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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Cleaner air

WP_20180109_19_49_24_Pro (2) CllrSL Bridge branch

Nottingham was picked out as one of 5 cities where government would support and require a reduction in NOx and particulate pollution.
Selected for the predicted rise in pollution, when in reality Nottingham has managed to grow without increasing traffic so much, with its high quality buses and tram network.
A model of air quality is being created with results expected in March.
Dependent on its findings will be the scale of action required.
It will be interesting to find out how the previously known problem points of Toll House Hill roundabout, Clinton Street West and Fisher Gate show in the model.
Likely is some kind of ban, or charging, on buses and lorries that don’t comply with at least Euro 6 standards in the city centre.
The technology for a charging system could be challenging to deliver.
The capital funds for what is required will probably be insufficient as well.
No doubt revenue support will be missing.  Hedges and trees could play a role in improving air quality further, but money for their upkeep is already being lost.

Rail fares protest

Joined the nationwide RMT protest on rail fares increases at Nottingham Midland station.
Rail fares have gone up on average by 3.4% when wages haven’t.
Did 4 media interviews and concentrated on the £2,000 million bail-out given to Richard Branson and David Soutar – multi-millionaires who wanted a better deal on a franchise already agreed on East Coast Main Line – which has been run by the public sector for a surplus.
Repeated Tom Watson MP’s complaints about the Conservative Transport Secretary staying low and silent, who it turns out wasn’t available until late in the day (for interviews by mobile phone from Qatar).
Thatcher’s promise on cheaper fares has not been upheld – nowhere close in fact – but when privatisation started, weird things happened like a big step increase in investment and drivers wages.  All to be overshadowed by the collapse in the network when “corner guage cracking was rediscovered.
In calling for a return to public owenership, have got to watch out for railways being starved by central government again.