Greater Nottingham joint planning advisory board – June 2019

Six local authorities working together in partnership to co-ordinate polars, especially to plan for the provision of land for housing.
A county-city board exists for driving on transport and economic development.
Nevertheless, took the opportunity to raise climate change, how an economic development approach could be to focus on how we supply comfort to our homes (insulation, ground source heat pumping using minewater as the source) instead of the heat that came from supplying coal, how HS2 at Toton needed upgrades to our local rail network to support express services.
The council is developing a plan for out “city of caves“, which had just featured on BBCtv East Midlands and which might form the basis of a new wave of urban farming.

Joint Strategic Planning and Transport cttee – June 2019

Road map for the proposed HS2 East Midlands station

The joint cttee. between the City and County Councils reviewed the plans for an economic development around the railway station.
I suggested 2 undertakings –
– a review of all the heavy rail improvements we should be seeking in Notts. & Derbyshire;
– exploring the concept of the new developments being constructed with green architectural technologies.

I also expressed pessimism about the Waste Plan – there’s no national framework to boost food digestion and introduce re-use.
The Sinfin re-use facility in Derby has hit significant problems; de-gasification technology has not made progress, including at Blenheim Allotments in Nottingham.
Plainly the potential for incineration remains – better than burial – but one site along the MARR has already been stopped.

The progress of the Minerals plan was reviewed and I complained that the residents of Clifton saw the choice of Barton-in-Fabis as a new site for a sand and gravel pit was driven for narrower political reasons.

Voting Labour in the Euro Elections

I will be voting Labour in the Euro Elections. I’m advised that Labour will win one seat, and whilst I’d like to win all five, I’m told Labour’s second candidate on the list is the one who might be able to join Rory Palmer in the Euro Parliament, and that the second candidate – Léonie Mathers – has stated clearly that she is for Remain Labour. It’s my argument, and it’s Tony Blair’s too.

Like Zoe Williams in The Guardian today, I would have liked some kind of national campaign to take place around a separate symbol to be used to indicate how strong for Remain we are, but it seems too late to get any kind of message out in that way.
I had heard that some (facebook groups) are advocating a circle around an “X”.I’m advised that Nottingham’s count managers will accept an “R” in a Labour box as a positive vote.
But the surprise is that you can write what you feel, so long as the marks you use demonstrate a positive vote for Labour.
Now I’d thought handwriting would disqualify a vote, but it doesn’t. What disqualifies a vote is using your name, using your poll number, using your address (traditional disqualifiers cos it’s a way of earning a payment); and a lack of intent. And using a symbol without a general knowledge of what that means runs a risk of a vote being disqualified. A more explicit way of campaigning for Remain would have been nice.

Zoe misunderstood the Isle of Wight story. It was CND-ers voting Lib Dem in a way that would require a new Lib Dem MP to be grateful to CND.

Re-stating the argument for Remain, this has become clearer again.
That during the referendum, no-one, not even Farage, advocated “No Deal”. Instead he suggested some kind of Norway arrangement might have been a way froward.
Meanwhile, the closest there’s been to a deal is failing cos it undermines the Good Friday agreement. And MPs, scrutinising on behalf of their constituents cannot brings themselves too support it.
And the people have been changing their mind about Brexit anyway, although the snag now is that the Remain vote is spread across 4 parties in a system which in a 5 member constituency sets a high threshold for smaller parties.
(BTW, no particular beef about Change UK since some of their local members drove Nottingham’s radical transport policies and the changes that saw majority women Labour Group on the council. But I am surprised they’re not doing better in the polls for this election.)
So Labour it is for me in this election. With more door-stepping this evening.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/21/remainers-faith-vote-labour-corbyn-brexit.

Nottinghamshire Local Pension Board – June 2018

Taking a strategic, or an over, view of the local pension scheme that serves staff at the city council, county council, Nottingham Trent University and many schools.
The fund had assets worth £260 million (as of 31st March 2017).  To lower costs, the fund is part of 1 of 10 pools of funds – the LGPS Central pool – worth £34 billion (it includes West Midlands).
The fund’s investment strategy is – 65% equity, 15% property, 17.5% bonds, 2.5% cash.
The Board started 3 years ago and consists of 4 reps of scheme members and 4 employer reps.
WP_20180614_14_06_22_Pro (3) pension fund service ab0600hPerception today was that more staff may be needed to process the transactions and the queries.
TO BE REVIEWED

Wrong-headed and drawing upon prejudice

A Labour Notts County Councillor has tweeted astonishment by comments made by Tory Cllr Kay Cutts, the leader of Notts County Council –
Northamptonshire has run out of money because it has taken far more refugees than it can cope with.”

_ _ _ _
By far the biggest demands on primary local authorities have been –
– the costs of people living longer and
– the impact of poverty on families and the knock-on costs of family breakdown.
Combine that with
– Northants trumpeting how they were taking one-year payments to not raise council taxes,
– Northants probably not having systems to detect that they were running low on money, and then the costs of emergency measures,
– on top of externalising services in contracts that limits the ability to change if things go wrong;
and we in Nottingham would say that Northants has run out of money because of –
– Conservative austerity policies,
– Conservatives’ unwillingness to raise money for proper public services and
– the broken Conservative model for local government
-.
Kay Cutts’ statement is wrong.
Wrong-headed and either drawing on prejudice, or not worrying about fanning it.
You’d call it dog whistle politics except a dog whistle is supposed to be silent.
You would call her comments, as the Labour County Councillor does – “hateful”,

Watching the results

The timing of this year’s local election results for Labour supporters was painful.
By 3am, Labour losses had mounted up and the Conservatives were gaining.
Labour had lost Derby (with UKIP – a busted flush everywhere else – winning 2 seats) and the Conservatives had won Peterborough and Nuneaton.  Labour had won Plymouth but failed to win Barnet.  The Conservatives had lost Trafford.


By the time Tower Hamlets, the last council, declared, Labour had gained councillors and Kirklees & Tower Hamlets; whilst the Conservatives had lost Trafford.
In the meantime, Labour was perceived to have lost these elections.  Apparently Labour had talked up the prospects of winning Westminster, Wandsworth & Barnet and then failed to.
This may not have been true; what was true was hours of analysis was broadcast without commentators talking about the impact of cuts in finance for local government.
However, projections on share of the vote as if the whole country had voted showed Labour level with the Conservatives and 3 seats ahead applied to a General Election.
Skwawkbox went even further saying “Labour had its best local election results since 1971”.
This seems surprising given some of the massive wins of the past such as 1985, when Labour won 48% of the vote and gained 2,000 councillors.
What actually makes you think is when you reflect on what you can do to improve the results next year.  And whether the Government feel under pressure for their policies on cutting funds to local government services.
Certainly, Alistair Campbell is concerned that Labour is not doing well enough.