Saturday, 16 June 2012

Broxtowe Enews 16th June 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.

1.       Wind Turbine at Chilwell School
The Greening Beeston scheme have announced plans to install a community wind turbine at Chilwell School. They received a grant from the Notts Energy Partnership to fund this and have been seeking people’s views about which of a number of options was preferred. The wind turbine at the school was the clear winner. A planning application has been submitted to the council and will be decided on in due course.

2.       Notts Police
Nottinghamshire Police have announced that they have lifted a two year ban on new recruitment. This is good news, but does come very shortly after the end of a period where they have forced 100 experienced officers to retire, and it looks like they are replacing experienced officers with inexperienced (and cheaper) replacements. On the bright side though they intend to recruit 151 news officers this summer.

3.       Open Cast Mining
May I take this opportunity to remind everyone that the deadline for submitting comments on UK Coals proposals to build an open cast mine in Cossall and Trowell is fast approaching. You can submit comments on the County Council website at I hope as many people as possible will submit objections to this scheme.

4.       Outstanding Young People
Nominations are open (and have been extended) for the County Council Outstanding Achievement 4Uth Awards. Nominations now close on the 6th July, and the awards are for young people who have pushed their personal boundaries. Nomination forms can be obtained at

5.       Kimberley School
Teachers at Kimberley School staged a strike on Wednesday over the fact that Governors are considering converting to an academy. Whatever the rights and wrongs of academy status (and I’m personally not a huge fan of them) I believe that it is wholly wrong for teachers to strike at a time when many students are dealing with very important exams.

6.       Council Underspends
The County Council have announced that they underspent their budget by £34 million this year. They say that this is due to good housekeeping and that they will reinvest the savings in capital projects. At the same time the borough council have underspent by about £500,000. Again we will be looking at schemes that we had to shelve previously to see if some of them can now be taken forward.
7.       New Bench on Bramcote Ridge
To thank Bramcote resident Walter Grauberg for his untiring work on behalf of Bramcote Hills Community Association (BHCA), The Friends of Bramcote Ridge and the people of Bramcote a bench has been installed by the BHCA on the Ridge.   The Bench has a dedicated plaque and is sited at the top view point of the Bramcote Ridge. May I pass my congratulations on to Walter, who I have had the pleasure to know for many years.

8.       Get Involved in Local Democracy
Broxtowe Borough Council are currently running a survey on how it can encourage more people to be involved in local democracy. I’d encourage as many people as possible to participate in this. The survey can be found at

9.       Choosing Health Funding
The council is making grants of up to £2,500 available to groups running schemes to improve the health of local residents. The successful projects will be “fresh, creative and help to make a difference.” Groups wishing to apply can contact Jill Burn on for details. Applications need to be received by 29th June.

10.   Arsonist In Kimberley
A number of fires targeting trees have been deliberately started in Kimberley recently. The latest was earlier this week when Conifer Trees in Aintree Close were set alight. If anyone sees people acting suspiciously then please contact the police or Crimestoppers.

11.   Stapleford Storytelling Event

On 21st June 2012 there will be a “Storytelling, Poetry and Skittles” night at The Old Cross, Church Street, Stapleford, starting at 7pm. You can come as a team or as an individual. There is a £1 entrance fee and attendees may bring a poem or story or just come to listen and play. Drinks can be bought at the bar.  Details are available from Dave Wood on O77O9977684.

12.   Help With Fuel Debts
Real help is now available to those who haven’t been able to pay their heating bills. Advisors are available to help householders get grants to get their energy debts reduced or written off. The same advisors can also help with further advice on energy efficiency measures. There is information about the scheme and a self-referral form that the householder should fill in and return as directed. The scheme is run by Advice Nottingham and financed by the major energy companies. If you need help of this kind, please do make an application. Help and funding is available right now.  This scheme is run through St. Anns Advice Centre Telephone  (0115 908 1532) but it is available to residents in the whole of Nottinghamshire. 

13.   Red Lion Pottery
Alan Birchall invites you to ‘POTS PLUS 6’ at Red Lion Pottery Summer Open Studio on  Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July 2012 from 11.30am until 4.30pm at Red Lion Cottage, 228 High Road, Chilwell, Nottingham NG9 5DB. There will be lots of pots, either to buy or just to look at and handle in the showroom and in a marquee. Enjoy a drink, nibbles and a lovely garden. The studio is on the Indigo bus route. If coming by car please park at 230 High Road or on The Close.  Details are available from or on the website at The Pottery will also be open as part of Broxtowe Open Studios Saturday-Monday 23-25th June 2012 10am to 6pm, with daily demonstration of hand building slabbed dishes.

14.   Broxtowe Community Celebration
This years Broxtowe Community Celebration, which celebrates the diversity of different cultures within the borough, takes place on Saturday 7th July at Round Hill School, Foster Ave, Beeston. I’ll post fuller details about this next week

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter, and any feedback is gratefully received.
Best wishes
Follow me on Twitter at @DavidWatts12. 

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Broxtowe Enews 9th June 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. It’s been a bad week for me as someone forced the gate at the side of my house and stole my bike, which I really liked and used most days.

