This will be the last newsletter for a few weeks as I am off on holiday first thing tomorrow. The office will of course remain open and I will be checking my emails on a regular basis (as much as my family will allow).
I will not be able to attend the funeral of Owen Jenkins, the 12 year old from Beeston Rylands who drowned whilst saving others. Owen’s remarkable parents Nicola and Gary want tomorrow’s event to be a celebration of his life and I very much hope it will be.
Owen Jenkins – A Lasting Tribute
Beeston is turning purple with ribbons everywhere in memory of 12 year old Owen Jenkins who drowned at Beeston Weir. Owen died a hero, going to the aid of two other youngsters who had got into difficulty playing in the Trent. Owen’s funeral is on Saturday and already people are coming together to ensure there is a lasting tribute to Owen.
It’s been a honour and privilege to meet Owen’s parents Nicola and Gary and other members of his popular Rylands family. Last week Nicola and Gary attended a meeting of all the relevant authorities to discuss how we can make Beeston Weir safer. Danger signs will be erected, life saving equipment will be installed and a temporary fence erected to deter people from using the Weir in particular.
Broxtowe Borough Council has taken the lead on co-ordinating the work and everyone agreed speed is of the essence. Nicola and Gary Jenkins are also keen to make sure youngsters get training in water safety.
Last Thursday evening dozens of youngsters and their families attended a water safety event organised by Nottingham Casuals and the Royal Life Saving Society. Owen was a keen member of the Casuals and it was great to see so many people taking part in the training. It included CPR – life saving skills that can be used in almost any emergency.
It’s long been argued that all youngsters should get this training at school as a mandatory part of the curriculum. I am very much open to persuasion on the mandatory point – but in any event, all schools are able to facilitate CPR and water safety training if they so chose. Broxtowe Borough Council has agreed to help finance life saving classes in all schools and the Jenkins family are keen to assist by way of a fund in Owen’s name.
Boots – Future of Nottingham Site and Morning After Pill Controversy
I met Elizabeth Fagan the UK Managing Director of Boots, yesterday. She explained that despite the recent sale of the manufacturing part of the Boots site business, Boots remains committed to Nottingham and the Beeston site. The new owners specialise in world wide manufacturing and I am assured there is no good reason to fear they will adversely affect the 1000 jobs at Boots.
The company received a considerable amount of bad publicity over its pricing policy of the morning after pill. The pill is not sold without a consultation which can take almost an hour depending on the needs of the woman (especially younger women) purchasing it. In many parts of England (and we are one of them) the NHS pays the cost, but in some areas they don’t, so would be users, have to pay to get the pill and consultation. The controversy is about the total cost of the service and Boots is adamant they are right to charge for the consultation to reflect the professional advice of the pharmacist. I don’t think Boots have handled this matter very well but I support them in their policy of making sure pharmacy services are properly funded at sensible rates.
Attenborough Crossings Progress
They will install new safety lights and procedures. Their decision for the short term is welcome though everyone is conscious of two recent deaths on the line which are not believed to be connected to the crossings.
I am of the firm view that we need a proper bridge at Meadow Lane which pedestrians, cyclists, the disabled and horse riders can use. I think the installation of such a bridge would be very popular and many people would, on that basis accept the closure of the other two crossings. However, I am also of the view we need a road bridge to replace the current vehicular crossing which isolates most of Attenborough when the gates are down. I very much welcome your views on both ideas please.
Awsworth Green Belt
The Awsworth Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group (to give them their full title!) has been doing a very good job job in drafting a future plan for the village and I met them on Wednesday to discuss how their plan is progressing. They are all volunteers and have been working hard to cover all aspects of village life and accommodate 250 new homes in the village. I know a number of residents are very unhappy about the proposed development and I think it’s important to explain the background.
The previous administration at Broxtowe Borough Council set a housing target of 6,150 which only Conservative Councillors and I opposed. We tried our best to reduce the target as we knew it would mean around 3,000 homes would have to be built on our Green Belt.
The then Labour/Lib Dem council allocated sites for development and 250 homes were allocated to Awsworth. When the Conservatives were elected to run Broxtowe in 2015 they sought legal advice as to whether they could reduce the housing target and were told it was not possible.
Last summer, the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and the Parish Council, sent a comprehensive questionnaire about the future of the village to all residents. They have also delivered flyers to everyone in the village.
In January, Broxtowe ran a workshop about the plans for Awsworth which was attended by Steering Group and Parish Council representatives. The minutes record no opposition to the plans for Awsworth though there was quite proper concern about the need for more school places, medical services and notably, better public transport.
