News from Anna Soubry MP 15 January 2017

jan1Anna Soubry writes: Like many constituents I was struck down by a nasty bug over Christmas. Unfortunately it returned with a vengeance on Wednesday so I was forced to miss an important debate in Parliament on the NHS. I am now on the mend. On Tuesday the Prime Minister will give a speech setting out her Brexit objectives. As I suspect you know I will honour the referendum vote and will vote to trigger A50. I want us to stay in the single market and I believe in the free movement of people – which is where the PM and I part company. I suspect most people are tiring of the Brexit debate – we all need to move on, come together and get the very best deal for everyone in the UK.

There’s a lot of news and views so please read on.

With all good wishes as ever,

Anna

Unprecedented pressures on QMC A&E

jan2There is no debate about this – the Emergency Department (what I still call A and E) at the QMC has had a record number of people attending, placing intolerable pressure on staff and unacceptable delays for patients.

In the nine days over Christmas leading up to January 2nd, admissions were almost double the normal average. At one time on January 2nd there were a record 180 people seeking treatment in A and E and there were 395 more admissions than discharges in the nine days. I raised the situation in Parliament and you can read my exchange with the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, below

I am sure you will join me in thanking everyone working during this time at the QMC and City Hospitals and in A and E in particular.

A number of constituents have contacted me with details of appalling long waits for ambulances and then hours spent on trolleys in A and E at the QMC. One 91 year old constituent fell and broke her hip. The ambulance finally attended four hours after it was first called. The patient then had to wait a further three hours before being seen by a doctor at QMC and another three hours before being placed in a bed on a ward – by which time she had developed pneumonia. Her family cannot speak highly enough about the treatment she received but could not be clearer about the dreadful situation in A and E that day. No-one should have to suffer this sort of delay, especially our older fellow citizens.

The causes of what many see as a crisis in our NHS are as complex as the solutions. We are told up to a third of people who attend A and E should have gone elsewhere – to their GP or pharmacy for example. We know we have too many people who don’t take enough responsibility for their health; we all have a duty to keep to keep our weight down and stay fit. It will curb, for example spiralling levels of obesity and diseases like Type 2 diabetes. We should be delighted that we are all living longer – from 2005 to 2015 the number of people living over 85 increased by 31%. But however fit and healthy we are, as we get older we become more frail and susceptible to conditions like dementia. We have serious problems of recruitment and retention in many parts of the NHS and we need short and long term fixes. And throughout the NHS there is agreement systems can be improved; by way of example the mother of a friend of mine was discharged by the doctor treating her at the QMC but it took 36 hours for her to return home.

There may well be a case that even with spending at record levels our NHS requires even more money. But simply throwing money at the NHS is not the long term sustainable solution we need to ensure no one else lies waiting hours and hours on a trolley with a fractured hip.

<< Read my question to Jeremy Hunt >>

Social Care needs new sustainable funding

Adult Social Care which looks after older people in particular, is provided by Nottinghamshire County Council and is funded from both national and local taxation. I fully support local Conservative County Councillors who this week criticised Governments of all persuasions for decades of underfunding. They called on cross party working to deliver long term sustainable funding for social care. In the meantime Notts Conservatives support a special 3% extra on our Council tax to help fund social care in our County.

Sadly, Labour County Councillors could not support these sensible and fair proposals. It is time we stopped playing party politics and worked together to improve these critically important public services.

GP services in Broxtowe

In the wake of the controversy that too many GP’s are not providing a good enough service I’ve been taking a look at the opening times of Broxtowe’s GP surgeries including the times when you can book to see a GP or get an emergency appointment. None offer weekend surgeries but they all appear to be working very hard and provide very good services – indeed some of our Broxtowe GP surgeries have been rated “outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission.

I also note that some of our GP’s publish details of their income on their web sites.

The average pay for GPs working at Stapleford’s Hickings Lane Medical Centre (rated outstanding by the CQC) was £74,400 before tax and National Insurance. This was for 1 full time GP and 2 part time GPs.

At Saxon Cross Surgery (also in Stapleford) the average was £33,791 before tax and national insurance. This was for 6 part time GPs.

suspect I am not alone in taking the view our GP’s deserve every penny they earn – I welcome your comments. I would also be grateful for your views of the service provided by your GP. Do you want longer surgery times and weekend appointments?

