The NEWS spring 2023
Hello and welcome to this latest issue of the NEWS.
As we come to the end of our current administration, we thought it would be useful to spend some time reflecting on our journey over the past four years.
Despite facing a number of challenges, we have worked together as one team to help support our communities.
This includes securing millions of pounds worth of funding for the benefit of our residents and businesses and helping the vulnerable when they needed it the most.
Our work doesn’t stop here though. We are determined to make our district a clean and attractive place where people will prosper, where they are proud to live and work and where they will feel safe, happy and healthy.
With this in mind, I’m delighted we have recently been awarded £2.5m to improve the district’s parks, play areas, shop fronts, tourism offer and business support amongst other improvements over the coming years.
A new and long-awaited leisure centre for Clay Cross will also offer a much needed facility for residents when it opens its doors next year and on the subject of Clay Cross, we continue to press ahead with our improvements for the town.
While across the district, hundreds of Council tenants are benefitting from warmer and easier to heat homes thanks to a £12m investment scheme.
We have worked with Rykneld Homes to carry out improvements to properties across the district. Something I was delighted to see first-hand recently
I hope you enjoy reading about all the things we’ve achieved together since 2019 and a huge thank you to you as our residents for all of your support and assistance in delivering these improvements.
Cllr Alex Dale, Leader of North East Derbyshire District Council.
Multi-Million pound funding boost for district
We have been awarded £2.5 million UK Shared Prosperity funding to spend on initiatives to improve the District’s parks, play areas, shop fronts, tourism offer and business support amongst other improvements over the coming years.
The funding will be used across North East Derbyshire to level-up the District, addressing geographical inequalities and build pride in place across the whole area.
The Council will deliver initiatives across the District that meet the UKSPF programme investment priorities of Communities and Place, Local Business and People and Skills.
Over the next two years, the Council will invest in projects to make improvements to the public realm, shop fronts, parks, play areas, route ways, village halls and community hubs.
It will also promote the local tourism offer, provide support for businesses, social and financial inclusion activities, green skills training for local workers, and youth activities to address antisocial behaviour.
Initiatives will include grant schemes, commissioned activities and focused financial support.
North East Derbyshire District Council Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communications, Cllr Alan Powell, said: “We are delighted to have received this money which we will use to make a visible difference to our District.
“We have publicised bidding rounds for our Quality Parks and Play Areas, Village Halls and Community Venues and Inclusive communities schemes and will be helping to promote the successful bidders very soon.”
Cabinet Member for Economy, Transformation and Climate, Cllr Jeremy Kenyon, said: “Other initiatives, including the Shopfront Enhancement grant scheme, will be announced over the coming months and will have a positive impact on our local communities and will include enhancements to shops and facilities and support to businesses and residents through access to advice and training.
“These activities support our vision of a District that is clean and attractive, where people are proud to live and work, where they will prosper and feel safe, happy and healthy and we look forward to reaping the benefits of our investment.”
- Details of grant schemes and other initiatives will be publicised on our website and through social media.
Pictured: View over Holymoorside
Shopfront Enhancement Scheme
As mentioned above, we will soon be launching our Shopfront Enhancement Scheme, offering a fantastic opportunity for businesses and landlords to improve their street facing properties within the District of North East Derbyshire, especially those within our town centres and on our high streets.
The scheme will not only enhance the character, value and appeal of each individual property, but collectively will have a positive impact on the appearance of our high streets.
Aimed at making our town centres and high streets more attractive places to shop and visit, grants will be available from a minimum of £500 to a maximum of £10,000, a contribution of up to 75% of total project costs.
Our Design Guide, application form and further information will be available soon.
Approval granted for Clay Cross Town Deal investment projects
The Government has approved the Clay Cross Town Board and North East Derbyshire District Council’s proposals for four key town centre projects supported by the £24 million Town Fund investment.
Final details are still to be agreed, but the projects are now progressing and we are keen to hear the views of businesses and residents of Clay Cross on these transformations.
The four proposed projects of the newly-produced masterplan for the town centre consist of:
- Transport and connections improvements (subject to an upcoming consultation),
- Skills and Enterprise zone – renovating the clock tower building (Adult Education Centre),
- Clay Cross Community/Social area - creating a new leisure space fronting onto the proposed new town square area and
- Broadleys site – forming a new town square.
Clay Cross Town Board Deputy Chair and North East Derbyshire District Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Charlotte Cupit said: “We’re really keen to hear the views of residents and businesses on these plans and we’ll be holding various consultations and events over the coming months – please do get involved and let us know your thoughts.”
Clay Cross rail - first step
We have commissioned consultants to prepare a Strategic Outline Business Case study on the potential to open a station at Clay Cross.
Clay Cross is located on the Midland Main Line adjacent to the junction with the Erewash Valley Line but has no current station provision.
Provision has been made through the Town Investment Plan for funding to determine the feasibility of creating and serving a railway station for Clay Cross.
This is the first stage towards potentially making the case for a new station at Clay Cross and although there’s still a long journey ahead, this is an important first step.
Green light for new leisure centre in Clay Cross as plans progress
Clay Cross Active is set to be built on the site of the current Sharley Park Leisure Centre in Clay Cross.
Planning permission was granted in December 2022 and works started on site last month.
The new centre will be a low carbon, low energy building and a hub for the community.
Along with the 100 station state of the art gym, soft play, swimming, café and TAG Active facilities, there will be the addition of North East Derbyshire Citizens Advice and other services, all nestled within the new Clay Cross Active building.
Whilst works are underway, the gym and swimming pools will remain open.
However, so that works can be started, the fitness studio, sports hall, spinning studio and squash courts are closed.
Some classes are still running at alternative venues, please visit our Sharley Park Leisure Centre webpage for more details.
Built by the Council’s development partner, Alliance Leisure, the new facility is expected to open in winter 2024 and is funded through the Clay Cross Town Fund and North East Derbyshire District Council and partners.