This summer the plans have been displayed in the village and a number of residents are now very concerned and indeed are opposed, to the proposal for 250 homes off Newtons Lane.
I met Awsworth Borough Councillor Lydia Ball, Broxtowe Borough Council Leader Richard Jackson and Councillor Tony Harper who heads the jobs and economy committee at Broxtowe last week (pictured above). We can see no alternative, given the decisions of the last administration to the development off Newtons Lane. However, we will work with the Steering Group, Parish Council and all residents in Awsworth to make sure the village benefits from the development.
Kimberley Brewery Site Update
With Kimberley Borough Councillor, Shane Easom, I paid a visit to the Kimberley Brewery site. The developers, Fairgrove Homes showed me how well the homes on the site are coming along. After years of planning, work is now well under way and around 150 new homes will be completed. I was also delighted to meet a number of apprentices on the site.
Pasture Road, Stapleford – Action Demanded
I attended a residents meeting on Pasture Road in Stapleford last week. My thanks to Borough Councillor Richard MacRae for organising it and credit too to Councillor Ray Darby who also attended along with the local PCSO, Andy Freeman. The situation with badly parked cars and commercial vehicles, poor road markings and a host of other problems is unacceptable. It’s not just residents who are demanding action but also anyone taking their child to the Primary School.
I have written to Notts County Council asking for an urgent meeting with the relevant officers and Councillor on Pasture Road. I have also spoken to Broxtowe Borough Councillor Tony Harper about the businesses on Pasture Road who are the source of many of the problems. Much of the solution will be finding them places to park vehicles other than the pavements and roads. Tony chairs the Jobs and Economy Committee on the Borough and has undertaken to visit all the businesses and find long term solutions. I will report back!
Greasley Beauvale – Some Fond Farewells
The standard of singing was simply outstanding and I thoroughly enjoyed myself – as did all the families who came along. We also bid a fond farewell to head teacher Donna Chambers who has been a huge asset at the school. Donna will be greatly missed and we all wish her well in her new job.
Supporting Broxtowe’s Businesses
This highly successful engineering company makes a variety of parts, mainly from steel. They are involved in the manufacturing of a diverse range of products from armoured vehicles to shop fittings. MD, Tim Leam and I discussed a variety of matters including how to improve their apprentice scheme. I have written to George Spencer and Chilwell School but anyone interested in joining Lasershape should let me know. These are good quality apprenticeship and I was struck by the dedication and enthusiasm of the young engineers they employ.
Friends of Beeston Station
The group is already a making good progress by securing more disabled parking, improvement to the disability ramp and roof cleaning. The campaign to make Beeston Station fully accessible for all passengers continues and I have had meetings with Network Rail and the Secretary of State.
If you would like to join the Friends of Beeston Station please contact my office.
Stan Heptinstall Fundraising
Retired Councillor (and Bramcote legend) Stan Heptinstall is raising funds for 2 admirable causes; the SW Notts Scouts Group so that they can attend the International Scout Jamboree in the USA in 2019, and repairs to Bramcote Parish Church. On Saturday 26th August he will walk with his dog Charlie from Bramcote to Langley Mill (and back!) and is asking for sponsorship, however big or small. All donations will be split 50/50.
If you would like to donate please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01159164588
What’s on in Broxtowe
Wednesday 9th August (Every Wednesday)
Beeston Cycle Centre Guided Ride
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Where: Hetley Pearson Recreation Ground, Queens Rd W, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 1GT, UK
What’s on: Gentle free guided group ride for Broxtowe residents on trails and routes around the area. Free cycle training is available every Saturday between 9am and 1pm and at Stapleford Cycle Centre between 9am and 12pm. More information here.
Wednesday 16th August (Fortnightly on Wednesdays)
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Where: Two for Tea 92, Derby Road, Stapleford, Nottinghamshire NG9 7AD
What’s on: Gathering for needlecrafters to share their projects and learn from each other.
Attenborough Holiday Club
10.15am – 12.15pm
Where: Attenborough Nature Reserve
What’s on: Join us for some fun-filled activities at Attenborough Nature Reserve and discover the wildlife that lives under the water. Suitable for children aged 4 and above. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Please book in advance and come dressed for the weather! More information here.
Beeston Square Market
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Where: Beeston Square, NG9 2JG
What’s on: A quality mix of local businesses offering delights from pies, pastries and fruit and veg to jewellery, paintings and bedding!