Sunday, 30 June 2013

Broxtowe Enews 30th June 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. Motorway Improvements
Strictly speaking this is just outside of Broxtowe but is very relevant to many people who live here. Amongst the new infrastructure announcements by the Government on Thursday was he very welcome news that improvements will be made to junction 25 of the M1. As anyone who has had the delights of queuing on the A52 to try and get on to the motorway knows this is a junction that does require work doing on it. I don’t have the full details yet but will publicise them when I have them.

2. HS2
Also announced on Thursday was the confirmation that the Government is to fund phase 2 of HS2, including the station at Toton. I do welcome this and I think that HS2 will be a huge benefit to the area, but we have got to make sure that the design is right. I do need to apologise to Stapleford residents for missing them off the list of areas that we discussed with the HS2 management last week. They were talked about, it was simply a typo on my part that they weren’t on the list.

3. Outdoor Table Tennis
The council has secured funding to install outdoor table tennis tables at Broadgate Park in Beeston. These will be installed shortly and will be available for everyone to use (not just students as was reported in a local paper this week).

4. Nottingham Canal Improvements
The Borough Council has agreed to spend £125,000 improving the towpath on the Nottingham Canal. Most of this money had previously been earmarked but more work was identified that needed to be done on the disused stretch from Latimer Drive to Trowell Garden Centre. This is now a popular local nature reserve and the paths here get very churned up in winter so I’m delighted that this additional work (costing £15,000) is being done. Work will be done in stages starting from 15th July.

5. Other Public Transport Improvements
The council has a significant programme of public transport improvements that we’ve been putting into effect over the past couple of years. As regular readers will know I’ve been pushing for improved bus services although the previous administration at the County Council were unwilling to take this forward. We’ll try again now that there is a Labour council running things there. Other improvements that will happen over the next few months include alterations to traffic lights in Beeston to create bus priority routes, new shelters at the coach pick-up point on Lace Road in Beeston, more pedestrian signage in Beeston and Stapleford (to be installed next year)and improved cycling infrastructure in a number of places in the borough.

6. Local Nature Reserves
Work is to be carried out shortly at three of the local nature reserves in the borough. Pond restoration and woodland management will take place at the Spinney Woodland in Watnall (with funding for this raised by local residents), preservation work will be carried out on the timbers at Brinsley Headstock and hedgerow restoration will take place at the Alexander Plantation in Bramcote (helped by the Friends of Bramcote Ridge).

7. Cemetery Fees
Not the nicest of topics but an important one. The borough council have agreed a range of revisions to the charges for burials and cremations in Broxtowe, the most important being that there will now be no fee for either service for children under 12 and lower fees for those up to 16. Losing a child must be the worst experience in the world and this is one practical step that the council can take to not make matters any worse. We have also agreed that there will be lower fees for residents of Broxtowe than for non-residents.

8. Swimming Teacher Apprenticeships
One of the key campaigns that the Lib-Dems have fought nationally over recent years has been to ensure that there has been a significant growth in apprenticeships, ensuring that they teach proper careers and are not simply a source of cheap labour for employers. Since we joined the coalition there have been 1 million extra apprenticeships created (along with 1.3 million extra private sector jobs) and the borough council have employed a number of apprentices in that period. We have now agreed to take on two extra as apprentice swimming teachers, one for Kimberley Leisure Centre and one for Bramcote. The Lib-Dems are just launching nationally our million jobs campaign aiming to ensure that we create a further 1 million jobs (at least) between now and the general election in two years time.

9. Council Size
The Boundary Commission is currently considering the arrangements for councillors in Broxtowe. The first question they have asked the council is whether we feel that the current number of councillors (44) is correct. Councillors set up a working party to look at this and produced a report saying that we believe that the numbers are right, and went into detail as to why that was. On Wednesday night the council was asked to endorse this but amazingly most of the Conservatives, despite the fact that their representatives had been part of the working group that produced the report, suddenly decided that they were opposed to the recommendation and wanted a lower number. (They said that they would tell us how many “at the appropriate time” but given that Wednesday night was when the matter was debated it’s hard to think of a more appropriate time than that.) The report was still approved but it is highly disappointing that it no longer had unanimous support, and I think the rest of us were mystified about why they suddenly changed their minds (and well done to the two Tory councillors who refused to toe the party line).

