Safety works to Markfield Drive flats

Works are underway on the flats

A £200,000 investment in improvements to the flats on Markfield Drive began last week.

For some time residents in the area have been telling us about their worries about the state of the stairwells, where worn steps have become unsafe during wet and icy weather, whilst anti-social behaviour has also occured in the area with lines of sight being obscured by the brick walls.

The works are intended to help address these concerns, and are being included alongside a programme of door replacements. The doors on all the properties will be upgraded to be more fire safe.

Your local Labour team are pleased to see the concerns of local residents being addressed, and the council’s housing budget being used to support council tenants here.

Temporary wooden frames on one of the stairwells during the works recently.
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Bramley crossroads traffic lights

We’re aware that the traffic lights at Bramley crossroads have failed on a couple of occasions recently causing disruption in the area. We have raised this on your behalf with council staff, and unfortunately it seems that the problem lies with defective software. A replacement for this controller software has now been ordered which should hopefully resolve the problem, but this may take a few weeks to arrive and be installed so it is possible that there will be further problems during this time.

If you do become aware of a problem, please report it using this form on the council’s website, or by calling 01709 336003 (outside of office hours you will hear a recorded message, please hold the line and follow the instructions for an emergency issue).

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Bramley Main Street water works

Severn Trent are currently undertaking emergency works to the water main on Main Street at Bramley, close to the rear entrance to Aldi. Traffic diversions are in operation and you may experience delays as a result.

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A-level result u-turn is welcome – but no one will forget how we got there

The saga over A-level results has caused huge upset in the last week, here as much as anywhere else in the country.

In the absence of exams this year, the Conservative government’s decision to moderate the grades assessed by teachers using a computer formula based on other factors inlcuding previous years’ results saw 43% of grades awarded at Wickersley School changed. And whilst those lucky enough to be studying Latin at elite private schools were likely to see their grades increased above their teacher assessment, many students in schools across their country were more likely to be marked down regardless of the standard of their work – and there was absolutely nothing they could do about it.

The Headteacher of Wickersley School published a heartfelt open letter to the Secretary of State, Gavin Williamson, which you can read by clicking here.

Responding to the news last week on behalf of Labour councillors in the borough, Cllr Gordon Watson pointed out how the algorithm discriminated against communities like ours because of the nature of school year groups – something that the Tories had apparently been oblivous to – and how reforms introduced by the Tories in previous years had left them facing a calamity when Covid arrived.

Today, Cllr Chris Read writes in the Yorkshire Post about how the incident shows the yawning gulf between Tory rhetoric towards communities like ours and the reality of how little they understand.

“Bigger classes were always going to be worse affected, because the pull of the average is felt more strongly in the algorithm. Improving schools were going to do worse, because they’re tied to previous years’ results.

Schools in more deprived areas were going to do worse because they were denied the ability to control their own destiny.

Or looked at another way, irrespective of how hard you’ve worked, the skills you’ve gained, how every piece of work you’ve ever done has been marked, you were going to get the grades the computer wants you to. It didn’t take the finest minds in academia to see it.”

You can read his article in full by clicking here.

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Bramley Old Hall demolition

We have been contacted by a number of residents in relation to the proposed demolition of the Old Hall at Bramley (pictured above), with some people asking whether the council could prevent this on planning grounds.

The building, which is privately owned and has been derelect for years, has been a concern for some time. There have been repeated reports of anti-social behaviour including children using the inside of the building. Repeated efforts have been made between the council and the owner over time to secure the site.

In October 2016, planning permission was granted for the refurbishment and conversion of the building into four dwellings, and for two new dwellings to be built. However, this expired in October last year. No other planning permissions have been saught for the plot over this time.

Planning permission is not required for the demolition of the building. It is not a listed building and it does not sit within a conservation area. However the owner was required to notify the council about their plans, and the borough then had 28 days to consider the method proposed for demolition and how the site would be restored afterwards. On these factors the council can make a decision. However, and perhaps sadly, the principle of demolition cannot be legally contested for this building and it is entirely a matter for the owner.

Whilst there has been a delay because the original notice issued by the owner was found to be inadequate, a further notice has been subsequently issued and works are expected to begin very soon.

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