Section: East Midlands

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F1 sponsor to deliver a loss to Towcester?

Ann C Holland
DHL Towcester

Concerns over Formula 1 sponsor The recent British Grand Prix saw concerns raised by campaigners in Towcester. DHL, a British GP sponsor, has applied to build a massive warehouse near the historic town which could change its character, they claim. The group, No DHL at Towcester said the proposed one million square foot centre is […]

Ask Sir John Hayes where the fruit and veg have gone?

Richard Hall
Sir John Hayes

The first in our series of articles (second here) looking at the looming supply chain crisis in the UK. Sir John Hayes (Conservative MP for South Holland and the Deepings) is a stalwart of the Tory party right wing and an ardent Brexiter. At the beginning of June he wrote a piece for his local […]

Out of line – EMR axes local train services

Matt Turpin
Railway cuts

I know little about trains, and how they run. I’ve never devoted much thought to franchise agreements and I can’t get excited about livery. I’m even ambivalent on HS2, as I don’t feel I’ve had time to engage fully with the perilously complex debate. I’m loosely in favour of nationalisation, but have no idea of […]

Melton Mowbray: bypass row leaves locals behind

Helen Louise Cliff
Melton Mowbray Bypass

When councils fall out with one another in such an acrimonious way to hit the headlines one would expect them to be at different ends of the political spectrum. Not so when it comes to Melton Borough (MBC) and Leicestershire County (LCC) Councils, both Tory run, who have got themselves into a particularly bitter public […]

Blandford flies

Ann C Holland
Jeremy Clarkson

The culture Each Sunday we buy The Sunday Times as we enjoy ‘The Culture’. On June 6 2021, The Clarkson Review had this to say: ‘I am currently toying with the idea of having huge speakers in the gateposts at my new house that play ODE TO JOY, loud, every time the gates open. This […]

Leave peat where it belongs – in the ground

MJ Kellman
Peat lands need protection

Peatlands are often seen as the poor relation of the countryside, holding little if any value. Traditionally, the nutrient-poor land was drained for arable farming, forestry, and grazing for livestock. Peat continues to be extracted for gardeners and commercial growers or to be burnt as fuel. And here in Derbyshire, the practice of rotational burning […]

Cuts in UK foreign aid to East Midlands charity deprives street children in Uganda

Anna Girolami
Uganda children

A Chesterfield-based charity supporting street children in Uganda has had its only international development grant withdrawn when the government cut foreign funding from 0.7 to 0.5 per cent gross national income (GNI). S.A.L.V.E. International S.A.L.V.E. International is a Chesterfield/Ugandan charity, aimed at supporting homeless and out-of-school children in Uganda. It was founded by a group […]

Keeping up with Lee Anderson

Anna Girolami
Lee Anderson

Back in November last year, Central Bylines posted a profile of Lee Anderson which concluded that Ashfield, his constituency, deserved better than the Labour-turned-Tory-turned-antiwoke-warrior as an MP. Seven months later, we thought we’d see how he’s getting on. Is Ashfield getting a better service from its MP these days? If what you want from your […]

Surescreen miss the gravy train

Anna Girolami

SureScreen offered the tests to the government nearly a year ago but they were ignored. Addressing the government’s response to their approach, David Campbell, one of the directors, said, “We’ve done our best to engage with the government. There’s been tentative interest but unfortunately we haven’t had any good dialogue.”

Melton Mowbray anti-racist, feebly

Michael Brooker
Racism

In 2020, Melton Borough Council came late to the debate of Black Lives Matter. Their hand was eventually forced by the apparently naïve postings of one of their councillors. Simon Lumley. In the midst of the George Floyd protests, Lumley had taken to twitter to post the hashtag, ‘white lives matter’.

We don’t have to build on the green belt

Ryan Priest
Brown field site - no need to build on the green belt

Before the recent West Midlands elections, Mayor Andy Street did his campaigning tour boldly claiming that the green belt was under threat, and that only a vote for the Conservatives could save it. To the passive political spectator, it was a sure vote winner, but it didn’t take much digging to uncover the paradox in the Mayor’s claims. … If there is a threat to our green belt, it is clear where that threat comes from.

Midlands farming sold out: ‘it’s crass and it’s wrong’

Simon Ferrigno

Stanley has farmed 700 acres of land with his parents for the past 12 years in the region. The farm is a mixed arable and beef and mainly tenanted farm on which the family have native longhorn cattle, a breed that was classed as rare until recently. Stanley clearly loves his cattle, and talks with passion about the many dozens of native sheep and cattle breeds that hover near extinction. He fears a Free trade Agreement (FTA) with Australia, said to offer Australia zero tariffs and quotas, will tip these breeds over the edge alongside most of the people who rear them.

The Midlands After Brexit

Cliff Mitchell

Trade figures recently released for the first quarter of 2021 (1Q2021) provide worrying clues as to the impact of both COVID-19 and Brexit on the Midlands economy. One thing that is clear is that long-term planning has never been harder – previous economic trends have been blown out of the water by the pandemic lockdowns, the uncertainty of the transition period, and the confusion of post-Brexit trading.

The citizens who stayed

Alice Knight

I am lucky enough here in Derbyshire to have my post delivered by someone who came to England from Poland in 2005. He is courteous, friendly and helpful. I have often wondered what his impressions are of life in the UK, especially how he had been impacted by the Brexit experience.

Just not cricket

Anna Girolami

Today is 4th May, we are deep into spring. This year’s county cricket season is three weeks’ old and Derbyshire is already languishing at the bottom of their group. Despite Covid-19, despite the Big Bash League, despite the razzamatazz of the Indian Premier League*, cricket remains the quintessential game of the English summer. The gentle […]

Selling a Picasso for peanuts – Allestree Park golf course

Andrew Picken

Allestree Park golf course closed on January 1st 2021. As Derby slides listlessly towards the local elections on Thursday, questions are being raised over decisions taken by the city council about the course. It’s a site that is special to many people in the city, golfers or not, and especially so during Covid-19 when outdoor […]

Liberation through libation: why pubs underpin radicalism

Matt Turpin

Beeston, a suburb just outside Nottingham, was once famed for having a greater concentration of pubs than any other town in the UK. While this is a contentious claim, the town still has more than its fair share of places to meet and drink. A recent book from the renowned poet John Lucas about a […]

Currie Purdah

Anna Girolami

Purdah – a term previously used to describe the period leading up to an election, commencing on the date the Notice of Election is published and ending at the close of the poll on election day. Was ever anyone more aptly-named than Edwina Currie (yes, yes. I know she calls herself Currie Jones these days […]