Whilst the site will be staying partially open, current leisure centre members can also use the other three centres in the District as part of their membership deal. These are: Dronfield Sports Centre, Eckington Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre and Killamarsh Active.
Read more about this on our dedicated Clay Cross Active website
Pictured: Artist's impression of Clay Cross Active.
Introducing AMFREC: open for business
A former 19th century Mustard Mill has re-opened its doors as a state-of-the-art base for businesses following an extensive restoration programme.
The Mill at Toadhole Furnace, near Oakerthorpe, which enjoyed manufacturing traditional, quality furniture in the last century, is known today as the Amber Mill Furniture Rural Enterprise Centre (AMFREC).
Support to AMFREC from North East Derbyshire District Council included advice, guidance and funding through the Bolsover-North East Derbyshire LEADER Programme.
Following the three year restoration project, AMFREC was awarded a Commendation in the 2021 Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust awards for the Reuse of an Historic Building.
AMFREC owner and third generation custodian of the Mill, Ann Turner explains: “It has been wonderfully rewarding to resurrect a derelict building, bringing it back to life for a new era.
“We have sympathetically restored and revitalised this grade 2 listed Mustard
Mill, originally constructed from stone sourced from local quarries, keeping original features to include the arched windows to create an incredible, open plan interior that is light and airy.”
And the results are dramatic, it is an inspirational working environment.
Today, AMFREC offers a unique, flexible, commercial site looking to host businesses, and creative innovators.
The premises offer a prestigious, atmospheric location for gatherings, demonstrations, photography shoots and conferences boasting outdoor space and plentiful parking.
Together with the quiet surroundings and connections to major cities AMFREC is the ideal location for businesses who wish to have office space alongside meeting and event space.
Image courtesy of AMFREC
- For further information about AMFREC and to see a 3D tour of the site, visit the company’s website
New Year, new start?
Have you been thinking about starting your own business but need some advice?
The Vision Derbyshire Business Start Up Support Scheme can help.
The team of local expert business advisers can offer free, 1:1 impartial support and advice covering a wide range of topics.
Grant funding is also available subject to meeting eligibility criteria.
If you are nervous about starting your new venture in the current economic climate, then talking to an adviser could guide you to making some important decisions and put sustainable plans in place to help achieve your dream.
More information available on Derbyshire County Council’s website.
FREE support for job seekers
Need help finding or applying for a job?
Green bin collections restart
Green bin collections will be up-and-running across the District from this month (March).
The collections are suspended over the winter months when people are less active in the garden and there is little green waste being produced.
However, with spring just around the corner and people eager to get back in their gardens, the collections will start up again from March 2023.
Residents are reminded that items such as: grass cuttings, flowers, leaves, leftover fruit, salad, vegetable waste and eggshells and cooked food left-overs such as bread, pastries, pasta, meat, fish, tea bags and coffee grounds can all go in your green bin.
Food waste can also be placed in compostable bags manufactured to British Standard EN13432 if concerned about smells and flies. (No retail carrier bags)
Make sure to look at our handy checklists on our website to see what goes in your burgundy bin and green bin.
Also, please remember to check your waste and recycling calendar – delivered across the District in November, or check out our bin collection webpage for the exact start of your green bin collection.
Never miss a bin collection day by signing up to our email reminder service!
Team work makes the dream work for ex-army mechanic Ricky
Team work makes the dream work for ex-army mechanic Ricky
Ricky Hadfield (37) was a Lance Corporal in the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers before joining the Council.
He started working with us as a vehicle mechanic over 13 years ago and is now Transport Supervisor at our Eckington Depot, where he takes care of dozens of vehicles every week.
Ricky, said: “It’s like chalk and cheese working for the Council than being in the army.
“It’s more relaxed, but you’ve still got a good team, so it is like being in the army in that respect.
“Team work is really important. The lads here will do anything I ask them to.
“I like my job at the Council and we are given opportunities to develop”
Together with his team, Ricky helps to keep the wheels moving on our fleet of 35 heavy and 30 light goods vehicles.
He also organises the servicing and MOTs for around 80 Rykneld Homes’ vehicles, in addition to taxi testing for Chesterfield Borough Council and NEDDC vehicles.
He ensures that Streetscene services such as refuse collection, street cleansing services and grounds maintenance tasks can be carried out, by helping to keep our fleet mobile and running, and if they break down, ensure they are repaired as quickly as possible.
He also oversees the ordering of all spare parts to ensure the stores are fully stocked to carry out the repairs.
With each of our bin lorries travelling on average 20,000km a year and Rykneld vans clocking up between 20,000 and 40,000 miles per year, there’s always plenty of work to keep Ricky and his team busy!
- We are always on the look-out for talented and hardworking individuals like Ricky. If you are interested in working for us, visit Derbyshire County Council’s website to see our latest vacancies.
Conserving our District for generations to come
“I love trees, but…”
This is the most frequently used opening statement heard by David Cunningham our Tree Officer.
David has been part of the Council’s Planning Policy & Environment Team since March 2022 and provides expert advice on tree-related planning matters.
According to David, public opinion is generally supportive of new trees in gardens.
However, trees are often chosen because they look nice and are easy to maintain, which does not always align with the Council’s ambitions to encourage native trees.
David’s key aim is to find long-term sustainable solutions to increase tree numbers and amenity value whilst balancing maintenance demands.
He is on hand to offer advice on appropriate tree planting schemes on new developments; and on proposed works to trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order and trees within Conservation Areas, to ensure these already integrated members of the community reach a ripe old age!
Do you dream of building your own home?
More than a hundred people have already signed up to the Council’s Self and Custom Build Register.
Being on the Register means you will be the first to hear about available land and receive further advice on finance opportunities and events.
The Register also gives the Council a good overview of the demand for self builds, so we know what to plan for.
To register and for more information, please visit our self-build webpage.
Hundreds of historic buildings
Did you know? There are over 500 listed buildings in North East Derbyshire.
