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.