Sunday, 23 October 2011

Broxtowe Enews 23rd October 2011

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

A special welcome to the new readers that we have this week, and especially to those who’ve signed up via our new web site which we launched last week.

There’s a lot of material to report this week, as it’s a busy time of year. It is still 63 days until 25th December but two of the events I’ve been asked to publicise are Christmas ones.

1. Housing Development

It’s been an interesting week, with Broxtowe Borough Council being discussed extensively in a debate in parliament organised by Anna Soubry, and extensive TV coverage here as a result. Some of the statements made however have been very wide of the mark, but the issue of where, if anywhere, housing development will take place in Broxtowe will be debated at the full council meeting on Wednesday. In the meantime if anyone wants to catch up on the debate in parliament it is here: If you’re interested in this (which I hope people are)then you are very welcome to come to the council meeting on Wednesday, which starts at 7pm at the town hall in Beeston.

2. Chilwell Arts Theatre

There are a number of events coming up at Chilwell Arts Theatre, Chilwell School. These are:

Paradiso Cinema

Friday 11th November, “O What a Lovely War (1969)

Friday 9th December, It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946)

Friday 13th January, “The Tree of Life” (2011)

Friday 10th February, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961)

Tickets on the door cost £5 (£4 conc) and films start at 7.30pm. Come at 7pm for refreshments.

Also at Chilwell Arts Theatre, Village Ventures productions present two shows, on Sunday 5th February, New Rope String Band, (see and on Thursday 29th March, Coope, Boyes and Simpson, (see ). Tickets in advance or on the door cost £8 (£6 con), £24 family (2+2). These are suitable for all the family. Concerts start at 7.30pm. Ring 0115 925 2698 or 0758 426 3893 for tickets. Both bands are very popular so book early to avoid disappointment.

3. Rumbletums Café, Kimberley

Rumbletums have asked me to mention that they raised £36 for Macmillan Cancer Support from our participation in their World's Biggest Coffee Morning at the end of September, and they have recently started a Parents/Carers and Toddlers group at the cafe, every Tuesday from 1.00pm to 3.00pm and the cafe will be opening on Thursdays (we're currently only open on Fridays and Saturdays) from 3rd November. I’m delighted to do so and delighted that this venture is going so well.

4. Tram Works

NET have told me that they are expecting to let the contracts for Phase two in the next couple of weeks. They will be contacting all the traders on Chilwell Road over the next couple of weeks to talk about the compensation packages that are available. They will also be delivering letters to all the affected properties shortly. Once this is done I will post a copy of the letter on the Lib-Dem website so that anyone interested can see it.

5. Police Station Closures

Further to the item that I mentioned last week a number of people have asked what the political control is on the police authority. It is in fact Labour controlled, and the only Lib-Dem on the committee is my colleague Keith Longdon, the County Councillor for Eastwood. Keith worked very hard to ensure that Eastwood Police Station remained open, and deserves tremendous credit for this.

6. Support for small businesses

The Lib-Dems have proposed a motion which will be debated at the council meeting on Wednesday to help small businesses through the current difficult economic conditions. We’re asking the council to commit to paying invoices within 20 days, as opposed to 30 which is the current situation. This should help the cash flow of small firms who we deal with.

7. Protecting Bees

Over the past year the bee population of the UK is estimated to have declined by 17%. There are a number of reasons for this but one in particular is the increase in the use of pesticides. I’ve proposed a motion to the council to ban the use of particular pesticides (called neonicotinoids) by the council. This is a strain of pesticides particularly associated with the decline in bees so this seems to be a very practical step that we can take.

8. Events at Durban House

The DH Lawrence Heritage Centre at Durban House has announced the following events which are coming up.

Christmas at D.H. Lawrence Heritage

Event: Fairy Grotto (Part of the Eastwood Christmas Light Switch On Event)
Description: Meet our beautiful fairy and make a special Christmas wish!
Date: Tuesday 22nd November 2011, 6pm – 8pm
Venue: D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum, 8a Victoria Street, Eastwood, Notts, NG16 3AW
Price: £3.00 per child - Every child will receive a special Christmas wish, bauble, and goody bag!

Event: Victorian Christmas Tradition Tours
Description: Discover the many Christmas traditions that began in this period and soak the festive atmosphere of a Victorian Christmas.
Date: Thursday 1st to Friday 23rd December 2011
Time: Daily 11.15am Museum timed tour
Venue: D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum, 8a Victoria Street, Eastwood, Notts, NG16 3AW
Price: £5.00 Adults, £3.50 Concessions (5-15 year olds), Under 5's Free. Discounts for Broxtowe Leisure Card holder. Annual D.H. Lawrence Heritage membership available. Places limited available pre-booking advised

Event: Santa’s Grotto and Creative Christmas Craft
Description: Tell Santa your Christmas wish and receive a special Christmas goodie bag plus have a go at our special Festive Crafts.
Date: Saturday 10th December, 11am -3pm. Santa’s Grotto Open – 11am-12.30pm and 1pm until 2.30pm.
Venue: D.H. Lawrence Heritage, Durban House Heritage Centre, Mansfield Road, Eastwood, Notts, NG16 3DZ
Price: £3.00 per child, (1st Adult free, accompanying adult £1), £2.50 Broxtowe Leisure card holders, £1.00 for Santa for Annual Members

Further information for all these events is available on telephone 01773 717353 or by visiting

9. Improved Public Transport

This is a report back on an appeal I made last month. You may recall that the borough council has money available to spend on public transport, and I was asking for suggestions for how this might be spent. I received loads of really positive suggestions and so have now submitted a detailed list to the councils Chief Executive. In brief the suggestions fell into four categories:

a) Improved bus routes

b) Improved facilities for voluntary travel schemes

c) Improved cycle lanes and facilities

d) Mapping of existing services to identify gaps.

