‘Nuisance’ Braunstone Town councillor Amanda Hack re-elected to county council

By Kira Gibson

A councillor who proudly admits to being a bit of a nuisance has been re-elected to represent Braunstone Town on the county council.

Amanda Hack had already been a county councillor for a term and has now begun her second term within the council.

The Labour representative is only one of a small amount of Labour councillors on the mainly Conservative council.

She said: “There’s only four of us out of 55 councillors. Whilst we poll about 20-23 per cent, actually in terms of percentage of councillors we return less than 10 per cent.”

Although Cllr Hack is located in Thorpe Astley, she said she spends a lot of her time building relations within the community of Braunstone as she is also on the Braunstone Town Council.

Councillor Amanda Hack (Labour) for Braunstone Town

When she is in Braunstone, Cllr Hack said she spends her time getting to know her constituents and talking to them whilst doing other things, such as litter picking.

She said: “I will collect litter off the streets in the division I serve, I have a bit of an area that I will do quite regularly. We have a primary and a secondary school that are right next door to each other, and there’s a walkway between the two so I will probably litter pick that every two or three weeks.

“It’s more than just being a volunteer. I am people’s county councillor and I’m a bit of a nuisance and I will talk to people that I see. When I’m doing these kinds of things I will always chat to individuals within the community.

“I find it really important for people to feel that if they know my face, they know that I’m around.”

Alongside her conversations with others during her volunteering, Cllr Hack said she also talks to people during her time doing door knocks. Although this is mostly done during an election campaign, Councillor Hack said she plans to see people regularly in the time prior to the next election.

“Not everybody would do regular door knocks, and that’s not always a feature of all politicians but it’s something that I will try and get out, and at least knock on everybody’s door in a two-year cycle. Being visible is really important to me.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the way that she works, but that hasn’t stopped the door knocking for the election campaign. However, it did mean there was an increase in the amount of people inviting Councillor Hack in for a cup of tea – something that was caused by the loneliness of isolation and being unable to go out and see friends.

In a way to fix this problem, Cllr Hack has requested to the town council that a bench is installed outside the library in Braunstone, specifically for others to meet up and talk, and potentially make friends.

She says: “One of the things I really really wanted after seeing it was a ‘friendly bench’. That’s where you’ve got a bench that sits either side of each other and it encourages people to meet and make friends. I’m really pleased that we’re looking to install a ‘friendly bench’ outside our library.”

The Labour councillor said she aims to spend the next year bringing people together, to try and alleviate the difficulties that the pandemic has left, and the loneliness that people suffer.

Re-elected Leicestershire County Councillor aims to provide welfare to community on the way back to ‘normality’

by Abigail Beresford

In her recent victory in the local elections, Councillor Hilary Fryer said she intends to continue with her crucial focus on the welfare and mental health of children and adults, following the coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Fryer was elected as the Quorn and Sileby West representative following the recent local elections with 1,952 votes, allowing her to continue her service after being previously elected in the 2017 local elections.

“I have won county council twice and was elected to the borough council back in 2003. I was first a borough councillor when I was 28, when I lived back in Surrey, as well,” said Cllr Fryer.

In accordance with the current issues that the community face as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, Ms Fryer said she is determined to help the local community to the best of her ability.

“One of the main things we plan to do is recover from the coronavirus. This has had a huge personal impact,” said Cllr Fryer.

“We won’t know the full impact of the 15-month isolation for another six months, or possibly a year.”

Leicester saw itself in the longest lockdown in the country,

The lack of social interaction has proved to pose an issue in alignment with mental health issues, Cllr Fryer said, and pledged it would be a focus of her party to ensure it helps the community.

“The impact of the 15-month isolation may have an effect on adult social care,” said Ms Fryer.

“A gentleman who lives next door to me who has been socially isolated for 15-months, due to his shielding. Over the months, his health is deteriorating.” 

“However, we don’t know whether this will also have a knock-on effect for children.”

Alongside her responsibilities within the Leicestershire County Council, Ms Fryer is the Chairman of the Children and Families Service, ensuring her support in helping children transition back into normality.

“Children have not had regulated organised education for a year, which will have a large impact on learning and social development. Learning how to socially adapt with their peers will be a very big challenge for them.”

With the easing of lockdown restrictions coming week-by-week, Cllr Fryer said she and the Leicestershire County Council are hoping to provide support for the community in this transition period.

New Lib Dem leader on county council takes his place after Leicestershire elections

By Shantelle Gondo

The Liberal Democrats are currently congratulating their new leader in gaining the highest votes within the De Montfort ward.

