Gym closure angers members

By Kiran Bedder-Patel

A member of the Beauchamp Gym is angry and questions the decision over the closure after it was announced that the gym is to shut down in two weeks’ time.

Sean De Silva, 22, has been a member of the gym since 2012 and believes the decision is rash and is ‘quite appalled’.
He said; “This is the closest gym to me, it is local and very appealing and just does the job for me so I’m not sure what I’m going to do next.”

 

The Oadby-based gym is joined alongside the Beauchamp college and has been open since 2006.

With a dedicated weight room and 12 treadmills alongside a fitness studio, Sean says he is confused on the closure.
Sean adds; “Some of these people I have known for years come here, I used to go college here, people who went university come back to train together. The decision is bad.”

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Beauchamp gym is due to close in two weeks.

 

Cinema’s new craze

By Charlie Bourne

Ian Hunter picture

Ian Hunter

While the traditional, serial way of making sequels is still alive and well, recent years has seen story telling expand by creating universes using related stories to fill in the missing pieces of a bigger picture.

Giants like Marvel, DC and Disney have all had their own shot at this.

To understand more on this new cinema trend, film academics James Russell and Ian Hunter from the Leicester Media school explained more.

Ian said: “One trend within cinema this year is tying all those sequels together into these big hypodiegetic universes.

“Before there was Superman, Superman 2 and after that Superman 3, now with all the Marvel ones and so one there all tied in to one big universe.”

James said: “I think that’s certainly the way film producers would like to go.

“Kevin Feige (President of Marvel Studios) changed Marvel’s business model from selling the license to adapt their comics and decided to adapt them their selves, which is quite an ambitious thing to do and their shared universe came out of that.

“Now even characters like Doctor Strange and Black Panther – who are both very minor comic books characters – can introduced, developed and then have their own films released that can prove very successful.

“Others would like to do that but it’s very difficult to get those off the ground.

“Transformers are trying this, there is a Bumblebee movie coming out soon, and Fast and Furious are as well.”

Aside from the successes of Marvel and Disney, with their recent spin off launches from the Star Wars universe, other film production companies haven’t had their respective universe reach the same heights.

James said: “Universal wanted to make a universe of gothic monster films called the dark universe starting with a rebooted version of The Mummy, even though that was moderately successful it’s not enough to spark a franchise.

“DC have been successful by any measure except from when you compare them with Marvel where they haven’t been and they’re on a downward trend.”

But if some companies have struggled, why is the appeal to create these universes so hot right now?

Ian said: “It’s a way of managing audiences in relationship to the movie, so why do adapt a novel? People may have heard of the novel, it has proven its place on the marketplace and it’s a ready made story so your cutting down your chances of really fouling out, and it’s the same for sequels and remakes.

“It’s repetition of difference. So you make something that’s similar to what audiences know but slightly different, it helps package things in a way that is easier to sell.

“If you look at the Alien series there is loads of spin offs on all different forms of media, which maximises the profit you can make from a particular property,”

James said: “It makes financial planning easier, it’s a more stable way to bring out films and instead of bringing new ones afresh there is always one in the pipe line.

The film industry is an extremely intensive and expensive industry, so the need for big budget films to generate as much profit as possible is obviously crucial to production companies.

Sequels and remakes of older films are usually safer ways to help avoid cinema flops. However, when adapting beloved comics or remaking films that boast huge fan followings, judging the films success artistically can create division within viewers.

James said: “If you look at what DC have done, there are some hard-core fans who love what Zac Synder did and others find the depiction of the characters quite offensive.

“The Solo film that’s out soon has had a very difficult production, we had some work with Pinewood while that was going on. Someone was saying to me that they shot a scene and someone was wearing a cowboy hat, Bob Iger the head of Disney came over and watched the rushes and said I don’t like that hat.

 

“Think of the number of people that have chosen that hat, yet they had to go back and reshoot it. You can’t please everyone, and it’s the same with audiences.”

Discontent with remakes and sequels of films with big fan following, like the mixed reviews The Last Jedi attracted, may simply be because audiences and fans are looking at the film in different ways.

Ian said: “Fans are different from audiences. Star Wars is a kids film, the new trilogy is not aimed at people like me who saw the original film when it first came out, it’s different audiences.

“So what fans think doesn’t always carry over into what mass audiences think about films as they’re often looking for different things and general audiences might not be so worried about whether the film is accurate or if they got certain things wrong or right, comparing to what he fans think.”

With the film industry seemingly producing sequels at an increasing rate successful films are rarely one offs, but with the new trend of shared universes being adopted by multiple companies, it shall be interesting how new projects perform at the box office over the coming year.

Now Universal Credit has rolled out in Leicester, do you know what you need to do to apply?

By Charlie Bourne

Job Centre Plus picture

JobCentrePlus opening hours

A new benefit known as Universal Credit was rolled out to Leicester applicants last Wednesday, 13th June, which will change how nearly 20,000 people may receive benefits.

