County Councillor for Gartree report for April 2022

Simon Cole QPM

I was both shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden death of the former Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police. Simon only recently retired after returning in 2010 to the county where he grew up. He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the New Year Honours in 2014. He was the longest serving Chief Constable in the UK.

As a resident of Kibworth Harcourt I got to know Simon personally; he enjoyed relaxing in Jubilee Green with his family.  One year soon after he moved here, I was grateful for his height. Compared to my own, he was helpful for flag lowering and raising. As a mark of respect and in his memory, the Kibworth Harcourt union flag has been lowered.

Cultural Communities Network

Since being elected in May 2021 as the county council’s vice chairman; I have been privileged to attend a number of occasions and events when the chairman is unavailable.  The events have been varied and across the county and city. They have ranged from attending the funeral of a county councillor to helping judge pies, to sharing a recent celebration of the Cultural Communities Network at the 1620s house in Donnington le Heath.

The Network of ten Community Managed Libraries and Independent Museums was formed two years ago. It has been supporting local cultural organisations to use culture as a catalyst to change lives.

Road closures for street parties

Leicestershire County Council has received over 110 applications for road closures to allow parties to mark Elizabeth II’s 70 year reign – her Platinum Jubilee.

A wide array of other events will be held, including garden fetes, community picnics, local fairs, and music events. Most of the events are planned during the extended bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2 June – Sunday 5 June.

The usual fees have been waived by the county council for road closures making it cheaper for residents to get together to mark this special occasion.

Residents have little time left to ask to close their own road for a street party as applications must be submitted by Friday 15 April. Any application received after this date will not be processed.

Anyone who wants to apply to close their road for a Platinum Jubilee street party can apply for free through the council’s website.

Information about organising an event on council owned land or greenspaces and guidance about licensable activities such as playing music and selling food and drink can also be found on the council’s website.

Easter holiday help for some families

Food vouchers and free holiday clubs are being made available over the Easter holidays for Leicestershire families facing huge rises in the cost of living.

Vouchers worth £45 have been made available to parents and carers of some 14,000 children aged 4 to 16, who are eligible for free school meals, in Leicestershire to pay for food during the two-week break that started on April 11.

Families that qualify for free school meals can also sign their children up for free Easter holiday activities.

Leicestershire County Council is administering the food voucher scheme, through schools, and the activities programme using dedicated Government funding.