BOSWORTH’S Member of Parliament has called for the A5 to be discussed in a Parliamentary debate.
Dr. Luke Evans has called for the debate in hopes to secure local improvements for the major highway.
Since being elected in December 2019, succeeding David Tredinnick as the borough’s Tory MP, Dr. Evans has campaigned for improvements on the Hinckley section of the highway.
These include securing £20 million for design improvements, regularly meeting with the Minister for Roads, and regularly attending briefings from National Highways regarding the A5.
Speaking in Parliament at the start of the month (Thursday, 6 January), Dr. Evans pressed the Leader of the House, Jacob Reese-Mogg, to see if a Parliamentary discussion could be held about the major road.
He asked Rees-Mogg: “May we have a debate on the importance of the A5 to the UK? The road runs from London to Wales and is so important, in particular in joining the East and West Midlands.
“It is blighted by narrowings and, most importantly, one of the most bashed bridges in Britain, right by Hinckley where I am.”
He continued: “A decision point on RIS3 — the third road investment strategy — is coming in March. Will it be possible to have a debate before then to say how important this House feels the A5 is?”
Responding to the Bosworth MP, Rees-Mogg stated that Evans was ‘right to call for a debate’, and that the major road has ‘been important to our history for generation upon generation’, as it is an old Roman road, ultimately agreeing it should be discussed.
It would be discussed in an adjournment debate inside of the House of Commons.
Evans has further claimed that he will continue “fighting to push” for improvements to the A5.
He said: “As Highways England continues technical work and other preparations on the new RIS3 scheme, I will keep fighting to push for improvements to a road that is so important, and yet so frustrating, for our community, by continuing to raise it in Parliament.”
Since his election, he has remained in contact with the Department for Transport (DfT) and National Highways, to ensure that the £20 million pounds of funding for the major road is not ‘squandered’.
He has stressed that he will remain in talks with these authorities until the RIS3 improvement project, which will benefit Hinckley’s section of the A5, is ultimately signed off.
RIS3 will explain the Government’s aims and proposals for investment in the strategic road network from 2025 to 2030, including the A5 – and the next update to come of these plans will be in March.
AN ARSON ATTACK took place inside of Hinckley’s Crescent complex in the early hours yesterday morning – and Hinckley Police are now appealing for any information.
Shortly after 3.30am on Thursday morning (20 January), Hinckley Police officers received a report from the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS), after vandals had set an eco-friendly “kiddie ride” toy alight – and damaged a photo booth next to it.
The fire was subsequently extinguished by local firefighters.
The damaged machines have both been removed at the time of publication (21 January), however, visible black fire damage still remains on the brickwork.
As a result of the incident, the Costa Coffee branch next to it was temporarily forced to close its doors to customers yesterday, and some wooden boards have covered over damage near the windows.
But, it has since re-opened its doors and has resumed serving up hot drinks as usual today, a Costa Coffee spokesperson has confirmed to the Hinckley Free Press.
The Costa spokesperson said: “We can confirm that there was a fire outside our Costa Coffee store in Hinckley in the early hours of Thursday morning and we are providing support to the police on this incident.
“We are pleased to say the store has re-opened today for members of the local community to grab their favourite, crafted Costa coffee.”
Cashpoint also hit by blaze
In addition to this, a cashpoint outside of the Coventry Building Society’s bank in the complex was also set on fire.
A spokesperson for the banking firm has stressed that they are working on repairing the cashpoint straight away.
Zainab Kassam, branch manager at Coventry Building Society, said: “We’re working on getting our ATM repaired as soon as possible.
“In the meantime, our members can still withdraw money from their Coventry Building Society accounts in our branch.
“There are other ATMs nearby at the Sainsbury’s in The Crescent and also in Market Place, so hopefully shoppers in Hinckley won’t have too much disruption while we fix the machine.”
Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council raised the alarm with officers from the local police over the incident.
Appeal for information over arson-hit ride
Officers are now appealing for anybody with details about the arson-hit kids’ ride and damaged photobooth to come forward, so they can identify those responsible.
