Derbyshire news in brief

• An event to help address the problem of poor literacy skills is set to take place. The Reading Allowed project will be held at Boythorpe Community Centre on Monday, March 2 during National Book Week. A spokesman for the event said: “The Reading Allowed project recognises that, to engage children, reading needs to be fun. It embraces the power of reading stories aloud to inspire children to read for themselves.” Fifteen per cent of the working age population in England are at or below the level of literacy expected of an 11-year-old.

• A young rugby fan from Whittington Green School in Chesterfield will have a Valentine’s Day to remember this year. Cameron Wilders, 14, will be appearing on the pitch before kick-off at the RBS 6 Nations England v Italy match at Twickenham on Saturday. Cameron has been chosen to represent his school at Twickenham as part of the All Schools programme, an England Rugby scheme to get more state secondary schools playing the sport.

• A funding website set up by Derbyshire Green Party has achieved £2,700 in pledges towards its £4,000 target to support five Parliamentary candidates in the county. Sue MacFarlane, of Mid Derbyshire Green Party, said: “We don’t receive the same type of funding as other political parties. This gives us the freedom to protect our integrity and really represent our members and the people who vote for us.” Donate at

• The clock on Chesterfield’s historic Crooked Spire church is working again. Clockmaker Smith of Derby replaced the timepiece with a remanufactured pulley and new bushes last Wednesday. The clock on the 14th century building was stuck on 12.05pm for about a month – after it broke for the second time in a year. Rev Patrick Coleman, vicar at the Crooked Spire, said he hoped there would be no more problems with the popular timepiece.

• Residents in Chesterfield are being urged to take part in what promises to be the country’s biggest dog walk. The Murphy’s Army walk, which will take place in Queen’s Park at 1pm on Saturday, March 28, will also raise awareness about an increase in the number of dog thefts. Participants should turn up between 12.30pm and 12.45pm on the day. Murphy’s Army is a group of campaigners who came together via social media to help find lost and stolen dogs.