Sunday, 19 September 2010

Broxtowe Enews 19th September 2010

Welcome to Broxtowe Enews, brought to you by the Liberal Democrats and edited by David Watts, the leader of Broxtowe Borough Council. A special welcome to our new subscribers, which this week include Anna Soubry’s office manager. That’s fine, this service is read by members of all three political parties and many members of none.

1. Stapleford LIFT Project

There have been rumours circulating in Stapleford that the Lift Project, or parts of it, are to close. I had a meeting with the chair of the Primary Care Trust this week so we asked him about that. He told me that the PCT are reviewing the use of all their buildings, and they do recognise that the Lift has never been fully utilised and always has had spare space. However he also said that, as the building was financed under a PFI agreement the PCT will have to pay £500,000 a year for the next twenty years or so, whether or not they were using the building. To my mind this shows the craziness of the PFI scheme. Millions of pounds of public money which would otherwise have been available to spend on patients goes instead to the banks and bankers who hold the purse strings.

2. Rylands Methodist Church 60th Anniversary

During 2011, Rylands Methodist Church will be celebrating 60 years since its opening in 1951. The church is planning many activities throughout the year, including special services, concerts, a street party, film shows and a pub quiz. There will also be involvement with the national Biblefresh initiative. It is also planned to produce an Anniversary booklet about the history of the church. If anyone has any memories of the church including Boys & Girls Club, camps and the many other activities the church has put on over the years, could they please get in touch.

In November 2010, the church will host ‘An Evening with Syd Little’. The well known comedian will talk about his life, work and his Christian conviction. It will not be all talk - singing and Syd’s brand of comedy will be part of the evening. It will take place at Chilwell School Theatre, November 2nd (7.30pm.). Further details of all these events and tickets for the Syd Little evening can be obtained from Geoff Bagley: Tel:0115 9258801, email:

3. Apple Day

Local writer Dave Wood will be reading a specially written piece on Saturday 25th September 2010 at the Albany Allotments, Stapleford. Everyone is welcome to attend.

4. Recycling

The Government pay money to the County Council each year for the amount of waste that they put through recycling. The County Council then pass the money on to the borough councils as it is us who collect the material in the first place. This year the County Council have suddenly announced that they will not be doing so and they will be keeping the money for themselves. This means that Broxtowe will lose £52,000 next year. Putting it into context, this is equivalent to a 1% increase on council tax. I have a meeting next week with Kay Cutts and this will be at the top of my agenda.

5. Political Meetings

Having mentioned that I’ll be having a meeting with Kay Cutts it gives me the opportunity to mention that I have been invited to meet Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Local Government, next month in London. I’ll be taking the opportunity to press the case for Broxtowe to try to make sure that we get a fair deal from central Government. I’m grateful to our new MP Anna Soubry for arranging this meeting.

6. Anna Soubry

The Evening Post reported a story last week that Anna Soubry has called for police officers to be prosecuted if they lie in court. Anna was a barrister working in the criminal justice system before being elected and so she’s able to share her experiences of practice with fellow MP’s. This sort of real life experience is vital for parliament. Too many of our MP’s have spent all their working lives in the Westminster bubble and don’t know what the real world is like. So far I think that Anna has done a reasonable job as our MP, and she seems to have sought to involve local councillors of all parties in matters, which is what one would hope for from an MP. (I still think I’d have done the job better though!)

7. Local Radio

Of wider interest than for just Broxtowe is the announcement that Trent FM, our local radio station, is to merge with Ram FM and Leicester Sound, to create a new station called Capital FM East Midlands. I’m really not sure that this will be a benefit for the local community. My immediate thought on hearing the news was “Who will they shout for in the football derbies/”

8. Crown Inn

The Crown Inn in Beeston, which won the CAMRA Nottinghamshire pub of the year award earlier this year, has now gone one better and won the East Midlands title. It now goes on to the national finals.

9. Free Tai Chi

Universe tai Chi, who meet at the Cliffe Hill Avenue Community Centre in Stapleford, are offering free taster sessions for newcomers on 26th September between 6.30pm and 8.00pm. For more details ring Pete Watson on 0115 916 2231.

10. Register to Vote

Just a quick reminder that registration forms have been sent out for people to ensure that they are included on the electoral roll. Registering will be even more important than normal this year as next years elections will also include the referendum on changes to the voting system, a campaign that I fully support.

11. Health Factsheets

The Health protection Agency has launched a range of factsheets giving information about local levels of health and sickness. These can be viewed at

12. County Council Redundancies

The County Council have advertised internally for staff to apply for voluntary redundancy. Incredibly in excess of 2,000 people, or 1 in 6 of their workforce, have applied. At the moment this does not commit the council to losing that many people, nor does it commit the staff to go, but I understand that the vast majority of people who have applied will be given the opportunity to take redundancy.

13. Beestonia Blog

Readers in the south of the borough may well have come across the Beestonia Blog, which has been running for a number of years. It provides a witty and irreverent commentary on local life. Sadly it is to close, as blogger Matt Goode is moving away from Beeston to the North West of England. This is a real shame as I’ve been a loyal reader for some time.

14. Notts County Cricket Club

Finally, through gritted teeth, may I congratulate Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club on winning this years County Championship. It’s through gritted teeth as I’m a Yorkshireman and Yorks pushed Notts all the way. Sadly we fell just short.

As ever any feedback will be gratefully received (apart from gloating cricket fans).

Best wishes