Sunday, 30 March 2014

Broxtowe Enews 30th March 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. When I started writing this week’s edition I didn’t think that there was much to report on but as you will see below I was wrong. I’m also very conscious that a number of people are still waiting for replies to emails this week and I will try and deal with these as soon as possible.

1.       Moorgreen Show
The only place that I could start this week is with the news that Moorgreen Show has been scrapped. This has been one of the main social events in the north of the borough for many years, but the organisers say that the number of visitors have been down for the past few years. The borough council have been the principal sponsors of the show for many years and this is extremely disappointing news. My personal view is that some aspects of the organisation and management of the show have left a lot to be desired in recent years.  I read some comments by the organisers this week saying that people were no longer interested in farming or rural life, but I really don’t believe that this is the case.  The council will be exploring every possible avenue to see if the show can be rescued.

2.       Poppy Planting
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War One the borough council will be planting new poppy beds around the Edward Road and Mansfield Road war memorials in Eastwood. The mayor of the borough will also be planting poppies at Mansfield Road Memorial Garden, Eastwood  , Cookies Pond in Stapleford and Hetley Pearson recreation ground in Beeston tomorrow as well. A total area of 290 square metres will be cultivated and planted with wild poppy across the borough.

3.       Warrant Officer Alan Hamilton
I’d like to offer my congratulations to Warrant Officer Hamilton from the Royal Engineers, based at Chilwell Garrison, who has been awarded an MBE. This was to recognise his skills in designing anti-vehicle ditches in Afghanistan to protect against suicide bombers.

4.       County Highways
I’ve been a frequent critic of the highways department at the county council, who have, in my opinion, failed to provide the level of service to local residents that we have a right to expect. This week the County Council, as part of its cuts agenda, have reduced the staff there by 121 posts. Unfortunately this is likely to mean that the service we get from them gets even worse.

5.       Royal Mail Cuts
The Royal Mail announced this week that they are cutting about 1,000 jobs. They have said however that this is unlikely to affect the numbers employed locally at the Padge Road sorting office in Beeston as the cuts are likely to be head office based.

6.       Teachers Strike
One school in Broxtowe, Beeston Fields Primary School in Beeston, was completely shut as a result of last weeks strike by the NUT. Four other schools were partially closed,  Albany infants in Stapleford, Bramcote Hills Primary in Bramcote, Eastwood School and Chilwell School. I’m afraid that I think that the teachers who took this action were completely misguided in doing so, and they have caused significant inconvenience to parents as well as damage to children’s education. I hope that this action will not be repeated.

7.       Joan Moodie
Former Broxtowe Mayor Joan Moodie passed away last week. She was very well known and highly respected in Broxtowe and I’d like to extend my sympathies to her family and friends. Her funeral will take place on Tuesday.

8.       Ian Campbell
Further sad news this week was that former Kimberley Town Councillor Ian Campbell, who worked as a tribute singer under the name of Frankie Martin, passed away at the age of 53. Again I’d like to extend my sympathies to his family and friends.  Mr Campbell raised significant amounts of money for Help For Heroes, the charity that supports ex-servicemen and women.

9.       Jaguar Pub
Work has now started demolishing the old Jaguar Pub in Stapleford. This closed last year and the site is being redeveloped as three shops. The original design submitted for the shops was extremely poor but the council worked with the developers and the scheme that was eventually approved looks far better.

10.   Charity Ball
On Saturday 5th April Ruby Charity Ball the Mayor of Broxtowe, Councillor Iris White, holds her Charity Ball in aid of Treetops Hospice and the Helpful Bureau at the Belfry Hotel, Nottingham, from 7pm.   Tickets cost £32 and can be obtained from the Civic Office on 0115 917 3210.

11.   Beeston & District Civic Society Open Meeting
On Friday 11th April at 7.30pm The Beeston and District Civic Society are holding an open meeting at The Community Room, John Clifford School, Nether Street, Beeston, NG9 2AT. Mark Chivers will give a talk on 'Boots Enterprise Zone'.  It is free for members, £2 for guests on the door.  Refreshments  will be available.  

12.   Bramcote Old Church Tower Quiz Night
On Saturday 12 April there will be a quiz night in aid of Bramcote Old Church Tower starting at 7.30pm at Bramcote Memorial Hall. The cost is £10 per person, which includes a jacket potato with filling, tea and coffee (bring your own beer or wine).  For tickets please call 0115 922 6782.

13.   DH Lawrence Love of Trains
The speaker at the next D.H. Lawrence Society meeting, to be held in the D.H. Lawrence Heritage Centre, Durban House, on Wednesday, April 9, at 7pm, will be Helen Baron, from Hull, who will be giving a talk entitled “DH Lawrence and His Love of Trains.”. One of Helen’s many distinctions is that she edited Sons and Lovers, and its earlier version, Paul Morel, for the Cambridge University Press.

