Sunday, 22 June 2014

Broxtowe Enews 22nd June 2014

Welcome to Broxtowe Enews, brought to you by the Liberal Democrats and edited by David Watts, the leader of the Lib-Dems on Broxtowe Borough Council. Firstly may I apologise that there was no newsletter last week, unfortunately I was swamped with stuff for my paid employment last weekend and then whisked all over the country at the start of this week so it just wasn’t possible to get one produced.

1.       Summer Fairs
The Early Years playgroup in Stapleford are staging a summer fair at the Old Lace Mill in Frederick Road on Saturday 28th June.  It will feature a barbeque, tombola and other stalls. Full details can be obtained by ringing 07939 852907. Also on the same day Queenswood Methodist Home for the Aged will be hosting a fair from 2pm to 4pm to raise money for residents funds. It will feature a tombola, book stall and a host of games and activities.

2.       Unemployment in Nottinghamshire
Unemployment in Notts is continuing to fall. In total there were 11,685 people claiming jobseekers allowance in the county in May, down from 12,382 in April. This represents 2.3% of working age people.

3.       Flooding
I was deeply distressed to read of families in Kimberley who had their houses flooded for the second time in a year last week. We have just been able to return to our house after six months away and the builders actually finished the final job on Friday. For people to have to face this twice in a year is heartbreaking. I know that money was pumped into Somerset to provide support for residents affected by flooding there, and I have written to Anna Soubry to ask her to call in parliament for financial support for Kimberley residents as well.

4.       Stag Play Area
Better news for Kimberley residents is that the Stag Recreation Ground has a new children’s play area, which has been jointly funded by the Borough Council and the Town Council. The refurbished play area took nearly 2 years to build and cost nearly £180,000 but it provides some of the highest quality play equipment that can be used anywhere.

5.       Colliers Wood
As part of Eastwood Arts Festival next month Robert Louis Stephenson’s novel Treasure Island will be performed at Colliers Wood. The show will take place on Thursday 17th July starting at 7.30pm and tickets cost £12 (£9 for concessions).

6.       Mayor on Facebook
As part of the extended digital service that the borough council offers videos of visits by the Mayor, councillor Stan Heptinstall, will be available on YouTube.  These can be seen at The council have also redesigned their website which can be seen at and I would be very interested in any feedback from users as to how well the site now works.

7.       Potholes
David Cameron visited Kimberley this week and announced that the Government is providing an extra £2.7 million to the County Council to help repair the 52,000 potholes in the county.

8.       Building in Stapleford
I hope I can correct a story that was reported in the media this week. Despite claims to the contrary the council is not considering building on sports pitches at Hickings Lane Rec in Stapleford. These rumours flared up some months ago and I reported the correct situation then, but the rumours seem to have circulated again this week. What the council is considering is building some flats close to the sports itches. This is quite deliberate. At the moment Hickings Lane Rec is targeted with depressing regularity by vandals who have torn up trees and damaged the pavilion. Building homes near the park so that it will be overlooked may well help to prevent this happening. I’m disappointed that some people seem to be ignoring that and spreading rumours that just are not true.

9.       Yes Tree Community Café
A new community café has opened at Yew Tree Court running from now until 30th July. The café will be open every Wednesday from 10am and noon, offering a range of refreshments. It is run by residents of Yew Tree Court, a retirement complex run by the borough council. As it is not a commercial venture residents are being invited to pay according to how satisfied they are.

10.   Business In The Community
The charity Business in the Community, which aims to support local communities, has announced that Beeston will be receiving significant support. The charity aims to increase the number of shoppers, reduce the number of empty shops and create 3,000 new jobs over the next three years. Beeston is actually still attracting a significant number of shoppers, despite all the tram and building work going on, with a record 105,000 people visiting in one week last month. However the scale of work does present considerable challenges and this extra support is very welcome.

11.   Great Beeston Bake Off
The Great Beeston Bake Off will take place at Round Hill School on Saturday 28th June. The competition is free to enter but contestants can make a donation to Oxfam. The deadline for entries is 8pm on Friday 27th June. Further information can be obtained by ringing 07711 615096.

12.   Mayors Garden Party
The Mayor will host a Garden Party on Saturday 19th July from 4.00pm until 9.00pm at his home in Bramcote in aid of the Mayors charities. Tickets cost £12.50 to include a BBQ and live music from the fabulous Don Morrell’s Gin Mill Syncopators. Please bring a picnic chair on the day. Tickets are available from the Civic Office on 0115 917 3701 or email

13.   Archaeological Dig in Toton
There is an archaeological investigation beginning next Monday. It will be in Manor Park Recreation Ground Toton. It follows geophysical and topographical surveys of the area. In the excavation and Test pits the archaeologists and volunteers will be looking for dating material and wall lines of the old Manor House/s and farm buildings. Phase 2 will last for 3 weeks. This will be followed by Phase 3 which is an excavation in search of dating evidence and lines from the watermill which once stood in Manor Park before being demolished at the beginning of the 20th century, no specific date for this has been discovered yet. There were 2 mills recorded in the Domesday Book and there are short references to a watermill up to 1901.

14.   Residents Parking Schemes
Residents Parking Scheme are being introduced by the County Council on Devonshire Avenue, Glebe Street, Cromwell Road, Elm Avenue, Bramcote Road and Ireton Street in Beeston. New parking bays, yellow lines and signs being installed.  The works started this week and are intended to be finished early next week and the new schemes will come into force shortly afterwards.

15.   Queens Honours
Two Broxtowe residents were honoured by the Queen this week. Congratulations to  Professor David Greenaway, Vice Chancellor of Nottingham University who was given a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours and Marion Wallwork of the Beeston and Civic Society who received the British Empire Medal for her services to Heritage. 

16.   Watnall Post Office
Watnall Post Office will be closed for refurbishment from 23rd July at 5pm until 3rd August at 1pm. The new look post office is one of a series within the borough that the post office are modernising and they will then be able to provide a wider range of services than they can currently do.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Broxtowe Enews 8th June 2014

Welcome to Broxtowe Enews, brought to you by the Liberal Democrats and edited by David Watts, the leader of the Lib-Dems on Broxtowe Borough Council. May I give a special welcome to the new readers that we have this week.

1.       Newark By Election
As regular readers will know I was the Lib-Dem candidate for the Newark by election. The result was very disappointing but we were probably outspent a thousand times over by the Conservatives. My small team did all that we could be a lot of our supporters voted Conservative to stop UKIP winning. I enjoyed the campaign but I’m looking forward to getting back to normality now.

2.       “Racist” Constituents
The press got very excited this week about comments that our MP made saying that some constituents were racist. Unfortunately this puts the wrong slant on what Anna said. The point that she was making was that when you discuss the facts on immigration with most people their concerns are alleviated. Perhaps Anna’s choice of words wasn’t the best but the point she was trying to make was correct.