Rolled out by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) through Jobcentre Plus, Universal Credit is a single monthly payment for people out of work or on a low income that will replace six existing benefits, these are:

What UC is replacing

One of the biggest challenges that comes with applying for Universal Credit, is that it could be more complex depending on an applicant’s circumstance.

Caroline Jackson, Head of Revenues & Customer Support at Leicester City Council, said: “This process is going to be different for a child leaving care, for someone who is homeless and for someone who may have just lost their job.

“The most important thing is if you need extra support, you must inform your Jobcentre. There is no point saying you can cope if you can’t, you must let them know so they can help.”

There has been criticism of the Universal Credit benefit, as it can take up to six weeks to process into bank accounts after the application is finished, sometimes leaving people with little money to spend.

Leicester City Council can offer more support for this issue, Universal Credit applicants can apply for advance payment for a short-term financial boost but this will have to be paid back over the first 12 months of your UC claim.

As applicants need to apply online, Leicester City Council has been working with the DWP to provide “online inclusion” for those who struggle to use computers or may not have online access at home.

Mrs Jackson added: “We’ve been working for two years to make sure enough support is in place for those transitioning to Universal Credit.

“There are community centres and libraries that people can use to apply online so people without online access can still apply.

“Also, there are Universal Credit champions dotted around the city to help people who may already be competent with the internet, but if they have lost a job the pressure that comes with the uncertainty of that can make applying difficult.”

The table below lists the libraries and other free PCs that can be found around the city, these can be used to apply for Universal Credit. You may need to register with a library before booking an appointment.

Locations of free PCs for UC story

Information for Leicester community centres

A report focusing on the impact of tax and welfare reforms, known as the The Equality and Human Rights Commission research report, has found evidence to suggest that a range of people “will be significantly adversely impacted by the reforms.”

The table below shows the average loss per year of each group as a result of tax and benefit changes. (Information gathered from a Leicester City Council document. Weblink: http://www.cabinet.leicester.gov.uk:8071/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=93694).

Average loss screen shot

The biggest losses of income concern households with a disabled child or disabled adult.

Furthermore, the report suggests ethnic minority households will be more adversely impacted than white households, average losses for black households are around 5% less of net income per year.

For more information concerning Universal Credit, visit leicester.gov.uk online.

 

Health agencies and academics come together to improve the care of older people in Leicestershire

By Elliot Leadbetter

Health agencies and academics across Leicestershire and Rutland are working on a joint project to improve the care and treatment given to the elderly.

The Leicester Academy for the Study of Ageing (LASA) is a collaborative project between the University of Leicester, De Montfort University, the University Hospitals of Leicester and the Leicestershire Partnership trust, along with Age UK.

The aim of LASA is to co-ordinate research that focuses on individual elderly people to take into account all their needs when at the moment they may be getting support from separate agencies. This includes not just their physical health issues, but their mental health as well.

Chairman of the group, Professor Simon Conroy from the University of Leicester, said: “We are going to really try and improve outcomes for older people.

“The way we are going to do that is through developing the capacity and competence of LLR, by bringing in or nurturing existing staff and people within the area to be better equipped with the knowledge, skills and behaviours to care for older people.”

Another key member of the group, Katie Bell, research assistant at De Montfort University (DMU), added: “The aim of the groups is to provide advice and guidance to academics and professionals working on projects or strategic change within older adult care.

“We are inviting researchers or professionals to submit their proposed or current work in relation to research into older people for review to receive advice and guidance on their design and methodology.

“Projects that gain support from LASA are allocated a sponsor from each of the forums who will guide the project at all stages of its development.”

Pic for video package

LASA won £1500 prize money last year for their work upskilling those with caring responsibilities

The health care system in the UK is often praised for the way in which it deals with individual problems; however, older people can frequently possess more than one, such as dementia and mobility troubles.

LASA is striving to improve the way in which the existing services battle with these issues, bringing together a community of experts.

Professor of Older Peoples Health and Social Care at DMU, and the newly appointed Chair of LASA, Kay de Vries is an active researcher in the fields of end of life, old age and dementia care.

She gave an example of the work LASA is beginning to put into place.

“We will establish a Dementia Research Group under the auspices of LASA and be seeking funding for a number of dementia research projects that are as yet underdeveloped.

“We have recruited one PhD student, full-time, who will be associated with the LASA team and funded by Dementia UK.”

With regards to research for the older community, there is a large scope for change in the LLR area and more specifically what we can expect from LASA.

Infographic for video package

Number of people aged 65+ in 2010 compared to predicted 2030 figure

Professor Simon Conroy is confident of the impact LASA can have, adding: “I think there is a huge scope for change.

“Historically older people have not really been involved in clinical trials and research more generally and have often been excluded from studies, so therefore remain under-researched.

“Often we don’t know how a drug or certain treatment might work in the older population. There’s certainly an assumption it will be the same as in younger age groups but actually we don’t know that, so there’s huge opportunities.

Since LASA was founded in 2016, huge steps towards improved care for older people have been made, which motivates Simon for what the future holds.

He added: “From an idea and a vision, we’ve actually started doing some good work now and were looking forward to moving it to the next level.