Leicester gym chains to freeze payments during Coronavirus outbreak

By Samuel Gill

Gym chains were one of the latest to close this past Friday (MAR20) alongside pubs, leisure centres, clubs, theatres, cinemas and restaurants in new measures announced by Boris Johnson in order to tackle COVID-19 also known as Coronavirus.

This led to potential worry from customers due to the amount of time that the pandemic could last and as a result, gym chains taking money from customers still during this.

These worries have been confounded though with many of the large chains committed to pausing members’ payments including PureGym which has two locations in Leicester (St Georges Way and Walnut Street).

When gyms reopen, payments will be credited by any outstanding amount from their current subscription and classes/workouts will be launched on their app.

Other chains to announce this move include Virgin Active, David Lloyd Clubs, The Gym and Fitness First with many helping customers out in these uncertain times.

The Cookie set to close amid Coronavirus outbreak

By Samuel Gill

The Cookie in Leicester is the latest venue to close it’s doors amid the Coronavirus outbreak as the music industry becomes one of the big losers in the global pandemic.

Based in the High Street, it acts as a bar and a gig venue, very popular for seeing up and coming acts with the likes of Tom Grennan and DMA’s among others previously gracing the stage in its basement.

Many venues not only in this city but across the country have either closed their doors until further notice, like the Cookie, or just are taking it gig by gig after the Government’s advice to ban mass gatherings.

The venue released the following statement earlier today urging their customers to follow the advice given to them regarding the virus.

“It’s with great sadness that under the current government guidelines, we must close The Cookie until further notice.

As always the safety and health of staff, customers and artists is of the upmost importance. This incredibly difficult decision has not been made lightly.

We hope this closure will be short lived and we can welcome you back very soon. We strongly encourage you to follow the advice of Public Health Officials and as always we appreciate your support during this difficult time for all.”

With such gigs as October Drift and Wide Eyed Festival to come in the next few months, the venue have also been quick to say that all ticket holders will be contacted about a ticket shift or a refund.

Storm Dennis causes widespread disruption across Leicestershire

By Harry Shellard

Storm Dennis hit the county in devastating fashion at the weekend with a number of floods breaking out across Leicestershire.

Storm Dennis is the latest storm to hit Leicester and is making a similar impact to the previous week’s Storm Ciara.

Gusts of wind up to 60mph and thundery downpours have resulted in severe floods, with some roads being completely blocked and submerged.

This caused huge travel issues across the county with trainlines being flooded and many flights being cancelled at East Midlands Airport, causing havoc for passengers leaving the country and on returning flights.

Last week’s Storm Ciara had only recently passed and the onslaught of treacherous weather has taken its toll.

A total of 27 flood warnings have been issued in Leicester, with Sileby being one of the worst areas affected.

Loughborough MP Jane Hunt described the flood to BBC Radio Leicester as “The worst it’s been for a long time.”

Ms Hunt had meetings with local authorities and emergency services about the high flood risk in the area a few weeks prior. After visiting the most affected parts of Sileby on Sunday, Ms Hunt is launching an investigation into the matter.

The task to clear up the destruction of the immense storm will continue this week with the help of emergency services and the Leicestershire and Rutland 4X4 response team.

The remainder of the week is set to be much calmer, but the rain and wind will inevitably return by Friday.

Jo Brand set for De Montfort Hall benefit gig

By Samuel Gill

Jo Brand will be involved in a benefit gig tomorrow night (WEDFEB19) at De Montfort Hall for the Leicester Comedy Festival.

Tickets are priced at £25 with limited tickets still available for the show which also includes special guests Arthur Smith, Hal Cruttenden and Phil Nichol.

All of them are well known on the circuit and have multiple TV appearances on such shows as Live at the Apollo to their name.

Click here to buy tickets for this special gig which is bound to be packed full of laughs.

Spotted Markfield sees rise in claims of suspicious activity around the area

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By Harry Shellard

Spotted Markfield has seen a rise in posts warning of suspicious individuals following people home from around the area.

Claims have come from Markfield, as well as neighbouring villages Thornton and Bagworth, with the suspicion that it isn’t just coincidental and could be of a more sinister nature than first hoped.

19-year-old nurse and caregiver Ellie-Mae Gratton, from neighbouring village Thornton, was followed home from Coalville McDonalds last week.

She was in the car with her 16-year-old sister when her younger sibling spotted something suspicious.

A vehicle was tailgating Ellie’s car and flashing its lights, she recalled how confused and anxious she was.

“I felt very nervous, the car behind me was driving very aggressively which made me speed up so he wouldn’t crash into me. I was more worried about my little sister being in the car because I didn’t want her to be in any danger.”

“My sister kept asking me why we were being followed and she started to panic, I was in a mindset where I couldn’t really think about the situation, I just had to get us both home safely.”

She was followed all the way to her home, where she and her sister ran inside for safety. The car then quickly turned around and sped off.

She was unable to get the registration of the car or get a clear sight of the driver’s face, so she decided not to go to the police.