We should work it out

Incredibly disappointed for Notts teachers and the Notts education unions, who will know the importance of children not missing school lessons more than most, for them to be told by the Conservative council leader “it was time teachers ‘pay back a little’, with other services continuing during lockdown.”
(source: Nottingham Post)

I have tweeted – 
“Why the determination to be rude to teachers?
“The criteria for re-opening schools should be about what’s best for public health; end of.
“Not some imagined debt.”


Well done to the trade unions on acquiring the scientific advice.
A bit disappointing that it does not seem to offer enough to encourage a small partial return schools on June 1st.  
(I had wondered if the argument was going to be that the number of cases in parts of the country was sufficiently low to enable a return; but apparently that case has not been made.)

Seems to me the trade unions have been proportionate and dignified.

Ten Years since end of ME4SD campaign

Just some of the campaign web-pages and leaflets when I stood to represent South Derbyshire as MP in 2010.

Plenty of contact work.
But it was a slog. The expenses scandal undermined belief in politics to make a difference. Members felt bruised by the top-down direction on delivering change. Some big blunders like the abolition of the 10p tax rate for reasons that were beyond easily explicable. And the public were being asked to pick up a good part of the tab for banking crisis of 2008. Gordon Brown had a problem in Oldham and kinda gave up on the Tuesday before the election. Yet, there had been so much to celebrate.
Oh, and the Conservatives made promises on being pro public services and pro the environment that they didn’t keep.

Local Police priorities

A bit disappointed with the tv journalism. Latest is emphasising the need for a consistent response from the Police across the country on challenging people for being outdoors.
Of course, it sounds like common sense, the kind of common sense you see rehearsed on Match of the Day.
But there’s a reason we have Constabularies and many reasons for seeking to hold the Police to account at more more local levels. Cos our needs vary.
Some friends think the traffic Police might be being too challenging. Maybe, maybe not.  
But I know the local concern is people involved in the selling or buying of drugs, and hanging around shopping centres or telephone boxes or underpasses.  
So my focus is not consistency, but public health and community safety. Calling for repeated patrols at known hot spots and asking that volunteers are sought for food deliveries rather than uniformed officers.  
We are also likely to hear more about neighbour disputes, and there is likely to be more domestic violence during the public health emergency. 
As it happens, the Chief Constable for Notts said yesterday – “that @nottspolice are using the “engage, education, encourage, enforce” model of policing by consent on Covid-19 and not being overzealous.”
Also as it happens, local patrols are finding the local hot spots are clear of nuisance.

A third tram route could serve The Meadows

You have to squint, but the map shows 2 alternative routes for a tram service through Meadow Lane to Nottingham Racecourse – along Meadows Way east and Cattle Bridge Road and along Arkwright Walk and across Trent Bridge Island.

Nottingham City Council’s Exec Board has agreed the development of a business plan to provide a new tram route through The Meadows and extensions to the existing tram lines passing through The Meadows.
The new route to the Racecourse Park & Ride has the potential to relieve London Road should a further extension reach out to the A52 east of Gamston.
There are 2 potential routes –
– the more direct route out should serves Meadows Way east (with all the new housing planned for Crocus Street) and the Cattle Market (putting the market on the map in a very powerful way, serving the County football Ground and meeting the potential for more housing around the market);
– the less direct rout would have stops at Bridgeway Shopping Centre, near to Trent Bridge Island (bringing County Hall, Trent Bridge cricket ground and the City Ground) much nearer to the network and on meadow lane (serving the County Ground, the Cattle Market and new housing).
The target is to have the services running in 2028 or 2029.
A previous route reaching 2 destinations beyond West Bridgford both failed business cases some 20 years ago because the population densities to support the tram services were not high enough (West Bridgford does become quite spread out) and the tram savings are not high enough.

A range of transport improvements for Nottingham and Derby has been announced by government.
The Meadows needs these packages cos we need relief from the heavy traffic on and poor air from London Road.
But the most direct benefit will be the capacity for better and more frequent customer information to our bus stops.

Targeting did not work

Is it giving away too many trade secrets to say that election results (the majorities) in any constituency is largely predictable from the changes in the overall share of the votes (and the change in the gap) nationally?
You then apply some adjustments for changes in population, incumbency (generally a second term only factor) and you’re kind of there.  
Sometimes, it’s obvious there something else changed in the constituency and the example this year was Ashfield where all kinds of things occurred to suggest the result was very unpredictable.  

Now parties can respond to all this with a strong local campaign. The extra contact brings conviction to the campaign, allows campaigns to respond to local events and build a base for current and future campaigning. 
It can make a difference, although probably has to exceed what was done last time.  

But workers from other places can also top up the local campaigns and help make a difference. 
Now had we known Labour was going to lose by 11 points, Labour could have worked out where to go.  
But we didn’t.  
Cos we knew from the polls last time that they’d been inconsistent predicting an 18 point range in the majority share and only some of them predicting a late swing to Labour.
The graphic of course shows a 10-11 point deficit, but we couldn’t believe it and there was always arguments to suggest optimism in the case of any particular contest.  

And indeed, given the majorities in the East Midlands seats, I don’t think one result could have been changed by the moving of active workers to any one particular contest. 

Or am I missing something?

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