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Neighbourhood Planning Networking Event
Wed, 07 Nov 2012 12:28pm
Neighbourhood Planning Networking Event

A Neighbourhood Planning Networking Event will be held at Leicestershire County Council on Tuesday 20th November 2012 starting at 5:30pm. The workshop is open to any communities thinking about developing a Neighbourhood Plan or that have started one. The workshop will include advice and good practice from current Leicestershire Front Runners on getting started, communication and how to organise a stakeholder event. Speakers include the Department of Communities and Local Government, Local Planning consultants supporting front runners and the Rural Community Council who can provide support and advice during the Neighbourhood Planning process. There will also be an opportunity to network with front runners, local planners and other communities interested in developing a Neighbourhood Plan to share positive experiences that can be recommended or discuss problems that have been encountered and how they were overcome.

If you would like to book a place please contact Sophie Davies at sophie.davies@leics.gov.uk or Sarah McCartney at sarah.mccartney@leics.gov.uk

New Homes Bonus for Sapcote residents
Fri, 26 Oct 2012 12:05pm
New Homes Bonus for Sapcote residents

A £1.6m scheme to develop twelve new affordable homes in the village of Sapcote has been completed.

East Midlands Housing Group has built the homes, with funding from Leicestershire County Council and Blaby District Council.

The houses were built on a rural exception site after a survey highlighted there were not enough affordable homes to enable local people to stay in the village. The site now includes three houses for shared ownership and eight houses and one bungalow for social rent.

Tanya has moved into one of the two-bedroom houses with her 11-month old daughter Skye:

"I was born and bred in Sapcote, but have been renting a house in Earl Shilton. I'm at college and have wanted to move back to the village so my parents can help with childcare, but couldn't afford the rent on other properties.

Now I'm here my parents are only on the next street and I'm able to get the bus to college. If I was still stuck in Earl Shilton I probably couldn't have continued with college for much longer so I'm really pleased to be living here."

LRP Chairman Cllr Lesley Pendleton said:

"We want our villages to thrive and I hope that a dozen families and couples will enjoy living in these new homes in Sapcote. This is the first rural affordable housing scheme that the county council has helped to deliver through its New Homes Bonus funding."

Blaby District Council Leader Ernie White said:

"It is important that we support our villages and these twelve affordable homes are reserved for people who have a strong local connection to Sapcote. I'm pleased that by working with the county council, we have been able to support this much needed development."

Leicestershire County Council is using New Homes Bonus funding to support more schemes in the future.

“Free Trees” for Planting in Leicestershire
Wed, 24 Oct 2012 3:09pm
“Free Trees” for Planting in Leicestershire

Leicestershire County Council operate a 'Free Tree' Scheme for farmers and rural landowners as part of Leicestershire County Council's tree planting initiative. The scheme is aimed at replacing lost trees in rural areas of the county.

Since the early 1980s, the county has lost over 50% of its single landscape trees from rural areas. This is largely due to the ravages of Dutch Elm Disease and other disorders, such as Ash Decline, in the 1980s. More recently disorders such as Chestnut Bleeding Canker and Oak Decline are adding to this loss.

In addition to increasing its own planting programme on road verges, the County Council will be providing trees for farmers and landowners to plant in hedgerows, field boundaries, field corners and in parkland areas. Sites adjacent to, and visible from, main road corridors will be preferred but any site on rural land, which is visible to the public, will be considered.

The scheme does not cover private gardens or the National Forest area where a range of tree planting grants are available from the National Forest Company.

The initiative will be a partnership arrangement where the County Council supplies the trees and planting materials and the landowner does the planting and subsequent aftercare.

Councillor Byron Rhodes, who has responsibility for forestry, said: "The Free Tree scheme demonstrates our commitment to safeguarding and enhancing Leicestershire's landscapes. "We are keen to hear from anyone who would like to do their bit towards making the county leafier."

If you are interested in applying for Free Trees, please download the attached Free Tree booklet, print and complete the application form and return it to the address stated along with a plan/map of the site where you intend to plant the trees.

Free Tree Booklet (PDF 346 KB)

If you require any further information, please contact Leicestershire County Council Property Services Helpdesk on 0116 305 5000.

CLA launches rural crime manifesto
Mon, 22 Oct 2012 10:49am
CLA launches rural crime manifesto

The CLA (Country Land & Business Association) have unveiled a manifesto on rural crime designed to spell out the specific needs of the countryside when cutting crime in rural areas.

