#MarchToLeave Campaign is heading to Leicester

By Beatriz Abreu Ferreira

The national campaign #MarchToLeave will be coming to Leicester on Monday (MAR25).

The national campaign started out from Sunderland on Saturday with the target of arriving in Parliament Square, London, at around 4pm on Friday next week.

Leave Means Leave’s Facebook page reads: “Leave Means Leave for the County of the West Mids (Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell, Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull, Walsall, Sutton Coldfield) is a branch of the national Leave Means Leave movement.

“Leave Means Leave is the leading cross-party campaign for a clean, swift exit from the European Union. In response to two years of delays to the Brexit process, we are restarting the Leave campaign to ensure the British people get what they voted for in June 2016.

“The Government must chuck their Chequers proposal – which if delivered would amount to Brexit in name only – and instead seize the opportunities of a World Trade Deal.”

Pete Durnell, administrator of the Facebook page Leave Means Leave – West Midlands County, will be participating in the march from Beeston to Cropston on Sunday and from Leicester to Oakham on Monday.

Durnell said that the organisation is expecting 100 people to the participate on the whole 200-mile route, but more people will be joining them along the way, although he admitted the complex way that it’s been organised might make it harder for people to find them.

 

City Council to increase number of staff on homelessness prevention team

By Emily Rooney

An increase in families needing the help of Leicester’s homelessness prevention team has been attributed to benefit changes and high private rents.

The recent increase in demand for Leicester City Council’s homelessness prevention services has prompted the council to hire new staff, BBC Radio Leicester revealed this morning.

The team prevented 4000 households, mostly families, from becoming homeless last year.

In the Council’s Homelessness Strategy 2018-2023 report, Councillor Andy Connelly (Assistant City Mayor- Housing) said “We and our partners have made progress in improving homelessness prevention, and for those where homelessness is not prevented provide quality services.”

As well as the Council’s budget falling, on a like for like basis, from £358 million in 2010/11 to £294 million for 2019/20, spending on social care has increased, so spending on all other Council services will fall from £192 million to, around £102 million.

Despite these huge budget cuts, the Homelessness Strategy report says: “At the time of writing this strategy the council has invested approximately £5.6 million a year in housing-related services for people who are homeless and threatened with homelessness.”

As well as this, Councillor Connelly said of the work of the homelessness prevention team: “This has been achieved in a context of reduced funding and increasing numbers of people seeking assistance when they are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

“However, we know that we can still do more and this strategy sets out the actions we will take to help prevent even more people from becoming homeless and increase the support for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.”

A homelessness review was carried out in the city in 2017, which consulted with local people and people involved in delivering services for homeless and at risk people, and it found that while homelessness preventions have increased, access to support and information could be improved, and home ownership and rental is an increasing issue due to rents rising faster than inflation.

Actress Seyi Omooba leaves The Colour Purple show after online outrage

By Beatriz Abreu Ferreira

The Curve theatre has announced that the actress Seyi Omooba will be leaving The Colour Purple show after online outrage related to a homophobic post from 2014 that recently surfaced on Twitter.

Seyi Omooba was playing a LGBTQ character in the show which will be performed at The Curve and the Birmingham Hippodrome.

Both theatres have expressed on their Twitter page that the views shared in her post do not reflect the views of the venues.

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The post, in which the actress expressed that she did not believe that “homosexuality is right” or that “you can be born gay”, was recently shared on Twitter by Aaron Lee Lambert who is part of the Hamilton West End musical.

He wrote: “Do you still stand by this post? Or are you happy to remain a hypocrite?”

In a press release, the Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome stated that the decision was supported by the Authors and the Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

The actress has not yet commented on this decision or the online criticism.

However, some people have argued that Omooba should not be punished based on an old post which may not reflect her present views.

Gabriel Alves, student at the University of Westminster, said: “It’s unfair because it’s old, I hope that her perspective has changed since then…”

Drake to host after party in Leicester nightclub

By Erik Dawson

Four-time Grammy Award winner Drake will be hosting an official concert after-party at Club Republic nightclub on Thursday (MAR28).

The Canadian rapper is set to appear at Leicester’s biggest nightclub after his sold-out show at the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham.

However, on February 23 2017 Drake was set to appear at Club Republic after the Birmingham show of his ‘Boy Meets World’ tour but didn’t show up due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’. Despite this, he was seen only hours later in a Co-op store in Walsall.

People who bought tickets for the event two years ago paid between £40 and £1000 and following the cancellation there were complaints from punters who struggled to get a refund.

Some people are understandably sceptical of the announcement, including Sam, a history student who won’t be buying a ticket.

“After he no showed last time I’m not willing to spend the money on a ticket, so I’ll be giving it a miss,” he said.

Republic assures people who have bought tickets or are thinking of attending that it will be worth it.

A spokesman for the club said that Drake is “100 per cent confirmed for one hour” and in the event that Drake does not show, the clubs ticket partner Fatsoma states that the promoter, ‘The Project UK’ have agreed for “ticket monies to be refunded.”

The event is already looking to be a sell-out, with the super early bird, early bird and first release tickets already sold. You can buy tickets on www.clubrepublictickets.com or through the Fatsoma website or app.

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Photo from Club Republic’s website.

Leicestershire schools take part in ‘The Great Big School Clean’

By Adam Dutton

Schools in Leicestershire will be taking part in a month long litter clean up campaign starting today (MAR22).

Over 2,000 students from 35 schools around the Leicestershire area have organised a mass clean up, which is set to span for an entire month.

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Lee Jowett, environmental education coordinator at Leicester City Council said: “We are really pleased to be involved in this exciting project which is raising awareness of litter across Leicester.

“Through this process, students have been fully engaged as to why litter is such a big problem and to reduce litter in and around their community.”

The project is led by the city council’s Eco-Schools scheme, which has over 100 schools in Leicester already as members.

Jowett added: “We are looking forward to seeing the total of litter that has been collected. The hope is that there is a long term impact from this change and not just a one-off.

“You can’t underestimate the impact of picking up litter yourself has on our outlook on litter.”

The scheme is expected to last from Friday (MAR22) to April 23.