Saturday, 25 February 2012

Broxtowe Enews 25th February 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. May I give a special welcome to the new readers that we have this week. We now have a record number of readers, having just passed another significant milestone in the volume of subscribers we have.

1. Chilwell and Toton By Election

Thank you to everyone for the reception that you have given Barbara Carr, myself and our team as we have been campaigning for the County and Borough Council by elections on 15th March. We’re delighted with the reception that we have received. I’m not sure how the Tories are finding things as I see that they have decided to attack me personally in their latest leaflet, questioning my integrity and judgement. What a shame that their campaign has leapt straight into the gutter.

2. Dog Mess

One thing that struck Barbara and I as we’ve been campaigning is the sheer amount of dog mess that we’ve seen on some streets. We therefore raised this with the borough council and I’m delighted that they have agreed to take urgent action. A visual inspection has been carried out to identify the worst streets and new signage has been erected encouraging people to clear up any mess that their dogs make. An intensive clean up of the roads will be carried out in the next few weeks. The worst streets appear to be Inham Road, Valley Road and Wheatgrass Road in Chilwell, and Seaburn Road, Bispham Drive and Whitburn Road in Toton, but please let me know if you think that there are other roads that need adding to that list.

3. Mayors Charity Ball

The Mayors charity ball will take place on 21st April from 7pm, and Funds raised will go towards the Mayors chosen charities, the Rainbows Hospice and the Link Youth Café. Tickets cost £32 and are available from the Borough Council on 0115 917 3210 or on this link: The Mayor this year is my Lib-Dem colleague Jacky Williams who represents Stapleford South East. Incidentally, I saw an appeal this week from the Link café that they were looking for new volunteers. If you are interested please visit .

4. Beeston Seed Swap

I have been asked to publicise the Beeston Seed Swap, organised by ABC LETS. It takes place on Saturday 3rd March, at Wollaton Rd Methodist Church, Wollaton Road, Beeston, from 9.30-12.30. Entrance is free, with seeds, gardening books and sundries also free. Donations of the same are welcome. The Church coffee shop will be open throughout. For more information contact Mary Venning (0115) 854 2994 or Richard Eddleston: or see

5. Council Budgets

The County Council set their budget on Thursday last week, following a mammoth 11 hour meeting. They have decided not to raise council tax this year, and a proposal by Labour to increase council tax by 3% was defeated. The budget does include cuts of £37 million to services. This Wednesday the Borough Council will meet to discuss our proposals for next year, and the joint Lib-Dem/Labour administration are proposing no increase in council tax for the second year running. In contrast to the County Council, the Borough Council proposals protect front line services throughout.

6. Toton Housing Proposals

Somewhere between 450 and 600 people attended a display at the Japanese Water Gardens on Tuesday this week when Peverill Securities displayed their proposals for building in Toton. I spoke to one of the PR people there who said that they had received some positive responses, but the overwhelming view of people when I was there was extremely negative. Anna Soubry failed to attend, although she had said that she would be there, but one Tory councillor was there telling people I was personally wholly in favour of the scheme, which is simply not the truth.

7. Beeston Library

Beeston Library has now reopened after a major refit. The children’s library is now downstairs and there is new lighting throughout the building.

8. Basil Russell Park, Nuthall

The Basil Russell Park in Nuthall has reopened after a £60,000 facelift. A significant amount of new play equipment has been installed for children, funded by the county council.

That’s it for this week. It must be the shortest edition of the newsletter for months, but there just doesn’t seem to be much to report this week. As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter, and any feedback is gratefully received. You can send feedback via emails, the web, or Facebook. All the details are below.

Best wishes


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Sunday, 19 February 2012

Broxtowe Enews 18th February 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. May I give a special welcome to the new readers that we have this week.

1. Toton and Chilwell By Elections

Nominations are now closed for the by elections in Toton and Chilwell, for the Borough and County Councils. The full list of nominations will be published on Tuesday, but I know that we and the Conservatives are fighting both seats, as are UKIP. I haven’t heard about the Greens yet, but the big news is that the Labour Party have confirmed that they were unable to find a candidate for the County Council seat.

