County Councillor for Gartree
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
To celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee many special events are going to be held around the county this year to mark her 70 years as monarch. The events include a garden party hosted by the Lord Lieutenant for those turning 70 this year. Also the planting of trees and an art competition. You can find details on the county website www.leicestershire.gov.uk/platinum-jubilee
Dozens of beacons will be lit across the county on the evening of Thursday 2 June. The county council is waiving the fee for closing roads for any Jubilee street parties held between 2 and 5 June, provided applications are received by 15 April. To close a street or road to traffic, sections three and four of the event registration form must be completed. These are available via the website shown above. The loan of cones and road closure notices can also be applied for via the same website. Warning – any applications submitted after this date may not get fulfilled.
Ideas for the Kibworths include fruit trees being planted by the Orchard Society. They will be at a triangular area on Warwick Park, a woodland Queen’s Walk in another park. More celebratory activities are being discussed.
Ukraine Invasion by Russia
Most of us have seen the harrowing images from Ukraine over the last two weeks. To some of us this is affecting our families and friends. My daughter-in-law was born there and is worried about her relatives finding their way out of the country.
County Council leader, Cllr Nick Rushton, says he wants to cut all financial links between the authority and Russian firms. In the wake of the invasion he has asked senior officers to review the council’s contracts’ spending and pension fund investments with a mind to cutting any ties. The invasion has led to widespread devastation in Ukraine, the deaths of many civilians, and an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe. With well over 1.5m people now refugees in neighbouring countries to the west. Cllr Rushton and his deputy, Cllr Deborah Taylor, have called for Leicestershire to be ready to do absolutely everything it can to offer safe refuge to Ukrainians who have been forced to flee from the Russian military assaults.
Workplace Parking Levy (WPL)
Leicester City Council are consulting on a £550 levy for each space on private car parks with more than ten spaces. The consultation ends on 13 March. This would affect schools and hospitals in addition to businesses. The benefit, they say, is to encourage car commuters to use other modes of transport. Furthermore, it will also provide a funding source to implement sustainable transport measures. On the other hand, opponents say the WPL could negatively impact not just city centre businesses, but hospital workers, care home staff, teachers, paid charity workers and businesses across wider Leicestershire. Many commuters into Leicester live in the county. There is no likelihood that the money raised will be put towards improving modes of transport in the county. Approval must be given by the Secretary of State, probably in 2024, if the city council approves the WPL.
Members’ Highways Fund
Over the last few months, I have been working with parishes across the Gartree Division on bids for various highways’ improvements using the £25,000 fund available for each member. Requests submitted for assessment and funding include several Vehicle Speed Indicator Displays (so drivers can be warned of their excessive speeds), disabled parking bays, bollards to protect grass verges and other measures.