Sunday, 28 April 2013

Broxtowe Enews 27th April 2013

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. Beeston Traffic
I’ve received a number of complaints this week from people about the problems with traffic in Beeston. I’ve made some enquiries and apparently a sewer collapsed under Queens Road, which necessitated emergency repairs. This couldn’t have happened at a worse time, but it has now been fixed and hopefully things will be better next week.

2. HS2
A meeting took place on Friday between representatives from HS2 and Broxtowe councillors. I was very impressed with their apparent willingness to engage with us about concerns over the route. If you’re on my HS2 list then you will have received a report about this meeting earlier today, but f not you can read it on our web site at If anyone wants adding to the HS2 list just let me know.

3. Anti-Social Behaviour
I reported last week about the threats that have been made to me over Twitter. Unfortunately matters have taken a turn for the worse this week after a group of teenagers targeted my house on Friday night, banging on the doors and windows and engaging in some very threatening behaviour. Given that I live in the middle of a cul-de-sac estate it’s not very likely that this was a random attack and more likely that we were being targeted. We had to report this to the police who are now investigating. This was all the more disturbing given that my two children were asleep inside at the time.
I have to say that of all the things that have happened in the 14 years I’ve been a councillor this is by far the most disturbing and is the first time that I’ve ever contemplated packing it all in. I’m not prepared to subject my children to risk and they have to come first. However the sun came out the next morning and I woke up feeling far better, so in the words of Elton John “I’m still standing.”

4. Trains in the Summer
I’m aware that an email was circulated last week to a number of residents in Broxtowe saying that when Nottingham station closes for rebuilding in the summer all the services would run to and from Beeston instead. This is quite simply incorrect. Network Rail have decided to use East Midlands Parkway as the alternative terminus.

5. Beeston Express/Anna Soubry
When the Beeston Express carried out a readers survey recently one of the main bits of feedback was that they wanted more varied political comment. As a result the editor approached a number of people, including me, to see if we would contribute articles from time to time. I’ve agreed to do so. Unfortunately Anna Soubry, who has been writing a regular column, has reacted in an extremely childish way to this. In her latest newsletter she wrote :
“For many years the previous MP had a monthly column in the small community paper The Beeston Express - right up to the General Election in 2010. Since my election I have had the same opportunity to communicate with constituents about my work on a non partisan basis. Unfortunately, the Editor has exercised her right and has decided to cancel my monthly column.

For some time people have been complaining to me that the Beeston Express is no longer the great impartial community newspaper it once was. I am disappointed that the Editor chose to ignore two statements from me about Field Farm and has now refused me the same opportunity as my predecessor. I will continue to express my views and provide updates on my work via this newsletter.”
I’ve quoted her directly here so that I can’t be accused of misrepresenting her. I understand from Sheila Eden, the Editor of Beeston Express,  that she was still happy for Anna to write a regular column but that it is Anna who has decided not to continue with it. I did have to have Anna’s email forwarded to me because she has deleted a number of people who disagree with her, including me, from her mailing list.

6. County Council Elections
It is election day on Thursday 2nd May. The Lib Dem candidates are Steve Carr – Beeston North, Stan Heptinstall and Jacky Wlliams – Bramcote and Stapleford, Keith Longdon – Eastwood, Ken Rigby – Kimberley and Trowell, Brian Taylor – Beeston South and Attenborough, Josie Forrest – Greasley, and Barbara Carr and myself for Chilwell and Toton. If you like what the Lib-Dems are doing locally (including this newsletter which is now read by many hundreds of people each week) then please give us your vote on Thursday.
Unfortunately a dog was so eager to demonstrate support for my colleague Steve Carr the other day that it bit him on the finger and he’s now strapped up. I read a leaflet this week from a candidate who said that if elected he would ensure that his councillors fund was spent in his division. That is actually what every councillor does and that’s what their divisional fund is for. A couple of weeks ago I said that the independent candidate in Stapleford had his leaflets printed in Aberdeen. He’s pointed out to me that this is an error and they were in fact printed in Dundee. I’m happy to put the record straight.

7. Free Paint
The Community repaint Nottinghamshire Scheme (which I confess I had never heard of before) has arranged to distribute free paint from Beeston recycling centre. This will be on 19th June from 5.00pm to 7.30pm and pre-booking is essential. There is no limit to the amount of paint that people can take. To reserve a time slot call the County Council on 0300 500 8080.

