Bridge ward monthly report 40

January 2015 was a cold dark month.
Yes, weather wise.
But also Charlie Hebdo; murders of hostages by I.S.; heightened tensions.
Of course, counter attempts to rally support for hope not hate.
Ceremonies to mark the 70th anniversary of the relief of Auschwitz.
“Notts sommes Charlie”; and world leaders rallying together in Paris (leaders of Israel and Palestine together).
But the wrongheadedness continues at all levels.
Front page screams of Nottingham schools’ performance – 20 years on since the publication of local reports that showed how school performance could be understood properly once social and economic factors were taken into account.
Celebrations of falls in people registered unemployed and proclaiming those people as in work, whilst people on the doorsteps and in the streets are calling for work.
People facing eviction, cos of poverty.
How do we not want to understand what is really happening?
More comfortable instead with throwing insults.
Nottingham Post front pages calling earnest attempts to save three veteran oak trees ‘barking’ and writing editorials calling the attempts bungled. We shall have to wait to see what actually happens.
A full ward progress report is available.
Bridge ward progress report v150120 1525 a1747h
Clearer progress on a new cricket pavilion.
Matters reported to me since Oct. 2011 – 1275.
TO BE UPDATED, with a photo to be added.

Anonymity and hate

Just seen some comments on the Nottingham Post comments section where people are calling for a Councillor to lose a special responsibility, cos of a remark suggesting that it’s OK for people to express a view anonymously as part of a public consultation. The people making the calls are doing so with pen-names such as “EggyEggCup” and “Cossy_Boy” but seem blind to the irony.
There is of course a long-standing tradition of writers using pen names for political tracts, and cartoonists (including those on Charlie Hebdo). But there is a difference. A publisher takes responsibility for the opinion expressed, but it’s less clear that anonymous correspondents in social media think they will ever be held to account.
Ditto e-mail correspondents. The petition raised to highlight concerns over Israel’s treatment of Palestine was signed by over 5,000 Nottingham people – who had to give their name and addresses. I received angry e-mails from people demanding that we didn’t debate the petition – angry people who didn’t include their name and address. Sure, there are a number of points to consider, but talking and debate is going to be the way that a settlement is going to be reached. And the pro-Israeli gov’t e-mails that made you think were the ones sent in by people who gave a name and address.
MPs don’t take cases from people who don’t give names and addresses, mainly cos of the convention that they only deal with matters raised by their constituents. I was surprised to find that the convention is not explained on the Hansard site.
Other than petitions, the convention is less clear for Councillors, not least cos they don’t have an infrastructure like MPS have to enforce it; multi-member seats also make conventions harder to define. The rationale for the petition restriction is not explained on the council site.
There are conventions and even law to back up the protection of whistle-blowers, but these are correspondents are hardly those.
Instead the hatred that’s generated deters others from taking part.
Ed Miliband has called for the press to cover ‘issues not cynicism‘ – We do need better proportion, including accepting when people have mis-spoken, withdrawn a remark and apologised.
Free speech; rights and responsibilities; enabling discussion and debate; an environment where more feel they can join in; accepting when people make mistakes; challenging to those who demean people by race; asking – as George Orwell did – that people do anything but write something barbaric.
Finer minds than mine might perhaps write a charter that seeks tolerance rather than pushes hate, but it’s shame we don’t have it.

Lilian Greenwood’s campaign dinner

IMG_5721b0418h MeA LGdinner MDMP speaking
Guest speaker, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson – Michael Dugher MP.
‘Labour has to own change, and make the Conservatives own the failure of their government’
IMG_5732b0165h MeA LGdinner Jane and John IMG_5733b0165h MeA LGdinner GK Dee Di Jane
Meadows campaigners celebrate winning the bottle of whisky in the raffle; and with former MP John Heppell.
IMG_5726b0200h MeA LGdinner sitdown bingo Whittomes IMG_5730b0200h MeA LGdinner pepe NFFC shirt IMG_5720b0200h MeA LGdinner LGMP
The traditional “sit down” bingo; a son of a Forest man wins a signed shirt as a gift for his Dad; Lilian welcomes guests.
The bingo saw a first – the number ’99’ was called by Cllr Alex Norris – a case of giving it 110%.
Thanks to Mogel-e-Azam and Cllr Mohammed Saghir.

Cricket Pavilion exhibition and consultation

Public consultation for a new cricket pavilion began a new phase at the Meadows Library, following the submission of a planning application.
IMG_5697a0232h ML cricket pavilion consultation IMG_5699a0232h ML cricket pavilion consultation JH
Visitors to the library can see an exhibition and fill in a form.
A fuller version of the survey is available on line.

IMG_5698b0284h ML cricket pavilion consultation Tracey
Tracey, from Trent Bridge Community Trust, who is driving the fund-raising and campaign amongst businesses, attended the exhibition.
The pavilion would cost just under £500,000 to build, and the cost is being met by bids to the holders of proceeds from the landfill tax, from the contributions made for community development from developers of projects in the city centre, lottery funds and business donations in cash and kind, as well as individual fund-raising.
Meeting the project costs is a challenge.

IMG_5700b0277h ML cricket pavilion consultation JlH EA
Feedback during the afternoon was for a new pavilion, and indeed a new suggestion has been raised of building the new pavilion on the site of the old.
There was a good set of questions. How will the pavilion connect with the access ramp? What building materials will the pavilion be finished in? Can the pavilion be booked for other activities? Can green technology save on building costs as well as running costs? Can something be done to stop players and watchers from parking on the grass at the side of the pitches?
Re-siting the pavilion in the middle brings challenges to the cost – not least the whole building standing proud of the ground as well as an extra ramp and a new hard-standing track to the middle of the pavilion.
The consultation ends with a public meeting (Feb. 26th), and then a decision has to be made by the council, most probably at the March planning committee.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2015

Against genocide.
DSCF4622i0293h Holocaust Memorial Day 2015 symbol ktma_-_yellow
A short event at Nottingham City Council’s head office, Loxley House, led by co-Councillor Nicola Heaton.
DSCF4627b0275h Loxley House holocaust memorial event lighting candles
Six candles for six genocides
– by the Nazis, across Europe;
– by Khmer Rouge, in Cambodia;
– by the Hutu, in Rwanda;
– by the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS), in Bosnia;
– by the Janjaweed militias, supporter by the Sudanese Gov’t, in Sudan;
– by the Imperial Japanese Army and the Imperial Japanese Navy, particularly in China.
Interesting to read of other genocides that are perhaps less prominent, most especially –
– by the Force Publique, commanded by Belgian ‘officers’, in Congo;
– by the Ottoman Empire, in Armenia;
Also interesting to see that the first thing to do to stop genocide to stop people being divided into us and them (for which I think “Rock Against Racism” deserves a bit of a mention).

Fair Funding for Nottingham

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The campaign, with Derby City and Derbyshire County, was launched at Derby in the morning and a report was taken at Nottingham full council in the afternoon.

The Conservatives at full council did not have a good day today. Critical questions lined up, but no follow up planned. Slamming the council leader for not taking questions submitted by the public, without checking that the arbitrator on taking questions from the public is the Lord Mayor. Celebrating a national economic recovery and progress on the deficit. Hardest to credit was fury that cuts to Windsor and Maidenhead shouldn’t be compared against Nottingham’s cos it was only a district council – well it isn’t – it’s unitary (most purpose), like Nottingham. I know these things can be seen as small beer, and you might not expect me to say something else, but the Nottingham Conservatives really aren’t very good.