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

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Broxtowe Enews 9th March 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. I’ve just got back from a brilliant Liberal Democrat conference where, in a session on engaging with residents, this newsletter was mentioned by the speaker (not me) as being an excellent example of what to do. The success of this newsletter is entirely down to the readers, so thank you all.

1.       Council Tax
Broxtowe Borough Council held their budget meeting this week and I’m delighted to say that for the fourth year in a row council tax is being frozen. There are also no cuts to front line services and no compulsory redundancies. We have achieved this for so long by doing things better. The charge for removing garden waste was approved as part of this. I have made it clear in the past that I didn’t agree with this but on reflection I think I was wrong to oppose it. The alternative was to cut services and this was the lesser of two evils.
Whilst talking about this may I digress briefly to talk about partnership working. The Lib-Dem and Labour Parties have worked together in Broxtowe for twelve years. There is much about the Labour Party and much about their approach that I really don’t like, and I’m sure that they would say the same about the Lib-Dems. However for the sake of local people we put our differences aside and try and get the best deal for Broxtowe that we can. Sometimes we get what we want and sometimes Labour get what they want. People seem quite comfortable with this, but there was still a protestor outside the conference today shouting that we were Tories in disguise because we are in coalition with them nationally. Presumably by his logic I’m also a socialist because I work with Labour locally, The truth of course is that I’m neither. As a Liberal I’m a pragmatist and will work with whoever is necessary to get things done.

2.       Tram Compensation
Nottingham City Council have agreed to increase the amount of funding available for small traders in Beeston suffering from a loss of trade because of the tram works.  This is good news and everyone connected with it deserves to be congratulated. However there is still nothing to compensate residents who are affected by the problems.

3.       New Business
I was delighted to hear this year that printer manufacturers Lexmark are moving to new offices in Chilwell. They are a major blue chip company and it is fantastic that they are coming to Broxtowe. I look forward to working with them in the future.

4.       New Gym
At the other end of the scale for new businesses a new community gym has opened on Seven Oaks Crescent in Bramcote. Changes Gym is now open and is a ladies only gym. New members are welcome. Details are available on 07429 143143.

5.       New Bench
A bench in honour of Alderman Tom Martin was unveiled last weekend in front of Stapleford Library. Tom served for many years on both Broxtowe BC and Stapleford Town Council and was also mayor of both.  He also had a distinguished period of service in the army during the war. Tom passed away a couple of years ago, but the bench will help preserve the memory of his contribution to the town.

6.       Have Your Say on the NHS
Residents are invited to have their say on issues about the NHS in a couple of meetings later this month. The Clinical Commissioning Group (the medical consortium that runs the NHS locally) are holding public meetings at St Helen’s Church Hall, Frederick Road, Stapleford on 18th March at 6pm and then at Rumbletums on Victoria Road Kimberley on 20th March at 12.30pm. Any local residents are welcome to attend.

7.       Nottingham Post Local Heroes
Talking of Rumbletums their organiser, Jeff Buck, has been nominated for the Nottingham Post Good Neighbour of the Year award. Jeff had led Rumbletums since it was set up and has been the driving force behind many of the activities that have taken place there. I’ve never met Jeff but have swapped emails with him on numerous occasions and I’m delighted that he’s been nominated.

8.       Broxtowe CCTV
The police and the borough council are currently running a public consultation about the location and number of CCTV camera’s in Broxtowe. The consultation can be found on the council’s website at

9.       Grass Cutting
After the appalling mess that the County Council made of cutting the grass verges in Broxtowe last year I’m delighted to say that the work will pass back to the borough council for this year. Thank you to everyone who helped our campaign regarding this, which has achieved exactly what we hoped for.

10.   County Council Satisfaction
Satisfaction levels about the County Council have dropped significantly this year. Less than 60% of residents in the County are now happy about the level of service that the council provides. This is a 5% fall compared to last year, and contrast sharply with the satisfaction ratings of more than 80% obtained by the borough council.

11.   Toton Housing
Notts County Council have now made their comments to the borough council about the plans for home building in Toton. The County Council have said that these plans are “acceptable.” The County put their views forward but any decisions will be taken by the borough council in due course.

12.   Ilkeston Station
Although the station is in Derbyshire the proposed car park for it is in Broxtowe. We have had real trouble with this over the last few days as the Environment Agency were objecting to planning permission being given. There was an impending deadline by which planning permission had to be granted to ensure that the funding was available, and this was getting extremely close. It took an awful lot of diplomacy and negotiation over the past few days to get this sorted, but planning permission is now all sorted.

13.   European Elections
The European Elections will take place on 22nd May, when residents in the East Midlands get to select the people who will represent them in the European Parliament. There will be two parties in this elections with clear positions. The Lib-Dems are unashamedly the party of IN and UKIP are equally the party of out. I’d urge everyone to vote in this election and to vote for one of these two parties. That way your intentions will be clear. With the Tories hopelessly divided in Europe and Labour refusing to commit one way or another a vote for them doesn’t tell us anything about the way that people want this country to go. For me I believe that the 3 million jobs that would be lost if we left the EU is a great reason to stay in.

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

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.
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