<< learn more about GP services in Broxtowe >>

Attenborough pedestrian rail crossings campaign update

Campaigners led by Councillors Eric Kerry and Joan Briggs were grateful for positive publicity in the Nottingham Post.

Campaigners led by Councillors Eric Kerry and Joan Briggs were grateful for positive publicity in the Nottingham Post.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign to keep the crossings open in Attenborough. Hundreds of people have emailed Network Rail explaining why they oppose their plans and my on line petition has over a thousand signatures. I will be meeting Network rail in the next few weeks. Attenborough resident and Councillor, Eric Kerry and campaigners have delivered a leaflet to residents in the village and surrounding areas.

I am also very grateful to a number of cycling and walking groups who have contacted me; I have urged them and all their members to contact Network Rail. Please email your views to Network Rail on crne@networkrail.co.uk

<< Sign the petition to save the crossings >>

Network Rail wants to close the crossings and has suggested they are placed with bridges. There is considerable concern this hugely costly alternative will be dropped and the crossings will simply be closed. No-one objects to making the crossings even safer but with few exceptions no-one wants these hugely valued and important crossings to close. The consultation ends on January 25 and Network Rail is holding a drop in the Parish Hall on February 8 3pm and 7.30pm.

A52 speed review underway as petition gathers 1600 signatures

Tony Smith's petition will be presented to Parliament.

Tony Smith’s petition will be presented to Parliament.

Bramcote resident Tony Smith has collected over 1600 signatures on a petition calling for speed calming measures on the A52.

Following my letter to Highways England they have announced a review of the A52 which will report at the end of March. In the meantime I will present Tony’s petition in Parliament.

A grateful thanks to everyone in and around Bramcote who supported the petition – especially Councillors Martin Plackett and Jan Gould. Martin was particularly helped by a number of shops who put the petition on counters. 1600 signatures in just a few weeks is a remarkable achievement.

Helping Aldi come to Stapleford

jan5I had a very positive meeting with Aldi on Friday about their plans to open a store in Stapleford. Everyone wants Aldi to open as soon as possible but there is delay because of a (perfectly reasonable in my opinion) requirement for them to deliver 10 new homes at the same time. I explained to Aldi the very real pressure Broxtowe Borough Council faces in delivering the previous administration’s housing target and protecting our Green Belt. Broxtowe Borough Council reaffirmed their conditional planning permission this week which I know has frustrated a number of residents but I do believe it was the right decision. With some quick and clever thinking, Aldi can deliver both a great new store and 10 much needed homes. Time to get on with it!

Trowell residents urged to attend HS2 meeting

jan6HS2 is holding a public ‘drop in’ at Trowell Parish Hall on Friday January 27th from 12pm until 8pm. I have written to residents in the village about the planned route along the M1 as it passes Trowell. There will be an extensive public consultation about the planned route which also affects parts of Stapleford, all of Strelley Village and parts of Nuthall. The Secretary of State for Transport ,Chris Grayling, gave me an assurance that all views will be carefully considered and if necessary changes will be made to the route.

<< Transport Secretary promises full public consultation and route changes if necessary >>

HS2 have provided some good maps of the Trowell route Please contact me if you live in the village and would like one or if you have any questions or concerns about HS2.

Greasley Beauvale

jan7It’s always a pleasure to visit schools in the constituency and none more so than Greasley Beauvale. Their excellent pupil Parliament gave me a suitable grilling. I was particularly impressed to hear details of how pupils are encouraged to care and support each other and get involved in the local community.

I also took the opportunity to have a catch up with the excellent Head, Donna Chambers. Donna made the news last month after receiving considerable praise from the former Chief Inspector of Schools for her system to encourage parents and carers to get involved with their child’s education. The scheme grades parents and has been operating since 2011. It has been a great success with the school now being graded good and hardly any families not involved with the school. Donna is indeed in Ofted’s words, “inspirational”.

Legal Aid and questioning victims in family cases

jan8There is all party concern that victims of domestic abuse are routinely being questioned by their abusers in family proceedings. I had such a case and my constituent was time barred from having Legal Aid. That rule has now changed but there remains a problem that too many people are representing themselves. I raised the matter in Parliament this week.

