Saturday, 17 December 2011

Broxtowe Enews 17th December 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.

Happy Christmas to all our readers. This will be the last edition until the new year and so I hope that the festive period is everything that you hope it will be.

1. The Tram

The big news this week is undoubtedly that the tram has got the final go ahead from the Government. The contracts are now all signed and work will begin next month. In the first few months the programme is primarily one of site clearances and moving of utilities. Once this is done the track will be laid and there will then be an extensive period of testing before passenger services begin to run. The first commercial trams should be running in about three years time.

In Beeston 16 properties on Chilwell Road are to be demolished, and this should happen towards the end of January. In February three properties on Gwenbrook Avenue are due to be demolished. Also in January the park and ride site will be cleared and this will become the storage depot during the work programme, and a new children’s play area will be created in Chilwell to replace one that will later be removed.

Although the work is being done by NET the borough council will be heavily involved in making sure that things go as smoothly as possible. Pages have been created on the council’s web site giving details of what is going on, which can be accessed at http://www.broxtowe.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=9764. It is clear that there will be disruption for a significant period of time but we will try and minimise it as much as possible.

One piece of very bad news is that the Wilkinsons store in Beeston will close. The council have been demanding from the landlords (Henry Boot) that they ensure that Wilkinsons have a new property to move into so that there was no break in service, and they have promised us that this would happen. Sadly they have completely let us down.

Finally on the tram you may have seen an email from Anna Soubry this week saying what a great idea the tram is. This is a very different stance to the one that she took in the general election, and that the local Conservative Party still take, where even on Thursday we were sent an email from one of their councillors saying that no-one wants the tram.

2. Stapleford Residents Parking

The County Council will be publishing proposals next week for new residents parking in Stapleford. The first phase consists of changes to Cyril Avenue area (removal of Fredereick Avenue), Bailey Street area (shortening of Wellington Street) and Eatons Road areas. All areas will change to Monday – Saturday 9am – 5pm and all bays and yellow lines will be removed except at junctions to enable parking anywhere within the area by permit holders (as long as they don't cause obstruction). They will also be adding new schemes on Horace Avenue, West End Street and William Road (Mon-Sat 9am – 5pm), Albert Street (Mon-Sat 9am-5pm + one way and other parking restrictions) and St James Terrace (24 hour scheme). Residents will then have one month to submit any comments before the County confirms whether or not it will go ahead. There may also be a second phase covering other areas of the town at a later date.

3. Super Fast Broadband

I mentioned a week or so back that the Borough Council had declined a request from the County Council that we donate £80,000 towards the cost of installing super fast broadband in Broxtowe. Whilst the idea is a good one we simply couldn’t afford the money. The County Council have now come back and asked if we would pay £33,000 instead. This will be discussed by the cabinet at Broxtowe next week.

4. Open Mike Night

I’ve been asked to promote this event in January:

Scion Presents...

January 11th 2012 at 7.30pm. Two main performers: storyteller, Richard Young and poet, Dave Wood plus open slots of approx 5 mins each (but do bring some time fillers too). Free entry. all performances in the round..venue-the old cross, church street, stapleford. 7.30pm. also beer raffle for the rainbows hospice and you may fancy donating to them too. relaxed way try out your writing. email davewrite2002 @ yahoo. com or O77O 9977684. come to read or provide an audience. there will be a beer raffle for rainbow's hospice and any donations accepted to the hospice will be appreciated. no microphones - bring voice and writing only

5. New Chief Constable

Nottinghamshire Police will have a new Chief Constable in September. He will be Chris Eyre, the current Deputy Chief Constable, and he takes over from Julia Hodgson who is retiring.

6. Libraries Over The Holidays

The County Council have announced that their libraries will all close for Christmas on 23rd December and will reopen on 3rd January. The County Council offices themselves will be open from 28th to 30th December.