3.       Stapleford History Society
The next meeting of the Stapleford and District History Society will be on Wednesday 11th June at the Maycliffe Hall on Toton Lane, starting at 7.30pm. The subject is Mary Ellen Shaw (1859-1926) and admission is £2.50.

4.       Axe Attack on Attenborough Nature Reserve
I was disgusted to hear yesterday that the visitors centre at Attenborough Nature Reserve could not open when it was meant to as vandals had attacked the bridge to the centre with an axe! The centre is the jewel in the crown of an excellent reserve and for people to act like this is absolutely disgraceful. It can’t even have been an opportunistic attack as someone had to take the axe there in the first place! Thankfully the centre was able to open later in the day.

5.       Bramcote Litter Pick
This is advance notice for Bramcote residents that my fellow Bramcote councillors and I will be organising another community litter pick in the village on 30th August. More details will be provided in due course.

6.       Speed Skaters
At the British Speed Skating Championships held at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham on 25 and 26 May 2014 Andrew Martin from Bramcote won the Bronze Medal for the aged 14 group and Kyle Ross-Waddell, also from Bramcote, won the Silver Medal for the aged 12 group. Congratulations to them both.

7.       Hemlock Happening
Thank you to everyone who attended this year’s Hemlock Happening and especially to those who took part. I’d like to congratulate my colleague Stan Heptinstall who is in charge of organising this each year and who arranged for the rain to stop just as the event started! Both of my children took part and thoroughly enjoyed the day, as always.

8.       Model makers
A new club has been formed in Chilwell for local model makers. Anyone aged over 35 who is interested in learning more about arts and crafts is invited to join the group which will meet at 56 Longleat Crescent every Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm. The sessions have disabled access. For more details phone Pauline Day on 0115 925 9989.

9.       Chilwell Road
At long last Chilwell Road in Beeston is open to traffic. It has been closed for many months for the tram work, and work will continue for the next few months. However traffic can now travel down the road again.

10.   New Curate
Brinsley and Eastwood Church of England churches have a new curate. Anna Alls has been appointed as curate of St Mary’s Eastwood, St James in Brinsley and also a church in Underwood. Congratulations to her on her new role. She lives in Brinsley.

11.   Eastwood Cemetery Chapel
The council have launched a consultation with local residents about the future of the cemetery chapel in Eastwood which was gutted by fire in April. Local residents are being asked to give their views on a range of options from a complete rebuild to demolition. The survey will close at the end of this month and decisions will be made very quickly afterwards.

12.   Power for Kimberley
Work is now starting on a £5 million scheme to improve power supplies in Kimberley. This includes a new sub-station in Watnall and new cabling and the result should be that there are less power cuts for local residents.

13.   Sunnyside Post Office
Sunnyside Post Office in Beeston has now closed for a refurbishment. It will reopen on 13th June at 1pm and when reopened will then have longer opening hours, from 6am to 9pm. These longer opening hours are certainly to be welcomed.

14.   Grass Verges
A number of people have contacted me about the fact that once again this year the grass verges do not appear to have been cut as they should have been. I have made enquiries about this with the council and will report back next week. I apologise that I haven’t responded to the various comments about this in individual emails but due to the Newark by election I have been pretty busy over the last few days.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Broxtowe Enews 1st June 2014

Welcome to Broxtowe Enews, brought to you by the Liberal Democrats and edited by David Watts, the leader of the Lib-Dems on Broxtowe Borough Council. May I give a special welcome to the new readers that we have this week.

1. Hemlock Happening
Next Saturday, from 1pm to 10.30pm, is the Hemlock Happening. This is now by far the largest free event in the borough and is one of the most widely anticipated events of the year. The event will be opened by my colleague Stan Heptinstall, the Mayor of Broxtowe, and hundreds of local people will be taking part. The full programme of events is available at

2. Car accident
Followers of the ITV News may well have heard that I was involved in a car accident this week. Unfortunately someone ran straight into the back of my car whilst I was sat in a line of traffic. Such a low speed shunt wouldn’t normally make the news but as I am currently a candidate in the Newark by election the TV mentioned it. I did get a rather tongue in cheek email from the Labour Party when they heard suggesting that I take a few days off to recover.

3. Beeston Technology Park
Developers have now submitted a formal application to develop the Technology Drive Business Park and Trent Vale Sports Ground in Beeston.  Full details of the plans are available on Broxtowe Borough Council's website. The development includes 285 houses, new sports facilities, a health centre and a new car park for Beeston Station.  The consultation ends on 6th June. I’m told by the officers that we have had comments so far from people saying that there are too many houses and others saying that there are not enough. The council will decide on this in due course.

4. Bramcote CAT
The next Bramcote Community Action Team meeting, which will be chaired by my colleague Ian Tyler, takes place tomorrow at Bramcote Memorial Hall, starting at 7pm. All Bramcote residents are welcome to attend.

5. Garden Trails
The Beeston and Chilwell Garden Trail is an opportunity for residents to enjoy a range of beautiful gardens in Beeston and Chilwell. Owners will be on hand during the afternoon to share tips and answer questions and there will be a range of activities available. Tickets cost £3.50 and are valid for Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th June from 1 to 5pm. Children can visit for free.  Also on Sunday 8th June from 1 to 5pm is the Cossall Open Gardens afternoon. There are 15 gardens on display. Tickets cost £3.

6. Tram Works
Chilwell Road will hopefully be open again soon but the deadline by which this was meant to have happened has been and gone. Many properties will have to have changes to their rubbish collections as a result of the tram and the council have organised a number of meetings for residents to discuss the options available. On June 3rd at 6.30pm at Humber Lodge there is a meeting for Lower Road residents, on June 5th at 6.30pm in the New Council Chamber at Beeston Town Hall for residents of Styring Street Flats, Chilwell Road and High Road and then on 10th June at 6.30pm at Humber Lodge for Fletcher Road and Middle Street residents. If you are affected you are very welcome to attend.

7. Ambulance Crews
I have reported on a number of occasions that the East Midlands Ambulance Service have struggled to hit their performance targets over the last few years. However a report that I read last week may give some insight as to why. The number of prosecutions for assaults on ambulance staff has doubled over the past three years, which is an appalling figure. Let’s be clear, assaults on ambulance staff are completely unacceptable under any circumstances, and my sympathies go out to all the affected staff.

8. Broxtowe Jobs Fair
A Jobs Fair organised jointly between the Nottingham Post and County Council will be held at the Pearson Centre in Beeston on 1st July from 10am to 3pm. Everyone is welcome to attend and no appointments are needed. The number of jobless people in the county continues to fall as we recover from the recession but there are still more than 12,000 people out of work so this initiative is welcomed.

9. Speeding Drivers
The police in Beeston have launched a campaign to tackle speeding motorists. This is in response to requests from local residents and the success of the scheme will be reviewed at a public meeting on 29th July at Beeston Town Hall, starting at 7pm.

