Welcome Welcome to the November 2009 issue of Leicestershire Matters. This is your magazine to keep you up-to-date with the latest news from Leicestershire County Council about your services. The November edition includes news about libraries, schools, volunteering opportunities and much more. We would like to hear your views about the magazine and any County Council-related story suggestions you may have. You can call us on 0116 305 6162 or 0116 305 6967, or e-mail: Leics- Matters@leics.gov.uk Alternatively, write to us at: Leicestershire Matters, Room 211, Public Relations Unit, Chief Executive‟s Department, County Hall, Glenfield, Leicestershire LE3 8RA. State-of-the-art park and ride Our brand new £9 million park and ride service could make your journey to work, or doing your Christmas shopping, much easier. The Enderby site, close to junction 21 of the M1, is opening soon with parking for 1,000 cars and an indoor waiting area. Brand new buses are to run into Leicester City Centre every 10 minutes from 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday. The service will use existing bus lanes, helping you to take a more environmentally friendly journey and avoid traffic queues into the city and hospital car parks during busy periods. Day fares will be £3 and „10 trip tickets‟ are £25. Stops will include St Nicholas Place, Leicester Royal Infirmary and De Montfort University. Free WiFi will be available onboard so passengers can use the internet or check e-mails. The Enderby park and ride service will be run by the County and City Councils. We have more services, including Meynell's Gorse at Braunstone Crossroads, which also runs from Mondays to Saturdays. For more details, visit: www.leics.gov.uk/enderby_park_ride or call 0116 305 8777. We have 10 free „10 trip tickets‟ to give away. For a chance to win, simply answer the question and complete and return the coupon. Alternatively, e- mail your answer and contact details to: firstname.lastname@example.org and put 'Ticket Competition' in the subject field. Question Using the park and ride can help reduce your… Carbon handprint? Carbon footprint? Carbon printing? Tasty school meals Do you like the sound of lamb lasagne or a big sweet chilli pasta bake? These are just some of the delicious meals being served up to children in Leicestershire schools following a revamp of menus by the County Council. We took over responsibility for school catering last year, and have since unveiled ambitious, delicious meals. There is an emphasis on locally sourced produce and healthy recipes. These all meet Government nutritional standards. In addition, Stephen Conway, head chef at Stapleford Country House and Hotel, has developed two more tasty dinners of: Lamb koftas, flatbread and salad Leicestershire Beef Provencal with sweet potato medley, red cabbage and green beans. He was subjected to a rigorous examination when schoolchildren themselves sampled his food. Thanks to their feedback the recipes were finely tweaked before being introduced to schools after half-term. We aim to encourage all schoolchildren in Leicestershire to have a nutritionally balanced diet while at school, to promote healthy development and growth. For more details call Wendy Philp on 0116 305 5770, e-mail: email@example.com or visit: www.schoolfoodsupportservice.co.uk COMPETITION Have you got an idea for a dish to add to our school menu? Send in your suggestion, preferably with a recipe and you could win: Lunch for four from the Let‟s Do Lunch menu at Stapleford Country House and Hotel (available Wednesday to Friday 12noon to 2pm) Your dish, which will be named after you, could be added to our school menu from Easter, if it meets Government nutritional standards Your dish will be featured in our school meals newsletter. Simply fill in the coupon…. My recipe idea is… (please use a separate sheet if needed) Protect against flu Partners are working together across the County, City and Rutland to respond to swine flu. However, there is a lot you can do to help prevent getting the virus. The best thing is good hygiene. Wash your hands regularly and catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, then bin it and wash your hands. Symptoms are mild for most people and the best thing to do is to stay at home. The National Pandemic Flu Service can assess your symptoms and, if required, explain how to collect medication. Go to: www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu call 0800 1 513 100 or Minicom 0800 1 513 200. Call your GP directly if you have a serious underlying illness, are pregnant, have a sick child under one, if your condition suddenly gets much worse or symptoms last more than a week. Please do not visit your GP, pharmacist, A&E, urgent care centre or walk-in centres. You risk spreading the illness and causing delays for patients who need more urgent medical care. A vaccine for swine flu has been developed. If you are eligible, please take the opportunity to protect yourself and others from flu. At your service Borrowing books, CDs and DVDs from our libraries is becoming even easier. Self-service kiosks are being introduced at our 16 largest libraries over the next six months. They can be used to take out, return and renew items. Normal service desks will remain and staff will be on hand