Meadows ward monthly report 05

National and international politics dominated.
The proroguing of Parliament was declared illegal by the Supreme Court. 11-0. This after 25 Conservative party MPs lost the whip and John Major gave evidence to the court hearings.
I spoke at the second European and Democracy Nottingham rally. Also attended an AEIP meeting where Paul Mason spoke.
The Government started lots of General Election campaigning, without giving any testable indication of negotiating with the EU.
Personal conduct of Johnson and Trump now being questioned at a more serious level.
Thomas Cook were allowed to crash – remember the banks weren’t. And yet again, the board members had received big payouts.
Labour conference came out with some gems – including ending prescription charges in England.

A lot of top line news coverage on climate change and the protests –
– an independent Greener Meadows community organisation has been launched after a public meeting;  
– Green Festival: held a stall;
Earth Strike: nice to speak at something that was part of a protest occurring across the world.

In The Meadows – 
– a warden was attacked at Bridgeway Shopping Centre, but the warden made an arrest anyway;
– a stabbing at the shop by Meadows Embankment – apparently between friends; assailant arrested; the shopkeeper told the N Post “Nothing really happens around here. It is usually very quiet.
– the red phone box near the Old Toll Bridge has been locked and the issues caused by abuse of other phone boxes is being chased with BT suggesting that they may consider disabling some comms services at other boxes;
– Area committee: focus was Police action; the local Inspector reported that Nottinghamshire Police are running Operation Baxter to tackle issues around drug dealing in The Meadows, including extra patrols and operations, and so far eight arrests have been made and 30 dispersal notices issued, ordering people to leave the area. As part of this operation, a warrant was executed where we seized drugs with a street value of around £20,000.
– the issues of knife crime and general levels of rough living in The Meadows was raised and rehearsed at Police Panel on Monday; the Chief Constable is still of the view that pressures elsewhere don’t merit a return to one sergeant each for Meadows ward and Dales ward.  

Within Nottingham –
– disappointment for teachers at Nottingham College who’ve had to strike cos of the imposition of new contracts; I met them at their UCU picket lines and spoke at their rally;
– took the chance to view Nottingham from the top of St.Mary’s Church tower.

With Nottingham City Council –
Full council: apparently extra money from Government for next year, instead of cuts, but we don’t know how much, so we are waiting;
– Planning cttee.: a tour of 10 sites in Nottingham showing both good and bad;
– Joint committee on Strategic Planning and Transport where I spoke against the gravel extraction planned for part of Clifton;
– Joint Planning cttee.: checking progress of all the conurbation’s councils’ local plans.
– Roma training: surprised by the number of Roma now living in Nottingham.
– Area committee – agreed resurfacing of Osier Road.
– Audit committee: I spoke on IICSA – I think we need a re-statement on our ambition for children and on the conditions that lead to abuse, once actions in response to the findings have been set in place; full accounts still to be assessed by the External Auditor. ( Note, the City Council always appoints an External Auditor to assess its accounts – something the N Post story doesn’t understand).

Housing in The Meadows –
– house building is progressing off Arkwright Walk and people are moving into the Masson Court flats;
– council house building is progressing off Ainsworth Drive;
– clearing the site of the former Meadows Police station may begin in November, with construction starting perhaps in January;
– Saffron Court (Hicking phase 2) has begun to welcome new tenants.
– Sadly, the new student block off Summer Leys Lane is being completed late and students are being place in nearby hotels;
a landlord was fined £6,000 for housing nine people in terraced house.

Also in The Meadows –
Lilian Greenwood MP canvass session along Woolmer Road; issues – Remain, car parking and arts.
the Robin Hood half-marathon took place, without local traffic jams; 
– the introduction of RINGGO at Bridgeway Shopping Centre is around 4 weeks away;
– a ward walk of the south-west of The Meadows; found some scree to be cleared; a couple of houses are using parking areas for other purposes;
Summer Reading Challenge;
Arkwright Meadows Community Gardens Autumn event;
– Queens Walk Community Association held their AGM;
– a project to repaint Trent Bridge has been agreed, partly to improve appearance, but mainly as part of the works need to protect the structure of the bridge.

Culturally –
Foxfinder, The Enemy Within, Every Brilliant Thing;
The Farewell, Mrs Lowry & Son;
Beyond Bauhaus, left Nottingham newsletters since the ’70s.
– Peaky Blinders, series 5 – at times ludicrous but still, engrossing and it’s based in Birmingham.

51 requests for action recorded be actioned; probably from 22 or so new clients.

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Lilian visits The Meadows – September 2019

Pleasant meeting Old Meadows residents, who are staying with Labour, and with Remain.
Being with Lilian, the sessions are much more about people greeting her, and national discussion points, which included seeking assurance that should the default become that cars are not parked on pavements, Councils would be able to waive it for streets where that’s not practical; and disappointments with the cuts to arts in our schools’ curriculum.
Some extra checks were put into traffic arrangements for the Robin Hood Marathon to ensure Meadows residents were not contained by the race, or queues caused by the marathon.

Photographs available.

Robin Hood Half-Marathon 2019

Strange sensation watching the start of a mass marathon, cos of the sound of thousands of feet beating the road.
A mile out, and the runners’ heads are already down, concentrating on the road surface – so catching people looking up or smiling was harder than anticipated.
No complaints about the traffic so far; extra checks on solutions to prevent a repeat of last year were taken on Thursday, and letters to properties within Queens Road and Summers Leys Lane were issued on Friday when an omission was realised.
Photographs available.

Abolishing Universal Credit

Channel 4 news worked too hard on doubting Labour’s commitment to abolish Universal Credit, because their definition of Universal Credit is that it means 6 previous payments are rolled into 1, and that Labour won’t get rid of that.(Of course, there are other payments not included, so “Universal” was never right.)
Margaret Greenwood countered that Labour will deal with the most damaging parts of the new system first – the five week gap to the first payment and the 2 child limit.
I’d also point out the appeals system, with places for appointments reduced and moved away from where claimants live.
https://www.channel4.com/news/corbyn-announces-plans-to-scrap-cruel-and-inhumane-universal-credit