Some pubs and restaurants re-open

Hockley and the Lace Market at around 6:30pm.

Only obvious problem looking from outside was the lack of social distancing whilst queuing for Wetherspoons.
Not all the pubs and not all the restaurants are open.
Do want the opening of places of entertainment to succeed.  

No idea what the impact on public health will be.
Some predictions of new surges in this first wave have arguably not come to pass (e.g. V.E. Day, mass transport in trains to and around London, the Bournemouth seaside throng), but I don’t know.
Nor do we know what has triggered a surge in Leicester.

Meadows ward monthly report 14

A further full month of a degree of lockdown. Everything else remains reduced in significance by the public health emergency.  Possibly a week now in Nottingham since a new case of Covid-19 and getting towards a further relaxation of the lock down on July 4th, but there are concerns over an outbreak in Leicester and growing cases in the USA – not a second wave, but still dealing with seeing the first wave.

Nationally, more British people have died whilst having contracted Covid-19 than died in The Blitz (1940-41); 4 from The Meadows and the city centre.

Mantra still is follow the revised government advice, which local people have been pretty good about. Some exceptions – notably the prolonged barbecue party on Victoria Embankment.

Arkwright Park, Mundella Park and The Green “have been given a a nice grass cut, bins emptied, de-weeded ready for the parks to be reopened.” – Meadows Public Realm tweet.

Further to progress reports published at the end of May and the middle of June, can say – 
– congratulations to Greenfields on their Ofsted report;
– have explored plans for 319 flats off Crocus Street; and are exploring new plans for 522 students to live off Traffic Street and to convert Crocus Mill into apartments;
– possible improvements to open space across the ward;
– The Greener Meadows bid hears news soon from the Lottery fund;
– new temporary measures to improve walking and cycling;

Major problems of the city are now the finances – the city council has been sold short by the Gov’t over promises to stand shoulder to shoulder with us – and Broadmarsh now that joint owners Intu have gone into administration. Collin Street is still to be closed to traffic in August, but we must defend the value of the priority bus routes serving destinations south of the city centre including The Meadows.

134 cases logged since 3rd May, 2019, from around 56 new clients, collected from phone calls, e-mails, Facebook posts etc.  

Culture and events – 
Films on TV: The Program;
TV: The Salisbury Poisonings.
And the new pastime – following the fortunes of wildfowl families as they are hatched and grow up.  

Salop finished 15th in the third tier.

Oh, and Lionel Richie is coming to The Meadows in June 2021.

Travellers pitch up near Victoria Embankment

Pleased that a resident took the trouble to tell the City Council, cos then the necessary visits, discussions and actions can be taken.
The travellers left late on Sunday evening.

From Nottingham Post article

I know it’s typical practice, but the use of pen names without proper name and street address as was once commonly expected of letter writers on the Nottingham Post web-site leads to provocation and lack of enlightenment.

Greenfields Community School is a special place

From an Ofsted report following an inspection on the 3rd and 4th of March –

“Many pupils and staff told us how proud they feel of the school. They call Greenfields ‘a special place’. Staff encourage pupils to develop their talents and interests. For example, all pupils in Year 4 learn to play the clarinet. Others enjoy being part of the school band or the ‘mini-police’.
“Pupils often go outside to learn about nature. They grow a lot of produce in the school garden and view wildlife at close quarters. The outdoor spaces are very well developed. This has been recognised through winning the Nottingham in Bloom and East Midlands in Bloom ‘best school grounds’ awards.
“Pupils behave well around school. Pupils told us that they understand what is meant by bullying. They say staff listen and help if they have any worries. Some pupils do not attend school as regularly as they should.
“In lessons, pupils pay attention because they want to do well. We saw pupils of all ages cooperating well when we visited lessons in a range of subjects. They respond well to teachers’ expectations because relationships are warm and supportive. Pupils achieve well in reading, writing and mathematics by the end of Year 6.”

What was it all for?

Rebecca Long-Bailey, having had a lot of support to be Leader of the Labour Party, is no longer a member of the front bench;
and I wonder what principle, or value, RLB thinks she has lost her position for, given even the actor whose interview she celebrated has since retracted a part of the interview that may have added fodder to racism and anti-Semitism?

Keir Starmer chose to make tackling anti-Semitism in the Labour Party his top priority. Rebecca Long-Bailey celebrates an interview given by Maxine Peake, part of which endorses an allegation against Israeli security services, and only the Israeli security services, which means their work was responsible for the murder of George Floyd. A conspiracy theory, a smear.
RLB then recognises the claim is not true, but decides she cannot make the political gesture of withdrawing her political support for the article as a whole. So she is stood down. Supporters pile in to support RLB, claiming the right to be critical of Israel and claiming RLB’s dismissal is out of proportion.

Then Maxine Peake disowns the allegation, saying racism and anti-semitism is abhorrent.

And why is it anti-Semitic?
Cos some people do want more than it’s another conspiracy theory involving Israel.
Best explanation I’ve seen is by Sara Gibbs who says understanding why is hard to unpick and needs knowledge of context.
Summarised as “given that the accusation is demonstrably false, given that there is a widespread far-right conspiracy theory that Jews are trying to start a race war & given that there have been multiple incidents of Jews as a collective being blamed for anti-Black racism … the surrounding context makes a conspiracy theory which is … much more likely to be rooted in antisemitic sentiment.”

