Jessica Lee’s column

NILALC100507A4 - Erewash election. Conservative winner Jessica Lee
NILALC100507A4 - Erewash election. Conservative winner Jessica Lee

Since my last column, I have held my third Erewash Jobs Fair, sponsored by private businesses throughout Erewash.

Around 1,000 people attended to take advantage of the work and skills opportunities available. I have received excellent feedback since the fair from people who exhibited and attended. There were a good mix of opportunities available at the fair which was seen as a real strength.

Unemployment in Erewash has continued to fall which is good news for the area and for the local economy: Erewash is on the up.

We have all marked the 100 years anniversary of the start of WW1. I have attended some very moving services, including representing Erewash at Derby Cathedral. It is a privilege to pay tribute not only to the fallen, but to those who suffered throughout the conflict. It is hard to imagine how everyone in the UK was affected by such great loss; it certainly adds perspective when you reflect on it. The Erewash Museum have done an excellent job with their displays, showing the younger generations why we shouldn’t forget.

You will know of my campaign to get a train station for Ilkeston, one of the largest towns in the country without a train station. Well, I succeeded in getting the current Government to allocate a pot of money to a ‘New Station Fund’, where Ilkeston was successful.

All very good, you would think; the people of Ilkeston have finally got their train station, we can get on with it and give the people what they need as soon as possible; accessibility! Queue drum roll… Derbyshire County Council have found great crested newts in the area.

If you are a local, you would know that some years ago this delayed the new road, Millership Way and the Awsworth by-pass.

In light of the history of the site and the prior knowledge of these newts, why hasn’t this survey and removal been done before they hibernate in October? I cannot accept that this has been overlooked and that because of what I believe to be an oversight by Derbyshire County Council, we are going to be robbed of our station until the middle of next year, instead of the planned opening date of December this year.

This station is for the people of Ilkeston, not an acquisition of Derbyshire County Council. So come on Derbyshire County Council, let’s get this sorted.

My serious concern is that local people have started planning jobs or training in Nottingham for the new year on basis of the station being open.

I am certainly going to investigate this matter further. If anyone would like to join me in pressing this issue, please make contact with me using the details below.

I wish you all a good summer, once hurricane Bertha has blown out, I am sure the weather will be fine again.

As ever, if you would like to attend one of my weekly surgeries, please contact me in my office on 01159 722419 or email me at