Ilkeston Christmas Lights switch-on

Join us on Friday 30 November as Ilkeston celebrates one of its most popular dates of the year, the annual Christmas lights switch-on! There’ll be seasonal sights a-plenty, fairground fun and festive songs . . . and a visit from a very special person, Santa!
The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Chris Corbett, will ‘light up’ the town to officially launch the Christmas season, during a fantastic night of family-friendly fun.  
The celebration event will take place between 5.30pm-8.30pm in Ilkeston town centre, with the Mayor switching on the lights at 7pm after which the sky will explode in a riot of colour as fireworks add to the magical festivities.
Enjoy musical performances from Ilkeston Brass Band and listen to the dulcet sounds of singer Trevvy. Join in the funfair atmosphere with rides for all ages and marvel at the stilt walkers who will be weaving their way around entertaining the crowds. There will also be the Ilkeston Christmas Market organised by SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
“The 2018 Christmas countdown is well underway, and this event is a firm festive favourite. It’s a great evening of music, lights and entertainment for all ages that brings the town together in a magical celebration!” 

It’s a tree-mendous giveaway!

Erewash residents have the chance to pick up a free bush apple tree for their gardens . . . with the return of Erewash Borough Council’s popular Free Tree giveaway.
The annual town centre giveaway is organised by the council’s Pride in Erewash campaign and sees stalls set up in both Ilkeston and Long Eaton – with residents of the borough able to claim one free bush apple tree per household.
This year’s giveaway dates for the diary are:
• Long Eaton – High Street on Wednesday 28 November, from 10am
• Ilkeston – Market Place on Thursday 29 November, from 10am
A total of 150 bush apple trees will be available at each of the events and they will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis to residents of Erewash only. The varieties will include Cox, Red Falstaff and James Grieve. 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
“Apple trees are one of the easiest fruit trees to grow and we know there are many people out there who have enjoyed the fruits of their success in growing one at home after last year’s giveaway!
“We will have apple trees for every size of garden, including ones that can be grown in containers, so go along to our stalls to get your favourite to plant – but remember, it’s first come, first served, so get there early!”
The council’s Volunteer Tree Wardens will be at both town centre events to help with information about the trees.

All the fun of the Chestnut Fair

Long Eaton will welcome the popular Chestnut Fair this month when Waverley Street is once again transformed into a spectacular traditional street fair.
There will be stalls, children’s rides, white knuckle excitement for the brave and family favourites such as the dodgems and waltzer.
The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Chris Corbett, will officially open the fair on Thursday 15 November at 6.00pm.
The fair, presented by James Mellors Amusement Ltd, will be open as follows:
Thursday 15 November 6pm-10pm
Friday 16 November 6pm-10pm
Saturday 17 November 1pm-10pm 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
        “The Chestnut Fair always proves popular and it’s a great event for all ages, whether you simply go for an autumn stroll around the stalls or brave the rides!”

Starry, starry night…

Stargazers will have the chance to listen to experts and use professional equipment when members of Ilkeston and District Astronomical Society host a ‘Stargazing Night’ at Erewash Museum on Saturday 17 November.
The equipment will be set up in the museum grounds between 6pm-9pm for anyone wanting to take part in this illuminating free event and discover more about astronomy. Cool Science will be on hand to entertain budding young scientists.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
“The stargazing event will be a brilliant chance for people of all ages to listen to the experts and get interesting advice on all things celestial.”
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, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or visit the Facebook page /erewashmuseum 

Leisure changes on the cards

Five leisure facilities run by Erewash Borough Council look set to be outsourced to an independent leisure provider.
Councillors at a Full Council meeting this week (Thursday 8 November) are expected to give the green light to awarding a 10-year contract to the preferred bidder - which cannot be named at this stage for legal reasons, but is a well-established company that has an extensive portfolio of clients and has a very good reputation within the industry.
The leisure facilities involved are Long Eaton’s West Park Leisure Centre, Sandiacre Friesland Sports Centre; and Ilkeston’s Victoria Park Leisure Centre, Rutland Sports Park and Pewit Golf Course.
The council intends to retain ownership of the leisure facilities, meaning that the proposed bidder will lease the facilities and be in place to manage and deliver a leisure service on behalf of the council. 
If the contract is given the go-ahead, more than £1 million is expected to be invested to provide improved facilities for Erewash residents – with up to £500,000 provided by the council and the rest from the bidder’s own funds. This investment would include expanded and improved gym facilities, new gym, spin and weightlifting equipment, plus new activities.
It is estimated that outsourcing the provision of the leisure service will save the council approximately £6 million over 10 years or £600,000 a year. It is hoped that the contract, if given the green light, will start in the New Year.  
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
“Our residents and leisure customers have been at the heart of this process throughout. There has been a commitment to achieve two key aims – to ensure the leisure facilities on offer are invested in and improved and that we, as a council, achieve the important savings we need in these financially challenging times.
“If this contract is awarded to the proposed bidder, we believe those aims will be more than achieved and customers will see enhanced and new facilities. This bidder has exciting ideas to develop facilities, which will be unveiled in due course.”
The council has built into the proposed contract a protection for a number of local clubs and groups as well as an agreement that prices will be frozen for a minimum of six months, while certain concessionary prices will have further protection.
The meeting of Full Council is at Long Eaton Town Hall on Thursday 8 November at 7pm.