Closing Collin Street to traffic in August

Received a letter to local residents on these plans and you might wonder why carry on with radical change when works to transform Broadmarsh have stopped, question marks hang over city street retail, the opening of the new Nottingham College has slipped to January 2021, more people might be working from home and the earliest any extra new development on the Island site could be is 2022. And then confusing signals have at times been given over the future of bus priority lanes on Carrington Street (only last Saturday), expanding the capacity of the London Road / Queens Road junction and the A453/A52 Clifton Bridge capacity remaining constricted cos of the unexpected and major repairs needed.

Yet the longer term vision for traffic in the city centre and across from and to West Bridgford and the north of the city has been of reduction of traffic since before the construction of the Southern Relief Route – the new Castle Marina Road and the widened Queens Drive / Waterway Street West / Sheriffs Way / Queens Road / London Road – to enable it some 20ish years ago.
A 4 lane “racing track” along Collin Street “cuts off” the railway station from the city centre and we wanted change.
The lower levels of traffic as we come out of the public health emergency actually means this is might be a better time to introduce the change, and I hope the transfer of the nearside inbound lane on Trent Bridge to cyclists will encourage the move to working from home, or commuters using their bikes.

As for some of the confusing signals that have at times come out, I’ve not heard of Queens Road junction being planned for expansion for some time now, and the notion of buses travelling south from out of the city no longer having a direct and prioritised route to the Meadows Way east bus lane seems peculiar at best, kinda running counter to the philosophy of the north of The Meadows (running along Crocus Street and Traffic Street) providing thousands of extra homes and bedrooms for people who will be less reliant on the car.

I wonder if more of NCT’s bus routes might want to explore running around the city? More of the City Council’s services are provided from Loxley House, more of the DWP’s services too; we will be moving the Central Library from Angel Row to Collin Street and Nottingham College will have a new central location off Middle Hill. And the Island site will look to be more active.

Some of NCT’s Orange and Turquoise routes offer a City Loop option from the north, and alongside NCT’s Green services and NCT’s Navy 49 use the Middle Hill / Fletcher Gate / George Street route. It’s great, and serves thousands of residents in the Lace Market and Hockley who don’t own cars.

But the Ice Arena and the Island site are only served by NCT’s Red route and the EcoLink.. Could NCT’s Brown and/or Yellow services be extended to run around the city centre travelling along all of Canal Street before coming back along Bellar Gate / Belward Street / Cranbrook Street and Lower Parliament Street, with the inbound Victoria Centre stop (J1) becoming an interchange for passengers coming in from Mansfield Road (incl. Lime, Purple and Sky Blue) who would then want to reach the south of the city centre, including dropping off much nearer to the railway station?

Broadmarsh is not a blank piece of paper

“Mr Rogan, a Nottingham-based architect who specialises in historic and conservation work, said “smaller, greener developments” should be replacing larger shopping centres.
“Describing the Broadmarsh building as “a dead whale” and the plans for Collin Street’s pedestrianised area as “a bit of a bodge”, he pointed to changing retail patterns in calling for a mixed development of smaller shopping units and housing to revive the area south of the city centre.
“I think [the council] are trying to make the best of a difficult situation, but they need to completely re-evaluate things in view of what’s happening,” he said.
“[Broadmarsh] is going to be an open sore until it’s gone, and it will always be that.”

A relatively measured statement from a locally known architect.

Others have called for a park to replace the existing shopping centre and part of Maid Marian Way to be buried in an underpass (claiming all that to be green).
Others still for the return of Drury Hill.

To which –
– the new Broadmarsh does move away from retail, including a cinema multiplex and bowling alley, believed commercially viable because of the larger numbers of younger people living in the city;
– Drury Hill could never be brought back, because we’ve since built up Middle Hill; the new Broadmarsh was set to extend Drury Lane and open up an existing green space which includes a remaining part of the cliff edge;
– the natural cliff itself has long since been dug out; it would not be a very handsome backdrop to a big new park; city centre land is still in demand, and even if we await the outcome of the public health emergency on retail, there is still a huge demand for housing to serve younger people and students;
– the original plans for shopping from 1997 did envisage the return of more of the original street pattern, but there was not that much on the eastern half of the shopping centre to begin with, and lots of the original streets were lost to Maid Marian Way;
– burying Maid Marian Way would not create an attractive feature; it would start with a severe cutting and end with a big hole; the gradients would make the journey too difficult for some of the traffic that uses that route, and might even have to be wider if the existing bus routes were to be defended; a huge cost, made worse by having to move utilities that probably traverse the road;
– removing the part of the car park that traverses Collin Street probably makes the car park unviable and a buy out would cost huge amounts of money;
– money for such projects is something the council doesn’t have.

Imagining a different future is not so difficult, if you ignore what’s there.

522 Student Rooms applied for on car park site off Traffic Street

View along Waterway Street West

20/00592/PFUL3 
Erection of two part 3, part 5 and part 6 storey buildings comprising of student accommodation along with associated access, ancillary communal facilities and flexible cafe /event space (use class A3
Car Park, South Side, Traffic Street, The Meadows, Nottingham.

“The Traffic Street Project is a proposed student residential development in Nottingham consisting of two buildings of up to 6 floors. The proposal is to create 62 shared cluster flats and 163 studios having a total of 522 rooms, to meet the needs of a growing student population, reduce the usage of the general housing stock for student housing in multiple occupation (HMOs), and further the City’s ambitions for the Southside regeneration.”

Not sure the developers want to stick with “The Traffic Street project”