10. Notts TV
Just in case anyone hasn’t seen all the adverts Nottinghamshire now has its own TV channel. Notts TV is available on Channel 8 on Freeview.

11. Child Arrests
It was interesting to see that there has been a 60% drop in the number of young people under the age of 18 being arrested over the past five years in Notts. In 2008 there were 7,008 young people arrested and by 2013 that number had fallen to 2,189. This is one of a number of statistics which have been published which suggest that crime really has fallen over the past few years.

12. Library Events
Beeston Library are running a couple of new events this week. On Tuesday they are inviting book lovers to discuss their favourite books between 7 and 8pm. The cost of this session is £1. Following this on Wednesday there is an introductory session for people interested in astronomy. Details of either event can be obtained by ringing 0115 925 5168.

13. Debt Advice
The charity Christians Against Poverty have expanded their services to include advice for residents in Beeston and Chilwell. The charity aims to provide debt advice to local residents. You can book an appointment with them by ringing 0800 328 0006.

14. Euro Elections
I’ll conclude with a quick comment about the Euro elections. Clearly they were very disappointing for us but we will bounce back. It is worth remembering that 90% of people in this country did not vote for UKIP, and the biggest winners were the “did not vote party.” I am proud that we stuck to our principles about being in favour of Europe, and I look forward to next year’s elections.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Broxtowe Enews 18th May 2014

Welcome to Broxtowe Enews, brought to you by the Liberal Democrats and edited by David Watts, the leader of the Lib-Dems on Broxtowe Borough Council. May I give a special welcome to the new readers that we have this week.

1.       Tram Works
It appears that the seemingly never ending tram works in Beeston are getting to an end. The plan now is that Chilwell Road up to the bed shop will open on May 26, from the bed shop to the Hop Pole will open by June 30 and the whole of Chilwell Road should be open by August 4th. The County Council have now also agreed that all businesses who have been affected financially by the scheme in Beeston should be eligible for compensation, following a campaign run by both Liberal Democrat and Conservative Councillors. This is good news, but there is still no compensation for residents who have been affected.

2.       Eastwood Dogs Fun Day
The DH Lawrence Heritage Centre on Mansfield Road will be holding a fun day for dog owners on 29th June. There will be dog training classes and dog showing. Entry is free but there is a charge of £1.50 for every class attended.

3.       Cabinet Reshuffle
Broxtowe’s cabinet has been reshuffled and new portfolio’s allocated. I have accepted a request to take over responsibility for the council’s finance portfolio, and so for the first time in nearly a dozen years I will not be carrying responsibility for planning in one form or another.

4.       Euro Elections
This Thursday is election day for the European Parliament. The polls are open from 7am to 10pm. One of our candidates, Issan Ghazni, managed to break his leg in two places today whilst out canvassing, so I’d like to wish him a very speedy recovery. Despite the proximity of the date I am still to hear anything from either the Labour or Conservative Parties about how they really stand on Europe. The Liberal Democrats are unashamedly the party of in. If you believe that Britain is better off in Europe then I would ask you to use your vote on Thursday and vote Liberal Democrat. If you believe that we should withdraw from Europe, despite the loss of jobs and opportunity that would follow from such an approach, then please vote UKIP. A vote for us or for UKIP makes it clear where people stand. Anything else is an ambiguous vote.

5.       Unemployment Down
Unemployment in Nottinghamshire is continuing to fall. The latest figures show that 600 fewer people were claiming out of work benefits in April than they were in March. In total 2.5% of those ages between 16 and 65 are out of work compared to 3.3% this time last year. This has been a really difficult recession but all the figures now show that we are through the worst and things will continue to get better. However part of what the Government must do is ensure that this time our economic performance is based on a wider platform of the economy as a whole and not solely on financial services, which is what caused such a deep recession in the first place.

6.       Mondays at Pastures
On Monday 19 May there will be an After School Club for children aged 4-11 years old from 3:30 till 5pm at The Pastures Community Centre, Stapleford, NG9 8GQ.

7.       Attenborough Friendship Group - Coach Trip
Attenborough Friendship Group are planning a coach trip to Finden Garden Centre, from 1pm till 6pm on Wednesday 21 May. The cost is £5.  Please call Shirley Porter on 0115 922 1183 to book a place.

8.       Beauvale Priory - Beer Festival
The 3rd Annual Beauvale Priory Beer Festival will take place from Friday 23 May - Monday 26 May between 12pm and 1am. At the festival there will be a range of real ales, ciders, larger and wine for sale.  The festival is free to enter (the beer isn’t) and there is free car parking on site, but please do not drink and drive.

9.       Beeston Shopmobility - Open day
Just a quick reminder that the Beeston Shopmobility open day takes place next Saturday, 24th May, at 10 Devonshire Avenue, Beeston, NG9 1BS. Everyone is welcome to attend.

10.   Greasley Gathering
The Greasley Gathering 2014 takes place on Bank Holiday Monday 26th May between 10am and 3pm. The centre of activities will be at Greasley Community and Sports Centre with other fun filled activities throughout the parish. The theme of this years event is transport and there will be an opportunity to tour the whole area in a Red London Bus; see birds of prey, music bands, have a bite to eat or even have a  go on a zip wire. 

11.   Labour Leaflet
I had to had a bit of a smile about a leaflet Labour have been putting out in Broxtowe over the last few days proclaiming the successes of Labour run Broxtowe Borough Council. The only problem is that Broxtowe Borough Council hasn’t been Labour run for eleven years! Talk about behind the times!

12.   County Council to Privatise Activities?
This isn’t definite yet but in an interview this week the leader of the Labour run County Council, Alan Rhodes, seemed to hint that a number of council services including highways, children and adults social care, could all be privatised. I am not opposed to work being done by private firms if it can be shown that they can provide the same level of service more efficiently, but I strongly feel that recent experiences across the country show who social care should not be left to the private sector and I feel that this would be a very short sighted move if Labour push ahead with it.

13.   New Football Pitch
The derelict skate park at Chilwell Olympia Sports Centre is to be redeveloped as an extra all weather football pitch. The park has not been used for a number of years yet there is a strong demand for football pitches, so hopefully a number of teams will benefit from this.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Broxtowe Enews 11th May 2014

Welcome to Broxtowe Enews, brought to you by the Liberal Democrats and edited by David Watts, the leader of the Lib-Dems on Broxtowe Borough Council. May I give a special welcome to the new readers that we have this week. I’m delighted to say that I am writing this sat in my own living room. Regular readers may recall that last November my house flooded but yesterday, just four days less than six months after the flood, we were able to move back home.

