Sunday, 24 October 2010

Broxtowe Enews 23rd October 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 the new readers that we have this week.

1. DH Lawrence

The intellectuals amongst you may have seen a letter in the Observer last Sunday criticising Broxtowe for closing the DH Lawrence Centre in Eastwood. I’m pleased to say that the very premise of their letter is wrong. Broxtowe have never proposed closing the DH Lawrence Centre, but we are reviewing whether one part, Durban House, can remain open. I’ve written back to the Observer saying that this decision will be taken by Broxtowe people for the benefit of Broxtowe people. I have however also written to each of the signatories to the letter inviting them to donate to a trust fund to cover the running costs of the building. I’ll let you all know if they reply.

2. Stapleford Walk In Centre

We have now launched the petition to save the walk in centre. If you have emailed me asking for a copy to get friends and neighbours to fill in they will be with you tomorrow or Monday. We have also set up a website where you can sign the petition online ( ) and Facebook page ( to support the campaign.

3. The Tram

I’m delighted that the coalition government have given the go-ahead to the tram. I think it is important for the continued prosperity of the city, and especially for Beeston and Chilwell. I know that not everyone will agree but I’m sure that what everyone does agree with is the relief that at last a decision has been made. The uncertainty which has hung around for years has caused considerable problems for local people.

4. Old Stapleford Health Centre

Weatherspoons have submitted a planning application to demolish and rebuild the old health centre in Derby Road, Stapleford, as a pub. They have had previous attempts to convert the old building turned down so they are now looking at a complete rebuild. You can see the plans at and then select the planning tab.

5. Footpath in Attenborough

The Environment Agency have applied for permission to raise the height of the footpath from St Mary’s Close to Adenburgh Drive, with the intention of bringing it up to the height of the flood defences.

6. Football Coaching Course

The council is offering people the opportunity to train for the FA level one coaching certificate in Eastwood over half term. This starts on Monday so if you want to participate you will need to sign up on Sunday. Ring 01773 770100 for more details.

7. Coal Mining in Trowell and Cossall

I had a look at the display by UK Coal on Sunday in Trowell. They are wanting to carry out open cast mining between Trowell and Cossall for five years, with up to 50 large lorries a day bringing coal from Trowell to the five way junction at the top of Coventry Lane and then either north or south to the motorway. They will then restore the land to it’s former state. Not to put too fine a point on it, I hate this scheme and have told them so. It will destroy the green belt and even if they replant the land there is no way that the wildlife will be unaffected. More importantly, they are asking local residents to put up with five years of massive disruption without any significant benefits. I will fight this every inch of the way.

8. Visit by Nick Clegg and David Cameron

The prime minister and deputy prime minister jointly visited Nottingham on Thursday and as part of the agenda they visited George Spencer School in Stapleford, where they did a question and answer session about the spending review. I’m told that generally the response was positive from people, although challenging, but as I wasn’t present I can’t give more detailed feedback. What has been far less well received is the programme by the County Council to make massive cuts to their budgets, which I commented about last week.

9. Crime Figures

The latest crime figures for Broxtowe show a fall of out 12% overall, but I was very encouraged to hear the new Chief Superintendent for our area say this week that this isn’t enough and he is looking for reductions in the order of 25%.

10. Switching off street lights

The timetable for this programme by the County Council has now been published and the first areas of Broxtowe to be affected will not be until March 2013, with the whole borough brought into the scheme by August of that year.

11. Eric Pickles

On Tuesday I will be going to London to meet Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for local government. I’ll be making the case for district councils to get a fair allocation of money from the government. It looks like we will need to make cuts of about 7% per year, assuming that the cuts are applied equally across the board, but my concern is that the county councils may get a larger share of the money, leaving us to face the worst of the cuts.

12. Bramwell Care Home

A petition against the sale by the County Council of Bramwell Care Home was presented formally to the County Council at the meeting on 21st October by Broxtowe Councillor Stan Heptinstall. Locally all three political parties are opposed to the sale, but the County Council are so far proceeding resolutely along their chosen path.

13. The Media

I’ve had a busy run with the media over the past few days, with three TV appearances and a radio interview last week and a further interview on Radio Nottingham last Monday. However I thought I was going to top all of that on Thursday, which was meant to be my day off. I received a phone call at lunch time from the council to say that Nick Robinson had turned up in reception asking if he could do an interview with me, so I grabbed a suit and got myself to the council as quickly as possible. I recorded a long interview with him and then settled down to watch the six pm news on BBC1, only to find that I’d been completely edited out! Oh well.

14. Sid Little in Beeston

There are still some tickets available to see Sid Little, the comedian, at Chilwell Arts Theatre on Tuesday 2nd November at 7.30pm. This has been organised by Rylands Methodist Church. Tickets are available on 0115 925 8801. Also at Chilwell Arts Theatre they will be showing Robin Hood, with Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchette on Friday 12th November at 7.30pm. Tickets are available on the door.

15. Speed sign for Coventry Lane

Nearly two years after originally promising it the County Council look like they are about to actually install an illuminated speed sign on Coventry Lane. Thank you to all the local residents who have lobbied for this for so long.

16. Tesco

Tesco in Beeston will open officially on 1st November, a week on Monday. Players from Nottingham Panthers are doing the honours. I was at a dinner on Monday night where I was seated next to the manager of the new store, and she does sound keen to be involved in local events and activities.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter, which now has a record number of readers. Any feedback is gratefully received.