Fosse Highcross Ward Blaby District Councillors Monthly Report - August 2023
Strike action called off after talks
The planned three-week strike action by GMB union members has been called off following discussions between GMB officials and the Leader of the Council and senior management.
The GMB union, which had previously announced the strike to take place from 2 August to 18 August, has decided to call off the industrial action after reaching a mutually agreeable resolution with the Council.
The GMB union members, responsible for waste collections and district cleansing had initially planned the strike action in response to a dispute over pay. However, constructive discussions between the GMB representatives and the Council have resulted in an agreement, preventing any potential disruptions to waste collections in the district.
As part of the negotiated agreement, both parties have committed to a series of proactive measures and the following key points have been agreed:
1. Independent Review of Job Evaluation Process
2. Review of Task and Finish Working Arrangements
3. Review of Approach to Bank Holidays
The Council emphasises that negotiation and dialogue have played a pivotal role in achieving this breakthrough with the trade union. The Council expresses its gratitude to all parties involved in the talks for their constructive engagement and cooperative spirit.
The Council wishes to reiterate its appreciation for its workforce delivering these services. The resolution reached is a testament to the value placed on employees and their commitment to delivering exceptional services to the community.
With the strike action now officially called off, waste collection services in Blaby District will continue uninterrupted, providing peace of mind to all residents.
During July the following meetings/functions have taken place attended by one or both of your councillors:
- Blaby District Council Cabinet Executive – 3rd July
- Training – Chairing meetings skills – 3rd July
- Training – Lightbulb & Housing Enablement – 5th July
- Sapcote Parish Council – 6th July
- Cabinet Executive – 10th July
- Training – Handling Online Abuse – 12th July.
- Meeting with Alberto Costa MP and Planning Inspectorate – 13th July
- Training - Audit & Corporate Governance – 13th July
- Audit & Corporate Governance Committee – 13th July
- Training - Planning Masterclass – 18th July
- Training – Scrutiny Questioning Skills – 20th July
- Sharnford Parish Council – 20th July
- Burbage Planning Committee – 24th July
- Blaby District Council Meeting – 25th July
- Leafletting and meeting Aston Flamville residents – 29th July
- Meeting with Aston Firs residents – 30th July
- LGA Conference 3rd to the 6th July in Bournemouth
During August District Councillors take a break with limited meetings planned. The following meetings are planned and may be added to:
- Meeting with BEC UK to discuss Childrens mental health – 1st August.
- Burbage Planning Committee to discuss application affecting Aston Flamville – 7th August.
- Fosse Villages Together – 16th August
- Meeting to discuss ‘Land west of Stoney Stanton’ potential development – 21st August.
In addition, your District Councillors will continue to deal with resident’s queries/problems.
- Council disappointed with notification of further strikes.
- Government acts on Youth Council concerns
- New private hire licence for school only trips
- Council backs archaeological dig
- New local centre approved for Lubbesthorpe community
HNRFI – Relevant Representation
The revised HNRFI Position Statement - The statement includes a number of updates including:
- Revised timeline estimates
- Details of the work that has been carried out recently, including the submission of the Council’s Relevant Representation in June
- Further detail on future work the Council will be involved in
- Revised further information links, email addresses and phone numbers.
The revised statement can be downloaded here and from the link below.
Major Planning Applications
Blaby Planning Committee did not meet in July but planning applications across the border in Burbage, a village covered by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council have appeared which could have an effect on the villages in Fosse Highcross Ward.
22/00192/OUT Residential development of up to 85 dwellings on land opposite Spring Acre, Lychgate Lane, Burbage
This development was refused by H&BBC Planning Committee in January 2023. The developer has now lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate. If the appeal is successful, it will mean the 85 dwellings will be within one mile of Aston Flamville and the ensuing traffic problems it could bring.
23/00673/OUT Residential development of up to 343 dwellings by Jelson Homes, either side of Aston Flamville Road, Burbage.
This development was originally submitted under application no. 22/01037/OUT and was refused by H&BBC on highways grounds on 30th March 2023. The new submission now calls for a roundabout on Aston Flamville Road. The planning application will be discussed at Burbage Parish Council Planning Committee on Monday 7th August at 6.30pm.
Vape danger letter success for Youth Council
Concerns about illegal vape sales to young people raised by members of Blaby District Youth Council have helped inspire legislation change at Government level.
