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 facebook.com/Nottinghamshire.
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.