Fair inspires pupils’ artwork 

Children from two local schools will present specially-designed artwork to the Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Chris Corbett, during Ilkeston Charter Fair’s official opening this Thursday. (18th)
Pupils from the town’s Kensington Junior School and Chaucer Junior School will take a starring role in the ceremony after creating two stunning banners that depict the history of the fair.
The children have produced the artwork thanks to a project with local artist Jackie Ward, of Treehuggery, and Erewash Borough Council’s Arts Development Officer Katherine Brown, with the pupils learning new creative skills as well as finding out about the heritage of the fair, which dates back to 1252.
The banners will be seen for the first time on Thursday when the children join the ceremonial launch, which starts at 11.45am outside Ilkeston Town Hall, of the 766th Ilkeston Fair. They will then be on display for a fortnight in the main reception area of Ilkeston Town Hall.
Ilkeston Charter Fair’s rich history originally saw people come to buy and sell items including tools, cloth, fruits, vegetables and smaller livestock. Victorian times saw a change to the fair with more emphasis on fun, and the introduction of rides and side shows. The Charter Fair is now one of the largest traditional street fairs, with rides and stalls taking over the market place and surrounding streets for four days every October.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Leisure and Culture, says:
“These banners look amazing, all thanks to this fantastic arts project which has enabled the children to have fun while being given new creative skills and learning all about the history of the fair.  They have done a wonderful job and the banners will look really bright and colourful as part of the official launch. Well done to everyone involved!

Report outlines key successes

Erewash Borough Council’s Annual Report, which outlines the key achievements across its priority areas, has been approved at a meeting of Council Executive this week (Tuesday 2 October).
The 2017/18 report also includes the financial position and the council’s priorities and vision to take the borough forward.
Messages and achievements in the report include:
That for every £1 of council tax paid by a resident, Erewash Borough Council receives 11p. Derbyshire County Council receives 74p, Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner 11p and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Authority 4p.
The council works with a wide range of partners to help improve the quality of life for residents – including with neighbouring authorities, Erewash Partnership Ltd, and national and regional organisations. The council also funds Erewash Citizens Advice Bureau.
A total of £525,000 was awarded to 73 people in the borough to help them to live independently in their own homes.
The council supports local communities in many ways, including making over £130,000 available for community and voluntary groups.
There was a 38% drop in fly tipping incidents in the borough – the third consecutive year the council saw a reduction in incidents.
The council has worked hard to improve its environmental performance and thanks to the LED lighting programme and other ‘green’ energy measures, the council achieved a 28% reduction in CO2 emissions over the last five years. 
Councillor Carol Hart, Leader of Erewash Borough Council, says:
“We are committed to keeping our residents informed about how their money is being spent on the things that matter in our borough and this Annual Report is an important platform that allows us to do just that.
“I am delighted to be able to report that we again performed well against our targets in the last financial year and that yet again, we delivered a balanced budget. These are financially challenging times, however, and the hard work continues to ensure we provide efficient and best-value services for everyone.”
The Annual Report 2017/18 is available to view online at www.erewash.gov.uk while a small number of printed copies are on display in the reception areas of the council’s buildings. Hard copies can be provided on request by calling 0115 907 2244.

Park’s poppy tribute

A stunning remembrance display featuring thousands of knitted poppies will transform Ilkeston’s Victoria Park into a moving memorial to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
Organised by the Friends of Victoria Park, the ‘Poppy Project’ has seen volunteers on a worldwide scale knit poppies that will be displayed in a memorial trail through the park at a family remembrance event on Saturday 27 October between 10am-3pm.
The trailing display of poppies has been organised to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, and the thousands of knitted flowers that will make up the commemorative trail will provide a striking and memorable display.
Friends group members have been overwhelmed by the support of local residents for the project, while knitted flowers for the display have also arrived from across the UK and from countries like Italy, Spain and Australia. 
The family event will raise money for the Royal British Legion, with people able to buy the display poppies – while poppy badges will also be on sale. Members of the Royal British Legion Ilkeston Branch will be at the event along with local cadets.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
“This has been such a heart-warming project that has caught the imagination of the whole borough – and further afield as well. People young and old have so willingly given their time to knit remembrance poppies and our thanks go to them and to all involved in organising this event.
“It will be an emotional sight – a sea of poppies as part of our remembrance events here in Erewash in this special year. Go along to witness this display, it will be something that will stay in all our memories,”
Ahead of the event on 27 October, 364 of the knitted red poppies – and one white poppy to symbolise peace – are currently on display in the gardens of Erewash Museum in Ilkeston.
Rachael Spence, of the Friends of Victoria Park, says:
“The willingness of people to take part has been staggering, all of them united by their desire to support such a worthwhile cause. I can’t wait to see the final display, it will be a fantastic showcase.”
Residents can find out more at the Facebook page /Victoria Park Poppy Project Ilkeston.

The winners take it all!

Schoolchildren, local residents and business representatives have been honoured in another outstanding year for the Erewash in Bloom awards.
The Bloom competition is Erewash Borough Council’s annual gardening extravaganza to find the borough’s best green-fingered gurus and the 2018 results were announced at a presentation event at Morley Hayes Golf Club on Friday. (5 October)
This year’s competition attracted 135 entries from people of all ages and from all corners of the borough as well as from schools, businesses and community organisations.
Bloom is the flagship project of the council’s Pride in Erewash Campaign and features a whole range of categories, from best front and back gardens and best hanging baskets through to best business display, school garden, and a fun tallest sunflower competition.
The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Chris Corbett, presented awards to the winners.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
“It is always a great privilege to be able to salute our Bloom champions and marvel at their gardening skills and wonderful displays. The heatwave made it a challenging summer for gardeners, but there were still countless stunning gardens and displays. We applaud everyone for their efforts – you all certainly made it a difficult job for the judges!”
This year’s competition also saw Trent Barton get on board, with the bus company sponsoring the Best Front Garden Category.

Ceremonial opening for historic fair

Ilkeston Charter Fair is one of the oldest and largest street fairs in Europe and will once again be given its ceremonial opening on Thursday 18 October when the Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Chris Corbett, will ‘ring the bell’ – the official signal that this year’s 766th Charter Fair is underway.
The traditional ceremony also includes a reading of the original 1252 Charter in front of Ilkeston Town Hall witnessed by local families and visitors, who will join the showmen to celebrate and welcome the fair.
This year’s Charter Fair will be held from Wednesday 17 October to Saturday 20 October when Ilkeston town centre will again be transformed into a colourful spectacle as the rides and stalls pack into the Market Place and surrounding streets.
Guests at the ceremony will include representatives from other local authorities in Derbyshire and children from local schools who will presenting fair banners they have created, depicting the history of the Charter Fair, to the Mayor.