David Watts

Liberal Democrat Councillor For Bramcote, Parliamentary Spokesperson for Newark, Editor of Challenge Magazine for the Green Liberal Democrats and Crime and Policing Spokesperson for Nottinghamshire Learn more

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Broxtowe Enews 22nd October 2016

by David Watts on 23 October, 2016

Welcome to Broxtowe Enews, brought to you by the Liberal Democrats and edited by David Watts, on behalf of the Lib-Dems in Broxtowe. May I give a special welcome to the new readers that we have this week.

1. Council Budget Consultation
Broxtowe Borough Council is consulting on its budget and the services it intends to provide for next year. The Council is inviting you to have your say on shaping budgets and services in 2017/18. The Government grant to the council has reduced by 42% since 2010 and it is expected to reduce to zero by 2019. The Council needs to save an estimated £2.2 million over the next three years. The Council is now preparing the budget for 2017/18. Residents are encouraged to have your say on where the Council’s funds should be used to support services. This budget consultation is a key part of this process. The closing date for all completed questionnaires is Wednesday 30th November and you can complete the questionnaire online at https://broxtowe.firmstep.com/default.aspx/RenderForm/?F.Name=qA1FsTRsxQc&HideToolbar=1.

2. Boots Job Loses
Boots, who have their head office in Beeston, have announced that they are offering voluntary redundancy to up to 500 staff from their headquarters. The cuts will fall mainly on support staff. The company have said that they hope to achieve the numbers voluntarily, and that some 200 of the positions have already been axed.

3. Chetwynd: Toton and Chilwell Neighbourhood Forum
I’m delighted to announce the formation of Chetwynd: The Toton & Chilwell Neighbourhood Forum. The inaugural meeting will take place on Sunday 20th November 3pm at Toton Methodist Church, Stapleford Lane NG9 6GA. The community needs to come together to officially form the forum at this initial start-up general meeting. Everyone living & working in the area is invited to attend. The purpose of the forum is to enable residents in the area to discuss local issues and to represent resident’s views in decisions affecting the local area such as planning & development. Further information will be delivered to residential addresses in the Toton & Chilwell Meadows and Chilwell West wards before the meeting.

4. Keyring Proposal Approved
Notts County Council has approved a proposal to establish the first keyring network in the county. Keyring networks are groups of nine people with learning needs or mental health problems who live within walking distance of each other and who provide mutual support for each other, together with a “community living volunteer” who will also help with practical issues. This is an exciting step forward and will help provide the group members with greater independence. I wish the scheme every success.

5. Voluntary Firefighters Needed
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue have announced that they are seeking to recruit a number of new on call fire fighters for its stations across Nottinghamshire, including Eastwood and Stapleford. Applications are open until 30th October and forms can be found at www.nottsfire.gov.uk.

6. Charity and Second Hand Shops
Figures published by the Office For National Statistics this week show that there has been a nearly 50% increase in the number of charity and second hand shops in Nottinghamshire in the last 6 years. There are currently 125 second hand shops in the county, up from 85 in 2010. Unfortunately the report didn’t give the actual figure for the number of charity shops.

7. Stapleford CO-OP
It was disappointing to hear this week that the CO-OP store in Stapleford is to close. Although I am not a big fan of the store it is the largest food store in the town and will be missed by many people, not least the 35 staff who work there. The store will close on 19th November.

8. Coventry Lane Cycle Path
Cyclists have complained about the state of the cycle path which runs alongside the A6002 Coventry Lane in Bramcote. Unfortunately the trees and bushes alongside the route are now so overgrown that it is in parts impossible to stay on the path, forcing cyclists to move onto the road. This is something that I had noticed myself driving along Coventry Lane, and the Liberal Democrats will be pushing for urgent cation to be taken to have the vegetation cut back.

9. Nuthall Island Adverts
One thing that will not be happening on the roads is a plan by Notts County Council to install four large advertising hoardings at Nuthall Island near Junction 26 of the M1. Planning permission has been turned down by the borough council who say that the signs would be distracting for drivers. I fully support the decision of the borough council on this.

10. Term Time Holidays
Notts County Council has reaffirmed its approach to parents taking children out of school for holidays in term time. The council will step in if a child missed more than 3 days of schooling in 6 weeks, and will impose a fine of £60 per child. This is the policy that they adopted last year and it has led to a six fold increase in the number of fines being handed out. It is also seemingly at odds with the ruling of the High Court in a case earlier this year, although that decision is currently being appealed to the Supreme Court.

11. Road Salt
The County Council have announced that they are fully stocked with road salt for this winter. They currently have 20,000 tonnes of salt in stock and they have already begun the process of refilling the 1,300 grit bins that they have. I haven’t seen any long range predictions for the winter yet (except for the Daily Express which predicts the worst winter ever every year) but it is good to know that the council is ready for whatever comes.

12. Poverty in Nottinghamshire
A report before the County Council this week said that the percentage of children and young people in the county living in poverty was lower than the average for either the East Midlands or England and Wales as a whole. Nevertheless 15.9% of people aged between 0 and 19 live in poverty, a total of more than 26,000. This figure is far too high and the county council have launched a new action plan this week to tackle the issue.

13. Empty Homes
A government report this week revealed that more than 5,000 homes in Nottinghamshire have been empty for more than 6 months. There are many reasons for this, but clearly if they could be brought back into use the intense pressure on housing services would be eased.

14. Beeston Enterprise Zone
More than £6 million of funding has been allocated to infrastructure projects on the Beeston Enterprise Zone. This money will be used to build a new bridge over the railway and also a cycle path through the zone. The funding is coming from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

15. Chilwell Retail Park
The last vacant unit at Chilwell Retail Park has now been filled. However after the excitement of Marks and Spencer moving in last month I doubt that the arrival of Poundland will generate quite the same enthusiasm. The vacancies were created by the closure of Wickes earlier this year. The site they occupied was divided into three stores, with the third one being taken by Pets at Home.

16. Stapleford Post Office
The Post Office has announced a consultation about closing their site in Stapleford and moving in to Bargain Booze on Derby Road. The consultation is open now and runs for six weeks. Unfortunately my previous experience of consultations by the Post Office suggest that this is already a done deal and that the views of local residents will be ignored. However I hope I’m wrong and if you want to send a comment you can email it to comments@postoffice.co.uk

17. Tram Compensation
Figures released this week show that businesses affected by the construction work for the tram network were paid £3.5 million in compensation by the city and county councils. The vast majority of the firms receiving this money were in Beeston and Chilwell, at an average of £23,000 per business.

18. Bramcote Crematorium Christmas Service
Families and friends can remember their loved ones during the Festive Season at the annual Christmas Service of Remembrance at the Bramcote Crematorium on Sunday 4th December. The service starts at 2.00pm in the Serenity chapel and will be led by Reverend Michael Grantham. The service, which has become a poignant feature in the Crematorium’s calendar will last about an hour and include readings, prayers and Carols, with musical contributions from Soloist Sarah Carlin. On arrival at the chapel, members of the congregation will be invited to light a candle in memory of their loved ones, whose names can also be read out during the act of remembrance, if the family so wish. This service has become a very popular event and can attract a large attendance. It is recommended that people arrive early to ensure a seat within the chapel and children of all ages are most welcome. The Serenity chapel doors will be open from 1.15pm. Following the service, seasonal refreshments will be available in the chapel.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

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