Open to change

Changes to the opening hours at Sandiacre Friesland Sports Centre are expected to get the go-ahead next week after figures show low levels of usage during the daytime on weekdays.
 
Councillors at a meeting of Erewash Borough Council’s Executive next week (Tuesday 12 September) are expected to agree that the centre will be closed between 7.30am and 3pm Monday to Friday – a move that is expected to save the council just over £65,500 a year. 
 
A report to the meeting shows that over the last five years visits to the centre by residents during the day are very low as current demand shows 89.87% of usage is during the evening and the weekend.
 
The proposal would not currently lead to any permanent staff being made redundant but the reduced opening hours would give the council the opportunity to make further savings by deleting all the permanent posts that are currently vacant at the centre.  Councillors are expected to refer this to the General Purposes Committee with a recommendation that the vacant posts are deleted.
 
Responses to a public consultation on the revised opening hours saw little objection to the proposal and all comments received showed an understanding of the council’s position.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“Everyone is well aware that these are financially challenging times for all local authorities and we continue to look at ways to save money and be more efficient. At our Sandiacre sports centre it is clear there is very little demand from the general public to use the centre during weekdays and that the high demand is for the evening and weekends. This offers us the opportunity to make a substantial saving every year - but it also opens up opportunities to focus and develop the activities and the excellent facilities we offer during the times when the vast majority want to use the centre.”
 
The centre opened in 1975 and is in the grounds of Sandiacre Friesland School. A successful partnership agreement between the council and the school is in place which will see the school continue to use the sports hall and a range of facilities during term time.
 
If agreed, the new opening hours at Sandiacre Friesland Sports Centre would be Monday to Thursday 3pm-10.45pm, Friday 3pm-10.30pm, Saturday 8.30am-6pm and Sunday 9.30am-7pm.
 
Despite the reduced public opening hours, the council could still open up the centre during the day for specifically targeted sessions  if needed – like GP referrals –and it was economically viable to do so.
 
The meeting of Council Executive is on Tuesday 12 September at Long Eaton Town Hall at 10.30am.
 

Sparkling savings on firework tickets 

Tickets for this year’s Erewash Bonfire and Fireworks display are now on sale, with sparkling discounts on offer for tickets bought in advance.
 
The 2017 extravaganza is at Long Eaton’s West Park on Saturday 4 November and is once again expected to attract thousands of people. Organised by Erewash Borough Council, it is one of the biggest community bonfire and firework displays in the area and this year’s theme is ‘Heroes and Villains’.
 
The council is offering value for money savings on all tickets bought in advance – a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) is £10, instead of the £15 payable on the night. Adults can snap up a ticket for £5 while anyone aged 16 and under or 60 and above pay £2 – both a £1 saving on the on-the-night price. Admission is free for children aged 5 and under.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“Bonfire Night might seem a long way off, but it makes sense to get your tickets sorted now and save some money at the same time! Our display and celebration is by far the biggest and best for miles around and is enjoyed every year by thousands of people – so we’ll see you there!”
 
Tickets are now available from West Park Leisure Centre, Long Eaton; Victoria Park Leisure Centre, Ilkeston; and Ilkeston and Long Eaton Town Halls.
 

Bank Holiday boating bonanza!

One of the biggest Bank Holiday events to be hosted in Erewash is on its way . . . when Ilkeston hosts the prestigious IWA Festival of Water, a colourful spectacle that is expected to attract thousands of people from all over the country.
 
The free event takes place throughout the holiday weekend - on Saturday 26th, Sunday 27th and Bank Holiday Monday 28 August on the stretch of canal alongside the Gallows Inn on Nottingham Road and off the water on the adjacent playing fields.
 
The annual festival, organised by The Inland Waterways Association (IWA), will bring three days of entertainment - with up to 130 boats, including leisure, trade, heritage and working narrowboats, expected to be at the festival and all decked out with colourful bunting.
 
On offer will be a wide range of attractions both on and off the water, making it a fun day out for all the family. The playing fields site will include a display of classic cars, craft stalls, birds of prey, children’s rides and a chance to listen to live music and enjoy a real ale bar.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“We have worked closely with IWA and invested in and supported this free event to enable this national festival to be brought to our wonderful borough.
 
“It will be a milestone event, full of colour and fun. We are expecting thousands of people to join us for what will be a landmark festival and a celebration of the beauty and rich history of the Erewash Canal.”
 
The Inland Waterways Association is a national charity working to protect and restore the country’s 6,500 miles of canals and rivers and announced last year that it would be bringing its annual IWA Festival of Water to Ilkeston in 2017.  
 

Erewash celebrates another hat-trick

Erewash Borough Council has again retained its Green Flag awards at three popular leisure sites in the borough, it has been confirmed today. (Wednesday 19 July)
 
The good news means Long Eaton’s flagship West Park and Straw’s Bridge Local Nature Reserve at West Hallam have secured the prestigious award for the third time while Victoria Park at Ilkeston celebrates the honour for a seventh successive year.
 
The Green Flag award is the benchmark national standard for England and Wales and is presented to high quality parks, green spaces and nature reserves that have excellent facilities and are well-maintained and well-managed.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“This is another tremendous achievement and more good news for Erewash. We are very proud to fly the Green Flags at the three sites, which are now rightly confirmed as among the best in the country.
 
“Our continued success is testament to the hard work of our dedicated team who work all year round to manage these sites and we also send out a very big thank you to the volunteers and the Friends Group members who enthusiastically help us to maintain and further develop the popular sites. They play such a big part in making them such beautiful places for all to visit and enjoy.”
 
West Park is the largest in Erewash at 127 acres and dates back to the early 1900s. It is enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year and has seen substantial investment over the last few years. It offers an extensive range of sports and recreational facilities including an outdoor gym trail, a skatepark, a splashpad water park, bowls, tennis and football and cricket.
 
Victoria Park dates back to 1896 and a major heritage project to restore key Victorian features within it has just been completed after the council secured a £740,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
 
Straw’s Bridge Local Nature Reserve features three ponds that are surrounded by woodland, scrub, meadow and wetland – while it is also connected to the Nutbrook Trail. It attracts many types of birds but is particularly famous for its swans, leading to its affectionate nickname ‘Swan Lake’.

Going swimmingly!

Fabulously fun family pool parties have again been lined up at two Erewash leisure centres to provide some splashtastic summertime fun for the school holidays.
 
Erewash Borough Council’s popular pool parties are held at its swimming pools at Victoria Park Leisure Centre in Ilkeston and West Park Leisure Centre in Long Eaton.
 
Music, an inflatable obstacle course and fun and games for the whole family are on the agenda and this year’s party dates for the diary are:
 
Victoria Park Leisure Centre, Ilkeston – Saturday 29 July and Saturday 2 September between 3.30pm-4.15pm and 4.30pm-5.15pm.
West Park Leisure Centre, Long Eaton – Saturday 5 August and Saturday 26 August between 3pm-3.45pm and 4pm-4.45pm.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“Our pool parties are incredibly good fun and have become a firm favourite for the summer holiday. So dig out the swimming costumes and have a splashingly good time!”
 
The parties are limited to 100 places on a first come, first served basis on the day. All summer pool parties are free for junior summer swim members. 
 
Admission for others is £2.40 for juniors (5-16th birthday) or £1.80 with a leisure card. Adult admission is £4 (£3.40 with a leisure card). A family admission (two adults and up to three children) is £11.60 (£11 with a leisure card)
 
The parties are for 5 years to adults, but children under eight years must be accompanied by an adult.