Sunday, 22 June 2014

Broxtowe Enews 22nd June 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. Firstly may I apologise that there was no newsletter last week, unfortunately I was swamped with stuff for my paid employment last weekend and then whisked all over the country at the start of this week so it just wasn’t possible to get one produced.

1.       Summer Fairs
The Early Years playgroup in Stapleford are staging a summer fair at the Old Lace Mill in Frederick Road on Saturday 28th June.  It will feature a barbeque, tombola and other stalls. Full details can be obtained by ringing 07939 852907. Also on the same day Queenswood Methodist Home for the Aged will be hosting a fair from 2pm to 4pm to raise money for residents funds. It will feature a tombola, book stall and a host of games and activities.

2.       Unemployment in Nottinghamshire
Unemployment in Notts is continuing to fall. In total there were 11,685 people claiming jobseekers allowance in the county in May, down from 12,382 in April. This represents 2.3% of working age people.

3.       Flooding
I was deeply distressed to read of families in Kimberley who had their houses flooded for the second time in a year last week. We have just been able to return to our house after six months away and the builders actually finished the final job on Friday. For people to have to face this twice in a year is heartbreaking. I know that money was pumped into Somerset to provide support for residents affected by flooding there, and I have written to Anna Soubry to ask her to call in parliament for financial support for Kimberley residents as well.

4.       Stag Play Area
Better news for Kimberley residents is that the Stag Recreation Ground has a new children’s play area, which has been jointly funded by the Borough Council and the Town Council. The refurbished play area took nearly 2 years to build and cost nearly £180,000 but it provides some of the highest quality play equipment that can be used anywhere.

5.       Colliers Wood
As part of Eastwood Arts Festival next month Robert Louis Stephenson’s novel Treasure Island will be performed at Colliers Wood. The show will take place on Thursday 17th July starting at 7.30pm and tickets cost £12 (£9 for concessions).

6.       Mayor on Facebook
As part of the extended digital service that the borough council offers videos of visits by the Mayor, councillor Stan Heptinstall, will be available on YouTube.  These can be seen at The council have also redesigned their website which can be seen at and I would be very interested in any feedback from users as to how well the site now works.

7.       Potholes
David Cameron visited Kimberley this week and announced that the Government is providing an extra £2.7 million to the County Council to help repair the 52,000 potholes in the county.

8.       Building in Stapleford
I hope I can correct a story that was reported in the media this week. Despite claims to the contrary the council is not considering building on sports pitches at Hickings Lane Rec in Stapleford. These rumours flared up some months ago and I reported the correct situation then, but the rumours seem to have circulated again this week. What the council is considering is building some flats close to the sports itches. This is quite deliberate. At the moment Hickings Lane Rec is targeted with depressing regularity by vandals who have torn up trees and damaged the pavilion. Building homes near the park so that it will be overlooked may well help to prevent this happening. I’m disappointed that some people seem to be ignoring that and spreading rumours that just are not true.

9.       Yes Tree Community Café
A new community café has opened at Yew Tree Court running from now until 30th July. The café will be open every Wednesday from 10am and noon, offering a range of refreshments. It is run by residents of Yew Tree Court, a retirement complex run by the borough council. As it is not a commercial venture residents are being invited to pay according to how satisfied they are.

10.   Business In The Community
The charity Business in the Community, which aims to support local communities, has announced that Beeston will be receiving significant support. The charity aims to increase the number of shoppers, reduce the number of empty shops and create 3,000 new jobs over the next three years. Beeston is actually still attracting a significant number of shoppers, despite all the tram and building work going on, with a record 105,000 people visiting in one week last month. However the scale of work does present considerable challenges and this extra support is very welcome.

11.   Great Beeston Bake Off
The Great Beeston Bake Off will take place at Round Hill School on Saturday 28th June. The competition is free to enter but contestants can make a donation to Oxfam. The deadline for entries is 8pm on Friday 27th June. Further information can be obtained by ringing 07711 615096.

12.   Mayors Garden Party
The Mayor will host a Garden Party on Saturday 19th July from 4.00pm until 9.00pm at his home in Bramcote in aid of the Mayors charities. Tickets cost £12.50 to include a BBQ and live music from the fabulous Don Morrell’s Gin Mill Syncopators. Please bring a picnic chair on the day. Tickets are available from the Civic Office on 0115 917 3701 or email

13.   Archaeological Dig in Toton
There is an archaeological investigation beginning next Monday. It will be in Manor Park Recreation Ground Toton. It follows geophysical and topographical surveys of the area. In the excavation and Test pits the archaeologists and volunteers will be looking for dating material and wall lines of the old Manor House/s and farm buildings. Phase 2 will last for 3 weeks. This will be followed by Phase 3 which is an excavation in search of dating evidence and lines from the watermill which once stood in Manor Park before being demolished at the beginning of the 20th century, no specific date for this has been discovered yet. There were 2 mills recorded in the Domesday Book and there are short references to a watermill up to 1901.

