Defining defining

Photos from The Guardian.
Stoke-on-Trent Central has the potential to be a defining defeat for UKIP and a defining turning point for Labour.  Copeland is a rare loss for an opposition party to a government party, but should not be regarding as a defining defeat.
But I have to acknowledge it’s possible that the potential for any such conclusions to be accepted may already be lost, particularly in the noise of social media.
Stoke-on-Trent Central
Well good for Tristam Hunt.  I don’t resent him choosing a better job for himself, even though he was an MP.  And the fallout has been nothing but positive. We now have a Labour MP who will understand the value of contact work – and  I say this as politely as I was told – Tristam Hunt did not.  It was hard work for the party – but there is a better appreciation of the need to talk on the doorsteps.  And the UKIP leader was beat – having set out the target has been Labour seats that voted Leave.  I hope too that his reputation is destroyed – Hillsborough, false home address, EU expenses etc.
I can only assume that Jamie Reed, the retiring MP got everything he wanted.
A good job doing the PR for a key industry for the area he represented.  According to Barry Sherman MP, a higher political commitment to nuclear energy from the Labour party than that given by the Conservative government. A defeat for Jeremy Corbyn – with part of the Labour party ramming that point home.
But beyond the storm that mitigates the impact of superior party organisation, the unprecedented nature of Jamie Reed’s action is what defines this defeat.
A thought experiment – what if when I was to run for South Derbyshire, the MP Mark Todd had resigned mid-term to be in PR for the car industry, saying the Labour gov’t could not be reached on the importance of cars – as hard as it was going to be, it would have been impossible then.
So I can understand why a neighbouring MP in the aftermath of the defeat said they did well to come close.
It should not be treated as a defining defeat, despite the previous example being in 1982.
What should be defining
Being 11-18 points behind in the polls.
Wanna stress, Mark Todd is very loyal – and there was never any issue over cars – the Labour Gov’t actually put a scheme in to help car manufacturing in the aftermath of the banking crisis.  I jusr want to make people think about how stark Jamie Reed’s action was.
UK Polling Report
For a more conventional view, with some of the latest polls.


Touched” is an acclaimed play, first shown in Nottingham forty years ago, and being shown at the Playhouse again.
But because it was first shown 40 years ago, parts of the play that might have been novel then – home abortions, nuclear bomb explosions – have been shown again since by other productions – including in the Playhouse.  So the play has become thinner with time, and I wonder if the script wasn’t worth a re-visit to give a bit more width to the other characters in the play.
Still go see Vicky McClure and definitely go see Aisling Loftus (compelling) – Nottingham born actors.
Meanwhile, gotta say, got distracted by the projection of a map of 1940’s Nottingham onto the set.  Towards the end, the graphics showed parts of the city disappearing under the boiling cloud of atomic bombs – save the scale of the explosions were far too small; a bit odd.

Triathlon mixed relays on the Embankment

On Saturday, 2nd September, 20 thousand people will be coming to The Meadows to see the Brownlee brothers and many others in a national championship relay race that with be covered in full, live on BBC 1; and to have a go themselves.
At today’s press conference at Nottingham Castle, a clear expectation that the event will be very entertaining.

As for The Meadows, road closures will be restricted to the south end of Arkwright Walk as ‘amateur’ competitors use the Portland Baths for the swimming legs of the race.
Car parking will be on the Meadows Recreation Ground, and access will be from Wilford Grove and Bathley Street.  The cycling element of the race will almost reach the gates by Wilford Toll Bridge and go up Wilford Grove as far as the new plateau, to fulfill the specification, and will see that stretch of road resurfaced soon in preparation for the race.
To mitigate the impact of traffic on local streets, I’ve been given assurances about encouraging the use of public transport and that the Embankment will be opened up at the end to allow the main body of cars to leave that way.

Meanwhile, plans to construct a mini-cycle track for kids to develop their road safety awareness will be pushed on – perhaps available for the Summer, but I’d need to check again.

