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  1. Apologies if this comes twice. When I tried to post a few minutes ago it didn’t like my password and doesn’t seem to have retained the post. Now I’ve logged in properly it may just post everything again.

    At the bottom of this post is our manifesto for these elections. Turning specifically to Bramcote though our first concern will be to protect the green belt. It hurt in the last borough council elections when the Tories tried to portray me as a monster trying to destroy the green belt when the reality was that I had spent every working hour trying to protect it. What hurt even more was them then deciding to allocate green belt land in Bramcote to build 500 new houses, in a complete breach of the promises that they made. We need to stop any more green belt land in Bramcote being allocated for housing.

    We also want to revitalise CAT meetings. We used to get up to 100 local people attending these and getting involved in our community. Numbers over the past four years have really dropped off and we want to return them to their previous levels of effectiveness.

    Whatever happens in the election we will continue to deliver Focus leaflets to every house in Bramcote, keeping people informed about issues in their local community. We are really grateful to all those volunteers who deliver these for us (and we’re always grateful for any new deliverers).

    For me the thing I have missed most not being the councillor over the past four years is being able to help people with issues which they face, to the same extent that you can when you have the title of councillor. We pledge that every piece of casework we receive will be dealt with to the best of our ability.

    Finally all three of our candidates are Bramcote residents and we will consider it an honour and a privilege to represent our community once again.

    Liberal Democrat Manifesto

    How our Council is run
    We will restructure committees to reduce the amount of special allowances payable to Councillors, which currently cost £82,000 pa.
    We will stop all grants to Parish Councils who sit on large credit balances and liquid assets.
    We will make it a requirement that any Councillor belonging to a political group has to declare if they have been told to vote in a certain way by their party (a practice known as whipping).
    We do not support the abolition of Broxtowe Borough Council as proposed by Nottinghamshire County Council. Neither do we support the City Council’s expansion plans.
    If in a position to do so, we will prevent the sale of Beeston Town Hall to a non-community organisation.
    We will improve transparency and sharing of information within the Council to promote a climate of trust and understanding between Members, Staff and the Public.

    Housing/Social Matters
    We will increase funds available via the Discretionary Housing Fund to assist claimants with issues resulting from the introduction of Universal Credit in the Borough.
    We will merge all council land, which is currently split between Housing and General, to reduce cost and confusion.
    We pledge to seek out suitable sites in Eastwood and Stapleford in order to open part-time cash offices and advice centres.
    We will undertake prudent borrowing as is required to meet our Social House-building targets.
    We will ensure tenants who have young children or other long term needs will be offered the longest term of contract possible to provide stability of tenure. The maximum is currently 5 years.
    We will ensure there is a good mix of new homes to suit all incomes and types of purchasers in the Borough.
    We will oppose inappropriate development in Broxtowe.

    Environment
    We will abolish the charges for bulk waste collection to help reduce fly-tipping within the borough, and introduce fines for people who use third parties to remove bulky waste which is then subsequent fly-tipped.
    We will reintroduce pest control in the Borough. This will be free to anyone over State Pension Age who receive benefits.
    We intend to introduce more electric car charging points in the Borough.
    We will prioritise Broxtowe’s carbon management plan and investigate the feasibility of introducing carbon-free vehicles at the Council.
    We will protect the Green Belt and open spaces in the Borough.
    We will work to improve our recycling rates to achieve a rate of at least 50%.
    We will require new homes to be built to the highest environmental standards, including solar panels, and we will require developers to show they have considered green issues when submitting plans.
    We will strengthen the current policy to eliminate the use of single-use plastics and throw-away clothing.
    We aim to plant another 50,000 trees in the Borough over 4 years.

    Health
    We will introduce Council-funded GP prescriptions for health promotion such as weight loss, stopping smoking and getting active.
    We are committed to maintaining high quality and accessible leisure centres in the Borough.
    We will continue to support local friendship groups and to encourage further support to tackle loneliness.
    We will introduce a ‘Heart of Broxtowe’ scheme which will incentivise food outlets to sell healthy alternatives.

    Community Safety
    We commit to promoting community engagement by:
    continuing CAT meetings,
    encouraging local Police to attend CAT meetings and other community events,
    engaging with the Fire Services to promote their services to vulnerable and disabled residents.
    working with the Police to help reduce anti-social behaviour and crime in general.

    Economy
    We will extend free parking from one to three hours across the Borough.
    We want to see high quality public toilets made available in Broxtowe along with Changing Places toilets being installed.
    We will work with local bus companies to try to develop Hopper bus routes to ensure that our residents are connected to their town centres.
    We want all Broxtowe town centres to become premier shopping destinations and will work with our Town Centre teams and local support agencies to achieve this.

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  2. David

    Thank you! This is very helpful. There are a couple of things I would like to think through and come back for more detail on, but one thing stands out.

    You say “We will stop all grants to Parish Councils who sit on large credit balances and liquid assets.” Will you also stop all grants (if there are any) to Town Councils? Do all or only some Parish Councils sit on large balances or assets? Clearly Bramcote has neither Town nor Parish council yet it seems some of our council tax may be going as grants to some of these.

    thanks

    Paul

    PS Most people will not know of the rather gracious, in my opinion, way that you turned down the offer of a recount in 2015 when you lost your seat by 6 votes.

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  3. HI Paul, thanks for the comments. It does include Town Councils but neither of the two town councils in the borough sit of large cash reserves. That tends to be the prerogative of some of the northern parish councils who seem to expect Broxtowe to pay for everything even though they are comparatively wealthy themselves. You are right that some of our council tax money goes to these. If there are things that the parish needs and they don’t have the resources (and haven’t just squandered them away) then I have no objection to them approaching the borough council for a grant, but certain parish councils seem to expect that the borough should pay for services in their area which parish councils pay for in others. Here in Bramcote we don’t have a parish council and when there was a local referendum on that residents said that we didn’t want one. This means that the borough council provide some services for Bramcote and Beeston residents that parish councils provide elsewhere in the borough (allotments being one example). However we pay more in council tax to the borough than people in those areas precisely because they have a parish council as well, who also raise council tax, so it seems to me to be wholly unfair that we should be supporting parish’s in this way.
    Thank you for the comments about the result last time. Although it was extremely disappointing one has to accept that this was what the result was and move on. David

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