2. Lorry Weight Schemes

Residents in Greasley and Nuthall have joined the Lorry Watch scheme, which sees volunteers reporting any HGVs exceeding weight restrictions. The scheme is run by Nottinghamshire County Council, who say that the scheme had already had a positive impact in several villages. Drivers found to be breaching restrictions could face prosecution. Under the scheme, volunteers feed information to trading standards officers who then investigate the reports with the Vehicle Operating Standards Agency. The volunteers are given basic training by the council on weight restrictions in their area and are taught how to spot lorries which exceed the limit. A 7.5 tonne weight restriction applies to Nuthall, Greasley and Kimberley.

3. Jamaican Challenge

Staff at Marie Curie Cancer Care in Kimberley are calling on people to sign up to this year’s Jamaican Cycle Challenge. Fitness icon Mr Motivator will lead a group of cyclists in September, on the route from east to west along the island’s northern shore, exploring the Caribbean culture. The eight day challenge, which involves five days cycling, will cover a distance of 380km in total. Visit or call 08700 340 040 for full details.

4. Sports Village Consultation

The owners of the Decathlon store on the Ikea Retail Park are about to apply for planning permission to build a sports village alongside junction 26 of the M1. Before they do they have holding an exhibition at the store to demonstrate their plans. This has now closed and I expect them to submit the plans very shortly. As soon as the plans are submitted I will notify people using the newsletter as it is bound to be a controversial project.

5. Toton Housing Meeting

Peverill Properties, who are wanting to build 800 houses in Toton, will be holding a public exhibition of their plans at the Japanese Water Gardens on Stapleford Lane on Tuesday 21st February from 2pm to 8pm. Anyone interested is welcome to attend. Peverill have also delivered leaflets around the Toton area advertising their proposals, and they have a website with details at Incidentally, I read claims by our MP last week that she had sent a copy of a letter from Greg Clark MP, Minister of State, to every councillor. Ten days on I’m still waiting to receive my copy.

6. Prayers at Council Meetings

There has been a lot of discussion in the last few days after the High Court ruled that prayers at council meetings were illegal (not because of any human rights issues, as has been suggested in some quarters, but because of a very literal interpretation of a piece of legislation). Whilst the Government have said that they will bring forward legislation to change the ruling we have in the meantime decided that we will commence council meetings five minutes earlier and hold the prayers then, followed by a formal announcement of the commencement of meetings at 7pm as usual.

7. Tory’s Using Lib-Dem Slogans

I was very surprised to read a Conservative leaflet for the by elections that declared they offered “A Record of Action, a Promise of More.” This is a slogan that the Lib-Dems have used for many years, which our local Tories seem to have pinched. May I mention to them though that actually it’s not the words that are important, it’s the actions.

8. New deliverers

Many thanks to those people who have come forward to volunteer to deliver leaflets for us in the forthcoming elections. We’ve had a record number of new deliverers, but are always grateful to receive any other offers. If you would like to help either email me or visit our website at

9. Wilkinsons Petition

A petition calling for action to ensure that Wilkinsons can return to Beeston as soon as possible is to be presented to the next meeting of the full council on 29th February. I assume that this is the one organised by Matt Goode, who edits the Beestonia Blog. It has collected more than 1,000 signatures and therefore automatically triggers a debate at the council.

10. Courses For Young Swimmers

Youngsters aged between 6 and 15 are invited to participate in a new range of swimming courses at Bramcote Leisure Centre, starting on 20th February. If they take a friend they will get an 11 week course for the price of a six week one. Details are available on 0115 917 3000.

11. Award For Council Website

Broxtowe Borough Councils website has won a “Plus Accessibility award from the Shaw Trust, the fund which campaigns to ensure that web sites are accessible to people with disabilities. Broxtowe are the first council in the county to gain this accreditation.

12. New Anti-Violence Campaign

The Nottingham Post have launched a new campaign targeting violence against women. They are asking 10,000 men in the county to sign a pledge that they will not commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women. Broxtowe Borough Council is supporting the scheme and I’ve signed the pledge. If you would like to do so as well then you can visit the website at

13. Kimberley School

Governors at Kimberley School have decided not to apply for academy status for the school. They have been debating whether to do so for some time, but decided last week not to proceed with an application. Academy Schools are self-governing, removed from local authority control and answerable solely to the Government and parents.

14. Budget Shortfall at County Hall

New figures released by the County Council show that they have a shortfall in their budgets of £100 million. This is despite the massive cuts that they have already imposed on services. Worryingly the council may well now impose further cuts rather than finding efficiency savings. In Broxtowe we have also had to cut our budgets, but have done this without cutting services. We’ve got more efficient at what we do. The County Council seems to have struggled to follow this lead.

