Saturday, 24 September 2011

Broxtowe Enews 24th September 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.

There is quite a lot to cover in this edition as there was no news last week as I was at the Lib-Dem conference in Birmingham. It was an excellent conference, which seemed to confound the national media. They were there in droves, expecting us to engage in a civil war over the poor election results in May, but instead it was an extremely upbeat and entirely united conference by a party finally adjusting to being in Government. Enough of that though, lets turn to the news.

1. Boundary Change

The biggest story of the week was the Boundary Commissions proposed new boundaries for the Broxtowe parliamentary constituency. They are suggesting that the village of Gotham should be added to Broxtowe, despite the fact that it is the other side of the Trent with no direct connections to the rest of the constituency. I know that this will make the figures work for the commission, but frankly it seems a very odd idea to me.

2. Future Development

The consultation on housing in Broxtowe for the next 20 years closes in just over a week, so if you haven’t had your say yet please do. You can submit responses at or by post to the borough council. I attended a meeting at Toton today organised by Anna Soubry, where some strong views were expressed. I contacted Anna some weeks ago suggesting that she and I should meet to discuss what might be proposed, and I’m pleased to say that we have been able to schedule the meeting for this coming week.

3. Greening Beeston

The Greening Beeston campaign, which promotes a greener lifestyle in practical ways, is to hold a meeting on Tuesday at the Baptist Church on Dovecote Lane starting at 7.30pm. The aim is to kick start the next phase of the campaigns work, and it would be great to have a large turnout of local residents.

4. Bramwell Care Home

Bramwell Care Home in Bramcotee is one of six care homes (valued at something like £19 million on the open market) which are being sold by the County Council for £2.5 million. There is a covenant that they are to be maintained as care homes for a specified period of time and they have been sold to a company which runs care homes, so that will provide some reassurance to residents. However not selling them at all would be a far better idea. My colleague Stan Heptinstall has been an active member of the Friends of Bramwell campaign which has opposed this sale, and all the Liberal Democrat county councillors voted against the proposals.

5. Chief Constable to Retire

The Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, Julia Hodgson, has announced that she is to retire next spring. The process of appointing her successor will be commenced later this year by the Police Authority.

6. Changes to County Council Procedures

The County Council are consulting local residents about whether they should change their method of operating to return to a system of committees that existed until about ten years ago. All councils used to work through a series of committees, but the last Labour Government forced them to abandon this and move to a portfolio based system. The coalition government have decided to allow councils to decide how they want to operate, and this is why the county council are now consulting about reverting to the previous system.

7. House Building

One way that central government provide funding to local authorities is through a scheme called the “New Homes Bonus,” which provides cash grants to local authorities based on the number of new houses built in the borough the previous year. The government have now announced that this year Broxtowe Borough Council is to receive £190,873. This is the lowest of any authority in Nottinghamshire, and a key factor is that Broxtowe just does not have spare available land. This is a flaw in the scheme which I have drawn to the attention of ministers until I’m blue in the face but I’ve got nowhere.

8. Lawrence Novels 100th Birthday

The DH Lawrence Heritage Centre at Durban House in Eastwood (which will shortly start opening on Sunday’s, something that we have not been able to do for the past couple of years, are holding a special exhibition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of The White Peacock, Lawrence’s first novel. The exhibition is on now and will run until 30th October.

9. Police Station Closures

The consultation being run by the police about their proposals to close a number of police stations, including Stapleford and Kimberley, is now half way through and they have published their initial findings. So far more than half of respondents have said that they are opposed to the scheme. If you haven’t responded yet may I encourage you to do so at

10. Green Guardians

Are you a green guardian, or do you know someone who is? Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is still looking for nominations for their green guardians awards, which have a closing date of October 3rd. Nominations can be made on

11. Tesco Toton

Tesco’s at Toton have been ordered by the council to remove a new storage pod which they erected without permission. Tesco’s say that they will be appealing this decision.

12. Over 40’s Football

A new scheme has been launched by the borough council in Eastwood to encourage the over 40’s to get involved in football. This is being run with the Mars Just Play initiative. This is being held at the Eastwood Community Sports Centre, and sessions will cost £2 per person. Details are available on 0115 917 3572.

13. Redevelopment at Boots

Boots have set out their ideas for how parts of their site might be redeveloped. Although most of this is in the city some of it is in Broxtowe, and the proposals for us could include 500 houses being built. This is a long term aspiration, as far as I can tell, but if it comes to be it would ease the pressure on sites elsewhere.

14. The Crown Inn

Congratulations to the Crown Inn in Beeston, who have been named the East Midlands pub of the year by CAMRA, the real ale society. This is the second time that it has won the award in the past couple of years.

15. Pet Microchips

The Brinsley Animal Rescue Centre is offering cut price micro-chipping for pets to raise money for charity. This will be on 2nd October and costs £10, with £9 of the fee going to Brinsley Animal Rescue. Details are available on 01773 712999.

16. City Council Proposals

The city council has unveiled it’s plans for new development within its boundaries. Significantly for the borough they are proposing new development around the Nottingham Business Park, to the west of the A6002 just north of Strelley Village. Due to a quirk of the boundaries there is a bulge of land to the west of the road leading to Nuthall Island which is part of the city rather than in Broxtowe, and the city council seem very happy to build on it. Effectively they seem to feel that if they build here it will be Broxtowe’s problem and not theirs.

17. Winter Gritting

Notts County Council have announced that this year they are ready for the forthcoming winter. The authority have stockpiled 9,000 tonnes of road salt, which should be enough to cope with a winter of the severity of the last couple of years.

As ever thanks for your support for this newsletter, and any feedback will be gratefuly received.