Stapleford welcomes Troops parade/ Toton Post Office upgrade/ Get Walking Week/ Kimberley School visit/ Field Farm meeting with Eric Pickles and the County Council election results
Unfortunately we were not so blessed on Saturday morning when 170 Engineer Group based at Chetwynd Barracks paraded through Stapleford.
Despite the rain there was a huge turnout with many shops decked out with Union Jacks.
170 Engineer Group were exercising their Right of Entry granted by Broxtowe Borough Council and were accompanied by the Nottinghamshire Band of Royal Engineers and veterans.
Please scroll on for the usual mix of news and views including my thoughts on last week’s County Council election results.
WANTED – great community project
Big Lottery Fund and ITV are giving people the chance to vote for community projects they want to receive good cause funding.
In 2008 the 3rd Chilwell Scouts won £57,000 to revamp their Scout hut after viewers backed them. This year Big Lottery and ITV be awarding up to £50,000 to 76 projects across every region of the UK to charitable projects which “inspire, involve and improve their local community”.
The deadline for applications is 13 May 2013. I am told all you need to do is fill out a simple entry form online by clicking here or contact the Big Advice Line on 0845 0 10 11 12.
National Get Walking Week launch
The Ramblers Association launched “Get Walking Week” at Attenborough on Saturday and it was a pleasure to join them MacMillan and Walking for Health.
Broxtowe Walk and Talk is part of the scheme.
Find out more on the Ramblers web site – please click here
There’s a Walk and Talk at 5pm on May 28 at Field Farm contact Richard MacRae on 07740344427 and click here for further Stapleford events and local information.
Breathe Easy is a great organisation run people with COPD (chronic diseases of the lungs) and overseen by the British Lung Foundation. It has groups throughout the country and I was asked to visit the one based in Edwalton which includes folk from Broxtowe as well as the City and West Bridgford. It was a great experience and my thanks to everyone. Breathe Easy offers support, advice to sufferers of COPD and campaigns for better outcomes and diagnosis.
Toton nurse leads the way!
On Friday I paid a trip to the QMC to see how they are managing the increased pressure on A and E and are improving care for the elderly.
Toton nurse, Christine Lincoln was particularly keen to show me the discharge lounge which is a great innovation enabling people to leave hospital better prepared as well as freeing up beds for other patients.
Christine has put so much thought and effort into what’s being offered and it was a real pleasure to see her hard work coming to fruition.
Across England one million more people used A and E Departments last year. There are many reasons for the huge rise in numbers including difficulties getting an appointment to see a GP (something our local GP’s are addressing) and a rise in the number of frail elderly people needing urgent care. Tackling the situation requires all manner of solutions and the discharge unit at the QMC is one important way.
Kimberley School Debating Society
My thanks to members of Kimberley School’s Debating Society who invited me to their inaugural debate. The club was set up after we met in Parliament and is clearly going from strength to strength.
It was also very good to meet Biology A level students who are going to Malaysia this summer to study food crops. They are still fundraising – let me know if you can help in any way to support their trip.
Toton Post Office Upgrade
Toton Post Office is to be modernised and will open longer; it’s one of 6,000 post offices to get a make over and have its status boosted. Toton PO will close on May 29 for the work to be done and reopen on June 1.
Broxtowe Citizens Advice Bureau
I met with Broxtowe CAB who expressed a number of concerns which I have agreed to take up.
They are finding a growing number of clients with mental health problems and there is also concern about a down turn in advice and support to victims of domestic violence.
Universal Credit is being piloted in other areas but there is understandable concern that the transition will not be smooth and some people will struggle to manage monthly benefit payments.
NB Don’t forget Wednesday’s fundraiser in Beeston (see below)
Dates for your diary and surgery details
Wednesday 8th May:
Antiques Valuation in aid of Home-Start and the CAB with Charles Hanson from TV’s “Flog It”
3pm til 7pm at the Catholic Church Hall, Foster Avenue, Beeston. £3 a valuation.
Plus Tombola, Raffle, Refreshments including home made cakes.
Saturday 11 May:
Kimberley Parish Hall 10 – 12.30 please contact me for an appointment..
