| Grantham-based professional choreographer and contemporary dance artist Rae Piper, a director Chantry School of Contemporary & Balletic Arts, was thrilled to be invited to work in Italy.|
It followed the success of one of her private students who won both the Classical and Contemporary sections at the International Winter Festival of Lake Garda.
Rae has been coaching five elite student dancers at Art Studio Danza in contemporary technique and competition work, and created five different contemporary and neo-classical solos for the students to compete with. Rae had a lovely week and was honoured to work with Antonella Mandanici and Art Studio Danza.
Every year, history is made in the historic setting of Belton House, near Grantham and one of this year’s top events is coming soon (29-31 March)!
County News is offering up to 1,000 readers the chance to save 30% on online Saturday and Sunday tickets purchases. The offer is available using the discount code CN30 at www.bede-events.co.uk
Belton Horse Trials, which attracts thousands of visitors, is by kind permission of the National Trust. Over the years, it has established a well-earned reputation, not only for the quality of its sport and international reach, but as an event which appeals to everyone, from town and country.
Throughout the last weekend in March, BEDE Events is hosting a wide range of festival attractions to make this an unrivalled day out. And this year is set to be the best yet, with exceptional eventing and arena action.
There will also be mouth-watering food, with trucks, bars and picnic areas to keep you going throughout the day, offering everything from beer-battered fish and chips to succulent burgers, gin dens and festival Pimms!
For the latest food and retail offerings at this year’s Belton Horse Trials, please check their website and social media pages.
Sue McQuinn, who recently got nearly 2,000 people signing an online petition to scrap the new Parking Eye scheme at Grantham Hospital, held talks with health bosses yesterday. This is the result.
I, accompanied by Frank, had with ULHT Estates & Facilities Director, Paul Boocock, E & F Mgr Ian Hayden & Katy, ULHT Communications.
Parking Eye is here to stay – the obsolete barrier system won’t be returning. This may be disappointing to some but can’t really be a surprise.
However, ULHT acknowledge the issues that the new system has brought and that they were more than could be attributed to ‘teething problems.’
ParkingEye has been held accountable for the technical issues that caused so many PCNs (Parking Charge Notifications – ‘fines’ to you and me). I was assured these have been put right. Time will tell.
We then went on to discuss what ULHT is doing to make this system more user friendly. It’s in their interest for it to be successful as much as for those who use it.
I tried to bring to their attention all the issues/questions I’ve been made aware of, apologies if I’ve missed anything.
• Where does the revenue from tickets go? 100% of revenue from the Pay Stations goes to ULHT & is used to pay for the day to day running of the car parks, maintenance & security. Anything in excess of that goes into Hospital Funds.
Revenue from PCNs goes to Parking Eye. A good reason for them to issue spurious charges? Could be, however, ULHT has the ultimate veto on all PCNs & can cancel/refund any of them.
• PCNs & the circumstances under which they were issued was discussed. The flaws in the system that lead to most of the erroneous ones should have now been rectified. I identified some cases where PCNs had been issued when a vehicle had dropped someone off, without parking, left the car park and then come back within a short time to collect them – in neither instance exceeding the 20min free drop off/collection period.
This will be investigated to see if there is a glitch in the system.
• Contact with ParkingEye when making an appeal. Having nowhere to phone to speak to a human being is industry standard, apparently. The rationale is that putting everything is writing covers both sides against misinterpretation. I pointed out that once an appeal has started contact, even by email, seems impossible. They will look at that.
• Blue Badge Holders have been caused an inordinate amount of problems by the new system. ULHT is very aware of this and are working to make the system easier. They hope to introduce a pre-registration system for BB holders – Up to 3 cars will be able to be ‘registered’ on the system, by taking the Photo BB to a reception area in the first instance. Once that has been done on future visits the pay machine will recognise those registration nos. as being a BB user & will charge accordingly. I’ve also asked that they look at making pre-registration by email possible. The problem of people being told they couldn’t have a BB voucher because they weren’t the person with the appointment has now been addressed. All staff should now be aware that any BB holder visiting the hospital whether they have an appointment or not is entitled to a voucher.
