David Watts writes: May I offer my congratulations to Jeremy Corbyn on being elected as the new leader of the Labour party. There are many things that I don’t agree with him on but I look forward to working with Labour on those things where we do agree.
1. Trowel Nature Reserve
The Pit Lane area of Trowell has been designated as a local nature reserve, the 15th in Broxtowe. The Notts Wildlife Trust, who have a really good track record of working with Broxtowe Borough Council, have prepared a management plan for the site to ensure that wildlife can be protected whilst at the same time the other activities that are carried on there can continue.
I am delighted to report that the threat of closure hanging over Shopmobility in Beeston has been lifted. I have been copied in to some correspondence about this and it is clear that the officers at the borough council have worked very hard to find a solution that will suit the service and its users. Shopmobility will be based in the council offices in Foster Avenue and new blue badge parking spaces will be allocated in the car park. In addition seats will be installed every 40 metres between the bus/tram interchange and the council
offices for service users who have to walk from there. Congratulations to
everyone who was involved in making this happen. This move will happen in April next year.
3. Beeston BID
The Beeston Business Improvement District (BID) was launched in 2011 to channel funds into Beeston and to make the town centre fit for the 21st century. At the time business owners in the town had a vote and decided to adopt the BID by a significant margin. I think that it has done an extremely good job and a 95% occupancy rate for businesses (6% above the national average) seems to support this. Businesses are now voting on whether they want it to carry on for the next four years. Every business in the BID area has a vote and the vote closes on 29th September. The business plan for the next four years includes an aim to invest £1 million in Beeston town centre over that time.
4. Kimberley Tram
The Borough Council met last week to consider the consultant’s report into the feasibility for extending the tram to Kimberley. Unfortunately the meeting was cut short after councillors observed that the report failed to address the highways implications, something that it had been specifically asked to do. The report has therefore been sent back to the consultants who have been asked to do it properly. I am very surprised that the council went to the time and cost of holding a meeting for 11 minutes to simply send the report back. It would have made much more sense for the chair of the committee, who presumably read the report when it was received, to immediately send it back to the consultants and for the meeting to be postponed until that work was done.
5. Eastwood Does Books, DVD’s and CD’s
On Saturday 26th September there will be a book, DVD and CD sale in Eastwood in Eastwood Craft Workshops at the Library Bar, Scargill Walk in Eastwood, between 11am and 2pm. The sale will include:
• Craft books £1 each (‘Making a Difference’ stall)
• Children’s books for all age groups
• Pet and animal care; nature & wildlife; gardening
• Paperback fiction
• Variety of cd’s and dvd’s
The events is being put on by Guardian Angels Bird Sanctuary, Breathe Easy
and Making a Difference. Entry is free and further details can be obtained from http://www.facebook.com/eastwood.does or by ringing Angela on 01773 712637.
6. Housing Improvement Contract
Congratulations to Beeston based firm J Tomlinson who have been appointed to carry out a £30 million housing improvement project for Ashfield District Council. As a result of winning this contract, the second biggest in its history, the firm says it will be taking on 40 new staff.
7. Community Support Officers
Notts Police have confirmed that they are to go ahead with plans to cut 80 Police and Community Support Officer posts across the county, including making
44 existing PCSO’s redundant. This is despite strong public opposition to the proposals. More than 20,000 local residents signed a petition against this, but the Labour Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping has chosen to ignore them. I very much regret his decision which I believe is the wrong one, and which was opposed vigorously by Broxtowe Liberal Democrats.
8. Take The Slow Road
Government figures released this week show that the slowest route for commuting in the East Midlands is the A6005 Queens Road in Beeston, where during the morning rush hour traffic travels at an average speed of just 7mph. However these figures come from a period where the road was affected by the tram construction work, in particular at the junction with University Boulevard, so hopefully things have already got much better.
9. DH Lawrence Statue
Members of the DH Lawrence Society are in discussions with Nottingham University and the DH Lawrence Heritage Centre about the possibility of erecting a statue of the author in his home town. If funding can be found then this would be an excellent idea.
10. Holy Trinity Church Hall
A planning application has been submitted to the borough council to demolish Holy Trinity Church Hall in Kimberley and replace it with 4 bungalows. The church say that the building, which was built in the 1950’s, is no longer fit for purpose.
11. Lonely Parents
Research published this week by the charity Action For Children shows that 20% of parents in the East Midlands feel isolated and lonely. The research also highlights the importance of having a good support network to help parents.
Certainly as a parent of young children I have benefited greatly from the support of my children’s godparents and other friends and it is sad that so many people don’t seem to enjoy this.
12. HS2 Infrastructure
Erewash Borough Council have submitted a list of infrastructure improvements that they want to see around the proposed HS2 station in Toton. The proposals that they put forward include raising the height of the line in places to permit roads to run underneath, a direct access to the station from the A52 and a direct link road from Long Eaton to the station as well.
13. Housing Benefit Fraud
The Department for Work and Pensions have released figures this week showing the scale of overpayments by local authorities in housing benefit cases.
Although they announced that it was the amount lost to fraud I suspect that in many cases there was an error rather than a deliberate attempt to deceive, and I imagine that the DWP have released this to try and justify the latest cuts to welfare. Interestingly though the figures show that Broxtowe are one of the best performing authorities in the region and very little of the losses originates here.
14. Field Farm Plans
As readers may recall outline planning permission was granted last year to build 450 houses on Field Farm in Stapleford. The developers are now about to submit their plans for the detailed scheme. Two public meetings have been arranged to allow people to view these plans. The first meeting will be on Tuesday 15th September between 9am and 1pm at the Washington Drive Community Centre in Stapleford and then between 3pm and 7pm at the council chamber in the Town Hall, Foster Avenue, Beeston. Everyone is welcome to attend.
As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received. I’m afraid that there will be no edition next week as I will be away at the Lib Dem conference so the next edition will be in two weeks time.