Sunday, 15 December 2013

Broxtowe Enews 15th December 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. This week has been a really busy week so may I apologise if you’re waiting for a reply from me, they will be coming shortly.

1.       Open Cast Mining
It’s a shame that we’re having to start this week with two items of very bad news for the borough. The first is that the County Council have voted to allow UK Coal to carry out five years of open cast mining at Shortwood Farm between Trowell and Cossall. This is despite the very strong opposition locally from all three political parties. I’m told that the Labour members on the committee all voted in favour of the scheme as did one of the Conservative members, and as a result the proposal was carried.

2.       Oxylane Sports Village
The second piece of bad news is that the borough council’s Development Control Committee voted against allowing the development of a sports village next to junction 26 of the M1. This was a £30 million development which would have included facilities for a whole range of different sports which residents would have been able to try out for free, together with a new leisure centre for the Borough Council and would have involved improvements to the Nuthall Island and to the roundabout at the motorway junction. The village would have been the first of its kind in the UK and was supported by a whole range of national sports bodies. It would have generated a significant number of new jobs and the sort of facilities that the council could never afford to create.  Unfortunately the Conservatives voted as a block against it and two Labour councillors voted with them. All the Liberal Democrats on the committee were in favour of the scheme. Sadly it looks like the opportunity has now been lost for ever. To say that I am disappointed with both of these stories would be a considerable understatement.

3.       Button Sale
Voluntary group ‘Communities Against Poverty’ will be doing a special sale of buttons on Saturday 25 January 2014 from 10 am to 2 pm at The Wood Gallery, 37 Scargill Walk, Craft Workshops, Eastwood, Nottingham NG16 3AY.  Profits will go towards funding Brinsley Headstocks Festival which takes place on Sunday 7 September 2014. Group members are collecting small glass jars (for example the type used to contain individual jam portions) for the buttons and would be grateful if people could save their unwanted small jars between now and the New Year.    A volunteer can collect jars from you – please contact Angela Smith on 01773 712637.

4.       HS2 Meeting
Strelley Parish Group have decided to have another public meeting about HS2 to try and encourage people to fill in the response forms which were in leaflets available at the HS2 meeting at Bilborough College on November 30th , or they can be downloaded from the internet. The meeting will be open to anyone and will be in the Panelled Room in Strelley Hall on January 11th. 2014 at 2.00p.m.

5.       Borough Council Ward Boundaries
The Boundary Commission recently confirmed that they feel that Broxtowe has the right number of borough councillors at 44. They have however now launched the next stage of their review, which is to determine the size and make up or wards. At the moment we have a mixture of different size wards with either 1, 2 or 3 councillors. The aim when the current size of the council was established about 10 years ago was to ensure that each councillor represented about 2,000 people.  The Commission say that they want to ensure that councillors represent roughly the same number of people, that communities are properly reflected and that boundaries are easily identifiable. The consultation runs until April and if you would like to submit a comment please send them to

6.       Archaeological Research at Manor Farm recreation Ground, Toton
The Friends of Toton Fields, with the support of Beeston and District Local Historical Society and the Borough Council are submitting an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund to finance some archaeological pits at the site that the old manor house and watermill stood.  If the dig is successful and any interpretation boards are to be displayed then these will be funded by the Borough Council. I hope that this bid is successful and I look forward to seeing the work progress.

7.       Car Par Charges
I’m writing this newsletter two days before the next cabinet meeting of the Borough Council but when that takes place we will be debating a proposal from the Lib-Dem and Labour group to reduce the long stay parking charges at a number of car parks in Eastwood and Beeston. I expect that these proposals will be passed and lower charges will come into effect in the new year.

8.       Kingsbridge Way Short Break Service
I reported on proposals from the County Council to close this vital respite service last week and gave an email address for my colleague Steve Carr, who is co-ordinating the Lib-Dem opposition to the closure. A number of people have contacted me this week to say that the email address didn’t work. Many apologies for this and if you try it should work.

9.       Beeston Wildlife Group
Beeston Wildlife Group are holding a talk on the 50th Anniversary of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust by Norman Lewis (MBE) and Tim Sexton tomorrow, 16th December 2013, from 7.30pm - 9.30pm at the Trent Vale Infants School, Trent Road, Beeston Rylands, Nottingham, NG9 1LP. The admission cost is £2 on the door, including light refreshments.

10.   Stapleford New Homes Consultation
Lib-Dem run Stapleford Town Council have organised a public consultation on the borough councils issues and options documents for new housing sites in the borough. This will take place on Friday 20th December from 6pm to 7pm at the Carnegie Centre, Warren Avenue, Stapleford. All Stapleford residents are welcome to attend and you can register your interest by sending an email to

11.   Train Speeds
Track improvements along the Midland Mainline has meant that trains from Nottingham and Beeston can now get to London faster than ever before. Up to 8 minutes have been shaved off journey times along the route, which is good news. Electrification of the line over the next few years will make the service even faster.

12.   Low Cost Homes
Work has now started on building 26 low cost homes in Beeston and Eastwood on the site of former garages owned by the council. This is the first stage of a £2.5million development to build 100 new homes across the borough, which the council are providing in conjunction with Nottingham Community Housing.

13.   Wedding Make Up Artist
Congratulations to Watnall resident Jennie Hughes who was this week voted Best Wedding Make Up Artist in the East Midlands. She now goes through to the national finals and we wish her every success.

14.   School Numbers
Research published this week suggests that Notts County Council may need to find an extra 2,500 primary school places in the next three years due to rising population figures. As well as an increased birth rate there is greater immigration from outside of the region. We all know that this is a great place to live and it looks like many other people are thinking exactly the same thing.

15.   Shop Graphics
Visitors to Beeston and Stapleford Town Centres may notice some new graphics that we have installed on empty shops. These give a visualisation of how the shops could look if they were in use. This serves two purposes, first it gives potential tenants an idea of how the premises would appear f let, and secondly it helps prevent the town centres looking run down. The council have tried this approach before very successfully, and so we have gone bigger this time to have even more of an impact.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received. May I conclude by wishing everyone a very happy Christmas and a very pleasant new year. The next newsletter will be published on 5th January 2014.

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.