Lilian says Thank You

Lilian baked loads of cakes.
And Xmas tree decorations given to those who campaigned on cold winter evenings in Xmas jumpers.

Tests of Leadership

My tests of leadership are –
1. to make people “see the stars”; i.e. vision that compels;
2. relishing the opportunity to use the mass media to convert people to our cause;
3. demonstrating the ability to convert people through the media;
4. working out what the country needs, and putting meeting the need into a form that people can relate to; (unlike our list of 104 pledges);
5. Socialist, Internationalist and Green, cos it’s what we are; and no need to diss previous Labour governments, cos they all did loads;
6. Condemning of the use of barbarity in political dialogue and
7, an expectation of full compliance with action needed to rectify the loss of trust from Jewish people.

From the 1995 Oliver Stone film, Nixon: 
(Nixon wakes up in the middle of the night.)
Manolo (Nixon's Cuban butler, joins him and ) moves to a cabinet on the far side of the pantry.
Takes out a bottle of Chivas, puts ice into a tumbler.  
	NIXON   	Do you miss Cuba, Manolo?
	MANOLO  	Yes, Mr. President.
	NIXON   	We let you down, didn't we.  Your people.
	MANOLO  	That was Mr. Kennedy.
	NIXON   	You don't think he was a hero?
Manolo pours Nixon a drink.
	MANOLO 		(shrugs) 	He was a politician.
	NIXON 		(swallows the drink)
                	Did you cry when he died?
	MANOLO  	Yes.
	NIXON   	Why?
	MANOLO  	I don't know.  		(then)
	                He made me see the stars ...
	NIXON		(looks outside, to himself)
	                How did he do that?

The Leadership event didn’t really ask the questions that I think are pertinent.
The 40 seconds per answer format may be all you can do for a fair opportunity for everyone.
But it never felt like someone could find the space to impress. Save the final 2 minute statements, upon which Keir Starmer did the best and helping people “see the stars” (pt. 1).

Jess Phillips was combative on tackling anti-Semitism (pt. 7), but for Rebecca Long-Bailey to celebrate Ralph Miliband, but not Ed Miliband (former leader) or David Miliband (former Foreign Secretary) spoke volumes.

As for a Boris Johnson style oft repeated mantra, only Long-Bailey tried it and she went for “democratising the economy”. Nottingham was the home of the Institute for Workers Control, but it’s not a demand I heard anyone try to sell during the last election, not called for from the doorstep. The nature of work has changed, is less factory orientated, and the intellectual property more internationalised. Perhaps it can work in a legal office, but very challenging for the huge numbers of people employed caring for others in their homes. Difficult to see how the demand for this has been created (pt 4).

Greener offices

Design sustainability into a new building from the outset.
Use natural ventilation – the era of fan driven air conditioning should be over.
Use ground source heat pumping, using the piles as the way to reach into the ground.
Don’t build above 8 stories cos serving the upper floors and carrying the weight against wind chill is too much.
Deep buildings can only work with air and light shafts.

High level conclusions presented to Nottingham architects and City Council planners.
Julian Marsh and Brian Royal making the contentions.
Supporting speech from Alan Simpson and an introduction from me.
If the contentions area supported, we’ll look to see them in a supplementary planning policy.
But we will have to work on persuading the developers too.

Simplistic Maxims for Assessing New Buildings

I am at times in awe of what architecture can do. As for the shock, you will be dismayed as to my basic knowledge of architecture and the simplistic maxims I use for assessing a building.

1. The Julie Andrews Maxim. When Julie writes, she begins with A, B, C. When she sings, she begins with do, re, mi. When she builds, she begins with bottom, middle, top. But modern buildings so often don’t bother with a top.
2. The way in maxim. Obviously, you’ve got to have a way in. All buildings pass that test. But the sense of occasion when you arrive, well I’m not so sure.
3. The Curve Index. It’s ridiculous to contend that modern buildings shun curves. Every building has curves. They have still not devised a method for taking to waste from the toilet bowl to the exhaust pipes without using a curved pipe. So every building still scores at least 0.05% on the curve index. It’s just that where I live, curves are often used used to corner buildings and it looks nice.
4. The Flat Earth maxim. The earth is not flat, and the basic proof is the sun goes down at night. For sometime, we’ve had to cope with living when the sun goes down. So what does a building look like at night?

