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.