15. Changed Dates For CAT Meetings

Broxtowe Borough Council have announced that the dates of two CAT meetings have changed. CAT meetings are chances for local residents to raise any issues that they wish, and are chaired by local councillors. The Nuthall West CAT will now take place on 29th March, 7.30pm at The Spinney, Watnall road, Nuthall, and the Brinsley CAT will be on 23rd February at 7pm at Brinsley Parish Hall.

16. Garden Waste Collections

Just a quick reminder that the council will resume garden waste collections next month following the winter break. Now that the snow has gone many people are getting back out to tackle their gardens, and the waste collected is all counted in the total amounts that the council recycles.

17. Super fast Broadband

The County Council have now submitted their plans to the Government for a super fast broadband network in Notts. This is clearly a good idea but the scheme has been beset by difficulties with funding so far, after the County asked the district councils to pay a very significant amount of the cost, spending resources that we simply did not have.

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

Best wishes


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Sunday, 12 February 2012

Broxtowe Enews 11th February 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. It’s been a very eventful week this week, so I’ll try and cover everything briefly. Whilst things have been busy locally I was also delighted to see the Lib-Dems win two seats from the Tories in Towcester and also held a seat in Windermere with 75% of the vote. It’s been a good week for us. May I also take the opportunity to wish my Grandad a happy 91st birthday today.

1. Borough Council Leader

Milan Radulovic has stepped down as the leader of Broxtowe Borough Council. Milan is currently facing a criminal trial over an allegation of fraud, and has not been in good health recently. As a result he has stepped aside until everything is sorted out. The new leader will be Beeston Central councillor Pat Lally.

2. Beeston Hindu Temple

A public meeting last week where plan were being displayed for opening a new Hindu Temple in Beeson Rylands was disrupted by racists, and since then the Temple has been the subject of a number of vandalism attacks. Matt Goode, who edits the Beestonia Blog, has suggested a really good response to this by sending welcome cards to the temple. The whole story is available on the Beestonia blog at and I think that this is an excellent idea which I’m delighted to pass on.

3. Toton By Election

I’m delighted to announce that my running mate for the borough council by election in Toton will be Barbara Carr. Barbara was formerly a borough councillor and will be an excellent candidate. We have lots of leaflets to deliver so if you can help please drop me a line. Even an hour donated will make a big difference.

4. Toton Green Belt Development

Although the Borough Council have deleted it as a preferred location for development, the developers wanting to building on the green belt north of Toton are proceeding with their plans. They will be holding an exhibition of their plans on Tuesday 21st February at the Japanese Water Gardens from 2pm until 8pm. This exhibition is a result of new legislation brought in by the coalition, which requires developers proposing major schemes to consult with the public first. The council cannot stop developers applying for planning permission (anyone can apply for permission to build anything that they want) but this does not mean that permission will be granted. The site is no longer a preferred site for development and as a result I don’t think that they have any chance of getting permission, but they must be planning to appeal after we refuse permission and try and persuade an inspector to grant permission over the head of the local councillors.

5. Solar Power Consultation

The Government, through new Secretary of State for the Environment Ed Davey, has announced a public consultation on feed in tariffs for solar power. A copy of the consultation is available on our website at Please take a minute to read this and submit your views.

6. Enterprise Zone

I’ve been involved in discussions, along with Pat Lally, about plans for the Beeston Enterprise Zone for the past few weeks. These have now been made public, and the exciting thing is that the plans envisage some 4,000 new jobs being created, along with the development of a new college and a centre of excellence for beauty products. Boots, who own the site, are also talking about developing an area for housing which could create several hundred new homes, and would help to take the pressure off other sites.

7. Rumbletums Vacancy

Rumbletums café in Kimberley is seeking its first paid manager, to be responsible for the effective management of an established community café which offers work experience opportunities to young people with learning disabilities. The role will entail all aspects of café and kitchen management in order to maintain already established high standards and quality and to further develop the café to realise its full potential. The role will be primarily a management role, but we are seeking someone with experience as a chef/cook and who can be hands-on when appropriate. Please send letter of application and CV to Rumbletums (Kimberley) Ltd, 2a Victoria Street, Kimberley, Nottingham, NG16 1DX, marking the envelope ’Job Application.’ The closing date for applications is Friday 24th February 2012. The café hasn’t been trading long and it is great achievement to have reached this point already.

