Monday, 30 May 2011

Broxtowe Enews 30th May 2011

Welcome to Broxtowe Enews, brought to you by the Liberal Democrats and edited by David Watts, the leader of the Lib-Dem group on the borough council.
Thank you to everyone for your comments following the election results. Many people have taken the time to express your appreciation for this newsletter, and I do hope to continue this in exactly the same way that it has appeared before. The new cabinet for the council will meet for the first time tomorrow, and we will get down to the business of running the council. Portfolios will be allocated to members of the cabinet, and we will then get down to concentrate on our new briefs. I’ll report on who has responsibility for what next week.

1. Toton Bus Service
Trent Barton have announced that they intend to scrap the Connect Service in Toton from 23rd July. Many local residents are opposed to this and have launched a petition to oppose the closure. Trent Barton say that they are scrapping the route as it is uneconomical, but the County Council hope to find a new provider to run the service.

2. Homeless Youngsters
Congratulations to five youngsters from the borough who have been presented with an award for their work telling school children about their experiences of being homeless. All five have been awarded the Broxtowe Partnership Young Peoples award for this year. They are Emma Beresford, Sadie Adams, Christine Richardson, Fraser McNally and Emma Waywell. Some of them have given up to 40 talks each about other young people.

3. Missed Bins
The borough council have now added a new facility to their website so that, if for any reason your black or green bins are not emptied when they should be, you can now report the matter 24 hours a day. The website is at

4. Kimberley Brewery
The SOBS Group in Kimberley, which was set up to try and protect the buildings in the old Kimberley Brewery site, have now met the new owners of the brewery and have said that they are very encouraged by the meeting. Hopefully the development of the brewery will move forward fairly quickly from now on.

5. Awsworth Youth Club
Volunteers in Awsworth are hoping to reopen the village youth club, three years after it was closed down in a row with the parish council. A new council has been elected and the youth club management committee hope that this will lead to a more open approach to negotiations.

6. Blue Plaques
I got a couple of details wrong in the article about blue plaques last week. Apologies for that. The plan is for a dozen blue plaques in the first round, which are being installed on a rolling programme which started last summer. The plans are for plaques to commemorate TH Barton, Arthur Mee, Arthur Cossons (and also the 14th century Beeston village cross which he rescued), Sir John Borlase Warren, General Ireton and Thomas Humber. Others are planned to Bendigo, the prize fighter; Dr John Clifford the Baptist Union President; Francis Wilkinson of Anglo-Scotian Mills; Edward Joseph Lowe, a founder of the Meteorological Society; and the Manor House.

7. Young Farmer
Congratulations to budding farmer Megan Taylor from Brinsley, currently a student at Harper Adams University College in Shropshire. She has won first prize for the National Placement Award for student placement farmers.

8. Victim Support Golf Day
Nottinghamshire Victim Support are organising a charity golf day on 15th June at Beeston Fields Golf Club. Entry fees are £39 per player, and all profits will be used for the work of victim support in Nottinghamshire. Further information is available from

9. A453 Widening
The County Council have made an offer to the Government to part fund the dualling of the A453. The County Council have put forward £20 million towards the total cost of the scheme, estimated at about £164 million. Although this road does not go through Broxtowe it will affect us, first because improving the road is very important to the future prosperity of the whole of Greater Nottingham, and second because traffic that currently chooses not to use the A453 uses the A52 through Broxtowe instead. Without the funding from the County this work cannot begin by at least 2015, so the move may bring this work forward by several years.

10. Attenborough Visitors Centre
The announcement was made on election day, so it may have slipped past some people, but Attenborough Visitors Centre has now celebrated it’s 20,000th school child as part of it’s education work. Children from Bramcote Hills School, including my older daughter who managed to get her back into shot, appeared on TV to mark the occasion. Coincidentally I have just been appointed to the management committee of the visitors centre as the new representative from the council.

11. Castle College
The Government has now officially approved the merger of Castle College and South Notts College to form one new college for Nottinghamshire, and it will begin operating under the name of South Nottingham College from September. Although the move secures the long term future of the colleges I remain very concerned about the possible reduction of courses or venues within the borough as a result of the move, and will press the council to be as active on this issue as possible.

12. Beeston Railway Station
As part of a wider series of green moves by Stagecoach, who own East Midlands Trains, new recycling facilities will be installed at Beeston Railway station this summer.

Thank you to everyone for your support for this newsletter. As ever any feedback is gratefully received.


Saturday, 21 May 2011

Broxtowe Enews 21st May 2011

Welcome to Broxtowe Enews, brought to you by the Liberal Democrats and edited by David Watts, the leader of the Lib-Dem group on Broxtowe Borough Council. I’m sorry that this edition is a little late in coming but immediately after concluding the negotiations over the future control of the council I flew to Portugal on business (managing to cause tremendous problems at home as I’d inadvertently put my wife’s door keys in my pocket as well!)
Portugal is a beautiful country but it shows exactly what happens if an economy collapses. There are weeds growing through the pavements, unfinished building projects (there was even a newly built hospital close to my villa standing completely empty and unopened) and everything about it says clearly that the money has run out. I may not agree with everything that the coalition is doing nor how they do it but the last few days have convinced me that tackling the deficit was absolutely vital for our country.

