Mayor’s Christmas message

On behalf of the members and officers of Erewash Borough Council, I would like to offer my sincere greetings to all residents and wish you all the very best at this special time of year.
 
It is a great privilege to serve as Mayor and I am very proud and honoured to have been chosen for this civic role.  Over the last seven months I have met hundreds of wonderful people who visit, work or live in Erewash – and I look forward to meeting many more over the coming months until the end of my Civic Year in May 2017.

 
There is so much to be proud of in our borough and I have been immensely impressed by the wealth of talent within Erewash – talent that is demonstrated in every walk of life from those involved in the theatre, music and arts organisations through to those people who are involved in caring and supporting the less fortunate in our society.  
 
 
I have seen at first hand the service given to the community by the armies of volunteers who work selflessly all year round to help others. These are wonderful people involved in community groups and charities ranging from the League of Friends of Ilkeston Hospital and the local Royal British Legion branches through to the Rotary and Lions Clubs, Local History Groups, Cadet Force Units and those involved in Guiding and Scouting movements.
 
There are also the groups within every church in the borough which do so much good in their local communities.  Then there are our arts and environmental groups, those who support people with disabilities and all who work in or for our schools.  
 
There are too many groups and people to mention by name, but I know you are out there working daily to support and help people in the borough or raising money for charities.  It is this collective contribution that makes Erewash such a wonderful community and my heartfelt admiration goes out to you all.
 
We know, of course, that some people will not be with their loved ones this Christmas and to them we send our special good wishes.  We particularly think of those serving in the armed forces across the world and their families here at home, especially those who serve with our local Regiment, the Mercians.  We take time to think of those who have given their lives in the service of their country and, of course, everyone who is without a loved one through bereavement. 
 
Special thanks are due to all those people who will be working over the Christmas period in the emergency services, hospitals, power stations and all other essential services.  Your invaluable efforts are much appreciated. 
 
I would like to invite you to join us at the Christmas Carol Service which is being held on the Ilkeston Market Place on Christmas Eve from 7pm.  It will be a great time to celebrate this time of year and share the spirit of togetherness that this time of year brings.  
 
I will end by wishing you all a Christmas that is safe, warm and comfortable. Please take care if you are travelling and I hope you enjoy spending time with family and friends.  Season’s greetings and a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year to you all.
 
 
Councillor Abey Stevenson
Mayor of Erewash 2016-2017

Entrepreneur takes helm at partnership that helped him start up his business

An entrepreneur who started his business with help from enterprise agency Erewash Partnership has become its new chairman.
 
Ian Hopkinson, director of  Derwent Analytics and Harlequin BPI, based on the Manners Industrial Estate, Ilkeston, has taken over from Simon Woods, managing director of educational equipment manufacturer TecQuipment.
 
Simon, whose company is based in Bonsall Street, Long Eaton, had been chairman for six years.
 
Ian was employed for 17 years as a chemist, mainly at Celanese in Spondon. He recognised that the process he worked in was a shrinking market and that new technology was changing the situation, so he explored the possibilities and opportunities of setting up his own business, which he did 16 years ago.
 
“I leaned heavily on the Partnership because I needed skills to run Derwent Analytics that I did not have,” he said.  “They encouraged me and were very helpful.”
 
Initially, the company made solutions using chemical reactions that were used in everything from kidney dialysis machines to a wide range of industrial uses.
 
In 2009 Ian's company hit the headlines by producing a solution that meant every time somebody in the UK drank a fizzy drink made by Coca Cola it had been tested by know-how from Derwent Analytics to make sure it was the real thing.
 
Derwent Analytics later made solutions to clean cosmetic contact lenses and then diversified into other products, creating spin-off company Harlequin BPI in 2012.
 
The company, which now manufactures and develops health care products such as eye and ear drops and vapour rubs for supermarkets under their own brands and has started exporting to Europe has a multi-million pound annual turnover and 23 employees, in addition to seven at Derwent Analytics.
 
In July it unveiled a £400,000 investment in building and equipment enabling it to make more than three million bottles of different products, more than doubling capacity.
 