Listing marks and celebrates a building’s special architectural and historic interest, and also brings it under the consideration of the planning system, so that it can be protected for future generations.
The Council’s Planning Policy & Environment Team has started condition surveys of the listed buildings in the District to ensure our records are up to date and to inform future priorities for conservation work.
The survey is underway in Eckington Parish where there are 81 listed buildings and will be extended to other areas of the District in the future.
Pictured: Renishaw Hall and Gardens.
Cost of Living
There is still plenty of help and advice out there if you are struggling to cope with the cost of living.
If you are a resident, business or community group, please take a look at our webpage for some useful tips and signposting to organisations who can offer support if you need it, from grants and funding for businesses and voluntary groups to energy saving tips for householders. We also have a list of places across the District offering a warm space if you need somewhere to go.
Extra support for vulnerable residents
We are bringing in extra resources to support North East Derbyshire residents with the cost of living crisis after funding was agreed to employ Community Outreach Workers who will be on hand to help vulnerable people in the District.
Residents who are struggling to make ends meet, or having difficulties paying their energy bills, worried about putting food on the table for their family or struggling with their mental health will be able to contact the Council and the outreach workers can help people manage their finances, put them in their bills and signpost them to other services such as food banks and mental health support.
The workers will be a vital cog in a network of support available where they can visit a resident’s home and offer 1:1 support and advice, giving those in need re-assurance and help during these difficult times.
The Community Outreach Service is set to launch in the coming months and residents will be able to contact the Council on 01246 231111 where support will be available.
North East Derbyshire District Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, Cllr Charlotte Cupit said: “We know how the cost of living crisis is affecting some of our residents this winter and we are committed to supporting those in need as much as we possibly can.
“The Community Outreach Workers will play a vital role in helping people on a 1:1 basis, making sure they are receiving all the benefits, grants and funding they are entitled to, helping them complete any necessary forms or applications, putting them in touch with charities to help with payments and signposting to other services such as mental health and other support.
“No one ever has to feel alone, they can always contact us and we will help our residents and communities as much as we can during these difficult times. Please do get in touch if we can help.”
Council staff do their bit
Big hearted staff from across the Council collected hundreds of food items and donated them to Clay Cross Food Bank to help those who really need it.
The collective effort was achieved just in time for Christmas.
Staff also managed to raise £200 in cash to help towards the cost of purchasing food.
Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire Credit Union offers a range of loan and savings products designed to help members make the most of their money.
Members typically borrow for home repairs, furniture, holidays, paying bills and back to school expenses. There is also a new Home Appliance Loan now available. All loans are subject to affordability and credit checks.
You do not need a perfect credit record to get a loan but saving is regarded as important.
- For more information about joining, borrowing from and saving with your Community Bank call 01246 278833 or see the Credit Union website.
North East Derbyshire residents need Photo ID to vote at elections
For the first time, residents in North East Derbyshire will need to show photographic ID to vote at Polling Stations at this year’s District and Parish elections in May 2023.
Residents are being urged to make sure they are ready to vote in May by checking they have an accepted form of photo ID.
Accepted forms of photo ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK, EEA or Commonwealth drivers’ licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass. Voters will be able to use expired photo ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.
Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of photo ID will be able to apply for free photo ID online on the government's website or by completing a paper form.
The full list of accepted photo ID is available on the Electoral Commission’s website, along with more information about the new requirement and details of how to apply for the free photo ID.
Sarah Sternberg, Returning Officer at North East Derbyshire District Council said: “With elections taking place in North East Derbyshire on 4 May 2023, it is important that those who want to vote make sure they have an accepted form of photo ID. It may seem early but checking now means you will be ready to vote at the Polling Station in May.
“Residents who do not have one of the accepted forms of photo ID can apply for free photo ID either online or by completing a paper application form and sending this to North East Derbyshire District Council’s Electoral Services Team.
Anyone who wants to have their say in the elections this May must also be registered to vote. It only takes five minutes to register online on the government's website
Voters wishing to apply to the Council for free photo ID should first make sure they are registered to vote.
The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station, is a new necessity, introduced by the UK Government’s Elections Act 2022 which was passed last year and comes into effect for the first time this May.
Electors can apply for a postal vote for which they do not require photo ID.
Get out and about in the District
We’ve got lots of great walks taking place across our district and a family jogging group too!
Get family fit and make new friends!
We understand that it can be difficult for parents and carers to find time to exercise and connect with others.
So we teamed up with Cannon Events to launch a new family walking and jogging group that takes place on Saturday mornings at 9.30am from Sharley Park Leisure Centre.
The sessions are suitable for people new to or wanting to get back into exercise
So far we have witnessed people join that haven’t done much jogging before, adults pushing really little ones in buggies, children making new friends and children taking pleasure in having little competitions against their parents.
We welcome you to come along and give the sessions a try.
Families can try out the session for free of charge on any Saturday morning.
Sessions thereafter are £3 per session however adults can continue to participate for free if they are bringing along a participating child.
For more information about these sessions or the Walking into Communities project contact Debbie Saint (details below).
A casual stroll around the local area for buggy pushers.
Takes place the last Tuesday of the month, meeting at Alice’s View
Children’s Centre, North Wingfield, Chesterfield, S42 5XA at 10am. (Next
walk 28 March). Refreshments available in the centre afterwards.
Walk Derbyshire is seeking new volunteers to lead walks in our District.
Enthusiasm and friendliness are more important qualities than experience.
Our current walk programme includes walks from 2 to 7 miles and some are specifically designed for buggy pushing. If you have an idea for a different type of walk, please get in touch.
For more information, contact Lynn Johnston or Debbie Saint below.
Explore new moorland areas and meet new people.
Join us for the Walk Moor Programme on the Eastern Moors, in partnership with North East Derbyshire District Council, Derbyshire Dales District Council and the Eastern Moors Partnership.