to help people get used to the changes. Staff will also have more time to spend helping customers with their enquiries and choosing books. Ernie White, Cabinet Member for Libraries, said: “Introducing new technology does not mean any loss of personal service, library staff will still be on hand to offer help and advice whenever necessary. The self-service option is the latest development to make our libraries more modern and customer-friendly.” For more information, visit: www.leics.gov.uk/libraries call 0116 305 6988 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Happy shopping Thousands of people contact trading standards each year and we have asked our head of consumer services, Keith Regan, to answer one of your questions. Dear Keith, When Christmas shopping how do I avoid problems for friends wanting to return gifts to shops? Also, what are my online shopping rights? You should: Keep all receipts to return faulty goods; you can claim a repair, replacement or refund from the retailer. However, if you change your mind, the retailer does not have to give a refund or exchange. Many offer replacements or credit notes as a gesture of goodwill – it is not a legal requirement. Tell the retailer you are buying a Christmas gift and ask for the returns policy for the receiver, as they may allow recipients to deal with problems themselves. Some give „gift receipts‟ for exchanging gifts. For gifts costing more than £100, using a credit card will give you extra protection from your credit card company. For internet shopping, order in plenty of time and double check delivery dates. Save every screen page as you go. Online retailers have 30 days from the order day to deliver goods, unless an alternative date is agreed. Consumers can cancel an order from the day after it is made until seven working days from the day after goods are delivered. Street traders or one-day sales often only set up for Christmas so may not be around if something goes wrong. When buying toys, always check packaging for age warnings and safety marks – including the CE Mark. Younger siblings may play with the toys, so avoid those with small parts which could be a choking hazard. For further advice, call Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 or visit: www.rospa.com for home safety information. Keeping young drivers safe The number of casualties on Leicestershire‟s roads is falling, but there are still too many accidents involving young drivers. There were 665 people injured or killed last year in Leicestershire aged 16-25 – a much higher number than any other age group. To tackle this, we are working with our road safety partners across the region to promote the No More Lives Wasted campaign. This targets young drivers and their passengers, highlighting issues including the consequences of peer pressure and inexperience. The aim is to make them think about their vulnerability and encourage them to build on their skills and gain driving experience. A new website – www.nomoreliveswasted.com – contains information, true stories and advice for young people. For more details, visit the website, call 0116 305 7232 or e-mail: email@example.com New drivers can benefit from Pass Plus courses, which can be taken after passing your driving test. They can help keep new drivers safe in conditions they may not have experienced – for example, driving at night or on motorways. We have three Pass Plus courses (worth £180 each) with one of our approved driving instructors to give away. For a chance to win, simply answer the following question and complete and return the coupon. Alternatively, e- mail your answer and contact details to: firstname.lastname@example.org and put „Pass Plus‟ in the subject field. Winners will need to agree a mutually convenient time with our instructor to take the course within the next 12 months. COUPON How many people‟s real stories about road accidents are on the No More Lives Wasted website? 3,4,5 or 6? Return to: Pass Plus competition, Room 600, County Hall, Glenfield, Leicestershire, LE3 8RJ. Closing date: 7th December, winners will be notified by 12th December. Winners will need to agree a mutually convenient time with our instructor to take the course within the next 12 months. A class act! Students at Belvoir High School in Bottesford have been enjoying their impressive new surroundings. The brand new Winterbeck building is now open and the rest of the school has been refurbished, as part of a £6.5 million investment. The state-of-the-art Winterbeck building has a striking central atrium, a new and bigger library, five purpose-built science labs and a virtual learning IT suite. The existing school building has been extensively refurbished and now has a new design and technology area, an extended dining room including a cyber café and a new car park. Belvoir High School changed its age range from 10-14 to 11-16 last year as part of the Melton Mowbray and Vale of Belvoir schools‟ reorganisation and has achieved specialist science status. Ivan Ould, Cabinet Member for the Children and Young People‟s Service, said: “These are tremendously exciting times for everyone associated with the school and I‟m delighted to see students and staff enjoying the fantastic new facilities. Belvoir High is an outstanding school which is now benefiting