Welcome to Broxtowe Enews, brought to you by the Liberal Democrats and edited by our parliamentary spokesperson David Watts.
May I start by thanking everyone for their feedback and good wishes after the general election. A few people have asked what I will be doing now, and there’s more of that below. I’m needless to say delighted to see Liberal Democrats in government, something I have dreamed of since I joined the party in the 1980’s. I’ve been at the Special Conference today where the Lib-Dems overwhelmingly backed the position taken by the Parliamentary party. It’s quite scary to think that I’m on first name terms with the Deputy Prime Minister!
1. New Mayor
At the council meeting on Wednesday night Beeston Central Cllr Pat Lally was sworn in as the new mayor of Broxtowe, taking over from Stapleford North Cllr John Longdon. The deputy mayor is Cllr Jacky Williams who represents Stapleford South East, and who is one of the longest serving Lib-Dem Councillors on the borough.
2. Bridging the Gap
Broxtowe Borough Council are running a series of events this week under the title of Bridging the Gap aiming to show young people in a positive light. Basically we are fed up with young people always being reported in a negative light when most young people are excellent. More details are available to the special website, http://www.broxtowe.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=7302. For the first time the council also has a Facebook page detailing events, at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bridging-The-Gap-Bringing-Generations-Together-in-Broxtowe-Borough/115206451851685.
Finally you can follow events on Twitter http://twitter.com/broxtowebc
3. Beeston British Legion
The Beeston Branch of the Royal British Legion have launched a petition calling for a sign to be installed showing the way to their premises as many visitors apparently have difficulty finding it. This petition will be presented to Notts County Council. Initially the council have asked the Legion to pay for a sign but the Legion hope that they may change their minds.
4. Council Leader
Also on Wednesday night the leader of the council, Michael Rich, publicly announced that he is standing down from that position with immediate effect. Michael intends to retire from front line politics next year, and so he is standing down as leader now to give the new leader time to settle into the role before the next borough elections next year. This means that the Liberal Democrats, as the leading party in the partnership running the borough council, have had to select a new leader. I’m very honoured to say that the person they have selected is me. I took up the role officially on Wednesday night.
I’d like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Michael’s leadership of the council, which has been second to none. He will always have a place in the history books as the first ever Lib-Dem leader of Broxtowe. He has, throughout his time as leader, tried to encourage others to take the front seat and to offer support from behind. He did not take on the role of leader of the council for any sort of personal reward of glory, but because he wanted to make a difference to people’s lives. I’ve asked Michael if he would accept an honour from the borough to mark his time as leader and his role on the council but he has refused point blank, showing the mark of the man. I hope that I can be as good a leader as him.
5. Brookhill Leys School
A new picnic bench has been installed at Brookhill Leys School in Eastwood, made out of recycled plastic bags. These have been collected by children at the school and the costs of making the bench were met by Warburtons Bakery.
6. Contact Details for Anna Soubry
Anna has now taken up her role as our new MP, and says that at the moment the easiest way to contact her is via her new email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve already emailed her asking for a meeting about the green belt and the threat to build on it. I hope that this is something that we will be able to work together on this.
7. Care Charges
I’m pleased to say that the County Council have changed their minds over plans to change the costs of social care for the elderly. They have agreed to maintain the current rules, which mean that there is a maximum charge of £120 per week on a means tested basis. Congratulations to my colleague Stan Heptinstall who was instrumental in getting the council to change it’s mind.
In case anyone hasn’t been along it recently all 4 lanes on the M1 are now open. However the 50mph speed limit remains in place whilst they test the communications systems on it.
9. Exhibition at Durban House
A new exhibition of art inspired by the railways has opened at Durban House in eastwood and runs until 13th June.
10. Hemlock Happening
This years Hemlock Happening at Bramcote Park takes place on 12th June from 1pm to 10.45pm. This is an excellent free event in the borough. You may recall that last year it had to be cancelled because of the appalling weather that we had, so much that could not take place last year will be in this years programme.
11. Attenborough Nature Reserve
A wildlife cross stitch exhibition is being held at Attenborough Nature Reserve throughout may, organised by volunteers from Notts Wildlife Trust, and funds will go towards the Trust.
12. Book on Brinsley
Local writer Stan Smith has launched a new book about Brinsley, costing £1.99 and available from www.ztanzmith.co.uk. Profits from this will be donated to St James Church in Brinsley.
13. Local History Societies
The Beeston and District Local History Society will be having a talk about the Erewash Canal at Chilwell Memorial Hall on 19th May at 7.45pm. It costs £2 for non-members. The Bramcote History Group will have a talk about the English Civil War on Monday 17th May at 8pm, meeting in St Michaels Centre on Church Street.
14. Half Term Activities
The Borough Council are offering a range of activities for school children during half term week, including archery, orienteering, circus skills, trampoline sessions and go karting. These will take place at Bramcote Leisure Centre, Chilwell Olympia, Eastwood Leisure Centre and Durban House, and Kimberley Leisure Centre.
15. Leicester Housing on Lowes Estate
A petition was presented to Broxtowe Borough Council on 12th May from residents of the Lowes Estate in Beeston, calling on Leicester Housing Association to take their responsibilities as a landlord seriously and take action against problem tenants who are causing problems for other local residents. This was organised by my colleagues Steve and Barbara Carr.