News From Broxtowe Liberal Democrats 5 November 2016

Liberal Democrats LogoDavid Watts writes on: 1. Central College to Close. 2. Councillors and Council Tax 3. The Fight For Broxtowe 4. New Youth Mayor and Deputy 5. Mental Health Services 6. CAB Energy Fest 7. Council Play Strategy 8. Midland Mainline Electrification 9. Nottinghamshire Police 10. Junction 25A 11. Eastwood Writers Group 12. New Recreational Space 13. Road Accident Figures 14. Stapleford Farmers Market 15. Kimberley Chapel 16. Stapleford Aldi 17. Friends of Toton Fields.

1. Central College to Close
Central College have announced plans to close their campus in Beeston around
2020 and move all the students to a new campus in the city centre. At the moment they have 500 students at the campus and there are a range of courses provided for all ages. It would be a significant backward step for the college to be closed and I hope that the council will do everything in their power to reverse this decision.

2. Councillors and Council Tax
Private Eye have published a map this week showing the results of a freedom of information request that they made to all local councils. This showed that in Broxtowe four of our councillors needed to be sent reminders before they paid their council tax. It doesn’t reveal which councillors or which parties, and there may be many reasons why a payment might be delayed and so I pass no judgement on the figures, but this is one in every 11 councillors on the borough.

3. The Fight For Broxtowe
The Conservative Party have renewed their attempts to abolish Broxtowe Borough Council. This week both Anna Soubry MP and Kay Cutts, the leader of the Tories on the County Council, have this week both called for the abolition of Broxtowe and for everything to be placed in the hands of the County Council. I fundamentally disagree with this and if one level of local government needs to be abolished then I would call for the County Council to be the one to go. I think that the borough Council is far more in tune with local people than the county, and people here identify far more with Broxtowe than they do with the County. The Conservatives may be making a pigs ear of running Broxtowe by all accounts but it is still an important council for local people.

4. New Youth Mayor and Deputy
Broxtowe has a new youth mayor and a new deputy. The new youth mayor is Samaira Saleem from Nuthall, and the new deputy is Yamam Alsudani. Congratulations to them both on their elections. They will lead the Broxtowe Youth Council and also have the right to speak in meetings of Broxtowe Borough Council. (This was a change that I introduced when I was leader of the council and is one of the contributions that I made that I am most proud of.)

5. Mental Health Services
A report was published last week which presented a very disappointing picture of mental health service provision in Nottinghamshire. The report by Healthwatch Nottingham and Nottinghamshire looked at the experience of more than 260 people who had attempted to access services in the county and found that often the services were not available when people needed them. They also found very long waiting times for people to access services. Over the past few years there has been a greatly increased willingness amongst people to talk about mental health issues, but sadly it seems that getting appropriate levels of services for people still has some way to go.

6. CAB Energy Fest
Broxtowe CAB is running an Energy Fest on Tuesday 8th November between 10am and 3pm. Make an appointment now and come and see how you can save money on your energy bills. ‘Easy Energy Switching Tool’ – switching providers is easy, bring your annual energy statement and find out how much you could save on your gas and electricity bills. Energy saving tips, budgeting, debt and benefit advice and a free goody bag!

7. Council Play Strategy
Broxtowe Borough Council is preparing a new play strategy, looking at the play areas that it provides for children and how they can be made better. They are inviting comments from users of the play parks, and there are two surveys being carried out, one for children between 5 and 9 and the other for those aged 10 to 16. The surveys can be found at

8. Midland Mainline Electrification
A couple of years ago the coalition government announced that they were making the funds available to finance the electrification of the Midland Mainline, which should lead to faster trains between Beeston and London. There have been rumours that the current Conservative Government have gone cool on the idea, and the matter is due to be debated on Monday in parliament, I will report on the outcome of this debate next week.

9. Nottinghamshire Police
A report published this week by Her Majesties Inspectorate of Constabulary rated the Nottinghamshire Police as inadequate, one of just eight forces to be given such a poor ranking. The force has a £9.4 million shortfall in its budgets caused by accounting errors. This is the thought of thing that the Police and Crime Commissioner is meant to supervise, and so it seems to be a significant failure on his part as well of that of the police.

10. Junction 25A
The MP for Erewash, Maggie Throup, has called for the creation of a Junction 25A on the M1 during the construction of the HS2 line through Nottinghamshire.
The creation of a new junction would take traffic straight from the motorway to the HS2 station, but also ease congestion on existing roads. It is something that I proposed when I chaired the HS2 group on the council, and I am glad that this is still being taken forward.

