Meadows ward monthly report 03

Frame from time lapse video of the Nottinghamshire Parade capturing me photoing Roxanne Ellis and her friends with her long trans flag.

The AMC Gardens Midsummer Community Event and Nottinghamshire Pride, are triumphs; celebration of people and communities at their best. Full council is happy too as it celebrated 9 of its retiring Councillors.
Old Meadows TRA public meeting is a more serious event, talking about planning and new developments in the north of The Meadows. A progress report is shared which again tries to show all the ongoing issues in one place. The ward walk picks up on the main current concern – the use and abuse of 3 public telephone boxes.
Consultation on a renewed Memorial and Memorial Gardens begins.

Salutary to begin to read the report published by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse whilst in the care of Nottinghamshire Councils.

EnviroEnergy reports £487k profit and Audit committee meets twice to approve the Statement of Accounts and reflect on how the council is governing. Planning committee starts special planning documents for biodiversity and caves, and a collection of public information films on New Towns prompts further reflections on what planning has to do to create and sustain great places.

The 50th anniversary of first man walking on the moon (and Apollo 11) could have been an opportunity to re-focus and be ambitious. Having suffered the hottest day in the UK’s recorded history, it all ought to prompt a focus on climate change, but Britain is horribly distracted by Brexit and a new Prime Minister who seeks to create and impression of can do through jolly hockey sticks and bags of tomato and lettuce, but soon hits the reality of concerns for Britain’s border with Ireland and whose presentation of progress in Britain is piffle.
Despite the proposed deal with the EU being written off, the only one the EU has said it will offer, Tony Blair reminds us that a People’s Vote will be needed; which is kinda Jeremy Corbyn’s view, too except he still offers the notion that a jobs friendly Lexit can be considered. He has though re-launched Labour’s anti-Semitism campaign.

For drama, the Cricket World Cup final excelled, though the abiding memory should be the sporting nature of amazingly unlucky New Zealand players. Instead, more piffle – as the multi-cultural nature of the England team passes nationalists by.
In football, England lost another semi-final. The Open is kinda ruined by the weather of the final round, and what you learn is golf on TV is only interesting when enough players doing well.
The Lehman Trilogy is great theatre, but arguably misses the big conclusions to be drawn. Yesterday is a great concept ruined by Richard Curtis’ concept of romance. Sometimes, Always, Never is a gentle surprise.
Grace Eden also offers thoughts on growing older but using photos and pre-Raphaelite painting.

Children in the care of Nottinghamshire Councils

A report published by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, with a lot to take in. “The primary purpose of this investigation was to examine the institutional responses to such allegations of Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham City Council, and other organisations such as Nottinghamshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service, and to consider the adequacy of steps taken to protect children from abuse.

David Mellen has issued a statement on the report.

I know how in 1994/5, Notts. County Council showed vigour and resolve in reviewing the death of a child in Ashfield District.
The report on abuse is long and I will be interested to see what the report fully says. For now, the City Council’s Leader response is presented.

East Midlands Today
Coverage on East Midlands News (BBC tv) is worth looking up, especially for survivors saying that they now feel they have been listened to. Interviewed on the programme, David Mellen explained clearly that we are apologising for what happened and I’ve re-published his apology made on *our* behalf.
There are 161 pages in the report, with quite a section on Beechwood.  
May well say more when I’ve properly read it.

Audit committee – July 2019 (2)

Statement of accounts approved, but still issues to sort.

The Annual Governance Statement is generally a re-statement of previous practice, but is also an opportunity for some of us to say that that the strong leader model should go.
Feels like the importance of the gateway review for the initial stages of new projects may have been lost. A new presentation of the types of weaknesses that were found by audit reviews that went looking for weaknesses, brings out culture, which the AGS is omitted, whilst capacity and capability are recognised. Triggering investigations tend not to set out out the timing of the findings, or who amongst the elected will see what’s being found and when.

A People’s Vote will be needed

The British Government now says that the current deal is unacceptable, and that the EU better come to terms with new demands, else the UK leaves on October 31st.
Hmmm …
Can the EU move?
Can the UK be ready for new border controls on November 1st?
How will the Irish border be managed given the EU will expect it and the UK signed up to the Good Friday Agreement?
Whatever, there is no mandate for a No Deal Brexit. “We voted for Leave!” Except the vote was won narrowly with lots of reassurances that there would be a deal. Gove said it was going to be easy to negotiate a deal. Johnson said we should kinda copy Norway.
I’ll accept “No Deal” if the UK votes for it. But it hasn’t yet.
I want to Remain. I do accept that to Remain, we need another vote. It now seems that there is no sponsor for agreeing the existing deal brokered by Theresa May and the EU.
So now the choice can be binary.
Whatever, a People’s Vote will be needed.