10. Community Celebration
I’ve mentioned this before but it is worth reminding people that the Broxtowe Community Celebration takes place at Round Hill School, Foster Avenue, Beeston on Saturday 6th July from 11am to 4pm. The Community Celebration is A world of music, dance, sport competitions, arts, and food organised by the Broxtowe Community Celebration Group. Everyone is welcome and further details can be obtained from Andrea on 07952 701 399.

11. Coronation Park Family Fun Day
There will be a Family Fun Day at Coronation Park in Eastwood on Saturday 13th July. This will be a great afternoon out for all the family with lots of free activities including make and take art stalls, dance tent and stage acts. The fun day will run between 12:00 and 4:00pm.

12. The Vibe
Also in Eastwood that day, starting at 6pm for three hours, is The Vibe. This is aimed at young people between the ages of 13 and 19 and is a great free evening of live music, creative dance performances/workshops, sports and arts activities and KMX sessions. (I’d never heard of KMX so I Googled it and it looks like it is BMX on Trikes. Oh to be 19 again!)

13. Beeston Carnival
Still on 13th July we have Beeston Carnival. There will be entertainment in the Square from 10am  and the parade starts in Foster Avenue at 1pm, moving to Broadgate Park. The fete in the park opens at 12.00. The event is organised by Pat and Linda Lally who do an excellent job with it.

14. Summer Concert
Beeston Parish Church are having a Summer Concert with Bestwood Male Voice Choir on Saturday 13 July at 7.30 pm in church (the one behind Wilko's near Beeston Square).  Tickets are £6 and can be obtained by phoning the church office 07709 756949 or Barbara Selwood 0115 917 8488. The event is in aid of Church Funds (to help with the outside restoration work).  Refreshments will be available. The concert is sponsored by Crossplay Music, 128-130 Chilwell Road, Beeston.

15. Espresso Coffee Bar, Chilwell
Congratulations to Espresso Coffee bar in Chilwell and owner Natalie Eastwood for winning the Best Independent Café in the UK award at the Café Society awards in London last week. I’ve never been there yet but will make a point of doing so now.

16. Revamped Tennis Courts
My colleague Stan Heptinstall, the deputy mayor of Broxtowe, was able this week to open four refurbished tennis courts at Queen Elizabeth II Park on Toton Lane in Stapleford. These are a significant improvement on what was there before and hopefully we might find the next Andy Murray or Laura Robson on them.

17. Tram Extensions
The new portfolio holder for jobs and growth at the City Council, Nick McDonald, has called for the tram line to Phoenix Park to be extended to serve Kimberley and Eastwood as well. There is already a group in Kimberley campaigning for such an extension and I’m sure they welcome his input. I would fully support this as a scheme provided that a satisfactory route can be identified.

18. Bramcote CAT
The Bramcote Community Action Team meeting takes place tomorrow, 1st July, starting at 7pm (not 7.30 as stated in our recent Focus leaflet). It takes place at the Memorial Hall on Church Street and all Bramcote residents are welcome to attend.

19. Grass Cutting
Thank you to everyone who has signed our petition about the state of the grass verges in Broxtowe. We have already gathered well over 100 signatures with more still coming in. There’s still time to sign if you want to. The petition is at – just look for the “Petition” tab at the top and it will take you straight to it. We discovered recently that whilst the borough council used to employ a team of 8 people to cut the grass across the verges the County Council, who have taken over responsibility for this, were trying to do it with a team of three! They are now having to bring in extra staff to try and get things put right.

