Sunday, 25 July 2010

Broxtowe Enews 25th July 2010

Welcome to Broxtowe Enews, brought to you by the Liberal Democrats and edited by David Watts, the leader of Broxtowe Borough Council.

There aren’t so many events to report this week as many activities are winding down for the summer. Broxtowe Borough Council will be running a series of events for children and families throughout August though so keep an eye out for these if they may be of interest. I’ll post some more specific details next week.

1. Bogus Callers

I’ve seen reports of people in Broxtowe receiving calls from someone claiming to be from the council telling people that they have overpaid their council tax and asking for bank details to make a repayment. These calls are totally bogus. If you have paid too much council tax we will write to you and we will never ask for your bank details. If you receive a call like this please notify the police immediately.

2. Kimberley By Election

The Kimberley By Election for the borough council will be on 19th August. The Liberal Democrat candidate is local resident and teacher Elaine Cockburn. The election has been caused as a Conservative Councillor failed to attend a meeting for six months and was therefore automatically expelled from the council. Unfortunately the election already seems to bee embroiled with dirty tricks. I’ve read a Labour leaflet making completely false claims about Ken Rigby, the Lib-Dem County Councillor for the area. I promise you this, the Lib-Dems will not sink to that level and we will fight a fair, honest and positive campaign.

3. Kimberley Brewery

There have been claims circulating in Kimberley recently that groups are meeting to bring forward a comprehensive solution for the old brewery site. Sadly I think that this claim owes more to the forthcoming election than to fact. Any proposals would need to involve the borough council, and no-one has even contacted us for a meeting. Equally no-one has attempted to involve the local residents action group. Sadly the position is that in the current economic climate the costs of developing the site would be prohibitive.

4. Mental Health Services

The County Council are currently consulting on the possible closure of a care centre for people with mental health problems in Middle Street, Beeston. I met the councillor in charge of this last week when we both attended the AGM of Eastwood Age Concern last week, so I took the opportunity to stress the case for retention. I also made the point that if it was simply a question of needing cheaper accommodation then they should talk to the borough council and we would be very happy to discuss sharing some facilities. I can’t say that I received an overwhelmingly positive response.

5. Incredible Young people

I’d like to take this opportunity to mention the achievements of two young people here in Broxtowe. First 14 year old Sophie Wadsley from Newthorpe has been crowned World Champion in the 13-18 year old range in Taekwondo. She won the title in South Korea.

Second we have 17 year old Hannah Birkin from Eastwood, who will be competing at the World Lifesaving Championships in Egypt in October. She is currently trying to raise the £12,000 she needs to fund the trip. The council have made a donation, and if anyone else would like to help please ring Heanor Swimming Club, where she trains, on 07725 658 466. Hannah has qualified for the world championships after winning the Welsh championships earlier this year.

Congratulations to both Sophie and Hannah. They are great examples of the sort of achievements that young people can make.

6. New Police Number

The police have a new county-wide telephone number for non-emergencies. This is in operation now. The number is 0300 300 99 99. For emergencies ring 999.

7. Fitness Scheme

The borough council owned leisure centres in Bramcote, Chilwell and Kimberley are launching a Vitality Health and Fitness membership. Anyone who takes this out gets unlimited use of the council leisure facilities.

8. Beeston Business Support Zone

A vote will be held shortly of businesses in Beeston Town Centre to see if they want to designate the area as a Business Support District (“BID”). Businesses in Bid areas receive financial and other support to encourage growth. I hope that the result will be an overwhelming Yes vote. The cabinet at Broxtowe unanimously agreed that we would vote in favour.

9. Changes to Regional Structures

The East Midlands Development Agency and the Greater Nottingham Partnership are to be abolished. Other regional quango’s are also being abolished, in particular the Primary Care Trust. The Government Office for the East Midlands is to be shut down. All of these may seem remote or meaningless, but they collectively represent a fundamental shift in the way that this country is run. Some of the functions that these organisations carried out are very important, and by and large these will be transferred to local authorities, but some were just unnecessary levels of bureaucracy and I’m glad to see the back of them. This is part of the commitment of the coalition to tackle the deficit.

10. Award Winner

Congratulations to Lillian Britton from Stapleford, who has been awarded the Most Outstanding Community Group Volunteer for Children from the What’s on 4 website for her work as a foster mother for the past thirty year.

As ever thanks for your support for this newsletter. We have a record number of subscribers now, and it’s primarily word of mouth that gets new readers in. Thank you for this.

One final note. It’s twenty five years tomorrow since my wife and I got engaged. Can I wish her happy anniversary.

Best wishes