Bridge ward monthly report 26

Achievements –

    Glass panels installed in some of the Robin Hood Way bus shelters;
    Improvements to the Memorial Gardens in time for Remembrance Sunday;
    The Parks Manager has announced a plan with a city based architectural practice to renovate the Cricket Pavilion;
    Plan to provide a new zebra crossing on Meadows Way to the east of Lammas Gardens;
    Significant action by Police on tackling crime and ASB;

Concerns –

    Police have had to work on around 5 out of the ordinary incidents, on some of which progress has been made;
    The most bizarre mass inspection of secondary schools (Graham Allen MP has called them a blitzkrieg) has taken place and results are due on Dec 11th; Nottingham Post have also expressed concern;
    Arkwright Street tram works have slipped a few days;
    Medium term concern remains money in people’s pockets; Meadows Advice Group raising significant extra amounts of social security for those in need.
    Medium term concern for public services including cuts to City Council’s budget and a range of problems developing in the NHS.

708 matters have been logged for chasing (drawing from conversations, comments at meetings, phone calls, letters, e-mails, Facebook, Twitter and public comment) since October 20th, 2011.
Monthly report available at – .
And there is further reading available at – (my photo-journal) (my blog / journal) (my high-level ward calendar)
Twitter account – @BridgeCllrMike
Facebook account – me4sd

Graham Allen speaks up for our schools

Cllr Wendy Smith says “Graham Allen speaks up for our schools” in The Independent.
In Nottingham, we have driven hard to increase the number of children to get five good GCSEs.
If the extra money that went in under Blair had started under Thatcher 18 years earlier, something like an extra 800 students from my local secondary school alone would have attained 5 good GCSEs.
Now Gove and the Tories are getting ready to give us lectures on standards.
Note, our primary schools are within a couple of points of national average.

Meanwhile the Nottingham Post has already warned against stunts from Westminster –

Note the Nottingham Post reports a free school is still planning to open in the Sherwood area next September without having a site.

Second Half Sub

A pleasure to attend the MPs debate convened by the Politics Society of the Nottingham Trent University.
Cos Chris Williamson MP had to go to the East Midlands Labour celebrations of Margaret Beckett MP’s 30th anniversary, I came into the debate as a second half sub, just like England managers’ approaches to friendlies.
The usual contradiction of the audience enjoying cut and thrusts, and then complaints about the childishness of it all.
Figured that against MPs with over 3 years of experience (and both in jacket and jeans), it might be tricky hitting the right tone, but having decided not to do pantomime, I set out as early as I could to cite our core values – this time in the guise of defend the 1945 settlement – and then looked for opportunities to build on what opponents said, rather than attack them. (Well, not too much.)
General view afterwards was that people had enjoyed it, despite the pantomime bits.
I’m afraid there was one Lib Dem activist from Chesterfield who I upset and I just couldn’t reach him afterwards.
Thanks to the Labour students I met before and after the event, some of whom were kind enough to make some nice remarks.

SIGOMA – Stop the Growing Divide

Two new reports confirm that Nottingham has suffered worse than affluent southern areas from Government funding cuts and welfare reforms.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and SIGOMA, a group of northern urban councils, have both produced reports which identify a significant disparity in the way Government cuts have been distributed across the country.
Both reports say the North and the Midlands have been delivered a greater blow than southern counterparts. The JRF study ‘Coping with cuts? Local government and poorer communities,’ points to a north-south divide and a difference of around £100per person between deprived and affluent areas, while SIGOMA outlines that anticipated cuts over the next two years come on top of earlier Government cuts which between 2010 and 2012 saw the East Midlands lose £160 in funding per person compared to London which saw a gain of £45 in funding per person.

Projected impact of local government finance cuts by 2017-18 per head of population –
Somerset – mainly under £200
North-West Leicestershire – under £200
Nottingham – £848
Note how the very well to do boroughs west of London have gained money.

Nottingham Post says: Stunts will not help our pupils

N Post have been slightly premature in running their story about Nottingham secondary schools being placed in special measures – the moderations are still taking place – but their editorial is clear –

LET’S get some facts straight. Nottingham isn’t a dead-end city full of poor schools and no-hope kids. If any national politician dares to suggest that, then they are playing games with our children’s futures.

Getting more difficult for Nottingham NHS NUH

Observed the Nottingham University Hospitals Board this morning.
Good news included new recognition that they are among the best in the world at dealing with sepsis.
Issues –
– Winter plan not in place yet;
– CCG funding arrangements of 2 portions of 6 months mitigates against sensible planning.
– Issues discussed in particular – pressure ulcers, inpatient falls, high profile cases of poor service.
– The Board perceives that breaking even is a problem; they are expected to be making a surplus.

Getting more difficult for Nottingham NHS

Observed the Nottingham NHS Clinical Commission Group Board this morning.
High level observations follow, reports with detail available elsewhere.
Issues –

    A&E problems are getting worse in Nottingham; CCG’s analysis of why there are A&E problems are changing from month to month;
    4% expected in efficiencies so Gov’t can claim they are funding the NHS as promised at General Election; it’s a con;
    111 services appears to have become more effective with calls received, but only because its usage is down;
    performance slipping on cancer treatment.

Rest easy

In second appearance in the paper, The N Post journalist had tried to build up some worries ….
but Keri Usherwood has sent a message of assurance.

@Nottingham_Post Rest easy. Robin Hood very much a part of the plans to tell our story through 1,000 years of history. #robinhood

Further reading from the Nottingham Post here –
Backseat for Robin Hood in bid for Lottery funding for Nottingham Castle
A REVAMP of Nottingham Castle needs to focus more on factual history than the legend of Robin Hood. That was the message at a public meeting to discuss a £14m bid for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
20131127-231359.jpg 20131127-231428.jpg
Jeremy Lewis: Robin and Reform Bill rioters – all sons of our no-nonsense city
I TOUCHED last week on some of recent history’s dafter proposals for Nottingham Castle and I will continue to resist any tomfoolery with the site’s somewhat unspectacular appearance. What it lacks in pointy turrets and a Disney-style cast of wholesome outlaws, medieval maidens and Sheriff’s swarthy heavies is offset by physical and historical integrity.

Post Comment: Robin Hood legend would enhance castle proposal
THE Heritage Lottery Fund may have misjudged the importance of the legend of Robin Hood to Nottingham. (No weblink)

N Post feature me twice …

… in the same issue and I don’t think that happened even during the time we were capped.
Victoria Centre: Plans unveiled for high end restaurants in Nottingham shopping centre
CITY centre shoppers could enjoy a whole new retail and eating out experience with plans for a dozen upmarket chain restaurants at the Victoria Centre.
This article prompted by discussion at Monday’s City Centre Forum.