<< My question to the Justice Minister >>

Chinese New Year celebrations

Like many people I was very disappointed to learn that the Chinese New Year celebrations in Beeston have been cancelled. The decision was taken by Council officials not Councillors which is concerning. Broxtowe Borough Council has changed how Leisure iServices are organised in order to save money. Contrary to some social media reports it has not been privatised. As regular readers know I was concerned about the Christmas Celebrations notably in Stapleford but also Beeston. I have spoken to the leader of Broxtowe Borough Council Richard Jackson and he assures me, residents and community organisations will have a greater say and a bigger role in these type of events in the future.

Barton’s plans for 250 homes

I am pleased that my landlord (Simon Barton) has submitted plans to develop the brownfield site at the back of my office in Beeston. I have no doubt 250 new homes on a brown field site are to be hugely welcome!

<< Read more in the Nottingham Post >>

What’s on in Broxtowe
Monday 16 January
Beeston Mens Probus Club
10am
Where: Beeston Methodist Church.
What’s on: Social Club for retired men.
– –
Lunch and Board Games – Toton
12 noon till 3pm
Where: Toton Methodist Church, Stapleford Lane, Toton.
What’s on: For those home alone or feeling alone, come along and enjoy a simple lunch followed by the opportunity to play a few board games. Full details here.
– –
Bramcote History Group
7:40pm
Where: St Michael’s Church, Bramcote.
What’s on: Varied programme of talks and events, full details here.
– –
Beeston Players – Meeting
7:30pm
Where: Christ Church Chilwell.
What’s on: Friendly local amateur dramatic group weekly meeting, all welcome. Further details here.

Tuesday 17 January
Coffee Morning – Attenborough
10:30am till 12 noon
Where: St Mary’s Church, Attenborough.
– –
Friendship Club – Beeston
2:30pm
Where: Hope House, Boundary Road, Beeston.
What’s on: Please contact Barbara on 0115 917 5624 for further details.
– –
Social Badminton Group – Greasley
5pm till 7pm
Where: Greasley Sports and Community Centre, Dovecote Road, Newthorpe, NG16 3QN.
What’s on: The community badminton sessions are run every Tuesday and are for all ages and abilities. For further details please call the centre on 01773 760072.
– –
Beeston Business Network
6pm till 8pm
Where: The White Lion, Middle Street, Beeston.
What’s on: Networking group for businesses
– –
Notts – Derby Hemlockstone Lions Club
8pm
Where: Upstairs Room, Victoria Hotel, Dovecote Lane, Beeston.
What’s on: Have fun raising money for charities and good causes, full details here.
– –

Wednesday 18 January
Beeston Wednesday Market
8am till 4pm
Where: Beeston Square.
– –
Nottinghamshire Carers Hub – Toton
10am till 12 noon
Where: Tesco Toton Community Room.
What’s on: The support group runs every 3rd Wednesday of each month and provides support and assistance. Further details here.
– –
Coffee Morning – Attenborough
10:30am till 12 noon
Where: St Mary’s Church, Attenborough.
– –
Attenborough and Chilwell Womens Club
7:30pm
Where: Attenborough Village Hall.
What’s on: Wide variety of activities; quizzes, outings, demonstrations and speakers.
– –
Beeston Cycle Centre Guided Ride
10am till 1pm
Where: Hetley Pearson Recreation Ground Pavilion, Queens Road West, Beeston, NG9 1GT.
What’s on: Free guided ride that takes place every Wednesday. Please call Ridewise on 0115 955 2288 for further details.
– –
Wednesday mornings with Dig In Stapleford
10am till 12 noon
Where: Albany Allotments, Pasture Road, Stapleford.
What’s on: Full details of this weekly event here.
– –
Hope Computer Club – Beeston
1:30pm till 3:30pm
Where: Hope House, Boundary Road, Beeston.
What’s on: For further details of this weekly event please call Michael on 0303 040 1110.
– –
Kimberley Pensioners Association
1:30pm till 3pm
Where: Kimberley Parish Hall, Newdigate Street, Kimberley.
What’s on: Weekly event with bingo, dancing, entertainers etc. Cost is £1 which includes tea and biscuits. For further details please contact Anna on 0115 938 5362.
– –
Craft and Laugh – Stapleford
6pm till 9pm
Where: Kitty’s Handmade, 210 Derby Road, Stapleford.
What’s on: Come along to the weekly craft and laugh sessions, where you will run your own project and also a mini project. There will be tea, coffee and biscuits, cost is £5.
– –
Chinese painting – Toton
7:15pm till 9:15pm
Where: Tesco Toton Community Room.
What’s on: Full details here.
– –
Beeston and District Local History Society – Meeting
7:30pm
Where: Chilwell Memorial Hall.
What’s on: Varied programme of talks each month. Robert Mee will give a talk on Nottinghamshire Castles. Full details here.
– –
Knit, Stitch and Natter – Stapleford
7pm till 9pm
Where: Two for Tea, 92 Derby Road, Stapleford, NG9 7AD
What’s on: A place where needlecrafters can meet on a weekly basis, share their projects and learn from each other.

