Spotlight – February 2015

Three months into my new role and I am pleased to report that lots of positive activities have been taking place since October.
A Fond Farewell and Thank You to Acting Town Manager, Ian MacDonald
Ian has served the Town Council for many years, starting his role here in 1997, retiring in 2009, before coming out of retirement and returning to Syston for a further two years from 2012 until December 2014. He is now officially enjoying his second retirement and Syston Town Council is very thankful for his work and contribution to the town.
Christmas Event 2014
Syston Town Council’s Christmas Event 2014 was even bigger and better than previous years; hosted in Central Park and the Peace Garden, the event was a huge success and enjoyed by the large crowds as well as being excellently supported by local traders whom braved the cold but sunny weather.
A varied and lively entertainment programme opened with St Peter & St Paul’s Hand Bells, followed by the talented and eccentric Chris Scott (Elvis), an internationally acclaimed Elvis tribute act, almost as good as the man himself! The Voice finalist and local girl, Sally Barker mesmerised the crowds with a stunning vocal performance as well as sharing her exciting stories of being coached by Tom Jones. The Left Hand Band Band had some of the crowd dancing and The Syston Band created wonderfully festive finale.
Walkabout characters Peppa Pig, Mickey Mouse and Olaf kept Syston’s young people entertained whilst the Snow King Stilt Walker was a big hit with all age groups.
Santa’s Grotto was as popular as ever with families lining up to speak with Santa and receive an early present. The Santa parade increased the crowds and the excitement as he arrived at the sundial to greet the children and help with the countdown to the fireworks.
Shop Window Competition
The Christmas Shop Window competition entries presented a difficult decision for Chairman of Syston Town Council Cllr Stephen Hampson. There were some eye-catching and innovative displays and ‘The Secret Garden’ clinched the top spot to receive a prize of £100, presented by the Deputy Mayor of Charnwood John Capleton who then visited the shop expressing who Syston has a great atmosphere and lovely range of shops. Thank you to all the retailers who made the extra effort to enter the competition; we would be delighted to see even more shops taking part in 2015.
Christmas Lights
The finale of the day was a dynamic and breathtaking firework display after which all the street lights were illuminated.
Thank you to all who supported the event, we hope you enjoyed it and would love to see you again in December. Feedback has been extremely positive and we are planning an even bigger and better event for 2015!
Syston Christmas Tree
It seems that not everyone is overflowing with goodwill at Christmas time. Our Christmas Tree in Central Park was resplendent with sparkling Christmas lights, sadly only for a short time, as vandals tore the lights from the tree and discarded the broken parts on the floor, leaving dangerous live wires exposed. Thanks to our lighting contractors, Metric, the lights were eventually fixed and returned to the tree for the remainder of the festive period.
Pavilion
A big thank you to those who have contacted me to advise me what you would like from your Pavilion. We have formed a Pavilion Committee that includes Town Councillors and current users of the Pavilion. Architects have been approached and we have some interesting ideas from which to take this forward. I will keep you informed of progress, but please contact me if you think you may be interested in using the Pavilion yourself in the future or if you have some constructive advice regarding its refurbishment.
New Cemetery
A Cemetery Committee including Town Councillors, local Clergy as well as local Funeral Directors has been formed and discussions to bring the approved plan to reality are well under way.
Archdale Street Playground
The playground is now open and exciting new play equipment has been installed as well as some renovation of the popular apparatus previously in place. This project forms part of Syston Town Council’s initiative to encourage children to be healthy and active.
As well as new landscaping with impact absorbing surface around the play area, the playground features a variety of new innovative play equipment. A picnic bench and seats is also incorporated. The £65k project has been funded by support from recent developers in Syston. (image 102)
BMX Park
The BMX Park in Deville Park has been highlighted as in need of refurbishment and I am currently meeting with local young users of the park to work on a plan for improvement and re-development.
Changing Places Toilets
Leicestershire County Council have selected Syston as a potential site for a Changing Place Toilet facility. These are toilets with larger facilities that have the right equipment, including a changing bench, a hoist and high and low level wash basins with room for two carers to support disabled people whom need assistance.
The bidding process requires supporting letters from people whom would benefit from this facility; therefore if you do have a need for a changing place toilet in Syston, please contact me either by email or in writing stating your support for one to be installed. Contact details at the end of the next page.
Neighbourhood Plan
Cllr Sue Gerrard is leading a Neighbourhood Plan Team. This allows the Community to become involved in a shared vision of the development of Syston, including having a say in where new homes, shops, offices and other development should be built, identifying and protecting local green spaces and influencing what new buildings should look like.
There are still vacancies on the Team, if you are interested in joining and making a difference for Syston, please contact me in the first instance.
Highway Issues
As previously stated, the Council are deeply concerned about the volume of traffic coming through the town and have contacted the Highways Department at Charnwood Borough Council with some proposals to help lessen the problem.
Painting of The Brook
Local artist R M Grimsley was commissioned by Chairman, Cllr Stephen Hampson to paint a picture of The Brook in Syston and the stunning result is on display in the Reception area of the Community Centre. You can also view it on the Syston Town Council Website and prints are available to buy at a small cost; please contact the Council if you are interested.
Contacting your Council

Merton Ward
Cllr Ken Pacey
Cllr Harold Screaton
Cllr Paul Henry
Cllr Nilesh Patel
Cllr John Lucas
New Barkby Ward
Cllr Claire Dolan
Cllr Hanif Asmal
Cllr Valerie Henshaw
Cllr Eric Vardy
Cllr Paul Turner
St Peter’s East Ward
Cllr Stephen Hampson
Cllr Susan Gerrard
Cllr John Lillie
Cllr Maureen Pacey
Cllr David Pepper
St Peter’s West Ward
Cllr Tom Barkley
Cllr Mal Carnall
Cllr Nick Gee
Cllr Renata Jones
Cllr Kirti Asmal
Councillors can be contacted at:
The Community Centre, School Street, Syston, Leicester. LE7 1HN.
email: [email protected]
Tel: 0116 260 7150
Catherine Voyce Town Manager
Ursula Southan Office Manager
Kay Liquorish Office Co-Ordinator
Council Meetings for February are:
Development Committee
3rd February 7.30pm
Amenities Committee
10th February 7.30pm
Resources Committee
17th February 7.30pm
Full Council
24th February 7.30pm
Committee and Full Council Meetings take place at 7.30pm at the Community Centre in Syston; all residents are welcome to attend.