Saturday, 23 April 2011

Broxtowe Enews 23rd April 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 all the new readers that we have this week, it’s been a good week for people signing up. Also may I apologise that there wasn’t a newsletter last week. I was working in Cornwall and I thought that the technology would allow me to still post a short newsletter but although it left me it didn’t seem to appear anywhere else!

1. Community Litter Pick

We have organised a community litter pick for Bramcote next Saturday, 30th April, from 2pm to 4pm. Meet at King George Park car park. (Don’t forget that the top of Town Street is closed.)We hope that as many local residents as possible will assist us in this, to make Bramcote look as smart as possible. The council have provided us with litter pickers, gloves and rubbish sacks.

2. Election Web Site

Broxtowe Lib-Dems have given our web site an election makeover at A copy of our manifesto and a list of our candidates are available there.

3. Another election website

The local Beestonia Blog, which is highly recommended reading for Beeston residents, have launched their own website to cover the local elections at I’m not just plugging this because it carries a rather nice profile of me this week but because I think it is genuinely independent. Matt who writes the blog got a couple of the facts wrong in our interview but basically it’s a really good read.

4. Beeston Wind Turbine proposal

About fifty local residents attended a meeting in Beeston last week to discuss the plans by Nottingham University to erect three 125 metre high wind turbines in the Rylands. Two of the three are actually in the city and the city council will need to make a decision on these, but the third is in Broxtowe. One of the concerns expressed was that these may in fact be the stalking horse for a much larger number of turbines, but when I met the senior staff at the University a couple of months ago they assured me that the wind flows meant that it would only be possible to erect the three proposed.

5. Paradiso Cinema

On Friday 13th May at 7.30pm Paradiso Cinema presents Cat on a Hot Tin Roof starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman. This is suitable for the whole family and is at Chilwell Arts Theatre, Chilwell School, Queens Road West, NG9 5AL. Tickets on the door cost £5, £4 (conc). Come at 7pm for refreshments. Further details are at

6. Improvements to the Parks

Broxtowe Borough Council are looking to make a number of improvements to local parks across the borough. The most significant is to relay the car park at Bramcote Hills Park and to provide marked spaces. We are not intending to introduce compulsory parking charges there but there will be an opportunity to pay a voluntary charge which will go to charity, the same way that things work at Attenborough Nature Reserve. The total cost of the changes is £93,500, and I hope that this helps to kill off the myth that councils are only about cuts and nothing more. We are making sure that we spend the money that we have wisely but we are still investing in our local communities.

7. Life Drawing Class

Starting Wednesday 4th May a Life Drawing course will take place at Chilwell School, Queens Road West, NG9 5AL for ten weeks every Wednesday from 6.30pm to 9pm. It cost £120 (concessions for OAPs and A level students £100) and is suitable for beginners and experienced artists. For further details email or ring 0115 9730838 or 07941423782.

8. Village Ventures

On Thursday 5th May at 7.30pm Village Ventures presents “Jo Freya meets Maalstrom,” an informative funny show with exceptional music drawing from folk, world music, jazz and classical references. See for details. This takes place at Chilwell Arts Theatre, Chilwell School, Queens Road West, NG9 5AL. Tickets cost £8, £6 (conc) or £24 family (2+2) in advance from the school on 0115 925 2698 or 0758 426 3893 or on the door. Further details are at

9. Gloria de Piero Letter

I’ve just received my first letter from Gloria De Piero, the Labour MP for Ashfield. In the past I’ve invited her to get in touch to discuss issues such as Durban House, but she never has done. Still, she has eventually found something to write to me about. The thing that she considers more important than any issue I deal with as the leader of the council is that she is unhappy about how I reported her latest expenses claim. To save people rushing back to see exactly what it was that has provoked her to eventually write, here is the whole item that so invoked her ire:

“11 MP’s Expenses

Figures published this week show that Anna Soubry MP claimed £3,875 expenses during November and December 2010, whilst during the same period Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero, whose constituency includes Eastwood and Brinsley, claimed £8,615.”

You can draw your own conclusions on whether this was really something that should have caused offence.

10. Attenborough Exhibition

Nottinghamshire Artist Ann Harrison is holding an exhibition at Attenborough Nature Reserve from now until the end of the month. Admission is free and everyone is welcome to attend.

11. Royal wedding

There will be 15 street parties held across Broxtowe next Friday to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. I’m afraid I don’t have details of the locations for these.

12. Hemlock Happening

The 2011 Hemlock Happening, the 10th, will take place on Saturday 11th June from 2pm. Details are at

13. Boxing Fundraising

Soldiers from the Mercian Regiment are taking part in a charity boxing tournament against local amateur boxers on 5th May at Chetwynd Barracks. If you are going don’t forget to vote first. Doors open from 6.30pm. Tickets cost from £25 and are available from 0115 946 5417 or from

14. Election Hustings

We took part in the first ever hustings for a local election that I can recall last week. You can read a report of it on

15. AV Referendum

If anyone wants to help deliver extra leaflets for the YES campaign just let me know and I’ll put you in touch with the local organisers. I’ve received a mail shot from the No campaign this week and it consists of nothing more than a mix of half-truths and complete lies. They claim that an election under AV will cost an extra £250 million, but they can only get to this figure by claiming that complex counting machines will be needed, which is simply not the case. Their other argument is that it will lead to more coalitions, but during the 20th Century there were more coalitions in the UK with First Past The Post than in Australia with AV. To my mind a Yes vote is complete common sense and will help to create a fairer country.

The other fascinating thing about the referendum is who is funding the campaign. The Yes team have always published who their donors are but the No Campaign have been very reluctant to do this. What information they have published shows that the No campaign is virtually totally funded by senior Tory party supporters. Given that the most common results under First Past The Post elections is a majority Tory government with a minority of the vote that is perhaps not a surprise.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. If you are reading it on one of the web sites that carries it then you can subscribe directly to receive it to your inbox by following the link on our website.

Best wishes