7. New Nottingham TV Station

The Government have announced that Nottingham is to get a new TV station. The city is to be a pioneer for a series of new local TV channels. Interested parties will be able to bid for the licence to run it next year, with a view to broadcasting beginning in 2013.

8. Food Voucher Scheme

A new food voucher scheme has been launched in Beeston. The Beeston and NG9 food bank is run by Hope Nottingham, and vouchers to obtain supplies can be handed out by doctors surgeries and the Citizens Advice Bureaux to needy residents. These can then be exchanged for food at venues in Beeston, Chilwell and Stapleford.

9. Field Farm, Stapleford

The planning application for Field Farm in Stapleford has now been received but is missing some documents and so has not yet been registered by the council. Once the missing documents have been received the council will place it on its web site and invite comments. I was surprised to read an email from the Conservatives this week talking about planning which said: “We are still waiting for Broxtowe Borough Council's report following the so called ‘public consultation’; it was due to be published weeks ago.” This claim is simply untrue. Nothing was supposed to have been published before now and the papers actually go to the cabinet at Broxtowe next week to decide how to go further.

10. Broxtowe Youth Council

At the council meeting on Wednesday Broxtowe’s youth mayor, Tilly Stone, reported that the County Council have decided to close down the youth council as a spending cut. This is extremely short sighted as the youth council, which has representatives from every secondary school in the borough on it, is a very successful and useful mouthpiece for young people in the area. Only last week Tilly was in Poland speaking to political leaders in Myszk√≥w, our friendship town there, about the youth council as they are interested in copying our model. However I’m glad to report that we hope that the borough council will be able to make good the funding shortfall so that the council can continue.

11. Complaints about the police

An interesting statistic that I saw this week was that the number of complaints against Notts Police has dropped in the last year by 29%. I hope that this means that the police are getting better at doing their job, and is a much bigger fall than the national picture, which shows a 4% drop in complaints.

12. Carol Services

A number of carol services are being held tomorrow and Monday. Tomorrow St Michael's Bramcote hold two services, the first at 5.30pm and the second at 7.30pm. Please contact 0115 943 0137 for more details. Also tomorrow the Salvation Army hold their Carol Concert at Albert Avenue in Stapleford, starting at 6pm. Please call 0115 949 7059 for more information. On Monday 19th December the Peace Light Carol Service takes place in Beeston, starting at 7.00pm at the 6th Beeston Scout HQ on Middle Street.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received. That can be sent by email, or by using the forms on the Broxtowe Lib-Dem website at www.broxtoweliberaldemocrats.org.uk , or my personal website at www.davidwatts.org.uk.

David

Sunday, 11 December 2011

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

As we get towards Christmas many services and events run down for the holiday, and as a result there is less news to report than usual, but there are still a number of things going on. Can I apologise for the typo in last week’s news about Chilwell Conservation Area. I of course meant to refer to options if you had missed the meeting, not if you had kissed it. Whoops.

1. Sale Of Care Homes

Sadly the District Auditor has decided that he will not intervene in the decision of the County Council to sell six care homes, including Bramwell in Bramcote, to a private company at a significant under valuation. My colleague Stan Heptinstall had asked the auditor to look into this sale as it seems to us that this sale does not represent anything like good value for local residents, even leaving aside the question about whether the sale was right in principle or not. You can see the letter from the District Auditor on our web site at www.broxtoweliberaldemocrats.org.uk.

2. Christmas Concert

There will be a Christmas Carol Concert at Chilwell Road Methodist Church in Beeston on 17th December. As well as soloists the Eastwood Male Voice Choir will be performing. Tickets cost £6 each and are available from 0115 919 6659.

3. Car Parking at Bramcote Hills Park

As people may have noticed the car park at Bramcote Hills Park is currently being upgraded. The council had been looking at whether or not they should introduce charging for this car park, but when the matter was discussed by the council’s cabinet they agreed with the arguments put forward by the Lib-Dems that this car park should remain free of charge.

