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 www.mariecurie.org.uk/overseas 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 http://www.totonproposals.co.uk/. 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 www.broxtoweliberaldemocrats.org.uk.
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 www.man-enough.org.
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.
Follow me on Twitter at @DavidWatts12.
Visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Broxtowe-Liberal-Democrats/78471665107
Email me at email@example.com