• Kiosks – ULHT will put a pay station inside the building once H&S issues have been sorted out. Site maps are being updated and it was agreed adding the location of pay stations would be helpful.
• Wheelchair users have found the pay stations difficult to use in some cases. ULHT were assured the machines were DDA compliant. Documentation on this has been requested & they have also had independent people in to look at and report on them.
• ParkingEye were asked to upgrade their software and modify the user interface to make it easier to use. Hopefully, these changes have improved the user experience.
• Multiple visits in one day. The system in place is difficult to understand & use. I’ve asked them to look at a ‘daily rate’ option on the pay stations.
• Concessions. I’ve asked that all the concessions available be reviewed. I suggested a concession for overrunning clinics be considered. I also asked for awareness of concessions be raised wherever possible and suggested it could be included in appointment letters where appropriate.
• Collection / Drop off. 20 minutes is allowed in all areas, on all sites. I pointed out that some misinformation was being given out about this, so this will be addressed.
• Good2go – the prepayment app is working on an option to include Blue Badge Holders. That would be a great step forward.
• Payment Bands. ULHT are reviewing their payment bands. I made the point that most people are going to be at the hospital for over one hour and suggested the first payment band should be 0-2 hours instead of 0-1 hours. This would help to get over the problems of people going ‘just over the hour.’ Queues at kiosks should lessen as people become more familiar with the system & all the ‘glitches’ are ironed out.
• Staff Parking. I made my point that I don’t think staff should pay at all but that change isn’t going to happen any time soon! Staff members have been badly hit by the new system in many ways including receiving a lot of PCNs that weren’t warranted. Many thousands of staff vehicles were registered before the system went into operation. Due to human error some were entered incorrectly, in some cases incorrect reg nos. were submitted in the first place and staff changed vehicles without updating the information held on the system. This led to PCNs being issued. Facilities are working to review all those who think they’ve received a PCN in error.
• Feedback. I made the suggestion that a questionnaire- hardcopy in clinics etc and online might help ULHT gain some insight into how people were thinking & the problems they were and are facing. Although this wasn’t dismissed, now wasn’t thought to be the right time, it would be more use once the systems has had time to settle down. They did agree that a Q & A section on the website would be useful.
I hope I’ve covered everything that was discussed. We’ve agreed to have another meeting in a month or so to see how things are progressing. In the meantime, I’ll be keeping an eye on ongoing issues raised here and elsewhere.
Thank you everyone who signed my petition – all those at the meeting were aware of it and had been on it to look at the comments. So it was a useful exercise!
Two crews from Grantham fire station attended a fire on Valley Road, at about 10.30pm last night.
About 8m of conifer hedging was destroyed together with damage to a wooden shed. E
It was extinguished using two hose reel jets.
Belton House is hosting a charity fashion show on 15 March, to help raise funds for its boathouse restoration. It’s a chance to buy all the latest fashions, for all ages, sizes an occasions.
As part of a year-long campaign to save Belton’s historic boathouse, the National Trust has teamed up with SOS Fashion Shows to stage a fundraising fashion show and will be selling popular high streets labels such as Marks and Spencer, Next and Monsoon at specially discounted rates.
“We held a fashion show last year, and it was so successful, we are having another one this year.” said Emma Lockwood, Boathouse Project Manager “It was great fun and all the ladies not only enjoyed it but managed to treat themselves to many bargains”.
Belton’s boathouse has stood on the banks of the River Witham for over 175 years and is one of only two in existence in the UK. The National Trust started to restore it last summer, as part of the project, we’ll be returning punting to the River Witham for visitors to enjoy this year.
We need to raise £100k to complete the work and are undertaking a number of fundraising activities to achieve that.
The fashion show will take place on Friday 15 March with the doors and bar opening at 6.30pm and the show starting at 7pm. Following the show, there’ll be a chance to rummage through the racks and bag a bargain, all while enjoying a glass of fizz.