11. Eastwood Writers Group
A number of local writers, who come together as the Eastwood Writers Group, will be launching a number of new books on Saturday 19th November at 1.30pm.
The event will take place at the DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum. Entry to the event is free, although the normal admission charges to the museum will apply.

12. New Recreational Space
The Friends of Colliers Wood have teamed up with Broxtowe Borough Council to create a new recreation and activity area inside the Moorgreen entrance to Colliers Wood. There will be new seating and tables, together with two mining wheel segments.

13. Road Accident Figures
Nottinghamshire County Council have published figures which show that there were almost 1,800 road traffic accidents in the county last year. This is an improvement on 2014, when there were 1,903 accidents. The number of fatal accidents has also improved, down from 26 to 22.

14. Stapleford Farmers Market
Unfortunately Stapleford Farmers Market has closed with immediate effect, due to the low number of customers who used it. The market opened in March last year and was meeting in Walter Parker VC Square, but the organisers have concluded that it is not viable to continue operating it. This is deeply disappointing for those who used the market, but sadly not enough people did.

15. Kimberley Chapel
The refurbished Kimberley Cemetery Chapel has reopened after being refurbished.
The chapel had become semi-derelict but a restoration scheme costing £11,500 has brought it back into use. The chapel is now licensed for weddings and funerals. Much of the work has been done by volunteers, and everyone connected with the project is to be congratulated.

16. Stapleford Aldi
The Aldi Supermarket chain already have planning permission to build a new store in Stapleford just outside the town centre, but that includes a condition that housing allocated for part of the site is constructed before the store comes into use. Conditions like this are commonplace to ensure the housing is actually built and that stores don’t just ignore this part of the development plan. However Aldi say that they cannot find a partner to build the houses and so they have submitted a new application to remove this condition. We will need to see what approach the council takes to this in due course.

17. Friends of Toton Fields
The Friends of Toton Fields, in partnership with Broxtowe Borough Council, are bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative. The supermarket has teamed up with Groundwork on its Bags of Help initiative, which see grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy
– being awarded to environmental and greenspace projects. Three groups in each of Tesco’s 416 regions have been shortlisted to receive the cash award. This month shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant. The Friends of Toton Fields is one of the groups on the shortlist. The project will make our local nature reserve at Toton Fields fully accessible to everyone in our community by improving pathways and access points. We also intend to improve wildlife habitats to encourage and attract a broader range of native plants and animals. Voting is open in stores from 31st October – 13th November. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

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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27 Responses to News From Broxtowe Liberal Democrats 5 November 2016

  1. Lynda Maddison says:

    How dare Anna Soubry try to get rid of Broxtowe Council, …..!!! You know of course what all this is in aid of don’t you!! Trying to save bloody money again… I’am fed up of her, and her party the conservatives, going on about a ‘recession’ – the recession was brought about by stupid, greedy bankers, who by the way have NEVER been punished, for what they did…..!!! Why should WE – the working class be punished for their GREED…!! Conservatives need to be got rid of, otherwise we’ll end up like in ‘Victorian Times’ … Massive gaps between rich and poor..

    • RichHartman says:

      Well said Lynda. Trouble is “we” (the country) voted these people in so it’s our own fault.

      • Ian Blakeley says:

        Actually ” we” (the country) did not vote any particular party into power. Since 1945 the incoming (or returning) administration has consistently polled less than 50% of votes cast. In 1945 Labour polled 48.1% (Turnout 72.6%), 1950 they polled 46.2% (83.6%). In 1951 the Tories polled 48% and formed the government. (81.9%). However Labour polled 48.8%, so how did that work? (I know how it worked so you don’t need to tell me). The closest any party has got to 50.01% of the vote was 1955 with 49.7% and 1959 49.3%. Since then until 2001 the turnout fluctuated between 78 and 71%. In Feb 1974 Labour got in with 37.2% and the Tories got 37.8% (!). All the time the electorate has been rising, the percentage of votes cast has been falling, and the votes any party has polled has been falling even faster. Time to change the system I think.

        So whereas I agree with Lynda’s sentiments about the Tories as a whole, I cannot agree that WE voted them in. Or any other party for that matter. The system has got to change, and fairly soon.