You’re welcome to come along whether you’re interested in exploring new areas on the moors, getting more exercise or meeting new people.
Your walk will be led by a qualified leader and you’ll also meet other people who volunteer on the Eastern Moors.
All walks are between 2.5 and 3.5 miles long and should take between 90 and 120 minutes.
For more information about the Walk Moor Programme, visit our walking webpage.
Find a Walking Group in North East Derbyshire near you!
Walk Derbyshire is a county-wide scheme encouraging more people to get walking!
By joining one of our group walks in North East Derbyshire you can be more active, improve your health and meet new people, so why not give it a go?
Residents’ safety key as CCTV rolled out in taxis
We have started to rollout the installation of CCTV in our licensed taxis to safeguard residents, as we lead the way in becoming the first authority in the county to take up the initiative, backed by the Department for Transport.
Taxis that are licenced in the District started to be fitted with CCTV last winter (2022).
The CCTV system aims to provide a safer environment for both the passengers and the driver by:
- Deterring and preventing the occurrence of crime
- Reducing the fear of crime
- Assisting the police in investigating incidents of crime
- Assisting insurance companies in investigating motor vehicle accidents
The Department for Transport has issued guidance stating the use of CCTV can provide a safer environment for the benefit of taxi/ private hire vehicle passengers and the Health and Safety Executive lists the installation of CCTV with visible signage as a successful measure to improve safety.
The authority will also be publishing a list of operators on its website.
North East Derbyshire District Council Cabinet Member for Licencing, Cllr Mark Foster said, “We are the first authority in the county to make CCTV compulsory.
Residents now have a clear choice and can make sure they use a taxi licenced with North East Derbyshire District Council.
“I want to make sure our communities are safe and feel safe when using licenced taxis and would encourage all our residents to use taxis licenced here.
“I hope that our initiative here, paves the way for other authorities to follow our lead, ensuring the safeguarding of others when using licenced vehicles.”
Going above and beyond
We are delighted with the results from our Customer Services External Satisfaction Survey, which show we are performing above the national average.
Thank you to everyone for getting in touch to give us your views.
The results are now in and show our Customer Service Contact Centre achieved a customer satisfaction score of 93.6% - 15% above the benchmark national average from the UK Customer Satisfaction Index*.
The vast majority of respondents - 96 per cent - said they were very or fairly satisfied with the service received.
We’ll now be examining the results in detail to see how the service can be improved upon even further.
*The UKCSI is the national barometer of customer satisfaction published twice a year by The Institute of Customer Service.
Cllr Mark Foster, Cabinet member for Council Services, said: “These results show what a great job our Customer Services team is doing for our residents.”
Give us your views
What do you think of this magazine and our other communications channels?
Please spend a few minutes filling in our Communications Survey, to give us your view on the NEWS, our website, social media and email services.
Your views will help us to shape our services, making sure you get the right information the way YOU want to receive it.
The survey is available to complete online.
The survey opens on 6 March 2023 for four weeks.
A moment of reflection
As we come to the end of an administration cycle here at North East Derbyshire District Council, it is important to take time to reflect on the journeys we have all been on over the last four years and consider the challenges we have faced and overcome during that time.
Covid, the cost of living and the war in Ukraine have affected all our lives.
Despite all these challenges though, Councillors and officers have worked together as one team, to help and support our communities when it most matters.
On this, and the following pages, we have provided a snapshot of just some of our key achievements, as we reflect on the difference we have made by working together for our residents and businesses during these years.
Cllr Alex Dale, Leader
Brighter future for our leisure services
Pictured: artist's impression of Clay Cross Active
With 40 per cent of UK council areas at risk of leisure centre and swimming pool closures, or reduced services, by the end of this month*, we are proud to be bucking the national trend by expanding our leisure services!
- We carried out a £1.5m makeover at Eckington Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre. Improvements to reduce carbon emissions has made it one of the greenest in the area!
- Work is almost complete on Dronfield Sports Centre, after we received £1.33m of funding to de-carbonise the building. The improvements are set to make it one of the first existing facilities to reduce its carbon emissions by 100% in the UK!
- Killamarsh Active opened its doors after a £1.9m refurbishment, creating even more facilities for residents and visitors to enjoy.
- Plans have now been approved to replace Sharley Park Leisure Centre with a new £24m community hub, including leisure centre, health provision and support services.
- We have extended our leisure discount scheme to include the Armed Forces community.
- Fitness memberships in our four leisure facilities are at their highest on record with over 4,500 live members now signed up and enjoying the benefits of both physical and social interaction in a safe, friendly and welcoming environment.
- We continue to offer great value for money by freezing these memberships again to support our residents with their fitness journey at an affordable price.
*Source: UK Active
Housing and Climate Change / Environment
- In 2019, we declared a Climate Change Emergency and gave the go-ahead for a range of tough-tackling measures intended to reduce the authority’s impact on the environment.
- Hundreds of Council tenants are now benefiting from warmer and easier-to-heat homes thanks to a major £12million investment scheme by us.
- We have helped householders get their share of Government grants of up to £10,000 when making their homes more energy efficient.
- All electricity purchased by the Council has been from 100% certified renewable sources since April 2021.
- As part of our efforts to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality, we installed a car charging point in Dronfield’s Civic Centre.
- We produced a revised Climate Change Strategy to ensure we remain focused on addressing the organisational and community challenges faced.
- We received funding as part of the Government’s Household Support Fund and prevented 75 households from becoming homeless.
- We have started the rollout of CCTV in licensed taxis to safeguard residents as we lead the way in becoming the first authority in the county to take up the initiative, backed by the Department for Transport.
Clean and Tidy District
- When our burgundy bin recycling contractor went bust, we moved quickly to bring the service in-house, protecting jobs and with absolutely minimal disruption for residents.
- We doubled fly-tipping and littering fines to the maximum allowed in law and invested in cameras to catch fly-tippers in the act. 2022 saw the highest number of patrols and fixed penalty notices we’ve issued on record!