8. A Peaceful Place
A survey by the UK peace index says that Nottinghamshire is the third most peaceful place in the country where there is a major city on it’s doorsteps. They define peaceful as being an absence of violence. This fits in with newly published figures I mentioned a few weeks ago which shows that crime rates in the city are falling substantially.

9. Police Neighbourhood Survey
Notts Police are currently running a survey about peoples concerns for their areas. You can complete the survey online at

10. Bramcote Netball Club
Bramcote Netball Club have launched a new juniors club for girls from year 5 or above. It meets every Friday during term times between 4.45 – 6.00pm at Bilborough College Sports Centre. The first session is free and others are only £3 a time. Details are available from

11. White Lion Beer Festival
There is a Camra Local Beer Festival at the White Lion on Town Street, Bramcote, between 23rd  and 27th  May, which will feature 10 beers brewed within  a 10 mile radius of Bramcote.

12. Toton Planning Applications
Peverills, who have applied for planning permission to build a large new housing estate on green belt land in Toton, have amended their application. Details can be seen at, by entering the reference 12/00585/OUT in the search box on the planning tab.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received. I will send a short email with the election results on Friday, but there will be no main newsletter this week due to the bank holiday.

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Broxtowe Enews 21st April 2013

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. Alderman Tom Martin
I’m beginning with some sad news. Unfortunately Alderman Tom Martin, the former Labour councillor for Stapleford and mayor of Broxtowe, died last weekend after a short illness. We had a full council meeting on Wednesday and, as is customary when someone dies, we stood for a minutes silence. Regrettably, because the mayor called for a minutes silence for Margaret Thatcher, whose funeral was that day, as well as Tom, eight Labour councillors refused to participate. I think that this was a very poor judgement on their part.

2. Attacks on Councillors
Following the threats made to me last week (and thank you to everyone for the messages of support) I heard this week that Conservative councillor Eric Kerry has had his car vandalised. Eric and I come from very different political positions but this is totally unacceptable behaviour from someone. No-one who has been elected to public office should have to put up to this sort of thing.

3. Crochet Workshops

I should have included this notice last week so apologies hat it is late. The art of crochet will be alive and well in Eastwood this spring.  Local craftsperson Elaine Thompson will be running a series of crochet workshops on Wednesdays from 10 to 12 noon from 17 April to 29 May.  People can join the workshops at any time. Elaine has been a crochet and knitwear designer as well as a teacher.  She is now based at The Wood Gallery on Scargill Walk, Eastwood (just round the corner from the Birthplace Museum). The workshops, which are funded by Community First, are free of charge and open to all members of the public regardless of ability level.  Elaine is happy to speak to people about the sessions and can be contacted on 079 998 06585.

4. Stanton Ironworks
Developers applied in February for planning permission to build 1,500 homes at Stanton Ironworks. Notts County Council have now formally objected to these plans on the grounds of the traffic problems that they would cause. Certainly residents in Stapleford and Trowell  have expressed concern over these.

5. Saving Water
An interesting statistic came out from the county council this week. They have apparently saved £640,000 by installing water saving measures in their facilities. This has saved them the equivalent of nearly 300 Olympic size swimming pools full of water so far. That’s good news and something to be welcomed, not just for the money saved but for the water saved as well. They have also saved some £650,000 by changing the insurance arrangements at the council. I’m afraid the cynic in me wonders why these figures are being released just before the county council elections but I’m probably just too old and jaded.

6. Recorded Crime
More good news, this time from the police. Recorded crime figures for Nottinghamshire fell by 12% over the last year. Last year it fell by 8.9% and the year before it fell by 14.3%. The trend of downward crime numbers has numerous factors contributing to it, but one is certainly the coordinated work that takes place between the police and local councils and I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in that. Unfortunately it’s not all good news. There are of course local variations and crime in Eastwood went up last year.

7. Coronation Park Skateboard Park
I’ve mentioned before that two young pupils at Eastwood School have managed to raise £115,000 to pay for the new skateboard park at Coronation Park in Eastwood. I met them when they first started out on this project and was really impressed by their determination. I’m delighted to say that my colleague Keith Longdon, the County Councillor for Eastwood, who first introduced me to the girls, has now secured a commitment from the County Council to match the amount that the girls raised, which will man, amongst other things, that better security can be installed.

8. Beeston Flowers
The Beeston Business Improvement District will be financing hanging baskets around the town this summer. They will be installed starting in June, and will have a colour scheme of red, purple and gold.