1.       Beeston and Chilwell Garden Trail
The Beeston and Chilwell Garden Trail 2014 will be taking place on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th June from 1.00p.m. to 5.00 p.m. on both days. 14 gardens will be open, including some new ones. Tickets cost £3.50 per person which covers both days and children are free. All proceeds go to charity. Tickets can be purchased in any of the gardens. Flyers are available in local venues and full details can be found on the website

2.       Hope Into Action
Hope into Action is a national charity for the homeless which is opening a home in Beeston. A three bedroomed house has been purchased to help people get off the streets and back into more normal society. This has been funded by the incredible generosity of twelve local church goers who have each donated £10,000 to fund the purchase. They deserve to be warmly thanked for their actions.

3.       Tram Petition
Our MP, Anna Soubry, organised a petition calling on the County Council to provide aid for shops hit by the tram works. This was supported by Liberal Democrat and Conservative County Councillors. The petition has been signed by over 3,000 local residents and will be presented to the County Council at a meeting on Thursday.

4.       Promotional  Video’s
Broxtowe Borough Council have been working with media students from Nottingham Trent University to produce a series of promotional video’s. Three have been produced, covering glass recycling, the Helpful Bureaux in Stapleford and responsible dog ownership. These can be seen at

5.       Nuthall War Memorial
Broxtowe Borough Council have agreed to provide a grant to Nuthall Parish Council to help create Nuthall’s first outdoor war memorial. However the Parish Council are still appealing for more funds to complete the project. If you would like to help please contact the parish clerk, Sue Stack, on 0115 951 5717.

6.       Stapleford Community Safety Event
There will be an event at Hickings Lane Recreation Ground on Wednesday 28th May from 2pm to 4pm where residents can raise issues with the police, fire brigade and local councillors. Free cycle servicing and bike security measures are also available. For more information ring the borough council on 917 3625.

7.       Speeding Motorists
New figures released this week showed that last year 73.946 people were caught speeding in Nottinghamshire, which works out at more than 150 people a day. This is the figure for people caught by speed camera’s, and so on top of this there will be those who were caught by police officers as well.

8.       Ambulance Service Staff
Over the last few months I have highlighted a number of problems which have been reported about East Midlands Ambulance Service. Now figures have been released which show that the number of EMAS staff off sick with stress has trebled over the past five years, so that last year there were 217 incidents which led to a total of 48,156 working days being lost to stress. Low morale amongst the staff is being blamed for the figures.

9.       Dog micro-chipping
Broxtowe pet owners will be able to get their dogs microchipped free of charge at Coronation Park in Eastwood on Thursday 29th May from 9.30 until 11.30 a.m. No booking is necessary and owners are able to simply turn up.

10.   Beeston Bus Station
A disagreement has broken out between the borough and county council’s over the future of Beeston bus station. A new transport exchange is being built as part of the tram works, and officers of the borough council want to close the old bus station when the new one opens so that we can get on with developing the area as a new shopping centre, but the County Council want to keep the old bus station open for some time to ensure that there are no teething troubles with the new interchange first. A decision will be taken by the borough council’s cabinet on Tuesday.

11.   Good Neighbour
Congratulations to Kimberley resident Jeff Buck for winning the Nottingham Post good neighbour award for this year. Jeff is the motivational force behind Rumbletums in Kimberley, as well as the local branch of the Nottingham Credit Union and his award is richly deserved.

12.   WEA
Following on from the last item, the Kimberley branch of the WEA is re-launching at an event at Rumbletums on Wednesday 18th June (7.30pm). This will be an illustrated talk on the recent history of Kimberley by Roy Plumb, Kimberley resident and local historian. The event takes place during national Adult Learners' Week and will herald the start of a new push to promote and facilitate adult learning in Kimberley and the surrounding area through WEA courses.

13.   Eastwood Housing Application
A planning application has been submitted to the borough council to demolish part of the Great Northern Road Industrial estate in Eastwood and replace it with housing. This would include a number of low cost and starter homes. The council will decide on this in due course.

14.   Newark
You may be aware that I have been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Newark by election. I’m deeply humbled to have been granted this honour by the party and I’m looking forward to an interesting campaign. For the next four weeks I’ll be combining campaigning in Newark with my role as a local councillor for Bramcote.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Broxtowe Enews 4th May 2014

Welcome to Broxtowe Enews, brought to you by the Liberal Democrats and edited by David Watts, the leader of the Lib-Dems on Broxtowe Borough Council. May I give a special welcome to the new readers that we have this week. I hope that everyone had a good Easter. I took a slightly longer break from the newsletter than I had originally intended, simply because I had so much work on last week that I couldn’t get an edition prepared. We’re back to normal now though.

1.       New Cycling Centre
A new cycling centre has opened in Beeston, run by Travel Rght. Based at the Hetley Pearson Recreation Ground the centre will be offering free cycle hire, lessons and group rides. More details can be found at

2.       Attenborough Nature Reserve
To bring the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Nottinghamshire wildlife trust to a close there will be a series of activities at Attenborough nature reserve next weekend. The programme includes on Friday 9th May the Big 50 2013 Talk from 6pm - 7pm, an Evening Bird Walk from 7pm - 9pm (cost £2), Moth trapping from 9pm - 11pm (cost £2), a Bat Walk from 8pm - 11pm (cost £5 with limited places remaining). On Saturday 10th May - Free walks and talks including Pond dipping from 10-4, (just come along), a Plant ID walk from 9am - 11am, a Ladybird Walk from 10am - 12noon and 1pm - 3pm, Slugs & Snails from 11am - 1pm, a Family wildlife walk from 12noon - 2pm, a Butterfly Walk from 2pm - 4pm, Hoverflies, Bees and Wasps from 3pm - 5pm and Aquatic Plants from 4pm - 6pm. Please book in advance for these. Finally on Sunday 11th May there is a Family Fun Day. There is no need to book for this, just come along from 10.30am and join in the fun - Plant stall, bird ID, help in the hides and drop in craft activities with a wildlife theme.

3.       Beeston Civic Society Open Meeting
On Friday 9th  May Beeston Civic Society have organised a meeting entitled “A New Deal for Beeston Continuum.” This follows on from a meeting in January to decide on what Beeston's needs are following the arrival of The Tram. Beestonia editor Matt Goold will be chairing the meeting at John Clifford School, Nether Street, Beeston, NG9 2AT at 7.30.p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.

4.      Freedom of Entry Parade
On Saturday 17 May, members of 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group will exercise their Freedom of Entry to march through Kimberley. The serving soldiers will be joined by veterans from the Royal Engineers Association and the Nottinghamshire Band of the Royal Engineers (Volunteers).  The Parade will march through Kimberley Town Centre, starting at 11.00 am. Following the Parade, a 30 minute outdoor Drum Head Service will be held in Hall Om Wong Park.