- Fly-tipping reports are down 20% since 2019 as a result of all the proactive efforts we’ve taken on the issue.
- We doubled the size of our planning enforcement team, recruiting tree and heritage experts.
- We made a significant investment in our joint Environmental Health Service, with job vacancies to help tackle enviro-crimes, ensure the safety of our residents, help our economic recovery, and better serve the District.
- Litter picking groups were supported with the loan of equipment and free disposal of rubbish collected.
- A district wide Dog Management Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) was implemented and we launched a dog fouling campaign to identify hotspots and educate dog owners, as well as carrying out enforcement action.
- We crushed a persistent fly-tipper’s vehicle in a fly-tipping crackdown.
A listening council accessible to all
- We’ve been carrying out Meet the Council events, to give residents an insight into our work and enable us to listen to their concerns.
- We launched a new website, have seen more engagement on our social media over the last four years, have given out more news updates and also send out regular e-newsletters to our subscribers.
- Listened to residents’ concerns about needing a new leisure centre in Clay Cross – work is now underway as part of a £24.1m Clay Cross Town Deal which will transform the town over the next 4 years.
- We launched an Older People’s Strategy to support some of our most vulnerable residents.
- We were successful in our bid to become one of only ten Councils nationally involved in making planning services easier to use, particularly by using new technology.
- Produced and implemented the Annual Community Safety Partnership Action Plan which includes; serious acquisitive crime, anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse, community safeguarding, alcohol and drug related crime, human trafficking and exploitation, terrorism and extremism.
- We showed our commitment to the deaf community, by becoming the first District Council in the UK to sign up to the British Sign Language Charter.
- Introduced a video relay service at our District Council Offices and Dronfield Sports Centre for the deaf community.
- Signed the Armed Forces Covenant, pledging our support to the Armed Forces Community.
- Delivered jobs and training fairs to support local communities into work, further education and training opportunities across Derbyshire.
- We were officially presented with the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award, for our outstanding support to the Armed Forces Community. Amongst almost seven million employers in the UK, just 638 have received a Gold Award.
Covid, Cost of Living and Disaster Response
- Streetscene worked to save people’s houses during the 2019 and 2020 floods.
- We worked alongside NHS staff to deliver over 60,000 vaccinations from Sharley Park Leisure Centre.
- £45m of government grants distributed to businesses in record time, with processes to prevent fraud.
- Delivered 10,000 prescriptions to residents.
- Supporting Ukrainians fleeing war, and the families kindly hosting them.
- Afghan resettlement commitment made with two properties made available.
- We produced a breadth of dedicated support to help residents and businesses during the Cost of Living Crisis, with information distributed across all parishes and on our website, a Cost of Living Special in The NEWS and additional resources made available for Warm Spaces and helping residents with household advice.
- In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, 20 people from North East Derbyshire who were sleeping rough or made homeless, were housed and supported in a local hotel.
- 7,000 residents supported through our call centre
- 10,000 prescriptions delivered to residents
- Over 60,000 vaccinations given at Sharley Park Leisure Centre
- £45m of Government grants distributed to businesses
Levelling up North East Derbyshire
- Secured a £24.1 million government funded Town Deal for Clay Cross, which will extensively regenerate Clay Cross, improving the town centre, traffic, housing and leisure facilities for residents.
- We secured £2.58m UK Shared Prosperity Funding to help level-up the infrastructure and opportunities for communities across the District. We’ll use the money to make improvements to the public realm, shop fronts, parks, play areas, route ways, village halls and community hubs.
- We have awarded funding worth over £8,000 to 17 projects since August 2020, helping them thrive and new ideas to develop through our Community Action Grants Scheme.
- We completed a master plan for Eckington Town Centre, which identifies a number of areas for development, and will continue to bid for further rounds of levelling-up funding to deliver the regeneration programme.
- We launched our Inclusive Communities, Quality Parks and Play Areas and Village Halls and Community Venues funds through our UK Shared Prosperity Fund programme.
- Concluded the BNED LEADER Programme, approving 25 projects totalling £707,329, to help NE Derbyshire businesses.
- Our Chairman, Cllr Martin Thacker, raised £79,500 for Ashgate Hospice - ‘the largest amount ever received by the hospice from a Council appeal’!
- We secured almost £100,000 of funding to improve the skate park in Killamarsh.
- We launched our Visitor Economy Strategy, setting out how we will work with our partners to support and grow businesses within the visitor economy.
Killamarsh Active proving a hit with college students
Our new-look sports centre is proving a big hit with college students.
Sessions have been taking place at Killamarsh Active five times a week, for learners from Landmarks Specialist College in Eckington.
The students, who have a wide range of disabilities, had been taking part in sporting sessions at Bolsover Village Hall, but it didn’t have the sport specific facilities and space they needed.
So, they were delighted when Killamarsh Active opened its doors – a bright, modern open-plan building, with a large range of activities for the whole community to enjoy.
Matthew Woolass, Quality Improvement Manager at Landmarks, said: “We really appreciated the village hall, but it wasn’t suitable long term.
“It hadn’t got the facilities, so we were waiting for Killamarsh to open.
“Killamarsh has been really flexible with us and the staff have been amazing!”
Since attending Killamarsh, dozens of students have enjoyed a wide range of team sport activities, from tag rugby, to football, hockey and basketball.
Matthew added that the sessions have not only been educational and enjoyable, but have also helped students with their communication, employability and life skills, and of course, the importance of keeping fit and healthy!
Smart watches are also helping students with their training, by monitoring their heart rate, calories and steps they achieve each session to embed functional maths skills within sessions.
Further sessions have now been planned in the gym, together with spinning classes, offering opportunities to engage and interact with the local public.
In future the plans are to use the outdoor facilities during the spring/summer.
Cllr Alan Powell, Cabinet member for Leisure, said: “I’m delighted the students are enjoying their time at Killamarsh Active and have benefitted from the wide range of facilities and activities on offer.”
