Bridge ward monthly report 54

A month marked by an increase in Deash attacks, including Lahore and Brussels.

Police are continuing to work away at those thought to be trading drugs in The Meadows.

I took exception to a petition that claimed posters against fraudsters asking for money from people on the street was an attack on beggars; the same petition also claimed Framework had been wound up.

I placed an objection to the provision of alternative education from the former offices and warehouse of Paul Smith, and Planning committee resolved to have a second look.

General astonishment at the plan to require all schools to become academies.

Announced during the Budget, which sought to punish the disabled; and had to be rewritten.  The council’s budget agreed over £20 million of savings.

Some good and great art.
St.Patrick’s Day was very pleasant; and a documentary by “Mrs. Brown” that highlighted a battle in which Sherwood Foresters were killed and badly wounded by rebels, in a way that proper leadership could have avoided.  The documentary prompted me to find out more and write up a bit on Pte. Lang who came from The Meadows.

Turns Ireland is the European nation most concerned that the UK should remain in the European Union.

The end to a very warm winter.

Public meetings with NeMTRA and OMTRA. A ward walk, a lonely walk, and a mid-month report – showing progress and seeking action. 1588 matters have been logged for chasing, from around 662 clients, since October 21st, 2011.

Ward walk March 2016

Checking the New Meadows streets between Arkwright Walk and Meadows Way.
The grass has just been cut and there wasn’t much litter.
The challenge over future months will be those properties being demolished.
Nice to see new raised beds on Eugene Gardens.

IMG_0354aa0600h arkwright w CllrNH MME USE


A unique combination of Abba’s S.O.S., The Fall’s “Industrial Estate” and Margaret Thatcher expounding on the lack of political freedom on a state capitalist society at the end.
Perhaps it was profound, but it was a bit stomach churning and Crick-ites can soon see the flaws in it being a critique of society.
Seems problems with the neighbours and with criminal activity, and no one calls the Police, or raises issues with their local councillor.
The Guardian’s take.

Begging and the homeless petition

A petition to Nottingham City Council has complained about posters that seek to deter begging as being prejudicial to the homeless.

petition against begging posters

The posters seek to portray beggars – yet the petition sponsor claims  the posters are “demonising homeless people as drug users, alcoholics and frauds“.
Note the step change – to “homeless people“, from beggars.
The equivalence is drawn by the petition’s sponsor, not the Nottingham partnership promoting the poster.
There are instances of people recently being convicted for repeated begging for money in Nottingham city centre, whilst not being homeless; in fact making quite a living from asking people.
Asking people, who when they give; their trust is being broken.
Witness residents who initially welcomed Narrowmarsh residents who they thought were homeless when in fact they were drug users and frauds, and anti-social with it.  Honest people were betrayed.
Just as those who gave to a charity claiming to be collecting for the poor, only for it to be a religious group with city centre offices, run by people living abroad, doing very nicely through those collections.  It took a year, but a local business and I finally got the Council to stop it just before last Christmas.
Nottingham City Council spends significant amount of public money on helping the homeless.  The beggars in the city centre are not the homeless.  The council has procedures for finding the homeless.  So by and large, the council knows who they are dealing with.
The charities who do most of the work for helping the homeless supported these posters and for along time, the recommendation has been to give to those that help, rather than those who claim to need help.
Now maybe there are other points to be debated about the poster, but the opening contention of the sponsor- that we are misrepresenting the homeless – is just wrong.


The Council’s presentation on its new campaign.
Links to previous articles on the issues.
On beggars not being homeless, from the NP Post :
“WHEN police emptied the pockets of a city centre beggar they discovered he was carrying £800. Officers say the man is one of a group of ten regular Nottingham beggars who they believe are not genuinely homeless or in need of help.”

The day after

IMG_0274ab0466h NPost 160324 p07 coverage of planning cttee
Planning committee got quite a bit of coverage in today’s Nottingham Post.
And I’ve received protests about not yet giving planning permission for the alternative provision school on Riverside Way.
Strangest – someone wanting to protest without giving their name.
Some smiles as the most flowery quotes were attributed to the wrong Councillor.

Meanwhile, a chance to catch up on casework and news.
20160321 Arkwright Walk works montage ab0169h
Works have now opened up Arkwright Walk, moving the playground to the other side of Crocus Fields.
It seems the 10k race in May is on, but such a small scale fun run will not be allowed to disturb the city centre and The Meadows again.
Requests for help with parking fines (unlikely) and with avoiding bailiffs whilst in hospital (more possible).

WP_20160324_19_39_50_Pro ab0135h nottm s lp gen mtg
I’m now a member of Nottingham South Labour Party and we heard a briefing on the European referendum at its monthly general meeting.

Enviroenergy Board and the impact of the very warm winter is being assessed.

WP_20160324_21_30_12_Pro ab0422h stoney street chairs
A strange sight on Stoney Street on the way home.
Back to watch the third series of “Line of Duty” (series 3) on BBC tv i-player. A bewildering first episode. Waiting to find out which famous actor’s character is killed off in episode 2.
Line of Duty series episode 1 aa0120h (c) BBCtv

Protests at forced academies

Forced academisation policy – no evidence, no accountability, no role for parents – an article by Cllr. Sam Webster.

Sam spoke at the protest rally called by the NUT and held at Speakers’ Corner.

IMG_0273ab0292h OMS Labour cllrs at forced academies protest
Labour Councillors attending – Graham Chapman, Sam Webster, Glyn Jenkins, Anne Peach, Steve Young, Linda Woodings, Michael Edwards and David Mellen; plus Marcia Watson, Patience Ifediora and more.


Permission for alternative provision school delayed

Planning committee has decided to look into more aspects and details of the planning permission for a school that has already started with granted permission for a year.

I’m grateful to the Nottingham Post for its coverage, since as I had already given a statement to the committee – deemed to not be able to show an open mind – having required the matter to be brought to committee.

IMG_0021ab0269h planning cttee minutes extract
My statement started with the complaint I made at the previous planning committee.
I also explained how I’d taken trouble to circulate the school trust’s letter to me to the cttee., even though I disagree with their contentions on consultation of the community.

I then raised concerns on the matters of sustainable development needing to be local, change in planning use and the viability of such a proposed educational institution.

The Nottingham Post ran a blog of the committee’s preceedings  –

Interestingly, committee members expressed concerns about the quality of the building for the purposes of a school and the quality of recreation space within the site.

For these and other reasons, a review has been sought with a view to a decision next month. The Planning committee is aware however how strong the government steer is for permitting free schools, even though in this matter, it not the constitution of the school, that is the issue. In this regard, the Post’s reporting of the committee’s stance, and mine is mistaken, although the Conservative member will probably be more upset for being described as a “loan Tory”.

Graphics of the Nottingham Post web-site are their copyright and included for the purposes of illustrating the story. Please visit their site to properly read their reporting.