Nottingham Labour Party launches manifesto


Striving to continue to be ambitious for Nottingham, despite the annual cuts to grant – £23 million this year.
20 top commitments.
The manifesto can be downloaded from the Nottingham Labour web-site.
Andrew Gwynne MP, Labour’s communities and local government spokesperson, praised what was achieved by the last Labour government and pointed to financial decisions that had been made by the Conservative government such as a £5,000 million cut in a bank levy.

Betty Higgins

First woman leader of Nottingham City Council.
City Councillor – May 1971 – May 2003; Manvers ward, St,Anns ward; Leader – 1983-87 and Nov. 1990-May 94;
Drove through big changes to deliver the first free bus pass for older people and the less mobile in the ’80s.
Labour Party. Co-op. Fabian Socialist. Agent to Jack Dunnett MP.
Champion for the children of St.Ann’s.
And more, so much more.

Eileen Heppell A truly great politician who was fair and implemented policies which changed peoples lives and always a loyal Labour Party member. Betty was patient and kind to me. As a woman she was remarkable.
Roy Kennedy A true Labour and Coop giant.
Robert Pettitt Formidable lady.
Mick Warner To watch her operate was a master class.
Joyce Donn Honest and straight forward. Said what she meant 
And meant what she said.
Katrina Bull She was such an intelligent person, a joy to talk to. 
Martin Gawith A lovely, caring and consummate politician.
Dee Whitworth : a strong woman who, with Maggie Clark, created a women’s council to increase the representation on the council.
John Heppell A steadying hand during a crisis. She and her ex Frank had an enormous influence on Nottingham. One of the “grown ups” who were thin on rhetoric but got things done.
Eunice Campbell She was a great politician for Nottingham. A remarkable personality, a wonderful mentor. I am so pleased that I kept in touch with her.
Ron Stevenson  She was very supportive whilst I was the Labour Party City Organiser and always available to give advice and listen to any problems I needed help with. 
Lilian Greenwood MP : Betty was an inspiration
Josie Tanvir I loved Betty. She was a consummate politician, level-headed and down to earth, never losing sight of why she had entered politics, never allowing her head to be turned or her principles corrupted by the power she attained by her own skills and efforts. 
She always resisted any attempts to honour her in any formal way and was not interested in fuss or pomp. 
She had a sharp brain and a deflating wit.
I’m so glad I knew her. They don’t make many like Betty.
Peter Scoffings And one of the councillors who helped found Nottingham Community Housing Association, now with more than 7,000 general needs and supported housing projects and employing more than 1,000 people across the East Midlands (with the majority based in Nottingham).

Nottingham City Council statement.

Could more cities charge Workplace Parking Levy

Been asked to comment on an article on WPL published on a website / magazine called CityMetric.
Yje main reason WPL did not get taken up more widely was alack of the appreciation for the political rationale – that improvements to transport were most sought by people and businesses who travelled distances, so they should pay for improvements rather than the residents who paid Council tax. 
Councils weren’t concerned enough for either for the environmental benefits.
Then the projects that might need extra finance were not sufficiently valued, like sustaining the bus network, or in the planning like renewing railway stations, or providing new train services, or supporting new tram lines.  (Projects requiring capital finance generally only contribute part to the project.)
A major challenge to the earliest schemes proposed was the time it took to deliver.  National government and civil service would keep sending people to challenge what yo ere doing.  Nottingham’s scheme took 14 years, despite drawing advice from colleagues, who’d previously implemented schemes in Australia.  (Had never heard of schemes in Canada.) 
The article says that schemes can only be implemented in councils that don’t change political control, but that ignores that there are minorities within majority groups.  14 years of potential interruptions is too long.  Hopefully, new authorities exploring the idea will face less obstruction.  
The real challenge is getting the politics and solutions right in the first place. Yes, Bristol dropped their road user charging when Labour lost control, but Nottingham always thought road user charging was the wrong approach.  Taking half of the money raised to run, whereas parking levy takes about an eighth (check figures for more precise amounts). 
We also focussed on places having more than 10 places, cos the firms would be more capable of administering the scheme, and more capable of introducing travel plans to reduce the demand for cars.   We also left the decision of whether firms or car users paid, to the firms.  
The boundary might be an issue for cities that cover more suburbs, but given the exemption for the smaller businesses, I wonder how much of an issue.  Of course businesses in suburban areas will prompt the introduction of residential parking schemes such as permits. 
BTW, we had a very good public campaign called the Big Wheel.  
Given the article is based on interviews with people involved in the Nottingham scheme, I can only explain the different emphasis I am giving down to my role involving advocacy and liaison at a strategic and national level.  
But the politics – egalitarian (many of our residents don’t own cars), green, investing in transport and communities, and relieving the pressure on the road networks ought to be incentive enough.