Thursday 19 January
Hemlock Garden Club – Bramcote
7:30pm
Where: Memorial Hall, Church Street, Bramcote.
What’s on: Monthly meeting, new members welcome. For further details please click here.
– –
Toton Over 50s Club
2pm
Where: Greenwood Centre, Chester Green (off Banks Road), Beeston.
What’s on: Talks, quizzes, walks and crafts, new members are most welcome.
– –
Two O’Clock Club – Beeston
2pm till 4pm
Where: Beeston Methodist Church, Chilwell Road, Beeston.
What’s on: Varied programme of outings and talks. For further details please call 0115 925 9199.
– –
Beeston Camera Club
7:30pm
Where: Beeston British Legion Club, 16 Hall Croft, NG9 1EL.
What’s on: The Camera Club meet on a weekly basis, for further details please click here.

Friday 20 January
Knit and Natter – Stapleford
10:30am till 12:30pm
Where: Kitty’s Handmade, 210 Derby Road, Stapleford.
What’s on: Knit and natter session held on a weekly basis. There will be tea, coffee and biscuits cost is £3.50 per person.
– –
New Horizons Over 50s Club – Chilwell
2:30pm
Where: Grove Court, Chilwell.
What’s on: Regular outings and entertainment, come along and join in with tea and cake. for further details please call Anne Hunt on 0115 837 4529.
– –
Strelley Village Panto – Robin Hood
7:30pm
Where: St Johns’s Hall, Graylands Road, Bilborough, NG8 4FD.
What’s on: For further details please click here.

Saturday 21 January
Stapleford Cycle Centre – Training and Guided Ride
9am till 12 noon
Where: Hickings Lane Recreation Ground Pavilion, Stapleford.
What’s on: 9am till 10am learn to ride for all ages, 10am till 11am cycling skills on quite roads, 11am till12 noon gentle social guided ride. For further details please call Ridewise on 0115 955 2288.
– –
Saturday mornings with Dig In Stapleford
10am till 12 noon
Where: Albany Allotments, Pasture Road, Stapleford.
What’s on: Full details of this weekly event here.
– –
Strelley Village Panto – Robin Hood
7:30pm
Where: St Johns’s Hall, Graylands Road, Bilborough, NG8 4FD.
What’s on: For further details please click here.

Monday 23 January
Kimberley Death Cafe
7pm till 9pm
Where: Rumbletums, Kimberley.
What’s on: The Death Cafe offers the opportunity for a full, frank and friendly discussion on any aspect of death or dying.

Tuesday 24 January
Bramcote and District Ladies’ Probus Club
10am
Where: New Stapleford Community Centre, Washington Drive, Stapleford, NG9 8PY.
What’s on: The music halls of Nottingham by Trevor Lee. If you are interested in joining the club please email bramcotelprobus@gmail.com or just turn up at any of the meetings.
– –
Coffee Morning – Attenborough
10:30am till 12 noon
Where: St Mary’s Church, Attenborough.
– –
Friendship Club – Beeston
2:30pm
Where: Hope House, Boundary Road, Beeston.
What’s on: Please contact Barbara on 0115 917 5624 for further details.
– –
Social Badminton Group – Greasley
5pm till 7pm
Where: Greasley Sports and Community Centre, Dovecote Road, Newthorpe, NG16 3QN.
What’s on: The community badminton sessions are run every Tuesday and are for all ages and abilities. For further details please call the centre on 01773 760072.

