Saturday, 30 April 2011

Broxtowe Enews 30th April 2011

Welcome to Broxtowe Enews, brought to you by the Liberal Democrats and edited by David Watts, the leader of Broxtowe Borough Council.

1. English Defence League

Most people will be familiar with this organisation, which seems to be composed entirely of right wing thugs and who seem to cause problems wherever they go. Recently the membership details for this organisation were made public. However there are errors and a resident of Bramcote, who is an upstanding member of the community with no links to the EDL whatsoever has been wrongly identified as one of their leaders. Apparently someone with a similar name who used to live in Bramcote was connected with the EDL but it’s not the person who lives there now. As a result this man has received more than 400 telephone calls (all abusive) over the past few days and the police have had to be involved. Please rest assured that no-one on the leaked list is a Bramcote resident.

2. Litter Pick

Thank you to the dozen or so people who attended the Bramcote litter pick, which was a very successful event. We’ve collected several bags full of rubbish. The weather was perfect for it. I had read in a leaflet by the Conservative candidates for Bramcote (none of whom live here) that they were supporting the litter pick, but that was obviously just supporting it in the spiritual sense as not one of them attended. Anna Soubry did come and participated fully but none of their borough election candidates.

3. Future developments at Attenborough Nature Reserve

Notts Wildlife Trust are currently working on plans for a new phase of development and are asking local residents for their views about how they should proceed. A survey can be completed online at and the last day for responses is Friday.

4. Election Day on Thursday

This Thursday is local election day. My plea is that you will use your vote for the Liberal Democrats. This election is not about national issues or national people, but who you want to run the council here for the next four years. The Liberal Democrats have run it for the last four years and I think we have done a good job. We’ve kept council tax low and maintained services. We’ve managed to reduce expenditure without any compulsory redundancies. We also have great plans for the future, to ensure that Broxtowe keeps progressing and to maintain this area as one of the best places in the country to live. As Liberal Democrats we want to keep people informed about matters which affect them, which is why we produce this newsletter every week and why every Lib-Dem councillor in Broxtowe produces a newsletter (“Focus”) at least quarterly. No other party offers this.

Moreover the facts show that Lib-Dem councillors work harder. Here in Broxtowe our councillors attend 85% of all meetings with Labour on 71% and the Tories on 73%. Seven councillors attended less than 60% of the meetings that they should have done, and not one of them was a Liberal Democrats. The lowest rate of attendance was a conservative councillor in Greasley who only attended 3 meetings in 12 months (but still received her full allowance, which equates to more than £1,300 per meeting) but also the two Labour Councillors in Stapleford John Bell and John McGrath attended only 11 out of a possible 21 meetings, and 7 out of a possible 18 meetings in the last 12 months respectively. This means that John Bell received £370.52 per meeting whilst John McGrath received £582.21 per meeting.

5. Changes at Ikea

The council’s development control committee voted on Wednesday to permit a new catering hub to be built at the Ikea shopping centre. For those who know the site it will be where the current administration office is, diagonally over the roundabout from the existing catering units. I voted against the proposals as they include the loss of 27 car park spaces and I’m well aware of how difficult it can be to park there at busy times. However it was passed by 5 votes to 3.

6. Fair Votes Referendum

Also on the 5th May is the referendum on switching to the alternative vote system for electing MP’s. If you are happy with MP’s having jobs for life, about duck houses, moat cleaning and expense fraud, then vote no. If you are happy that the most common result under the existing system is that the Conservatives win a majority of seats with a minority of votes (no wonder they are against it)then vote no. However if you want MP’s to work hard and to be accountable, for a fairer system for electing MP’s where your vote really counts, then please vote YES. I have read some real rubbish from the no campaign recently, including a claim that the change will cost £250 million. This is nonsense and is based on an assumption that new computerised counting machines will be necessary, but this simply isn’t the case. They also say that the new system is too complicated, but it’s really not that difficult to put people in order 1,2 and 3. Finally they tell us that it makes coalitions more likely, but the Australians, who have the AV system, had less coalitions during the 20th century than the UK did. I don’t think that AV is the best system of selecting MP’s, but it’s the best on offer so I will be voting yes on Thursday.

7. Comments from Nick Palmer

I was very disappointed to read comments by Nick Palmer during the week suggesting that campaigns to save Bramwell Nursing Home and the Stapleford Walk In Centre weren’t followed through. Even worse, when I challenged him about this he said that the campaign on the walk in centre was just political posturing and that he didn’t want to discuss it with me. So much for the positive politics he used to claim to represent. These comments were desperately insulting to everyone who has worked so hard to save these centres, and the fact that we haven’t won yet does not mean that we are not trying our hardest to ensure that we get the right result in the end.

8. Another new supermarket in Eastwood

The man in Space pub in Eastwood, which has been empty for some time, is to be converted into a new Sainsbury’s Local and also a vets surgery. Surprisingly the law doesn’t require planning permission to be obtained when converting from a pub to a supermarket, and so the council was powerless to stop this happening.

9. Basil Russell Recreation Ground

Nuthall Parish Council have received a grant from the County Council to improve the Basil Russell Recreation Ground. The £40,000 grant will be used to install new paths, revamp the toilets, and add to the size of the children’s play area.

10. Beeston BID

The Beeston BID scheme, which aims to promote businesses in the town centre, has a new office on the High Road. It was opened last week by Anna Soubry MP and Anne Davies from East Midlands Today.

11. Town Centre Stalls

Thank you to everyone who has visited our stalls in Beeston and Stapleford over the past few weeks. We have given out hundreds of balloons and copies of our manifesto’s. Labour were planning to have a stall in Beeston as well today but unfortunately only one of their members turned up to run it.

12. Ramblers

Broxtowe Ramblers are organising a free four mile walk as part of national get Walking Day on 15th May. Anyone wanting to take part is invited to meet at the car park in Bramcote Park at 10am. Details are available on 07999 978638 or you can just turn up on the day.

13. St Johns School, Stapleford

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the Governors and head master at St Johns School in Stapleford were consulting parents about whether the school should move to a new site, where Frederick Harrison School used to be. This consultation has now concluded and the governors have decided that the school will be staying where it is.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter, which has once again set a new record for the number of readers that we have. Any feedback is gratefully received.