1. Council Elections
The final mix of councillors in the borough council election left us with 18 Conservatives (no change), 17 Labour (up 7) and 9 Lib-Dem (down 5)councillors. There are no independent councillors (down 2). This means that for the third election in a row Broxtowe has no one party in overall control. We have held discussions with both other parties and have agreed a partnership with Labour, which was confirmed by both parties at meetings on Tuesday night. As a result of this I will no longer be the leader of the council, that falls to Labour’s Milan Radulovic, but I will remain as the leader of the Lib-Dem group and will hold a portfolio on the cabinet.
I have read some wildly inaccurate reports of these negotiations, which is surprising given that those of us actually involved haven’t spoken to anyone about the details. Suffice to say that within the Lib-Dems no-one threatened to quit or throw a tantrum if we went one way or the other, and the reason that we spoke to the Tories first was because they invited us to first. (They had a meeting on the Saturday and as a result of that invited us to have a discussion, which we held on the Monday. Labour’s equivalent meeting wasn’t until the Monday evening and we met with them on the Tuesday.) Nor did we come with an impossible list of demands. We didn’t come with any demands, we listened to both parties and did ask for clarification and confirmation of certain items (such as making any agreement public) which we received.
I’d like to say a public thank you to my three colleagues who lost their seats and to our new candidates who didn’t get elected. Our disappointing performance was entirely due to the national picture and nothing to do with local effort or representation.

2. Bramcote Hills School
I’m delighted that the County Council have announced that Bramcote Hills school is to receive a very significant investment for repairs and rebuilding. This is badly needed as much of the school is currently unused. Serious problems were found in the buildings a few years ago and parts had to be demolished, and so this rebuild is badly needed. It is being funded for the most part by cash from the Government.

3. Eastwood North election
A footnote to the elections is that in Eastwood North the wrong candidate was declared the winner. Bob Charlesworth actually won the seat for the Liberal Democrats but inadvertently the results were transposed on the official forms and his wife Hazel was declared the winner instead! Everyone now accepts that a mistake was made but it does need a hearing at the High Court before the result can be corrected.

4. Avoiding Trips and Falls
The Broxtowe Partnership, the organisation that brings together the council, voluntary groups and other agencies in Broxtowe, has produced a leaflet for elderly residents of the borough to give advice on avoiding trips and accidents at home. These can be obtained from the council on 0115 917 7777.

5. Touchscreen Kiosks
Beeston Business Improvement District, which represents business interests in the town and promotes business development, has applied for planning permission to install two touch screen display booths in the town showing all the businesses and other activities in town.

6. Attenborough Nature Reserve
Staff at Attenborough Nature Reserve have reported problems in recent weeks with people playing bird sounds on their mobile phones, which are disturbing the real birds in the reserve. Please do not do this as it is causing real problems.

7. DH Lawrence Exhibition
A new art exhibition highlighting the work and life of DH Lawrence is now on at Durban House in Eastwood, until May 29th. This features work by art students at Nottingham University. Admission is £3.

8. DH Lawrence Society
I’m pleased to hear that the DH Lawrence Society will be moving their meetings to Durban House, which they describe as the ideal venue. This is one of the first tangible results of the partnership between the council and Nottingham University for the running of the building.

9. Kimberley Power Supply
Central Networks, who run the national grid, are to replace a 400 metre stretch of cable leading into Kimberley which is faulty, and which has led to a number of power cuts in recent months. Hopefully this should alleviate the problems that local residents have found.

10. Blue Plaques in Broxtowe
A coalition of the Beeston Civic and Historical Societies and the Stapleford Local History Society have launched a programme to install blue plaques on buildings where notable residents have previously lived. The first two to be unveiled will be to commemorate historian Arthur Cossans and Admiral Sir John Borlaise Warren. Hopefully others will follow in due course.

11. University Wind Turbines
About 130 people attending the latest meeting with Nottingham University to discuss their plans to install wind turbines. Although there was significant opposition the university still expect to submit a planning application by the end of May.

12. Stapleford Helpful Bureau
I’ve received the following message from the Helpful Bureau in Stapleford, which I’ll pass on verbatim:
“Hi All

Our organisation has successfully entered the `Cash for your Community 2011 shortlist. We are in with a chance of a share in £35,000!
From Wed. 25th May, our organisation will appear in a feature in the Nottingham Evening Post. People can then collect coupons on our behalf, coupons will be printed daily from Wed. 25th May until June 17th.
Any coupons need to be sent/handed to us directly so that we can send them in to Nottingham Evening Post by 21st July.

We would very much appreciate your support with this as the more coupons we collect, the bigger share of the £35,000 we will have.

So, could you please forward this info on to anyone you think may be interested in helping us.

Kind regards,

Margaret Bowen
The Helpful Bureau
Tel. 0115 9491175”

13. Beeston Rylands Methodist Church
Congratulations to the members of Beeston Rylands Methodist Church, who are celebrating their sixtieth anniversary this weekend. There are special anniversary services tomorrow at 10.30am and 6pm tomorrow.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter and any feedback will be gratefully received. The next edition will be on Monday 30th May, bank holiday Monday.