8. Protecting Hedgehogs

The County Council has launched a new initiative asking people to make their gardens hedgehog friendly. They are asking people to leave a pile of decomposing leaves in one corner of their gardens, as this forms perfect bedding for hedgehogs.

9. School Holiday Consultation

Nottinghamshire County Council is consulting upon proposals to agree the school term dates and holiday pattern for the school year 2012-13 for community and voluntary controlled schools. They are inviting comments on the suggested dates until the close of the consultation period on Friday 15 April 2012. For further details of the consultation and how to respond, please visit the Council's website at

10. County Council Pension Fund

There was an interesting story in the paper this week, especially in light of the frequent and repeatedly false claims from the Tories over the council’s alleged plans to build on the green belt. The pension fund of the Tory run County Council has purchased a large swathe of green belt land in Essex, for several million pounds, causing great fears there that they want to build on the green belt. Essex County Council are apparently up in arms about it.

11. Beeston Soldiers 2012 mile run

A Beeston based soldier, Gavin Brown, is running 2,012 miles this year to raise funds for the British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association. If you would like to donate you can ring to pledge support on or ring on 01923 955467.

12. Money for Good Causes

The Co-Op have announced that they have £55,000 to spend on good causes is Nottinghamshire. If you know a group who may want to apply for a grant please make them aware of this and ask them to contact the Co-Op for further details.

13. Barn Owl Adoption Gift

If you want to buy your loved one a different type of gift for Valentine’s Day who not adopt a barn owl on their behalf. If you sponsor a barn owl through the Wildlife Trust you receive a special gift box, cuddly barn owl toy, special Valentine's card and envelope, Valentine's badge, adoption certificate, fun pop-up figure and more. The cost is £20 and you can purchase them from Attenborough Visitors Centre.

14. DH Lawrence Heritage on Facebook

2012 promised to be a busy and exciting year for D.H. Lawrence Heritage. For the latest information on what's happening be sure to join their Facebook page -

Recent updates have included:

· The installation of a unique soil painting of D.H. Lawrence at the D.H. Lawrence Heritage Centre,

· Details of the upcoming episode of BBC's Antiques Road Trip to be screened on the 17th February (5.15pm) filmed at the D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum

· Plus details of our extensive 2012 events and exhibition programme with more details to follow soon

15. Margaret Colley Memorial Service

A memorial service for former Bramcote GP Margaret Colley, who died late last year, will be at Bramcote church on Saturday 3rd of March 2012 at 3:30 PM. It will be followed by a Memorial event in the church centre on church Street, Bramcote. The Memorial event will have representation from the various interests in my mother's life. The Bramcote history society will be having an exhibition. There will also be stands from the RNLI, the RNIB ,the Cambrian archaeological Society, the Nottingham Welsh society, the Aberystwyth old students Association and a few others as well. All her old patients and friends are invited to the event.

16. Nuthall Temple Post Office

The Post Office wrote to the council this week to say that they have been unable to find a new post master to take over this post office, which has now been shut for a year. They are continuing to look but I’m afraid that the tone of the letter was fairly pessimistic.

I think that concludes the news for this week. I’m aware that I’m behind with my correspondence and that there are several people who are waiting for replies to messages from last week. Sorry about that and I will try and reply to everyone by the end of this week.

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

Best wishes


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Saturday, 4 February 2012

Broxtowe Enews 4th February 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. May I give a special welcome to the new readers that we have this week.

Before moving on to the news may I express my condolences to the family and friends of Nottingham Forest owner Nigel Doughty who died suddenly today.

1. Council Tax

Papers published by the borough council today show that Broxtowe are not proposing to increase council tax for the forthcoming year. This represents a significant victory for the Liberal Democrats who had been pressing for this approach. This will need to be approved by the cabinet on 13th February and then by the full council on 29th, but I hope that everyone will support it.

2. By elections

Both the Chilwell and Toton County Council seat and the Toton and Chilwell Meadows borough council seats will be contested on 15th March. I’m pleased to announce that I will be the Lib-Dem candidate for the County Council seat, and we’ll announce our candidate for the borough council next week. If you live in either of the areas and want a postal vote you need to register by 29th February. If you need a postal vote let me know with your name and address and I’ll let you have a copy of the application form. To be able to stand I need to be nominated by ten local residents and I thought it would be nice to ask readers from this newsletter if they would do the honours. If you live in Chilwell or Toton and would be happy to nominate me to stand please let me know and I’ll be round with the form. Given that the Lib-Dems won seats from the Tories and Labour this week I’m looking forward to the election.