4. Snow

The County Council have issued a statement this week to reassure motorists that they are ready to cope with any snowfall this year. You may recall that last year they ran out of grit in the really harsh winter that we have, but they have been at pains this week to stress that they are well stocked with grit and salt for this year. They have however told district councils that there is no budget to install any further grit bins this year.

5. New Tree In Bramcote Park

Bramcote History Group have donated a new tree, a Juglan Nigra, to Bramcote Park. It was planted this week by the group along with Broxtowe’s Mayor, Cllr Jacky Williams, as part of National Tree Week.

6. Domestic Violence Victims

The Borough Council have launched a new campaign to provide help and support to victims of domestic violence locally. New posters will appear in libraries, Sure Start centres and doctors surgeries as well as others to raise awareness of the issue. Further information and help area available from 0115 917 3028, or from hlc@broxtowe.gov.uk.

7. Broxtowe Sports Awards

Congratulations to the young sports people honoured at the Broxtowe Sports Awards this week. Amongst the winners were 15 year old Lauren Gill, a swimmer from Kimberley, and 23 year old gymnast Sam Hunter of Chilwell.

8. Solar panels for the County Council

The County Council has agreed to install solar panels on eight of its buildings to help generate electricity. These will cost £800,000 but should pay that back many times over during their lifetimes. They will cut costs and also enable the County Council ton get income from the Governments feed in tariffs scheme. Sadly none of the buildings is in Broxtowe, but we should all benefit from the move.

9. Health Walk at the Nature Reserve

Local residents are invited to take part in a health walk at Attenborough Nature Reserve on Monday 19th December. The walk starts at 10am from the visitor centre, is free to attend and will last for about an hour. Details are available from the visitor centre on 0115 972 1777.

10. Kimberley School

The Governors at Kimberley school are currently looking at whether to convert to an academy. However the National Union of Teachers have indicated that they will ballot their members over strike action if the move goes ahead.

11. High Speed Broadband.

The County Council have approached Broxtowe Borough Council about contributing to the cost of installing high speed broadband cables across the borough. Unfortunately, whilst the borough council are supportive of the scheme, the County requested far too much money from the borough. With resources being as tight as they are the borough council simply cannot find almost £100,000 at the drop of a hat. The County Council have suggested to the boroughs that they should contribute on a 50/50 basis with the County, despite the fact that the County get 90% of the council tax money.

12. Council Tax Survey

At the moment councils collect council tax over 10 months, which means that for the last two months of the year we don’t pay anything. The Government is currently consulting about whether this should change to collecting over 12 months. This would mean that people paid less each month but there would no longer be the payment holiday at the end of each financial year. To help me respond to this and accurately reflect people’s views I’ve set up an opinion poll on my website and I’d be grateful if you could take a minute to express your views. My website is at www.davidwatts.org.uk

13. Bramcote Hills Golf Course

Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey that I and my colleagues have been running about a suggestion that land at the closed golf course in Bramcote Hills should be used to build a retirement village. At the moment there is no formal proposal but we wanted to know the views of residents about this scheme, and overall we got just over 170 responses, with just over 100 people opposed to the idea.

14. Major Oak Sapling planting

I’ve reported here before about Stapleford Poet Dave Woods “Creative Perambulations Around Sherwood Forest,” walking the historic boundary of the forest (the first person to do so in about 300 years). To mark the end of the project Dave will be planting a sapling from the Great Oak on Ilkeston Road Recreation Ground, Stapleford. If you’d like to come along to this historic tree planting in Stapleford on 22nd December at 2pm, please let Dave know on O77 O99 77684 or email davewrite2002 @ yahoo.com.

15. New Church web Site

St Michaels Church in Bramcote has a new website. You can view this at http://www.bramcotechurch.org/. I’ve had a quick look round and it seems quite good.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received. That can be sent by email, or by using the forms on the Broxtowe Lib-Dem website, or my personal website, the addresses of which are above.

David