from a tremendous new learning environment.” For more information, visit: www.leics.gov.uk/meltonvob call 0116 305 7729 or e-mail: email@example.com Working together Leicestershire Together‟s aim is clear; to make the County a better place to live and work. With limited budgets and the impact of a recession being felt by all, the need to deliver better services at better value is essential. Leicestershire‟s schools, colleges, hospitals, police, charities, businesses and councils are working together to see how this can be achieved. The services and projects highlighted in this feature are just a of few of the areas where we are working with partners to improve the lives of local people. For more details on Leicestershire Together, please call 0116 305 5501 or visit: www.leicestershiretogether.org Total Place: Better for less Leicestershire has been chosen as a pilot area to develop a new cost-cutting project which also aims to improve local services. Total Place is a £5 million Government initiative looking at how all public organisations within one area can work together to provide better services at less cost. It aims to stop organisations duplicating services and to improve efficiency and services. It is about giving partners the incentive to work together in new ways for the benefit of communities. David Parsons, Leader of Leicestershire County Council and Chair of the Local Government Association Improvement Board, said: “We are one of 13 pilot areas which all have a real opportunity to rip up the text book and redesign the way public services are planned and delivered. “The economic downturn means the public sector must find radical new ways to provide better value for money and better local services which are more tailored to local needs. “Success will depend on strong leadership, innovation and strong partnerships. By being innovative and working together we can improve services and provide better value for money.” In Leicestershire we have chosen three initial areas of work: Looking at all the funding coming into the County area, how this is currently used and how it could be better used in the future Getting all local agencies involved in drug and alcohol issues to work together to avoid duplication, target resources better and provide co-ordinated, relevant services Improving access to services. Where possible, we are looking at providing services from many organisations in the same place. For more information on Total Place see January‟s issue of Leicestershire Matters, call 0116 305 8213 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Controlling the money In these times of economic recession, more people may become victims of financial abuse in the home. Abusive relationships are usually thought of as involving physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse. However, in many abusive relationships, restricting or preventing the victim from accessing finances is another means to exert control. Domestic abuse agencies in Leicestershire are focusing on financial abuse and its role in domestic abuse. Financial abuse may include: Stealing from, defrauding or exploiting someone for financial gain Withholding money to buy food or medical treatment Denying access to money, cheques or credit cards Withholding information about income and debts Monitoring and approving all expenditure Preventing someone from working or forcing the victim to work to support the abuser. Financial abuse can have a serious impact on the way you live your life, and your ability to make choices. A number of services in the County can support you, provide safety and help you regain control of your life. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, you can seek confidential advice and support in your area from: Blaby Outreach Worker - 07900 226875 Hinckley & Bosworth Outreach Worker – 01455 255746 Women's Aid Leicestershire Ltd (Harborough, Melton, Oadby & Wigston) - 0116 242 6440 Loughborough Women's Aid (Charnwood) - 01509 552549. In an emergency always call 999. Call the Debt and Housing Advice Service on 0845 413 0555. Faiths join together Events and activities are taking place to strengthen relations between people of different faiths. The first ever national Inter Faith Week is running from 15th-21st November. It aims to promote good inter faith relations, increase understanding between different faiths and the contribution they make to our communities. Local events include an exhibition of different religions at the Highcross Shopping Centre, Leicester throughout the week and the opportunity to visit different places of worship. For more details, including a full list of events and activities, visit: www.leics.gov.uk/faith call 0116 305 7020 or e-mail: email@example.com Valuable volunteering A whole host of volunteering opportunities are available thanks to a new project. Volunteering could help you to make a difference to people‟s lives or the environment; meet new people and make friends; take on a challenge; learn a skill or improve your job prospects. Even more opportunities are being provided across North West Leicestershire - through the Leicestershire Together-funded Volunteering, Internships and Placements (VIP) project, based at Snibston, which is owned by the County Council. Venues include Snibston, the