Saturday, 24 November 2012

Broxtowe Enews 24th November 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. Milan Radulovic
Cllr Radulovic, the Labour leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, was cleared this week of allegations of fraud which he has been facing. The DSS, who brought the prosecution, accepted that they had made a mistake and they offered no evidence against him. Cllr Radulovic had stood aside whilst the case was going on but is now free to resume his work as leader of the council.

I’m obviously pleased for Milan that the case has come to an end but I do think that the reaction that I’ve encountered from people about my own very limited role in the case illustrates the impossible job that politicians of any level have in trying to please their electorate. When the story about Milan’s case hit the media I issued a statement on behalf of my Lib-Dem colleagues saying that we took the view of innocent until found guilty (we were obviously right on this) and so we would not comment about the case. I was heavily criticised by some vocal residents for this. Privately however I advised Milan that he needed to step aside whilst the case was dealt with (advice he took). Some of his own councillors were horrified I had done this and went running to the media accusing me of stabbing him in the back. Milan himself did not take that view and he did ask me to be a character witness for him. I agreed and when I told people that I was doing this I was strongly criticised by other people for this. You just can’t win sometimes.

2. Police Commissioner
The first police commissioner for Nottingham is Paddy Tipping, who was elected last Thursday. My own preference, Malcolm Spencer, came second. The big winner however was apathy or lack of interest, given that the turnout was only about 15%.

3. Beeston Police Station
Plans to close Beeston Police Station and relocate them to the council offices have moved a step closer after the outgoing police authority approved the move. Assuming that Mr Tipping does not now stop it this will happen next April.

4. Housing at Nuthall
An application has been submitted to Broxtowe Borough Council to build a housing estate of over 700 houses in Nuthall, between the M1 and the A6002. I’ve already seen an email criticising the council for this but we have no power to stop anyone applying for anything. Just because an application is submitted does not mean that it will be granted and this application will need to be looked at by the Development Control Committee on the council in due course.

5. County Economic Development Officers
I’m delighted that the County Council has decided to recruit two economic development officers to promote growth across the County. This is an area that the County have cut back on for a number of years, so that in the past couple of years Broxtowe employed more people on Economic Development for our borough that the County Council did for the whole of Nottinghamshire, and it’s about time that this trend was reversed.

6. Ambulance Plans Consultation
I reported back in September that the Ambulance Service was consulting on plans to close nearly all the ambulance stations in Notts, retaining just two super-hubs, and deplying the ambulances to 22 hubs around the county. The consultation on this has now closed and just 122 people responded. I hope that this means that most people are happy with the proposals, which aim to reduce response times, and so didn’t feel the need to comment.

7. Rev Lillian Heptinstall
Congratulations to Rev Lillian Heptinstall, the associate priest at Chilwell, who is being installed as an honorary canon at Southwell Minster next month. She takes up her new role on 16th December.

8. PDSA Help
The PDSA shop in Beeston is looking for new volunteers to help out. In particular they are looking for staff who are available on Wednesday’s, Thursdays and Saturdays. You can aply online at

9. New Toton Bus Service
The Toton Connect bus service was axed by Trent Barton early this year, leaving many people without  access to a local bus. The County Council has now decided that it will run a new service, starting on Monday, connecting Banks Road with Tesco and the Chilwell Retail Park. Regular readers will recall that this is something that I have been pressing for over a period of time, but many people from all three political parties have worked to bring this about. I’m delighted that it has happened but it is now up to local residents to use the service to show that it is worthwhile.

10. New Trowell Benches
The County Council has installed two new benches along the Nottingham Canal towpath in Trowell, giving walkers somewhere to sit and rest. My colleague Ken Rigby has arranged the funding for this and when walkers rest there hopefully they will take a moment to thank Ken for his hard work.

11. Recycling Rates
Across the whole of Nottinghamshire (apart from Gedling) the rates of recycling have fallen this year, for the first time in six years. In Broxtowe the rate dipped from 42.6% to 41.6%. However we are still the second highest recycling borough in Nottinghamshire (only Rushcliffe has a higher recycling percentage) and we are well above the county average of 35.1%. The council puts a lot of effort into ensuring that we recycle as much as possible and the officers are looking at how we can get rates up higher. There is also an online survey about bin services that can be completed this week on the council website at

12. Tram Schedule
The latest six week programme of works for the Tram is now available on the Lib-Dem website at On the theme of the tram the city council has apologised for the traffic chaos on Tuesday this week when work on University Boulevard overran and caused huge problems.

13. Mark Holmes
Congratulations to Beeston resident Mark Holmes who won the Nursing in Mental Health award at the Nursing Times Awards 2012. He specialises in working wth patients who have suffered from substance abuse and has managed to reduce the number of them having to return for further treatment.

14. Mini-Major Oak
There's a re-dedication of the mini major oak at Stapleford next Monday at 10am at Ilkeston Road Recreation Ground. There will be a new tree planting for national tree planting week too.

15. Dave Wood
On Friday Stapleford poet Dave Wood, who will also be speaking at the tree rededication, will be presenting a copy of “Emma's Perambulations” to Stapleford Town Council at the Town Council Meeting, starting 7pm. Details for both of these events are available from Dave on 07709977684.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter, and any feedback is gratefully received. I do appreciate the positive comments that I receive. This week someone took the time to phone and tell me how much they appreciated the newsletter just after I’d discovered that someone else had thrown eggs at the front window of my house, and that phone call made me feel far better.

Best wishes
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