Launching the manifesto ahead of the Police and Crime Commissioners' (PCCs) elections on 15 November, the CLA identified metal and fuel theft, poaching and fly-tipping as crimes that have a huge impact on rural businesses and communities.

CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "The 41 elected PCCs must understand the difference between rural and urban crime to make sure policing needs are met in the countryside. "My business has been affected by crime three times in the past six months, so I know from personal experience that incidences of theft from farming and other rural businesses are increasing rapidly.

"Environmental crime such as fly-tipping blights the countryside and costs private landowners up to £150million a year to remove. Such illegal activities are extremely detrimental to the rural economy and must be addressed by PCCs." He added: "Firearms can be an essential tool for rural people, so PCCs have a duty to ensure sensible and pragmatic licensing is implemented."

The CLA President also urged Police and Crime Commissioners to visit rural advisory groups to learn how officers can support rural communities further.

The CLA Rural Crime Manifesto can be read here.

New path is a step in the right direction
Wed, 17 Oct 2012 12:19pm
New path is a step in the right direction

Residents are celebrating the completion of work on a new footpath connecting two villages.

People living in Anstey and Thurcaston previously had to walk along a grass verge to get between the two villages.

Now, thanks to a group of hard-working volunteers, a new connecting footpath has been created off Cropston Road.

The work has been funded thanks to a £9,311 grant from Leicestershire County Council's Big Society fund, with Anstey and Thurcaston parish councils contributing £1,000 as well.

Blake Pain, the county council's Big Society spokesman, said: "This is another outstanding example of the Big Society grant aiding local communities to take responsibility for a local issue, while also helping to demonstrate real community action."

Previously, residents had to go via Cropston to walk between the two villages. The new footpath, along Anstey Lane, now provides a direct pedestrian route.

For more information about the Big Society Grant Fund, call 0116 305 7269 or go to the BIG Society Grant website.

SHIRE Community Climate Change Grants
Tue, 16 Oct 2012 8:25am
SHIRE Community Climate Change Grants

SHIRE Community Climate Change Grants are for Parish Councils/Meetings and Town Councils, local community groups, faith groups, charities and village/community building management committees.

They are available for projects in Leicestershire (not Leicester City or Rutland) and can assist with a variety of schemes as long as they help to improve energy efficiency and reduce the potential impacts of climate change.

Applications for 2012/13 are now being accepted. Grant applications must fall into one of the three categories:

1. Energy Audit - 75% up to £1000 and 50% of the cost over £1000

2. Events/Training courses for communities - 50% of the cost up to a maximum of £2,500

3. Practical Installation Projects - Either 20% or 50%*

Individual application forms and accompanying guidelines have been developed for each of these grant categories. Please refer to http://website/climatechange_grants.htm for further information.

Leicestershire Rural Partnership Annual Report 2011-12
Thu, 27 Sep 2012 3:15pm
Leicestershire Rural Partnership Annual Report 2011-12

The Leicestershire Rural Partnership is pleased to announce the publication of its 2011-2012 Annual Report which highlights many of our activities and successes over the past year.

Key achievements and case studies have been included to show the extensive work we have done and continue to do throughout rural Leicestershire.

If you would like to discuss further any of the work areas in the report please contact

Louise Driver, louise.driver@leics.gov.uk, 0116 305 7973 or

Sarah Carter, sarah.carter@leics.gov.uk, 0116 305 8098

and we will be happy to help.

Nominations open for ‘Rural Oscars’
Tue, 25 Sep 2012 8:43am
Nominations open for ‘Rural Oscars’

The Countryside Alliance has opened nominations for its prestigious awards – dubbed in the sector as the 'Rural Oscars' – that honour the best examples of rural businesses.

The awards are a public-nomination led scheme, which run across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Over the years they have honoured thousands of businesses (e.g. Farndon Fields Farm Shop, Market Harborough - Local Food category champion, Midlands, 2011) highlighting the efforts of many rural people for the benefit of their communities.

This year the categories have been slightly altered to provide a platform for the rural start-up businesses trying to get established. The categories for the awards are as follows:

1. Local Food Award

2. TheDailyTelegraphVillageShop/ Post Office Award

3. RuralEnterpriseAward

4. Butcher Award

5. Start-up Award - 'New' in 2012, for businesses who have been trading for less than 18months

Nominate online at www.countrysideallianceawards.org.uk/nomination or if your business would like some paper nomination forms to drum up some support, then email awards@countryside-alliance.org with your address and the quantity you desire.

