in the future. Central government contributions have reduced in recent years and the Council has closed the funding gaps by saving money or generating income whilst ensuring high levels of service and customer satisfaction.

The five minute survey can be taken online by visiting www.blaby.gov.uk/consultation.

£3000 fine for South Wigston waste company

A Leicestershire waste carrier has been fined £3000 and ordered to pay an additional £877 after waste fell onto the highway on two occasions in 2018.

Leicester Scrap Processors and Suppliers Limited, based in South Wigston, failed in its duty of care to ensure the waste being carried on their vehicle was under control and to take all reasonable measures to prevent waste escaping. This is contrary to Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

On 31 May 2018 a significant amount of waste fell from one of the company’s vehicles onto the highway on the B5366 Countesthorpe Road. A resident who witnessed the waste being shed provided a written statement, helping Blaby District Council’s Environmental Health officers conclude that Leicester Scrap Processors and Suppliers Limited were responsible.

Four waste operatives using two vehicles were required to clean up the waste, costing the Council £247.

A second occasion, on 21 June 2018 saw a significant amount of waste falling from one of the company’s vehicles onto the highway. This was reported to Blaby District Council by another witness on the A426 between Whetstone and Lutterworth.

The company appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 09 January and pleaded guilty to both charges. They were fined £1500 for each offence and ordered to compensate Blaby District Council for the £247 it cost to clear up the offence on the B5366. They were also ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge and costs of £460. The £3877 must be paid within 28 days.

Councillor Iain Hewson, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Regulatory Services, said: “This is an excellent result for us. Companies must take responsibility for the waste they are handling. We will prosecute if we find companies are leaving waste in our district, whether carelessly or maliciously.

“We hope the company involved learns from this and makes sure it takes its responsibilities more seriously in future. We urge anyone who witnesses any incidents such as this, littering or fly-tipping, to report it to us so we can investigate.”

For more information on how to report waste offences such as fly-tipping, visit www.blaby.gov.uk/flytipping or email environmental.health@blaby.gov.uk.

Be a Councillor event

 

The role of District and Parish Councillors will be showcased for residents interested in standing as candidates in this year’s local elections, at an event hosted by Blaby District Council.

The Prospective Councillor Event takes place on Tuesday 29 January from 6pm at the Council Offices on Desford Road, Narborough, LE19 2EP.

Councillors come from all walks of life, age groups and backgrounds, and play a key role in shaping the future of their local communities. The event will highlight the varied roles of a Councillor, with visitors able to ask questions.

Anyone with a genuine interest in what happens in Blaby District and who want to represent their local community are welcome to come along to find out more. There is no requirement to be a member of a political party to attend.

Local Elections for the 2019-2023 term on Thursday 02 May 2019 will elect both District and Parish Councillors. The event will also feature:

  • The key roles Councillors play
  • Support available from the Council, including allowances and training
  • Standing for election and nomination deadlines

 

Jane Toman, Returning Officer at Blaby District Council, said: “We are really keen to encourage anyone interested in representing their community to attend this event to find out more about becoming a Councillor.

“It is an excellent opportunity to see what it’s like to be involved in local democracy and how Councillors can make such a positive difference to community life. We look forward to welcoming everyone who is interested to the event.”

For more information, including the full programme of events, visit the Be a Councillor webpage or call 0116 275 0555.

 

 

 

 

 

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Last updated: 16 January 2019

Local authority Building Control partnership expands

A Building Control partnership led by Blaby District Council will be joined by Oadby and Wigston Borough Council.

The Blaby District Council Building Control Partnership (BCP) began in June 2018 with Harborough District Council. Set in a competitive industry, the partnership was created to help ease the issue of a shortage of local authority Building Control Surveyors across the country.

With the addition of Oadby and Wigston’s Building Control team, the three services together will enable career progression and the opportunity for staff to pool resources across a larger team. The partnership will also give all three local authorities the opportunity to offer standard inspections to all customers.

The renowned Building Control service led by Blaby District Council works with some of the biggest housebuilders locally, and inspects buildings located across the midlands. At a recent Council meeting, Harborough District Council said they were “delighted” with how well the partnership was working so far.