Tickets are priced at just £7.50 and available on Belton’s website or by calling 0344 249 1895. Please visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/belton-house/whats-on for more information.
The green light for a new £1.5 million Lincolnshire Co-op store in Grantham has been giving the all clear by South Kesteven planners.
The convenience store will be built on the corner of Springfield Road and Hanbury Avenue, next to Apple Tree nursing home, and is expected to create 15 new jobs.
Work is expected to start at the site this summer and the company plans to open the store in early 2020.
Lincolnshire Co-operative said the idea is to provide a “top-up” shop for local people.
The store will be open from 7am until 10pm seven days a week and include 20 parking spaces.
Matt Wilkinson, Lincolnshire Co-op store development manager, said: “We’re excited to have planning permission to build a food store in the centre of Grantham.
“It’s our first food outlet in the town and will join our busy Grantham Travel branch and Barrowby Gate Pharmacy.
“It will provide lots of valued services from food to go and groceries to chilled beers, wines and meal solutions, along with goods sourced from producers in our Love Local range including Grantham Gingerbread.”
Huntingtower Mini Police spent Valentine’s Day in the best way yesterday – at Newton House Care Home.
They made Valentine’s Day cards for the residents, played dominoes, had a singalong and even listened to a 104 year old resident play the harmonica!
|Free Half term children’s activities being held at Grantham Museum|
On Thursday 21st February Grantham Museum is holding free half term children’s activities to keep the little ones busy in conjunction with the Travel & Tourism students from Grantham College.
Activities such asFlight School – making paper aeroplanes and throwing them through a target to earn points
Sir Isaac Newton paper plates – children can create an image of Sir Isaac Newton to be hung on an apple tree.
Thaumatrope – a Victorian toy which the children will be able to make.We will also have dressing up and our Victorian educational boxes out on display.
There will be two sessions 11am-12:30pm and 2pm – 3:30pm. The sessions are free and parental supervision is required.
South Kesteven District Council is to work with all its partners, including contractors and the police, to help stamp out the scourge of modern slavery.
The new agreement will build on work already under way to make the community safer and will help realise the council’s ambition to make South Kesteven a better place to live, work and visit.
The decision came after presentations to councillors by Det Ch Supt Chris Davison, from Lincolnshire Police, and the council’s own Community Engagement Officer, Carol Drury.
They outlined instances of Modern Slavery in the county, including Operation Pottery, where vulnerable people were held captive working for a controlling family in various locations, one victim for over 20 years. The resulting prosecution saw jail sentences of up to 15 years for 11 defendants.
Cabinet Member for Communities, Wellbeing and Skills, Cllr Jacky Smith said: “This has been an eye opener. What we’ve seen and heard today certainly makes you sit up and think.
“Wherever we are and whatever we are doing, if ever we see or suspect something then we should take note. Better one false report than more wrecked or neglected lives. People should also take the message home to family and friends. If you see something that doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t right.”
Chief Executive Aidan Rave said: “We can’t avoid being shocked by what we have heard today. A safe community is not just the responsibility of the police.
“If our officers see signs and are alert to Modern Slavery, there is more chance of being able to do something about it.
“The council is more than just the jobs we do, it is also about shaping the community. We will communicate this message to staff, not just about modern slavery but about the many things we do to make our community safer.”
Det Ch Supt Chris Davison also welcomed the pledge. “I am heartened by the amount of energy, enthusiasm and willingness to work together,” he said.
South Kesteven District Council’s motion, supported by the Communities and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee, states: “In the spirit of working to do everything within its power to eradicate this and recognising recent changes in the way projects and services may be delivered, the Council resolves to work with contractors, police, and HM Revenue and Customs to deal with instances of modern slavery and to build on its existing Public Statement.
“The Council further undertakes to request the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee review the council’s existing commitments, including those set out in the Equality and Diversity Annual Position Statement 2017 and propose any further recommendations as appropriate.”
