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2,500 people take part in Leicestershire libraries consultation

Leicestershire County Council says it well look to continue running 16 of its most popular libraries Credit: ITV News Central

More than 2,500 people have contacted Leicestershire County Council as part of a consultation into communities running 36 of its libraries.

The local authority wants to cut £800,000-per-year off its library budget from next year.

More than 2,500 people were contacted as part of Leicestershire County Council's public consultation Credit: ITV News Central

It will continue to run 16 of the most used libraries but are asking people if they would be willing to run the smaller ones voluntarily.

Quarry explains large expansion plans to residents

Plans to expand the quarry could secure jobs until 2040. Credit: ITV News Central

Plans to make one of the largest granite quarries in Europe even bigger are being explained to residents in Leicestershire.

The owners of Mountsorrel Quarry near Quorn say jobs are at risk if it can't expand. But residents are worried about dust levels and noise.

LaFarge Tarmac are holding information days today & tomorrow. The event today is between 2.00pm and 8:00pm in the Mountsorrel Parish Rooms, and tomorrow's is between 10:00am and 4:00pm at Rawlins Community College.

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  1. Chris Halpin

Residents fight quarry's big plans for the future

People living by one of the largest quarries in Europe are starting a fight to stop it from getting even bigger. Granite has been taken from the ground at the Mountsorrel Quarry in Leicestershire for more than 150 years.

Now the firm which runs it says new stone is running low. Plans could secure the site until 2040, but residents say they're not being consulted about the changes. Chris Halpin reports.

Up to 700 jobs to go at Leicestershire County Council

Up to 700 full time jobs will go at Leicestershire County Council, as they look to tackle a £110million funding gap by 2018.

The council has also agreed to freeze council tax for a year, saying they now have a ‘sustainable plan which secures the council’s finances’ at a time of ‘unprecedented circumstances’, after a four and a half hour budget meeting today.

The decision means:

  • 700 jobs are to go, in addition to the 600 redundancies already made over the previous three years.
  • Council tax will be frozen in 2014/15.
  • The council will save £87million over the next four years, part of which will mean a move to more community-led services and reduced grants to voluntary groups.
  • £25million in extra spending, mainly in adult social care and waste disposal.

The decision follows a public consultation period through last summer, which outlined the services the people wanted protecting or reducing.

The council will have to become super-efficient to succeed. And that is after reducing some services severely.

Focussing on services to the most vulnerable in our communities is essential. We cannot be distracted into favouring projects dear to our hearts whilst risking putting those people in jeopardy.

– Byron Rhodes, Deputy leader

More than 2,000 sign petition to save Snibston Discovery Park

Snibston Discovery Park Credit: ITV News Central

More than 2,000 people have signed a petition to save Snibston Discovery Park from closure.

It is under threat as Leicestershire County Council looks to save £110 million from its budget over the next five years.

In June the attraction in Coalville celebrated its 21st anniversary. It is built on the site of the former colliery which closed in 1983.

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Leicestershire County Council seeking new foster carers

As the New Year begins, Leicestershire County Council is urging people to find out more about becoming a foster carer and adopter.

In Leicestershire, it takes 18 months on average to place a child with an adoptive family - six weeks quicker than the adoption process last year.

Fostering or adopting children, although challenging, is also one of the most rewarding things you can do and we’re urging anyone who is interested to find out more.

Anyone can make a success of it - the key qualities are patience, humour, time and energy and a determination to give a young person the sort of support that will really make a difference to their life.

– Ivan Ould, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for children and young people

You can read more about Leicester's adoption rate - which is faster than the national average - here.

To find out more information, visit www.spaceforachild.com or call 0116 305 3051.

Leicester helpline receives over 15,000 calls in 2012

A helpline which enables social workers to spend more time with families dealt with over 15,000 concerns about vulnerable children this year.

The phone number can be used by anyone to report concerns about a child's welfare.

Compared to 2011, the number received 10% more calls in 2012.

As well as making it easy for anyone with concerns to get in touch, it also frees up social workers to spend more time in communities working with children and their families.

– Ivan Ould, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for children and young people

Examples of calls received:

  • A mother-to-be asking for help to deal with an abusive relationship.
  • A teacher concerned about a small child who seemed to have been inappropriately punished by a parent.
  • A mother and child who had been abandoned by her partner and had no money to live on.

To contact the centre, please call 0116 305 0005.

Porn DVD Councillor steps down

The deputy leader of Leicestershire County Council has stepped down after it emerged a pornographic DVD was found in his council computer in breach of authority rules. David Sprason has admitted watching the film in 2007.

It was found when the computer broke and it was returned to the council's IT department to be repaired. The matter has only just come to light after a copy of a confidential letter was leaked. Mr Sprason is being investigated by Conservative Party officials.

It's the latest blow for the party locally. In the summer David Parsons resigned as leader of the council after an investigation found he breached the code of conduct of travel expenses.

Conservative group comments on David Parsons' resignation

Nick Rushton, from the Leicestershire County Council Conservative group, issued this statement on the resignation of former council leader Nick Parsons'.

"I have never had any communication or indication, directly or indirectly from David Parsons that he was not planning to stand in the county elections next year as a Conservative candidate.

Indeed, it is well known he was actively pursuing the nomination for his current seat and that re-selection was provisional pending the outcome of the current investigations into his conduct.”

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"It is a shame David felt he had to resign before the Group meeting. The Group rules would have allowed him to address the Group before any decision was made.

Perhaps his advance receipt of the report helped focus his mind. The Group will continue to meet as scheduled to allow them to consider the report and recommendations.

In the interests of transparency, the report will be published in full on the group website after the meeting.”

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