5.       Beeston Shopmobility
 Beeston Shopmobility has been in operation for 14 years, and is now based at Cavendish Lodge, Devonshire Avenue, telephone number 0115 9173077.  They operate with a team of volunteers, Mondays to Saturdays 52 weeks a year, opening times 10.30 am to 3.00 pm.  It is a local charity managed and manned by unpaid volunteers, with a fleet of mobility scooters and wheelchairs for hire to people with mobility problems to use in Beeston town centre, typically for a couple of hours. It also allows its members to hire out for longer periods i.e. for holidays or if a disabled relative is visiting.  On Saturday 24th May Beeston Shopmobility will have an Open Day when its premises will be officially opened by the Mayor of Broxtowe, all are welcome to have a go on a mobility scooter and meet our volunteers

6.       HMS Sherwood
The Royal Naval Reserves have a new one million pound home in Toton. HMS Sherwood’s new building was officially opened by HRH Prince Michael of Kent. Prince Michael also hosted a reception at County Hall to thank local employers who hire and support Reserves and to encourage more employers to recruit Reservists.

7.       Bramcote Old Church Tower AGM
On Thursday 8 May Bramcote Old Church Tower AGM  will take place at St Michael's Church, Bramcote, starting at 7.30pm. All are welcome to attend. Following this on Saturday Bramcote Old Church Tower  Dance Night  takes place at the Memorial Hall, Bramcote, starting at 7:30pm. Tickets are £10 and all proceeds raised will go to the restoration of the Tower.

8.       Sunnyside Road Post Office, Beeston
The Royal Mail are considering upgrading the Sunnyside Road Post Office to one of their new “local” branches. They are asking for customers opinions first. To have a say go to and enter the branch code 33022799.

9.       New Mayor
This coming Wednesday the annual council meeting will be held at the Town Hall in Beestoin where my colleague Stan Heptinstall will be installed as the new mayor of the borough. I am delighted that Stan is being given this honour, which recognises his long term work for and commitment to the residents of Broxtowe. I doubt that there has ever been a more popular mayor.

10.   Boundary Review
The Boundary Commission has now published its recommendations for new ward boundaries in Broxtowe. There are some minor changes to boundaries in Beeston between Beeston West, Beeston Rylands and Beeston Central, but the biggest proposed changes are that Trowell, Cossall and Awsworth are to be merged to create one new ward with two councillors and Attenborough is to be merged with Chilwell East to create a new three councillor ward. Full details of the proposals and how to make comments are at

11.   Nottingham Credit Union, Kimberley
Nottingham Credit Union Access and Information point in Kimberley is now open every Wednesday morning from 10.00am to 12.00 (it was previously open on a Tuesday).  People can come along to Rumbletums Cafe on Victoria Street to find out about all the products and services available through the credit union (including current accounts, savings accounts and loans) and can join the credit union there too. No appointment is necessary; just come along. If people want to join the credit union though, they need to bring two proofs of identity, one of which confirms their address and £4 in the form of cash or a cheque (a £3 membership fee and minimum £1 deposit to open an account). More details are available at

12.   Bramcote Blues Football Club
Bramcote Blues have sent the following message:  “We are currently moving forward with the under 11 team in to next seasons nine a side league, but at present we only have 7 players and need to get another four players to make a good team.  If anyone in the community would like their son to play football and join the team, they would be very welcome.  The age restriction is they need need to be 11 during the term starting September 2014 (or starting Year 6 in school). We train on a Wednesday at the moment on the Bramcote Playing Fields (next to the Leisure Centre) between 5.30 – 6.45 and then play in the Young Elizabethan League on a Saturday from Sept to May.  We are a friendly club and would like to maintain a local club in the Bramcote, Stapleford, Beeston area and within the Nottingham League that plays against teams of the same age around Nottingham.  If we are unable to find any additional players, then we will probably have to close, which means that our currently committed team of 7 players will be without a team.  So we are keen to maintain the team in Bramcote. Contact: Alastair Luff on 0115 9258029 or email.”

13.   Disruption in Beeston
Residents shopping in Beeston on Friday lunchtimemay have encountered significant disruption. Unfortunately a suspected unexploded bomb was uncovered by the tram works in Middle Street. Nottinghamshire police said that the device was thought to be from pre-the Second World War and was not live, although obviously this wasn’t known at the time.

14.   Record Breakers
290 pupils from Chetwynd primary school in Toton are now world record holders. They took part in the world’s largest ever three legged race, running 200 metres at a track at the Chetwynd garrison. The event was organised to raise money for the soldiers charity ‘Walking with the Wounded.’

15.   New Industrial Buildings
Plans have been submitted to the Borough Council for a new industrial site in Stapleford. The application is to build two large buildings and a storage building on Bessell Lane. This will be determined by the Borough Council in due course.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Broxtowe Enews 30th March 2014

Welcome to Broxtowe Enews, brought to you by the Liberal Democrats and edited by David Watts, the leader of the Lib-Dems on Broxtowe Borough Council. When I started writing this week’s edition I didn’t think that there was much to report on but as you will see below I was wrong. I’m also very conscious that a number of people are still waiting for replies to emails this week and I will try and deal with these as soon as possible.

1.       Moorgreen Show
The only place that I could start this week is with the news that Moorgreen Show has been scrapped. This has been one of the main social events in the north of the borough for many years, but the organisers say that the number of visitors have been down for the past few years. The borough council have been the principal sponsors of the show for many years and this is extremely disappointing news. My personal view is that some aspects of the organisation and management of the show have left a lot to be desired in recent years.  I read some comments by the organisers this week saying that people were no longer interested in farming or rural life, but I really don’t believe that this is the case.  The council will be exploring every possible avenue to see if the show can be rescued.

2.       Poppy Planting
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War One the borough council will be planting new poppy beds around the Edward Road and Mansfield Road war memorials in Eastwood. The mayor of the borough will also be planting poppies at Mansfield Road Memorial Garden, Eastwood  , Cookies Pond in Stapleford and Hetley Pearson recreation ground in Beeston tomorrow as well. A total area of 290 square metres will be cultivated and planted with wild poppy across the borough.

3.       Warrant Officer Alan Hamilton
I’d like to offer my congratulations to Warrant Officer Hamilton from the Royal Engineers, based at Chilwell Garrison, who has been awarded an MBE. This was to recognise his skills in designing anti-vehicle ditches in Afghanistan to protect against suicide bombers.

4.       County Highways
I’ve been a frequent critic of the highways department at the county council, who have, in my opinion, failed to provide the level of service to local residents that we have a right to expect. This week the County Council, as part of its cuts agenda, have reduced the staff there by 121 posts. Unfortunately this is likely to mean that the service we get from them gets even worse.

5.       Royal Mail Cuts
The Royal Mail announced this week that they are cutting about 1,000 jobs. They have said however that this is unlikely to affect the numbers employed locally at the Padge Road sorting office in Beeston as the cuts are likely to be head office based.