3. Next Tram Works

The tram will be demolishing properties on Chilwell Road starting on 13th February. Utility works start on Chilwell Road in mid-April. The good news is that it looks like the spaces created will be used as car parks rather than site compounds. Utility works in the Fletcher Road, Humber Road and Lower Road areas also start on 13th February. Utility works on Bramcote Lane start on 20th February.

4. Stapleford Job Club

A new programme of meetings for Stapleford Job Club commences on 15th February. It meets from 1.30pm to 4pm at the Carnegie Centre on Warren Avenue. For details contact Richard Mayer on 0115 9178080 or email

5. Hickings Lane Recreation Park

At the cabinet meeting this week the council approved plans to install a new skateboard park at Hickings Lane rec in Stapleford. This has been designed in conjunction with young users and my congratulations go to everyone involved in this scheme, which was put together by my colleagues Brian Wombwell and David Grindell.

6. Long Stay parking

Also in cabinet on Tuesday night the council agreed to reduce charges for long stay parking in Stapleford, Kimberley and Eastwood. The council is still reviewing what changes they will be making in Beeston.

7. Lets Beat Obesity Campaign

Slimming World in Chilwell will be holding their lets beat obesity together campaign launch party on 16th February, at 7pm at the St Barnabas Church, Barncroft Chilwell, NG9 4HU. There is no obligation for people to join, just merely to come and learn more. For details ring Kerry Hughes on 07870 409422.

8. Telephone Number Correction

A couple of weeks ago I included details of a phone advice line for benefits advice for pensioners, run by Age UK. Unfortunately the phone number was incorrect. Apologies for this, and the correct number should have been 0115 844 0011.

9. Rumbletums Arts Project

Rumbletums is developing its partnership with Space Inclusive and they are currently looking at the feasibility of starting some joint arts-based activities for young people and adults (18+) with a learning disability. These will most probably be delivered at Rumbletums in Kimberley. Because of the need to make such activities commercially viable, they are targeting young people and adults who currently have a personal budget that they may choose to fund their participation in such activities with. In order to assess demand and get an idea of the types of activities people may want to do, Space Inclusive has put together a short questionnaire. They are now distributing this to interested parties and potential participants to get their views. If you would like a copy please contact Jeff at Rumbletums via Rumbletums have also been awarded £2,000 as a grant from Eon, which will help support their work.

10. Community Theatre Group

A new community theatre group has been set up in Chilwell. Chilwell Community Arts Society is looking for new recruits and meets on a Wednesday night at Chilwell school from 7.30 to 9.30pm. Details are available from

11. Severn Trent Water

Severn Trent water will be putting their bills up from 1st April by 5%. This is actually less than the average rise across the country, but is still disappointing news for customers.

12. Rural Bike Rides

A PROGRAMME of rural bike rides has been launched at Giltbrook Retail Park. Organised by Broxtowe Borough Council, Rural Rides will take place twice a month on Saturdays and Tuesdays and will leave from the retail park’s Pets at Home store. Rural Rides is a programme of guided scenic cycle rides on quiet lanes and off-road routes. There are frequent stops to take in points of interest and admire the views. Each guided cycle ride is free with no need to book, although under 16s must be supervised by an adult. High-visibility comfortable clothing, trainers, a cycling helmet and a drink are recommended. The next bike ride will leave on Tuesday February 14 at 10am. For information on future rides visit

13. School Governors

Notts County Council are trying to recruit more governors for local schools. Apparently there are 58 vacancies across Broxtowe at the moment, so there are probably vacancies near you. A governor’s role includes monitoring budgets, appointing senior staff, including head teachers and making decisions on the future of the school. I’m a governor at my local school and find it very rewarding, so this is something I would heartily commend to people. Anybody interested should call 0115 8546054.

14. The Snow

As I’m writing this snow is falling heavily. My kids think that this is great, but despite the fact that everyone had been warned to expect this all buses through Beeston were withdrawn because of the weather at about 8.30pm. Given that the County Council have been telling us for months that they have plenty of salt supplies to keep the roads open through the winter this is a pretty poor start.

15. Emergency Response Times

It was very disappointing to see two separate reports this week showing that both Notts Police and the NHS Ambulance Trust have fallen short of their targets for responding to emergency calls. The police say that they believe the figures are wrong but I’ve not seen any explanation from the ambulance service.

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

Best wishes


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