Sunday, 21 October 2012

Broxtowe Enews 21st October 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. Oxjam
Congratulations to everyone connected with Oxjam, the fund raising event in Beeston for Oxfam, who held a very successful series of events yesterday. I haven’t heard yet how much they raised but as well as the money they raise the profile of Oxfam, and in that regard it has already been a complete success.

2. Living Wage Campaign
The Living Wage campaign is a non-political campaign aiming to ensure that all employers pay their staff a sufficient salary to afford “the essentials of life.” The borough council have now agreed to look at the details of this so that we can consider whether this is a scheme we wish to affiliate to.

3. Tram latest
Broxtowe Liberal Democrats publish the latest work schedules for the tram on their website on a regular basis, but I’ve checked recently on a number of issues and can report as follows. The consortium doing the construction work still say that they are expecting to start demolition of the Wilkinson’s Store this month (I would have preferred it if they had kept the store open until then) although there are strong rumours that this may be put off until January. The delays generally to the project also mean that Christmas trading should be unaffected by the works this year. The NET consortium have also indicated that they want to install a 20 metre radio mast near Cator Lane, something the council is not happy about. (Incidentally the Nottingham post ran a test this week to see what was the quickest way to get into the city centre and decided that it was by cycling. However the estimated journey times for the tram will be far quicker, and so it is likely that this will be the quickest way for people to get into the city centre.)

4. Mortgage Guarantee Scheme
A government backed scheme already exists to encourage first time buyers to purchase newly built houses by guaranteeing deposits, making mortgages easier to obtain. The council is now looking at whether we can fund a similar scheme for houses already built. If we can then it may well help to stimulate the housing market here in Broxtowe. There will be a lot of work to develop a scheme and ensure that it can be properly financed, but the initial ideas have received all party support on the council.

5. Council Tax Benefit Survey
The borough council recently ran a public survey into options that we have regarding council tax benefits when the system change next year. 83% of respondents agreed that council tax exemptions on second or empty properties should be reduced and 87% of respondents agreed that properties which are kept empty in the long term should be charged a premium. Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to this, and the council will now work up some firm proposals.

6. New Jobs
This week has seen some significant announcements which should lead to some 1,500 new jobs being created in Nottinghamshire. Nearly £30 million of new money is being invested and Vince Cable, the Lib-Dem Secretary of State for Business, says that the money is to create the long term growth and jobs that the country needs.”
7. School Crossing patrols
The County Council has issued a press release this week saying that they are looking to recruit a number of new school crossing patrol wardens (lollipop ladies to most of us). Full time and relief workers are needed. Applicants must be aged 18 and in good health. If anyone is interested in applying then please ring 0115 977 4373 for details.

8. Reusing Jam jars
Readers may have seen stories in the media this week suggesting that EU rules may prohibit the reuse of jam jars by people making their own jams and pickles. I’m very grateful to our Lib-Dem Euro MP Bill Newton-Dunn  for confirming that these stories are completely false.

9. Mayor’s Blindfold Walk
Broxtowe’s mayor Cllr Margaret Handley has taken part in a blindfold walk (with a sighted guide) from Beeston Town Hall to Broadgate Park as part of Guide Dog Week. Congratulations to Margaret for successfully completing the route.

10. Cycling High Visibility Kits
For anyone who (like me) was unable to collect the free cycling visibility kits that the police were handing out in Beeston last week, these can still be collected whilst stocks last from Central Police Station in Nottingham City Centre.

11. Boundary Changes
The Boundary Commission have now published their final proposals for reshaping constituency boundaries in the East Midlands, and they have stuck with their initial proposals that the Broxtowe Constituency should be increased by adding Gotham to it (despite the fact that there is no way of getting directly from Gotham to Broxtowe. However as the Lib-Dems have already said that we will veto these proposals in Parliament the proposals are unlikely to be implemented.

12. Blue Monkey brewery
Congratulations to the Blue Monkey Brewery in Giltbrook for collecting 5 gold medals at the Nottingham Beer Festival, including the Champion Beer.

13. Attenborough Nature Reserve Revamp
Attenborough Nature Reserve (where I am a director) has applied to the council for planning permission to create a new sand martin bank, a further hide and a bat loft. Sadly the current sand martin bank is no longer workable because of it’s poor condition.

14. Half term activities
The Pearson centre in Beeston is running a series of activities for children ages from 6-11 from Wednesday to Friday this week. Activities run from 9.00 am to 4.30pm and are on a first come first served basis. More details are available on 0115 925 4112 or by emailing

15. Clocks Change
Finally may I remind people that the clocks go back next Sunday, so we get an extra hour in bed.

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