Out and About
Natalie Harvey, a Toton based anti-bullying campaigner and founder of Combat Bullying came to tell me about her remarkable work. Natalie was bullied throughout her childhood and then again on the internet at the age of 35; she is now using her experiences to raise awareness of bullying and help people who are being bullied. For more information about Natalie’s work, please click here to visit the Combat Bullying website.
St John’s College plans
St John’s College Bramcote, has ambitious plans to improve their facilities and it was a pleasure to visit St John’s and discuss them with the principal Dr David Hilborn. He is looking to raise about £2 million, which is a tough task however,with planning permission granted I am confident the project will be a great success. Contact me if you would like to help in any way.
From Parliament – meeting with Eric Pickles about Field Farm
I met with Eric Pickles on Tuesday (we brought forward the meeting) to discuss Field Farm.
I asked him to defer any decision on Field Farm and let it form part of the public inquiry into Broxtowe Borough Council’s Core Strategy due to take place later this year.
Some Lib Dem and Labour Councillors are so intent on allowing housing development on our Green Belt they have taken to sneering at my efforts, on behalf of my constituents, to protect it for generations to come. Pickles listened and gave no indication of what he will decide. I anticipate a decision later this week.
Some thoughts on Thursday’s County Council Elections.
Firstly, well done to everyone who won and to all those who fought an honest and clean campaign.
At Saturday’s Freedom March in Stapleford there was much agreement between both Labour and Lib Dem Councillors and myself. We agreed Broxtowe Conservatives did considerably better than forecasted and Labour did considerably worse than predicted.
There was much muttering about UKIP; it was agreed they took votes from Labour not just the Tories and some said we need to talk openly about immigration. I don’t have a problem with that but I do have a very real problem with the appalling leaflets UKIP was distributing in the elections in places like Giltbrook and Newthorpe. Bring on the debate but let’s talk facts and use language that doesn’t offend the many of us who are proud of our “immigrant” background (my great grandfather Soubry was a Frenchman).
The political commentators have turned the national spot light on UKIP which is understandable as they did well. However, in Notts UKIP lost their only seat and in Broxtowe as indeed in much of the East Midlands, the real story is how badly Labour did, for example in Erewash the Conservatives won a seat from Labour! Ed Milliband’s Labour should have stormed into power in Notts and whilst they regained Beeston South and Attenborough it was with a swing of just 2.1% (commiserations to Eric Kerry who will thankfully continue to serve Attenborough on the Borough Council).
In Nuthall, Conservative Philip Owen not only took his majority from 11 to almost 800, he increased his share of the vote. This was an extremely good result and a tribute to Philip.
Labour should have taken at least one of the Bramcote and Stapleford seats from the Lib Dems but failed; Tory newcomers Chris Doddy and David Parks put on a good show (Chris was only 121 off winning a seat). Stan Hepinstall’s considerable vote is again a tribute to him.
Labour tried to take Trowell and Kimberley from the Lib Dems and again failed. Labour’s nasty personal campaign against Ken Rigby galvanised people of all persuasions behind Ken and it is rather dishonest of some now to praise Ken having been part of the team that engaged in this type of campaigning.
There was much squabbling in Beeston North between Labour and the Lib Dems and again when it got rather unpleasant people united behind Steve Carr who retained his seat. Beeston North was another seat heavily targeted by Labour which they should have won.
In Chilwell and Toton Conservatives Richard Jackson and John Doddy were returned though with reduced majorities. However we were somewhat surprised and delighted to hold the Beauvale ward which is an amalgam of Giltbrook, Newthorpe, Moorgreen, Brinsley and parts of Eastwood. Well done John Handley ending a great year as consort to Margaret Handley, Broxtowe’s Mayor who completes her term of office later this week.
Finally, congratulations to Richard MacRae who nearly upset us all in Bramcote and Stapleford where he stood as a genuine Independent, dedicated community campaigner and defender of Field Farm. 955 people took the same view. Richard polled twice as many votes as Broxtowe Borough Councillor and Lib Dem leader David Watts. David stood in Chilwell and Toton as some sort of saviour of Toton’s Green Belt. Hm. People are not daft and David actually polled fewer votes than his fellow Lib Dem candidate.
The full results are on Notts County Council web site (please click here ) which will enable you to reach your own conclusions about last week’s elections.
Anna Soubry MP