Commonwealth Flag Raising
South Holland District Council will join other local authorities, community groups and organisations across the world when it acknowledges Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth day in March.
The unique initiative is set to build on the highly successful inaugural events last year that saw over 650 other Commonwealth Flags raised in 38 Commonwealth countries.
A specially written Commonwealth Affirmation will be read out at each ceremony before the raising of the Commonwealth flag at 10am on Monday March 9.
In South Holland the event will be held outside our offices in Priory Road, Spalding, led by Council Chairman Cllr Robert Clark.
He said: “I am delighted to be raising the flag for a second year to dedicate Commonwealth Day and give our community the chance to appreciate everything the Commonwealth stands for.
“Publicly signalling the continued influence the Commonwealth plays around the world in the 21st century and the values it represents is an opportunity we are again proud to be part of.”
The events have caught the imagination of thousands of participants around the world, enabling people of all ages in their local communities to become involved and join with others worldwide in associating themselves with widespread public expression of commitment to the Commonwealth.
In addition, for the First Time in Maritime History, the 11 Ships of P&O and Cunard Line will be raising the Commonwealth flag at various locations as they cruise around the world at the same time on the day.
Over 500 Commonwealth flags will be raised throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man in March to mark the event.
For the first time, Cadets from the Royal Air Force Air Cadets will also be participating in the event.
Charity Teams from Fields of Life, a Northern Ireland and Uganda based charity will mark the day by taking flags to the top of the UK's four highest National Peaks - Scafell Pike, Mount Snowdon, Ben Nevis, and Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland.
In Tonga where time begins, the Girl Guides Association of the Kingdom of Tonga (GGAKT) will be the first in the world to raise their Commonwealth flag.
His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth said: "Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth is a most imaginative way for people in local communities - wherever they live, learn or work - to join together with others throughout the Commonwealth in a spirit of respect and understanding to celebrate the variety of unmatched diversity of our global family. I welcome and commend it."
Happy Birthday to the Green Bag Lottery!
Our Green Bag Lottery celebrates its first anniversary this week – and what a year it has been.
The scheme promotes good recycling and aims to raise awareness of its importance while offering South Holland residents a chance to win big cash prizes.
Every four weeks, ten households across the district are randomly and secretly selected to take part.
Each one that presents recycling correctly for three out of four weeks is awarded £100 and they are then placed into a draw to win £1,000.
Since the lottery launched in February 2014 there have been a total of 102 winners out of a possible 120, showing that South Holland residents mean business when it comes to recycling.
Over £10,000 in prize money has been handed out, which includes £100 prizes and £3,000 in grand prize draw money.
Cllr Roger Gambba-Jones, portfolio holder for Waste Management, said: “The lottery has only been running for 12 months but has already achieved considerable success by encouraging more residents to recycle and others to improve the quality of what they recycle.
“It has spread the message of good recycling across the district and we look forward to announcing new winners throughout 2015.”
Winners have been spread across the district, including 37 in Spalding, 8 in Holbeach, 3 in Deeping St Nicholas, 5 in Crowland, 12 in Long Sutton, 2 in Quadring, 2 in Holbeach Hurn, 3 in Donington and 4 in Holbeach St Marks.
The scheme is funded by the Weekly Collection Support Scheme, part of a central government grant that has allowed South Holland District Council to keep weekly collections.
No zero Food Hygiene Ratings
Great news for food lovers in South Holland – there are currently no takeaways or restaurants in the district with the lowest-ranked Food Hygiene rating.
Following inspections last week, two Long Sutton eateries which previously had a zero ranking (urgent improvement necessary) have seen their ratings boosted.
Food Hygiene ratings tell you about the hygiene standards in restaurants and are usually displayed on green and black stickers at the premises – the higher the score, the better the food hygiene procedures.
Within South Holland there are currently (as of 5/02/15) 625 Food Premises that have been rated.
Of the premises:-
299 are rated 5 (increase of 18 since Nov14)
176 are rated 4 (drop of 7 since Nov 14))
125 are rated 3 (no change since Nov 14)
12 are rated 2 (drop of 1 since Nov 14)
13 are rated 1 (drop of 2 since Nov 14)
0 are rated 0 (drop of 1 since Nov 14) (NB not all premises are required to be rated under the national rating scheme).
A chef and his manager of The Railway Hotel in Hornchurch, Essex, were sent to prison recently after serving a Christmas dinner which left a mother dead and 33 other diners ill with food poisoning.
The investigating council found this was due to the Turkey meat not being cooked adequately or reheated properly.
The incident, although extremely rare, shows the importance of thorough food hygiene procedures.
Cllr Malcolm Chandler, portfolio holder for environmental health, said: “I am pleased to say that the incident that occurred at The Railway Hotel in Hornchurch is rare.
“But it proves that it’s vital for food businesses to take a responsible and serious approach to food hygiene practices and procedures.
“This is why we at South Holland District Council are encouraging and supporting all food businesses to achieve the top rating. We consider the protection of the public as the highest priority and will deal firmly with those businesses where there are breaches of compliance to essential standards.”
