Saturday, 16 October 2010

Broxtowe Enews 16 October 2010

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

1. Water Leak

There is really only one place to start this week, which is the burst water main yesterday. At about 1.50am the main water pipe burst, flooding a number of properties and leaving 17,000 homes without water. The emergency services, council staff and Severn Trent people all worked extremely hard through the night to evacuate the flooded properties and to stop the flow of water. We then activated our emergency plan to get water to as many people as possible and to sort out the damage. We got water to many elderly and disabled people very quickly, but I’m aware that the coverage was not as extensive as it should have been. I visited the damaged homes and met residents, as well as doing several interviews for the media, and walking back to my car from one I met a disabled lady who hadn’t received any water by 2.00pm, which should not have happened. I went and got her a set of bottles.

We will be reviewing how well we coped with this in the next few days. My impression is that most parts of the plan worked well, although Severn Trent seemed to be over-optimistic in how well they thought they were coping. I would be very interested to hear your experiences so that I can feed them into the review.

Finally on this losing our water supply reminds us how essential water is for the basics of life and how much we take it for granted. There are many people in the world who don’t have that luxury, and I have for many years raised funds for a charity called water aid, which is aimed at bringing water supplies to parts of the world currently without them. If the events of yesterday have inspired you to help their web site is and you can donate on line.

2. Stapleford Walk In Centre

There has been massive support for our campaign to oppose the closure of Stapleford Walk In Centre, and thank you all for this. Many apologies for those of you who said that you would help collect signatures for the petition, we are just making sure that we get the wording right on the forms. Blank petition pages should be with you in the next few days.

3. County Council cuts

The County Council have announced that they are making massive cuts to their budgets. These anticipate the Comprehensive Spending Review, but they are making the cuts without actually knowing what money they are going to have. This seems to be a case of political dogma rather than financial necessity. Three areas particularly caught my eye which will affect us here in Broxtowe. First the county will keep all the recycling credits which they used to pay to the district councils for the material will collect for recycling. This amounts to £52,000 per year for Broxtowe, which put another way is the equivalent of 1% of the council tax you pay to the borough. Second they have reduced the amount that they give to the Citizens Advice Bureau by 67%. As the County Council are the major funders for the CAB this will inevitably mean they will have to cut their services. Finally they are slashing huge amounts from the Supporting People budget, which pays for wardens for sheltered accommodation and care services for the elderly. I will move heaven and earth to protect these services here in Broxtowe but inevitably this means that we will need to cut something else. I don’t yet know how much we can salvage but I will do my best.

4. Toton Trees

Unfortunately the owner of the land at Toton Sidings has appealed against the restocking notice served on him by the Forestry Commission. This was submitted on virtually the last day possible to do so, and the applicants have engaged the countries top barrister on the subject to act for them. The advice from the Forestry Commission is that we should wait to see the grounds of appeal before responding, so I will forward them when I receive them. I hope that many people will respond.

5. Speed Sign on Coventry Lane

After about two years of delay the County Council announced yesterday that they will now be installing an illuminated speed sign on Coventry Lane. Hopefully this will now be done quickly so that the process of educating drivers that the north end of the road is subject to a 30mph speed limit can begin.

6. Mining in Cossall

Just a quick reminder that there will be a display about the open cast mining in Cossall taking place at Awsworth Village Hall on Thursday from 4pmm to 8pm, and also at Trowell Parish Hall tomorrow, Sunday, from 10am to 2pm.

7. Street Gritting

The County Council have confirmed that they now have sufficient stocks of salt to grit the roads throughout an average winter. You may recall that last winter was particularly severe and stocks ran out and all year efforts have been made to replenish them. These seem to have borne fruit.

8. Tram Land

Nottingham City Council have confirmed that they are to go ahead with plans to compulsorily purchase land from the County Council in Chilwell which they need to allow the tram to proceed. Broxtowe Borough Council have a technical objection in place to this but the cabinet will review this at a meeting in a couple of weeks and hopefully will be able to facilitate progress.

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