Monday, 30 September 2013

Broxtowe Enews 30th September 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. Many apologies that the newsletter is a day late, normal service will hopefully be resumed next week.

1.       Splitting Broxtowe
Nottingham City Council have made it clear in a number of statements recently that they are keen on splitting Broxtowe into two so that the south of the borough (Beeston, Chilwell, Toton, Bramcote and Stapleford)becomes part of an enlarged city council area. My personal view is that this is an appallingly bad idea as I do not believe that the city’s desire is motivated by a desire to look after residents of Broxtowe but instead it is driven by a desire to get their hands on Broxtowe’s spare land. If they succeed we would not be facing the possibility of 6,000 new houses but a much larger number instead. I’ve said what my view is but we as a party would like to know what you think. We have created a very simple one question survey on our website at and I’d be grateful if you would take a moment to complete it. We really do want the views of as many residents as possible so please can you mention this to your friends and neighbours as well.

2.       NHS Events
NHS Nottingham West CCG is holding two public events in October and you are warmly invited to attend. Come along to find out more about your local NHS, share your views and help shape priorities for future healthcare. The events are open to all and are being held on Tuesday 15 October, 6-8pm, Highfields Fire Station, Hassocks Lane, Beeston, NG9 2GQ and Thursday 17 October, 1pm-3pm, Durban House, DH Lawrence Centre, Mansfield Road, Eastwood, NG16 3DZ. Dr Guy Mansford, local GP and Chief Officer said: "We know the NHS is facing huge challenges, both locally and nationally. This includes more people living longer with complex conditions, an increased demand on services and greater public expectation. That's why it's important for us to understand the needs of our patient population to ensure high-quality, patient-focused services. These events provide perfect opportunity to participate in our future decision making." Our CCG is led by local GPs and other health professionals who are responsible for the planning and purchasing of almost £100 million worth of health services for patients living in places such as Eastwood, Kimberley, Stapleford, Beeston, Bramcote and Chilwell. Everyone is welcome to attend the events. The organisers would be grateful if you could register your place so that they are aware of numbers. Light refreshments will be available 30 minutes prior to the start time. Please register by emailing or telephoning 0115 8835100 (office hours) or online

3.       Polling Stations
The council is currently reviewing the location of polling stations within Broxtowe. If you have any comments on where you go to vote please let me have them and I will pass them on to the team. Any proposed recommendations will be published later on this year.

4.       Credit Union in Kimberley
Volunteers  in Kimberley have decided to set up a credit union information point at Rumbletums (probably commencing late October/early November) with a view to this then being developed as a collection point for Nottingham Credit Union. Through the information point, people will be able to get details on the full range of services offered by Nottingham Credit Union and become members. This service will be staffed by local volunteers. There will be another meeting and initial training session for prospective volunteers at Rumbletums Cafe, 2a Victoria Street, Kimberley at 6.30pm on Tuesday 15th October. Anyone with an interest in supporting this new venture would be very welcome.

5.       Crossing The Floor
No, not me. I’m a Liberal to the very core of my soul. However we were recently joined in the party by former Labour activist Sarah Brown, and she has written an excellent piece on her reasons why for the Beestonia Blog. You can read it here: You can see Sarah speaking at the Lib-Dem conference earlier this month here: and she has written an article for Lib-Dem voice, one of our in house publications, which you can read here:

6.       Britain’s Greenest Borough
At a meeting of the council’s Climate Change Working Group this morning I unveiled a set of suggestions and proposals that I think could help to propel Broxtowe towards being Britain’s most environmentally friendly borough. This is a target that I would like to see us adopt and I’m pleased to say that the proposals were met with a strong level of enthusiasm. Broxtowe got on board with tackling climate change early on in the process but over the past few years we’ve lost our way a bit. I’m hoping that (in my new role as chair of the Climate Change Working Group) we can not only get the council freshly back on track but also to enable us to make it easy for people to adopt a greener approach to their own lifestyles. I’ll provide more information about how the council is getting on over the next few months.

7.       Housing Land Availability
At the council’s cabinet last Tuesday we endorsed a review of housing land available in the borough. The council faces significant pressure to provide new housing and we cannot accommodate everything on brownfield land, but I am pleased to say that the total number of houses that may need to be built on the green belt seems to be falling. We have been able to accommodate more housing on existing sites and we are committed to ensuring that no land will be taken from the green belt unless absolutely necessary. If anyone wants to see the list of sites that we’ve looked at just let me know and I’ll send you a copy. Linked to that we also agreed to carry out an extensive public consultation from now until next year seeking the views of residents about where future development might take place. I thought that everyone would be in favour of asking local residents their views but surprisingly the Conservatives decided to abstain. I am disappointed by that as I think that it is vital that local residents are given every opportunity to share their views.

8.       Oxylane Development
As regular readers may know Oxylane, the company who own the Decathlon Sports Store in Giltbrook, applied to build a sports village on land next to Junction 26 of the M1. This application was withdrawn at the last minute but Oxylane have now approached the council about the possibility of developing a leisure centre on the site as well. The council have agreed to discuss this with them on the explicit understanding that this will not prejudice the independence of the Development Control Committee to determine the planning application in due course. Potentially this could give the borough a state of the art sports centre along with the Oxylane Site, which could also generate hundreds of jobs. However the Conservatives again refused to back this.

9.       999 Calls
New figures published by the police this week made very disappointing reading. In the last twelve months they dealt with move than half a million emergency calls but only 12% of these related to crimes. If you believe that a crime is being committed or someone is in danger then 999 is absolutely the right number to dial, but for routine calls it most certainly is not. Notts Police operate a 101 number for these.

10.   County Councillors Allowances
The Liberal Democrats on Nottinghamshire County Council proposed to reduce councillors allowances as a money saving exercise. The county council needs to save £154 million next year and reducing councillors allowances was seen as a sensible way of helping. Sadly however the Labour councillors voted against this and as a result the proposal was defeated.

11.   Artists Display
Beeston artist Pam Millar will be opening her studio for people to look at her work on 5th and 6th October. This will be at Barrydale Avenue in Beeston and will start at 10am each day. She will be on hand to talk about her work and to provide advice to others, and light refreshments will be available.

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

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.