      • Lynda Maddison says:

        Sorry , but, “we” (me, in particular) DID NEVER, vote them in …. Not since I was allowed to vote…. And I never will…

      • Lynda Maddison says:

        “I” have NEVER voted Tory, because I have know all along g what they represent, even when I was only 17….

      • Ian Blakeley says:

        Linda, nobody has a monopoly on ideas or solutions to problems.

  2. Barry Morrison says:

    We had a chance to change the voting system in a referendum to AV in 2011 but those who could be bothered to get off their backsides and vote kicked it into the long grass.

    • Ian Blakeley says:

      Unfortunately Barry, I don’t think that the way it worked was explained to people. I heard some folks saying that it meant the some of the electorate would get more than one vote, whilst ‘they’ would only get one.

    • Barry Morrison says:

      That’s a new one on me. Perhaps it could be explained, unless of course they meant the single transferable vote

      • Ian Blakeley says:

        Exactly Barry, they didn’t understand how the transferable vote would operate.

  3. Ian Tyler says:

    Well whether one supports PR or first past the post the cruncher is, what do you consider to be the priorities. Sadly we seem to have a personality cult and a media imposed celebrity obsession fuelled by TV voting on which person sings best, survives longest and is most pleasing to the eye.
    How about a System where we vote on the issues we feel most affect us and are reflected by the individual candidates who in turn are required to illustrate their understanding and prowess to deal with matters of moment.
    So at least an 11 plus standard of education, marked by the judiciary, a geographical test so they know where the UK is, an obligatory genetic confirmation of their antecedents( the majority of us herald back to Africa so that will stuff the UKIP, NF and other like minded bigots) and a catious approach to anything the French propose.
    Oh!, and anyone over 60 only gets a half vote so the poor sods who subsidise our cushy life style get a real say.

    • RichHartman says:

      Ian – so you’ve got wind of the Tories’ proposals to renege on the ‘triple lock’ promise on the state pension? As well as repeatedly putting off the pension qualifying age, they now propose also to cut the promised amount.

  4. Lynda Maddison says:

    No, nobody does have a “monopoly” on solutions, that’s true, but, if the bankers hadn’t been so stupid as to borrow money to people that they knew full well wouldn’t be able to pay it back, then we would have a better country today, wouldnt we?? Also, the people of this country (generations now actually), were told by a certain Margaret Thatcher, that it would be good for people to buy their own council houses, selling houses that were meant to be for people who could ONLY afford to rent. The underlying reason she did this was not out of the goodness of her heart (she didn’t have one!!) BUT was to control the working class ,grass roots people, so they could NOT strike, as they would have to pay a mortgage.
    She wanted to be rid of the UNIONS, especially the miners unions who made her back down.
    We, the country are now reaping that legacy, as there are NO council houses, and yhe unions no longer have the power they once did. We also have the ridiculous 0 hours contracts for jobs, we are heading back to VICTORIAN times – with workhouses etc… Which is just where the rich tories want the majority if the poor- destitute and relying on food banks……. This is England in the 21st century, it’s bloody shameful, no wonder the rest if Europe laughs at us….

    • Ian Blakeley says:

      Very easy to look back Lynda, unfortunately time has a nasty habit of not being able to go backwards to nullify mistakes, otherwise Richard Beeching would have done it years before he died. So, (a) what ideas do you have, (b) Are you going to stand for Councillor or Member of Parliament to get your ideas put forward. (and I’m sure that you do have ideas)

      • Lynda Maddison says:

        To Ian Blakely- It’s all very well having “ideas” – words and “rhetoric” are cheap- anybody can have those, and people that are impressed by that are too many, in my view…. It is “actions” that are important, too few people in government are willing to have any integrity to step up and actually “do what they have said they will do”, and be truthful, no matter what the consequences…. “Mean what you say, And “Say what you mean”. That is my motto…. That is how I was brought up… The other thing to note is that in politics,.. “You may fool some if the people some if the time, but not all of the people ALL of the time”…..

      • Ian Blakeley says:

        Reading, and then spelling, peoples names correctly Lynda Maddison goes a long way if you are attempting to criticise, in writing, what others have written. Without ‘ideas’ we rarely get ‘actions’. I agree with you that there are too few people who are willing to stand up and be counted. I’m sure that most MP’s when they are first elected are raring to go, full of ways that they can represent their constituents. Wanting to give the best service possible to the people who voted for them, or not; and then they get introduced to the whips and the party line. From there its all downhill.