I know that officers at the council were reluctant to spend the money on bus routes as these tend to require a more long term funding arrangement, but it seems to me that if we can subsidise new routes for a year or so to see if there is a sufficient demand to make them viable then this would be a good use of money. I’ll keep people informed of progress.

10. Deliverers wanted

Could you help the Liberal Democrats by donating an hour of your time, four times a year? We deliver Focus leaflets to much of the borough and we’d like to increase our pool of deliverers. For those who don’t currently receive them, Focus leaflets are information leaflets telling people what is happening in their areas. They are like a printed version of this newsletter, paid for by the Lib-Dems and delivered by volunteers. We do it because of our inherent belief in community politics, in making sure that people are involved in issues and decisions which affect them. Every hour that someone gives us means more people able to receive leaflets. If you believe that people should be informed about things happening in their area then why not volunteer to deliver. Just contact me and I’ll make the arrangements for you.

11. Burglaries in Toton

I was sent this message this weekend which I thought was well worth passing on:

“As everyone is aware, Toton has suffered a significant number of Burglaries recently.

An unknown ‘gentleman’ was spotted by a resident in the Lichfield Close/Erdington Way area (Upper end of Banks Road) in the early evening acting suspiciously. A white man, approx 6’-2” tall, possibly in his 50s, greying hair, with either stubble or a ‘light’ beard, he was wearing ‘dark’ clothes with an Adidas style jacket and carrying some leaflets.

He twice walked the streets taking note of the houses. A resident was concerned and challenged him. The ‘gentleman’ claimed he was working for a double glazing firm and was looking for potential clients and ‘cold calling’ upon houses. Because the ‘gentleman’ had passed his house twice and NOT called or left a leaflet (his house has single glazing) he became more suspicious. The ‘gentleman’ offered the resident a leaflet. The resident took it saying he had missed him out, and gave the ‘gentleman’ a false address.

The resident returned home and immediately tried to contact the double glazing company. No reply on the telephone number – not even an answer-phone. The resident ‘checked-out’ the business website and the business addresses between the leaflet and the website did NOT match. The resident telephoned the police and reported the situation. The police took details and said they would patrol the area to look for him.

I can confirm that the Police did take action. My son came home from work just a little later and saw a Police van and several policemen on foot patrolling the streets.

The primary purpose of this note is to advise you of this ‘incident’ and ask you to be vigilant. We can help each other here in Toton. If you are unhappy with what you see – phone the Police. The second purpose of this note is to praise, and thank, the Police for acting swiftly. The Police are taking the Toton burglaries VERY seriously. So WE need to help them any way we can – be vigilant – take a note of peoples’ descriptions, vehicle registration numbers, AND contact the Police IMMEDIATELY if you have any concerns.”

12. Police Contact Number

Following on from that story, the police have announced that they will be adopting a new contact number. For emergencies (as above) the number remains 999, but for non-emergency calls the new police number from 7th November will be 101.

13. Pampered Women

There will be a pampering and shopping evening for women in Beeston at the Pearson Centre, Nuart Road, on 11th November from 7.30pm. The money raised will be used to fund activities for children aged from 4 to 18. I do have to declare an interest here as one of my daughters attends the Girls Brigade there, so obviously I hope as many women as possible will turn up. Tickets cost £2 in advance or £2.50 on the night, and are available from 0115 925 4112.

14. Crime Figures

The latest figures released by the Home Office show a reduction in recorded crime of 13.4% for Nottinghamshire. Burglaries fell 38%, which was the highest fall in the country. There is always a difference between the actual levels of crime and those which are reported to the police, but all the evidence shows that crime is falling quite significantly, which is very encouraging news. I haven’t had the detailed breakdown yet showing the situation here in Broxtowe so I will post that when I have it

15. Reporter Nominated

Congratulations to Nottingham Post reporter Alex Britton, who covers Broxtowe, on being nominated for the Exclusive of the year award by the National Council for the Training of Journalists Awards for Excellence 2011. The report which has earned Alex the nomination is his coverage of the mix up in May when the wrong winner was declared in the Eastwood ward for the borough council.

16. Heritage in Danger

A new report on architectural heritage in Nottinghamshire has identified three properties at risk in Broxtowe. These are the Summerhouse at the Yews, Kimberley Road, Nuthall, Bennerley Viaduct, Awsworth and Beauvale Priory.

17. Renewable Energy in Beeston

Greening Beeston, which promotes renewable energy in the town, is looking at sites for a community renewable power project and is wanting local residents to select from a shortlist of three. There will be a public meeting at Beeston Library on Saturday October 29th between 1.30 and 3pm.

Thank you for your support for this newsletter. As ever any feedback will be gratefully received (although I was somewhat unimpressed when a Labour councillor phoned me up this week to swear at me (strongly) about the newsletter, as apparently I’d reported something that he wanted to take the credit for).

Best wishes