National Forest, country parks, museums, libraries, Bosworth Battlefield and many more. We can help pupils wanting work experience, college students, graduates and those passionate about the arts, heritage and the environment. The number of hours you could volunteer for is flexible and you will be paid travel expenses. Volunteering while still at school helped Levi Sutton (29) secure his ideal job of County Council park ranger. He said: “I loved being outdoors and it was good fun meeting different people. I helped out with school groups doing things like pond dipping and bug hunting. “I studied Countryside Management at college and my experience meant I secured a casual paid job. Now I have a permanent job and support volunteers myself.” Levi is setting up a weekly team of volunteers to work in country parks and nature reserves. For details call Amanda Hanton on 0116 305 3422 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Organisations involved include the County Council, North West Leicestershire District Council, Stephenson College, Connexions, the National Forest, Leicestershire Constabulary and Voluntary Action Leicestershire. Fighting floods A grant of £190,000 is helping the County Council to prepare communities for floods. We have been working with all local authorities in the County, City and Rutland to produce plans for more than 50 communities at risk from flooding. Already, more than 100 volunteer community wardens have been recruited. These will help us liaise with the community before, during and after a flood. They will also give vital local information to emergency services, local authorities and other agencies during floods. This money, from the Government, will help us to recruit and train more community wardens and to buy equipment to manage and reduce the risk from flooding. Initially, new self-inflating 'sand-less' sandbags will be bought which will be delivered to areas at risk. These are light and easy to carry and inflate so they can be more easily delivered than traditional sandbags (that can weight up to 25kg each). For more details or to find out about becoming a flood warden call Ian Smith on 0116 305 6733, e-mail email@example.com or visit: www.localresilienceforum.org.uk Being social The relationships you have with your friends, neighbours and community are valuable. While it‟s difficult to put a defined value on these relationships, research shows there are social, health and economic benefits for individuals if they have good contacts within communities. For example, if you know your neighbours well, you may collect shopping or medicine for each other if you are ill, or help with childcare in an emergency. By encouraging people to get involved with their communities we feel they will get something valuable that the local authority may not be able provide. The name we have given to this „value‟ is Social Capital. To find out how much Social Capital there is in the County, local community groups conducted a doorstep survey in 20 areas across Leicestershire. This asked questions about how people felt about their community and their place in it. More than 2,600 people were surveyed and the results showed that across the areas surveyed: 80% of people surveyed felt strongly or very strongly that they belonged to their neighbourhood 65% felt strongly or very strongly that they belonged to Leicestershire 77% felt that their area was a good or very good place to live 59% definitely or tended to agree that their neighbourhood is a place where people from different backgrounds get on well together 63% agreed or tended to agree that they could influence decisions in their local areas, when working as part of a group. For more details please contact Alex Lea on 0116 305 6803. The first contact A new project to help older people stay safe and independent for longer has been set up. „First Contact – Leicestershire‟ will help vulnerable people and will also save money, as it involves various organisations working together. The idea is simple. When a worker from any partner organisation visits an older person in their own home, they complete a single, simple checklist. If the person agrees, the checklist is forwarded to a central point where referrals to appropriate agencies are generated. This means older people do not have to contact various different organisations themselves, as this signposting scheme will ensure that the relevant agencies will contact them. First Contact aims to get services to people when they first need them, but more importantly it should prevent accidents and promote independence and well-being. It aims to do this by identifying people‟s needs and enabling access to services, particularly those who may be „isolated‟ or „difficult to reach‟. Partners in the scheme include the County Council, Leicestershire Constabulary, Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Service, the local Pension Service, NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland, District Councils, Voluntary Action LeicesterShire, Age Concern, Care & Repair and the Citizens‟ Advice Bureau. For more details contact Debbie Preston on 0116 305 8240 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Exciting new centre Building work has started on an exciting new £2 million community centre for Barwell. It