Saturday, 21 January 2012

Broxtowe Enews 21st January 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. May I give a special welcome to the new readers that we have this week.

It’s been a busy week this week. On Wednesday I attended a reception with Norman Baker, the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, to mark the launch of NET Line 2. I had a chat there with the chairman of Tramlink, who are building Line 2, and have invited them to open an office in the Broxtowe Council building in Beeston, so that local residents have a contact poimnt for any concerns. The next day I was in London to meet with the Deputy Prime Minister, discussing a range of issues relevant to local government, and then had a session with Andrew Stunnell, a Minister at the Department of Communities and Local Government. It is this department that produces the planning rules that are causing so much of a problem for Broxtowe, and was there to lobby him for changes. Effectively I was doing what our MP should have been doing, but she has decided that it’s more fun to attack the council instead.

1. Beeston Town Square

There was an interesting interview with Henry Boot plc in the Nottingham Post this week. Henry Boot is the company who own the lease to Beeston Square. They were blaming years of indecision over the tram for the delays in redeveloping the square, but say that they are now committed to pressing forward. I don’t accept this fully as Henry Boot themselves have caused significant delays, but it does show how the delays around the tram have already had a knock on effect.

2. Tram works

Tramlink have now started to take possession of the properties in Beeston which they need to demolish to make way for the tram. Fifteen properties have so far been compulsorily purchased, and more will be needed over the next few weeks. After the years of delay things are now rushing ahead. Trees are also being cleared, and these need to be done now before the bird nesting season starts.

3. East Midlands Trains

East Midlands trains, who run through Beeston station, have a 92.5% punctuality rate, according to Network Rail. This is above the national average which is 91.6%. Well done to them but I hope that they will continue to press to achieve closer to 100%.

4. Broxtowe Youth Mayor

There is a really interesting piece in yesterday’s Nottingham Post by Tilly Stone, the Broxtowe Youth Mayor, about her work. This can be accessed here:

5. Notts County Council

The County Council have decided to scrap their cabinet, and return to a system where decisions are made by a number of different committees. This was the way that councils used to work but the Labour Government of Tony Blair insisted that this system was scrapped. The coalition Government have relaxed this ban and said that councils can choose the method of operation which is best for them, and the County Council are one of the first in the country to change back. In Broxtowe the current system seems to work relatively well and we have no current plans to change.

6. Pensioners Electricity Bills

Age UK Nottingham and Notts have launched a new partnership with Eon to help pensioners claim fuel rebates that they are entitled to. Pensioners can often claim a £120 rebate on their fuel bills, and the new partnership is aimed to help them do this. Anyone who may benefit from this is invited to ring 0115 993 9982 for more details.

7. Road gritting

The County Council have issued a statement this week confirming that they are ready for any drop in temperatures, and the situation that was faced last year where they ran out of salt is unlikely to be repeated. So far this winter gritters have been out 31 times, compared with 72 times by this point last year.

8. Armed Forces Community Covenant

Broxtowe Borough Council has signed a community covenant with the armed forces, creating closer links between the borough and the military. I was present at the signing ceremony, which was presided over by our mayor, Lib-Dem councillor Jacky Williams. Part of this commitment will be making sure that proper provision is made for ex-service personnel within the borough. This is a very important step for the borough and it was very disappointing that not a single Conservative Councillor attended the ceremony.

9. Barncroft Day Services Centre

Work has started to refurbish the Barncroft Day Services Centre in Chillwell. This project, which is being carried out by the County Council, is costing approximately £800,000 and work will be finished by the summer. The centre is used each week by about 180 local residents, and this will increase after the work has finished.

10. Early Blooming Flowers

The County Council are asking for copies of photos flowers appearing in parks across the County because of the recent mild weather. Pictures should be submitted via the council’s Facebook site at

11. Free swimming

The borough council have now confirmed that they will be offering free swimming again next summer to children aged under 16, throughout the summer holidays.

12. A453 Roadworks

The A453 will be closed overnight from tomorrow for four weeks. As a result traffic is likely to divert along the A52 instead, so drivers need to be ready for a significantly larger amount of night time traffic.

13. Eastwood Youth Centre

The new youth centre in Eastwood, which opened in September, is being credited with helping to reduce crime in the town. Crime in Eastwood has dropped by 20% overall, and the £2million spent on the youth centre will be seen as a very good investment if this continues.

14. Beeston Library

Beeston library has closed for four weeks for refurbishment. It is expected to reopen on 13th February. The County Council says that a number of essential repairs are needed, and they are taking the opportunity to make some improvements as well.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback will be very gratefully received.

Best wishes


Saturday, 7 January 2012

Broxtowe Enews 7th January 2012.

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 who signed up over the holiday and may I wish all our readers a very happy new year and I hope everyone had the opportunity of a good break over Christmas. Sadly I received yet more proof that I’m getting old, as the optician has dictated that I start wearing reading glasses! Apparently my argument that my arms just needed stretching a bit wasn’t persuasive!

1. Cllr Tom Pettengell

One piece of very sad news from over the Christmas holidays was that Cllr Tom Pettengell, who represented Toton on the County Council and who was for many years the borough councillor for Attenborough, passed away over the Christmas holidays. Tom was someone who had friends across the political spectrum and he will be sadly missed.

