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Christmas panto cancelled due to Assembly Rooms fire

This year's traditional Christmas panto in Derby has been cancelled after a blaze forced the Assembly Rooms venue to shut down.

The Assembly Rooms in the city centre was hit by a fire which broke out in the car park in March.

The Assembly Rooms in Derby city centre was hit by a fire in March
The Assembly Rooms in Derby city centre was hit by a fire in March Credit: Derby City Council

Council leisure chief Councillor Alison Martin said a programme of other events would be held to ensure people were still able to immerse themselves in festive fun.

The council has worked hard to investigate a number of options for staging the pantomime in the city however, unfortunately at least for this year’s event we have not been able to identify a solution which would meet our audience’s expectations and be logistically and financially viable.

It is of course disappointing that we have not been able to stage the pantomime this year, however I’m confident that Christmas will go on in Derby.

– Councillor Alison Martin, Derbyshire City Council
A number of shows have had to be cancelled after the fire
A number of shows have had to be cancelled after the fire Credit: Makinder Chahal

Among the activities planned for the holiday season are the ice rink and arts and craft fair in Market Place, while the Guildhall Theatre will stage performances of Naughty Meg and the Christmas Elves, plus many more.

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‘Budget cuts mean we have to think the unthinkable’

Senior council leaders in Derbyshire say severe budget cuts have meant they have had to “think the unthinkable” when finding services to cut to save cash.

The county council has to slash £157 million from budgets over the next four years - and some services for disabled children are now under threat.

The council says that if approved, the cuts would save £485,000 a year
The council says that if approved, the cuts would save £485,000 a year Credit: PA

Children’s services chief, Councillor Kevin Gillott, said:

The unrelenting budget cuts that are being forced on us by the Government mean we have to cut our spending on services by more than a third.

I don't want to be in a position of having to consider making these cuts but we have been left with no choice.

I realise the impact these proposals will have on Derbyshire families with disabled children - many of whom have been receiving this support for years.

But we simply don't have the money to provide everything we'd like to and we're being forced in to a position where we have to put money where it is most needed.

– Councillor Kevin Gillott, Derbyshire County Council

He said no decision would be made until after a public consultation, which would be held in Autumn if agreed by council next week.

If all the changes went ahead it would save an estimated £485,000 a year.

Threat to services for disabled children in budget cuts

Around £485,000 will be slashed from services for disabled children in Derbyshire under new cost-cutting plans by the county council.

The authority has to cut £157 million over the next four years - and services currently on offer to families without the need for an assessment are among those in the firing line.

Derbyshire County Council says it needs to cut £157m from its budget by 2018
Derbyshire County Council says it needs to cut £157m from its budget by 2018 Credit: ITV News Central

The council will meet on Tuesday (August 5) to vote on whether to go ahead with a public consultation over the plans in the Autumn.

If approved, residents will be asked for their views on the future Aiming High Derbyshire Offer, which provides for respite care and short breaks for families with disabled children. It is under threat from budget cuts as it is not a legal requirement to provide the service.

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Rolls Royce in court for alleged radiation safety failings

The Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency is prosecuting the firm
The Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency is prosecuting the firm Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Rolls-Royce is due back in court today over alleged safety failings at its Marine Power Operations plant in Sinfin Lane in Derby.

The Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency is prosecuting the firm over concerns employees may have been exposed to radiation in 2011.

Miss England director: Mother's entry unfair on child

The director of the Miss England competition says letting a mother enter would be unfair on the child and the family.

In a statement, Angie Beasley told ITV News that any winner of the competition would find it difficult to split attention between the role of being Miss England and being a mother.

Miss World and Miss England are both run by mothers who have normal family values. It is both unfair on the child and her family to take the mother away from home for the year whilst she travels the globe helping charity causes for children. It raises issues about who would take care of the child/children whose mother was fortunate to win. Surely it seems obvious to anyone that for a mother to devote herself fully to a role such as Miss England or Miss World that it would be unfair on any child...

We all see celebrities such as Victoria Beckham and Beyonce as being successful working mums in the limelight. But these people are top celebrities with nannies and the funds to pay for such a lifestyle. Miss England and Miss World become charity ambassadors for the year... and don't have the same support like the top celebrities have, especially when they are first starting out .

– Angie Beasley, Director of Miss England

Model banned from Miss England says rule is outdated

A mother who has been kicked out of the Miss England beauty pageant because she has a daughter says the rule outlawing her is outdated.

She says organisers had originally accepted her application but changed their mind just weeks later as they say competitors who have children can't enter because it is against their policy.

Read: Model banned from Miss England for being a mother

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