will include a sports hall, bigger library, ICT suite, training/meeting rooms, youth centre and a coffee bar. The centre is being built next to Barwell Junior School and is due to open next April. It is being funded by the County Council from the sale of the previous community building, the Cedars. We are working closely with the local project committee to ensure the building meets the needs of local people. Committee chair, Maureen Cook, said: “We are really excited to see our new community building going up. The new centre will provide a base for activities and services for everyone in Barwell and we can‟t wait until it opens next year.” For more details, visit: www.leics.gov.uk/barwell call 0116 305 6977 or e-mail: email@example.com A better start Nurseries, childminders and pre-schools can apply for money to make improvements to their setting. Leicestershire County Council has been given £6.8 million over three years (2008/11) to spend on improving early years and childcare settings. The aim is to support the Early Years Foundation Stage by improving learning environments, making sure that children get the best start in life. There is a focus on improving play and physical activities, ICT resources and helping to ensure all children, including those with disabilities, can access the provision. The money, from the Government, could be used for buying land or vehicles, building work, landscaping or to improve indoor spaces. The Birstall Rainbow Nursery was given £65,000 to extend its outdoor play area. Owner, Sue Slipper, said: “Our fabulous new outdoor area is made mostly of natural materials and also has trees and plants. “There are new covered areas so we can go outdoors in all weathers. The children enjoyed picnics in the shade during the summer and are enjoying storytime and playing games even while it rains. “We have a climbing wall up to a castle in the clouds, a huge sand pit, a track for riding around, a sensory garden as well as outdoor craft, music, construction and nature areas. “Without the grant we could not have made such a major improvements.” For more details and to find out if your setting can access this grant, please call 0116 305 8087, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.leics.gov.uk/capitalmonies Reduce your risk of stroke Stroke is the third biggest killer in the UK and is the leading cause of disability. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted, causing brain cells to die. One in four men and one in five women aged 45 can expect to have a stroke if they live to 85. However, there are some simple ways to reduce your risk: Diet Eat a low-fat, high-fibre diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. You should avoid saturated fats, which can increase cholesterol levels. Foods high in saturated fat include meat pies, sausages, cream, butter, cakes and biscuits. Exercise Exercise regularly to help maintain a healthy weight and reduce your chance of developing high blood pressure. Regular exercise, which should be strenuous enough to leave you slightly out of breath, also helps to lower your cholesterol. Smoking If you smoke, quit. Smoking raises blood pressure and can cause a build-up of fatty plaque in your arteries. For information on giving up, call the NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland Smoking Helpline on 0845 045 2828* or talk to your GP. Alcohol Keep to the recommended daily levels of alcohol consumption of up to four units for men and three for women. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat and weight gain. For more information about stroke and its symptoms, visit www.nhs.uk/actfast * Calls to 0845 numbers are charged at no more than 4p/minute from a BT landline. Charges from other landline providers or mobile phones may vary. Please check the rate with your phone service provider. It’s getting personal Fundamental changes are being made to the way we support vulnerable people in Leicestershire. Adult Social Care supports older people and disabled people to live as independently as they can through services like home care, residential care, day care and meals. For many years people have campaigned for improvements – to have more say, choice and control over their lives; to live more independently with dignity and freedom. Through a programme called Personalisation, a flexible system of self directed support is being introduced. Services will become more focused on individuals and tailored to their needs, rather than people having to fit in with services on offer. Those eligible can receive a Personal Budget, either paid directly to them, or managed by a third party or by the Council. They can choose their support and how it‟s organised. Carers will also be recognised and supported. Personalisation is a national programme which will improve a number of public services over the coming years. For more details call 0116 305 5843, e-mail: email@example.com or visit: www.leics.gov.uk/personalisation Direct help Personalising care is not a new idea at Leicestershire County Council. For 13 years people have been able to choose and organise their own support, if they wish to – through Direct Payments. Now more than 1,000 people are benefiting from these. Direct Payments are cash payments given to vulnerable people for social