1.       Borough Housing Plans
May I remind everyone that the public consultation on the borough’s core strategy, which sets out the councils housing plans for the next 15 years along with a range of other policies, begins its public consultation on Monday. I would strongly encourage everyone to take the opportunity to comment on this, even if you have submitted comments before. Everything that is said in this round of consultation will go to the independent inspector who will pass judgement on the plans, so he needs to know what you think, whether you agree with our proposals or not. The details and response forms are available on Bramcote residents are invited to a meeting being held by the village Conservation Society on Tuesday at 8pm at the Memorial Hall to discuss the plans.

2.       Tram Works
NET have published details of their work programme for the next six weeks, setting out all the likely disruption. I have put a copy of this on the Broxtowe Lib-Dem web site at and also on my personal web site at This is on the front page of both sites so just keep scrolling down and you’ll come to it.

3.       Big Health Check Day
The NHS are holding a “Big Health Check Day” for people with learning disabilities, their family members and family carers and professionals. It takes place on Thursday 21st June from 10am to 3.30pm at Rumbletums CafĂ© in Kimberley. A flyer advertising it is on the Broxtowe Lib-Dem web site at

4.       Gambling Act Review of Principles
The Borough Council, as the licensing authority for the area, is required to review its policies each three years. This process is now beginning and the council have published draft principles. I’ve put a copy of these on the Broxtowe Lib-Dem web site.

5.       Improved Children’s Play Areas
This is the first of several good news stories today, which makes a change to the stories of cutbacks and recession that dominate the national media. At the cabinet meeting last week the borough council agreed to fund two significant upgrades to children’s play areas. £28,000 will be spent improving the Chetwynd Road play area in Toton and £104,500 will be spent improving the Manor Farm Recreation ground, also in Toton.

6.       Improvements To Parks
The council have also agreed to fund improvements to a number of parks and open spaces. Some of these will be funded immediately and some will occur later in the financial year. These are the Basil Russell Playing Fields in Nuthall, the Manor Road Recreation Ground in Eastwood, Coronation Park in Eastwood, the Stag Recreation Ground in Kimberley, Greenhills Road Recreation Ground in Greasley, and Beauvale Park in Greasley.  The Basil Russell and Coronation Park schemes are both for new skate parks, and have both been promoted by local young people. When I was the leader of the council County Councillor Keith Longdon arranged for a group of students from Eastwood Comprehensive to come and see me to discuss the poor state of the existing skate parks and they have been the driving force ever since behind the fund raising and design of the new park. Instances like this are examples of the real difference that people can make to their communities, and I’m delighted that young people are taking the opportunities available.

7.       Public Transport Improvements
The final area of significant expenditure agreed by the cabinet last week is in improvements to public transport schemes. £110,000 is going towards improvements to the Nottingham canal towpath, £20,000 for improvements to cycling infrastructure in Beeston and £10,000 towards improvements to the coach pick up point in Beeston. These were all suggestions that came from the survey that I ran last year into suggestions that people had for improvements to public transport.

The biggest number of suggestions in that survey however were around improvements to bus services. Basically here the problem is that whilst the council are willing to look at these the county council, who have the final say on bus schemes, are extremely reluctant and are looking to make cuts not to encourage fresh investment. However there is cross party support in the borough council to try and implement improvements and we are continuing to look at ways that we can help.

8.       Citizens Advice Bureaux
The County Council cut funding for the CAB a couple of years ago, but since then the borough Council have been able to provide some financial support for them. We have agreed to carry on doing so for next year, and the council will be funding them to the tune of nearly £75,000 this year.

9.       Drink Drive Campaign
Notts police have launched a campaign to target drink driving over the summer months. This is a time of year when the number of people driving under the influence of alcohol increases, and with a whole summer of sport the problem is likely to be more acute this year than usual.

10.   Volunteer Community Drivers Needed
The County Council is currently looking to recruit new volunteer drivers for their community transport schemes. If you are interested please ring Robin Riley on 0115 977 4520.

11.   Bramcote Hills ICT Award
Bramcote Hills Primary School has been awarded a national ICT Mark for its strategic use of ICT both for teaching and administration. As a parent governor at that school I’m delighted that the efforts of our staff and in particular the senior team there are being recognised.

12.   Portas Money
As you may know the Government invited towns to bid for cash grants to help revive high streets, as part of its response to the Mary Portas review of town centres. Two bids were submitted from Broxtowe, one for Beeston and the other taking in the three other town centres. Sadly neither of these were successful.

13.   Olympic Party Packs
Notts County Council are offering free Olympic Party Packs, including pens, balls, flags, water bottles and bunting, to sports teams who can show that they would be able to use it to promote participation in their sport. The number of packs are limited and enquiries should be addressed to

14.   Stapleford Storytelling Evening
Local poet and writer Dave Wood will be hosting a storytelling evening at the Old Cross, Church Street, Stapleford on Thursday 21st June starting at 7pm. Details can be obtained from Dave on 07709 977684.
As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter, and any feedback is gratefully received.
Best wishes
Follow me on Twitter at @DavidWatts12.