David Watts writes on: 1. Anna Soubry MP, 2. A52 Crash, 3. Beeston Cinema, 4. Plessey Club, Beeston, 5. School Place Petition, 6. Charity Collectors, 7. Police Numbers, 8. Rail Fares, 9. Dementia Friendly Bungalows, 10. St John The Baptist Parish Church, Beeston, 11. Joining The Liberal Democrats.
1. Anna Soubry MP
I am starting this week with a couple of unpleasant items. The first is to report that a post was circulated on social media on Thursday calling for Anna Soubry to be murdered. Anna has quite rightly reported this to the police. When I heard about this I immediately sent her a message of support. Anna and I may disagree on many things but there is no justification ever for using or threatening violence of any sort, let alone murder.
2. A52 Crash
The second very sad item is to report on the crash on the A52 in Bramcote last Friday when two men, both from Wollaton, died after the vehicles caught fire.
Local residents have been calling for fixed speed cameras along this stretch of the A52 for some time, and I fully support them in this. Sadly until now the Highways Agency, who are responsible for the road, have declined to install any but hopefully they will have a rethink. The road is after all a 40mph zone but drivers frequently travel along it at speeds well in excess of that.
3. Beeston Cinema
When the Conservatives gained control of Broxtowe Borough Council last year they announced that they would build a multiplex cinema in Beeston town centre.
They have now announced that this plan has been abandoned. Apparently they hadn’t spoken to any operators of multiplex cinemas in the UK and all of them would require a far larger car park than the council are willing to provide.
4. Plessey Club, Beeston
The Plessey Club on Trafalgar Road in Beeston was closed in the summer, despite a spirited campaign by local residents to save it. Since then the building has been badly vandalised and is now in a very poor condition. The owners of the site, Chancerygate, have now announced that they plan to demolish the building early in the new year ready for new development.
5. School Place Petition
I reported a couple of months ago about a controversial change to the way that school places are allocated by the County Council, so that having a sibling already at the school was downgraded as a factor where the children lived outside of the catchment area. At the time this generated a lot of correspondence, roughly split 50/50 between those who opposed the police and those who supported it. A petition signed by 4,000 residents in the county has now been submitted to the County Council calling on the policy to be changed.
This was presented to the County Council meeting last week and will be discussed at a committee meeting in January.
6. Charity Collectors
More than 100 businesses and shoppers in Beeston Town Centre have signed a petition calling on Broxtowe Borough Council to limit the number of charity collectors who operate in the town centre at any time. The concern is that the aggressive tactics used by the collectors has put people off visiting the town centre. Signatures are still being collected at News and Essentials in Wollaton Road and the petition will then be presented to the borough council.
7. Police Numbers
The number of officers in Nottinghamshire Police has fallen at a faster rate than any other force in the country according to a new report. Figures published this week show that the number of officers in Notts has dropped by 539, a fall of 25%. The average rate of decline across the country is 12.5%.
The force announced that it has no launched recruitment drive to try and make up their numbers.
8. Rail Fares
East Midlands Trains, who run services through Beeston, have announced that rail fares will be going up by 1.5% on 2nd January. This is less than the 2.3% national average. Nevertheless our rail fares remain as some of the most expensive in Europe.
9. Dementia Friendly Bungalows
The keys were officially handed over at Broxtowe Council’s second dementia friendly housing scheme in Beeston last week, thanks to a partnership project between Broxtowe Borough Council, Nottingham Community Housing Association, Waters Homes and Pelham Architects to build specially designed and adapted bungalows for people with dementia. The newly built bungalows have been incorporated into the Council’s Retirement Living Scheme at Bexhill Court on Central Avenue. The homes have been designed to be dementia-friendly with special emphasis on colours, textures and patterns, as people with dementia can struggle with depth perception and patterns can cause confusion.
10. St John The Baptist Parish Church, Beeston
Visitors to Beeston will be welcomed by new stunning views of The Parish Church of St. John The Baptist thanks to new up-lighting which has been installed by Broxtowe Borough Council to show the church in all its glory. The new energy efficient LED lighting has been installed to the upper elevations on all four sides of the church. Winter commuters passing the church will be able to enjoy the beautiful view on their travels. Following the completion of the tram and the opening up of the views of the church, the lights will highlight the building and emphasise its place in the community. Both the colour and the frequency of colour change can be altered to suit particular celebratory events. The cost of the project was just over £20,000 and has been paid for by the developers of The Square Phase 1.
11. Joining The Liberal Democrats
Obviously the Lib Dems are delighted by our victory on Thursday in the Richmond Park by election, which follows on from the 23 council by election victories we have recorded since the Brexit vote in June. Equally importantly over 20,000 people have joined the Liberal Democrats in that time, and our membership numbers are higher than for many years. The national picture is replicated locally with the Broxtowe Lib Dem party being larger than at any time for well over a decade. If you would like to be part of the new liberal movement and a member of a party where the policies truly are set by the members then you can join online at https://libdems.secure.force.com/LiberalDemocrats/NewMemberRegistration. The more members we have the more effective we can be in our campaigns and efforts for people locally.
As things start to wind down for the Christmas holidays I will be taking a break from the newsletter. There will be an edition next week but after that the next newsletter will be on 7th January next year. As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.