News for the Liberal Democrats 31 January 2016

Liberal Democrats LogoDavid Watts writes: It was great to be part of the launch of the Lib Dem by election campaign for Toton and Greasley last week (although it did snow on me whilst I was delivering leaflets in Toton on Saturday). Our candidate for Toton is Graham Heal, who is the only one of the candidates to actually live in the ward, and our candidate for Greasley is Keith Longdon, the Mayor of Eastwood and one of the most wonderful people I know. Both of them would make excellent councillors.

1. Chinese New Year
This years Chinese New Year celebrations will take place in Beeston Square on Saturday, February 13 from 4 PM to 6 PM. The will then be a firework display on Sunday the 14th at 6 PM, and this will take place in Highfields Park. This is a free event which is normally extremely popular.

2. Badger Run
Runners in Broxtowe are being urged to join 250 others in the local area to take part in a challenge with a difference next month, to help raise as much as possible for an armed forces charity, Forces in the Community and Nottingham Children’s Hospital, which looks after sick children. The borough council have teamed up with Virtual Runner to host the Badger Run where participants complete a ‘virtual’ 5K, 10K or a half marathon distance, picking the time, the place and the route they wish. Distances must be completed between the 1st February 2016 and 29th February 2016 and once completed, Virtual Runner will send each participant their very own badger shaped medal. Entry costs £10 and more details are available at

3. Pit Lane Nature Reserve
Pit Lane Recreation Ground in Trowell has been designated as a new local nature reserve. This will be the 15th local nature reserve within Broxtowe, and there will be an official ceremony to mark the event on Tuesday, 9 February at 11 AM, at the nature reserve. The Borough Council, Trowell Parish Council and Notts Wildlife Trust will all be taking part.

4. Bramcote Fair Trade Fortnight
St Michaels Church in Bramcote will be hosting a night of foodie fun and entertainment on Friday, 11 March starting at 7:30 PM. The star guest will be professional chef and chocolatier David Greenwood-Haigh and there will be a large selection of Traidcraft produce to buy as well. Tickets cost £5 and are available from

5. Battle For Broxtowe
Having reported last week the good news that Conservative plans to abolish Broxtowe Borough Council and leave us in the hands of a unitary county council had been rejected, this week I have to report the bad news that our MP, Anna Soubry has declared that she thinks it’s a good idea. It is disappointing that the Conservatives are continuing to push this, when they must be fully aware that it is not what local people want. There are two by-elections coming up on
18 February, and these will be a great opportunity to show the ruling Conservative Administration that they are wrong about this. The Liberal Democrats are firmly committed to keeping Broxtowe as an independent council.

6. Stapleford Fire
Many Stapleford readers will be aware of the fire that occurred at the Happy Cabs office in Derby Road last Saturday night. Unfortunately the office was gutted by the fire. Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service have now said that they believe the fire was caused by a log burner. Unfortunately not only was the taxi office destroyed but so were the flats above it. The Fire Brigade have advised that wood used in the burners should be well seasoned, that logs should not be stacked next to the burners and that accelerants should not be used.
I’m pleased to say that although their premises were destroyed the taxi company is now up and running again.

7. Grant For Durban House
Arts Council England have given a grant of £20,000 to fund a study about possible uses for Durban House in Eastwood. This is part of the DH Lawrence Heritage Centre. The Conservative administration on the Council have decided to close it, and the Arts Council want to see if alternative uses can be found.
There have been a number of such studies in the past, none of which have produced any radical changes, and so whilst this gives a glimmer of hope for the building I doubt it will be anything more than that.

8. Queen’s Birthday Street Parties
Notts county council are hoping to hear from community groups wishing to organise street parties to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. They are keen to promote such events the want people to get in touch as early as possible so that they can assist with the organisation and any necessary street closures.
More details are available from

9. Combined Authority
I have reported on a number of occasions about plans for a combined authority for Notts and Derbyshire, including a directly elected mayor. I was on the council when the combined authority was first proposed and at that time we were told that it would simply be a way of getting councils to work more closely with each other. What is now proposed is very different. I am extremely concerned about this being forced on people without us getting a say, and the borough council seems to share that concern. At a meeting last week the proposal was discussed and a motion suggesting that the council should proceed was withdrawn. Instead the matter will be debated further at a later date.
Interestingly in this debate it seemed that the Conservatives were supporting the Lib-Dem position whilst Labour were wanting to push ahead with the proposal.

10. Hanging Baskets
Stapleford Town Council has decided to scrap the hanging baskets which have in previous years been used to brighten up the town. The town council says that this will save them £4,500 each year in maintenance costs.

11. Beeston Civic Society
Beeston Civic Society are holding a talk at the Pearson Centre on Nuart Street about Transport in Beeston. This will take place on 12th February starting at 7.30pm. Representatives from the bus and tram companies will be present, along with Pedals, the Big Wheel and Notts County Council. The cost for non-members is £2.

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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2 Responses to News for the Liberal Democrats 31 January 2016

  1. P Campbell says:

    You say, in regard to the by-election that;

    ‘Our candidate for Toton is Graham Heal, who is the only one of the candidates to actually live in the ward.

    Firstly the by-election is in Toton & Chilwell Meadows, but more importantly you have failed to acknowledge my comments from last week; that all the other candidates do live in the Borough, and that during the last administration the Lib-Dems endorsed a Lib-Dem Councillor to represent Stapleford North while living in Somerset. You yourself fought the last General Election standing in a Lincolnshire constituency. Both scenarios prove that the Lib-Dems don’t always choose local candidates!

    From what I can gather the by-election in Toton and Chilwell Meadows has been caused because the sitting Conservative Councillor moved out of the Borough to Derbyshire and she did the honourable thing and resigned. This is more than your Councillor did and Derbyshire is a lot nearer than Somerset.

    So my question for you to answer is, why are you portraying it as being wrong for other political parties to choose local candidates that live in the Borough, when the Lib-Dems, amidst public criticism, endorsed a Councillor to ‘represent’ Stapleford North from 200 miles away?

    We await your reply.

  2. P Campbell says:


    With regards to the grant for Durban House. You say that the Conservative administration voted to close Durban House.

    When the vote was taken, how did the Lib-Dem Councillor vote?

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