- Sign up to get updates about all our leisure facilities, including Killamarsh, sent straight to your inbox!
Membership prices currently frozen
We’ve currently frozen our leisure membership prices despite soaring energy costs, giving a helping hand to residents throughout the District.
Despite rising energy costs, we have been able to make sure customers are not paying any extra for their memberships, due to sound financial management of the centres.
From just £23 a month, people can use any of our leisure facilities at Dronfield Sports Centre, Eckington Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre, Sharley Park Leisure Centre, Clay Cross, and the newly refurbished Killamarsh Active, with no joining fee, a free induction and no commitment contracts required.
- Read more about our memberships and how to sign up.
Supporting people with Parkinson’s
Our Healthy Lifestyle Instructors have received bespoke training from Parkinson’s UK to help them better support people living with the condition.
Instructors from Sharley Park Leisure Centre, Dronfield Sports Centre, Killamarsh Active, and Eckington Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre, took part in training that focused on how classes and activities can be adapted for people living with Parkinson’s.
Co-delivered with local NHS Neurological Specialist Physiotherapist, Laura Wright, the training covered the benefits of exercise for people living with Parkinson’s, how exercise can be adapted, challenges people may encounter, and strategies that can help.
Councillor Alan Powell, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: “We want to ensure people living with Parkinson’s attending our leisure centres can get the benefits of physical exercise in ways that work best for them.
“The training our staff received has helped enhance our awareness of Parkinson’s and improve the level of instructing we can offer to people with Parkinson’s in North East Derbyshire and the surrounding areas.
“We are an authority that is passionate about making sure our facilities and services are accessible to everyone and we can adapt to best meet the needs of our customers.”
Thank you for having your say
Thank you to all our leisure users for taking the time to complete our Customer Satisfaction Survey.
A total of 225 responses were received, with a £50 Amazon voucher up-for- grabs for one lucky respondent.
Users of all four of our leisure centres were asked for their views on our facilities.
A snapshot of the combined results for all four centres can be found below:
- Customer satisfaction result of 83.64%, 3% higher than last year and above national benchmark of 78.4%.
- Most important requirements for customers – cleanliness followed by friendliness of staff.
- Customers were most satisfied with friendliness and professionalism of staff.
- 77% of respondents use the pool, 44% the gym, 32% the café
- 80% of respondents used the facilities to keep fit, 43% used them for their mental health.
- 41% visited 3 or more times a week
- 61.8% (139 people) gave a 9 or 10-out-of-10 score on recommending the facilities to a friend.
We will be using the responses gained to help us shape the leisure services we provide in the future.
You’re in safe hands
On the lead up to Christmas, 70 of our Lifeguards re-took their National Pool Lifeguards Qualification
Over two weeks, independent assessors came to our facilities and put our Lifeguards through a three hour examination.
The exam consisted of fitness swims, deep water recovery, casualty rescue, spinal injury management, First Aid, CPR and a 58 question theory paper.
We think the 100% pass rate shows you are most definitely in safe hands!
Back to class for Tina
A school exam invigilator had her role reversed when she joined our Exercise by Referral scheme as a ‘pupil’.
Tina Gilbert (63) from Eckington was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007 – a condition which can affect her balance and mobility when exercising and getting warm.
The Nanny of three and mum-of-two was already a keen participant in aquacise classes at Eckington Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre, but during Covid had seen her condition deteriorate.
After mentioning this to our Healthy Lifestyle Instructor Alison Olley, it was thought she would benefit from a doctor’s referral on to the Exercise by Referral scheme – a free 12 week course that aims to increase exercise and activity for people who want to improve their health.
Tina, who took part in chair-based activities and gym sessions as part of the course, said: “It’s definitely a worthwhile thing for people to do.
“I thought chair-based exercise was just for the elderly and I was amazed at what we do.
“Alison encourages people to push to their limitations.”
Thanks to the 12 week sessions and a change in medication, Tina is now feeling much better. She’s even persuaded a friend, who suffers with knee problems, to join her at aquacise.
Healthy Lifestyle Instructor Alison Olley, said: “Tina is really quite remarkable, despite her condition.
“She has gone on from starting with chair-based exercise which she still attends and in addition to that is now regularly attending the gym and is also doing aquacise twice a week.”
Our Exercise by Referral scheme aims to increase exercise and activity for people who want to improve their health. It is aimed at people who currently do either no or very little physical activity but who are motivated to do more.
To participate in the scheme, you must be aged 19+ and either make an appointment with your GP or complete the self-assessment tool on the Live Life Better Derbyshire website
Activities can include, gym, swimming, low impact circuit training, cardiac rehabilitation, chair-based exercise and forever active. Other activities are available but are chargeable at a pay-as-you- go-rate.
Rykneld Homes news
Major investment in home insulation
This winter hundreds of Council tenants are benefiting from warmer and easier to heat homes thanks to a major £12million investment scheme.
The external wall insulation work to 427 homes was carried out in partnership between Rykneld Homes and the Council. The improvements have been made to homes in Mickley, North Wingfield, Dronfield, Unstone, Eckington, Renishaw, Holmesfield, Barlow, Wessington, Holymoorside, Cutthorpe and Woolley Moor.
The partnership received £2.13million of Government Green Homes funding towards the scheme allowing additional works including new roofs, windows where needed and new soffits, facias and gutters to be fitted.
The Eckington home of mother-of-two, Sharon Willoughby is one of those that has undergone the EWI work. “It has been worth every penny and is money well spent,” said Sharon who has lived in her home for 17 years.
“Before the house was cold and draughty and we could never get some rooms warm. Now the house is lovely, and we are all really noticing the benefit.
Hopefully, the insulation will make a big difference to our heating bill this winter – even though prices are shooting up.
“I also think the work has made the houses look so much nicer which has made the estate more attractive.”