Wednesday 25 January
Coffee Morning – Attenborough
10:30am till 12 noon
Where: St Mary’s Church, Attenborough.
– –
Attenborough and Chilwell Womens Club
7:30pm
Where: Attenborough Village Hall.
What’s on: Wide variety of activities; quizzes, outings, demonstrations and speakers.
– –
Beeston Wednesday Market
8am till 4pm
Where: Beeston Square.
– –
Beeston Cycle Centre Guided Ride
10am till 1pm
Where: Hetley Pearson Recreation Ground Pavilion, Queens Road West, Beeston, NG9 1GT.
What’s on: Free guided ride that takes place every Wednesday. Please call Ridewise on 0115 955 2288 for further details.
– –
Wednesday mornings with Dig In Stapleford
10am till 12 noon
Where: Albany Allotments, Pasture Road, Stapleford.
What’s on: Full details of this weekly event here.
– –
Rumbletums Parents’ and Carers’ Group – Kimberley
10am till 11:30am
Where: Rumbletums Cafe, Kimberley.
What’s on: Networking, information and mutual support for parents and carers of childres, young people and young adults with learning disabilities. The group meets the last Wednesday of every month.
– –
Hope Computer Club – Beeston
1:30pm till 3:30pm
Where: Hope House, Boundary Road, Beeston.
What’s on: For further details of this weekly event please call Michael on 0303 040 1110.
– –
Kimberley Pensioners Association
1:30pm till 3pm
Where: Kimberley Parish Hall, Newdigate Street, Kimberley.
What’s on: Weekly event
– –
Craft and Laugh – Stapleford
6pm till 9pm
Where: Kitty’s Handmade, 210 Derby Road, Stapleford.
What’s on: Come along to the weekly craft and laugh sessions, where you will run your own project and also a mini project. There will be tea, coffee and biscuits, cost is £5.
– –
Knit, Stitch and Natter – Stapleford
7pm till 9pm
Where: Two for Tea, 92 Derby Road, Stapleford, NG9 7AD
What’s on: A place where needlecrafters can meet on a weekly basis, share their projects and learn from each other.

Thursday 26 January
Beeston Memory Cafe
2pm till 4pm
Where: Middle Street Resource Centre, Beeston.
What’s on: Safe and friendly venue for folk with dementia and those who support them to meet other people in a similar situation.
– –
Toton Over 50s Club
2pm
Where: Greenwood Centre, Chester Green (off Banks Road), Beeston.
What’s on: Talks, quizzes, walks and crafts, new members are most welcome.
– –
Two O’Clock Club – Beeston
2pm till 4pm
Where: Beeston Methodist Church, Chilwell Road, Beeston.
What’s on: Varied programme of outings and talks. For further details please call 0115 925 9199.
– –
Beeston Camera Club
7:30pm
Where: Beeston British Legion Club, 16 Hall Croft, NG9 1EL.
What’s on: The Camera Club meet on a weekly basis, for further details please click here.

Friday 27 January
Holocaust Memorial Day
11am
Where: The Walled Garden, Bramcote Hills Park, Ilkeston Road, Bramcote, NG9 3JT.
What’s on: Event to remember those affected by the crimes against humanity committed during the Holocaust and in subsequent atrocities throughout the world.
– –
Knit and Natter – Stapleford
10:30am till 12:30pm
Where: Kitty’s Handmade, 210 Derby Road, Stapleford.
What’s on: Knit and natter session held on a weekly basis. There will be tea, coffee and biscuits cost is £3.50 per person.
– –
New Horizons Over 50s Club – Chilwell
2:30pm
Where: Grove Court, Chilwell.
What’s on: For further details please call Anne Hunt on 0115 837 4529.
– –
HS2 Trowell Information Event – Trowell
from 12 noon till 8pm
Where: Trowell Parish Hall.
What’s on: Details of the plans and how you can have your say.

Saturday 28 January
Stapleford Cycle Centre – Training and Guided Ride
9am till 12 noon
Where: Hickings Lane Recreation Ground Pavilion, Stapleford.
What’s on: 9am till 10am learn to ride for all ages, 10am till 11am cycling skills on quite roads, 11am till12 noon gentle social guided ride. For further details please call Ridewise on 0115 955 2288.
– –
Saturday mornings with Dig In Stapleford
10am till 12 noon
Where: Albany Allotments, Pasture Road, Stapleford.
What’s on: Full details of this weekly event here.
– –
Contact me:
Anna Soubry MP
Barton House,
High Road,
Chilwell.
NG9 4AJ

0115 9436507

anna.soubry.mp@parliament.uk

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16 Responses to News from Anna Soubry MP 15 January 2017

  1. Steve Carr says:

    On the NHS debate at County Hall. Ms Soubry was not there. I was. It did not pan out as she portrays at all. The Tory amendment was badly worded and did not call for emergency funding to deal with the current crisis.

