It’s been a busy week and it will be an even busier weekend. Tomorrow sees the Hemlock Happening and the opening of the Beeston and Chilwell Garden Trail which continues to Sunday. The annual Cossall Open Gardens day is also on Sunday along with a 1940’s themed “picnic in the park” in Kimberley – full details in the diary.
I am particularly pleased to be away from the somewhat febrile atmosphere in Westminster. Next week sees the return of the EU Withdrawal Bill and I will email you before next weeks important votes.
Whatever you’re doing, have a lovely weekend.
As ever, Anna
Central College in Beeston will be closing sooner than originally planned. The closure is part of Nottingham College’s plan to build a new 50 million pound college in the centre of Nottingham.
Chief Executive John van der Laarschot and I met this afternoon and he informed me students will move to other sites over the summer. The Beeston building will be used temporarily by support staff until the site is eventually sold in around 18 months time. I’m pleased to report that the Arthur Mee site in Stapleford will remain open for the foreseeable future.
Cemex, owners of the Attenborough Nature Reserve, have already sold parcels of surrounding land following the end of gravel production at the site. I met Notts Wildlife Trust this morning to discuss their plans to buy the remaining land and secure the Reserve’s future.
There have been dozens of complaints about the closure of a footpath over some of the land already sold off. The path is popular with walkers and dog owners and many are furious that the new owner has closed it. The land is in Derbyshire but I will write to the owner to request a meeting and ask them to reopen the path. I will also contact Erewash Borough Council about rumoured future developments on land next to the Attenborough Nature Reserve.
30 Days Wild Challenge – Every day in June, Notts Wildlife Trust are challenging everyone to take more notice of their surrounding nature by doing a ‘Random Act of Wildness’. For more information click here.
I was delighted to attend Saturday’s Freedom of the City of Nottingham celebration for HMS Sherwood. The reservist unit is based in Chetwynd Barracks and although we are about as far away from the sea as is possible in England, we have a fine tradition of navy cadets and Reserves in Broxtowe. Members of HMS Sherwood including Reservists, Marines, cadets and Veterans marched through the city centre.
Abortion and a woman’s right to chose in Northern Ireland
I spoke in Tuesday’s emergency debate about abortion rights in Northern Ireland. I attended the debate thinking I would be speaking in support of a referendum in Northern Ireland.
Abortion is a devolved matter but there is widespread support for liberalisation of Northern Ireland’s strict (in my view heartless and arcane) laws. However, the assembly and executive are not sitting as the main political parties are at loggerheads. The current law in Northern Ireland only allows a pregnancy to be terminated if the mother’s life is at risk. It means a woman or girl cannot even terminate a pregnancy after she has been raped (even by her own father) or has a foetal abnormality. The result is that hundreds of women (724 last year) travel to Britain to have an abortion or get pills from the internet to end their pregnancy.
Labour’s Stella Creasy had secured the debate and made a powerful argument that if the Westminster Parliament abolished two clauses in an Act passed in 1861 abortion would not be a criminal offence (the 1967 Abortion Act allows terminations in certain circumstances). The de-criminalisation of abortion would mean it would be a medical matter subject to regulation on a devolved basis.
I was struck by this excellent proposal swiftly adding that another law which prevents terminations after 24 weeks would be retained.
I am happy to admit my mind was changed as I explained in the speech I gave which you can read here or watch here.
I was pleased to welcome Michelle Towler, Broxtowe’s Cancer Research Campaigns Ambassador, to Parliament. We had a good discussion about the NHS and both agreed that ultimately it needs more money.
Redwood Crescent update
Broxtowe Borough Council inform me they have no reason to believe the developer has ceased trading (though Advanced Precision Homes have stopped building on the site…). The current fencing has been removed apparently because a new contractor has been hired. I have written to APH demanding a full explanation as to why they have stopped the works and for a timetable as to how the development will be completed.
Bus service saved with £900K investment
Nottinghamshire County Council have saved the 510 bus service between Stapleford, Toton, Attenborough and Beeston which was threatened with closure by the previous Labour administration. Notts County Council have invested £900,000 in new electric buses thanks in part to a half a million pound Government grant. Toton, Chilwell and Attenborough councillors Eric Kerry and Richard Jackson welcomed the new 510 buses this week.
Awsworth Primary School in Parliament
I was delighted to welcome pupils from Awsworth Primary School to Parliament this week. As usual there was a tough question and answer session which I managed to survive! They assured me they had enjoyed their visit and learnt a great deal about how both the Commons and Lords work. They made me very proud to be their MP.
Private security firm to keep homes safe
Nottingham Tramlink have hired a private security company to stop criminal behaviour along the tram route behind Clumber Avenue in Chilwell. This is in response to yet more incidents of youths throwing tram ballast.
Since I called a meeting in April, NET and Tramlink have put together a plan to tackle problems along the route in this part of Chilwell.
I was delighted to welcome former Broxtowe Mayor, Councillor Halimah Khaled MBE, to Parliament for the first Big Iftar in the Speaker’s House. Muslims are marking the holy month of Ramadan by fasting from sunrise to sunset. The meal that breaks their fast is known as iftar and as co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Muslims I was pleased to host Tuesday’s Big Iftar which featured a speech from Sajid Javid, our new Home Secretary.
ABC Arts Trail record numbers
Congratulations to all the artists and craft people who took part in last weekend’s Attenborough, Beeston and Chilwell Arts trail. Over 500 people enjoyed a rich variety of outstanding work on display in homes (or rather sheds!) and at Meadow Lane school. I speak for many when I said I am enjoying my purchases!