6.       Teachers Strike
One school in Broxtowe, Beeston Fields Primary School in Beeston, was completely shut as a result of last weeks strike by the NUT. Four other schools were partially closed,  Albany infants in Stapleford, Bramcote Hills Primary in Bramcote, Eastwood School and Chilwell School. I’m afraid that I think that the teachers who took this action were completely misguided in doing so, and they have caused significant inconvenience to parents as well as damage to children’s education. I hope that this action will not be repeated.

7.       Joan Moodie
Former Broxtowe Mayor Joan Moodie passed away last week. She was very well known and highly respected in Broxtowe and I’d like to extend my sympathies to her family and friends. Her funeral will take place on Tuesday.

8.       Ian Campbell
Further sad news this week was that former Kimberley Town Councillor Ian Campbell, who worked as a tribute singer under the name of Frankie Martin, passed away at the age of 53. Again I’d like to extend my sympathies to his family and friends.  Mr Campbell raised significant amounts of money for Help For Heroes, the charity that supports ex-servicemen and women.

9.       Jaguar Pub
Work has now started demolishing the old Jaguar Pub in Stapleford. This closed last year and the site is being redeveloped as three shops. The original design submitted for the shops was extremely poor but the council worked with the developers and the scheme that was eventually approved looks far better.

10.   Charity Ball
On Saturday 5th April Ruby Charity Ball the Mayor of Broxtowe, Councillor Iris White, holds her Charity Ball in aid of Treetops Hospice and the Helpful Bureau at the Belfry Hotel, Nottingham, from 7pm.   Tickets cost £32 and can be obtained from the Civic Office on 0115 917 3210.

11.   Beeston & District Civic Society Open Meeting
On Friday 11th April at 7.30pm The Beeston and District Civic Society are holding an open meeting at The Community Room, John Clifford School, Nether Street, Beeston, NG9 2AT. Mark Chivers will give a talk on 'Boots Enterprise Zone'.  It is free for members, £2 for guests on the door.  Refreshments  will be available.  

12.   Bramcote Old Church Tower Quiz Night
On Saturday 12 April there will be a quiz night in aid of Bramcote Old Church Tower starting at 7.30pm at Bramcote Memorial Hall. The cost is £10 per person, which includes a jacket potato with filling, tea and coffee (bring your own beer or wine).  For tickets please call 0115 922 6782.

13.   DH Lawrence Love of Trains
The speaker at the next D.H. Lawrence Society meeting, to be held in the D.H. Lawrence Heritage Centre, Durban House, on Wednesday, April 9, at 7pm, will be Helen Baron, from Hull, who will be giving a talk entitled “DH Lawrence and His Love of Trains.”. One of Helen’s many distinctions is that she edited Sons and Lovers, and its earlier version, Paul Morel, for the Cambridge University Press.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Broxtowe Enews 9th March 2014

Welcome to Broxtowe Enews, brought to you by the Liberal Democrats and edited by David Watts, the leader of the Lib-Dems on Broxtowe Borough Council. I’ve just got back from a brilliant Liberal Democrat conference where, in a session on engaging with residents, this newsletter was mentioned by the speaker (not me) as being an excellent example of what to do. The success of this newsletter is entirely down to the readers, so thank you all.

1.       Council Tax
Broxtowe Borough Council held their budget meeting this week and I’m delighted to say that for the fourth year in a row council tax is being frozen. There are also no cuts to front line services and no compulsory redundancies. We have achieved this for so long by doing things better. The charge for removing garden waste was approved as part of this. I have made it clear in the past that I didn’t agree with this but on reflection I think I was wrong to oppose it. The alternative was to cut services and this was the lesser of two evils.
Whilst talking about this may I digress briefly to talk about partnership working. The Lib-Dem and Labour Parties have worked together in Broxtowe for twelve years. There is much about the Labour Party and much about their approach that I really don’t like, and I’m sure that they would say the same about the Lib-Dems. However for the sake of local people we put our differences aside and try and get the best deal for Broxtowe that we can. Sometimes we get what we want and sometimes Labour get what they want. People seem quite comfortable with this, but there was still a protestor outside the conference today shouting that we were Tories in disguise because we are in coalition with them nationally. Presumably by his logic I’m also a socialist because I work with Labour locally, The truth of course is that I’m neither. As a Liberal I’m a pragmatist and will work with whoever is necessary to get things done.

2.       Tram Compensation
Nottingham City Council have agreed to increase the amount of funding available for small traders in Beeston suffering from a loss of trade because of the tram works.  This is good news and everyone connected with it deserves to be congratulated. However there is still nothing to compensate residents who are affected by the problems.

3.       New Business
I was delighted to hear this year that printer manufacturers Lexmark are moving to new offices in Chilwell. They are a major blue chip company and it is fantastic that they are coming to Broxtowe. I look forward to working with them in the future.

4.       New Gym
At the other end of the scale for new businesses a new community gym has opened on Seven Oaks Crescent in Bramcote. Changes Gym is now open and is a ladies only gym. New members are welcome. Details are available on 07429 143143.

5.       New Bench
A bench in honour of Alderman Tom Martin was unveiled last weekend in front of Stapleford Library. Tom served for many years on both Broxtowe BC and Stapleford Town Council and was also mayor of both.  He also had a distinguished period of service in the army during the war. Tom passed away a couple of years ago, but the bench will help preserve the memory of his contribution to the town.

6.       Have Your Say on the NHS
Residents are invited to have their say on issues about the NHS in a couple of meetings later this month. The Clinical Commissioning Group (the medical consortium that runs the NHS locally) are holding public meetings at St Helen’s Church Hall, Frederick Road, Stapleford on 18th March at 6pm and then at Rumbletums on Victoria Road Kimberley on 20th March at 12.30pm. Any local residents are welcome to attend.

7.       Nottingham Post Local Heroes
Talking of Rumbletums their organiser, Jeff Buck, has been nominated for the Nottingham Post Good Neighbour of the Year award. Jeff had led Rumbletums since it was set up and has been the driving force behind many of the activities that have taken place there. I’ve never met Jeff but have swapped emails with him on numerous occasions and I’m delighted that he’s been nominated.

8.       Broxtowe CCTV
The police and the borough council are currently running a public consultation about the location and number of CCTV camera’s in Broxtowe. The consultation can be found on the council’s website at

9.       Grass Cutting
After the appalling mess that the County Council made of cutting the grass verges in Broxtowe last year I’m delighted to say that the work will pass back to the borough council for this year. Thank you to everyone who helped our campaign regarding this, which has achieved exactly what we hoped for.

10.   County Council Satisfaction
Satisfaction levels about the County Council have dropped significantly this year. Less than 60% of residents in the County are now happy about the level of service that the council provides. This is a 5% fall compared to last year, and contrast sharply with the satisfaction ratings of more than 80% obtained by the borough council.

11.   Toton Housing
Notts County Council have now made their comments to the borough council about the plans for home building in Toton. The County Council have said that these plans are “acceptable.” The County put their views forward but any decisions will be taken by the borough council in due course.