care services. People can buy their own care support, giving them more choice and control over how their care is arranged. They can employ carers, or buy services which best meet their individual needs. Anne of Market Harborough, who has cerebral palsy, was the first person to receive a Direct Payment, in 1998. She had campaigned for more independence and control over her care and said: “I didn‟t want to be „cared for‟. I knew I could be independent, with the right support.” “With Direct Payments, you feel more in control of your destiny, and it opens up more opportunities.” Sue of Barwell was the 1,000th person to receive one. She said: “Direct Payments are really good. I can now go out with friends, to a party, or the theatre. “People think they can‟t do payroll and hours – but you can, as you have support”. Sue of Fleckney also has Direct Payments, she said: “I choose my own staff which gives me more choice, control and flexibility. I can do more things and go to more places. “I go sailing for an hour a week at John Merrick‟s Lake at Watermead Country Park and thoroughly enjoy it.” This is paid for by Sue, but her support worker helps her to do it. Personal Budgets aim to improve this further and give people even more flexibility and choice. For more details call 0116 305 3050, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.leics.gov.uk/direct_payments_scheme Our accounts Every year we have to publish our audited accounts – and a summary of these is given below. In the financial year up to 31st March, 2009, our net expenditure (what we spend minus our income) was £632 million, including schools. Overall there was a net under-spend of £9 million. Net expenditure on main services for 2008/09 was: Children and Young People (including schools) £373 million Adult Social Care £108 million Highways and Passenger Transport £52 million Waste and Recycling £21 million Community Services £20 million Financing of capital expenditure £29 million. Schools‟ spending of £323 million is funded by a special Government grant. Council Tax of £221 million funds 70% of our remaining expenditure. The remaining income comes mainly from Government grants. The value of the fixed assets, mainly land and buildings, is shown in the balance sheet as £944 million. Our long-term borrowing to finance improvements to capital assets, such as schools and roads, is £340 million and we have cash reserves of £9.8 million to meet any unexpected events. We are committed to protecting the environment and reducing our carbon footprint. Our carbon footprint for 2008/09 was 96,224 tonnes. Already we have: Reduced our energy and water use Built new buildings to a high environmental standard Developed travel plans which aim to reduce commuting and business mileage Supported the use of environmentally friendly products. For more details e-mail: email@example.com or call 0116 305 5998. Report hate Everyone has the right to be treated with respect and to live without fear of hatred. Our Hate Incident Monitoring Project provides a way of reporting an incident not necessarily classed as a criminal offence. Hate incident victims are targeted because of prejudice against their age, disability, gender, race, religion/belief or sexual orientation. Incidents may be physical, verbal or written abuse. National research shows nine out of 10 people with learning disabilities have been victims. We are working to ensure people with learning disabilities understand what a hate crime is and how to report it. To report an incident, complete an online form at: www.leics.gov.uk/reporthate call 0116 305 8263 or visit a reporting centre (details are on the website). For an easy to use form/guidance notes for people with learning disabilities, visit: www.betterlives.org.uk If you think the incident is a criminal offence, you should report it to the police by calling 0116 222 2222. Find out online How tall is the Eiffel Tower? Why is the sky blue? Who were your ancestors? You can find out the answers to these and many more questions through our free online reference library. Library members have free access to dictionaries, encyclopedias, newspapers, magazines and books through our website. This is not available through normal use of the web and would usually involve paying a subscription fee. You can log-on wherever you are, at home, school, work and of course, in our libraries. To use the free service, visit: www.leics.gov.uk/reference For more information ask staff at your local library, or call 0116 305 3829 or e- mail: firstname.lastname@example.org To become a library member, simply ask at your local library or complete an online form at: www.leics.gov.uk/libraries Name a gritter Gritters are on-call 24-hours-a-day to help keep people and drivers safe in wintry conditions. When needed, gritters spread nearly 200 tonnes of salt each night, covering over 1,000 miles of highway. From October, when it‟s icy 45% of the road network is salted. This includes A roads; some B and C roads; major commuter and bus routes and, where possible, at least one route through all County villages. But drivers are warned to take care and never assume any road is completely ice free. Braking distances can be up to ten times longer in icy conditions. To report a problem with Leicestershire's roads, pavements or streetlights please call 0116 305 0001. Visit: www.leics.gov.uk/winterdriving to download our winter salting routes leaflet or get one from local libraries or Council Offices. Competition Could you name our gritting lorries? Last year we ran a competition to name some of our fleet of 22 gritters. 