County Councillor for Gartree

End of My Chairman Role

Wednesday 15 May was when I handed over the chairman’s chains after two fantastic years representing the 712,000 citizens of Leicestershire.

I have attended well over 300 engagements across the County, City and Rutland. I have met so many interesting people, including royalty, and visited some amazing venues.

One really unexpected benefit was a chauffeur driving me to all the engagements from my home.  I have been able to check out the locations of lots of dead ash trees, spot streets where most houses have solar panels, the brightest Christmas decorations and so much more!

I am frequently asked what my best memory has been. How can I seek to identify one from so many engagements? Uniquely, I attended wreath laying in Green Dragon Square along with other dignitaries and council leaders after the death of Queen Elizabeth II and also was part of the formal proclamations of the new King Charles III outside City Hall and in Market Harborough.

However, my fondest memories have been the dozen or more Prince’s Trust Team presentations at various locations in the city and county. For those unaware of this programme, it involves about a dozen young people, aged 16 to 25 and unemployed, working together on a twelve-week personal development course which includes a one week residential, often using Beaumanor Hall facilities. At the end of the twelve weeks, they give a presentation to family members and VIPs and achieve qualifications handed out by either the Lord Lieutenant or one of his deputies. Hearing how these young people have come out of their shells, produced CVs, carried out community work and often got job offers is truly inspiring. Started by King Charles in the 1970s, over a million young people across the country have benefited with some qualifications and many now have sustainable jobs.

Home Energy Retrofit Offer

Hundreds of households across Leicestershire could benefit from tailored help and advice about energy efficiency improvements, and how to access grants and funding to pay for their installation.

Leicestershire County Council’s Warm Homes service, in partnership with district authorities, has been awarded £400,000 by the government to support the HERO (Home Energy Retrofit Offer) project, to connect eligible people to advice and funding for the installation of energy efficiency improvements, which will reduce energy costs as well as making households warmer and greener.

The HERO project targets owner-occupiers who are vulnerable and on low incomes who may be eligible for funded grants, those at risk of ill health due to cold, inefficient, or damp homes, and residents living in properties which are hard to treat. Eligible residents may be offered in-home advice or assessment of their homes, which will determine which energy-efficient measures are most appropriate to the home and household.

The scheme will not fund the retrofit of the recommended energy-saving measures, but HERO advisors will help and support residents to access all available funding and apply for relevant grants. Where relevant, the scheme my also reassess eligible homes to measure the impact of improvements and contact households to gather feedback.

For more information on the grants, including the full eligibility criteria and eligible postcode areas, or to apply:  or call the Warm Homes service on 0116 305 2524.