        So Lynda, (a) what ideas do you have, (and I’m sure that you do have ideas). (b) Are you going to stand for Councillor or Member of Parliament to get your ideas put forward?

        And for what it’s worth, I probably think less of Thatcher than you do.

      • Lynda Maddison says:

        a) there is nothing wrong with the way I read, write or SPELL anything
        b) I do have ideas; which are far too radical to put down here, as they would offend yours, and most other people’s delicate sensibilities.
        c) You don’t have to have attended grammar school OR university to be intelligent, or know about politics

        And lastly, but by no means least, the comment about “all if the people, all of the time” is reference to no matter what you do in politics, for whatever party, someone will ALWAYS find fault/failure…

      • Ian Blakeley says:

        To Ian Blakely? The correct spelling of my name was right in front of you Lynda, as it is again but you chose to spell it incorrectly.
        What are your ideas Lynda, please tell us. I honestly won’t be offended; unless they are racist, sexist or against anyones religious ideas (or not as the case maybe). I may even agree with some/all/none of them, but I will give you the decency of reading about them and commentating and discussing them with you, and others.
        Indeed I didn’t attend a Grammar School, or a University as a full-time student, nor am I super intelligent or know a lot about politics.
        One thing that I do disagree with you about is your definition of the phrase “You may fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people ALL of the time”…..

        So, your ideas please…..

    • RichHartman says:

      Exactly right, Lynda. Thatcher has so much to answer for. Even the current govt seems to accept her Tory policies were so wrong by now having to urge councils to “build houses” either through “working creatively” forming arms-length companies to build houses for rent, or by granting planning consent willy-nilly for literally any new housing development.
      Don’t get me started on the idiot reckless bankers and how they – with a complicit government – brought our personal finances to their knees yet have not been held to account and jailed for their smug incompetence.

      • Lynda Maddison says:

        To Rich Hartman,. Yes, if I had been in power the “bankers” would’ve been made to pay, literally, for their mistakes. Yes, they are smug, and they are STILL smug, because they have been allowed to get away with it… All the bankers (including those in other countries) needed to be taught a lesson that greed and incompetence are not to be rewarded, by having every ‘BONUS’ they’ve ever been given, taken back from them, and put into HM Treasury…. But, that will never happen – because this countries leaders haven’t got the bottle to do so….!! All the greed of the bankers has come from the “loads money” years of excess in the Thatcher years…. And generations have successively been taught by parents that “greed is good”… Well, it is not, … and this is why we are in such a mess today…

  5. Steve Barber says:

    Suprised to hear they may stop the work on electrification. Almost half the bridges, which needed attention, are now raised to take the wires and work is going ahead at a good pace. Last I heard on time and on budget (apart from the millions wasted last time they cancelled and restarted it).

  6. Joan Wade says:

    Bramcote and surrounding area is not well served by either Broxtowe or Nottinghamshire County Councils. The area should become part of an extended City Council but with a local parish council or area committee to deal with those matters that are best dealt with at such a level. The City has shown that it is able to deliver better services and at lower cost

    • Mike Johnson says:

      Joan It may be a debatable point that you say at a ‘lower cost’. If you are able to compare the Annual Council Tax Rates charged by the City Council and Broxtowe within each band. The Charges in Broxtowe differ depending upon the location. In a number of the Areas in Broxtowe the Annual Council tax rates are less in Broxtowe. See here and here

    • Ian Blakeley says:

      I’ve just read this comment in the Nottingham Post Joan. — “Let’s not forget that the Audit Commission placed Nottingham City Council in the bottom 20% of council’s nationally and Nottingham’s schools are in the bottom three in the exam results league table.” Now I don’t know where Broxtowe Council appears in the various league tables but I suspect that they aren’t in the bottom 20%. Therefore it stands to reason that Broxtowe should stay well away from the city council.

    • Lynda Maddison says:

      Listen, Nottingham City, and County Councils know nothing if the local people of either Chilwell, Beeston, Toronto, OR Bramcote issues. Issues that important to the LOCAL people will not be important to those far off councillors if Nottingham. Plus we locally will get sidelined because we are a smaller borough than “central Nottingham” and its surrounding areas.. NO, I say no I vote to keep Broxtowe Borough Council. And what about loss of jobs – yet again!!!!???

  7. Sue Sambells says:

    A reminder to support your arguments, constructively, to the Boundary Commission. See whilst you have a chance to have your say.

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