New byelaw goes ahead

A new byelaw is soon to be made to give police new powers to crackdown on people urinating and defecating in public areas of Ilkeston and Long Eaton town centres.
 
Erewash Borough councillors unanimously gave the green light to progress the making of the new law at a meeting of the Full Council on Thursday (9 March).
 
Residents were asked for their views on bringing the new byelaw into force during a widespread consultation last year and there was overwhelming support for the move.
 
Urinating or defecating in public is a problem in many town centres across the country – usually at night and weekends as revellers leave pubs and nightclubs and use shop doorways, alleyways and other areas as ‘toilets’.
 
Police currently have only limited powers but the new byelaw will make the behaviour a criminal offence and anyone caught will face a fine of up to £500. The council’s neighbourhood wardens will also support police officers in enforcing the byelaw.
 
Councillor Carol Hart, Erewash Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Community Engagement, says:
 
“We don’t have a major problem in our town centres, but when it does happen it is obviously totally unacceptable. The respectable majority have great pride for their town and I really do feel for the shopkeepers, businesses and our own council teams that have to clear up such disgusting mess. There was overwhelming support for action and this byelaw will help and will hopefully serve as a deterrent.”
 
The council must now publish a notice of the making of the byelaw locally and on its website and written representations can be made during a set time frame of not less than 28 days.
 
It is hoped that the byelaw will be in place by the summer and signs will be put up in the two town centres informing the public that it is in force.
 

Council tax decision expected

A recommendation that Erewash Borough Council raises its share of council tax for 2017/18 by £5 a year will go before councillors at a budget-setting meeting this week (Thursday 9 March).
 
If agreed, it will mean that the council’s charge for a Band D property in Erewash will increase by 2.9% to £175.91 – a rise which works out at just 9p a week. 
 
Only 11% of the total council tax bill goes towards paying for Erewash Borough Council services. Council tax payers also have to pay an amount for Derbyshire County Council, Derbyshire Constabulary, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and Parish Councils – Erewash Borough Council has no control over the charges set by these organisations.
 
The recommended increase comes as the borough council continues to work hard to find further savings and put in place plans to increase income as part of its future budget planning. The council has already identified a total of £660,000 of efficiency savings for next year and needs to find a further £1.8m by 2020.
 
Councillor Wayne Major, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Resources, says:
 
“We are doing everything in our power to make substantial efficiency savings and reduce our reliance on central government funding while, at the same time, protecting and maintaining our front line services wherever possible.
 
“The next few years are going to be extremely challenging due to the national efforts to balance the country’s finances - but we will continue to work hard at balancing our budget and we remain proud to be a council that is debt free.”
 
The Full Council meeting will be held at Ilkeston Town Hall on Thursday 9 March at 7pm.

Show some love for Victoria Park!

Residents will be able to have a heartfelt day of family fun when this month’s Valentine’s Day is marked with a ‘Love Your Park’ celebration at Ilkeston’s Green Flag winning Victoria Park.
 
A drumming workshop, live DJ music and face painting are among the activities on offer for the free family event on Tuesday 14 February – which falls in the school half term holiday.
 
A ‘Swap Shop Table’ will also be on offer during the day – with the event running between 11am and 3pm – so families can take along toys and items they no longer want to see if they can swap them.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“What better way to show your pride and love for the wonderful Victoria Park than by joining us for this activity-packed event on the perfect ‘date’ - Valentine’s Day!”
 
Victoria Park’s Community Ranger Helen Mitchem organises a wide variety of activities within the park as part of the wider heritage project that is taking place. The council secured £740,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund for the restoration of its key features, including the bandstand, bowls pavilion and the provision of impressive new entrance gates.
 

Full steam ahead as Erewash MP names the date for new station opening

Erewash MP Maggie Throup is delighted to announce that trains will begin stopping at Ilkeston’s new railway station on Sunday 2nd April 2017, with an official opening expected to follow later in the summer.
 
The details were today confirmed to Ms Throup in an email from Network Rail and will come as welcome news to the people of Ilkeston who have waited over 50 years to be reconnected to the railway. 
 
The new £10 million station project was made possible because of a £6.6 million Government infrastructure investment package administered through the New Stations Fund.
 
Announcing the date, Maggie said: 
 
“I am delighted that at long last we finally have a firm date for passenger trains to begin operating to and from Ilkeston’s new station.
 
“The station will not only transform the way local people travel, but will undoubtedly give a significant boost to the local economy and attract new business to the area.
 
“Sunday 2nd April 2017 will be a historic day in the life of our town as we finally cast off the dubious title ‘the largest town in Britain without a station’, and I for one cannot wait to be on that first passenger train as it pulls into Ilkeston Junction after an interval of over 50 years.
 
“This investment by the Conservative Government demonstrates the commitment we have made to improving Britain’s aging railway infrastructure. However I now want to see even more investment to make sure we connect the station up with the rest of the town to maximise the benefits.”