Sunday, 26 June 2011

Broxtowe Enews 26th June 2011

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

1. Responses

Thank you to the various comments that I received about last week’s newsletter. I’ve been really busy at work this week so I apologise that I haven’t replied to everyone yet, I will do so this week. I have been celebrating getting Olympic tickets this week, and whilst I know that not everyone was happy with the system I was delighted with the events that we managed to get tickets for.

2. Broxtowe Youth Homelessness

The Broxtowe Youth Homelessness charity has announced that it is to be supported by John Lewis in Nottingham for the next two years. The charity fulfils a vital role in helping young people facing homelessness and so this commitment to funding is very good news. When I was visiting another project for homeless young people last week one of the things that came out from the discussions was how little the young people knew about the services that were there for them, and so the more that can be done to help promote these organisations the better.

3. Free Swimming

I’m delighted that the borough council have decided to provide free swimming for children under the age of 16 and adults over the age of 60 during August. This was something that we introduced last year after national funding for free swimming was withdrawn by the Government, and the decision has been taken this week to provide the same again this year. We will explore whether it is possible to extend this up to the whole of the summer holidays next year.

4. New School Crossing

The County Council have announced that they have recruited a new crossing patrolperson for Toton Law in Stapleford outside Fairfield Primary School. Local parents have been campaigning for this for a number of months.

5. School Fair

Staying with Fairfield School, their school fair is on Friday 1st July from 3pm and all are welcome to attend.

6. Middle Street Resource Centre

The County Council have announced their plans for care services in Nottinghamshire, and I’m delighted that the threat to close the Middle Street Resource Centre in Beeston has been lifted. There has been a strong campaign by users and local residents to keep it open and this has succeeded. Everyone connected with the campaign should be delighted.

7. Bramwell Care Home

Less good is that at the same time the county have announced that they are closing the day centre at Bramwell Nursing Home in Bramcote. This is despite an equally active campaign which attracted all party support locally. I think that a very strong argument had been made to keep Bramwell open and I am very disappointed at this announcement. The closure plans are to be debated at a council meeting on 30th June so there is still a chance that this may be changed, but I am not optimistic.

8. Parkinson’s Disease

A drop in information session on Parkinson’s Disease will be given at the Pearson Centre in Beeston on 5th July from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. If you are suffering from this, know someone who is, or want to learn more about it you will be welcome to attend.

9. Fostering Open Day

An event outside of Broxtowe, but open to local residents, is a fostering open day at Worksop Crossing Gate Centre on June 29th between 9.30am and 12.30pm.If you are interested in fostering then you will be welcome to attend. It is being put on by Team Fostering, who organise fostering for Children in Notts, Derbyshire and Yorkshire.

10. Health Hub Bid

Boots have announced plans to create a health hub at their sight in Beeston. This is where the new enterprise zone is being established and Boots believe that this could be a base for new and developing health care businesses.

11. Art Market

George Spencer School in Nottingham are holding their first art market and are inviting local artists to submit paintings. The event is on Saturday 9th July and further details are available from

12. Greasley Wind Turbine

The Borough Councils development control committee voted on Wednesday night to give planning permission for a new 132 metre high wind turbine in Newthorpe. The turbine will generate the equivalent power used by 1,300 houses each year, as well as saving over 2,000 tonnes of CO2.

13. Eastwood Exhibition

An exhibition on textiles has opened at Durban House in Eastwood and will run until 10th July. It is in the Rainbow Gallery and is put on by the Second Textile Turning Group. I did see that a Labour MP had a photo shoot at Durban House last week to claim credit for saving the building despite the fact that, whilst I was looking at this as leader of the council, she didn’t contact me once about a decision which fell to me to make.

14. Fire Brigade Consultation

Plans to reorganise the fire brigade in Notts will be going out to public consultation next month. Following action by the Liberal Democrats plans to close a number of stations, including at least one in Broxtowe, have been dropped although it is still proposed to cut 100 fire fighter posts.