Details can be passed on to the police through their non-emergency number of 101, quoting reference 22*036762.
THE RIBBON was cut to Nuneaton’s brand-new bistro which held their grand opening today (Friday, 21 January).
The Palace Bistro, located on Newdegate Street, in a Grade-II listed former bank, officially opened their doors at 12pm today, to serve up fresh food and drinks from their prominent location in the town centre.
It marks the first time in over ten years that the building has been used, since it had no signs of activity or owner, once occupant HSBC moved out in order to relocate to their current branch over on Queens Road.
Finger food, complimentary champagne, and sandwiches were among the many nibbles for those in attendance to enjoy today.
As owner Mustafa Dogal is championing British history inside of the ex-bank, the interior sports a royal red theme in wall colours, furniture, and décor.
Owner speaks on the opening
Mustafa Dogal spoke to the Hinckley Free Press on the opening of his new venture.
Mr. Dogal, said: “The grand opening went very well – I’m proud of this chance to open the doors to The Palace to members of the public once again, after it has sat empty and untouched for more than 10 years.
“We’re based in the heart of the town, and we’ve even had a visit from Chris Watkins, who is the former Nuneaton and Bedworth Mayor.
“I really appreciate and want to thank all of the town-goers who have came on down today and supported us and shown excitement about the venture.
“Whilst we have the ground floor open, we are aiming to soon open the doors to the rooftop balcony and first floor by February.
“Most of the original features of the building remain, and we’ve kept them so that town centre can know that their memories inside have been kept alive.
“Our food menu – launching soon – will consist of an English menu, with both an Italian and Mediterranean influence as well, with gluten-free and vegetarian dishes also on offer.
“We’ll be serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner – full English breakfasts, steaks, and roast dinners will be on the menu.
“All of the meats that we will use for our meat-based dishes will be locally sourced from an award-winning Abbey Green-based butchers named Frank Parkers.
“I want people to feel the same relaxed atmosphere in here as they do at home.
“We will be giving people the opportunity to hold functions inside and use the building as a function room, and we’ll further take bookings for parties.
“We first held a ‘soft launch’ the day before Christmas Eve (23 December), where we were training up members of staff.”
Former Nuneaton and Bedworth Mayor comments
Former Mayor for Nuneaton and Bedworth, Chris Watkins, said: “Mustafa is a very hardworking resident of Nuneaton and cares about the history of the Borough.
”He has got some very big plans for The Palace including a roof top balcony and I will support him and any new venture in this Borough.
“I was delighted when he decided to take on this very big challenge with this building that has been empty for 12 years and I offered my help and support.”
Al-fresco dining and opening hours
Whilst the outdoor terrace atop the building remains out of bounds until around February, diners have the chance to dine al-fresco in the main outdoor seating area, next to the front door.
The Free Press initially spotted the Palace trading on 23rd December, but learnt that it was simply a soft launch for staff training.
No social media presence has been launched yet, however, a listing on Google Maps is available, and the Free Press have been informed a social media page will be launched on Facebook “soon” – over the course of the coming weeks.
The Palace Bistro opens on 10am until 3pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, while on Wednesday and Saturday, they open at 9am until 3pm.
HINCKLEY and Bosworth Borough Council have issued a public appeal for information following an incident which took place in Granville Park last night (19 January).
The appeal for information comes after a wheelie bin had been set on fire and the play equipment surface next to a children’s roundabout in the park was destroyed.
It was initially believed that a piece of equipment inside of the park was destroyed by vandals, but a resident reported to the Borough Council that it had unfortunately been broken on the same evening.
A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police has stressed that the authority brought the incident to the attention of local officers this morning.
The spokesperson further added: “We’re working with the Borough Council to identify those responsible.”
As a result of the incident, the area has had to close, so that it can be assessed or repaired, and replaced.
The Borough Council are urging those with information to get in touch with their Anti-Social Behaviour Team on 01455 238141.
Alternatively, further details can be reported online, through the online form.