Councillor Iain Hewson, Portfolio Holder for Health Improvement, Leisure and Regulatory Services at Blaby District Council, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Oadby and Wigston Borough Council into our Building Control Partnership. This is another example of how local authorities can work closer together to manage the challenges within the industry.

“Building Control is unique as a statutory service for councils which is also exposed to full market competition. Forming a partnership means we can assist both Harborough and Oadby and Wigston in delivering a cost neutral service.”

Councillor John Boyce, Leader of Oadby and Wigston Borough Council said “I welcome this pragmatic approach to shared service, it will provide resilience, cost control and a more customer focused service.”

For more information on the service or to book a site inspection or building regulation application, visit www.blaby.gov.uk/buildingcontrol.

Whetstone business gets boost from breakfast event

A small business in Whetstone has increased its demand after meeting key contacts at Blaby District Council’s Business Breakfast event.

AiR Auto ID Resource has seen an increase in demand following business support from Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership’s Collaborate for Growth scheme, and the Digital Growth Programme from East Midlands Chamber. AiR supplies hardware and software which enables companies to print labels ‘on demand’ in-house and capture data through barcode scanning.

Director Navin Mistry met a representative of the Collaborate for Growth Scheme at the Council’s ‘Business Breakfast’ earlier this year. With AiR facing the challenge wanting to embark on its next phase of growth, Navin registered for free advice and support.

The business secured £6,000 towards their renovations which will give existing and potential customers a ‘real-life’ experience of how their barcode printers, scanners and software can work. AiR currently has a team of four and plan on employing another two people as a result of business growth.

Councillor Sheila Scott, Portfolio Holder for Housing Strategy, Economic & Community Development Portfolio Holder, said: “This is extremely exciting news and we’re so pleased for AiR on securing funding for an expansion.

“Local enterprise is vital to any local area, and we’re proud to have thriving businesses of all industry and size helping to make Blaby District a great place to live, work and visit.

Blaby District Council’s popular Business Breakfast event is the premier networking event for businesses in the local area. With industry speakers and information, the quarterly breakfast meetings are an ideal way to secure funding and business advice to grow. The event is hosted in prestigious locations across the district, including the Marriott Hotel, Hilton Hotel and Santander offices.

For more information on the Business Breakfast meetings and help available from Blaby District Council, email economic.development@blaby.gov.uk.

Council changes Council Tax support scheme and liability charges

Blaby District Council’s Cabinet Executive has approved plans to amend the current Council Tax Support Scheme from 01 April 2019 and to make amendments to Council Tax liability charges on second homes and empty properties.

Following significant reductions in central government funding, the Council no longer receives money based on the Council Tax Support provided to households. This money must now be found by Blaby District Council through its central budget.

The major changes to Blaby District Council’s Council Tax will be:

  • Remove the 10% discount on properties classed as a “second home” in the district
  • Charge 200% Council Tax on properties that have been empty for more than two years

Council Tax Support Scheme changes will be:

  • Treating self-employed people in receipt of Universal Credit as receiving the minimum wage after at least 12 months trading – there will be some exemptions to this rule. This will align with Universal Credit regulations.
  • To align the Council Tax Support Scheme with current Housing Benefit Regulations.

The changes could save around £163,000 which will be shared between the recipients of Council Tax; including Leicestershire Police and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service. Blaby District Council’s saving share could total £14,750.

Following feedback from residents during the six-week consultation in August and September of this year, proposals to increase the minimum some claimants have to pay for their Council Tax from the current rate of 15% were not put forward.

During the consultation, 86% of people agreed that the Council should remove the second home discount, with 83% agreeing to the 200% charge for long-term empty properties.

Councillor Lee Breckon, Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “These changes reinforce our aim to bring as many empty properties in the district back into use. These are properties many people would love to make their home, and the 200% charge will hopefully be an incentive for owners.

“We want to thank everyone who gave us their views during the consultation and we took these into account when making our decision. We do not want to place any additional burden on vulnerable residents of the district. The welfare of our residents most in need is more important than cost savings.”