5. The Play School maxim. Even BBCtv children’s Play School had a choice of 3 windows. Walls can do more than create a boundary, hold up floors, a roof and some windows. Detail and Decoration. So much to play with, regarding materials. So why don’t they? And what happened to the golden ratio?
6. The Tax Offices maxim. Green architecture and Green building technology often brings interest. Take our 1990’s tax offices. I was pleased for myself and for passengers when we got rid of the bottles necks to the western approaches to Nottingham Midland station, but its upside was that when you were stuck outside the station, you can take in the beauty of the tax offices. Solar chimneys for staircases; glass panels for reflection.
7. There is no number 7.
8. The Fabric First maxim might also need re-numbering. Forthcoming briefings may well be exploring consideration of a building’s depth as to whether it can be green. And it would be quite nice to have an energy statement for a building at least alongside the submission of the plans or a proposal. So fabric third?

But as in thermodynamics, these things can all overlook the obvious. In thermodynamics, the incredibly challenging concept of entropy was defined in the second law, before physicist realised they’d forgotten the basics. That heat flows from a hotter body to a cooler body. The zeroth law.

For our zeroth maxim, we might be forgiven for only adopting it last Monday, but it is this. We have to be carbon neutral. Planning laws and frameworks might not back us up. But it’s the challenge we have set ourselves in Nottingham, and hopefully, you can help us work it out.

You might be shocked that in a discipline that takes you 7 years to be qualified, I have tried to reduce the subject to 8 lines to fit on the back of a pledge card, and 8 glib lines at that. But I’m very New Labour. And sometimes, perhaps, simple tests can help.

1917 (movie)

Go See.
Cos it compels and feels authentic and gives form to many types of jeopardy that messengers in the Great War British Army faced; unsignposted jeopardy around every corner.

Turns out the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry 6th (with my Dad’s Dad) might have been there or thereabouts for the attack portrayed; or could it ever have been there like that? Cos why did the messengers have to cross no mans land and German controlled areas to reach another part of the British Army?

Some of the twists are bit strange and bits of the dialogue ditto. But these criticisms are on the margins.
Wiki. Guardian.

Mid-month progress report – January 2020

Most of this report already posted on this web-site; this presentation has been prepared for meetings in The Meadows.

Nottingham 2028 Carbon Neutral Charter
Nottingham has declared a climate emergency and agreed a charter to act.  A lot of big vision stuff, and good to set out a big aim.  
Towards a Greener Meadows

The Meadows is bidding for a big revenue project to spend on developing greener living; changes in what we. eat and how we grow food; how we waste less and renew / repair more.  The Meadows bid depends on being community based and the establishment of the Greener Meadows group has been very important to that.  
Re-charging points
More electric car re-charging points are being explored, most likely in the north-east corner of the Embankment park.  

Greener Offices
There’s a meeting between officers and Green campaigners on greener architecture for offices on Friday morning.  

Crocus Meadows
A ton of stuff has happened / is being sought for “Crocus Meadows”.  Officers are taking the Planning committee on a walking tour on Wednesday, 22nd.  

Local Plan
A major re-statement of the planning policies for lots of parcels of land throughout the city has been agreed …

Cattle Market
… including the Cattle Market; I see the plan changing so as to enable change rather than demand it, and to fit in with the huge re-development throughout Waterside, including enabling new tram routes.  
The leases on much of the Cattle Market site have some years to run and the market is a very distinctive part of the city’s offer.

Crime and Knives
Knife crime in the city is down slightly, but we have had incidents again in The Meadows, the latest being between “acquaintances” (mid-Decemebr) for which an arrest was made the following day.  
I’m opposing calls for the Knife Angel to come to Nottingham. 
What I want is a dedicated police sergeant.  

Leaf Mulch Litter
The wet Autumn, and the distinct periods of prolonged raid has made clearing pavements difficult; 
Officers report we have recovered on the leaf mulch, but I would welcome feedback. 

Football pitches
The pitches have been waterlogged; hoping they’ll be dry enough in a further fortnight.

Austerity and Cuts
We’re planning a stall at the Bridgeway Shopping Centre for Friday, 24th, at 10am.  
The cuts are limiting the number of events that Meadows Councillors can now support – down to “Your Choice, Your Voice”, Christmas Tree, Library grotto.  
We wish we could do more, including …

Road maintenance
Osier Road resurfaced. 

Parking management
Requests keep being asked about parking permits for more of the Old Meadows.  The tests remain – is there a problem? is there a problem that permits can actually fix?  does it have support from the residents directly affected?

We do think RINGGO at Bridgeway Shopping Centre has been a success, but we now need to look at parcels of lands (“home zones”) in the New Meadows.  

Polling Places
Quite a few changes for the New Meadows and a new polling station for Crocus Street.   

Old Meadows conservation area 
… goes to Exec Board this month (21st).  

Ward Walk, 30th
This month starts from Bathley Street/Woolmer Road at 11am. 
Light Night
AMCG are doing a light night on Saturday, 8th February, 6pm