Once all the houses are insulated the total carbon saving in North East Derbyshire will be 335 tonnes per annum and 9,715 tonnes by 2050.
Council Leader, Alex Dale, said: “Thanks to Council and Government investment, hundreds of homes in North East Derbyshire are now easier to heat and keep warm, helping residents to control their energy bills.
“The work will also benefit the wider community as it helps to improve the environment for everyone by reducing carbon emissions.”
Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Carolyn Renwick, said: “We are proud of our investment to improve housing across the District and tackle the legacy of hard to heat, non-traditionally built homes.
“Not only are these homes now more comfortable for residents, but the external upgrade has also improved the appearance of estates and neighbourhoods.”
Friends of the Earth’s view: “North East Derbyshire District Council has navigated complex funding opportunities to make sure it prioritises energy-efficiency upgrades for the council housing residents in most need.
“This action – which joins up tackling the climate emergency with addressing fuel poverty – is making a real difference to people’s lives, helping them to keep warm as energy prices rise.”
New homes in North Wingfield
Work is scheduled to start this spring on the creation of 70 new homes in North Wingfield.
The Council has approved plans to build a mixture of houses and bungalows off Whiteleas Avenue in partnership with Rykneld Homes.
The development will include 27 Council-owned homes for rent, 8 properties available for Shared Ownership and 35 homes offered for open market sale.
The scheme, which will be delivered by Rykneld Homes, will be a mixture of two, three and four-bedroomed properties – including eight bungalows and offer a total of 140 car parking spaces.
Work is expected to start on site this spring with the development scheduled for completion in 2025.
In approving the planning application, the Council acknowledged there was a demand for affordable homes in the North Wingfield area and was pleased the scheme included provision for 4-bedroomed houses which are in low supply in the District.
Millions invested in new and improved homes
Housing is a key priority for the Council and together with its housing partner Rykneld Homes is looking forward to another successful year investing in new homes and improving our existing stock.
The Council is constantly seeking opportunities to increase housing choice in our District and work is scheduled to start this spring on a major new £14million housing scheme in North Wingfield that will see new homes built for open market sale, Shared Ownership and for rent.
We are also looking forward to the completion of a fantastic new housing scheme in Danesmoor that uses the latest housing technology to support customers and help to reduce carbon emissions in the District.
This comes on top of the recent completion of a multi-million pound investment programme from the Council to fit external wall insulation to more than 400 hard to heat Council homes on estates across the District improving the quality of life for tenants and helping to protect the environment.
Find out more about our exciting plans for 2023 on our website.
New homes in Danesmoor
We are looking forward to welcoming the first customers into our new Council bungalows built in Danesmoor.
The nine homes on the Pine View estate are scheduled for completion in March with two of the properties being wheelchair accessible.
The £1.6million bungalow project has been built using some of the latest
building technology as part of the Council’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions in the District.
An extra £18,000 has been spent on each new home to fit them with:
- Air source heat pumps
- Solar photovoltaic PV panels
- Electric vehicle charging points
- Fire sprinkler systems
- A full customer care package including remote door entry, falls notification and a care alarm.
In addition to the new homes the Council has also invested in upgrading other bungalows on the Pine View estate.
Existing bungalows have received new roofs, windows, minor structural works, new kitchens and bathrooms, making them more energy efficient.
Fencing has been installed to give customers contained private gardens rather than communal areas.
Additional car parking spaces have been created for existing residents.
Chair’s events 2023
During her year in office, our Chair Cllr Diana Ruff, has been supporting the Armed Forces charity SSAFA.
With just a couple of months left until her Chairmanship ends, Cllr Ruff has organised the following events to help raise as much money and awareness for this worthwhile cause as possible.
Cheltenham after Party Race Night
Enjoy the thrill of horse racing from the comfort of the clubhouse.
Shirland Golf and Country Club is the venue for our Chair’s Cheltenham after Party Race Night on Friday 17 March.
Tickets are just £15 each, to include pie and peas and tea and coffee.
Please arrive by 7pm for a 7.30pm start.
Shirland Golf and Country Club can be found on Pit Lane, Shirland, Alfreton, DE55 6AU.
Please note it is cash only when placing bets.
Easter Wildlife Family Fun Day
Egg-cellent Easter activities will be on offer for the whole family on Good Friday (7 April).
The Avenue Washlands, Wingerworth, is the venue for our Chair’s Easter Wildlife
Family Fun Day, which will take place from 11am-3pm.
There will be lots of egg-citing FREE activities for all ages, as well as free parking at the Avenue.
Family Fun Day in support of Armed Forces
Fans of a grand day out are invited to attend our Family Fun Day in support of the Armed Forces.
The event will take place on Saturday 20 May at our Council headquarters, Mill Lane, Wingerworth, from 11am-3pm.
Entry is free and open to all, with a range of stalls, activities and attractions for all ages, including:
- Johnny Victory, vintage singer
- Children’s entertainer – stilt walking and balloon modelling
- Armed Forces organisations and charities
- Craft stalls
- Extreme wheels – Climbing Wall and KMX Karts (age restrictions apply)
- Dog show
- Refreshment stalls, including cocktail wagon and ice cream van
- Classic cars
- Brass band
- School choir
- Face painting
An RAF flypast is also planned to take place (subject to availability).
Public parking will be available next to the Council offices at Rykneld Homes, Pioneer House, Mill Lane, Chesterfield S42 6NG.
Councillor Ruff looks forward to seeing you there!
Keep a lookout on our social media for updates.
Gold Award for Armed Forces support
North East Derbyshire District Council has been officially presented with the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award, for its outstanding support to the Armed Forces Community.
The scheme recognises organisations who pledge, demonstrate and advocate their support for the defence community, with three levels of awards available – bronze, silver and gold.
To win an award, organisations must have supportive HR policies in place for veterans, Reservists, and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, as well as spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.
Organisations must also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community by encouraging others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and engage in the Employer Recognition Scheme.