9. Lifeguard Training
Beeston Leisure Centre are running a 12 week lifeguard course starting on 26th April. This will end with an assessment day on 21st July. Participants will need to be able to swim 50 metres in under 60 seconds (which rules me out I’m afraid) and also tread water for at least 30 seconds. Contact the leisure centre for fuller details.

10. A52 Bus Lane
The police ran an operation targeting drivers using the bus lane on the A52 last week. This is the third time recently that such an operation has been run yet they still caught 19 drivers in a 2 hour spell, each of whom received a £60 fine.

11. Antiques Valuation

On Wednesday 8th May 2013 from 3.00pm - 7.00pm Charles Hanson of 'Flog It, Antiques Roadtrip & Bargain Hunt' will be in Beeston to value your antiques and family heirlooms at the Catholic Church Hall, Foster Avenue, Beeston. Charles and his team will charge £3.00 per item and every penny raised will be shared between the Citizens Advice Broxtowe and Home-Start Nottingham.  Refreshments will be available. For further information contact Barbara Parish on 0115 962 4262 or Sally Bestwick on 0115 917 3800.

12. College House School Car Boot Sale
There will be a car boot sale on 11th May at College House School in Chilwell. It opens at 9.00am and runs to 1.30pm. 50p entry (children free). All proceeds are in aid of the "Friends of College House Junior School" Registered Charity No 518492. Sellers: £5 per car/£7.50 per van - limited to first 50 sellers.  Arrival from 7am. No items to be sold that are inappropriate for a school environment.  Venue: College House Junior School, Cator Lane, Chilwell, NG9 4BB. For any queries please call 07760 237 485 or email: or visit:

13. Big Battlefield Bike Ride
Steve Strickland of Cedarland Avenue in Nuthall is taking part in the 350 mile Big Battlefield Bike Ride where he will raise money for Help for Heroes. The 54-year-old will be teaming up with 249 riders for the start which begins in Paris. Participants will then cycle through Armistice Clearing where World War one officially ended, before going on to visit World War One grave cemeteries. Congratulations to Steve for his efforts.

14. Eastwood Neighbourhood Plan
Eastwood Town Council has agreed to create a neighbourhood plan for the town. This is a new scheme launched by the coalition last years and allows parish and town councils or other local groups to devise how their communities are to develop in the future, a role usually done by the borough council. The borough council will still provide the technical and administrative support necessary but the aim of a neighbourhood plan is to put local people firmly in charge. My portfolio on the borough includes planning and I’ve been encouraging all parish councils to develop these plans since they were introduced.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received. May I also wish you a happy St George’s Day for Tuesday (which is also my brother in law’s 50th birthday).

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Broxtowe Enews 15th April 2013

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 warm welcome to the new readers that we have this week.
1.       Field Farm
The Development Control Committee at Broxtowe Borough Council met last week to consider the application to build 450 homes on Field Farm in Stapleford. This was granted after a lengthy debate. To avoid filling up the newsletter with the details I have prepared a fact sheet about the application, the issues involved and why the vote went through. If you are receiving this newsletter y email then it’s attached to the email. If you are reading in on the web you can see the fact sheet on the Lib-Dem website at

2.       Threats
After the vote on Field Farm one person took to Twitter to issue a number of very graphic threats against me and my family. These have been referred to the police and are being investigated. One journalist who read the messages said that he was deeply shocked whilst another described them as obscene, violent and nasty. I know that the sender does not represent the vast majority of the public, but it is disappointing that this has happened. However I have been greatly cheered by the way that the leading opponents of building on Field Farm moved very quickly to distance themselves from this behaviour and a number also sent me personal messages of support, as have a number of councillors from the Labour party as well as my own group. In 14 years on the council I have never been subject to this sort of behaviour before and I hope never to do so again. It will not stop me trying to do the best for the people I represent.

3.       Election News
The complete list of candidates for the County Council elections are now available on the County Council website at For the Liberal Democrats Stan Heptinstall and Jacky Williams are standing for Bramcote and Stapleford, Steve Carr for Beeston North, Brian Taylor for Beeston South and Attenborough, myself and Barbara Carr for Chilwell and Toton, Ken Rigby for Trowell and Kimberley, Josie Forest for Beauvale and Keith Longdon for Eastwood. If you would like to help your local Lib-Dem candidate just let me know and I’ll pass your details on.
There is a very handy blog about the elections in the borough provided by the Beestonia Blog at There is a nice profile piece about me on there although I was a bit taken aback to be described as a veteran campaigner (for the record I will be 47 next week).

