New green vehicles show the way forward for the NELC fleet

NE Lincs Council have reaffirmed their commitment to being a low carbon county and taken steps to keep council taxes down by taking delivery of eleven new Nissan eNV200 electric vehicles. We went down to Peoples Park to see them and find out what makes them special.

The vehicles, which cost around £17,000 each following the receipt of government grants, will be used by the NELC Security, Neighbourhood Services and Vulnerable Children departments and are so quiet they’ve had to be fitted with audible warnings so that pedestrians can hear them coming.

With a range of over one hundred miles on a single charge they’ll help to cut local air pollution while taking advantage of the greening of the national grid to become increasingly environmentally friendly over the course of their lifetimes.

They’re cheap to run too, costing only £300 in fuel to cover 10,000 miles, compared to £1500 for their diesel counterparts and they’re expected to be much cheaper to maintain because there are no moving parts under the bonnet. With bigger payloads and longer projected life spans they should be a big improvement all round on the present fleet.

Councillor David Watson, portfolio holder for environment, said: “These new vehicles are much more cost effective than those that we currently operate, and they fit in with the Council’s vision for a low carbon North East Lincolnshire. The Council will put these vehicles to the test, ensuring that they can fulfil the requirements of our day-to-day operations, before potentially looking at the eNV200 as a replacement for the rest of the aging diesel fleet.”

The vehicles will be out and about soon so keep your eyes (and ears) open for them and it is hoped that they will make a big contribution towards achieving the goals the Council has set itself with its RenewNEL programme to make NE Lincs a national centre for energy efficiency and renewables.

Chief Execs Taking On The London Marathon For The YMCA

The London Marathon will take place on April 24th this year and if you’re a keen armchair sports fan you’ll probably be watching along with most of the rest of the country, admiring the spectacle and the fancy dress and of course the efforts of the runners.

This year there’ll be a special local reason for watching because among the competitors from our area will be Malcolm Smith, chief executive of YMCA Humber and Rob Walsh, chief executive of North East Lincolnshire Council who will be running with a team to raise money for YMCA Humber.

They’re both keen runners but while Rob, who is also the man responsible for the Dong Energy 10k race, (it’s on July 30th this year and entries are open) has run the marathon before this will be Malcolm’s first effort at the 26 plus mile distance.

So best of luck to both and we’ll keep an eye open for you on The Mall.

If you’d like to sponsor the YMCA team at the London Marathon or make a donation then go to www.justgiving.com/ymcaeng

YMCA Humber Sleep Easy 2017

It’s Friday evening in Freshney Place. The customers and shop staff have gone home. The shutters have been lowered. The builders have shut down for the night. Everywhere is quiet.

Everywhere other than Level 6 of the West Car Park that is. There it’s a hive of activity, the empty building echoing to the sound of unfurling duct tape and the vigorous folding of carboard as more than seventy volunteers work to construct their accomodation for the night from boxes and plastic sheeting. And although they’re under the cover of a roof there are big open windows on all sides so it’s still pretty cold. Certainly not a place you’d choose to stay the night without a very good reason.

Welcome to the YMCA Humber’s Sleep Easy 2017.

The Sleep Easy began in 2011 and has raised more than £125,000 for the YMCA and other charities in that time. At the time of writing £4,000 has been collected from this year’s event and there’s lots more on the way. If you’d like to donate then there are contact details overleaf.

This is the fourth year that Freshney Place has played host to the event. Food and drink has been generously provided by Tesco. But it’s still going to be a tough old night and when we visit there are some serious construction projects underway.

There’s a wide variety of styles of build on show, from the simple but effective Toblerone favoured by bank manager Simon Smith (a veteran of four Sleep Easys) through stockades that look as if they were designed to repel nocturnal ambush rather than keep out the cold. At one end of the car park a magnificent nine person bivouac has been constructed by a team from Rotaract, while several others feature silver foil, neat windows and even eviction notices.

Everyone looks like they’re enjoying themselves but there’s also a commendable seriousness about the event. Talking to some of the participants I get an idea of how serious people are about this project and how committed to working to eliminate the suffering caused by homelessness.

Simon Smith explains that it’s the raising of money and awareness that motivates him to spend the night in the cold while mother and daughter team Louise Zaremba and Augustine Harsent stress that homelessness is an issue that everyone should care about because it could happen to anyone.

Jonathan Byrne, YMCA Humber’s Events and Marketing Lead explains why the Sleep Easy is so important.

“The support for Sleep Easy has been incredible over the past six years but regrettably the problem of youth homelessness is one that is worsening. Rising rents, a lack of affordable housing and welfare support cuts mean that it is increasingly hard for young people to thrive in independent living. We house over a hundred young people each night of the year and without places like YMCA, they would have nowhere to live.”

“As a YMCA, it is our dream to one day be able to build a multipurpose campus style project that provides all the opportunities that young people need to belong, contribute and thrive in their local community and with the support of the public and businesses through events like Sleep Easy, we believe that we can turn that dream into reality.”

You can find more information about Sleep Easy and the work of YMCA Humber by visiting www.sleep-easy.co.uk. For further information call Jonathan Byrne on 01472 359 621 or email sleepeasy@ymca-humber.com.