    What she fails to mention is that the original motion that did recognise the problem was voted for by 43 to 20. Every Labour, LibDem and Indpendent councillor voted for it. Only the Tories voted against emergency funding.

  2. Jacky Williams says:

    Steve. you beat me to it. Indeed, the Tory amendment failed to “call on” anyone to do anything. In fact, Dr Doddy, along with many others of us, spoke most eloquently, for the substantive motion, but then, due to the whip system adopted by the major groups (Lib Dems are not and never have been whipped) voted against the motion. Unbelievable!
    Mrs Cutts actually told us that the Government does have pots of money that could be unlocked for an emergency such as the one we are currently facing. Let’s see if they are opened up and put to good use…

  3. Jacky Williams says:

    On the issue of ALDI, I am delighted that Anna has met with them and is urging them to develop the site they own. When I was a Broxtowe Councillor, I rarely sat on the planning committee and I NEVER engaged in dialogue with developers, as I believe that could lead to all sorts of tricky situations, (unless of course you are or were a Minister for small businesses.) I did, however, Chair what was then called the Stapleford Working group (or some such title) and in that role, encouraged officers of the Council to work with ALDI and other retailers to encourage them to come to Stapleford. It was known even back then, that the Co-op were planning on moving out and that the site they were on would be ideal for a food / multi-use store. Where we find ourselves now in the Town, is that there is nowhere to go with a shopping list, to do a weekly shop, or even a daily shop in a single store. There is development on the former Maycliffe Hall site and the police station remains up for development (I never did own the police station, as was put about at the time of the Borough elections and anyone with a single shred of common sense would know that). The Town is in urgent need of basic food and other basic need stores. Sadly, I also see Beeston High Road falling into the same state as Stapleford ‘high street’. Sad times indeed!

    • Councillor Richard MacRae says:

      Sadly for some reason there has only been one, yes one meeting of the Stapleford Working Group since the last elections and that meeting didn’t even last one hour as the Chair of the Group was in such a hurry and didn’t even allow any members much time to actually speak on issues. Maybe he had some place better to be.

      Whilst other areas still have the meeting like the Beeston Working Group and the Toton/HS2 Working Group I was told Stapleford doesn’t have the meetings as the Chairman doesn’t organise any. I always found that rather strange. Even on the Council website no meetings are listed for Stapleford.

  4. Adrian Hirst says:

    I fully support the arguments for increased Local Authority Funding to resolve a wide range of issues such as reducing bed blocking in the NHS and avoiding the embarrassing fiasco over the Chinese New Year Celebrations. However, I profoundly disagree with the current trend of trying to use Local Property and Parking Taxes to plug the shortfall. Anyone who has travelled abroad will be familiar with local sales taxes etc to ensure property taxes and business rates remain fair and reasonable. Prior to the current government’s strategy of unreasonably reducing the Rate Support Grant the UK had comparable arrangements to ensure Local Authorities received a fair share of overall tax revenues. Therefore, my view is that the best solution is for the Westminster Government to prioritise restoring historically more fair and rational levels of support for Broxtowe and the County.

  5. Paul Nathanail (Bramcote resident) says:

    Anyone, including Aldi, who would like to help protect the green belt across England may like to have a look at a petition to Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government “To Protect English Green Belts”.

    Details are at
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/to-protect-english-green-belts

    The introduction to the petition says:
    “We call on Mr Sajid Javid to issue a new Policy Instruction to the Planning Inspectorate confirming the Planning Practice Guidance published by the Government on 6 October 2014 which states that “Unmet housing need ….is unlikely to outweigh the harm to the Green Belt and other harm to constitute the ‘very special circumstances’ justifying inappropriate development on a site within the Green Belt”. Specifically, we seek the new Policy Instruction to clearly confirm that unmet housing need does not represent the very special or exceptional circumstances necessary to allow inappropriate development in the Green Belt or for the alteration of Green Belt boundaries; nor does the absence of a five year supply of housing sites represent those very special or exceptional circumstances.”

