Prince Charles and Camilla visit Leicester city centre

By Beatriz Ferreira and Adam Dutton

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited Leicester Market today.

The royal couple arrived at 1.35pm, just as brief flurries of snow started to fall, where they met stallholders, members of the Shama Women’s Centre charity and from Barnardos.

A Shama centre spokesperson said: “Our work is all about empowerment of women to help them feel confident with themselves, make new friends and achieve social and economic success. I’m absolutely delighted that the Royal couple is coming to meet us and recognise the work that we do.”

The VIP manager of Barnardos said: “We are celebrating Leicester today! It is a great city! We’re from the UK’s largest and oldest children’s charity, and this is a good opportunity for us because the Duchess of Cornwall is our Patron.”

As they walked through to the marketplace, Camilla said: “it’s a bit cold.”

When opening the newly named The Green Dragon Square, Prince Charles said: “It’s a special occasion to visit Leicester. I apologise for keeping you from your shopping in your splendid Leicester Market.”

Alongside the Sharma charity visit, Prince Charles and Camilla spoke to Peter Barrett, great grandson of Leicester suffragette Alice Hawkins, as they viewed her statue in the square. 

Earlier, he said: “I’m excited, I’m here with my sister Sue. We’ll be meeting Prince Charles and Camilla in just over an hour’s time. It’s my great grandmother Alice Hawkins, the statue we see here. So, we have been invited to meet the Royal couple as part of today’s event.  It’s very exciting. I’ve never met the Royals before, absolutely not. He may be the future King of England that we’re meeting today. It’s a very special day.”

Charles and Camilla visited several places around the city and the county, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joining them for a visit to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) at Stanford Hall near Loughborough.

Leicester aims to increase uptake of low emission public transport

By Molly Kerridge

The government unveiled a £50m plan to create the country’s first all-electric bus town, but several cities have already taken their own steps to reduce their carbon footprint.

Buses are currently the fourth biggest contributor to carbon emissions, behind domestic and long-haul flights and single person car journeys.

However, in 2015, Leicester City Council proposed a plan to increase the uptake of Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) with a five-year programme funded by the council and the Office of Low Emission Vehicles.

The council set the target to introduce 10,000 new low emission vehicles in the city by April 2021.

Department for Transport figures show that from 2018-19, 2,964 low emission vehicles were introduced in the city of Leicester, as well as 6,956 across Leicestershire.

The proposal from the city council said the vision for Leicester is ‘to be the most forward, sustainable and environmental city in Britain and Europe’.

The city council also aims to transform people’s quality of life by reducing dangerous gases in the air produced by carbon emissions from cars and buses.

Video: Shama Women’s Centre members meet Camilla

By Erik Dawson and Alexander Hodgkins-Jones

Members of the Shama Women’s Centre met the Duchess of Cornwall at a royal visit to Leicester Market today (FEB 11).

The women’s advocacy group were invited to have a stall in the market today, in which they showcased a range of products made in the centre, including baskets, jewellery and embroidery.

Shama Women’s Centre was founded in 1985 by a group of women from Leicester with the aim of empowering local women from different backgrounds to become socially, educationally and economically active.

Members of the Shama Women’s Centre in Leicester Market today

They do this by providing counselling, childcare and opportunities to complete courses in areas such as customer services, business administration and IT skills.

Henna Patel, a member of the centre, said: “I feel very privileged that Prince Charles and Camilla have come to see our charity.”

Camilla visited the market with Prince Charles today, and stopped to talk at the centre’s stall.

Henna said: “I haven’t slept all night; I’ve been quite excited to meet someone important.”

Yasmin Nathani MBE, Chair of Shama Women’s Centre, was pleased about how much Camilla supported the charity.

“She commented on the fact that we do a fantastic job, and she was saying that the work we do is very good so the visit was really positive.”

The women’s centre is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, and has invited Camilla to join its celebrations.

Khudeja Amer-Sharif, the Head Co-ordinator of the organisation said: “She (Camilla) told us to write to her office, so hopefully she will take up that opportunity.”

Tigers forward scores winning try for England

By James Wynn

Leicester Tigers prop Ellis Genge scored England’s only try as they beat Scotland 13-6 at Murrayfield to win the Calcutta Cup.

The seven point victory was England’s first of the 2020 Six Nations campaign, and meant that England won the annual trophy for the first time since 2017.

Out of the five Tigers players to make England’s Six Nations squad, only George Ford and Jonny May started the match.

Genge came on as a 57th substitute to score the try, with his teammate Ben Youngs entering the field two minutes later.

Centre Manu Tuilagi is currently suffering a groin injury.

Talk by Jack Monroe to take place at DMU tonight

By Emily Rooney

As part of the celebrations for LGBT+ history month at De Montfort University, Jack Monroe is preparing to talk to the students at the university later on this evening in collaboration with DMU Women and DMU Pride.

Monroe is a food writer, journalist and anti-poverty campaigner who first appeared in the public eye through the blog “A Girl Called Jack” (now renamed Cooking on a Bootstrap), and has also made appearances on national television to discuss poverty and food.

Their most recent book Veganish highlights plant-based recipes that are low-cost to make, and emphasises that even if you only incorporate a few more plant-based meals each week, the impact on the environment, as well as the cost of your weekly shop, would go down.