4.       Supporting Local Businesses
Just before I move away from the County Council elections may I make one observation. All parties say that they are keen to support local businesses so with that in mind I had a quick look at the printers details on the various pieces of election material that I have received. The Conservatives had theirs printed in Middlesex. The Labour Party had theirs printed in Uttoxeter. The independent candidate in Stapleford has his printed in Aberdeen. Only the Liberal Democrats have had ours printed in Broxtowe. We use two local printers, although in the interests of full disclosure I do want to make it clear that I own one of the businesses who do our printing. The other is a company completely independent of the Lib-Dems but based here in Broxtowe. When canvassers call on your door over the next couple of weeks it might be an interesting question to ask them why they had their leaflets printed in different parts of the country.

5.       Patchwork Lives
On Friday 3rd May at 7.30pm Arletty Theatre present “Patchwork Lives” at Chilwell Arts Theatre, Chilwell School, NG9 5AL. This play is created around stories collected from the people of Nottinghamshire (including Beeston and Chilwell), about the women who inspired and influenced them. Each woman’s name is written on a patch of fabric, then stitched into a patchwork quilt, just as her story is incorporated into the play. Tickets are £8 (£6 concs) from the school on 0115 925 2698 or 0777 2053412 or on the door.

6.       St Michael’s Church, Bramcote
The redevelopment of St Michael’s church is now complete and the church will open for viewing on Saturday 20th April from 10am to 4pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

7.       Transport Forum for Local Businesses
A free forum meeting is being held for businesses on 8th May to help them prepare their staff for the transport changes that will occur in Broxtowe when the tram is up and running next year. This will take place at Attenborough Nature Reserve from noon until 2pm. Businesses can book a place by emailing

8.       Beeston BID
A pub owner on the High Road in Chilwell has started a petition to scrap the Business Improvement District (BID) in Beeston. He claims that the voting to implement the BID was unfair and he gets very little out of the scheme. I’m afraid that I disagree with him totally. Beeston benefits from advertising and having a dedicated team bringing trade and businesses in. This is all funded by the BID. The other town centres share one person as Town Centre Manager whilst Beeston gets the BID teams exclusive attention. The small number of empty shops in Beeston is testament to the work that the BID team do and scapping it would be a very foolish move.

9.       Round Hill School
A public meeting will be held on Tuesday 23rd April from 5pm to 7pm to discuss plans to create an extra 105 places at Round Hill School. This will be held at the school and anyone interested is welcome to attend.

10.   Mass Singalong
Members of the public are invited to take part in a mass singalong in Beeston next Saturday, 20th April. This will take place at Chilwell Road Methodist Church and the event is aimed at raising money for Water Aid. Various choirs will also have stalls and representatives present. Tickets cost £5 on the door or can be purchased in advance by ringing 0115 943 1164. I’m afraid that I don’t know what times the event runs for but I’m sure if you ring the phone number someone will be able to let you know.

11.   Ebooks in Libraries
Notts County Council’s library service has announced that it is scrapping the £1 charge it levies when people borrow an ebook. Library members will be able to borrow up to 5 ebooks at a time and they are available for most tablets except the Amazon Kindle.

12.   Poetry Event
A season of poetry is about to start in Beeston. The first event will take place on Friday 26th April at Beeston Library, starting at 7.30pm. It is entitled “Versions of the North” and tickets cost £7.50 from the library.

13.   Attenborough Friendship Group
Older Attenborough residents are invited to join the Attenborough Friendship Group which meets on alternate Wednesday’s at Attenborough village hall. It is aimed at senior citizens and details are available on 0115 922 1183.

14.   Broxtowe Fun Run
This Friday the Broxtowe 5K fun run takes place. It starts and finishes at Bramcote Park and entry costs £10 in advance of £12 on the day. Full details are available from or by ringing 0115 917 3572.
As ever thanks for your support for this newsletter and any feedback is gratefully received. There does seem to have been a real southern bias to this weeks news so I’ll try and find some northern events for next week.