A NEW mobile phone shop are on their way to Nuneaton. They will be the first to take on a space housed inside of the former Caves greengrocers – and they are named ‘Phone Act’.
The unit has stood empty for many years, since last being used as a coffee and dessert shop, named Jonny Cavello’s.
The signage reads: “Phone Act – Mobile phones, tablets, and computers.”
They specialise in repairing devices, unlocking devices, and updating both device hardware and software.
The view inside is currently obscured by Christmas-themed gift wrap, as it has been since December, when many were initially speculating on who the first occupant could be to join the prominent unit in the new row of Queens Road shops.
The new venture has been spotted by towngoers and visitors.
But, some are not pleased by the news – with one passer-by, stating: “Really? Another phone shop? How many do we need?”
At the time of publication (20 January), no opening date, social media presence has been made available, though they can be reached on the phone number of +447500222205.
THE OWNER of Hinckley’s newest opticians has exclusively spoken to the Free Press a week before they open the doors to the store, based on Castle Street.
Ravi Saigal, who owns Optical People, has said that the independent brand’s newest Hinckley location will have ‘the most elite’ Optometrists in town – and customers will be able to watch their glasses be made in-store, in half an hour or under, inside their state-of-the-art lab.
He said: “We’re doing something quite profound in Castle Street.
“Customers will be able to watch their glasses be made instore in thirty minutes or less.
“We also offer bespoke repairs on glasses which can now be worked on instantaneously; eliminating the need to send the frame to an external company.
“We’ve also invested in the latest eye testing technology, like the Zeiss OCT, which optically scans the thickness of the retina, revealing the underlying tissues, thereby allowing our expert Optometrists to detect eye conditions up to 5 years before they manifest symptoms.”
Mr. Saigal has further promised a plethora of glasses offers for those wanting to get their hands on some affordable glasses on their open day, Saturday 29th January.
He said: “Free eye tests will be offered to everyone on our opening day, which will be valid up until the 1st March 2022.
“There will also be ‘booster’ offers, like free varifocals, on top of the current offering to those who are usually exempt from paying for their eye test.
“Of course, our popular 2 for 1 and 3 for 1 will still be running until 1st March 2022.”
The store will stock a large range of branded glasses – budget, ranging from £20, to well-known brands like Oakley and Ray-Ban, as well as high-end designers like Prada.
In addition, they will sell a multitude of independent European eyewear brands that have been recently introduced, in a bid to add major differentiation to the frames usually displayed on the high street.
“We’ve also extended our kids NHS range to include fashionable designers, like Polo Ralph Lauren“, Saigal further added.
The branch will further offer a large range of non-prescription sunglasses for those who don’t require a prescription for their glasses – these will range from £10 to £80 designers, like Ted Baker.
The Free Press did question if plans for flats above the unit had been approved, but these are still awaiting decision.
Mr. Saigal stated that he was unable to comment at this time on the newly-created smaller second unit which has been made next door.
All employees will be treated to an unlimited 50 per cent off staff discount on food and drink – and they will further receive a 20 per cent discount for family and friends.
A paid break and meal on duty are also on offer, for all listings, according to Indeed.
It will be led by former Loungers Group member, Molly Pinson, who is a Hinckley resident herself, and has joined the Benito’s family following on from her last role at Treetop Adventure Golf, in Leicester.
Bottomless brunches and margaritas on offer
A full dine-in menu of Benito’s famous burritos, tacos, nachos grande, and quesadillas will be on offer – as well as their ‘signature’ margarita menu and cocktail list.
Breakfasts and bottomless brunches will be available from 11am to 11pm on weekdays, and from 10am on the weekends.
Benito’s: “Hinckley is the ‘perfect location’”
Michael Pearson, Director of Benito’s, stated why Hinckley is the first branch to open outside of London and Oxford.
He said: “We’ve chosen Hinckley because it’s a fabulous, bustling market town that has always been a popular destination for eating, drinking and entertainment in the wider area.
“We are pleased to have found what we believe to be the perfect location for our Mexican bar and restaurant and are looking forward to joining the Hinckley community.”