25 years service as a Councillor

Seven years as Bridge ward City Councillor; on top of 18 years serving Mapperley Division and ward, that makes 25 years in total.

There should be award, or a medal, or a grand thank you!  Hey, what about an OBE?
Well, not really.  The role is a vocation and we should expect little else.

And there’s the experiences and stories to recount!  And I do recount them.  And I notice people getting more and more bored as I tell, them.

Ah, but what about all the casework and achievements!
Again, it’s what’s expected, and it’s kinda hard to say what is it that you have achieved, without the help of anyone else, especially when you have co-Councillors and work with others.

Ronald Reagan once said achieving in politics and using politics to achieve isn’t difficult, the challenge was in making the achievements something that you alone was responsible for.
There are times when a particular outlook and resolve as an individual can make a difference for the good, but even then it draws upon widely held values and others’ capabilities.

Enough.  Let’s focus instead on what there is to do, take pleasure in ward events like today’s, note that I picked up 5 requests today and say thanks to those who demonstrated for REMAIN today.

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Mid-month progress report – October 2018

Doing the rounds at Loxley House, I picked up the following, further to information presented at Area 8 committee recently –

The Meadows:
– Regarding Bridgeway Hall, the land outside the high boundary fence, is owned by the city council, in the housing revenue account; ownership of the access road to the rear of Bridgeway Hall needs review;
– there’s a land ownership snag on the former Meadows Police station site, but this should be fixable;
– forgot to mention in previous update that formal consultation on Bridgeway shopping centre car parks has begun;
– a Hicking phase 3 is now planned by the developers of phase 2, whereby existing east and north facades and roof are kept, but not a lot else, in a 150 studio apartments development;
– much of the lighting on Trent Bridge needs repair but anti-terrorist barriers prevent access;
– Planning cttee in November does not see the Unity Square proposals, and no other Meadows developments either;
– marathon: according to traffic mgmt., went better than previous years; story about an ambulance having problem on Castle Bridge Road is odd, cos the service had staff in the traffic mgmt. centre to manage any problems; what did go wrong was people ignoring signs at the eastern entrance that said you couldn’t get through, and therefore stacking up at the western egress, and this did cut the customers using Sainsbury’s in the morning;
– another public consultation on QWRec improvements has begun;

Waterside:
– east off Notts County, a supplementary planning document is published for review.
Scale of new housing envisages a new school. Should explore whether a new bus service might be needed and which might use Arkwright Walk;

qKnUabHNThe city centre:
– October Planning cttee. approved County House renewal for a fine dining franchise restaurant and office development with bar/cafe;
– November Planning cttee. sees Broadmarsh bus station and car park, now with central library;
– Heathcoat Street won’t see another consultation unless a further traffic change is proposed;

Previous end of September progress report available,

Options for improving Queens Walk Recreation Ground

Consultation has begun for choosing between 2 options of a Multi-Use Games Area on the car park, and 3 options for an outdoor gym upon the existing half-MUGA site.
Submit your preferences online.

20181015 qwrec possible muga equipment aa0348h_Fotor
The left hand  design has a green acrylic surface, deeper goals and bent poles that act as benches.
I do wonder if the pitches couldn’t have netball lining as well.

20181015 qwrec possible outdoor gym equipment aa0228h_FotorThere’s more equipment with the middle and right hand designs.

Against Brexit hold a stall in Hockley

The stall offered a chance for people to out stickers against the questions “Is Brexit going well for the country?”, “Will Brexit be good for the NHS?” and “Will Brexit be good for jobs?”.  Practically 100% “No” when I arrived, but then a man came up to protest with some anger, and an anger that was not assuaged as the stall happily let him vote “Yes” to the 3 questions.  Now sure, it might be an example of confirmation bias, but it’s not illegitimate.
More alarming is the polling saying that people don’t care about the rights and wrongs of Brexit anymore – that they just want it over with.  Something tested by Frank Skinner hosting BBCtv’s “Room 101”, and his audience kinda coughed and shuffled their shoes.
Well, we better hope people do care.  Cos the peace of Ireland is at stake.  The peace deal said no borders, and not being in the customs union means a border.
As best we can tell, there is a low prospect of Theresa May and the government negotiating a deal of any kind, but it seems a majority of Conservative MPs want that rather than no deal at all.  The problem than is the determined minority set to vote against any deal.
Nor do Conservative MPs seem set to vote for an early General Election cos that needs a two-thirds majority.
And the default coming out day is March 29th.
So maybe now we have to keep working for a delay for the date, which the EU would have to agree, or that Britain withdraws its application to leave under Article 50 and ponders on when to submit it again.
Meanwhile Labour’s line remains – any deal must meet 6 tests, and if it can’t, a General Election should be called to decide our future, and if that is not granted, a referendum on the options on our future with Europe, including the option to Remain.

Supplementary Planning vision for the Waterside

The latest vision of new estates running between the river Trent and Meadow Lane and Daleside Road is about to be published for consultation. The N Post have published articles on the proposals – “hundreds of new homes… a riverside path, [a pedestrian] river crossing and [a] 420-place primary school” and the opportunity to take advantage of a future tram route (2033?).

Also, an emphasis on some affordable housing, as well as the housing being green and possible having ground source heat pumping (providing heating and cooling), as well as extensive solar panels.  A green estate would be a good theme, but I’ve also suggested that we should be checking the history to see if there are stories to give the new estates more distinct identities. The notion that housing alongside the riverside offer special opportunities has arguably not been delivered in practice so far (lacking detail and decoration).

The 420-place school is a surprise but good if the numbers truly are needed.

We should press on getting a bus route to serve Meadow Lane, which could then pass on into town via Arkwright Walk, which I am still working on to become a bus route in May 2020 when the housing being built there is finished.