Note:
The EU may well regret our departure. But they have plenty of other things to do, they may well think the UK will miss them more than they will miss us, and they may not be able to persuade all the EU countries to support new negotiations, and they have low expectations of us as negotiators.

The Lehman Trilogy

Scenes from the play and Lehman Brothers staff carrying cardboard boxes on the day of the 2008 crash.

Explaining the growth of brokering, the middlemen, who add a margin by holding the basic commodities for others to buy, through the story of a 3 Bavarians and their family when the moved to the United States.
And at the end, you meet the traders who moved in in the last 40 years and only cared about immediate profit and loss, and created the crash.
By then, the family had gone.
Great performances and one unforgettable scene – keeping on dancing to keep the value of your stocks high.
The roles played by 3 men and the rhythms in the script strengthened by a pianist.
Broadcast to Broadway from London’s Piccadilly Theatre, this is one not to miss, but other dramas do better at explaining the problems and crashes caused by finance companies the last 40 years.
Wiki. Guardian – 5 stars.

EnviroEnergy – July 2019

A reminder of how it all started. A district heating scheme to be powered by burning coal (cleaner air in the city needed the coal to be burned in a controlled way) and district heating would be relatively cheap to install when St.Anns was being re-built. (A separate scheme for The Meadows was not to be so successful.)
It was soon converted to burning waste – 100 kilo tonnes is incinerated, (a further 80 kilo tonnes recycled) providing steam at 800 degrees and 30 barrs. 10MW of electricity is supplied to a local private wire network (59 GWh per year) and the condensed steam providing 141 GWh of heat to the district network of 95km of pipes at 85 and 100 degrees at 10 Barrs to 4,800 customers in St.Anns. An infra-red survey of the neighbourhoods from a drone found cracks in the pipes that lost 120 metres cubed of water every day, and repairs triggered have reduced the loss to 10 to 20 metres cubed. All this is heavily regulated.
More could be done to re-use material (e.g. more maintenance that simply replace, use less plastics in the first place, re-process wood and fibre), reduce the amount to be disposed (e.g. the recycling of food waste was lost cos of revenue cuts), extract more materials for re-use (e.g. gasification can extract a greater range of metals; bio-digestion to create gas for burning and compost for soil) but these technologies need new investment and subsidy (most sensibly from taxing the creation of waste). Extracting energy from waste still beats the burial of waste and there will be plenty fo waste to be incinerated for a long time into the future.
Profits for the last year of £487k was reported.
ENGINEERING NUMBERS TO BE RE-CHECKED

New Towns, Our Towns

New Towns, Our Town – Stories on Screen is a collection of (often sponsored information) films “about (mainly) the first four of the UK’s New Towns – Stevenage, Crawley, Hemel Hempstead and Harlow” from the ’20s to the ’80s. (Peterborough, Basildon and Milton Keynes also feature.)
Without an overarching explanatory narration, and presentations of contemporary perceptions of the towns, the criticisms of the new towns movements quickly spring to mind – lacking a central feature of distinction, designed before the take-off of car ownership, vulnerable during periods of high crime, diminished by people choosing home entertainment, home drinking and shopping in hypermarkets, oh and buying from internet companies who avoid paying tax.
But new and old towns alike have been vulnerable to that criticism. As are the redeveloped neighbourhoods and new suburbs.
Seeing “Crosswall” properties being erected, and the failure of (Harlow) Town Hall, it’s clear the New Towns movement didn’t have enough money to always provide quality.
Cliches abounded – “it’s about people”; loads of kids playing and adults bowling; modern art statues and fountains lined with small square tiles. And one I actually like – success will be when they don’t need us (the development corporations) anymore.
Loads to take in, but in the absence of editorial, the collation struggles to champion the New Town movement.
Highlight, the champion for the Milton Keynes development describing it in 1973 as “the most exciting thing in the world”.
The Guardian article.

Consultation on restoring Memorial Gardens

Having received support from the Heritage Lottery to bid. for significant money for a project to restore The Memorial and the Gardens and to run a historical project, Nottingham City Council ran a consultation event ion The Meadows to seek feedback on presentations showing a range of detailed points about what the council seeks to restore and improve.

Parks News

The bandstand is due 1 more day of finishing works, and an inspection before being re-opened for full use.
Coats of paint on the interior of the stage area are still outstanding.

The Paddling Pool is still awaiting delivery of the ordered new pumps. Installation will further require matching a metric pump against imperial pipes. Hoping to be done in this current week, but don’t know.