Things to think on

British Transport Police announced that the fire at Midland station was being treated as arson.
Note, the Bandstand on Victoria Embankment was gutted by fire last year.
The number of fires has gone up by 21% when the net worth of our budget for fire services has fallen by 20%.
You improve fire safety by reducing the causes of fire and the number of smaller incidents, to help avoid the big ones.
WP_20180112_19_23_53_Pro (2) city centre street kitchen
Walking to a meeting with Lilian Greenwood MP and colleagues, came across a street kitchen in one of our main squares (Trinity), providing food for people who looked to me like they needed it.
IMG_1851 (2) LGmp nhs report ab0500h
At the meeting, Lilian told the story of the Nottingham women who was bleeding from a miscarriage and advised to come to hospital using a tram.
Just what will it take for people to stop and think and say this isn’t what the British resolved to be?
WP_20180112_20_40_38_Pro (2) labour mtg ab0300h
Pleased to be alongside those who are trying to get it changed.

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Scary announcements

** Time for people to reflect on what, with 3 General Elections, we have allowed to slip with regards to our health care and our NHS.

I received 2 tweets today from Theresa May boasting about a scheme that they claim will help a few thousand people onto the property ladder.
This evening, a BBC tv East Midlands political journalist lists the kind of conditions that warrant a visit to A&E (and I didn’t hear broken bones included).
Whatever was said, on top of the cancellation of non-urgent operations, this is a pretty shocking statement. And it’s the BBC making it!
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, comes on tele to say they’re trying to do it a different way this year – expressed in a way that makes it sound like he deserves some sympathy at least.
Another spokesperson has said that a range of factors have come together – including the cold weather. (Maybe it’s true that we didn’t have snow in Tony Blair’s era.)

Time to remember, the factors of growing demand (including more people, an older population, more cures (with greater expense) and more people surviving with challenging conditions) existed before 2010 when (after 13 years), New Labour more than trebled the spend on the NHS including the launch of the largest hospital building programme in our history. Targets for getting a GP appointment, being tended to in A&E and for operations, were set and were being met.

We deserve better. We used to get better.

Fantasy tram routes

A web-site promoting 20 possible NET expansion proposals invites ridicule, but we do need to bring forward a new and credible public transport route.
To relieve the congestion on London Road and through West Bridgford, we should do more for public transport generally and seek a new NET line to a park & ride site on the A52 to the east of the conurbation.
tram routes graphic 6d9373_5335cb736ce040378749670cfa5da8da
Had to smile as in November, the Nottingham Post reported on a web-site suggesting up to 20 more tram routes for the Greater Nottingham conurbation.
A fantasy since some of the proposals are poorly suited to trams commercially and longer distance travel belongs to heavy rail.  One part of the network shows the tram travelling north from Nottingham station to rise slightly to join Middle Hill, drop 10 feet to re-use the old Victoria railway station tunnel that has since been filled in by Nottingham Contemporary, and drop a further 20 feet and make a hard right turn to use Cliff Road to go east.

Extending each of the existing four legs of the Nottingham Express Transit network all make some sense and will be explored further as we plan for High Speed 2 running to Toton.

Yet, given the recent vulnerability of London Road to congestion, it is time to say we need action, cos car is clearly too attractive an alternative.  Tax on petrol has not kept pace with inflation, tax exemption for buses has been lost so the opportunity for lower fares has been lost.
Currently, cases for other public money to be invested  on a new public transport route needs to show the potential for commuters to switch from the car to public transport.  The missing opportunity is a park & ride tram route serving the city centre and the A52 to the east of West Bridgford.
The two obvious options are not even shown in the list of 20.  Both require a new bridge across the river –
– one to serve somewhere near to Gamston salt depot to the east of Lady Bay and
– one near the bridge for the railway line serving Bingham and Grantham.
A Trent Bridge route has already been difficult to make a case for, mainly cos West Bridgford doesn’t generate a lot of custom and slows a tram down quite a bit.

For The Meadows, it could be served by routes through –
– one route with stops on Meadows Way north & east (interchange with Green NCT buses and serving new housing on Crocus Street) and just north of the County Ground,
– another route with stops at Bridgeway Centre and Meadow Lane (just south of the County Ground).

My Fair Lady

171023S My Fair Lady ab0230h Screenshot (701)
An excellent production by the Nottingham Operatic Society.
If only cos I figured Henry Higgins was played better than Rex Harrison achieved – although he did get an Oscar.
Listening to the overture at the beginning and you remember how powerful many of the songs are; and thanks to Youtube, you remember all the controversies around the movie – Julie Andrews dropped, Rex Harrison not singing and Audrey Hepburn not being allowed to sing.
But the musical does suffer from the songs towards the end being spoken rather than sang, and the nonsense of Eliza standing up for herself only to return and commit without the romance she so wanted to be shown earlier.  “Where’s my slippers?” indeed.
For all that, a good night out, being entertained by people who hold down other jobs for a living.

Left Lion review – “What does Eliza see in him?”

Herbert Kilpin

171022T Herbert Kilpin Lord of Milan ab0662h
On the centenary of his death, a shop front on Mansfield Road where Herbert Kilpin was born was dedicated to the Nottingham lace worker and footballer who founded AC Milan.
In the evening, a documentary “Lord of Milan” was released.
And from that film it’s clear that AC Milan wear red and black stripes, cos that what Herbert wore when he played for Notts Olympic.

Three good wins but low turnout

Congratulations to the Nottingham Labour party members and helpers who have met and discussed politics with so many (over 10,000) in recent weeks; and for setting out to meet so many on election day.
Real discussions, and with too many instances of people saying it’s beyond them, in a city where working people once led the drive for every adult to have the vote.
171019 Nottm results shares and swing ac0187h
Three by-election victories for Labour in Nottingham, just four months after losing a General Election; two of the results have significant swings to Labour, all saw an increase in Labour’s share.
But turnout remains an issue.
111020 Bridge election result 450 ab0800h
Felt the same, and at times, worse during my victory almost 6 years ago to yesterday.
At least 50 helpers on the day and yet the turnout was so low.