Saturday, 9 October 2010

Broxtowe Enews 9th 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 several new readers that we have this week. I took the opportunity to do a bit of a promotion for the egroup this week and as a result we now have the highest level of subscribers that we have ever had. Thank you all for your support and your feedback.

There has been so much happening this week that it is difficult to know where to start. I’ll deal with the main issues in the order that they occurred.

1. Boots Redundancies.

It was disappointing to hear on Monday that Boots were to shed 750 jobs. I was invited to meet Anna Soubry MP on this on Thursday morning. The day before Anna had met the Chief Executive of Boots and she was able to relay that the news was not as bad as it first appeared. Obviously if you are one of the people affected it remains extremely bad news, and I don’t seek to minimise this for a moment, but overall it might have been far worse. Some of the jobs were data inputters as they had a new computer system that no longer needed the people doing this. About 200 were senior management positions, and the people doing these will have the skills to acquire new positions. The vast majority of the jobs however are middle management, and Boots hope that the vast majority, if not all, of these people will be redeployed throughout the firm.

2. Stapleford Walk In Centre

On Tuesday I met with the Primary Care Trust, who provided a briefing about their plans for the Walk In centre in Stapleford. In short they want to shut the walk in centre and move the facility to the QMC. (They do not propose closing the building so the doctors surgeries and the dentists would remain, but the most useful facility would go.) They gave various reasons for this. The primary motive for this is a cost saving exercise. Apparently too many people use the wrong facility and so they cost the PCT double or treble cost, as they would have to pay for the visit to each establishment. People also go to A&E when they don’t need to, which is the most expensive option. By having the walk in centre at the QMC they can direct people to the right facility and cut the cost. I’ve told them that I have no objection to them having a walk in centre at the QMC but that should not be at the expense of Stapleford.

The second reason put forward was an equality of service argument. Because the facility is only in Stapleford it is unfair that local residents there get a really good deal and people elsewhere don’t. To quote them exactly “Stapleford has had it too good.” Frankly this almost beggars belief. If you want to ensure an equality of service then you raise standards for those who don’t have them, you don’t drop them for those who currently have the better services. It is also daft to say that only people from Stapleford benefit from the centre, people use it from across south Broxtowe and beyond. 22,000 people a year use the walk in centre and 85% of them are treated to conclusion on the first visit, which seems to be a pretty good level.

I asked the PCT representatives if, should they go ahead with their plans, they could guarantee parking spaces at the QMC and also could they guarantee appointments with GP’s within 24 hours, but needless to say they couldn’t.

The public consultation will begin on 1st November and I would urge everyone to contribute to this. I’ll post the web site address as soon as I have it. I will oppose the plans in every way possible as I think they are wholly ill-conceived. The Liberal Democrats have already launched a petition against the plans, as have the Beeston Civic Society. If you would like to collect signatures for this amongst your neighbours let me know and I’ll let you have some petition forms.

3. Open Cast Mining

On Wednesday UK Coal announced that they want to start open cast mining around Cossall. They will be applying for permission before the end of this year and will hold a couple of public exhibitions to explain what they want to do. They anticipate that the mine might have a working life of 3 to 5 years and they would then return the land to green land. Applications of this nature are dealt with by the County Council rather than the borough, but we in Broxtowe are utterly opposed to this and we will fight these plans all the way. The public exhibitions will be at Trowell Parish Hall on October 17th from 10am to 2pm and Awsworth village hall from 4pm to 8pm. I will attempt to attend these to hear what people have to say. There have been two previous attempts to mine the site and Broxtowe have successfully resisted them both. Let’s make it three in a row.

4. Beeston Town Centre

On Thursday I met with two directors from Henry Boot to see if we could get them back on board with the redevelopment of Beeston Town Centre. I was fairly confident that we could reach agreement provided that they were willing to be reasonable. Sadly reasonable was not a word that I could use to describe the people I met with. Obnoxious, ignorant, stubborn, those are words that I could use, but reasonable was not one. As a result I’m afraid that the Henry Boot option is dead in the water. However this is not the end. As soon as we realised that there were problems with Henry Boot we began making contact with other developers and we will now proceed with these. Sadly this will cause some delay but we will do everything we can to minimise it. However a delay to get the right result is better than rushing ahead with the wrong scheme, which would be a disaster for Beeston.

After the events of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday is anyone surprised I decided to take the day off on Friday.

5. Greening Broxtowe

The greening scheme is an attempt to improve the quality of life for local residents in environmentally friendly ways, reducing the carbon emissions of our communities and engaging in simple, sensible and practical sustainable options. Greening Stapleford launched today and Greening Beeston Rylands launches on Saturday 16th October at Trent Vale Infant School at 2pm. There will be family friendly activities and even a specially commission poem being performed. I hope that as many people as possible will join in these campaigns which are leading the way in bringing about a more sustainable Broxtowe.

6. Improving the A52

The Highways Agency have announced a number of alterations to the A52 in and around Broxtowe, which will be implemented next year. These will include traffic lights at the Priory and QMC Islands, adding a bus lane to the QMC Island but also removing part of the bus lane on Derby Road (60 metres worth) and installing a pedestrian Crossing at the Thoresby Road junction.

7. Kimberley Brewery

Green King have announced that they will put the Brewery Site up for auction on 8th December. If this goes ahead it is likely that the site will be sold in several lots, which might make it far more difficult to achieve a holistic scheme for the site. This would be a great shame.

8. Beeston Improvement District

Traders in Beeston voted in favour of creating a Business Improvement District (“BID”). The aim of this will be to generate further trade to Beeston Town Centre. A management team will now be created to take this scheme forward. It covers over 400 businesses based in Beeston, and each of them will contribute towards the costs of the scheme. A headquarters for the scheme will be up and running by next month.

9. Rainbow Gallery, Durban House

The Rainbow Gallery in Durban House, Eastwood, are inviting people to write on their walls between 19th and 31st October, creating a piece of community art work. There is a £1 charge to take part, and details can be obtained on 01773 717353.

10. School Governor

As I mentioned last week I was one of eleven parents nominated to be a governor at my daughters school. When I read the details of who was nominated it was clear that we had eleven extremely competent candidates. I was therefore very honoured (and very surprised) to be elected to one of the positions, so may I thank everyone who voted for me for your support.

11. Beeston Civic Society

Yesterday I addressed the monthly meeting of the Beeston and District Civic Society, talking about the planning system and developments in Beeston, past and future. It seemed to go very well and if any other community group would like me to come and speak about any aspect of the councils work I would be very happy to do so. Just drop me a line or give me a ring.

12. Neighbourhood Alerts

You can now receive crime alerts specific for your area by email from Notts Police. To receive these please sign up at

13. Charity Bike Ride

Conservative Councillor Mick Brown has recently completed a charity 450 mile bike ride across Scotland from Inverness to Skye. He raised £400 for the mayor of Eastwood’s charities, the Samantha Dixon Brain Tumour Trust and the Cleft Lip and Palette Association. Mick owns a cycle shop in Eastwood and carries out the repair work on my daughters bikes if I can’t do it myself. Congratulations to him for his efforts.

14. UK Youth Parliament

Youngsters in the borough are currently voting for who will represent them at the UK Youth parliament. The two candidates are George Fletcher aged 16 and Gillian Chivinde, also 16. Voting opened on 4th October and finishes on 15th October.

Thank you for your support for this newsletter and as ever any feedback is gratefully received.

Best wishes