OVER £9,000 AWARDED TO HERITAGE PROJECTS IN SOUTH KESTEVEN
InvestSK, South Kesteven District Council’s economic growth and regeneration company, has made the first five awards under its Heritage Alive! funding programme. Grants totalling £9,200 have this week been presented to community groups, charities and places of worship across the district.
The first five groups to receive funding for their projects are: The ChristChurch Community Project, The Lincolnshire Rivers Trust, Grantham Civic Society, Stamford Community Orchard Group and The Lincolnshire Vintage Vehicle Society.
Grantham Civic Society will use their £2,000 grant to carry out a public archaeology project to investigate the former chapel and Eleanor cross which once stood on St. Peter’s Hill.
The ChristChurch Community Project was awarded a £2,000 grant to produce a booklet, a short interpretation film and some displays to explain the history of Finkin Street Methodist Church in Grantham.
The Lincolnshire Rivers Trust will use their £2,500 grant to produce a geocache train and ‘treasure map’ interpreting the history and ecology of the River Witham and how this has been shaped and altered by Grantham’s mills over time.
The Stamford Community Orchard Group was awarded a £2,000 grant to produce botanical drawings of the six variations of apples developed by Brown’s Nurseries in Stamford and Grantham in the 1850’s. The drawings will highlight the loss of traditional apple varieties and encourage the planting and conservation of more local types.
And The Lincolnshire Vintage Vehicle Society will use their £700 grant to fund seven vintage buses to visit Grantham on 14th September for the Heritage Open Day festival, with free trips on the buses being offered around Grantham and the surrounding area.
Chief executive of InvestSK, Steve Bowyer, said: “South Kesteven’s rich heritage is a huge asset to the district. With funding made available through the Council, we’re delighted to support projects that conserve and protect this heritage so it can continue to be enjoyed by visitors and residents for years to come.”
Councillor Matthew Lee, the Leader of South Kesteven District Council, said: “I am delighted to see such a fantastic range of Heritage Alive! awards being made in this first round. These grants provide very practical help to community groups and charities that work tirelessly to conserve South Kesteven’s heritage and I would urge other local groups working within the sector to consider applying for funding too.”
InvestSK’s Heritage Alive! funding programme is designed to celebrate South Kesteven’s built and cultural heritage. Applications can cover a range of projects – from inspiring engagement with local heritage, intervening to protect heritage or making heritage more accessible.
Grants are still available but applications for funding from the current financial year must be submitted by March 16th. For more information and to apply, visit: www.heritagealive.co.uk
Hare coursing reports fall across the county
The number of reports of hare coursing has significantly decreased in Lincolnshire since 2016.
This shows a continued and significant downward trend. This season we have seen 686 incidents reported so far, compared to 1,175 at this point in 2018 and 1,579 in 2017.
Chief Inspector Phil Vickers said: “This has been achieved by close working with our rural communities and partners, having the right equipment available to us and effective coordination through the Force Control Room.
“Lincolnshire Police Rural Crime Team has focused on Prevention of Hare Coursing this season – targeting the offenders who have caused most harm in the past and utilising innovative, legally audacious tactics when appropriate.
“We continue to seize dogs, 76 last season, and retain them until the offence is dealt with at court. We know this prevents offending and is recognised as being the most effective tactic we use.
“We have used Anti-Social Behaviour Legislation to prevent offending and given offenders fair warning of what we are doing.
“We are already working towards the 2019/20 season – Lincolnshire Police is leading on a piece of work with the National Wildlife Crime Unit to coordinate Prevention, Intelligence and Enforcement work across 35 Police force areas and target key offenders.”
For further information on hare coursing visit our advice page https://www.lincs.police.uk/reporting-advice/wildlife-and-rural-crime/hare-coursing/
Please continue to report any suspicious activity in your area by calling 101.
We need to know:
- Area that they are currently located, whether on foot or in a vehicle.
- Person’s descriptions
- Vehicles being used ideally with registration plate no.
- Types of dogs being used.
- Any photos, which show the activity being carried out.