Bridge ward monthly report 53

MME Bridge ward OVERVIEW progress v160229 1915 aa1754h
Top priority in recent months has been the trade in illegal drugs and the impact of their use, including litter left in public areas. The Police have now served a number of warrants.
There was overwhelming support for action against commuters and match-goers parking in residential areas, in a survey conducted by the council. We now intend to extend the existing residential permits schemes across New Meadows, probably in the Summer.
Concern too about proper and fuller use of Victoria Embankment. Charging for parking on the carriageway more than 2 hours will be introduced in April. Spaces are being taken up by office workers based in West Bridgford and at the expense of park users and customers of local shops. Sports use is now being run from the new 2016 version of the 1906 pavilion. It’s handsome. A proper opening event takes place in the Spring. For too long, people walking to work via the carriageway have had to make the journey in the dark. So we will provide street lighting using 20-year life LED bulbs installed in a modern take of an Edwardian lamphead.
Council housing is now being built in six different streets in the west of the Meadows. We still intend to provide playing equipment for younger children in The Green that lies between the new housing.
There’s a new focus on empty properties following public complaints by OMTRA, and we hope to report progress soon.
Ward walks are being used to pick up on dumped waste, broken fences & lighting and ASB. Join us on the walks, or report problems direct by e-mail or on the phone (abdul.ghaffar@nottinghamcity.gov.uk, 0115 8761319).
The council has started 2 new schemes to provide cheaper energy – Robin Hood Energy – and cheaper local travel – Robin Hood Travel. Look these schemes up – you might save some money.
Congratulations to Friends of Meadows Library, on their tapestry that portrays many scenes of The Meadows today. To be on display at Meadows Library.

Leonardo DiCaprio proclaims 2015 as the hottest year

Powerful stuff from the Oscar winner who used his victory to make a speech about climate change.

“Making “The Revenant” was about man’s relationship to the natural world,” DiCaprio said. “A world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history. Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow.”
“Climate change is real. It is happening right now,” DiCaprio continued. “It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.” (from the Washington Post). 

IMG_2511ab0465h DiCaprio climate change speech

Kuwait National Day celebration cakes

IMG_9883ab2269h OMS National Kuwait Day students cake MME GWMEP
Happened to meet four wonderful women university students – 2 civil engineers, a mechanical engineer and a Bridge ward constituent (!) –  who were handing out buns with a caramel and sesame seed topping, to celebrate the national day of Kuwait.
Was campaigning with Glenis Willmott MEP at the time – the photo shows Glenis knowing the importance of the camera, whilst I was focussed on the cake (ooh, it was nice).
Kuwait National Day is actually the 25th February and celebrates the anniversary of Sheikh Abdullah taking the throne – he was to be key in the liberation from Britain in 1961; (26th February celebrates liberation from Iraq in 1991).

Glenis and Liz and Labour IN for Britain

IMG_9882ab0716h OMS Labour in for Britain GWMEP lkmp

Glenis Willmott MEP and Liz Kendall MP in the Old Market Square to support Labour IN for Britain campaigners with leafleting and talking to shoppers about our case for REMAINing in the EU for Britain’s sake.

Glenis has recently published 5 reasons to REMAIN in the EU.

Opinion of people I spoke with was overwhelmingly for staying in – those for leaving walked on by – and I think the message that change risks a number of established jobs has begun to get across.
Some real frustration at the conduct of politicians recently – especially the bickering.  Maybe I’ve not been watching the television enough, but it’s going to be a bit harsh if petty points on wearing suits smears both sides.

Audit committee – February 2016

An upbeat presentation on how the IT of Nottingham City Council has been completely renewed in the last 2 years and a series of measures to make the council’s IT systems resilient and secure. Transpires 50% of the e-mail traffic sent to the council is malware.
The Treasury Management strategy agreed talks of domestic growth having grown robustly.  But growth of 2.1% ain’t that special, given 3% was once the accepted target, just to stand still.  And George Osborne has now come out with statements of the need for even more cuts in public expenditure. statement that adopted.  Still that doubt – might their be a crash this year?

So time to test the council’s leading finance officer and external auditors on a key question – have they see “The Big Short” yet?

Keeping the UK

Remarkable that in one very significant way, our country, the UK, is less than 100 years old.
Cos it feels ageless.
Yes, the Union between England and Scotland is just over 300 years old.
But Northern Ireland was only created in the twenties.
Perhaps once I thought a united Ireland was the way forward, but the peace process and Good Friday Agreement gave a different perspective.
The referendum on remaining in, or leaving, the European Union, poses a new challenge.
I might understand how the Nationalist community overwhelmingly favours something that brings them closer to the Republic of Ireland.
That closeness too, might be the reason why the Unionist community is against the EU. But a problem for them is that their roots are not so much British, as Scottish. And it seems clear that Scotland are overwhelmingly for remaining because they believe a smaller country could sustain itself more easily within the EU.

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Grateful to others for the cartoon that so simply points out that arguments  for breaking away from the EU also apply to breaking up the UK.
The biggest challenge to the UK “going it alone” is that it seems unlikely we will be the UK for very long if we “leave”.
A friend writes in an (as yet unpublished) article – “For sure, the SNP would seize on this as the basis of a new Independence referendum of their own. The call to ‘Let English isolationism sink on its own’, would have a powerful resonance, even within non-Nationalist ranks. And if Scotland goes, don’t expect Wales to be far behind.”
I don’t want new borders to control on the British mainland.
I don’t want the uncertainty over which other parts of the British mainland might break away.
I don’t want a new uncertainty in the Emerald Isle.
My friend also points out – regarding sovereignty – “At the moment there are some 700 international agreements that Britain is signed up to; all limiting sovereignty in some way or another. Many are essential tools for dealing with problems beyond our own borders; the pollution (and over-fishing) of our oceans, policing international climate agreements, delivering global health/anti-poverty programmes, and tackling international crime. Less laudable are the free-trade agreements that enshrine corporate rights to exploit, without any of the civic duties to repair, restore or protect.” There are so many issues to rehearse in the run-up to the referendum.
Including a proper focus on true economic activity and living within the planet’s means.

But best to start by thinking about what we value most about the UK, and whether it will survive as a nation if we vote to leave the EU.

Ward walk February 2016

IMG_9873ab0259h NM ward walk
Walking through the streets that border Meadows Way West, with housing officers and uniformed officers.
A list of small things picked up for action.
Contaminated bins need removing. Abandoned fridge. Broken street light. ASB in a dark, overhung passage. Dumped radiator. Spillage of diesel. Graffiti on a side wall. Broken fencing to side of Queens Drive following a traffic accident. Overgrown gardens. Gate to be secured.