Sunday, 23 February 2014

Broxtowe Enews 23rd February 2014

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. May I also apologise that many people are still waiting for replies to emails. I’m afraid that I have been so busy that quite a backlog has built up. I will try and address all of these over the next few days.

1. Men in Heels
I mentioned in the newsletter a couple of weeks ago of the “men in heels” initiative in Eastwood to raise money for the Broxtowe women’s project. This took place last weekend and approximately 30 men from Eastwood took part in a sponsored walk whilst wearing high heels. Amongst these was my Council colleague Bob Charlesworth. I’d like to congratulate everybody who was involved, and especially event coordinator Lisa Dann.

2. County Council Aspergers Team
We have heard an awful lot about cuts to the county council’s budget over the last few months, and I have been very critical about some of the cuts proposed. I am therefore delighted to welcome a U-turn by the Council in respect of their team helping people with Asperger’s syndrome. Plans to scrap this have been reversed, and therefore the 200 or so adults in the county who suffer from Asperger’s will continue to get help.

3. Trees Available
in the last couple of additions of this newsletter I have mentioned efforts to plant a significant number of new trees in Broxtowe. The Woodland trust are now making more than half 1 million trees available to community groups, including discounts, brownies, sports clubs and parish councils. I hope that groups within the Borough will be keen to take up this offer. The deadline to apply for free trees is 4 September and details can be found on the Woodland trust website at

4. Happy Towns
A survey of business people in Kimberley, Eastwood and Stapleford has shown that satisfaction levels with the town centres has risen in each of the towns. This is good news and credit needs to go to the borough council’s town centre manager. Satisfaction levels in Beeston has stayed the same at 70%, and given the disruption that there has been over the last few months with the tram works this is itself an extremely good performance. However, as ever, we will be looking for improvements next year. The town centre team have a number of initiatives to improve all of our town centres, and if there are any things that you would like to see please do let me know.

5. Beeston Business Park
The owners of Beeston Business Park have now unveiled their proposals for the redevelopment of the site. They are planning to spend £30 million creating 26 new industrial units, a food store and a new sports club. There will also be some 281 houses on the site. I didn’t get the chance to go to their presentation this week due to work commitments, but most of what they are suggesting looks quite encouraging. I do however have concerns about the food store in particular, and the amount of traffic that it might generate. Station Road in Beeston is the only way in or out of that area and it is already heavily congested, and so we will need to see what the proposals are to address this.

6. Grass Cutting
last year the county council took over responsibility for cutting the grass verges in Broxtowe. This was at their insistence and not something that the Borough Council was happy about. I think everyone would agree that the county made a really bad job of it, and we had dozens, if not hundreds, of complaints. I am pleased to report that the county council have now rethought the position, and responsibility for carrying out the work will pass back to the Borough Council from this year. It will still be funded by the county, that they will pay the Borough Council to do the work.

7. Attenborough Nature Reserve
A new pond dipping platform has been installed at Attenborough Nature Reserve as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations. This replaces a previous platform which had reached the end of its life. The pond dipping platform is an educational facility used by local schoolchildren to learn about the wildlife that lives in the water. It has been extensively road  tested by both of my children who can vouch for the benefits that it brings.

8. Jobless Figures
The latest figures released show that unemployment in Nottinghamshire was significantly lower in January than it was 12 months ago. 13,060 people were claiming benefit in January across he county, equating to 2.6% of those eligible for work. This means that unemployment in Nottinghamshire is lower than the national average (3%) and also lower than the East Midlands average of 2.8%. Whilst this trend is encouraging industrial mean that we have 13,060 people to get into work.

9. Kimberley Brewery
Some concern has been expressed this week about fans to redevelop Kimberley Brewery. English Heritage have described proposals to construct more than 130 houses on the site as ‘incongruous and out of character.’ They are calling for a number of houses on the site to be reduced. One of the problems with that approach is that if we have less houses there then there is more pressure on other places to build. I will be meeting the developers of Kimberley Brewery this week and will discuss their proposals with them.

10. Chilwell Arts Theatre
There are two events taking place at Chilwell Arts Theatre, Chilwell School, Queens Road West, NG9 5AL in the next few days. On Friday 28th February, Paradiso Cinema presents “Rush,” the story of the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the 1976 Formula One motor racing season. Made in 2013, the film stars Daniel Bruhl and Chris Hemsworth. The film starts at 7.30pm. Tickets on the door £5 (£4 conc). Following that on Sunday 9th March, the Midnight Cabaret Band presents “From Berlin to Broadway,” an evening of “sophisticated, sexy and subversive” music. The concert starts at 7.30pm. Tickets £8 (£6 conc) from 0115 9252698 or 07772053412 or on the door.

11. Garden Waste
I have received loads of questions from people following the decision of the Borough Council to start charging for collecting garden waste. I’ve been trying to check out the details with the relevant officers, and the situation is this. Anybody who wants to have their garden waste collected separately, so that it can go to recycling, will face a charge of £30 per year. They will have a free ground being provided. People who already have a brown bin will receive a discount for this year. There are no plans to provide discounts for OAPs or the disabled at this point, although that may be looked at in the future. Residents who do not wish to have their garden waste collected separately can place it in their black bin where it will be collected along with the rest of the non-recyclable rubbish. I hope the letters make things clearer for people, but please don’t hesitate to contact me if you still have any questions.

12. Glyn Yeoman
It is with enormous sadness that I heard on Tuesday of the death of my friend and community activist Glyn Yeoman. Glyn was a long-term resident of Bramcote who contributed enormously to all that goes on here. Perhaps his greatest achievement was as Chairman of Governors at the Bramcote Hills Primary School where he helped guide the school to become one of the best schools in this or any area. Glyn was a good, kind and caring man and his wife Gill, his family and indeed all of us will miss him greatly.

13. Commonwealth Day
For the first time ever, local authorities, civic dignitaries, community groups and charities through the British Isles are taking part in local flag raising events and ceremonies of dedication to mark Commonwealth . In Broxtowe there  will be a ceremony in front of the Town Hall, Beeston on Monday 10th March 2014 at 10.00am The Mayor, Councillor Iris White, will raise the Commonwealth flag. Attending this event will be a Polish delegation from MyszkÓw County who are visiting the Borough of Broxtowe to celebrate the signing of a further 5 year Friendship and Co-operation Agreement between the two authorities.

14. Services at Bramcote Park
The salvation army will be holding open air services at Bramcote Park during the summer months this year. Services will start at 3 PM and will take place on 4 May, first of June and third of August. The Salvation Army band will be playing at these events. Everyone is very welcome to attend and participate.

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

Best wishes

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