15. Japanese Event

Ganbare Japan are organising a thank you event at Oban House, the home of the Voluntary Action Broxtowe, for all the support for Japan given by local people. It is on 16th July from 6.30pm and includes Japanese drumming and a meal and costs £25 for adults and £5 for children.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter and any feedback is gratefully received.


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Broxtowe Enews 19th June 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. A special welcome to the new readers that we have this week, on what has undoubtedly been a good week for the Lib-Dems. We have had big wins this week on NHS reforms, delivering what we as grass roots members of the party had demanded, and we also managed to fend off a proposed backward step on recycling which Eric Pickles had been trying to force on local councils. Over the last few years in Broxtowe we have made huge steps forward on recycling and I’m delighted that these will be protected.

I hope that you all had a great Fathers day. Mine got off to a great start when we discovered that the worlds greatest mouser had left a fathers day present for us in the en-suite!

1. Awsworth Party on the Park

The Awsworth Party on the Park will take place on Saturday 2nd July from 11am to 11pm. All local residents will be welcome.

2. Charity Garden Party

Wollaton Road Methodist Church in Beeston will be holding a charity garden party next Saturday from 10am to noon, in aid of the Nottinghamshire Hospice. As well as refreshments there will be cake stalls, bring and buy and home made greeting cards. Everyone is welcome.

3. Pro-tram walk

The Kentag campaign group, who are seeking to bring the tram to Kimberley and Eastwood, are holding a walk along their suggested route next Saturday, starting from Phoenix Park at 11am. Everyone is welcome.

4. Attenborough Nature Walk

The next of the monthly nature walks at Attenborough Nature Reserve will take place on Sunday 3rd July at 10.30am. It departs from the visitor centre at the nature reserve, and walkers are asked Not to bring dogs with them. The day before, 2nd July, there will be a talk about insects at the centre at 1.30pm. That one costs £5 per person. Details are available on 0115 972 1777. Finally at Attenborough they also have a wildlife training course next Saturday, 25th June, from 10am to 4pm. This costs £25 and can be booked on the same phone number.

5. Eastwood Election Mix Up

The hearing in the High Court which is required to correct an administrative error which led to Hazel Charlesworth, rather than her husband Bob, being declared winning new councillor for Eastwood North, will take place on 22nd July. Unfortunately on the final results sheet the votes for Hazel and Bob were transposed, and so the wrong person was declared as the winner.

6. Eastwood Arts Festival

The Eastwood Arts Festival takes place throughout July. Information is available from the borough council on or by ringing 0115 917 3695. It will kick off with a band of marauding Vikings giving out leaflets with all the details on next week, and includes a family fun day on 16th July.

7. Broxtowe CAB

A long running campaign to protected the Citizens Advice Bureaux in Broxtowe has been overwhelmingly successful. Unfortunately the Tory run County Council slashed the grant they provide to the CAB, which really threatened it’s future. The Government have now announced that they will be providing a grant of £85,000 to enable it to keep going. Congratulations to everyone who has been involved with this campaign.

8. Stapleford Air Cadets

Stapleford Air Cadets have a new Commanding Officer. He is Flying Officer Gareth Fowler, who has until now been the training officer at the Beeston branch.

9. Greasley Breast Screening Unit

A group of local residents have collected a petition containing more than 200 signatures calling for the return of a breast screening unit which closed in March following complaints about the noise from it’s generator. The residents have asked Nottingham University Hospitals Trust to reverse their decision.

10. Foxwood School Sweet Shop

Foxwood School, which educates children with learning difficulties, has opened a sweet shop in Beeston which will be staffed by pupils from the school, to help them gain work experience. The shop is called Sweet Treats and is in Beeston Square. It was opened last Friday by Anna Soubry MP.

11. Cedar House

Cedar House is a home for homeless young women in Beeston. It was my pleasure to visit there on Friday along with Anna Soubry and Milan Radulovic, the leader of the Labour Group in Broxtowe. We were able to meet with a number of the residents and listen to some of their experiences. (They had very diplomatically provided red, blue and yellow buns to eat.) In particular it looks like we have been able to identify a way to significantly increase some of their funding, and Anna has agreed to take forward some issues that they had as well.

