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Low Carbon Heat Grants to Communities
Wed, 08 Aug 2012 1:22pm

Community groups up and down the nation are able to bid for a share of £8million to install low carbon heating like solar thermal panels, biomass boilers and heat pumps into homes in their local area. Community-based organisations including community co-operatives, voluntary groups, social enterprises and development trusts are eligible to apply.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

"Clean green generation at a local level is a key part of our energy future and I hope that communities of all shapes and sizes will get on board and take advantage of all this scheme has to offer."

Phillip Sellwood, CEO at the Energy Saving Trust said:

"Working together can make the process of upgrading to renewable heating easier and more affordable for everyone. This scheme will provide a great opportunity for community groups to prove once again that they can have a real impact in reducing carbon emissions and energy costs in their homes, whilst empowering communities to be more sustainable."

Community groups will need to submit a first stage application to the Energy Saving Trust by 7 September 2012. Applications will be judged on a range of criteria, including the project's vision, potential benefits for the local area, potential partners and any relevant experience of delivering similar projects.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) expects to support between 50 and 100 projects with the £8million fund and will announce the winners in December this year. Please follow the link to find out more http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn12_087/pn12_087.aspx

LRP Forum: Retaining our Village Services
Fri, 03 Aug 2012 10:24am
LRP Forum: Retaining our Village Services

How often do you use your local pub, village shop, post office, library?

How important are they to you and your community?

Leicestershire is a beautiful rural county, scattered with villages of all sizes providing a mix of services to a mix of communities. Due to changes in our lifestyle habits, the increase in out of town superstores and reductions in public sector funding - how confident can we be that these services will survive? Is it important? And do we need to take action to ensure that they are still here in 5 or 10 years time?

Join the Leicestershire Rural Partnership to explore these dilemmas and consider what communities and partners can do to reverse the downward trend of village services.

The date: Thursday 27th September

The time: 9:00 – 12:00 (8:30 for coffee and croissants)

The venue: Snibston Discovery Centre

Please e-mail kate.harvey@leics.gov.uk or call 0116 3057016 to register your interest and joining instructions will follow nearer the time.

Communities Minister announces £30m Community Rights funding for local communities
Mon, 16 Jul 2012 2:10pm
Communities Minister announces £30m Community Rights funding for local communities

Andrew Stunell, Communities Minister, announced on Friday 6thJuly that there would be £30m available to help local communities use the Community Rights, including the £11.5 million Community Right to Challenge fund, through a grants programme provided by the Social Investment Business.

The Community Rights are a set of powers, which give you more control over your community. You can now have a say in what happens to important local amenities such as shops, parks and pubs. You can decide what is built in your neighbourhood and how the area should develop. In addition, groups have the chance to deliver local services and develop them into community enterprises. There are four Community Rights:

  • Community Right to Build gives communities the power to build new shops, housing or community facilities without going through the normal planning process.
  • Community Right to Bid gives communities the opportunity to bid to buy and run valued local amenities if they come onto the open market (in effect from autumn 2012).
  • Community Right to Challenge gives local groups the opportunity to express their interest in taking over a local service where they think they can do it differently and better.
  • Neighbourhood Planning powers give people the chance to decide how their local area should develop and what should be built.

The new Rights are contained within the Localism Act that comes into effect this year, devolving power from government to communities, local authorities and individuals. More information is available through the Plain English Guide to the Localism Act or from the act itself - Localism Act.

Communities with good ideas for how they can run local public services and want to use the Community Right to Challenge, can access advice and support to develop their skills to be able to bid for and run excellent local services. For more details visit - www.mycommunityrights.org.uk

Farming delivers the goods for Britain’s economy
Thu, 05 Jul 2012 2:31pm
Farming delivers the goods for Britain’s economy

There is one green shoot that continues to grow and has the potential to help kick-start Britain's economic recovery – farming.

  • £1.75 billion: The growth recorded by farming'sGVA in 2011
  • Farming'sGVAtotals £8.84 billion – or has seen an increase of 25 per cent last year.
  • Food and drink has become theUK's fourth largest exporting sector.

A recently published report from the NFU has revealed not only is farming leading the way, increasing itsGVA(Gross Value Added) by a quarter, but it also provides the foundation stone for Britain's food and drink industry, contributing some £85 billion to the UK economy last year, while helping to keep some 3.5 million people in work.

In May 2012 the NFU launched its new campaign to talk to the British public about what Farming Delivers for Britain. At the heart is a simple message: be proud to buy British food and remember farming's immensely powerful role in securing the nation's future. The Farming Delivers for Britain campaign will highlight the many contributions made by agriculture and horticulture in this country. The key themes are food, animal welfare, the economy, the environment, careers and cleaner energy. The campaign also explains how consumers can play their part by sourcing seasonal, British produce.

For more information on the campaign go to the website:


and for a copy of the report follow this link:

Revitalise our rural economy…..
Thu, 05 Jul 2012 1:54pm
Revitalise our rural economy…..

….. that's the message to Government coming from a report recently published by the Federation of Small Businesses. New figures from the FSB's 'Voice of Small Business' Panel Survey of more than 3,000 members shows that six in 10 rural businesses are suffering with the slow speed of their broadband, as they call for the majority of the countryside to have access to superfast broadband by 2015 to revitalise the rural economy.

The FSB believes that all businesses, whether urban or rural, should be able to tap into all markets. Broadband is crucial for this, especially for rural businesses that are often miles away from their customers and suppliers, and is also vital for businesses to access and complete Government services, such as applications for funding, business rates and tax returns, which are all being put online.