“It's a great accolade to become chairman of the Partnership,” said Ian, a board member for seven years.
 
“As a businessman I have become more successful than I thought with the honour of leading a progressive economic regeneration agency.”
 
Partnership chief executive Ian Viles said the board was delighted that having helped Ian, particularly in his early days, he had become chair and was putting something back in.”
 
“His business has grown and become a classic example of the spirit of enterprise that the Partnership promotes and encourages,” he said.
 
Ian said TecQuipment had been a stalwart supporter of the Partnership since it began 22 years ago and Simon had followed this tradition.
 
“Simon has been a pillar of strength and stability during difficult and challenging economic circumstances.
 
“We have been fortunate to benefit from his knowledge and wisdom and he hands over the leadership to another safe pair of hands.”
                                                                                                                                  
He added that Simon was heavily involved in the Partnership's move to new headquarters at Bridge House, Long Eaton, and refurbishing the former offices at The Old Police Station in Ilkeston which set a good example of local philanthropy and continued the agency's strong presence in the town.

Free 24-hour festive parking in Erewash

Erewash Borough Council will once again offer 24-hour FREE parking in all its car parks, with the exception of Long Eaton Railway Station, over the busy festive season.
The council has confirmed that its car parks will be free from Monday 19 December to Monday 2 January inclusive – an initiative aimed at giving a major boost for town centre traders and shoppers during the run-up to Christmas and over the festive break.
 
Councillor Michael Powell, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Regeneration and Planning, says:
 
“The Christmas free parking scheme is part of our commitment to the on-going drive to help and support our town centres and we know this good news will be warmly welcomed by both residents and visitors to the borough.
 
“We have excellent markets and shops in Ilkeston and Long Eaton - as well as local shops in villages across the borough - so we hope residents will use the free parking to show their support by shopping locally.”
 
All of the council’s car parks are part of the scheme, with the exception of the Long Eaton Railway Station commuters’ car park.
 

Museum goes festive 

Santa, trees, tinsel and all things festive will be at Erewash Museum in December as it begins the countdown to Christmas.
 

Throughout December the museum will be transformed into a winter wonderland when visitors can drop in anytime to see the festive displays, while children can take part in a seasonal-themed activity trail.

Father Christmas will call in to the museum for two Santa Saturdays – on the 3rd and 17th December between 11am and 3pm – when children can meet him in the Stables. Admission to the grotto is £1.50 per child which includes a present. 

 
Saturday 10 December will be a family fun Super Santa Day between 11am-3pm. Santa won’t be in his grotto to visit on this day but he will be around and there will be the chance to meet some reindeers, while children can make some reindeer food to leave out on Christmas Eve. There will also be craft stalls for some Christmas shopping ideas. Admission is £1.50 for children over the age of 1. Adults (16 and over) free.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“Erewash Museum is a much loved place and to see it transformed into a Christmas wonderland is magical and our Santa days are certain to be popular with families with the festive season in full swing.”
 
Erewash Museum is 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
 

Ilkeston Christmas Lights switch on

Seasonal songs, live music, fun fair rides and fireworks will all be part of the Christmas lights switch on events in Ilkeston on Friday 25 November.
 
The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Abey Stevenson, will ‘light up’ the town at 7pm to officially launch the Christmas season, but the whole evening has lots of fun on offer for all the family.
 
The celebration event will get under way at 5.30pm when Ilkeston Brass Band will entertain the crowds and build up the festive atmosphere. They will be followed at 6.20pm by a Motown Girls Trio who will perform all the classic hits in a 30-minute set that is certain to get everyone dancing and singing.
 
The switch on of the festive lights will be followed by a two minute firework display to sparkle and light up the sky. This will be followed by more music, including a few more big hit songs from the Motown Girls Trio.
 
Santa will be putting in an appearance and there will also be Victorian stilt walkers mixing with the crowd, while the funfair is sure to keep the children entertained.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“The countdown to Christmas is now well underway and we look forward to another big turnout to celebrate the lighting up of Ilkeston. It signals the start of the festive season and is a great reminder for us to support our town centre by shopping locally.”