12. Village Ventures

On Sunday 3rd July at 2pm Village Ventures are putting on Cowboy Baby, a western yarn for children aged 4 to 8, by Sue Heap. This will be at Chilwell Arts Theatre, Chilwell School, Queens Road West, NG9 5AL. Tickets cost £2 (child), £5 (adult), in advance from the school on 0115 925 2698 or 0758 426 3893 or on the door. The show lasts 50 minutes, and will be followed by a free fun workshop for parents and children (30mins). Further details are at

13. Paradiso Cinema

On Friday 8th July at 7.30pm Paradiso Cinema present Get Low, starring Robert Duval and Sissy Spacek. This is on at Chilwell Arts Theatre, Chilwell School, Queens Road West, NG9 5AL. Tickets on the door cost £5, £4 (conc). Refreshments are available from 7pm. Further details are available at

14. Car Boot Sale

On Sunday 10th July the Chilwell School Partnership will be holding an Outdoor car boot sale from 9am to 1pm, at Chilwell School, Queens Road west, Chilwell. Sellers can arrive to set up from 7.30am and the cost is £5 per car or £7.50 per van.

Thank you for your continued support for this newsletter, and any feedback is gratefully received.


Saturday, 11 June 2011

Broxtowe Enews 11th June 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. A special welcome to the new readers that we have this week.

Can I start by apologising that there was no edition last week. It’s rare that we don’t produce one but I’m afraid that time just got the better of me. I’ll try and cover all the important news for the past two weeks here. Today was the 10th Hemlock Happening, and everyone involved deserves to be congratulated as it has been another fantastic event (even though my daughters cuddly toy did manage to end up very firmly in the jaws of a passing great dane!)

1. Keith Hanbury

Many people in Broxtowe will have known Keith, who was the county council’s youth worker for the area for many years. He had to retire on health grounds a couple of years ago, and I’m sorry to have to report that he passed away this week. I had the pleasure of meeting and working with him on many projects and he always struck me as someone who really did have the interests of local children and young people at heart. He will be sadly missed.

2. Chilwell Olympia Stake Park

I’m afraid that the condition of the skate park at Chilwell Olympia has now deteriorated so badly that the council have had to close it. The decision was only made on Friday so it is too early to say yet what the long terms plans will be for a replacement but I will report them when I know.

3. Right of Way Across Toton Sidings

Campaigners in Toton have been trying to get a right of way recognised across part of Toton Sidings. This is part of the campaign to oppose the actions of the land owner who chopped down the trees and closed of access to the site. After a year the County Council, who have responsibility for the decision, had still done nothing, but the Conservative administration did promise progress immediately after the Easter Holidays this year. Sadly we’re now in mid-June and there is still no news.

4. Erewash Valley Trail

The Erewash Valley Trail, which goes through Broxtowe and Erewash borough’s, was officially opened at the Hemlock Happening today. My colleague Stan Heptinstall, who deserves tremendous credit for the work he does on the Hemlock Happening, cut the ribbon and a group of cyclists started a ride round the whole trail. The trail takes in some of the most beautiful areas of the East Midlands and I would encourage people to walk all of part of it.

5. Safer Roads for Children

Children from Bramcote Primary School will join with others from across the country on Wednesday as part of a campaign calling on traffic to slow down to create safer roads for children. The march will also be at attempt to set a world record for the longest walking bus ever.

6. Awsworth Recycling Plant

A planning application has been submitted to build a compost recycling centre in the green belt close to Awsworth. This will be dealt with by the County Council as waste management is a county, rather than a borough, responsibility. The Borough Council will however be able to make representations on the matter.

7. A453 Report

The Government have told Anna Soubry MP that they will not publish the result of a public enquiry into dualling the A453 until after a decision has been made as to whether the road project is to go ahead. I am disappointed by this and, given that it was funded by public money and was a public enquiry, I think that the decision is wholly wrong.

