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

Broxtowe Enews 11th December 2016

by David Watts on 11 December, 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. This is the last newsletter before Christmas so may I wish all our readers a happy Christmas and a very prosperous new year.

1. Christmas Car Parking In Broxtowe
Christmas shoppers can take advantage of additional free parking in Broxtowe Borough Council’s car parks this festive season. In addition to there being no parking charges after 4.00pm Monday to Friday in all Council car parks (except Station Road car park near Beeston train station), there will also be free parking after 12 noon on Saturdays. All day free car parking is available on Saturdays in the run up to Christmas at the following selected car parks:
• Devonshire Avenue car park, Beeston
• Oxford Street car park, Eastwood
• Victoria Street car park, Kimberley
• Halls Road car park, Stapleford
The Parking Enforcement Team will still patrol all the car parks from 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and all other restrictions still apply during this period including the 3 hour maximum stay policy in short stay car parks. Only 1 free voucher per day per car park is allowed. For more information, please visit www.broxtowe.gov.uk/carparks

2. Christmas Trees
If you have a real Christmas Tree in your house and you are a subscriber to the borough councils garden waste scheme then you may be pleased to know that the council will take away your old tree free of charge during the garden waste collections in January. If the tree is less than 1.5 metres tall you can leave it alongside your brown bin. If it is more than 1.5 metres tall then the council ask that you cut it down to this size first and place the bits in the brown bin.

3. Stapleford Post Office
A plan to relocate Stapleford Post Office to the Bargain Booze shop in the town has been abandoned. I was one of many people who criticised the idea and I am glad that it has been scrapped. It seemed to me that it was inappropriate to locate a post office in licenced premises, and the Post Office have eventually come to the same conclusion. They are now looking for an alternative home in the town.

4. A World Class School
George Spencer Academy in Stapleford has been awarded the title of being a world class school. There are only 17 schools in the country who have been awarded this recognition, and George Spencer are only the second school in Nottinghamshire to gain it. Many congratulations to the staff and students for making this happen.

5. Broxtowe Liberal Democrats
At the Broxtowe Liberal Democrats AGM on Friday night I was very honoured to be elected as the new chair of the Constituency Party. I’d like to publicly thank Tim Hallam for his work in that role over the past year, and Tim will now concentrate on his new role as our prospective parliamentary candidate.

6. Broxtowe Borough Council shortlisted for two awards
Broxtowe Borough Council has been shortlisted for two awards for its Parks and Housing services at the Association of Public Services Excellence (APSE) Performance Network Awards. After picking up the Most Improved Performer Award for Parks, Open Spaces and Horticultural Services in 2015, the Council’s Parks Team were shortlisted for Best Performer in the same category. The Team maintain 23 parks and recreation grounds and over 40 open spaces across the borough, including four Green Flag Award winning parks and 15 Local Nature Reserves. They are also responsible for maintaining cemeteries, churchyards, allotments, Council Housing land and floral displays in the Borough’s town centres. The Housing Repairs Department was also shortlisted for Building Maintenance – Most Improved Performers in the awards. This is the third time the team have been recognised for their hard work and they were also shortlisted in 2012 and 2015. The awards were presented in Blackpool on Thursday 1st December.

7. ‘Yarn Bombing’ in Bramcote Hills Park
Trees at Bramcote Hills Park have a new way to keep warm during the cold weather thanks to a local knitter from Wollaton. A Sweet Chesnut tree at the park was ‘yarn bombed’ by local knitter and Geocaching enthusiast Hannah Birch after she contacted Broxtowe Borough Council with a unique idea to dress the trees to celebrate the parks 10th year of Green Flag award success. The tree is located adjacent to the cycle track at the park and visitors can search for a hidden Geocache using their mobile phones when they find the tree. The yarn bombing was officially revealed on Friday 2nd December as Mayor of the Borough of Broxtowe joined students from White Hills Park Federation Trust to plant trees around the main car park at the site as part of National Tree Week. A total of 10 trees were planted to mark 10 consecutive years of the park holding the prestigious Green Flag award. The selection of trees were specially chosen for their excellent autumn colour and once established will provide a blaze of colour as summer fades. A number of the trees were donated in private memorial or commemoration. Future Yarn Bombing may appear at the park in 2017 to celebrate different events and activities. Keep visiting the park and you never know what new colourful knitted dressings you may see. I saw this first one when I visited the park this afternoon and it is clearly a major piece of work.

8. Leyton Crescent Play Area
Broxtowe Borough Council, working in Partnership with Beeston Rylands Junior School Council and the Beeston Rylands Community Action Team are submitting a bid to the Nottinghamshire County Council Supporting Local Communities Scheme to help renovate the Leyton Crescent play area.
The toddler and main climbing units are nearing the end of their service life and need replacing. The council would like you to help choose the style of items we include in the area and how we surface it. They have compiled an online questionnaire with example illustrations showing how it might be laid out. You can see this at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NC8SQYC.

9. Living Wage jobs
Figures released this week show that across Nottinghamshire 73,000 jobs are paying less than the living wage. The living wage currently stands at £8.25 per hour. It is not compulsory for firms to pay this (unlike the lower minimum wage) but as this is set at the rate at which people can actually afford to live morally firms should do. I must admit that I found these figures very disappointing.

10. Eastwood Volunteer Bureau
Work has started this week on renovating the offices of Eastwood Volunteer Bureau. New flooring and new decorations are being installed. The work has been paid for by a grant from Veolia Environmental Trust.

11. Police Complaints
Figures released this week by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary have shown that Nottinghamshire Police are the most complained about police force in the country. There were 447 complaints per 1,000 officers over the past year, compared to a national average of 268 complaints. However the Inspectorate’s report gives the police an overall rating of “Good.”

12. Notts TV
If anyone is watching the Notts TV Friday Night debate on Friday 6th January next year I will be appearing for the Liberal Democrats. Through both my work and my political activity this appearance will mean that I have appeared on TV at least once a year for the last 18 years. This is something that I never imagined would happen and to be honest appearing on TV used to terrify me. Thankfully I’m getting a bit more used to it now.

13. Durban House
The Borough Council, at the planning meeting this week, has granted planning permission to Durban House in Eastwood to be turned into a health spa. The building was previously a museum and part of the DH Lawrence Heritage but it was closed by the Conservative administration on the council last year.

14. Coronation Road, Cossall
Coronation Road in Cossall will be closed each Sunday in January to allow the construction of the new access road for the forthcoming Ilkeston Station. The road will close at midnight on Saturday and will reopen at 6am on Monday. A date will be announced for the station to open shortly.

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received. The next edition will be on the 7th January.

Best wishes

Follow me on Twitter @davidwatts12.

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