Sunday, 7 April 2013

Broxtowe Enews 7th April 2013

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. Bramcote Lane Closure
From tomorrow there will be tram works on Bramcote Lane in Chilwell and so it will be closed to traffic in both directions at Sandby Court for the next two months. I’ve had a query already from a reader about how they can access the doctors surgery during this period and I’m checking on that. If anyone else is affected by this let me know and I’ll include you in the answer when I get it. There will be diversions for the 14, 36 and 36A buses during this period as well.

2. Changes to Beeston Bus Station
A new configuration for the bus station in Beeston will come into force later on this month. That was originally planned for tomorrow but has been put back, and will probably start on 22nd April. I’ve put details of this on the Broxtowe Lib-Dem web site at

3. Field Farm Planning Application
One of the most contentious planning applications to be considered by the borough council in recent years, that of plans to develop Field Farm in Stapleford, will be debated at the council’s Development Control Committee on Wednesday evening. The meeting starts at 7pm and we are anticipating a large turn out so if the public gallery is full there will be an overflow facility in the old council chamber with a video link to the main hall.

4. County Council Elections
Nominations have now closed for the County Council elections on 2nd May.  The full list of candidates should be available tomorrow. To be registered in time to vote in these elections, an application for must be completed and returned to Electoral Services by Wednesday 17thApril 2013. The deadline for applications to vote by post in this election is 5:00pm on Wednesday 17th April 2013 and applications to vote by proxy must be received by 5:00pm on Wednesday 24th April 2013.

5. Deliverers Sought
Can you help? I’m the candidate for the Lib-Dems for Chilwell and Toton in the County Council elections and I’d be really grateful if I could have some extra volunteers to help get my leaflets delivered. If you can spare an hour to help sometime this month I would be very grateful. If you live elsewhere in the borough and are able to help I can put you in touch with your local candidate. We’d all be grateful for the assistance.
6. Electoral Services
I’ve received the following message from the Elections department at the borough council:
“I would like to make you aware of two organisations offering services to the public for a fee which is of concern to us as both voter registration and opting out of the edited register can be done by anyone free of charge.

The first company,, offers to make an online application process with the form being printed by and then being sent to the elector with a label containing the Electoral Commission's address rather than to a person's Electoral Registration Office. The company also offers to check completed applications. The website charges a £30 fee for their service as well as offering a premium rate phone service costing £1.53 per minute, plus additional network charges, to manage a person's voter registration.  The Commission is firmly against this service, as registering to vote is free of charge, with no associated costs to complete and return a form to an individual's Electoral Registration Office. They want to make sure that no one uses this or any other service which charges for something which is straightforward and free.  The Commission have contacted the company to ask them to cease their activities and also informed the Office for Fair Trade and Phone Pay Plus (who regulate premium call numbers) so they can establish if there are any legal and regulatory issues which need to be investigated.  They will shortly be issuing a press release urging people not to use the service and reminding everyone that that they can register to vote for free by visiting, calling 0800 3 280 280 or contacting their local authority.

The second company, Opt Out UK, are offering to make an application for individuals to opt out permanently of the edited register for a fee.  This is of some concern as this can also be done at no cost by anyone.  To request a permanent opt out written notice must be sent by an individual asking the Electoral Registration Officer to stop processing the personal information relating to them for direct marketing as soon as possible by not including their details on the next and future versions of the edited register until further notice for as long as they remain continuously registered at their address.”
If anyone has any concerns regarding registering or opting out of the published registers please do NOT pay a company to do anything for you. Either contact the council direct or contact me and I’ll sort it for you free of charge. It’s part of what councillors do.

7. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist
That has to be the oddest heading I have ever used in this newsletter. It’s  actually a play that’s on in Chilwell. On Friday 12th April at 7.30pm Townsend Productions presents the company’s two hander version of Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists , at Chilwell Arts Theatre, Chilwell School, NG9 5AL. Using songs of the period, movement, comedy and characterisation to create the spirit and clarity of the political message, the play shares with its audience a year in the life of a group of painters and decorators, as they renovate a three-storey town house for Mayor Sweater. It traces their struggle for survival in a complacent and stagnating Edwardian England. These workers are the "philanthropists" who throw themselves into back-breaking work for poverty wages in order to generate profit for their masters. Tickets £10 (£6 Concs) from the Box Office on 07861 1308044 or 0115 925 2618. Tickets also available from the ViTal Charity Shop, High Road, Beeston or on the door.