20. Free Childcare Places
Parents of young children are being asked to contact Nottinghamshire County Council to see if they qualify for free childcare starting in the autumn term. Eligible children will be able to take up their free places at the start of the term following their second birthday. There will be another round of applications for children who are two during the autumn term, with their places starting after Christmas, and a further round during the spring for children to start in the summer term. Places are available for 15 hours per week (term time only). Applications must be submitted by 12th July and can be done on-line at or by telephoning 0300 500 8080.

21. Corrections
When I reported about the Farmers Market in Kimberley last week I said that the new market at the Giltbrook Retail Park was being organised by the Town Council. Unfortunately my information on that was incorrect and I apologise to those concerned. I also hope that everyone spotted the typo relating to Friday’s Armed Forces coffee morning in Stapleford which began at 10.00am and not at 01.00am!

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Broxtowe Enews 10th June 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. Many apologies that the newsletter is a day late, but yesterday was my daughter’s birthday so we spent the day celebrating that. I probably also need to apologise to all my neighbours that one of her presents is a drum kit!

1. Hemlock Happening
Thank you to everyone who made this year’s Hemlock Happening another hugely successful event. Congratulations to my colleague Stan Heptinstall and his team at the Bramcote and Stapleford Golden Jubilee Group for organising the event. The high spot for us must be when my kids had a go at the sumo wrestling. They suited up and bowed to each other, at which point the younger one fell flat on her face!

2. Eastwood Book Town
I got the positions on the Eastwood Book Town Committee wrong last week. Cllr Keith Longdon is the chair of the committee and the patron on Jackie Trent. Many apologies for this. Also apologies that I referred to late night cubs last week, I meant clubs!

3. David Taylor
It was with sadness that I learned today that former Broxtowe mayor and County Councillor David Taylor passed away at the weekend. Funeral details will be notified later.

4. Spoken Word Night
Dave Wood and Richard Young’s Community Spoken Word night at Stapleford makes another appearance on Wednesday 12th June 2013, at 7:30pm. The venue is Two for Tea, 92 Derby Road, Stapleford. It's an evening of stories and poems featuring, this time, guest performer: Jackie Brewster. The rest of the evening comes from you! All are welcome to read, professional or amateur. Come in from 7pm to settle down ready to read, perform or be a member of the audience. The show starts at 7.30pm and usually finishes around 9.15pm. There has always been room for everyone who wishes to read to do so, but you can also ensure a spot by contacting me beforehand.
Open Word night is (as far as we know), Stapleford’s only poetry and storytelling night. Attendees are asked you to buy a drink for admission (plenty of delicious choices and cake too).

5. Moorgreen Show
This year the borough council will be returning as the main sponsor of the Moorgreen Show, which will be on over the August Bank Holiday. The council has been the main sponsor for most of the recent past and I’m delighted that we are being so again.

6. Inham Nook Recreation Ground
The council has committed to spending £260,000 improving the Inham Nook Recreation Pak in Chilwell. The money for this is primarily coming from our agreement with NET and will include improvements to paths, the pavilion, CCTV, skate park and football pitches. We still have an application for some further grant and if this is successful we will be able to put in new drainage for the football and bowling pitches as well.

7. Long Lane and Manor Park Farm Parks
We have also agreed to spend some £24,000 or so on improving the Lone Lane Park in Attenborough and the Manor Park Farm park in Toton, funding works to be done by Groundwork Greater Nottingham.

8. Free Swimming
Throughout the summer holidays under 18’s will be able to swim free at the council’s swimming pools. Anyone taking advantage of this scheme will need to have a Broxtowe Leisure Card, but this is a small one off payment and will give access to a full summer of free swimming. My kids will definitely be taking advantage of this offer.