The report – 'Missing Links - Revitalising the rural economy' – also highlights a range of recommendations in addition to rural broadband that are highly relevant to other Leicestershire Rural Partnership's priorities, including:

  • Community Services - recognising the value of the post office network and the role of post offices as a hub in many rural communities
  • Tourism - supporting local attractions and accommodation providers as key sources of encouraging business diversification and stimulating growth potential
  • Planning Reform - simplifying applications and procedures in favour of permitted rural development, such as in farm diversification and redundant building use
  • Transport - recognising the need for an innovative approach to transport planning and solutions that take account of the unique needs of rural areas

The report can be accessed at www.fsb.org.uk/policy/assets/rural_report_web_final_proof.pdf

New Village Shop at Seagrave
Mon, 02 Jul 2012 9:46am
New Village Shop at Seagrave

The White Horse Inn, at Seagrave, opened the doors of its new village shop and function room on Saturday 10th March 2012.

Seagrave lost its village shop and Post Office in 2002, and since then local residents, including the elderly, have had to travel to get essential food produce.

Gemma Rumbold has managed the pub since May 2008, when it underwent extensive renovations; the popularity of the pub took off under Gemma's management and urgently required additional floorspace, as well as the village requiring more community space.

Gemma successfully applied for a Leicestershire Rural Partnership INSPIRE grant to bring an adjacent redundant building back into life, only 200m from the site of the original village shop. The building has now had a new makeover and accommodates a new shop selling fresh local produce and a function room (with stair lift) on the first floor.

Greenfield Farm project also in the village provides training for people with learning disabilities, and has also received an INSPIRE grant. The project will supply volunteers to work in the shop whilst providing fresh local produce.

For more information see www.whitehorseseagrave.co.uk.

Cllr Lesley Pendleton, Chairman of the Leicestershire Rural Partnership said:

"It is wonderful that we are able to meet local need by not only retaining but setting up new village shops where they are needed. Gemma's commitment shows that local facilities can be developed by determined local people".

Big Society Rural Advice
Fri, 29 Jun 2012 3:24pm
Big Society Rural Advice

Do you have a idea that you would like to progress in your rural community? A problem that you would like to overcome?

The Leicestershire Rural Partnership has launched its Big Society Rural Advice Service which is delivered by the Rural Community Council (Leicestershire and Rutland). Funded by Leicestershire County Council the service provides advice, guidance and signposting on community action planning, project development and a range of rural issues that affect our communities.

For more information follow this link.

Wed, 30 May 2012 5:01pm

Following the success of last year's Grant Fund, Leicestershire County Council has allocated a further £340,000 to support communities to develop ideas, projects and initiatives which will help to make the Big Society a reality at a local level.

The 'Big Society' Grant will make funds (maximum £15,000) available for projects which:

- enable communities to identify and meet their own needs – "helping them to help themselves"

- provide the best local solutions to tackle local problems

- demonstrate local community commitment and involvement

- create active and empowered citizens

The focus of the fund is on preparing or developing ideas for new projects/activities. It is therefore aimed at supporting communities to identify new priorities, and to help them to establish the best way of achieving these priorities.

The key principle is that projects need to be able to demonstrate their success in enabling local communities to help themselves.

For further information, including downloadable application forms and updated guidance notes, please visit : www.leics.gov.uk/bigsociety

Leicestershire County Council Local Council Conference
Mon, 28 May 2012 4:38pm
Leicestershire County Council Local Council Conference

The annual Leicestershie County Council Local Council Conference will take place on 9th July 2012 at County Hall (Glenfield), commencing at 16.30 (tbc) with refreshments and ending at 20.30 (tbc), with a buffet being provided during the event.

The conference (and buffet!) is free to Leicestershire local councils and will cover a number of topics, including issues raised by local councils as being items you wished to see on the agenda.

Through the Leicestershire and Rutland Local Council's (LRALC) close involvement in planning this year's event, and the inclusion of topics suggested by LRALC Members, we are confident that the event will be a useful and enjoyable event for all those who attend. The event is open to both Councillors and Clerks, and local councils may send as many delegates as they wish.

At present it is planned to run 6 workshops, some of which may be repeated dependent upon demand.

  1. Youthwork/Troubled Families
  2. Broadband in Leicestershire
  3. Planning/National Planning Policy Framework
  4. Parish Council Websites
  5. Localism and Community Assets
  6. Working with the Voluntary Sector

Please book for this event through the LRALC (lralc@btconnect.com 0116 235 3800), identifying your 1st and 2nd choice workshop from the above list. Please let us know of any special requirements you may have, including dietary.

The leader of the County Council and the Chairman of LRALC will open the conference, and there will also be an opportunity to raise other specific issues directly with the County Council at the event.

Mon, 28 May 2012 3:40pm

The Government has approved Leicestershire's strategy to improve broadband connectivity across the County. This will enable the County Council, with support from a range of organisations, to work with suppliers to identify a solution for Leicestershire. Negotiations will conclude in Dec/Jan 2013 with deployment commencing later that year.

Our initial vision is to ensure at least 90% of residents are connected to super-fast broadband by 2015, extending to 100% by 2017.

The deployment of super-fast broadband within rural Leicestershire is one of the Big 7 priorities contained in the new Leicestershire Rural Framework. Through our commissioning plan we will identify specific activity in remote rural areas to ensure improved speeds.

The County Council received over 4600 responses to its broadband survey with 650 from businesses. The greatest number of responses were received from rural households and businesses in Harborough and Melton districts. Detailed analysis of the results is currently being undertaken and will be published later in June at www.leics.gov.uk/broadband. Thank you to all those who completed the survey! Results will help inform the prioritisation of the rollout.

For more information please contact Matthew Kempson matthew.kempson@leics.gov.uk, 0116 305 6179 - www.leics.gov.uk/broadband

Displaying 201 to 210 of 258