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 4th March 2017

by David Watts on 4 March, 2017

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. Bramcote Hills Golf Club
A government inspector has reversed a decision made by Broxtowe councillors and is allowing an older persons complex to be built on the former Bramcote Hills Golf Course between Thoresby Road and the Moor Lane bridleway. Access to the site will be from Deddington Lane. The main reason for the reversal of the decision is that Broxtowe has not identified sufficient land to fulfil the Government’s building requirements. The positive aspect of the decision is that new accommodation will now be provided in the locality for people who wish to secure additional care as they get older. Also, about half of the former golf course will be opened up for general recreational use. The negative aspect is loss of protected open land and some disruption for local people as the complex is constructed. It is expected that construction will commence within the next two years. I am personally very disappointed with this decision. It has been caused in no small measure by the refusal of the Conservatives on Broxtowe Borough Council to support any allocation of land in the green belt for further housing. They were warned repeatedly that this would happen but chose not to listen. The irony is that the Tories have now decided to allocate massive amounts of green belt land, but their decision to do this has come too late to prevent this decision being made.

2. Borough Council Budget
At the Borough Councils budget meeting last week the council decided to freeze council tax for the forthcoming year. However they are having to find an extra £600,000 of savings due to further reductions in the money that they receive from central government. When I was the leader of the council I ensured that my speech about the budget was circulated to all councillors in advance so that people could read it and propose any amendments. In doing this I was following the pattern set by Michael Rich and Milan Radulovic, my two predecessors as council leader. It was disappointing to hear that the current conservative administration no longer extend this courtesy to opposition councillors.

3. Bramcote Park Café Fundraising
The first week of fundraising for Bramcote Park Café has raised 31,000. This is a great start but over the next few weeks we need to raise a further £9,000 towards the total costs. Although the park is owned by the council they do not have the resources to fund building a café and so we are having to raise all the money ourselves. I do hope that readers of this newsletter will consider helping. You can donate online at http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/bramcote-hills-park-community-cafe, or if you would prefer to use a more old fashioned method cheques made payable to Bramcote Hills Park Community Café can be sent to 6 Edingale Court, Bramcote, Nottingham, NG9 3LY. Please also promote this to as many people as possible.

4. QMC Tram Stop
Work has now started on building a new entrance to connect the QMC to the tram stop. This is the last part of the plans for the Beeston line, and when completed will save visitors to the QMC having a very long walk around the building.

5. Broxtowe Women’s Project
The Broxtowe Women’s Project, which supports victims of domestic violence, has received a 23% increase in calls for help over the past 12 months. This announcement follows the news last week that there had been a 75% increase in hate crime since the Brexit vote. I really worry about the sort of country that we are turning into. Earlier this week a Broxtowe Councillor commented on Facebook about fly tipping in his ward and was subjected to some vile abuse on the site. When others challenged the offenders they were told that people should expect to face abuse if the post on line. I strongly disagree. No-one should be subjected to abuse by other faceless people.

6. Boundary Review
The Boundary Commission have just published the comments that they received about the proposed changes to parliamentary constituencies in Nottinghamshire. There were a lot of comments submitted, the vast majority of which were not supportive of the proposals. Readers may recall that the Boundary Commission had proposed putting Beeston and Chilwell into the South Nottingham constituency and put the rest of the Broxtowe constituency in a new constituency with Hucknall, but leaving Eastwood, which is in Broxtowe Borough, in the Ashfield constituency. We will now need to see how the Commission respond to the comments.

7. Nottinghamshire Police
Notts Police received a unflattering report from the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary this week. They were one of 13 forces across the country rated as “requiring improvement.” In particular the force was told that it must improve the way that it tackles crime prevention, anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe. They were praised for the work that they did in investigating crime. It is clear that the new Chief Constable will be facing some big challenges as he starts in his new role.

8. East Midlands Train Franchise
East Midlands Trains, who run the current franchise for the midland mainline, have had their franchise extended for a further year. Three firms have submitted bids to run the service when the current franchise expires. They are Stagecoach, who own East Midlands Trains, Arriva and a company called First Trenitalia. The current franchise will now finish in May 2019 and the new operator will be announced next year.

9. Fire Service Funding
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue have announced that their budget for 2017/18 will have a shortfall of £500,000 and that they will use money from their reserves to bridge the shortfall. Over the next few years they expect the funding that they receive from the government and via council tax will leave them with a £1.7 million shortfall.

10. Drive in Cinema
The Moonlight Drive In Cinema will be held in the Ikea carp park in Giltbrook between 2nd and 8th April. The films shown will include Grease, Dirty Dancing, Finding Dory and Back to the Future. Tickets have now gone on sale and further details are available at Facebook.com/moonlightcinemanottingham. As a child living in Malawi our weekly trip to the drive in cinema was one of the highlights of the week (there was no TV) although here in Britain we are more at risk from the weather. I hope that it is a success.

11. Training Award for Broxtowe Borough Council
An Initiative to offer 100 training opportunities to students in Broxtowe Borough has been awarded the Training Award at The Building Communities Awards. The award was presented to United Living on Friday 24th February at the event organised by Efficiency East Midlands Ltd (EEM) for their partnership with Broxtowe Borough Council and Central College Nottingham to offer 100 work placements during the academic year to construction students at the college. Around three construction students a week from the college were offered practical experience and an opportunity to gain valuable skills in a range of trades including plumbing, joinery, painting, plastering and electrical work. The students’ efforts will support local communities in residential areas that are administered by Broxtowe Council’s Housing Modernisations Contract – a seven year agreement to upgrade managed homes across West Nottinghamshire. They will be working mostly on projects which involve the replacement of kitchens and bathrooms, as well as upgrades to electrical installations.

12. Free Admission to DH Lawrence Museum
Residents of Broxtowe will now get free admission to the D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum in Eastwood every Wednesday. Visitors can just quote code DHLBRXZ18 and show a proof of address to claim a free tour of the museum on any Wednesday, and experience the humble beginnings of a literary legend. The D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum is an authentically recreated miner’s cottage, mirroring how a working class home would have looked like in Eastwood in the late 1800s. As part of the free admission, visitors will see our exhibition rooms filled with interesting objects, with lots of things to touch and play with (like Victorian toys and smelly Carbolic soap!). Before visitors enter the Lawrence family’s house they also get to see a short video on D.H. Lawrence and Eastwood, setting the scene for the visit.

13. Consultation on Blue Badge Spaces
Blue Badge Holders and other car park users are being urged to have their say on a consultation about the provision of Blue Badge parking spaces at some of Broxtowe Borough Council’s car parks. The consultation is available at www.broxtowe.gov.uk/bluebayconsultation until 27th March. The Council is consulting on the provision of spaces in five of its 29 car parks, after surveys taken in the autumn of last year suggested a significant number of spaces in these sites were underused.

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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