In 2019, NEDDC re-signed the Armed Forces Covenant for Derbyshire which pledges our commitment and support to the Armed Forces Community.
Cllr Martin Thacker MBE, Armed Forces Champion for North East Derbyshire District Council and Council Vice Chairman, accepted the scheme’s highest award at a meeting of Full Council, from Bruce Spencer – Regional Employer Engagement Director at The East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association.
Cllr Thacker, said: “The Council is proud to have been awarded the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award for outstanding support to the Armed Forces Community.
“It’s wonderful to hear that amongst almost seven million employers in the UK, just 638 have received a Gold Award and we’re one of them! So, this achievement is really something to celebrate.”
Council Leader, Cllr Alex Dale, Council Chair, Cllr Diana Ruff, attended a special awards ceremony earlier in the month at the National Arboretum, Staffordshire, to collect the award on behalf of NEDDC.
Cllr Dale, said: “I’d like to thank Cllr Thacker for his unstinting work as Armed Forces Champion. We couldn’t have a better Armed Forces Champion in the Council if we tried. I also thank I also thank the Regeneration and Partnerships team for all their work in the background.
“I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved.”
- More information about the support NEDDC offers to our Armed Forces Community can be found on the armed forces hub.
Support for veterans
Buddy Buddy is a social group set up by the Chesterfield FC Community Trust, designed to support military veterans in Chesterfield and the surrounding areas.
The group meets on a monthly basis to socialise and give an opportunity for veterans to share their experiences, both within and importantly, outside of military service with like-minded people.
What's on in North East Derbyshire?
Matlock Farm Park
Sunday 19th March - Mother’s Day Special Event.
Friday 7th April (Good Friday) - The Snow Sisters.
Sunday 9th April (Easter Sunday) - Jurassic Fun Day.
Monday 10th April (Easter Monday) - The Big Bubble Man.
Sunday 27th August - The Award winning Peak Highland Games.
Watch the website and socials for updates
Dronfield Hall Barn
Saturday 18 March - Archive Open Day.
Friday 24 to Sunday 26 March - Exhibition, The Barn Quilters.
Tuesday 28 March - Live and Local - Essex Girl.
Wednesday 29 March - Jig For A Kiss Music Show.
Thursday 6 April - Children’s Crafts.
February 1 to September 30 - Photographic competition
This year we will be running our photographic competition. The theme is
Dronfield. This could be the first pioneering spring bulbs breaking the surface at St Andrew’s graveyard, mist clinging to the River Dron Valley or a building. The focus is to celebrate Dronfield, its nature, buildings and people.
There will be an exhibition at the Barn in November for all the winners, runners up and other notable pictures
There will be three age brackets: 5-12, 13-18, 18 and over. The competition closes September 30. Free to enter.
For more information visit the website.
Re-opens 15th March
Sunday 19th March - Mother’s Day Breakfast or Afternoon tea.
Sunday 26th March - Knit, Natter and Afternoon Tea.
Saturday 8th, Sunday 9th, Monday 10th April - Easter Trail around the Gardens with entertainment from The Swords of Mercia.
Friday 28th April to Monday 15th May - Bluebell Wood Fortnight.
Wednesday 3rd May – National Garden Scheme Day, all proceeds to the Charity.
Sunday 7th May - Plant Fair.
Sun 28th May - Food and Craft Fair.
For more information visit the website.
Check out the events calendar on our website for up-to-date information about what’s on in the District.
Help for the hard of hearing
Hearing Help UK provide the Derbyshire Hard of Hearing Service on behalf of Derbyshire County Council Adult Care and NHS Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board Clinical.
We are a Derbyshire based registered charity that was established over 30 years ago.
Based in Marehay, Ripley, we are ideally located to operate efficiently throughout the county.
The Derbyshire Hard of Hearing Service is available to adults aged 18 and over who live within the Districts of Amber Valley, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, Erewash, High Peak, NE Derbyshire, South Derbyshire and Bolsover.
We offer and conduct assessments for the provision of assistive hearing equipment such as TV listeners, personal listeners, doorbells, alarm clocks, and induction hearing loops, to enable Derbyshire residents with hearing loss, to enjoy the highest quality of life possible.
Hearing Help UK bring this service to you! We have a wonderful team of professional, dedicated, friendly staff and volunteers who use a person centred approach to help you with your individual queries and needs.
Our outreach staff attend markets and other events throughout the county where we are available for a friendly chat.
For upcoming dates and times please contact our office on 01773 570976 or follow our social media pages on website, Facebook and Twitter.
We also help with all aspects of hearing impairment for individuals, their families, friends and carers by providing friendly practical advice and guidance, advocacy, peer support and social activities.
We offer outreach services and volunteering opportunities and sign post to other relevant organisations.
Financial support and other helpful numbers
Finance Related Matters
Christians Against Poverty Debt Counselling
Citizen’s Advice North East Derbyshire Advice Helpline 0808 250 5702 or for GP Surgery Outreaches contact your GP surgery to book a telephone appointment.
Free British Sign Language Video Relay Service For deaf claimants accessing Universal Credit. Visit the gov.uk website
Food Banks - For information on foodbanks near you visit the website for Rural Action Derbyshire or call 01629 529970.
Job Centre Plus - Tel: 0800 055 6688, Textphone: 0800 023 4888. Universal Credit - Helpline: 0800 328 5644 or Textphone: 0800 328 1344.
Education and skills
Mental Health and Family Services
Alcoholics Anonymous - Tel: 0800 9177 650
Anxiety UK - Tel: 03444 775 774
Childline - Tel: 0800 1111
Derbyshire Carers Association - Tel: 01773 833833
Derbyshire County Council Children & Family Services - Tel: 01629 533190
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust 24hrs / 7days Mental health support line Freephone, Tel: 0800 028 0077
Derbyshire Substance Misuse - Tel: 0300 123 1201
Relate - Tel: 01246 231010