The results and comments from the consultation can be found using the links below:

Consultation Responses

Comments on the proposed views

Comments on further suggestions

District celebrates sports stars at annual awards

 

The sporting community of Blaby District came together at Countesthorpe Leysland Community College to celebrate the ninth annual Blaby District Local Sports Alliance Awards.

Sponsored by Everyone Active, the evening honours sporting stars, clubs and volunteers who have reached the top of their chosen sport. Eight winners were honoured and presented with trophies before an audience finalists, family and friends, sponsors and specially invited guests. The evening is hosted by BBC Radio Leicester’s Ian Stringer.

Winners included Sports Person of the Year Connor Harris, the Shooting champion who became one of the youngest people in Britain to shoot a perfect score of 300. His perfect score ensure he beat his brother, Alex Harris, to the U-21 European DTL Championship by just two points.

Youngster Matthew Pietrzyk won Sport Person of the Year (with a disability). Both before and after Matthew’s kidney transplant he was part of the award-winning Leicester Panthers U-13 Dodgeball team who won the British Championships. He is also a tireless campaigner raising donor awareness.

Volunteer of the Year Was awarded to Mitch Barsby, who led a volunteer team that brilliantly organised the final rounds of the British Cycling BMX National Championships at the Pavilion Leisure Centre in Huncote. Hosting over 3,000 spectators, 900 riders, the event was hailed as the “best national of the year” and gave the Huncote Hornets BMX Club widespread publicity.

Councillor Iain Hewson, Portfolio Holder for Health Improvement, Leisure & Regulatory Services, said: “Every year these awards show us the amount of sporting talent and the selfless volunteers we have in the district is endless. We are proud of them all, and hope they continue their incredible achievements.

“I want to thank all of our category sponsors, including our main sponsor Everyone Active, for helping us to make this night possible and ensuring we can celebrate these outstanding achievements in front of finalists’ friends and families.”

All winners are put forward for the next Leicester Mercury Sports Awards.

For information on funding that can be awarded to talented young athletes in Blaby District, e-mail leisure@blaby.gov.uk or call 0116 272 7703.

List of winners and runners-up:

Active4Life – Health and Wellbeing Award (Sponsored by the Mick Allard)

Winner: Kerrie Neville
Runners-up: Mary Green & Glen Parva Walking Group

Coach of the Year (Sponsored by The Pavilion Leisure Centre)

Winner: Ray Phipkin (South Leicestershire Badminton Club)
Runners-up: Katie Suffolk (White Tigers Girls & Enderby Junior Dodgeball Club), Frank Garratt

Sports Team of the Year (Sponsored by The Lime Tree, Dovecote and Copt Oak)

Winner: Leicester Sharks Diddy Team
Runners-up: Leicester Panthers U13 Dodgeball, Leicester Panthers Dodgeball Team

Young Sports Person of the Year (Sponsored by Thorps Lettings Ltd)

Winner: Sophie Holmes (Figure & Free Skating)
Runners-up: Keanna Kowal (Swimming) & Maddy Squires (Athletics)

Sports Person of the Year (Sponsored by Everards)

Winner: Connor Harris (Shooting)
Runners-up: Lizzie Warner (Archery) & Harriett West (Swimming)

Volunteer of the Year (Sponsored by Leicestershire Rugby Union)

Winner: Mitch Barsby (Leicester Huncote Hornets)Runners-up: Lewis Haslam (BMX) & Bud Franks (Football)

Sports Person of the Year (with a disability) (Sponsored by Rutland Cycling)

Winner: Matthew Pietrzyk (Dodgeball),
Runners-up: Toby Sweeney-Croft (Multiple Sports) & Fynn Kyser (Bowls)

Local Sports Alliance Special Recognition Award(Sponsored by BIG RED Magazine)

Winner: Leona Knott
Runners-up: Alexandra Hoult (Greenfield Primary School) & David Price & Stuart Carhart (Vipers RFC)