14.   Residents Parking Schemes
Residents Parking Scheme are being introduced by the County Council on Devonshire Avenue, Glebe Street, Cromwell Road, Elm Avenue, Bramcote Road and Ireton Street in Beeston. New parking bays, yellow lines and signs being installed.  The works started this week and are intended to be finished early next week and the new schemes will come into force shortly afterwards.

15.   Queens Honours
Two Broxtowe residents were honoured by the Queen this week. Congratulations to  Professor David Greenaway, Vice Chancellor of Nottingham University who was given a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours and Marion Wallwork of the Beeston and Civic Society who received the British Empire Medal for her services to Heritage. 

16.   Watnall Post Office
Watnall Post Office will be closed for refurbishment from 23rd July at 5pm until 3rd August at 1pm. The new look post office is one of a series within the borough that the post office are modernising and they will then be able to provide a wider range of services than they can currently do.

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

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Broxtowe Enews 8th June 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.

1.       Newark By Election
As regular readers will know I was the Lib-Dem candidate for the Newark by election. The result was very disappointing but we were probably outspent a thousand times over by the Conservatives. My small team did all that we could be a lot of our supporters voted Conservative to stop UKIP winning. I enjoyed the campaign but I’m looking forward to getting back to normality now.

2.       “Racist” Constituents
The press got very excited this week about comments that our MP made saying that some constituents were racist. Unfortunately this puts the wrong slant on what Anna said. The point that she was making was that when you discuss the facts on immigration with most people their concerns are alleviated. Perhaps Anna’s choice of words wasn’t the best but the point she was trying to make was correct.

3.       Stapleford History Society
The next meeting of the Stapleford and District History Society will be on Wednesday 11th June at the Maycliffe Hall on Toton Lane, starting at 7.30pm. The subject is Mary Ellen Shaw (1859-1926) and admission is £2.50.

4.       Axe Attack on Attenborough Nature Reserve
I was disgusted to hear yesterday that the visitors centre at Attenborough Nature Reserve could not open when it was meant to as vandals had attacked the bridge to the centre with an axe! The centre is the jewel in the crown of an excellent reserve and for people to act like this is absolutely disgraceful. It can’t even have been an opportunistic attack as someone had to take the axe there in the first place! Thankfully the centre was able to open later in the day.

5.       Bramcote Litter Pick
This is advance notice for Bramcote residents that my fellow Bramcote councillors and I will be organising another community litter pick in the village on 30th August. More details will be provided in due course.

6.       Speed Skaters
At the British Speed Skating Championships held at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham on 25 and 26 May 2014 Andrew Martin from Bramcote won the Bronze Medal for the aged 14 group and Kyle Ross-Waddell, also from Bramcote, won the Silver Medal for the aged 12 group. Congratulations to them both.

7.       Hemlock Happening
Thank you to everyone who attended this year’s Hemlock Happening and especially to those who took part. I’d like to congratulate my colleague Stan Heptinstall who is in charge of organising this each year and who arranged for the rain to stop just as the event started! Both of my children took part and thoroughly enjoyed the day, as always.

8.       Model makers
A new club has been formed in Chilwell for local model makers. Anyone aged over 35 who is interested in learning more about arts and crafts is invited to join the group which will meet at 56 Longleat Crescent every Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm. The sessions have disabled access. For more details phone Pauline Day on 0115 925 9989.

9.       Chilwell Road
At long last Chilwell Road in Beeston is open to traffic. It has been closed for many months for the tram work, and work will continue for the next few months. However traffic can now travel down the road again.

10.   New Curate
Brinsley and Eastwood Church of England churches have a new curate. Anna Alls has been appointed as curate of St Mary’s Eastwood, St James in Brinsley and also a church in Underwood. Congratulations to her on her new role. She lives in Brinsley.

11.   Eastwood Cemetery Chapel
The council have launched a consultation with local residents about the future of the cemetery chapel in Eastwood which was gutted by fire in April. Local residents are being asked to give their views on a range of options from a complete rebuild to demolition. The survey will close at the end of this month and decisions will be made very quickly afterwards.

12.   Power for Kimberley
Work is now starting on a £5 million scheme to improve power supplies in Kimberley. This includes a new sub-station in Watnall and new cabling and the result should be that there are less power cuts for local residents.

13.   Sunnyside Post Office
Sunnyside Post Office in Beeston has now closed for a refurbishment. It will reopen on 13th June at 1pm and when reopened will then have longer opening hours, from 6am to 9pm. These longer opening hours are certainly to be welcomed.

14.   Grass Verges
A number of people have contacted me about the fact that once again this year the grass verges do not appear to have been cut as they should have been. I have made enquiries about this with the council and will report back next week. I apologise that I haven’t responded to the various comments about this in individual emails but due to the Newark by election I have been pretty busy over the last few days.

