News From David Watts, Broxtowe Liberal Democrats, 6 September 2015

David-WattsDavid Watts writes: This is a short edition to summarise the main news from over the summer and we will resume a proper service next week. I hope that everyone has had a good summer.
Like most parents one of my key aims through the summer was to try and get through six weeks without visiting casualty. Sadly we failed this year after my younger daughter was thrown from a horse whilst riding. Thankfully there was nothing broken but she is still sporting some fairly big bruising even four weeks later.

1. The Tram
Obviously the biggest news from last month was that the tram is now operating.
My initial impression is that it is being very well used and so far the road system around Toton seems to be coping well with the park and ride. However I’m conscious that traffic over the past couple of weeks has been lighter than it may be for the next few so we’ll see how that goes. What is certain is that there was a massive increase in footfall in Beeston when the tram started running.

2. Tram Extension
The report into the feasibility of extending the tram network through to Kimberley has now reported and concluded that this would be possible and would cost about £170 million. I’m a huge supporter of the tram but firmly believe that we need to have a proper enquiry to learn the lessons of the current project before we start on another one. The current scheme was eight months late and there were numerous problems on the way, so we need to make sure that we truly understand the root causes of these before we start another line.

3. Fracking
The other big news is that the Conservative government have given licences to various companies to explore a number of areas with a view to possibly starting fracking at some point in the future. One of these areas covers south Broxtowe (in fact the line seems to go straight under my house). This does not mean that we will definitely get fracking but it is a step towards it. As the law stands at the moment there would have to be an application to the County Council before fracking could happen, but there are rumours that this will be changed and the government will take over the licencing role directly. (So much for
localism.) The Liberal Democrats both locally and nationally are opposed to fracking and will be opposing it here.

4. Shopmobility
Shopmobility on Beeston have been looking for a new base for a while as the current one is too far from the town centre. Unfortunately the Conservative administration in Broxtowe would only offer them rooms in the council building a few yards nearer, which doesn’t really solve the problem of it being too far away. As a result I’ve heard reports that the trustees have decided to close the service. I hope that this decision will be reconsidered for those who do use the service, and that the council will find somewhere more appropriate for the service to be based.

5. Dementia Friendly Bungalows
Last week Eric Kerry, the portfolio holder for housing on the borough council, collected an award on behalf of the borough council for their work in constructing dementia friendly bungalows in Eastwood. This was work actually done by the previous Lib-Dem/Labour administration, but it is often the case that a new administration collects awards for work done by their predecessors.
However the irony of the current situation was that the very next day the Conservatives decided to reject proposals to build further dementia friendly bungalows in Beeston. They were supported in this by the independent councillor from Stapleford.

6. New Bus Route
To tie in with the tram Trent/Barton have launched a new “Link 17” bus route which connects to the tram terminus. The timetable for this can be found at http://www.nottinghamcoach.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/link-17-A4-2.pdf.

7. Devolution Bid
The leaders of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire have submitted proposals to Government for greater devolution for the area. This would give the area a much greater say over spending and hopefully a bigger budget as well. However the downside is that before the election the Government made it clear that one of the strings attached was that we would have to accept an elected mayor as part of the package. This is something that Nottingham has already rejected and of course here in Broxtowe we were never even given a say. Further details about this can be seen at http://www.broxtowe.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=14817.

8. Beeston Canalside Museum
The Heritage Lottery Fund which provided the bulk of the funding for a new Heritage Centre at Beeston Lock has now given the go ahead for the work to begin. This follows local fundraising efforts to raise the rest of the money that was needed. The project will produce a heritage museum creating an exhibition gallery, resource centre, community cafe, fishing tackle shop, cycle hire facility, a kitchen garden and allotment space. All those associated with the project are delighted that the go ahead has now been given. Further details are at www.canalsideheritagecentre.org.uk.
9. Refugee Crisis
There will be a candlelit vigil tomorrow (Monday) evening at 7.00pm in the Market Square in Nottingham lasting for about 45 minutes to show support for refugees and to send the message to Government that refugees are welcome here.
All are welcome to attend. There is also a petition calling on the borough council to make it clear to the Government that we in Broxtowe are willing to help. You can sign that at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/refugees-welcome-in-broxtowe?bucket=.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. We will have a full newsletter next week. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Best wishes

David
www.davidwatts.org.uk
www.broxtoweliberaldemocrats.org.uk
Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

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14 Responses to News From David Watts, Broxtowe Liberal Democrats, 6 September 2015

  1. 4. Shopmobility

    On Twitter you openly accused me of being part of this decision which is completely untrue, this was a decision made by Cabinet at Broxtowe Borough Council and I am not a member of that Committee.

    5. Dementia Friendly Bungalows

    Yes I did vote against these being built at the current location and the reasons were as follows.

    The location is very close to the A52 which is a very busy road and I have read about people with dementia wondering off and I didn’t like the thought of what could possibly happen being so close to a very busy road.

    The second reason was because they wanted to demolish the Tennis Courts and I personally think they should be brought back into use for the local community, it would make a great addition to the area and surely be used by the wider community. I then found this article in the Nottingham Post ( http://m.nottinghampost.com/Council-looking-money-renovate-tennis-courts/story-19604382-detail/story.html ) and I realise that you too wanted to once save these very same Tennis Courts but failed to do so.