    The petition has been started by TBAG – the Theydon Bois Action Group, not a group I am familiar with I confess (http://www.theydonbois-actiongroup.co.uk/2016/11/08/tbag-launches-national-petition-to-protect-english-green-belts/).

    I am not sure how effective such petitions are but the above wording seems sensible and of wide relevance whatever our very local circumstances might be.

  6. RichHartman says:

    The development proposed by the WHP Federation is on greenbelt land so we can expect all local politicians, county politicians, and our Mp to vote (or ‘campaign’) against it. Right?

    On the matter of NHS funding, the way this government is squandering our taxes on largely fruitless foreign ‘aid’ beggars belief when at the same time we witness the parlous state of our NHS and social care provision, despite the dedication of the staff who provide these services. There IS more funding available for the NHS without increasing either taxes or Nat Insurance contributions: it’s currently given away under the guise of foreign ‘aid’. Oddly, when this country is in dire straits (our economy, our NHS) other countries don’t send ‘aid’ to us, do they? Meanwhile, our friends and relatives are dying on surgery waiting lists. Charity begins at home; something our government seems to have forgotten in the rush to make friends abroad.

  7. Steve Carr says:

    Rich. I don’t think I could disagree with you more. You cannot expect Scandanavian style services at North American level of tax.
    As for Foreign Aid, the vast majority of those countries are much, much poorer than we are.

    • RichHartman says:

      Steve: I shake my head in disbelief. So you’re happy to see our relatives stay ill or die on hospital waiting lists because taxes you and I pay are wasted on substantially ineffective foreign aid and because we have failed top control ‘health tourism’. We are in difficult times here and we have to make prudent choices with the tax revenue we all (taxpayers, at least) pay. I say again that charity begins at home.
      Your LibDemFocus leaflet currently circulating states the local council has ‘squandered’ council tax on coloured lighting for the church in Beeston centre; I heard that the money for that was provided by Henry Boot Ltd, not by the council.

      • Steve Carr says:

        Just had a look at the Focus. Doesn’t mention the word squandering so I don’t see how you can quote that. Yes the money came from outside source but not specifically for the church lighting. That was a political choice and it could have gone to a number of other projects including a toilet.

        When I make my mind up about issues, I tend to do it by researching facts and not relying on what the Daily Mail is saying. I want a strong NHS and also to be fulfilling our liberal values in looking after those in developing countries who are much worse off than ourselves.

        Guess that’s why I am a Liberal and why you clearly are not.

      • RichHartman says:

        SteveCarr: With respect, you may wish to visit Specsavers. On your own Focus leaflet, side two, left hand column, two-thirds the way down, headline: “Squandering your money”. Maybe you gave it only a ‘liberal’ reading before publishing it.

      • Joan Wade says:

        How unfortunate it is that the Beeston church lights emit a form of dark light rather than the more usual illuminating light used to floodlight buildings. The original gateway to Wollaton Hall for example looks splendid when illuminated at night as do a number of other local landmarks which use illuminating light.

  8. Barry Morrison says:

    Rich. I could’nt agree more. The 0.7% GDP apparently about 12 billion of the folding stuff currently earmarked for ”foreign aid” would be a tremendous help to the NHS..Homeless people and rough sleepers..People using food banks etc etc without giving it away to other countries, many of whom don’t need it..Or sweeteners or whatever you want to call it.

    • RichHartman says:

      Steve Carr – you never did retract your unfounded allegation that I had misquoted your Focus leaflet.

      News: the government announces another £200m going to more foreign aid (announced on BBC not Daily Mail), meanwhile we are failing to provide sufficient aid to our own kin thanks to NHS under-funding, an NHS that has been funded by those who have paid into it all their working lives and now need its help but are denied it.

  9. Barry Morrison says:

    So now you know where you stand Rich. As you don’t agree with a Lib Dem your mind’s been made up by The Daily Mail. What nonsense.

    • RichHartman says:

      Exactly, Barry. I have views on many issues but they don’t necessarily accord with any of the political parties’ positions. I think of myself as generally liberal (with a small L) but when your own relatives die in large part due to the government’s questionable funding decisions, it sharpens the mind in respect of where your social funding priorities (should) lie. If that echoes the views of the Daily Mail, maybe I should read a copy one day if I have a spare shilling.

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