For more information about Food Hygiene ratings or to check the rankings of local business visit http://www.ratings.food.gov.uk.
New defibrillator installed in Moulton Seas
Life-saving equipment has been set up in Moulton Seas End thanks to three South Holland councillors and a local fund raiser.
Cllrs Anthony Casson, Rodney Grocock and Andrew Woolf used their ward budgets to install a Defibrillator at the village hall.
They were aided by local resident Vera Angelo who raised funds by baking and selling cakes.
Cllr Casson said: “The device could help to save a life, it is vitally important that these facilities are available in the district.”
Cllr Grocock said: “We thought that this would be a worthwhile way of using our ward budgets and would like to thank Vera for the part she played.”
Cllr Woolf added: “Hopefully it will never be used but it will certainly provide peace of mind.”
The Defibrillator can help resuscitate people who have suffered sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
This occurs when the electrical rhythm that controls the heart is replaced by a chaotic disorganised rhythm called ventricular fibrillation.
A Defibrillator works by emitting a high energy electric shock which restores the heart's natural rhythm.
Many SCA victims can be saved if people nearby recognise what has happened, call the ambulance service quickly, perform basic chest compressions and use a Defibrillator.
Photo caption: Cllrs Rodney Grocock, Andrew Woolf and Anthony Casson with the new Defibrillator at Moulton Seas End
Library changes given the green-light
The council's executive has approved plans for a new-look library service.
The proposals were recommended by officers in light of changes in the way libraries are used and the authority's substantially reduced budget.
Under the plans, the council will continue to provide 15 major libraries, along with online services, mobile libraries and specialist support for those unable to reach their nearest library because of, for instance, disability, age or ill health.
These will be complemented by up to 40 community hubs, including library services, developed in partnership with local community groups. Not only will these groups receive ongoing professional support, they will also be given over £5,000 per year towards their running costs and access to a one-off grant of up to £15,000 for changes to buildings or equipment.
The council will continue to run the existing libraries in these areas until 30 September 2015 giving volunteers plenty of time to lay firm foundations for the new community hubs to be developed.
In addition, the authority will undertake a competitive procurement to seek an external organisation to potentially deliver library services on its behalf, including the support for the community hubs. This follows an approach by Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), a not-for-profit organisation interested in running local libraries.
Cllr Nick Worth, Executive Member for Libraries, said: "The way in which libraries are used is changing, not just in Lincolnshire, but across the country, and it's important we adapt with the times.
"We are excited by the potential for community development of the new-look community hubs, and I look forward to working with those that have come forward.
"Because of the challenge by GLL, we will also have to look at potentially outsourcing the service that would otherwise be delivered by the council.
"However, I'm confident that, whatever the ultimate outcome, not only will we continue to provide a comprehensive library service across the county, but it will be one that gives much better value for money."
Because of the work involved in a competitive procurement, it is likely to take until the end of 2015 before a final decision is reached on who will run the service.
Depot team strike gold
Dedicated staff at our waste and recycling depot in Spalding had cause to celebrate after being handed a prestigious award for their excellent health and safety record.
The team were recently presented with a Gold Award by Pristine Condition, to recognise the fact that no manual handling accidents happened at the Westmarsh Road site during 2014.
Barry Bradley, Operations Supervisor at the depot, said: “The entire team are very proud because these awards are not handed out regularly.
“This shows that the team takes health and safety matters very seriously and that the training we give staff on correct manual handling techniques is highly effective.”
Mr Bradley runs an induction programme for all new starters at the depot.
The four hour session covers many aspects of health and safety including manual handling techniques and is mandatory for all recycling and refuse staff. Pristine Condition, which trains and monitors staff across the UK, hands out three health and safety awards – gold, silver and bronze.
Barry Bradley (right) is pictured receiving the Gold award from Phil Bladon of Pristine Condition.
Open Arts Deadline looms
Artists have only two weeks left to enter a prestigious competition designed to showcase the best work created by professionals and amateurs across the region.
Entries are open for the 15th South Holland Open Arts Exhibition which will take place at the South Holland Centre in Spalding from March 5 – 12 2015.
The deadline is Friday, January 30 and organisers are keen to make sure that nobody misses this fantastic opportunity.
Artists can submit their work and an independent panel of judges will choose the pieces which will be displayed at the exhibition.
Cllr Howard Johnson, portfolio holder for arts development, said: “This prestigious event has been running since 1999 and previously attracted artists and visitors from all over the East of England.
“I’m sure this year’s event will be of the usual excellent standard and I look forward to seeing the artwork on display.”
The contest is open to any professional or amateur artist over the age of 14 living or working in Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Northamptonshire, Norfolk, Leicestershire or Fenland.
Artists can enter up to three works by completing an Open Arts entry form and submitting it to the Community Development team by Friday, January 30 2015.
Full details and rules can be found in the entry form.
Entry forms are available from South Holland District Council, The South Holland Centre, Ayscoughfee Hall Museum, libraries and galleries in South Holland and online at www.sholland.gov.uk.
For more information or to receive an entry from contact the Community Development team on 01775 761161 or email firstname.lastname@example.org