2. Field Farm Meeting

STRAG, the Stapleford and Trowell Residents Action Group, have organised a meeting next week for local residents to discuss the planning application for Field Farm. It will take place at The Jaguar Pub, Hickings Lane, Stapleford on Saturday 14th January from 2pm to 4pm. Everyone is welcome to attend. On the topic generally of further housing developments in the borough I met this week, in my capacity as portfolio holder for Planning on the borough council, with representatives from SABRHE, the residents group from Brinsley, to express their concerns and I’ve met with representatives from Toton for a similar reason. STRAG did invite me to the meeting next Saturday but I’m unable to attend and so I’ve offered to meet them on an alternative date.

3. Mayors Musical Supper

The Mayor of the Borough of Broxtowe, Lib-Dem Councillor Jacky Williams is hosting a Musical Supper with the Beeston Musical Theatre Group at The Memorial Hall in Church Street, Bramcote on 28th February at 7.30pm. The evening will feature Songs from the Shows sung by the fantastic Beeston Musical Theatre Groups 12 piece ensemble, as well as mouth-watering fish and chips provided by Andy's Fish Bar, Stapleford. Proceeds will go to the Mayor’s Charities.

4. Policing in Bramcote

Residents in Bramcote wishing to meet the police are invited to do so on Monday evening. Officers will be on Ranmore Close in Bramcote between 7pm and 8pm to answer any questions that residents have.

5. Fire Service on Twitter

Notts Fire Service now has its own Twitter feed. They are at @nottsfire and Twitter users are invited to follow them.

6. Advice event for business women

The next meeting to the Broxtowe Businesswoman’s Network will be on January 18th from 5.30pm to 8.30pm at the Belfrey Hotel on Nottingham Business Park. It will be focusing on understanding their employees strengths and limitations, and costs £10 to attend. As I’m not a businesswoman I’ve never been, but these meetings receive rave reviews.

7. Greasley Beauvale School

The former Greasley Beauvale School, which was attended by DH Lawrence, and which closed last year, is to be auctioned by Notts County Council on January 26th. It is likely that an application will be submitted to convert it to a residential use in due course.

8. Special Constables

Notts Police are holding an information session for any one interested in becoming a special constable next month. It will take place at Beeston Town Hall on Saturday 11th February froom 10am, and anyone interested is invited to attend.

9. Beeston Barn Dance

The Stonebridge City Farm are holding a barn dance at Chilwell Road Methodist Church in Beeston on Saturday 21st January at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £7 and are available from the church office on 0115 943 1164.

10. Car Park Charges

The borough council are currently considering changes to car park charges. The proposal is that some car parks should be designated as long stay, with a considerably cheaper all day tariff. A report has been submitted to the cabinet which will be debated and voted on next month. I was surprised to read that a Conservative Councillor had been criticising this report before it was even published. I’d much rather that comment was based on the actual evidence rather than simply on dogma.

11. Wilkinsons petition

As I’ve mentioned here before the plans for the construction of the tram mean that the Wilkinsons store in Beeston is likely to close at the end of March. This will hopefully be only a short break in service, and is something that I had been trying to avoid. However the campaign to ensure that Wilkinsons does return has gone from strength to strength and Matt Goode, who writes the Beestionia Blog, has organised a petition in support of the store which collected in excess of 1,000 signatures when launched. If anyone wants to add their name to this you can contact Matt via

12. Free Swimming for the Olympics?

The borough council is discussing a proposal to provide free swimming during the Olympics at the borough’s leisure centres. A decision will be taken on this next month.

13. Kimberley School

Often have published their latest report on Kimberley School, which they have ranked as good with outstanding features. This is not far from the top ranking that could be achieved and everyone at the school should be very proud of what they have achieved.

14. Crime Figures

The latest crime figures published by the police show that, after a steady decline for a number of months, burglaries went up during October. At the same time sexual offences have dropped and clear ups of these have increased. These figures are for the whole of Nottinghamshire and I will get the figures for Broxtowe in due course.

15. Coal Board Entry and Inspection Programme

The Coal Authority, which is responsible for discussed mines and mine workings, is currently carrying out a major programme of inspections for these. They are writing to every effected property in the borough, so if your property is on disused mine workings they may be getting in touch with you. I have some material which I can pass on top anyone affected by these, if you let me know.

16. Poetry Performance

On 30th January 2012, there will be a free performance of the poems and other creative pieces which came out of Dave Wood’s historic Perambulation around the old Sherwood Forest Boundary, a walk previously completed in 1662. The first part of the celebratory afternoon will include British Sign Language Interpretation. The afternoon will conclude with a piece of Instant Theatre.

The performance takes place at the Carnegie Centre in Stapleford, starting at 2pm. The audience are asked to be in place by 1.45pm.

17. Boots Carbon Reduction

Congratulations to Boots for winning the excellence in carbon reduction (large Company) award at the Energy Awards 2011, just before Christmas. This was for reducing the emissions at the Beeston site by more than one third. Well done to everyone concerned with that.

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

Best wishes