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 apologise for the problems with last weeks enews. I don’t know what the gremlin was (it wasn't that I'd fallen asleep on the job as one of my friends suggested) but about half of the readership didn’t receive the newsletter when it was sent on Sunday. Hopefully this one will get to everyone without a problem.
1. Bramwell Nursing Home
Regular readers may recall that in 2011 and 2012 the Liberal Democrats strongly supported the campaign to prevent the County Council selling off the Bramwell Nursing Home in Bramcote. My colleague Stan Heptinstall in particular was heavily involved in this. Despite all the efforts of campaigners the County Council (at that point run by the Conservatives) sold Bramwell to a private company. We were told that those of us who opposed it were scaremongering.
It gives us no pleasure to see that we have been proved right after all. The Care Quality Commission have told the owners that they need to make significant improvements or face closure. The CQC report disclosed that a resident at the home told their inspector that the food was of "workhouse quality and sandwiches are all bread. If you closed your eyes, you wouldn't know what the filling was." This is really disappointing and it seems that some of the most vulnerable people in society have been betrayed for a quick profit.
2. Stapleford By Election
There will be a double by election in Stapleford, probably in mid-December. My colleague Christine Wombwell has now stood down as she has had to move to deal with family commitments. I’d like to thank Christine publicly for her efforts on behalf of the people of Stapleford for many years. So far it seems that the election will be contested by the Liberal Democrats and the Stapleford Community Group. Sadly the dirty tricks have already started. Posters were put around Hickings Lane today claiming that the Borough Council and the Liberal Democrats wanted to sell off three football pitches on the park for housing. May I assure everyone that this is completely untrue, and sadly may be setting the standard of behaviour for the next few weeks until the election. Residents in Stapleford may remember that during the 1990’s the Labour Party tried to sell off Hickings Lane and it was the Liberal Democrats, in particular Brian and Christine Wombwell, who successfully led the campaign to block this.
3. House Building Issues and Options
The council will publish its next round of consultations on possible locations for new house building over the next 15 years. This will involve an analysis of every possible site, not just those favoured by the council. It is a genuine consultation which will run from now until next year to give people plenty of time to consider things and get a response in. The documents will be available on the website and in local libraries, and people who want them may request individual copies. They are split into different areas so you will be able to focus in on sites close to you should you wish.
4. Bin Collection Calendars
It always gives me great pleasure to report on big Lib-Dem wins, and this is one that will benefit many people. Last month the Labour Portfolio holder for Technical Services on the council announced that waste collection calendars would no longer be distributed and everyone would, be able to download them from the website. This decision was taken without any reference to the Lib-Dems and we immediately pointed out the major problem that this excludes everyone who does not have access to the internet. On Wednesday at the full council meeting and on behalf of the Lib-Dems I called for this decision to be reversed. I was able to follow this up with some correspondence and I’m delighted to say that Labour have been forced into a U-Turn and bin collection calendars will be delivered to everyone during December.
5. HS2 Exhibition
HS2 will be holding an exhibition on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 November, from 10 am - 5pm at the Westpark Leisure Centre, Long Eaton NG10 4AA and on Saturday November 30 from 10am - 5pm at Bilborough College. Everyone is welcome to attend and I hope that there will be an extremely good turnout from Broxtowe. At the East Midlands Liberal Democrats Regional Conference yesterday I spoke in favour of HS2 and the party voted very strongly in favour of supporting it. I’ve put an edited version of my speech (to make it easier to read) on our website at http://broxtoweliberaldemocrats.org.uk/en/article/2013/742265/the-case-for-hs2
6. Barton’s Secret Party
I have received a number of complaints today about the levels of noise coming from the event at Bartons on Chilwell High Road last night. Unfortunately the show seemed to go on very late and many residents were unable to sleep. I have emailed Simon Barton today and asked him to ensure that this is not repeated. It’s great to have venue’s like Barton’s but it is not fair on neighbours to go on too late or too loud.
