Gnome News Is Good News!

Ilkeston’s newest roundabout is now officially called Gnome Island after Erewash Borough Council’s Planning Committee gave its backing to the name last night (Wednesday).

The official name for the Nottingham Road traffic island was gnome-inated by local residents in a fun campaign that led to more than 500 people signing an e-petition that was submitted to the council.

The traffic island, alongside the Morrisons superstore, has been a major talking point in the town and captured the imagination of locals when gnomes started to appear on the roundabout.

As the campaign gathered pace, an Ilson Gnome Facebook page and Twitter account  were set up – and both were busy all yesterday as followers turned to social media ahead of last night’s meeting to tweet and post their support with a #voteYESfor GnomeIsland thread.

Councillor Geoffrey Smith, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Regeneration and Planning, says:

“From this gnome-ment on, the traffic island won’t have to resort to a Gnome de Plume but will have an official name. This has been one of the more light-hearted items we have had to deal with and it has been fun – not least to see the creative gnome puns that have been doing the rounds! As to who is behind them all . . . maybe we need to set Sherlock Gnomes on the case!”

Ilkeston currently now has three roundabouts which already have ‘street names’, the other two being White Lion Square and Rutland Square.

Can You Vote In This Year Of The Treble?

Erewash residents are being urged to make it a New Year resolution to ensure they are registered to vote – with 2015 seeing an election hat trick!

Voters will go to the polls on Thursday 7 May for three elections – the General Election, Erewash Borough Council election and the Parish Council elections.

It is quick and easy to register online, with residents only needing their date of birth and National Insurance number to ensure they have the right to vote. Visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Councillor Carol Hart, Erewash Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Community Engagement, says:

“The right to vote is an important and precious thing, it gives us all a chance to have our say and that is why our New Year message is clear – please ensure you are properly registered. This is a big year for elections and the countdown to the 7 May is already underway, so please take action now.”

A new and more secure system of registering to vote was introduced nationally last year. Called
Individual Electoral Registration (IER), the new system means that everyone old enough to vote has to take the responsibility to ensure they are on the voting register. It replaces the previous system, where the ‘head of the household’ could register everyone living in a property.

Most voters have registered online, but residents can email the council’s elections team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or telephone 0115 907 1190 to request a form by post.
For more details on IER visit www.gov.uk/yourvotematters

One Hour Free Parking In Erewash

Free one-hour parking in selected car parks comes into force on 5th January as part of Erewash Borough Council’s six month trial to further boost town centre regeneration.
 
The 60p one hour charge has been abolished in 11 car parks in Ilkeston – East Street, Baker Street, Chapel Street, Pimlico, Station Road, Wilton Place, Albion Centre, Albion Centre extension, Club Row, Queen Street and South Street.
 
In Long Eaton, the town centre car parks on Claye Street, Gibb Street, Beaconsfield Street, Lawrence Street and the lower Town Hall are in the scheme.
 
Councillors agreed to run the one hour free parking as a pilot until Sunday 28 June in the busiest town centre car parks and the scheme will replace the free 30-minute bays that have previously been available.
 
Shoppers can park in any of the bays in the car parks offering the free parking at any time of the day but must obtain a ticket from the pay and display machine by pressing the green button. The free ticket will give the expiry time and this must be clearly displayed in the vehicle. 
 
Councillor Barbara Harrison, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Environment, says:
 
“We are delighted to start the New Year with this very positive move that we know has already been welcomed by both traders and residents alike. We see this as a major step in our continued drive to support our town centres and it follows discussions with local businesses, the Chamber of Trade and local residents who felt that an increased period of free parking would be beneficial.
 
“This council will continue to do all it can to help with the wider regeneration of Ilkeston and Long Eaton town centres – but we hope this key offer will encourage more residents to show their support for their town. Over the six months we will be asking traders to help us monitor the impact and see if it does make a difference.”
 
The launch of the free one-hour parking follows the popular FREE-cember promotion which saw the council offer free 24-hour parking in all its car parks throughout December.
 
Residents should note that it is the 60p tariff that has been abolished – if someone wants to park for two hours or more then they must pay those rates in full.

Scheme To Combat Crime In Town Centres Is Boosted By Digital Upgrade To Equipment

A scheme to help retailers in Ilkeston and Long Eaton combat crime and keep their customers safe has been upgraded using the latest digital technology.
 
Enterprise agency Erewash Partnership set up the innovative Radio Link scheme in 1999.  Now it has been upgraded from analogue to state-of-the-art digital equipment to make the town centres more secure.

The scheme involves shops, the police, town centre wardens and is linked to closed circuit television. Regular meetings are held with those taking part to share information and experiences.
 
It has a two-fold purpose. Participating businesses can alert others to any criminal or anti-social activity in an area and hopefully prevent more trouble. It can also be used to alert traders about lost children so that they can be quickly re-united with parents/carers to ease a stressful situation.
 
Partnership member Zycomm  Electronics of Ripley has supplied the latest digital two-way radios (walkie-talkies) and new digital base stations in each town.
 
Managing director Ruth Nixon said “We have worked closely with the Partnership to ensure that the new equipment has been programmed and configured with its requirements and to provide coverage in both Long Eaton and Ilkeston.”
 
The new equipment provides better reception to enhance radio network security and give better reception in all areas. The radios have special features, including text messaging, emergency button, and caller display.
 
The new equipment cost many thousands of pounds and has been shared between the Partnership for Long Eaton and the borough council for Ilkeston.
 
Councillor Chris Corbett, leader of Erewash Borough Council, said the authority was delighted to fund the improvements to the scheme in Ilkeston.
 
“We feel that the system makes a real difference to the viability of the shops in the town centre by helping fight crime and anti-social behaviour,” he said. “We want people to feel safe so that they are willing to shop locally.”
 
Partnership chief executive Ian Viles said: “We know from the feedback from both retailers and police just how effective this scheme has been over the years in combating crime.
 
“We are grateful for the technical input from Zycomm and for the continued support from the council.”
 

New Year, New Classes!

Residents wanting to kick start their New Year fitness resolution can enrol for some new exercise classes that get underway at Victoria Park Leisure Centre in Ilkeston from 5 January.
 
The Leisure Centre will host classes for the popular ‘Insanity’ workout that centres on high-intensity exercise to help fans get fitter, faster. The classes will be held on Mondays between 9.45am-10.45am.
 
For those wanting something a little less intense, Pilates sessions will be held on Mondays between 10.45am-11.45am, while Hatha Yoga classes will be held between 7.15pm-8.15pm on Wednesdays.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
 “If your New Year resolution is to get fit, keep fit and stay healthy then there is no better time to start than straight away! We’re delighted to launch these new classes – but there is also plenty more health and fitness on offer at Victoria Park and all our Leisure Centres.!
 
The new classes are free to members or £4.40 for those with a leisure card (£4.90 without). Anyone wanting more information can contact Victoria Park Leisure Centre, Manners Road, Ilkeston, on 0115 944 0400. Visit www.erewashhealthclub.co.uk