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.
Clearer progress on a new cricket pavilion.
Matters reported to me since Oct. 2011 – 1275.
TO BE UPDATED, with a photo to be added.
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.
TO BE UPDATED.
Cllr Rosemary Healy, with Narinder Sharma, Chris Tansley and Leslie Ayoola.
Led by co-Councillor Nicola Heaton, at the Meadows Library.
Public consultation for a new cricket pavilion began a new phase at the Meadows Library, following the submission of a planning application.
Visitors to the library can see an exhibition and fill in a form.
A fuller version of the survey is available on line.
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.
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.