Bridge ward monthly report 30

“My Meadows” – the Council has launched a new Facebook page for the Meadows.
March was dominated by international news – Russia subsuming the Crimea and the loss of a Boeing 777 (flight MH370).
Nottingham saw the City Council agree its budget to meet a shortfall of £25.5m and the opening of the first phase of the railway station. Bus fares went up and the No 14 NCT bus service closed. St.Patrick’s Day parade was substantial and the NUT held a strike & a rally.
In The Meadows, Riverside school was re-classified as being in “special measures”; headteachers from the other two “outstanding” primary schools are helping the recovery. We’ve received a petition for play facilities in the same neighbourhood which backs up previous demands raised through casework.
On chasing up city centre and other non Meadows issues – I’ve drafted a rough report. The railway station re-opened its main entrance on and the extension of the Nottinghamshire Archives has started.
Nationally, the budget overlooked problems with cost of living increases and may well have held back a big announcement on tax. We lost Tony Benn who spoke to people in an inspirational way and Bob Crow who excelled at motivating working people.
811 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.
Fuller monthly report available – includes list of meetings and events for March.
Rough report available on issues in city centre neighbourhoods and others outside The Meadows.
A DRAFT of an annual report for council publication is available.

Meadows Advice Group comes home

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Meadows Advice Group have moved offices, going back to the Queens Walk Community Centre (off Houseman Gardens) that they once worked from.
The phone numbers and e-mails addresses are still the same, but there’s still some tidying work to do.
So in the meantime, here are some paintings from the new office that provide decoration and inspiration.
20140331-162736.jpg Note those calling for re-installation of old train operators’ liveries have probably forgotten what Great Central’s colours looked like.

Current MAG casework has been increased by requirement of all council tax payers under a certain age to find some contribution.

From April 1st to 18th March, MAG have achieved the following outputs and outcomes:
903 matters opened
£1065783 gained as annualised amounts
£ 208659 benefits gained as lump sums
£ 107560 priority debt managed
£ 125961 non priority debt managed
At this stage two years ago, MAG had opened 730 matters and benefits gained are up by £437800.
MAG have issued 122 food vouchers.

England’s new kit

Apparently inspired by the Mexico 1970 strips, the white shirt of which I have a replica of.
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Alternate shorts to white are not shown so may not be needed, but always disappointed to not see navy shorts.
I hope if England can’t wear white shorts, we avoid wearing red (Poland), blue (Finland) or pale blue as in Mexico ’86 when we looked more Argentinian than the Argentines we were playing.
Concerned by the £60 price tag. I hope people don’t feel the need to buy it, however nice it might be. Or perhaps that’s what they’ve become – loads-a-money shirts.

depeche strut for john lewis

Of course, we, the punk and post punk generation, are against strut.
But fashion shows do strut and certainly do stomp.
Especially when it’s done to Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” played at 11.
It’s weird, but the choreography entertained and was more imaginative that stomp alone.
And I’ve cropped the Nazi salute out.
Kinda weird to see the models applauding the audience as they came out again at the end; (even weirder to see Salop players clapping fans at the end of their warm-up).
Anyways, all part of 48 Hours of Fashion 2014 put together by the Nottingham BiD and showing off clothes that were for sale in Nottingham city centre, whose rooftops, streetscapes and shop fronts videos were also shown to effect on video.

NCT 11 – use it

NCT have increased bus fares after a 2 year gap.
Their buy in advance schemes are generally unchanged, but the all-day ticket goes up 10p to £3.50 and the Kangeroo ticket goes up 20p to £4.20.
A summary of the changes to services are shown below:
· Navy Line 1 – revised timetable on all days, including later bus to/from Loughborough
· Green Line 11 – revised evening timetable on all days, with buses every 45 minutes late evening; only service running through the Old Meadows; underlines need for these commercial service to be used to sustain them;
· Maroon Line 14 – service withdrawn due to low levels of usage; in the last 2 years fewer people have been traveling on these routes and they’ve reached the point where the amount of revenue they take doesn’t cover the costs of running them; 14 served Castle Boulevard and Castle Marina;
See for more information.

Some sentimentality over the no. 14 – the bus my former co-Councillor Mo Munir first drove when he came to Nottingham.

Solace in no armageddon

Salop’s best chance in the second half – a corner caught by their keeper – yep it was that bad.
However, first time I went to Walsall in 1983, the world – did it but know it – was on the verge of an accidental nuclear war, so to come back from Walsall with only two players sent off and only six broken legs prompts thanks for small mercies.
Some of the Salop fans were complaining about the £23.50 entrance fee. “I could get a steak dinner for that.” So something is making 503 turn up. Must be the drama.
Nice by the way, to see Allan Clarke of England fame feted at half-time. Apparently his first ever league goal was for Walsall against Shrewsbury Town.

Victoria Embankment and Meadows Recreation Ground

Over the last year, the Council has achieved improvements for Victoria Embankment and Meadows Recreation Ground –

    resurfaced road;
    dropped kerbs are in;
    fixed and enhanced fountains;
    improved lighting;
    completed bund works;
    extra cycle path installed;
    welcomed new Hunter Street Memorial Gardeners, who’ve done good work;
    big events, including National Armed Forces Day.

Work continues on other initiatives, set out in the masterplan agreed last year.
At the Annual General Meeting of Friends of Victoria Embankment, the group was unable to re-appoint new officers for the lack of volunteers – a problem not unique to FoVE.