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

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Broxtowe Enews 1st June 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.

1. Hemlock Happening
Next Saturday, from 1pm to 10.30pm, is the Hemlock Happening. This is now by far the largest free event in the borough and is one of the most widely anticipated events of the year. The event will be opened by my colleague Stan Heptinstall, the Mayor of Broxtowe, and hundreds of local people will be taking part. The full programme of events is available at

2. Car accident
Followers of the ITV News may well have heard that I was involved in a car accident this week. Unfortunately someone ran straight into the back of my car whilst I was sat in a line of traffic. Such a low speed shunt wouldn’t normally make the news but as I am currently a candidate in the Newark by election the TV mentioned it. I did get a rather tongue in cheek email from the Labour Party when they heard suggesting that I take a few days off to recover.

3. Beeston Technology Park
Developers have now submitted a formal application to develop the Technology Drive Business Park and Trent Vale Sports Ground in Beeston.  Full details of the plans are available on Broxtowe Borough Council's website. The development includes 285 houses, new sports facilities, a health centre and a new car park for Beeston Station.  The consultation ends on 6th June. I’m told by the officers that we have had comments so far from people saying that there are too many houses and others saying that there are not enough. The council will decide on this in due course.

4. Bramcote CAT
The next Bramcote Community Action Team meeting, which will be chaired by my colleague Ian Tyler, takes place tomorrow at Bramcote Memorial Hall, starting at 7pm. All Bramcote residents are welcome to attend.

5. Garden Trails
The Beeston and Chilwell Garden Trail is an opportunity for residents to enjoy a range of beautiful gardens in Beeston and Chilwell. Owners will be on hand during the afternoon to share tips and answer questions and there will be a range of activities available. Tickets cost £3.50 and are valid for Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th June from 1 to 5pm. Children can visit for free.  Also on Sunday 8th June from 1 to 5pm is the Cossall Open Gardens afternoon. There are 15 gardens on display. Tickets cost £3.

6. Tram Works
Chilwell Road will hopefully be open again soon but the deadline by which this was meant to have happened has been and gone. Many properties will have to have changes to their rubbish collections as a result of the tram and the council have organised a number of meetings for residents to discuss the options available. On June 3rd at 6.30pm at Humber Lodge there is a meeting for Lower Road residents, on June 5th at 6.30pm in the New Council Chamber at Beeston Town Hall for residents of Styring Street Flats, Chilwell Road and High Road and then on 10th June at 6.30pm at Humber Lodge for Fletcher Road and Middle Street residents. If you are affected you are very welcome to attend.

7. Ambulance Crews
I have reported on a number of occasions that the East Midlands Ambulance Service have struggled to hit their performance targets over the last few years. However a report that I read last week may give some insight as to why. The number of prosecutions for assaults on ambulance staff has doubled over the past three years, which is an appalling figure. Let’s be clear, assaults on ambulance staff are completely unacceptable under any circumstances, and my sympathies go out to all the affected staff.

8. Broxtowe Jobs Fair
A Jobs Fair organised jointly between the Nottingham Post and County Council will be held at the Pearson Centre in Beeston on 1st July from 10am to 3pm. Everyone is welcome to attend and no appointments are needed. The number of jobless people in the county continues to fall as we recover from the recession but there are still more than 12,000 people out of work so this initiative is welcomed.

9. Speeding Drivers
The police in Beeston have launched a campaign to tackle speeding motorists. This is in response to requests from local residents and the success of the scheme will be reviewed at a public meeting on 29th July at Beeston Town Hall, starting at 7pm.

10. Notts TV
Just in case anyone hasn’t seen all the adverts Nottinghamshire now has its own TV channel. Notts TV is available on Channel 8 on Freeview.

11. Child Arrests
It was interesting to see that there has been a 60% drop in the number of young people under the age of 18 being arrested over the past five years in Notts. In 2008 there were 7,008 young people arrested and by 2013 that number had fallen to 2,189. This is one of a number of statistics which have been published which suggest that crime really has fallen over the past few years.

12. Library Events
Beeston Library are running a couple of new events this week. On Tuesday they are inviting book lovers to discuss their favourite books between 7 and 8pm. The cost of this session is £1. Following this on Wednesday there is an introductory session for people interested in astronomy. Details of either event can be obtained by ringing 0115 925 5168.

13. Debt Advice
The charity Christians Against Poverty have expanded their services to include advice for residents in Beeston and Chilwell. The charity aims to provide debt advice to local residents. You can book an appointment with them by ringing 0800 328 0006.

14. Euro Elections
I’ll conclude with a quick comment about the Euro elections. Clearly they were very disappointing for us but we will bounce back. It is worth remembering that 90% of people in this country did not vote for UKIP, and the biggest winners were the “did not vote party.” I am proud that we stuck to our principles about being in favour of Europe, and I look forward to next year’s elections.

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

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.