Council looks at leisure changes

Erewash Borough Council is to ask for formal tenders to run its sports and leisure services after an initial investigation revealed potential significant annual savings.
 
A market test on the benefits of outsourcing earlier this year led to several parties registering their interest and the council now wants to progress to the tender stage to provide a clearer picture of how the leisure services would be delivered and the potential savings.
 
The potential savings identified are based on the registers of interest only and cannot be confirmed until tenders are formally submitted.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“Having had the independent report back on the expressions of interest to run our leisure services, it makes common sense for us to take the next step and invite tenders.
 
“At the forefront of our mind, throughout this process, is the desire to ensure the leisure facilities used by our residents are more efficient and we will do everything in our power to protect the services on offer.”
 
Once the tender process is complete, a report and recommendations will be presented to councillors for discussion at a Full Council meeting.
 
The move comes as Erewash Borough Council needs to find further efficiency savings of approximately £2 million over the next two years, with further budget pressures expected in the following years due to the continued reduction in grants from central government.
 

History inspires new artwork at museum

A tribute to a former collier, a nod to Erewash’s lace heritage and a salute to the former Stanton Ironworks are among items in TRACE, a new five-week exhibition that opens in the Lally Gallery at Erewash Museum on Thursday 19 October. 
 
The new artworks, inspired by ‘remnants of local history’, is the latest exhibition by Socket – an artist-led visual arts collective based in the East Midlands whose members all have an association with the former BA (Hons) Fine Art course at the University of Nottingham.
 
Artists use a variety of mediums and for this latest collection they have all been inspired by something within Erewash Museum to create original artwork.
 
Examples of items on show include artist Barbara Clayton’s tribute to her great grandfather, an Eastwood miner who invented a miners’ safety lamp. Local lace industry exhibits at the museum inspired Janet Turville to create cyanotype fabric print portraits of Victorian women, while the building’s colourful glass led to 'Windows through windows' paintings by artist Nicola Rae.
 
A series of other exhibits all clearly show where the inspiration has been taken from within the award winning museum.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“With such a diverse range of materials used to create artworks inspired by the many items we have on display at the museum, this will be a fascinating and intriguing exhibition. It will be enjoyable and a learning experience at the same time.”
 
 
The exhibition opens on 19th October and continues until 25th November.   More details about the artists can be found at www.socketart.org.uk
 
Erewash Museum is located in Ilkeston town centre, a short walk from the Market Place. Opening hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10am-4pm, and Monday to Saturday during school holidays. Admission is free. Contact 0115 907 1141, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or visit the Facebook page /erewashmuseum. You can also follow the museum on Twitter @Erewash_Museum, and Instagram @erewashmuseum.
 

Diwali Day celebration

Stories of demons with ten heads, arts activities, dance and music will all be part of an arts-themed day at Erewash Museum this Saturday (14 October) to celebrate the ancient Indian festival of Diwali.
 
Activity workshops for all the family will be between 10.30am and 2pm and will give visitors the chance to make a Diva Lamp or create colourful Rangoli patterns. The arts activities are £1.50 per person. Diwali celebrations continue between 2.15pm-3pm with free storytelling, dance, music and a Diwali fact finding trail.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“Diwali is such a warm and colourful festival and we are always pleased to provide educational and fun activities to mark this ancient tradition.”
 
Erewash Museum is located in Ilkeston town centre, a short walk from the Market Place. Opening hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10am-4pm, and Monday to Saturday during school holidays. Admission is free. Contact 0115 907 1141, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or visit the Facebook page /erewashmuseum. You can also follow the museum on Twitter @Erewash_Museum, and Instagram @erewashmuseum.
 

New help scheme for small businesses

A business rates relief scheme which will benefit nearly 200 businesses in Erewash is expected to get the green light at an Erewash Borough Council meeting this week.
 
The move comes following a national government revaluation of all commercial properties in England and Wales, leading to new rates payable by business owners. The last revaluation was in 2010 and the latest one has resulted in the business rates of some premises in the borough increasing significantly.
 
The government has made a funding pot available for local authorities to cover a four year period to help the predominantly small, medium and independent businesses facing the steepest increases in their bills as a result of the revaluation.
 
Erewash Borough Council’s share of this additional funding is £251,000 which will be distributed to local businesses over four years through a new rates relief scheme that councillors are expected to support at the Full Council meeting on Thursday 12 October.
 
The scheme will target the funding at those premises with a rateable value not exceeding £100,000 and work across two bands – those with a value up to £20,000 and those with a value between £20,001 and £100,000.
 
It is proposed that relief awarded to businesses in the lower band will cover the increase in business rates payable as a result of the revaluation between the 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years, while the funding will be used to ensure the increase payable by businesses in the upper band will be limited to 1.5%
 
Councillor Wayne Major, Erewash Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Resources, says:
 
“We continue to do everything within our power to encourage business growth across the borough, creating opportunities for local people and helping to generate new jobs.
 
“This proposed scheme will target relief at businesses that are facing a significant increase in their business rate bills in order to minimise financial hardship.”
 
It is recommended to the meeting that the relief is distributed to the eligible local businesses automatically and efficiently without the need for an application process.
 
The funding is ‘front-loaded’, meaning £141,000 is available for the current financial year followed by £68,000 in 2018/19, £38,000 in 2019/20 and £4,000 in 2020/2021.
 
The Full Council meeting is at Long Eaton Town Hall this Thursday 12 October, at 7pm.

Junior swim offer

A cut-price half term Junior Swim Membership is on offer for the October school holiday following the success of Erewash Borough Council’s similar summer package.
 
The membership offers nine days swimming for just £5 and the council has made 60 memberships available – 30 at Ilkeston’s Victoria Park Leisure Centre and 30 and West Park Leisure Centre in Long Eaton.
 
The half term membership - which runs from 21-29 October inclusive - has been funded by Sport England and is for 11-16-year-olds as part of Sport England’s campaign to encourage young people to be more fit and healthy.
 
The memberships are available to buy now from both leisure centres and also include entrance to two Halloween pool parties at Victoria Park Leisure Centre in Ilkeston on Saturday 28 October.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“Our summer special proved extremely popular so we are grateful to Sport England for helping us return with this half term offer as part of our ongoing commitment to get young people physically active – particularly in this 11-16-year-old age range.”