9. Kimberley Town Council
Five new councillors have been co-opted onto Kimberley Town Council. They are Karen tenant, Kirsty John, Tony Hallard, Andy Cooper and Katharina Boettge.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Broxtowe Enews 2nd June 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. Hemlock Happening
The 12th Annual Hemlock Happening will take place this Saturday at Bramcote Hills Park. This free event is one of the main highlights of the year and it is beginning to look like the weather might play ball as well. A full programme of entertainment is in place and everyone is invited to come and have a great time. The opening ceremony, attended by our MP, the Mayor of Broxtowe and the Mayor of Stapleford is at 1pm in the Walled Garden.  Staged events continue in the Walled Garden throughout the day ending with a fabulous firework display at 10:30pm. There are many additional field activities in Bramcote Hills Park from 1pm to 5pm. The event is organised in association with the Arts and Events Team at Broxtowe Borough Council.

2. Chilwell and Toton Liberal Democrats
I’m delighted to announce that we are launching a new Lib-Dem branch to cover Chilwell and Toton. The initial meeting will be this Friday at 71 Penrhyn Crescent in Chilwell, starting at 7.30pm. This will be an evening of “Coffee, Cake and Conversation” and if you’re a supporter of the Liberal Democrats we would be delighted to see you there.

3. Independent Person
Broxtowe Borough Council is looking to appoint an Independent Person to assist the Council’s Monitoring Officer to assess allegations of misconduct against either a Member of this Council or of a Parish/Town Council in the area and to decide on a course of action.  The Independent Person may also be consulted by and need to consult with the member about whom an allegation has been made. The successful candidate will be committed to achieving a high standard of behaviour in public affairs, be able to understand complicated facts, be able to express views clearly and ask relevant questions, have no obvious political affiliation and no recent political activity.  Experience of adjudication or investigation of complaints, an appreciation of the pressure on councillors and public services generally or experience of dealing with standards investigations would be an advantage.
The Localism Act 2011 prevents members and officers of the Council, their relatives and close friends from being an Independent Person. However this is circulated as it is recognised that Councillors and Parish Councils are likely to be aware of individuals who would be interested in this role The Independent Person may be required to attend hearing meetings, which are usually held in the early evening.  Full training will be provided for the successful applicant and a small allowance will be paid.
An application pack is available at If you are interested in this role and would like an informal conversation then please contact, Phillip Horsfield, Head of Legal Services, Broxtowe Borough Council, Council Offices, Foster Avenue, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 1AB on 0115 9173230. Closing date for applications is 7th June 2013.

4. Primary Schools
News this week affects two primary schools in Broxtowe. Bramcote Hills Primary School has been given funds by the county council to build two new classrooms, and they hope that these will be completed in time for the new school year in September 2014. At Round Hill Primary School in Beeston the county council have approved plans to increase the size of admissions by 25%.

5. Toton HS2 Station
Notts County Council and Nottingham City Council are working together to commission independent research on the economic benefits of having the HS2 station in Toton. This will be part of the process of determining whether the currently proposed plans are eventually confirmed by HS2 as their chosen route. Derby City Council want the station to be built there instead and this new research should help us counter their arguments.

6. Advice for Landlords
The Broxtowe and Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Landlords Forum event will take place at Broxtowe Town Hall, Foster Avenue, Beeston on 11th June between 6.30 and 9.00pm. The forum seeks to offer free help and advice to landlords on a range of issues. Tickets can be booked by emailing or ringing 0115 917 3554.

7. Eastwood Book Town
Eastwood Book Club are trying to get Eastwood designated as a Book Town. This would mean that new books in Nottinghamshire could be launched in Eastwood, drawing on the towns heritage as the home of DH Lawrence. My colleague Keith Longdon is the patron of the Eastwood Book Town campaign and I wish them every success.

8. No to Late Night Levy
Proposals were discussed by the borough council’s Alcohol and Entertainment committee this week about charging a late night levy on local pubs and cubs to contribute towards the costs of policing and CCTV. Having explored the issues at length the committee voted not to proceed with the proposals.

9. Stapleford Local History Society
The next meeting of Stapleford and District Local History Society will take place at Maycliffe Hall, Stapleford, on 12th June at 7.30pm, and will be a talk on the history of Toton Marshalling Yard. Admission costs £2.50.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.