Ward walk – February 2017

Loads picked up the ward walk and checking out the fallout of a storm.
(1) The ward walk started at Royston Close, where previous visits found a number of issues. Tidier now, including most of the passage running along the school grounds.
(2) Regarding the second photo – the boring one. It’s Risley Drive, a street opposite ‘ng2′ on a working day morning, and there are no cars parked. And we’ve not even started enforcing the permits scheme yet.
(3) New council housing in the west of The Meadows starts to be available to rent in April.
(-) Some concerns about ASB on Crammond Close.
(4) Bumping into residents who highlighted pavement damage on Saffron Gardens, caused by construction vehicles serving the building of new houses.
This will be fixed, but once construction finishes.
(5) The site of the police station where the construction of 21 flats is currently being considered.
(-) Some positive feedback regarding action taken to clear up a passage at the rear of Phoenix Close, and a rear garden off it;
(6) A storm did some damage, including ripping out the gates of this unfortunate resident’s property.
(7) New tarmac in the parking lot of Lothmore Court. Done a little while ago, but have recently received thanks for the work. Again some concerns about ASB.
(8) A new temporary location for a community safety camera on Kirkwhite Walk (off Kelso Gardens). A 3G camera whereby the images are downloaded without needing a cable.
(-) Reporting graffiti on Middle Furlong Gardens – reporting it to keep on top of it.
(-) walking past the former miners’ welfare club site where we’re exploring building 22 houses or bungalows.
(9) A tree knocked over by the storm, on Robin Hood Way, outside the school.
(10) The corner on Robin Hood Way, where we’re proposing more road signs cos of a blind view for kids walking home from school.
Disappointed by the state of the grass.
(–) Also reported a strip of grass between Sweet Leys Road and Queens Walk.
(11) In the Old Meadows, the second local tree to be lost to the storm; a rowan tree in the Meadows Cottage Garden on Wilford Crescent West.
An N Post journalist turned up to do a feature on the fallen trees.
Thinking back, I’d noticed that there had not been too much litter blown about by the storm.
(12) Another tree was rocking and had long split slanted up through the tree trunk; it was expected to have to be cut down.
(13) Jackie and Margaret from OMTRA appreciating a new support wall for the rear of properties on Wilford Crescent West. A smart job.
(14) More new lining, this time on Robin Hood Way, supporting the permits scheme.

Planning committee – February 2017

Permission was granted for the conversion of the Mundella Centre into a block of 10 houses was granted.  There’s no credible request for the retention of the centre for education and was starting to be damaged by vandals.  The new residents will be able to claim parking permits, so the use of parking in the area may change, although the developers would be expected to pay.
The proposal for the Trent Works site was withdrawn.
A proposal to rejuvenate offices on Houndsgate, with a number of social care and housing services coming to the offices, near to Nottingham Castle was approved.  We agreed, even though the Housing Aid office does have a number of incidents every year, but there were no planning powers to prevent the move.  We did require a management plan to reduce the number of incidents and to mitigate the impact of anything that went wrong.
The next phase of the Trent Basin development proposes a pleasant area to walk along by the river, by 5 sets of mews houses in the middle looked a bit brutal.

Fences and house rules

A decent father, raising a second son with clear ideas of permissions with responsibilities, caring for his war-wounded brother, making his way as dustbin worker, denied glory as a baseball player cos of racial prejudice, shares bonhomie with his mate and his wife in the backyard.
As the film develops, this  initial upbeat presentation falls apart in the lights of stories from his past, betrayals of his wife and set-tos with his second son.
Some great lines leading to a conclusion whereby his second son even thinks he won’t attend the father’s funeral, cos it’s clear some of the house rules had been wrong.
And yet he’s turned around when his mother explains the good that was done.
And if parents’ rules are a part of growing up, then so is working out what was right and what was wrong.
Wiki page.