News From Broxtowe Liberal Democrats 10 May 2016

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David Watts writes on: 1. Mayor Making, 2. New Council Structure, 3. Election Expenses, 4. Dumping on Toton Sidings, 5. Beeston Memory Café, 6. Attenborough Tennis Club Open Day, 7. Carol, 8. Police and Crime Commissioner, 9. Watnall Driving Test Centre, 10. John Clifford Primary School, 11. Tram Disruption.

1. Mayor Making
Broxtowe will be having its annual council meeting tomorrow when Graham Harvey will be installed as the new mayor of Broxtowe and Halimah Khaled MBE as the new deputy mayor. Congratulations to them both on their appointments.

2. New Council Structure
Another change that will happen tomorrow is that the council will revert from being run by a cabinet system to a committee system. This is how the council used to be structured but the Labour government of Tony Blair decided that all councils had to change from this. The coalition removed that rule and said that councils could be structured how they want and so the Conservative administration have decided to revert to the previous system. Whilst I have no problem with this I am disappointed that they have also removed the power for members of the public to ask questions of the council. This was a right that we introduced when I was the leader of the council and I think that it is an important part of democracy. Removing it suggests that the current administration feel that they do not have to be accountable to anyone.

3. Election Expenses
The saga of our MP’s election expenses has rumbled on further this week. Anna Soubry is one of 27 Conservative MP’s who are accused of spending more than the permitted limits when she was re-elected last year. This is of course more than the Government majority so if the police investigations that the press have now reported are underway result eventually in people having to stand down (the last example of an MP being convicted of exceeding the limits resulted in them being expelled from parliament) then this could have a very major impact on the Government. The reason that there are limits is to prevent people effectively buying their way into parliament (we don’t want the British equivalent of Donald Trump).

4. Dumping on Toton Sidings
A reader to this newsletter contacted me last week to raise concerns over rubbish that had been dumped on land alongside the path near Toton sidings. I passed this on to the council who contacted the land owners. They have agreed to clear the rubbish by the end of the month.

5. Beeston Memory Café
The next Beeston Memory Cafe will take place on Thursday 12th May between 2pm and 4pm. The Memory Café is a safe, friendly venue where people with dementia and those who support them can meet. The theme of this week’s session is School Days. Marc Block will be singing and Emma and Mary will be offering massage.
Further details are on the website,

6. Attenborough Tennis Club Open Day
Next Saturday, 14th May, there is an open day at Attenborough Tennis club between 1pm and 4pm, with fun tennis based activities for adults and children from beginner to advanced/returning players. You can register for the different events at the Great British Tennis Weekend website run by Clubspark or just turn up. Refreshments are available (strawberries of course!), a free
draw and special offers on membership. Attenborough are proud to be a very
friendly and welcoming club in a beautiful setting, offering a really wide range of playing and coaching options. Come and see for yourself!

7. Carol
Chilwell Arts Theatre will be showing the movie Carol at Chilwell School, Queens Road West, Chilwell, Nottingham NG9 5AL on 13th May. Tickets cost £6 for adults and £5 for concessions. Nominated for Best Film at this years Academy Awards, Carol is a truly striking cinematic achievement, artfully exploring themes that resonate still with powerful force today. Shaped by Todd Haynes’ deft direction and powered by a strong cast led by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, Carol lives up to its ground breaking source material. In this adaptation of the novel “The Price of Salt” by Patricia Highsmith, Therese (Rooney Mara), a young department-store clerk in 1950s Manhattan, meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), a beautiful older woman stuck in a depressing marriage of convenience. As their bond deepens and they become romantically involved, Carol finds the strength to leave her husband (Kyle Chandler). Unfortunately, her spouse starts to raise questions about her fitness as a mother when he realises that Carol’s relationships with her best friend Abby (Sarah Paulson) and Therese are more than just friendships.

8. Police and Crime Commissioner
Paddy Tipping was re-elected as the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner last week. This is a post that the Liberal Democrats boycotted, as it is not a role that we agree with. This was the only election in Broxtowe on Thursday, although across the rest of the country the Liberal Democrats had a good night, winning an extra 40 council seats and being the only party to win control of a council (Watford). Of the other parties UKIP won about 20 seats, and Labour, the Green and especially the Conservatives all lost seats. We were the big winners on the night.

9. Watnall Driving Test Centre
The Government have announced that it is currently reviewing whether to close the Watnall Driving test Centre, despite the fact that there are already long waiting lists to take tests there. The current figures show that there is a 17 week wait for car drivers to take their tests and an 11 week wait for large vehicles. If the backlog is that big closing the centre is hardly likely to help people.

10. John Clifford Primary School
A recent Ofsted inspection at John Clifford School in Beeston has rated it as good with some areas outstanding. This is a major step forward from their previous rating of “requiring improvement.” Congratulations to everyone who was worked to achieve this result. It was interesting to read in the paper this week that there are 37 languages spoken amongst the 208 pupils at the school.

11. Tram Disruption
This coming Sunday trams from Toton will terminate at Nottingham station between 9.30 and 11.30am. This is because the Asda Foundation 10K run will be going through the Old Market Square so the trams will be able to pass through it. Trams will still be running every ten minutes from Toton, and the normal service will resume at 11.30am.

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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