Meadows ward monthly report 01

Re-elected with an increased share of the vote.
Pleasing and gratifying; and in turn I am grateful.
Being pro-Remain did not hold me back.
Excellent results in Castle ward and Wollaton West ward. Not so good in Clifton.
Disappointed that the election issue had not been stopping austerity and the cuts to public services.

And then the European elections, which Remain won. In Nottingham, Labour held on to first, but supporters of Remain via a further referendum voted for other parties in sufficient numbers to make us third in a national election.
Oh, and Theresa May announced her departure date. And not in a nice way.

More optimistic was positive reactions to protests and campaigns on climate change.
At full council, we appointed our new Leader, David Mellen, who is to bring a new approach to listening to the public.
We also appointed an executive – with 7 out of 10 being women, and 3 being BME.
This by a Labour Group that is over 50% women for the first time, and with a significant BME membership.
I was elected as Chair of the Planning committee and seeing more green things are done is one of the hopes I have for the role.

New calling card, but missing the twitter – @MeadowsCllrMike – and the facebook – me4sd -and this web-site.

Nice to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the opening of The Council House.

Surprised to see the N Post say The Meadows is the safest neighbourhood in Nottingham, without showing the data. Concerns remain, because you can see the rough living in the area, with the abuse of BT phone boxes and the rough sleeping in hedges along Queens Drive.

More housing along Arkwright Walk and Blackstone Walk is being completed. More council housing is being started (former Clifton Miners Welfare). More apartments are being proposed (42 at the former Eagle Press site and 350 along Queens Road).

In the days after the elections, we are reviewing achievements made (including the new equipment Queens Walk Rec. just completed), current issues, aims, the progress of NCH environmental works and permit abuse on cricket days (oh yes).

Then how to write about poverty? The Daily Mirror chose to celebrate efforts in Nottingham, after a visit to Aspley where Michael Sheen met “Women for Women’s Sake“. Der Spiegel latched onto one family in particular trouble. And the Nottingham Post said “that is so unfair!

Salop finished the season inanely, whilst relegating Walsall, but with powerful memories of cup ties with Stoke and Wolves from the winter.
Notts County were relegated and its financial situation will become clearer in June.

Following the Walsall game, a steam engine turned up at Shrewsbury station and then the Black Fives of the sixties at Shrewsbury turned up on Youtube.

Hardly any time for the arts recently, but “The Stepmother” was worthwhile.

Reviewing Aims for The Meadows

Cllr. Rebecca Langton discussing the Labour manifesto with residents. reps from The Meadows.

OMTRA reps have reviewed Nottingham Labour’s manifesto commitments, and the feedback is being added to a list of aims for delivery in the next 4 years.
City Councillor, Portfolio Holder and Meadows resident Rebecca Langton met senior community reps to hear many of the demands as the new Communities portfolio holder.
At some stage, I hope to publish everything that’s come up during the election campaigns and in subsequent reviews of the city-wide manifesto.

The Stepmother

At the Lace Market Theatre, this play by Githa Sowerby, explores issues of how married women could find that they couldn’t control their own money.
Largely outside of today’s experiences, it can be a tad difficult to recognise, and wikipedia explains how the reactions of the time found the villainy of the husband was over-played. It is also a drama about the well to do.
It’s a very full play with a good emphasis on dialogue and is well worth seeing. N Post recommends it.

Remain won the European Elections

The number of MEPs being return to the European Parliament who are Remain supporters has increased.

Graphics showing that Brexit came first and from nowhere overlook that they’ve replaced UKIP MEPs.
No Deal Brexit parties did increase their share of the vote compared to 2014, BUT, the “Out and Out Remain” parties – Lib Dems, Greens, Change UK, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Sinn Fein and others – gained more votes and have a higher share of the vote.