8. Paradiso Cinema
On Friday April 19th at 7.30pm Paradiso Cinema presents “ARGO” At Chilwell Arts Theatre, Chilwell School, NG9 5AL. Based on true events, Argo chronicles the covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis. On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reached its boiling point, militants stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans managed to slip away and find refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Knowing it was only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, a CIA "exfiltration" specialist named Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) came up with a risky plan to get them safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies. Tickets on the door £5, (£4 conc)

9. Village Ventures
On Sunday April 21st at 7.30pm Village Ventures presents “The Churchfitters” at Chilwell Arts Theatre, Chilwell School, NG9 5AL. This Brittany based group of musicians from England, Ireland and France have taken UK audiences by storm with their unique and energetic performances. Outstanding vocals, an astonishing array of instruments, a large dose of humour, a measure of eccentricity and an abiding sense of fun, are the band's recipe for truly entertaining performances.  “I can honestly say that they are the must musically inventive quartet that I have seen in decades” – Dave Pegg, Fairport Convention. Tickets £8, £6 (conc) call 0115 925 2698 or 07772053412 or on the door.

10. Councillors Allowances
The media sometimes like to have a pop at councillors for being overpaid at the public’s expense. May I assure you that this is not the case in Broxtowe. I’ve just received my P60 for this year for my work as a councillor, and it shows that I was paid a total of £10,307 for the last financial year, from which tax of £2,061.40 was deducted. I don’t claim any other expenses on top of this. Given that I sit on the cabinet and I’m the leader of one of the political groups I am one of the highest paid councillors on the borough, and I hope everyone will agree that we provide value for money.

11. This Newsletter
Last week I asked for readers views about whether to change the format of this newsletter or not. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the level of response. Whilst both points of view (yes to change and no to change) were present in the responses the huge majority of readers said that they wanted it left exactly as it is. Your wish is my command and so the newsletter will remain in this format. Whilst talking about the newsletter may I mention that we now have the largest readership that we have ever had and are just 12 readers short of a significant level. I’d be delighted if we could reach that soon. We don’t advertise this newsletter much and the majority of the readers have heard about this by word of mouth, so if you like this may I ask that you be kind enough to mention it to other people.

12. Broxtowe Park
Broxtowe Park is actually in the city of Nottingham rather than in Broxtowe, but it borders onto Nuthall. The city council have now earmarked a large part of this as a site for new housing, a move which is being opposed by Nuthall Parish Council. There are some legal wrangling’s going on at the moment and I’ll report how these pan out when I hear.

13. Beeston Shop Mobility
At the cabinet meeting last Tuesday the borough council agreed to relocate Beeston Shopmobility. This was based in the multi-storey car park until that closed and since then has been in a shop unit in the square. That is not ideal as there is no easy vehicle access, and so the council have agreed to relocate Shopmobility to Cavendish Lodge in Devonshire Avenue. This has car parking and is just on the edge of the town centre and so hopefully will be a big improvement on the existing facilities.

14. Gritters
Hopefully the warmer weather over the past couple of days means that winter is eventually coming to an end. However it has been a long one and Notts County Council have announced that they have carried out a record number of gritting runs this winter. The 130 runs that they performed beats the previous record of 108 set two years ago.

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

Monday, 1 April 2013

Broxtowe Enews 1st April 2013

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. Tax and benefit changes
I’m starting with a national news story this week for a change, but today sees the introduction of a huge number of changes to tax, benefits and health brought in by the coalition. Some of these are things I’m not desperately happy with and some of them are things that if we were in Government on our own we would not have done, but I am particularly proud of the changes to income tax that incurred today. As a result of specific Lib-Dem policies which we have been able to implement every taxpayer in Broxtowe will be paying £600 less income tax than they were in 2010, with some 5,000 paying no income tax at all. Next year the change will go up to £700 as we achieve our long term goal of having the first £10,000 anyone earns being tax free.  I’m also pleased that Lib-Dem pressures led to alterations to the NHS changes to make it clear that competition should only ever be permitted as a means of facilitating improvements and not as an end in itself.
With the changes to the benefits system local authorities now have a discretionary power to grant extra support for those receiving council tax benefits. The Lib-Dems have surveyed all Nottinghamshire authorities and only one is providing 100 of the support that they are able to. That is Broxtowe, the only one where the Lib-Dems are involved in running the council. Not one of the Labour run council’s has matched the level of support that we have.