Thu, 20 Sep 2012 1:19pm

The Rural Network East Midlands (RNEM), part of Defra's Rural and Farming Network, are holding an event looking at Rural Tourism.

Supported by the Leicestershire Rural Partnership and Belvoir Brewery, 'Tourism Matters' is open to anyone with a keen interest in how we can improve the rural tourism offer in our county and support local businesses.

Taking place on the morning of Thursday 4th October at the Belvoir Brewery, Melton Mowbray, the network is keen to generate conversation and debate as to the role of the network in stimulating this important area of economic activity.

Speakers include representatives from Visit England, the Government's Rural Policy Unit and the Northamptonshire Local Enterprise Partnership, plus local case studies. It is free, but places are limited so to book please email Julie Bowers on Jbowers@rcan.org.uk

Please Note: The Rural Network East Midlands exists to ensure that rural areas thrive in terms of their economy, access to services, the environment, affordable housing, farming and related issues around food, climate change and skills and employment. They have regular communications with Defra Ministers and are able to feed in issues and information direct to Government.

Agenda (PDF, 57 Kb)
Leicester and Leicestershire Food Fortnight 2012
Thu, 06 Sep 2012 3:04pm
Leicester and Leicestershire Food Fortnight 2012

Over sixty of Leicestershire's food and drink businesses are getting involved in a programme of events, tastings, demonstrations and special promotions, to celebrate the county's passion for food.

The Leicester and Leicestershire Food Fortnight, which runs from 22 September to 7 October 2012 aims to encourage everyone to shop locally and savour the foods produced within the county – by raising the profile of many of its artisan producers, retailers, café's, pubs and restaurants.

"More businesses than ever before are involved in this year's Food Fortnight and the range of events and special promotions means there is something for everyone to enjoy," says Lesley Pendleton, Chairman of the Leicestershire Rural Partnership. "It is great to see the whole county getting behind this initiative and I hope people enjoy what's on offer."

The launch weekend of this year's Leicester and Leicestershire Food Fortnight includes key events across the county. A Food and Craft Fair with the famous monkeys at Twycross Zoo; a festival dedicated to British pie-makers in Melton Mowbray; a Best of Leicestershire tasting market in the City; a Gourmet Food evening at Hothorpe Hall near Market Harborough; and a food fair in the grounds of Rockingham Castle, are just some of the high profile events to visit over the opening weekend.

During the rest of the Fortnight, foodies can enjoy more highlights, including a competition to re-create one of the county's heritage dishes, the Quorn Bacon Roll; a demonstration and talk by successful cookery book writer Jo Pratt at Scalford Hall near Melton Mowbray; a food festival in Coalville Town Centre and a fete to celebrate the Leicestershire's heritage apples at Donisthorpe.

For people who want to take a more active role there is also a programme of activities and demonstration for all ages. From learning how to brew beer to artisan bread-making classes – this year's Leicester and Leicestershire Food Fortnight aims to get as many people involved as possible.

During the Food Fortnight there will be a competition to find Leicestershire's most dedicated foodie. And what better prize than a pampering day at one of the county's most prestigious health farms – Ragdale Hall – to work off the excesses of all those tastings.

But Leicester and Leicestershire Food Fortnight isn't just about the retailers – the event which is an initiative by the Leicestershire Rural Partnership to raise the profile of the diverse range of food in the region, will be encouraging everyone to get behind the campaign with community events – or even for readers to hold their own Family Feast days or private events at home. Send the organisers information and photos of your food and venue in all its glory and be part of the campaign to enjoy local food.

The Fortnight of events will culminate with the ninth annual East Midlands Food and Drink Festival in Melton Mowbray – on Saturday and Sunday 6/7 October. Held in Melton's thriving Cattle Market area, the festival boasts over 250 stall-holders and attracts around 10,000 visitors each year. Food and drink producers from all over the country will show off their produce in the two-day event, which is now one of the oldest food festivals in the country.

For details of all the events in this year Leicesterand Leicestershire Food Fortnight visit www.goleicestershire.com/foodfortnight2012

For Further Information contact Rachel Dorsett, Silver Pear Communications - 01476 879215

or 07584 166629 Email: rachel@silverpearcommunications.co.uk

Twitter: @foodfortnight

Displaying 251 to 260 of 320

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