12.   Ilkeston Station
Although the station is in Derbyshire the proposed car park for it is in Broxtowe. We have had real trouble with this over the last few days as the Environment Agency were objecting to planning permission being given. There was an impending deadline by which planning permission had to be granted to ensure that the funding was available, and this was getting extremely close. It took an awful lot of diplomacy and negotiation over the past few days to get this sorted, but planning permission is now all sorted.

13.   European Elections
The European Elections will take place on 22nd May, when residents in the East Midlands get to select the people who will represent them in the European Parliament. There will be two parties in this elections with clear positions. The Lib-Dems are unashamedly the party of IN and UKIP are equally the party of out. I’d urge everyone to vote in this election and to vote for one of these two parties. That way your intentions will be clear. With the Tories hopelessly divided in Europe and Labour refusing to commit one way or another a vote for them doesn’t tell us anything about the way that people want this country to go. For me I believe that the 3 million jobs that would be lost if we left the EU is a great reason to stay in.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.
Liberal Democrats – A Stronger Economy and a Fairer Society

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Broxtowe Enews 23rd February 2014

Welcome to Broxtowe Enews, brought to you by the Liberal Democrats and edited by David Watts, the leader of the Lib-Dems on Broxtowe Borough Council. May I give a special welcome to the new readers that we have this week. May I also apologise that many people are still waiting for replies to emails. I’m afraid that I have been so busy that quite a backlog has built up. I will try and address all of these over the next few days.

1. Men in Heels
I mentioned in the newsletter a couple of weeks ago of the “men in heels” initiative in Eastwood to raise money for the Broxtowe women’s project. This took place last weekend and approximately 30 men from Eastwood took part in a sponsored walk whilst wearing high heels. Amongst these was my Council colleague Bob Charlesworth. I’d like to congratulate everybody who was involved, and especially event coordinator Lisa Dann.

2. County Council Aspergers Team
We have heard an awful lot about cuts to the county council’s budget over the last few months, and I have been very critical about some of the cuts proposed. I am therefore delighted to welcome a U-turn by the Council in respect of their team helping people with Asperger’s syndrome. Plans to scrap this have been reversed, and therefore the 200 or so adults in the county who suffer from Asperger’s will continue to get help.

3. Trees Available
in the last couple of additions of this newsletter I have mentioned efforts to plant a significant number of new trees in Broxtowe. The Woodland trust are now making more than half 1 million trees available to community groups, including discounts, brownies, sports clubs and parish councils. I hope that groups within the Borough will be keen to take up this offer. The deadline to apply for free trees is 4 September and details can be found on the Woodland trust website at

4. Happy Towns
A survey of business people in Kimberley, Eastwood and Stapleford has shown that satisfaction levels with the town centres has risen in each of the towns. This is good news and credit needs to go to the borough council’s town centre manager. Satisfaction levels in Beeston has stayed the same at 70%, and given the disruption that there has been over the last few months with the tram works this is itself an extremely good performance. However, as ever, we will be looking for improvements next year. The town centre team have a number of initiatives to improve all of our town centres, and if there are any things that you would like to see please do let me know.

5. Beeston Business Park
The owners of Beeston Business Park have now unveiled their proposals for the redevelopment of the site. They are planning to spend £30 million creating 26 new industrial units, a food store and a new sports club. There will also be some 281 houses on the site. I didn’t get the chance to go to their presentation this week due to work commitments, but most of what they are suggesting looks quite encouraging. I do however have concerns about the food store in particular, and the amount of traffic that it might generate. Station Road in Beeston is the only way in or out of that area and it is already heavily congested, and so we will need to see what the proposals are to address this.

6. Grass Cutting
last year the county council took over responsibility for cutting the grass verges in Broxtowe. This was at their insistence and not something that the Borough Council was happy about. I think everyone would agree that the county made a really bad job of it, and we had dozens, if not hundreds, of complaints. I am pleased to report that the county council have now rethought the position, and responsibility for carrying out the work will pass back to the Borough Council from this year. It will still be funded by the county, that they will pay the Borough Council to do the work.

7. Attenborough Nature Reserve
A new pond dipping platform has been installed at Attenborough Nature Reserve as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations. This replaces a previous platform which had reached the end of its life. The pond dipping platform is an educational facility used by local schoolchildren to learn about the wildlife that lives in the water. It has been extensively road  tested by both of my children who can vouch for the benefits that it brings.

8. Jobless Figures
The latest figures released show that unemployment in Nottinghamshire was significantly lower in January than it was 12 months ago. 13,060 people were claiming benefit in January across he county, equating to 2.6% of those eligible for work. This means that unemployment in Nottinghamshire is lower than the national average (3%) and also lower than the East Midlands average of 2.8%. Whilst this trend is encouraging industrial mean that we have 13,060 people to get into work.

9. Kimberley Brewery
Some concern has been expressed this week about fans to redevelop Kimberley Brewery. English Heritage have described proposals to construct more than 130 houses on the site as ‘incongruous and out of character.’ They are calling for a number of houses on the site to be reduced. One of the problems with that approach is that if we have less houses there then there is more pressure on other places to build. I will be meeting the developers of Kimberley Brewery this week and will discuss their proposals with them.

10. Chilwell Arts Theatre
There are two events taking place at Chilwell Arts Theatre, Chilwell School, Queens Road West, NG9 5AL in the next few days. On Friday 28th February, Paradiso Cinema presents “Rush,” the story of the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the 1976 Formula One motor racing season. Made in 2013, the film stars Daniel Bruhl and Chris Hemsworth. The film starts at 7.30pm. Tickets on the door £5 (£4 conc). Following that on Sunday 9th March, the Midnight Cabaret Band presents “From Berlin to Broadway,” an evening of “sophisticated, sexy and subversive” music. The concert starts at 7.30pm. Tickets £8 (£6 conc) from 0115 9252698 or 07772053412 or on the door.

11. Garden Waste
I have received loads of questions from people following the decision of the Borough Council to start charging for collecting garden waste. I’ve been trying to check out the details with the relevant officers, and the situation is this. Anybody who wants to have their garden waste collected separately, so that it can go to recycling, will face a charge of £30 per year. They will have a free ground being provided. People who already have a brown bin will receive a discount for this year. There are no plans to provide discounts for OAPs or the disabled at this point, although that may be looked at in the future. Residents who do not wish to have their garden waste collected separately can place it in their black bin where it will be collected along with the rest of the non-recyclable rubbish. I hope the letters make things clearer for people, but please don’t hesitate to contact me if you still have any questions.

12. Glyn Yeoman
It is with enormous sadness that I heard on Tuesday of the death of my friend and community activist Glyn Yeoman. Glyn was a long-term resident of Bramcote who contributed enormously to all that goes on here. Perhaps his greatest achievement was as Chairman of Governors at the Bramcote Hills Primary School where he helped guide the school to become one of the best schools in this or any area. Glyn was a good, kind and caring man and his wife Gill, his family and indeed all of us will miss him greatly.