Mainstream media graphics often fail to show how An Independence from Europe, BNP and others no longer exist, but took votes in 2014.
So can we show whether Remain or Leave won in votes?
One analysis says –
“The European Parliament vote was a vote for Brexit – 6,382,024 voted for overtly Remain parties (LD, Green, SNP, PC, Sinn Fein and the Alliance Party) and 5,481,039 for clear leave parties (Brexit Party, UKIP, DU, and UU). Even when you add in the Tories as leavers and generously split Labour as 50/50, you get 7,555,651 Remain and 6,993,186 leave.”
Another analysis by Guardian journalists – “Sabbagh, later followed by fellow Guardian journalist Polly Toynbee, tackles how to account for Labour and Conservative votes by adding them in based on polling as to how their supporters split – assigning 80% of Conservatives voters to Leave and 60% of Labour voters to remain – to predict a 50% Remain to 47% Leave split in a second referendum.”
(I’d like to review these numbers myself.)
BTW, the on-line petition raised more support that the combined No Deal Brexit parties.
So what to say about the Brexit Party coming first?

The mainstream media were far too quick to say The Brexit Party had won without explaining they’d done it largely by taking UKIP and others’ votes.
They also accepted the party had only existed for 6 weeks – it was registered 16 weeks ago.
They were too slow to understand the remain side of the vote.

I trust the main casualty of these elections is Lexit.
The voters don’t want Lexit.
Labour voters don’t want Lexit.
Labour members don’t want Lexit.
So who does?

The next casualty is the prospect of a General Election this year.
The Conservatives had such a bad result that their MPs won’t want one.

So Article 50 has to be withdrawn, or we go to a referendum to seek a clear mandate on what people want – cos the public were led to believe in 2016 that Brexit would be done with a deal – even Farage said so.
Don’t know how it happens, and am clear the 2 clear options are No Deal Brexit – cos there is a huge vote for it, and Remain cos there is a bigger vote, and perhaps the EU deal, cos it’s what’s on offer. With a process to help the public discuss not in a way that builds up consensus, as happened in 2 Irish referendums, and as I proposed back in March.

Nottingham Post against mis-representation of Nottingham

A few weeks back, Der Spiegal came to Nottingham to report on the poverty in our country – the UK with the sixth biggest in the world – and they found the homeless, the starving, the food banks (including one in The Meadows).  
I was asked to give the German magazine an hour a few weeks back and I know focussing on the poverty is why they came.  
The article has been published and the photos are bleak. And they were a tad naughty when they wanted a photo of me – could I stand next to this painted plywood works box in the Square? (No – next to the left lion, please.)

But the N Post have taken exception to the bleakness and first rounded up a “pleased to be proud of Nottingham” response – a bit out of kilter with perhaps other N Post pieces (we should be more ambitious etc.).; and then that the feature “deliberately makes our city look bleak“.
Perhaps we can be critical of ourselves but the Germans (who by the way, keep showing us the way on industry, the environment and green energy) can’t be.  
Or perhaps the N Post journalists are feeling a bit betrayed – it was them who asked me to meet Der Spiegal. 

One friend wrote to me saying “It looked ok to me and only incidental reference to Nottingham. They were highlighting the inequity of our benefits system, sanctioning and the role of food banks. It just happened to be in Nottingham.”
Other advice I’m getting is that the situation of the individual featured is exceptional amongst the people who seek help.
And the contention that “there’s no getting away from the extent of deprivation in Nottingham” is debatable.

Labour hold Nottingham in European Elections

Labour came first, despite stories from knocking up sessions on the day.
The No Deal Brexit parties’ share of the vote in Nottingham remained the same.
But we struggled to resist the protest vote about Labour not being clearer about wanting another referendum and about supporting Remain.

So support for Out and Out Remain grew the strongest.
I contend that in the main, this was an election whereby Labour supporters of Brexit were going to go Brexit etc., and in Nottingham’s case, I was explaining that Labour’s 1st and 2nd candidates were Remain. I leave it to others to work out what share of the Conservatives voters were Remain.
But this has the potential to show that support for Remain in Nottingham is higher than Leave.  

A Britain Elects summary tweet, by missing out the smaller parties, distorted the result.

Meanwhile, at 6%, this was the worst Conservative performance in Nottingham in their history.