Liberal Democrat Michael Mullaney won the Dr Montfort ward

After the Leicestershire County Council elections that occurred on Thursday (MAY06), won overall by the Conservatives, Michael Mullaney was elected with 1,957 votes in the De Montfort ward, and also became the new leader of the Liberal Democrats group on the council.

Mr Mullaney said: “I came first within the De Montfort division elections and the share of the votes went up from last time.

“The elections seemed to go very well despite COVID, people still turned up to vote and it went ahead without too many issues.

“I’m very happy to carry on helping people in Hinckley, I’ve also become leader of the opposition on the county council following the elections, as well as the leader of the Liberal Democrats. 

“This a new opportunity, I’m glad to be to be able to carry on representing Hinckley, there’s a lot of issues that need taking up.

“In particular the fact that Leicestershire gets the lowest funding of any county in the country which needs to be touched upon, which obviously impacts on the equality upon services such as roads and those that people rely on.”

Mr Mullaney said he has had great success in helping the Hinckley community, such as :

  • Saving Hinckley’s Ambulance station when it was threatened with closure
  • He successfully campaigned to save Desford Library when Conservatives County Council threatened to close it
  • He campaigned to keep Mount Road Hospital in Hinckley open, which is threatened with closing down
  • He was involved in the successful campaign to save Barwell Sure Start Children’s Centre when the Conservative County Council wanted to close it
  • Campaigned with local Liberal Democrats and residents to stop the proposed axing of the 159 bus that serves many local villages including Newbold Verdon, Barlestone and Market Bosworth
  • He campaigned for more police on local streets including in rural areas, following big cuts to Leicestershire police under the Tories

For more information visit: Website: http://www.bosworthlibdems.org.uk/ , call : 07576 289910 or email Mr Mullaney on: michaeltmullaney@yahoo.co.uk

Conservative wins Market Harborough East

By Joshua Solomon

Barry Champion has won the seat on the county council for Market Harborough.

The Conservative won the seat for Market Harborough East on the county council after beating Liberal Democrat Sarah Hill by nearly 200 votes.

He succeeds Dr Hill who was first elected in 2005 and won three consecutive elections on the county council for Market Harborough.

Mr Champion is a consultant engineer and has lived in Market Harborough for the last 22 years. He has also served as ward councillor for the last six years.

After listening to residents of Market Harborough East, Mr Champion said he created a manifesto for change that covers a wide range such as Planning, Environment and Covid:19 support.

He said he is committed to help create a safer Market Harborough, one of his main plans being to work hand in hand with the police by investing in speed cameras in the communities, also a £267 million capital programme to improve roads and pavements to make Leicestershire even greener.

There is a heavy focus on making the county green with a promise to plant 700,000 trees which is one for each county resident.

Also, he hopes to create a greener Leicestershire with emissions down by 73% and plans to increase that, with Mr Champion already supporting Harborough Plastic Pledge and other environmental initiatives, such as an increase in public transport and cycling facilities.

Mr Champion also wants a more connected county as he proposes investments into roads and support for vulnerable residents, communities, businesses and local NHS that have been affected by covid:19.

Mr Champion’s manifesto has promised a change in the way the taxpayer’s money is managed, with investments in infrastructure in the county. Also, a heavy focus on improving flood defenses which will entail working with partners to carry out cleaning that will solve the heavily decrease the risk of potential flooding.

He said: “Serving as both your district and county councillor will allow me to represent your views much more effectively through joining up duties of both councils”.

Leicester Neighbourhood Watch launches pet campaign

By Kira Gibson

Neighbourhood Watch in Leicester has today launched a social media campaign for protecting pets.

The campaign is called ‘PROTECT YOUR POOCH’ and will run online from today (May 17) till May 30.

One of the images that accompany the pet campaign

It has been set up in response to the ever-growing worries of pet theft in Leicestershire.

The campaign aims to make pets “SECURE, IN SIGHT and SEARCHABLE” and to make pet theft a specific criminal offence.

Along with emails being sent regarding the campaign, people are asked to share posters and social media posts regarding the campaign to raise awareness and encourage others to sign a petition or contact their local MP.

On May 27 at 5pm there will be a dog theft webinar held by Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne about the campaign and why it is needed.

The Sussex PCC conducted a survey of 124,729 people and of those surveyed, 22 per cent have either had a dog stolen or knew someone who had their dog stolen.

According to the Pet Reform campaign, only one per cent of all cases of dog theft in recent years have led to a prosecution.

The campaign looks to change the current restrictions on dog theft, as they are currently classed as ‘property’ under the Theft Act 1968.

To find out more about the campaign, please go to www.ourwatch.org.uk/protectyourpooch or click here to sign the petition.