7. Lib-Dem AGM
The 2013 Annual General Meeting of the Broxtowe Liberal Democrats will take place on Friday 15th November 2013, starting at 7.30pm at Bramcote Memorial Hall. All members and supporters are welcome to attend. If you’re a Lib-Dem supporter but not yet a member why not come along and join us. We can sign you up as a member there if you like. Being a member doesn’t involve any commitment to extra work, we welcome non-active members just as much. Over the whole of the East Midlands membership of the Liberal Democrats is growing (as it is nationally) so why not add yourself to that number?
8. Chilwell Arts Theatre
On Friday 8th November at 7.30pm, Paradiso Cinema, Chilwell Arts Theatre, Chilwell School NG9 5AL, presents Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, starring James Stewart and Kim Novak. Come at 7pm for refreshments. Tickets on the door £5 (£4 con). On Friday 15th November at 7.30pm, The Little Earthquake Theatre Company presents The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe at Chilwell Arts Theatre, Chilwell School NG9 5AL. Tickets £8 (£6 conc) from 0115 9252698 or 07772053412. This is supported by the Village Ventures Scheme. A wealthy recluse and his private nurse live behind a barricade of bolted doors and blacked-out windows. Suspicion and resentment grow until the nurse hatches a fool proof plan to dispose of his patient. When the deed is done, the silence of the empty house is shattered by a curious thumping from beneath the floorboards…
9. New Youth Mayor
Harroun Kinoucha, 16, from Bramcote School, has been elected as the new Broxtowe Youth Mayor, taking over from Adam Stockwell. The Youth Council also elected 15 year old Jade Cox, also from Bramcote School as Deputy Youth Mayor. Broxtowe Youth Council was set up in 1999 to allow young people to debate the issues affecting them and is currently working with various department within the Council on a number of projects.
10. Bad Weather Preparations
(This really resounds with me at the moment as I was unable to get to work in London last Monday because there were no trains running because of the weather.) Notts County Council have announced that they now have gritters on stand by each night in anticipation of bad weather. The teams will remain on standby until March and the stockpiles of salt are now full.
11. Ambulance Service Response Times
The latest statistics available show that for the second month in a row East Midlands Ambulance Service missed its response targets for the most serious, life threatening, calls. The target is that 75% of these calls should be responded to within 8 minutes and the service have only been able to achieve this in 68% of calls. Other bad news for the trust this week saw their Chief Operating Officer quit after just five months in the job and an announcement that they had overspent their budget by £400,000. All of this together makes very worrying reading.
12. New Houses in Stapleford
A planning application has been submitted to demolish the Nags Head and Plough in Stapleford, together with some business units, to construct 50 new houses. The borough council is currently consulting on these and a decision will probably be made early in the new year. Although this site would lead to the loss of some industrial units plans have also been submitted to build 10 new industrial units at West End Street.
13. Kimberley Road Closure
Westby Lane, between Kimberley and Awsworth, will be closed between 18th and 24th November for carriageway repairs.
14. Kimberley Police Station
A planning application has been submitted to convert Kimberley Police Station, which was closed some months ago, into three flats and an office. These will be considered by the borough council and a decision made early in the new year.
15. Walker Street School Site, Eastwood
The old Eastwood Primary School site on Walker Street has been vacant for a number of years and successive borough council leaders have tried to push the County Council, who own it, to get on and do something with it. Plans have now been submitted for 100 homes to be built on the site. There will be an exhibition for residents on Monday between 3pm and 7pm at St Mary’s Church on Church Street and everyone will be welcome to attend.
16. Trowell Parish Council
Trowell Parish Council are looking for a new member after Cllr David Kilby stepped down from his post. If only one person applies then the council can co-opt them, and members must live within 3 miles of Trowell.
17. Older Persons Consultation
The Borough Council is currently preparing a strategy for dealing with the housing needs of an aging population and has launched a survey for the public to share their views. You can access this from the borough council website at www.broxtowe.gov.uk and the consultation ends on 30th November.
As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.
Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.