Remembrance Sunday 11th November 2018

Remembrance Sunday 11th November 2018

With the 100 year anniversary of the end of the first world war, it was a pleasure that the village welcomed their MP Mr. Alberto Costa and the also the Chairman of Blaby District Council, Mrs. Sharon Coe to the village to join in the Remembrance Parade and service at the War Memorial. The Parish Council discussed suitable options to mark this important 100 year anniversary. After looking at the various options it agreed on the  installation of a wrought iron remembrance bench next to the Village War Memorial as a lasting and fitting tribute. It gives villagers a place to sit and reflect on those loved ones that are no longer here in presence but very much in spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remembrance Day 2018 itself was started by torrential rain which could have lessened the numbers at the parade, but the people of Whetstone (Duckpaddlers) turned out in what seemed to be more numbers than last year if that was possible. It was a little breezy but the sun came out and we were all able to honour those brave villagers who marched away to war and never came back, and whose names are on our War Memorial.  Lots of different Community groups, Veterans and members of the Parish Council also marched in the parade.

Whetstone, well done as always you were BRILLIANT !

 

 

 

Best of Blaby District celebrated

 

 

Eight finalists honoured at fifteenth Outstanding Achievement Awards 

Blaby District Council’s fifteenth celebration to recognise individuals and groups from District of Blaby for their selfless work within their communities took place on Thursday 05 October.

Eight finalists and their families joined special guests and sponsors to enjoy the evening and honour the unsung heroes. BBC East Midlands Today’s Maurice Flynn hosted the ceremony.

Finalists included the inspirational 13-year-old Emma McCarron of Narborough, whose father is battling cancer, who took Young Achiever of the Year for her work raising over £5,000 for the charity Hope Against Cancer.

Thorpe Astley resident Michaela Garfield won Good Friend/Good Neighbour after being the backbone of her street, offering support and friendship to neighbours suffering illness and going through hard times for over 15 years.

Blaby Scout Leader Betty Saunders won Volunteer of the Year after serving her local scout group for 37 years, whilst Commbus took the title of Best Community Group/Achievement for their work in helping elderly and disabled residents maintain their independence through the voluntary transport service.

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council, said: “I am so proud as leader to see us host these awards for the fifteenth consecutive year. The Judging Panel and I had an extremely hard task of whittling the 43 nominees down to the eight we saw honoured on the night.

“All of those nominated deserve praise for the selfless work they do in their local community. We know that thousands of volunteers are what make this dirstrict a great place to live.

“We would like to thank every person that has taken time to submit nominations and put forward their district heroes and I am consistently in awe of the incredible work we get to hear about.

“I want to congratulate all the finalists and to personally thank our sponsors who make this event possible.

Our awards are funded entirely through the incredibly generous sponsorship of businesses who contribute to the economic viability of our District”

Davidsons Homes are the main sponsors of the awards, along with category sponsors Fosse, Marriott Leicester, Ford and Slater and Countryside Properties.

Full list of winners and runners up:

  • Good Friend/Good Neighbour – Winner: Michaela Garfield (Thorpe Astley), Runner-up: Janet Chapman (Croft)
  • Volunteer of the Year – Winner: Betty Saunders (Blaby), Runner-up: Josie Sharp (Enderby)
  • Young Achiever of Year – Winner: Emma McCarron (Narborough), Runner-up: Jack Wheeler (Thorpe Astley)
  • Best Community Group/Community Achievement – Winner: Commbus Community Transport, Runner Up: Thurlaston Carnival Committee

District leaders pledge to continue to work together

 

 

The leaders of all seven district councils have today unanimously agreed to continue working together to review the current model of local government in Leicestershire.

The leaders of Blaby, Charnwood, Melton, Oadby and Wigston, North West Leicestershire, Harborough and Hinckley and Bosworth councils, said in a joint statement: “The district councils are continuing to work together to look at future service delivery in Leicestershire to ensure it is lean, effective and in touch with residents.

“Any potential changes need to be based on a thorough assessment of all options and backed by evidence and communities.

“The district councils will ensure residents, partners and stakeholders are involved in the conversation and fully consulted. The needs of our residents will be put first.”