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.
Liberal Democrats – A Stronger Economy and a Fairer Society