Saturday, 8 January 2011

Broxtowe Enews 8th 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 happy new year to all our readers, and a special welcome to all the new readers that we have.

1. Borough Community champions award
The council is running the 2011 community champions award. These are presented for outstanding achievement in crime, business, health, cleanliness, children and young people, good neighbours and community. We’re inviting nominations for these awards from local people, for local people. Nominations can be made via the web site ( or by phone on 0115 917 3395.

2. Oxylane Sports Village
The owners of the Decathlon store on the Ikea site have consulted with the council and many other local groups about building a sports village, with numerous playing fields and courts, based around a new Decathlon store. Whilst this seems like an interesting idea the location they have identified is in the green belt, and I would need an awful lot of persuading to support this.

3. Open evening for prospective councilors
Have you ever fancied being a councillor. If you are interested the council are holding an open evening for prospective councilors on 22 February 2011 starting at 6pm. (Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm.) I will be taking part and I hope that the leaders of the other political parties will be there as well, along with several other councillors. Anyone is welcome to attend and further details are available from Sue Rodden at the council on 0115 917 7777.

4. Durban House
A council scrutiny committee has now prepared a detailed report on the future of Durban House. Contrary to some reports in the media, this does not recommend closure, sale, or indeed any other option. The report assesses each possibility but does not make specific recommendations. It has now been referred to myself as portfolio holder for resources and Labour leader Milan Radulovic as portfolio holder for Leisure to decide how to take it forward. We will be meeting in the next few days to discuss this.

5. Councillors Expenses
The council has published details of the expenses claimed by councillors in the past year. This runs up until May, the month that I took over as leader of the council. We will publish these details on an annual basis. Members receive a basic allowance for the work that we do and can then claim expenses on top of that, but I choose not to claim these so I had a zero expense claim for last year (and will have for this year as well).

Also on the topic of councillors allowances, I’ve seen a comparison in the last few days of the allowances paid by each of the local councils in the area. Broxtowe pay our councillors less than all of the surrounding councils. As an example, the leader of the council in neighbouring Ashfield gets paid £4,000 a year more than I do, whilst the members of their cabinet take home an extra £7,000 each that Broxtowe’s cabinet members.

6. Stapleford Walk In Centre consultation
The Primary Care Trust are holding a public meeting to discuss their proposed closure of the Walk In Centre this Thursday, 13th January, at the Maycliffe Hall in Toton Lane, Stapleford, starting at 6pm. I hope that there will be a huge turnout to show them what an appalling proposal this is. (Sadly I’m working in Bristol on Thursday so won’t be back for the start, but I’ll sneak in at the back when I get there.)

7. Bridging the Gap
The council launched the Bridging the Gap scheme last year to break down some of the barriers between generations in Broxtowe. One of the latest, very successful initiatives in this scheme has been a group of young people visiting the Alexandra House nursing home in Eastwood to teach residents how to use the Wii Fit. I think that schemes like this can have a real long term benefit.

8. Giltbrook
Developers submitted plans just before Christmas to build 96 new houses off Smithurst Road in Giltbrook. Details of this can be seen on the councils website. The reference number is Ref 10/00662/FUL which you will need to put into the search engine on the site.

9. Recycled Christmas Trees
If you have a real Christmas tree that you want to recycle if you take it to the household waste disposal site in Beeston they will take it off your hands, and a donation will be made to charity for these. Details are on the council web site. The entry on the web site is a testament to the effectiveness of this newsletter. A reader asked about the issue and I didn’t know the answer so contacted Stan Heptinstall, the portfolio holder. Stan provided me with the answer to relay back to the reader, but noticed that the information wasn’t on the website and so he raised this with the councils web team and within 24 hours of the initial query (which was on a bank holiday) we had the information available on the website.

10. New Bridleway
The County Council have agreed to create a new bridleway in Cossall along part of the old Nottingham canal to connect up two existing bridleways. This had been requested by the Erewash Riders Association.

11. Chilwell Leisure Centre
The Vitality Fitness Suite, which closed for refurbishment in November, re-opened just after Christmas. Nottingham Forest players performed the opening. New members are very welcome.

12. Crime Figures
Crime figures in Broxtowe have dropped by 20% over the past year. I’m pleased to say that the council’s Darker Nights campaign, reminding people of the importance of ensuring windows and doors are secure, seems to have contributed to this.

13. Beeston railway station
Work to refurbish this, funded jointly by Broxtowe and the County Council, will begin this month. The plans are for CCTV, new lighting and footways, and in the longer term a new commuters car park.

14. Lifesaving Training and Awards
There is an opportunity for young people in the region to learn lifesaving skills, including resuscitation and water rescue, with Colwick Park Lifeguards who train at Bramcote Leisure Centre. A poster is attached with details of courses which start in the next week or so. As well as providing training for Royal Lifesaving Society and National Pool Lifeguard qualifications, the club specialises in provide water safety cover for events such as Reading Festival and Henley Royal Regatta. A minimum age of 14 years is required for the introductory course advertised, but please feel free to contact the club for details of other courses and training for under 14s.

15. Local traders
I don’t normally carry commercial adverts but I do want to say thanks to the Euronics Centre on Derby Road in Stapleford. My fridge freezer packed in on 23rd December, which is about as big a disaster as you can get. Comet said that they could deliver on 25th January, Curry’s were far better, they could deliver on 27th December, and the Euronics Centre said that they could get a new one to us in an hour. It actually took them half that time. Shopping locally really is the best. Thanks guys – you saved Christmas.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Thank you especially to the people who took the trouble over Christmas to tell me how useful they found this.

Best wishes