    I have a suggestion for you before you post your newsletter out which always seems to have the wrong information. Your welcome to attend any Council meeting and sit in the public gallery and listen to what’s debated by the Councillors. This way you will get to hear the full debate and all the information instead of second hand information which is passed on to you. This way you will be able to let your readers know the full truth of what takes place and not just post the bits you choose to share. Sour grapes maybe.

    • Steve Carr says:

      As the ward councillor for Beeston North I completely agreed with the siting of bungalows here next to an existing sheltered accommodation site which already houses some people with dementia. They don’t wander off which frankly is pretty stereotypical point of view and certainly not a reason to refuse planning permission. The council do not have money to bring the tennis courts back into use. There are tennis courts 400m away on Woodside Road!

  2. Adrian Hirst says:

    Confused about the new Link 17. It doesn’t appear to be a Trent Barton Iniative with no Mango multi-trip discounts etc. Similarly, its about the same price as a Kangaroo but also without any multi-trip options. Again, it only seems to be the pensioners who get a decent deal due to the lack of progress with Oyster Style Ticketting. More info at:-

    http://staplefordcommunitygroup.org.uk/2015/09/03/trams-and-buses-set-to-connect-at-toton-lane/

    No problems, in my view, with sorting out more affordable dementia friendly housing. The state of the art PFI Sheltered Mental Health unit at 35 Dovecote Lane has been standind empty for quite a few years now and would seem to be ideally suited for this purpose?

  3. Barry Morrison says:

    So Mr Watts..Refugees are welcome here.
    Question 1 ..Who did you ask as you certainly did’nt ask me?
    Question two…Did you ask the people of Broxtowe.? Of course you did’nt
    You seem to forget that four months ago you were in a coalition with the tories and now the Lib Dems have eight seats in Parliament..Meltdown is probably the word I’m thinking of which is about the same state of the Labour party right now.
    So it seems to me that the current nonsense that the Lib Dems and the Green party are spouting is going to keep the tories in power for at least the next decade..
    For heaven’s sake listen to what the people say. and don’t forget there’s supposed to be a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU soon and we know the Lib Dems are fanatically in favour of EU membership as they don’t know any better.

  4. Peter Chatfield says:

    Link17 is not aTrentBarton service but is operated by Nottingham Coaches (owned by Steven Greaves ) who previously operated a circular service to and from Long Eaton via Toton.

  5. Steve Carr says:

    The Liberal Democrats are listening to what the people are saying on the refugee crisis. The majority of people want the UK to pull its weight and help. Local churches and community groups in Beeston and Bramcote are collecting clothing and shelter. As a councillor I have been bombarded with emails urging the Borough Council to act positively to help with the crisis.
    Despite the result of the GE, which actually re-elected a liberal-minded Tory MP in Broxtowe, we are still a liberal Island and long may it remain so.

  6. Martin Plackett says:

    Steve is absolutely right. As a Nation and People’s we have a long record and tradition of coming to the aid of those in distress. The appalling refugee crisis which confronts us on the news everyday is a situation that says that ‘we cannot stand by and do nothing.’ I’m quite sure following the Goverments initiative local Council’s, not least Browtowe Borough Council will be guided as to how they can and will be expected to help in the days and weeks and indeed years ahead. As the Book of James’s tells us those in distress should be welcomed equally along side those more fortunate.

    • davidwatts12 says:

      Martin and I are in complete agreement on this. All right thinking people will want to help and I know that Broxtowe residents have a long history and tradition of kindness and support. This is a situation where party politics can be put aside for the good of those in need. I am sure that Barry is speaking only for a very small minority who would be willing to turn their backs.

  7. Barry Morrison says:

    Now let’s get this straight. Not once did I say I would turn my back on these people..Better still to sort out the refugges from the economic immigrants then we would maybe make some headway..My main concern is letting multiple thousands of people into the country when we have many many thousands of indigenous folks who are homeless and jobless.

  8. Steve Carr says:

    The jobs are there. Why is it that eastern Europeans can walk straight into them?

  9. Barry Morrison says:

    Remember the blitz on London in World War 2 when London was in a hell of a mess?? What did the young men do then, did they shift off to a safe haven.? No. they fought the enemy and set about rebuilding the country.

  10. Joan Wade says:

    Local Liberal Democrats listen to what they think people are saying and change their policies accordingly. At the moment there is a wave of outpouring in favour of taking more refugees. I understand why. There are however over 11 million displaced people in Europe at the moment and whilst it is easy to give self righteous responses to Barry’s questions the current situation does call for a more intelligent response than simply offering up Bramcote as a refuge camp. We do actually need to address the root causes of the suffering and think how this country can make the situation better.

  11. Barry Morrison says:

    Good question Steve..I’ve often wondered that myself

  12. Barry Morrison says:

    It’s commonly accepted that if it was’nt for immigrant workers the NHS would collapse and I’ve got no argument with that but it begs the question where were all the indeginous people who wanted employment when the NHS jobs were advertised before the immigrants came here and took the jobs..Yes, you’ve got it..As soon as Humman Resources start the interview and outline things like shift patterns, weekend working, bank holiday and Christmas working and the wage scale you get the stock answer. ”It’s not what I’m looking for”.

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