13 still need names and we want primary and secondary schoolchildren in Leicestershire to make suggestions. Winners will see the name on the front of a gritter. They will have their photo taken with the gritter and get a Highways goodie bag. 100 entrants, chosen at random will also get a free „stress gritter‟. Return to: Gritter Competition, HTWM Comms, County Hall, Glenfield, Leicestershire LE3 8RJ or e-mail your details to: email@example.com and put „GRITTER‟ in the subject field. The closing date is 7th December, 2009, winners will be notified by 14th December, 2009. For terms and conditions see page 2. My gritter name suggestion is: Your Name: Age: Address: Contact number: School Name of parent or carer: Dreaming of a green Christmas? It‟s nearly that time of year again – when you get the pile of wrapping paper, packaging and leftover turkey. But, you could think green and cut the amount of waste you generate this Christmas. We have the following tips: Buy greener gifts which have less packaging, such as theatre/concert tickets or sponsoring an animal Consider buying recycled wrapping paper or making your own from scraps of material, newspapers or comics Plan your meals – take a list when you go shopping so you don‟t buy any more food than you need Recycle your cans and bottles – 750 million glass bottles are used during the festive period The amount of food we waste increases by 80% at Christmas. You can use leftover turkey in soups, pies and curries Remember to take a reusable bag when you go Christmas shopping Recycle your Christmas tree. Simply take it to one of our recycling and household waste sites for composting. For more information, visit: www.leics.gov.uk/waste call 0116 305 7005 or e- mail: firstname.lastname@example.org We have a £50 voucher to spend on tickets to either De Montfort Hall, Curve or the Little Theatre, so you can give a greener gift this Christmas. We also have five Leicestershire Loves Leftovers recipe books to give away. For a chance to win, simply answer the question and complete and return the coupon. Alternatively, e-mail your answer to: email@example.com and put „Green Gift‟ in the subject field. To find the answer, visit the Christmas pages at: www.leics.gov.uk/waste Question How many tonnes of wrapping paper are used at Christmas in the UK? Achievements celebrated Diversity in Leicestershire has been celebrated at a recent event, hosted by the Chairman of the County Council. Adults with a physical or learning disability, sensory impairment or mental ill health were nominated by friends, family and carers. They received certificates for achievements including self-expression through drama, painting and poetry, as well as overcoming personal barriers, contributing to the community and sporting achievements. Chairman of the County Council, Roger Wilson, said: “The nominations reflect Leicestershire‟s diverse and talented community and it has been an honour to present awards to such deserving people.” For further details of the event please visit: www.leics.gov.uk/chairman or call 0116 305 6061. Flying the flags Two of our country parks have been awarded prestigious Green Flags, both for the fourth year running. Beacon Hill Country Park in Woodhouse Eaves and Market Bosworth Country Park, have again been recognised as two of the finest parks in the country. Judges were impressed with how well Beacon Hill is managed, its excellent amenities, its good work with schools and volunteers, and its green energy system. In relation to Bosworth Park, they highlighted recent improvements to accessibility including all-weather surfaced paths, how well kept the park is and the commitment of all those involved. For more details visit: www.leics.gov.uk/countryparks call 0116 305 6917 or e- mail: firstname.lastname@example.org An A-Z of our useful numbers Adoption 0116 299 5899 Adult Social Care general enquiries 0116 305 7404 Blue Badges 0116 305 0001 Childcare and nurseries 0116 305 6545 Child employment 0116 305 6684 County Councillors‟ contact details 0116 305 6002 Elderly persons‟ bus pass 0116 305 0002 Family information service 0116 305 6545 Fostering 0116 275 9321 Free school lunches 0116 305 6588 Home care 0116 305 7404 Human resources 0116 305 8815 Job applications automated line 0116 305 8815 Local attractions 0844 888 5181* Local attractions (trade line) 0116 225 4000 Recycling 0116 305 0001 Registration of births/deaths/marriages 0116 305 6565 Roadline (street lighting/road defects) 0116 305 0001 School places 0116 305 6684 School transport 0116 305 8777 Special educational needs unit 0116 305 6600 Student finance 0845 300 5090** Trading standards 08454 04 05 06** Waste Permits 0116 305 0001 Main switchboard 0116 232 3232 Website www.leics.gov.uk E-mail: email@example.com * Calls charged at local rate ** Calls to 0845 numbers are charged at no more than 4p/minute from a BT landline. Charges from other landline providers or mobile phones may vary. Please check the rate with your phone service provider.