13. Commonwealth Day
For the first time ever, local authorities, civic dignitaries, community groups and charities through the British Isles are taking part in local flag raising events and ceremonies of dedication to mark Commonwealth . In Broxtowe there  will be a ceremony in front of the Town Hall, Beeston on Monday 10th March 2014 at 10.00am The Mayor, Councillor Iris White, will raise the Commonwealth flag. Attending this event will be a Polish delegation from MyszkÓw County who are visiting the Borough of Broxtowe to celebrate the signing of a further 5 year Friendship and Co-operation Agreement between the two authorities.

14. Services at Bramcote Park
The salvation army will be holding open air services at Bramcote Park during the summer months this year. Services will start at 3 PM and will take place on 4 May, first of June and third of August. The Salvation Army band will be playing at these events. Everyone is very welcome to attend and participate.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Broxtowe Enews 16th February 2014

Welcome to Broxtowe Enews, brought to you by the Liberal Democrats and edited by David Watts, the leader of the Lib-Dems on Broxtowe Borough Council. May I give a special welcome to the new readers that we have this week.

1.       Broxtowe Core Strategy
I’m starting again with a regular theme, the council’s core strategy for development over the next 15 years. There was a further hearing about this on Wednesday when residents and other interested parties from Toton were able to have their say. I was extremely surprised to hear Anna Soubry MP attending to say that she supported development at Toton linked to HS2 and that she agreed that this should include some housing, which is a significant change in her position from previously.

2.       Road Works
This is an advance notice of road works being carried out at the railway bridge on Stapleford Road in Trowell from 2200 hours on Wednesday 16th April 2014 until 0600 hours on Saturday 19th April 2014 (2200 hours until 0600 hours each night for 3 nights). The road will be completely closed from 10pm to 6am each day.

3.       Council Ward Boundaries
As I have mentioned before the Boundary Commission are currently changing the boundaries of wards in Broxtowe to try and make them fairer. The council have now submitted our suggestions, which were to make few changes to the existing layout. However we are suggesting that Eastwood should be split into three wards rather than the current two, and that a small number of houses that have been in Beeston West should now transfer to Beeston Central. The Boundary Commission will make their final decisions by the summer.

4.       Eastwood does buttons
Volunteers with local group ‘Communities Against Poverty’ are currently working on a programme of events for 2014.  Two events for February and March have been arranged at the Library Bar – ‘Eastwood does Buttons’.  There will be buttons suitable for knitters, dressmakers and cardmakers, including Christmas and animal themed buttons.  Visitors will be able to buy buttons in jars or on a ‘pick and mix’, ‘fill a bag’ basis.
As well as buttons visitors will be able to:
·         see a display of historical buttons by the local branch of the UK Button Society
·         take their own buttons along to the event for more information and a valuation by Jenny Swindells of the UK Button Society for a small donation.  Jenny has been collecting and researching buttons for 40 years and is the Button Consultant for Bonhams Auctioneers and several other auction houses
·         join a flower making session using fabric, crochet and/or knitting.  Materials are provided and the flowers produced will go on display in Eastwood during the town’s July Arts Festival.
There is no charge for entry to the events which take place at the Library Bar on Scargill Walk (in the Craft Workshops area) from 11 am to 2 pm on Saturday 22 February and at the same time again on Saturday 29 March 2014.   At the March event the group will be selling leather remnants for crafts people. Contact:  Please email Angela on

5.       Talent Development at Work
Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce (DNCC) is working with organisations in both counties to develop their staff through a new Talent Development programme. This fully-funded programme is available to organisations that fall into the eligible sector list in the following areas: customer retention and sales growth, information technology, business administration efficiency, business social media and marketing and leadership and management. There are a range of job-specific courses on offer, from Level 2 to Level 4 and there are no fees to pay. If you are interested contact Trudi Davidson at for further information.

6.       Watnall Bunker
As you may have seen on Channel 4 TV this week an old World War Two bunker in Watnall is set to be turned into a bed and breakfast. The bunker on land off Main Road - which used to be an RAF plotting station – was bought two years ago and Broxtowe Borough Council has now given planning permission for it to be converted. It will be interesting to see how the work develops.

7.       Truancy
I reported last week that Eastwood School was in the bottom five schools for attendance in Nottinghamshire. I’m very grateful to the chair of the Governors who informs me that the figures released by the County Council were based on figures a year old and that the school have taken significant steps to address the issue, so that attendance this year is up to 94%, a far better figure.

8.       Number 14 bus
Nottingham City Transport have announced that they are withdrawing the number 14 bus which serves Beeston and Chilwell and runs into the city centre. The last service will run at the end of March. The route is being withdrawn because NCT say that it losing a significant amount of money.

9.       Bramcote Ridge
The Friends of Bramcote Ridge planted 120 new trees on the ridge last week as part of their efforts to restore the area. The new trees were Hawthornes and have been planted near Sandy Lane. Well done to everyone involved.

10.   Cator Lane
The County Council have announced that they are bringing forward plans to resurface Cator Lane in Chilwell a year ahead of schedule to try and take advantage of the fact that the road is currently closed because of tram works. The resurfacing will take place between Bramcote Avenue and Greenwood Court. Whilst it seems sensible to try and tie in with the tram work I’ve already been contacted by residents expressing great concern about these proposals and the practical details about how they will work.

11.   Water Bills
Severn Trent have announced that average bills for customers will go up by £3 this year. May I make it clear that this is not simply so that they can pay for the damage they caused to my house when they flooded us last year. It does mean that the average bll for combined water and sewarge treatment will be £333 next year.

12.   Railway Station Bike Racks
Planning permission has been given to Network Rail to install more bike lockers in the car park of the station. This will mean that there will be storage space for 44 bikes at the station, but it will mean the loss of 2 parking spaces.

13.   Potholes
The County Council has launched an appeal for people to report pot holes to them after revealing that one in six of pot holes that they repaired last year was as a direct result of a report from a member of the public. They have a site on their web site at where people can report pot holes. Last year the county repaired 34,400 pot holed of which about 5,500 were reported online by the public.

14.   Paul Smith Photographs
An exhibition of photographs taken by fashion designer Sir Paul Smith are on display at the DH Lawrence Heritage Centre in Eastwood from now until the end of March. Photographs from a number of local photographs are also on display. Sir Paul’s father was a long time member of Beeston Photographic Society. Admission is £2.90 per person.

15.   Amnesty International
The Beeston branch of Amnesty International are holding a letter writing session on Monday evening. The idea is to write letters to put pressure on governments to prevent human rights abuses. The session takes place at the Commercial Inn from 7.30pm to 9.00pm.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.