Full council – March 2019

A budget is agreed, but little joy as it expects £23m of savings in much needed public service to be found.
The national financial settlements are unfair, biased against the cities and towns of the North and the Midlands, and the Conservatives are setting themselves up to take more money to give to rural areas.

A slightly different budget from the Conservatives this year. Instead of avoiding any Council tax increase, they propose an increase 1% lower than Labour’s. Clearly picking up some points from officers and the majority group, but drawing different conclusions, they propose spending £3 million on pump-priming investments on social services, by selling shares in Robin Hood Energy, covering the gap whilst waiting for share sales with draws upon reserves. Loads of risks – value of share yield, savings from extra investments, timings etc.
They had to be pressured to confirm that they wouldn’t sell off Nottingham City Transport, but I still think they would.
N Post article.

I am always struck by the basic element of sound financial management, which is that during a period where you are expected to look after more people in need during a time of cuts, you need to maximise the Council tax base to meet the need.

Meanwhile, we again expose Nottingham city centre Conservatives for their false claims and less than relevant priorities for city centre residents.

Bizarrely, the Conservatives again call for Hansard style recording of full council, without putting the idea in their budget proposals. Even stranger, the Conservative leader joins in a tribute to the 16 retiring Labour Councillors, before his Deputy piles in to say they’re all being driven out by people with ideology.
I say – “you’ve got to have a belief.”

Official photos of retirees
We paid tribute to Betty Higgins, with Brian Parbutt giving a speech; Graham Chapman makes a point in the budget debate; thanks expressed to this retiring, including Malcolm Wood, John Hartshorne, Brian Grocock, Ginny Klein, Glyn Jenkins, Jackie Morris, Steve Young, Cat Arnold-Adamds
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Met at the Left Lion

We had to move a stall for a newly married couple who had first met at the Left Lion on the steps of The Council House in the Old Market Square, and who had got married in what was used as the Members’ Room.
Nice.

A Streetcar named Desire

Blanche DuBois is something to listen to; that sense of strong personal values and another world. But broken by life, by men and perhaps by alcohol. And having read Tennessee Williams‘ family story, a heart-breaking final scene as people gently coax her to leave her sister’s home for consignment. (Otherwise, his play is too cruel.)
This small stage production limits the lead actor’s arena but not her performance (wow!); giving more credibility to Blanche’s world view (and less camp) than the more famous productions.
I’d say go see, but it is already sold out. (e:4, s:4, p:4).
(BTW, nice new seats in the Lace Market Theatre.)

Protest against closure of Queen Street Crown Post Office

Lilian Greenwood MP says “Campaigning to save our Post Office on Queen St in Nottingham city centre alongside CWU & Labour members from Nottingham South and beyond including local councillor Michael Edwards and Castle ward candidate Angharad Roberts.
“Strong support for keeping the Post Office in its central accessible location, close to buses and trams, rather than franchised out and stuck in the back of WHSmiths at the far end of the Victoria Centre. Worrying to hear that many experienced staff are leaving rather than be transferred to a struggling retail chain.”