Saturday, 22 January 2011

Broxtowe Enews 22nd January 2011

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. I mentioned just before Christmas that I was hoping we would hit a new target for readers by the end of the year. We didn’t quite do it, but with our first subscriber of the new year we got there. We already have a new target to work towards for new readers, which is to have a further 1000 new readers by Easter. We’ll see how we get on with that.

Sorry that there wasn’t a newsletter last week but I was away for a couple of days.

1. Wind turbine

We already have proposals from Nottingham University to install three giant wind turbines in Beeston Rylands, and now Severn Trent have applied for permission to install a turbine in Greasley. This will be determined by the council’s Development Control Committee in due course, but details are available on the councils web site on

2. Sir Dennis Pettit

Sir Dennis Pettit, the former leader of Nottinghamshire County Council and Eastwood Councillor, passed away last Sunday. I would like to extend my sympathies to all his family and friends. Sir Dennis retired from politics some years ago, but he was awarded the Honour of being an Alderman of Broxtowe by the borough council.

3. The Tram

The County Council has now formally withdrawn from being a partner in Nottingham Express Transport. The county claim that this will save them £18 million, although that seems to be spread over a 30 year period.

4. Beeston Bid

If you run a business in or around Beeston Town centre you now have the chance to join the Beeston BID (Business Improvement District). 500 firms have signed up already. The aim of the BID is to improve and promote Beeston for businesses, and it has been established following a vote by local traders to support it. More details are available at

5. Coventry Lane Speed Sign

The painful saga of this sign shows the levels of incompetence that we have to deal with sometimes at the County Council. We were promised it by April but it was eventually installed in November. However it wasn’t switched on until mid-December and since then has never worked properly. I’ve reported and chased this, and have been told by the County Council that they thought it was working as they have been invoiced by their contractors for the repair. I have assured them that it is not working and queried why they were having to pay for a repair when it has never worked properly. Surely the providers should be meeting the cost of putting it right?

6. Electoral Registration

Broxtowe residents who completed the electoral registration process by text, which was available for the first time this year, will have received a letter pointing out that there is an error in the charges that they were informed about. One resident raised with me whether it was justified spending 30p on a letter to tell residents about a 5p error. This seems like a fair criticism, but when I checked I found that the full cost of the letters was met by the contractor whose error it was in first place, so there is no cost to the council for these.

7. Stapleford Walk In Centre

The campaign to prevent the closure of this continues. If you have used the walk in centre and haven’t yet signed the petition please do so in the next ten days. You can follow the link from our web site at There have been two significant developments in the last week. First there was a public meeting at the Maycliffe Centre in Stapleford. Unfortunately John Bell, who runs the centre, failed to attend to open the hall, meaning that about 80 people were left standing round outside. The meeting was eventually held at the Health Centre instead. The second event was that the campaign organisers were emailed this week by the Green party asking for information so that they could include it as one of their activities on their election leaflets. It is hard to think of a worse case of bandwagon jumping than this. The campaign has been firmly run by the Liberal Democrats, although supported by other parties, and it’s pretty bad form for another party to suddenly think that they can just turn up and claim credit for it!

8. Community Action Meetings

All areas of Broxtowe have CAT meetings (Community Action Teams) but attendance varies from nearly a hundred to less than a handful, depending on the area. The council is therefore reviewing whether these are the best way of engaging with local residents. The council’s People and Places Examination Group is currently looking at this, under the chairmanship of my colleague Jacky Williams. Any changes will come into effect after the elections in May.

9. Lib-Dem AGM

Broxtowe Liberal Democrats have their AGM this coming Friday, 28th January, at 7.30pm. All members of the Lib-Dems are welcome to attend. You can sign up on the night so if you’re a Lib-Dem supporter why not join us and come along. The venue is Bramcote Memorial Hall.

10. Sky Sports “Living For Sport Student of the Year”

Congratulations to Alison Padgett from Bramcote Hills Sports and Community College who has reached the final of this award, after she designed a fitness plan for other students.

11. Over 50’s Dancing

Broxtowe Borough Council is now inviting entrants for it’s Strictly 50’s dance event. All entrants must be over 50 years of age. The competition will be held at the Village Hotel in Chilwell on 13th February. Details are available from the council’s website or by phone on 0115 917 3572.

12. Time Capsule

Pupils at Brookhill Leys Primary School in Eastwood buried a time capsule last week, aided by Broxtowe’s mayor. The plan is for it to be dug up again in 30 years time. Pupils from the same school also helped open the new Tesco’s in Eastwood this week.

13. Coronation Park Skateboard Area

I met with a group of students from Eastwood Comprehensive School yesterday who want to have the skate park in Coronation Park improved. The current ramps are metal and not of the highest quality, and they are difficult to use when they are wet. I was really impressed with the students, who have very sensible ideas about how to take matters forward and to raise the funds necessary for this. I was very happy to give the council’s backing for the scheme and our officers will work with the students to take this scheme forward.

14. Brinsley Animal Rescue

Brinsley Animal rescue helped a record number of animals during 20110. In total they rescued 117 pets, 470 farm animals and 204 wild animals. They are still housing 150 animals, including 16 hedgehogs and 3 ponies. The owners would like to thank everyone who has donated to them during the last 12 months.

15. Most Costly Addresses

A survey published this week says that Beeston Fields Drive in Bramcote is the second most expensive address to have in Nottinghamshire, with average house prices of £755,000.

16. Bramcote Park

Broxtowe school pupils have helped to plant a further 150 trees in Bramcote Park this week, in the area which used to be a landfill site run by Biffa. This is part of the council’s plan to plant 100,000 new trees over a five year period in the borough.

17. Trip to Downing Street

I’ve been invited to a reception at 10 Downing Street on 2nd February, in my capacity as a Liberal Democrat council leader. I’ve accepted of course, as this is a chance that may never come again. It does mean that I will miss the council meeting that night, which is a shame especially as we have just made a series of changes to make council meetings more effective. The biggest of these is that our Youth mayor now has the right to address the council, and current youth mayor Tilly Stone will become the first ever non-councillor to address a full council meeting. I’ve already sent my apologies to Tilly that I will miss this, but I’m sure that I will hear here in the future. I’ve also been invited to attend the Youth Council meeting on Tuesday in a reciprocal gesture by them.

Thank you all for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is very welcome.

Best wishes