At their recent annual conference Youth Council attendees wrote letters to local MP Alberto Costa highlighting the issue of vapes being targeted at young children.
Now the Member of Parliament for South Leicestershire has written back, acknowledging the letters and saying the Government is planning to enforce stricter controls on vape sales. In his letter Mr Costa says: "I am pleased to inform you that both the Prime Minister and the Government have listened to the points you outlined in your letters and are acting upon your concerns to crackdown on the marketing of vaping produces aimed at young people.
"To this end, the Government will soon be closing a loophole that allows shops to offer free samples of vapes to children and they will also soon be introducing tougher fines for shops that illegally sell vapes to children.
"Further, the health risks of vaping will also now be included as part of the curriculum taught in schools, to ensure that more young people are aware of the dangers of vaping."
Vaping and its impact on the young is one of four core issues the Youth Council has been focusing on over the last 12 months, the other three being the green agenda, night safety and hate crime.
At the Youth Conference all four subjects were tackled with discussion and activities involving creating hate crime masks and videos, green agenda pledges and vaping posters as well as the letters to Alberto Costa.
Some 100 students from local schools also attended the day as a way of highlighting how it’s never too early to engage in politics and speak out on the burning issues of the day.
Teagan, the Chairman of the Youth Council, said: "We, as a Youth Council, believe that young voices are important. We are so grateful that Alberto Costa has not only listened to what we have to say but also worked to take action with parliament.
"The sale of vapes to young people has become an epidemic across England - we need to work hard to fight against this. We hope that education on the harm of vaping will soon become a part of school curriculums across our country to help young people understand why they shouldn’t be vaping. We intend to continue working with our local council members and Alberto Costa to influence this agenda."
Councillor Adrian Clifford, Blaby District Council’s Youth Champion, said: "This is amazing news and a great achievement by our Youth Council members.
"I’m privileged to work with these passionate young people, and I have been continually impressed with their desire to tackle the issues which matter to them. This is a fantastic result and shows that dedication and belief in a cause can pay off."
Councillor Nigel Grundy, Blaby District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services and Assets, added: "It is fantastic to see our Youth Conference promoting youth voice and influencing Government. The Youth Council have underage vaping as an ongoing priority and are also working on an awareness campaign with NHS partners and local schools."
Fly Tipping Campaign
We met with the Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Mathews to discuss the plague of fly tipping within Fosse Highcross. It is so important we continue to work together to catch those responsible. Blaby District Council have worked really hard to remove waste dumped illegally and are working on preventive measures to ensure we catch those responsible.
Since our meeting, the Government have announced increased fines and powers for Councils & police to reduce fly-tipping. We both welcome this news and will see how this impacts fly-tipping as we move forward.
Meeting with the CEO of BECUK Charity
We met with Chris who is the CEO for BEC UK. A charity that supports young people with autism back into work. Chris is from Sapcote and we’re more than happy to support Chris and will see how the District Council can work with BEC UK to improve the life of those with autism.
For more information on BEC UK, please visit their website here: https://becuk.center/
Elmesthorpe Summer Fair
Elmesthorpe ran a very successful summer fair this year. Supporting lots of local businesses and bringing the community together on what was a very hot day.
Many stalls attended the event, including:
- Usborne Books
- Kazzy's Greetings Cards
- Vonnies Bakes
- Ethical Beauty with Alex
- The Wild Moon Essence
- Paint your own craft kits
- Crafts by Nickyjane
- Harry's Sweet Mix
- Moonwillow Magic
- Naturally Jane
- John Jasper's Jewellery
- Crystal Aura
Thank you to everyone who supported and organised this event.
PINS Meeting on the HNRFI Rail Fright Proposals
We both attended the meeting with the planning inspector to discuss issues around the process with HNRFI.
We raised a few points at this meeting, including:
- PINS said that the statement of common ground discussions should take place at the pre-app stage, however, Tritax provided insufficient information for meaningful discussion at that stage and so officers now have a huge amount of work to do last minute.
- We get no funding nationally to support the process, the NSIP requires a huge amount of work to collect evidence and build responses to the process.
- PINS have asked the applicant not to reveal their estimates on when the examination will start and this is really unhelpful for local authorities, we need to be more involved, even if confidentially, in some of those discussions. This makes it very hard to plan officer workload and consultant attendance as part of the process.
A PDF version of this newsletter can be downloaded from the link below.