8. Forcing Magistrates to Retire

Another issue that our MP has been involved in this week is the question of a compulsory retirement age for magistrates and judges. At the moment they are obliged to retire when they reach 70 years of age, and Anna has called for this to be lifted. In her speech in parliament she referred to long standing Kimberley Councillor Roy Plumb, who has recently been forced to retire as a magistrate because he is now 70, and she feels that people like him should be allowed to carry on further.

9. Attenborough Visitors Hide

The new path to a hide at Attenborough Nature Reserve, installed last autumn, has proved to be a great success. Figures just released show that more than 5,000 visitors have used it since it opened. This was paid for by Cemex, who donated nearly £5,000 for the work.

10. Broxtowe Women’s Network

Local business women are invited to the next meeting of the Broxtowe Womens Network on Monday evening from 5.30 – 8.30, at the Belfrey Hotel on Mellors Way. It costs £10 and the theme is time management. Details are available from the council on 0115 917 3446.

11. Dave Woods Forest Walk

I mentioned before that Stapleford poet Dave Wood was planning a walk around the ancient boundaries of Sherwood Forest. I’m very pleased to read that the Arts Council have now provided £10,000 lottery cash to help fund the project. The last time anyone walked this route was some 350 years ago, and Dave will be seeking to involve local schools and groups as far as possible.

12. House Prices

House prices in Nottinghamshire are continuing to fall, and the latest figures from the Halifax show that prices fell 4.2% in the last year here.

13. Police Swimming

Congratulations to the Notts Police women’s swimming team who won a national life-saving competition in Blackpool this week. It’s the first time in the competitions 56 year history that the Notts team have won.

14. Electric Car Charging

I was interested to read this week that the Belfrey Hotel will be one of the first in the country to install a charging port for electric cars. If this sort of new technology is to succeed then we need to ensure that the infrastructure is there for it, so I‘m delighted at this announcement.

15. Clayfields House

Residents and staff at Clayfields Secure Children’s Home have won the Best Creative Contribution Award from the Kids Count Charity at the House of Commons after they produced two murals at the centre.

16. Meet the police in Beeston

Residents in Beeston will be able to meet their local police officer on 26th June. There will be a “patch walk” on Thyra Grove, Dagma Grove and Henry Road from 3 to 4pm and people will be able to raise any issues that they want to with the officers.

17. Mayors Coffee Morning

Stapleford Mayor Ray Darby will be hosting a charity coffee morning on Friday 24th June from 10am to noon. Money raised will go to his charities, Rainbow Hospice and Stapleford Link Youth Café.

18. Pre-retirement Course

There will be a pre-retirement course for those getting towards the end of their working lives in Beeston between 27th and 29th June. Details are available from Linda Whitt on 0115 922 3824.

19. Fire Station Open Day

There will be an open day at Highfields Fire Station in Beeston between 11am and 3pm. There will be games for children and demonstrations by the fire service.

20. Delays to work in Kimberley

I’m afraid that the upgrade to power cables in Kimberley, which I reported on previously and which was brought about by my colleague Ken Rigby, has been delayed. There were difficulties in getting the cable installed and work will now begin on 20th June for three weeks. This will mean that there are road closures during that period in the town, but hopefully everyone will see the benefit of the work thereafter.

21. MP’s Expense Claims

The latest figures for MP’s expenses have now been published. Anna Soubry claimed £4,146 for the first two months of 2011, whilst Gloria De Piero claimed £7,809 for the same period. The last time I reported on MP’s expenses claims it provoked a furious reaction from Miss De Piero, who claimed I was being selective with the figures, but I’m reporting them exactly as they were published.

22. Recycling targets

The city and county councils have published their new waste strategy, which includes increasing recycling targets from 50% to 70%. This will now go out to public consultation and I hope that the public will support this.

23. Wind Turbine Decision

The borough councils development control committee will meet on Wednesday 22nd June to decide whether or not to grant planning permission for a wind turbine in Newthorpe, which would be 130 metres high in total. Both Greasley Parish Council and the County Council have objected to the application.

24. Stapleford Town Garden competition

Stapleford Town Council is inviting entrants from town residents for their annual town garden competition. Entry forms are available by ringing 0115 939 1818. Entries need to be in by 30th June.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.