2. Chilwell Road
We’ve now had the first few days of Beeston coping without Chilwell Road, which is shut for the next year. Some far traffic seems to be coping without too much difficulty but we are of course in the Easter period, and the real test will come in a couple of weeks time. Hopefully people will have had a bit of a chance to get used to things by then and so the impact won’t be too dramatic. May I also congratulate Matt Goold from the Beestonia for arranging the End of the Road party to celebrate the independent traders on the street, all of which stay open during the road works.

3. Ambulance Service Changes
Not directly linked to the other changes to the NHS which I mentioned above are the changes which are proposed to the ambulance service in Nottinghamshire. I mentioned that these were out to consultation a while back, and they have now been confirmed. This means that all but six of the ambulance stations in Notts will close and there will be one “super-hub” in Nottingham together with 23 community standby points. The ambulance service hope that this will mean that response times will be shorter as the ambulances will be distributed to these community standby points when not out on a call.

4. County Council Elections
Polling cards are being delivered this weekend to residents across Broxtowe for the County Council elections next week. Nominations are open at the moment for candidates and I will be standing for the Lib-Dems, along with Barbara Carr, in the Chilwell and Toton seat. I stood there last year in a by election and we came close, so I hope that we can do even better this time. The other Lib-Dem candidates are Steve Carr in Beeston North, Brian Taylor in Beeston South and Attenborough, Stan Heptinstall and Jacky Williams in Bramcote and Stapleford, Ken Rigby in Trowell and Kimberley and Keith Longdon in Eastwood.
If anyone would like to help deliver leaflets we would be very grateful for the help. Ust contact me and I’ll put you in touch with your local candidate.

5. Youth Parliament
Congratulations to Alex Cargill, aged 15, from Brinsely, who has been elected as the new Broxtowe representative to the Youth Parliament. Along with the Youth Council, which has been going locally for several years, the youth parliament exists to make sure that young people have a voice in politics.

6. George Spencer School
Congratulations to the students and staff from George Spencer School in Stapleford who have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to raise money for Water Aid. I lived in Africa as a child and climbed one or two mountains there, and Kilimanjaro (which I never did climb) is not an easy mountain to get up so this is an excellent achievement. Water Aid is also a charity I have raised money for over a number of years and so this was a report that caused my eye.

7. Recycling Centres
This is just a reminder of an item that I reported on a few weeks ago. Because of the lighter nights that we now have (it’s not the first time it’s snowed on the day that British Summer Time began but apparently yesterday saw the lowest temperatures ever recorded in the UK for Easter Sunday) recycling centres in Notts, including the one at Beeston, are now open until 8pm.

8. Children’s Holiday Club
The Pearson Centre in Beeston in running a holiday club this week, starting tomorrow. It is open for children ages between 6 and 11 and runs for this week and next. The cost is £15 per day with discounts for Boys and Girls Brigade members. For details ring  0115 925 4112.

9. New Building at the Hassocks
The Borough Council’s development control committee has given planning permission for 130 new houses to be built at the Hassocks in Beeston near to the fire station. This means that 130 less houses will need to be built elsewhere in the borough.

10. Stapleford Parade
The Royal Engineers, based at Chetwynd Barracks, will parade through Stapleford on Saturday May 4th. The parade will start at 10.30am, and most of the soldiers who march will have seen recent active service in Afghanistan. Much as I am utterly opposed to our involvement in Afghanistan I have nothing but admiration for the service put in by our forces and I hope there will be an excellent turn out for the parade. Hopefully it might have stopped snowing by then as well.

11. Emails
A couple of people have mentioned this week that I have been slow in answering emails. Many apologies for this. I’ve been having a break over Easter and I do receive somewhere between 100 – 150 emails a day most days and unlike professional politicians I don’t have any secretarial support to help me with it. I do try and respond as quickly as possible but if I haven’t answered in a few days please send me a chase up because sometimes some do get overlooked. I don’t every deliberately ignore any emails.

12. Newsletter format
May I ask for feedback from readers on a matter please? Ever since I set up this newsletter it has taken the form of a purely text based document with no graphics or other embellishments. I’m now considering whether to change to a different list server which would enable me to offer a wider range of content and also to include a contents list at the start. However before I make such a change I’d welcome readers views on whether this would be appreciated or not.  Lots of people tell me how useful they find this newsletter (and I’m really grateful for this feedback) and I don’t want to make changes that people would find unhelpful. I’d like peoples views and then I’ll decide whether to make a change or not in the next few weeks.

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

Best wishes
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