Lilian visits Carroll Gardens over cap on sheltered housing finance

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Lilian Greenwood MP attended a meeting convened by the operators of Carroll Gardens, Housing & Care 21, who are complaining that a cap proposed by the Conservative government in their Housing White Paper.
The cap on housing benefit doesn’t recognise the value of the additional services provided by sheltered housing, and again shows a bias and the Midlands & the North.
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Lilian spoke to the 30 or so residents in front of staff from Housing & Care 21 and the Nottingham Post and Notts TV.
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Lilian then spoke to people in smaller groups.
Having toured the groups too, I found none of the complaints I’d previously had because of the (much delayed) investment in the building, including the windows 3 years ago.
Works done in recent years –
· Double glazed windows and Flat front doors 2014
· Renewed Storage Heaters ( living rooms) 2015
· Communal Lighting ( including suspended ceilings) 2016
· New Bathrooms/shower rooms/wet rooms ( as per Resident requirements) 2016
· New Fire alarms & Fire Panel 2017
· New Warden call system 2017
Further investment planned –
· New Kitchens 2017/18
· Internal & external Decoration 2018/19
· External Doors 2018/19

There was a welcome for the new lighting along Victoria Embankment introduced last year which had mitigated certain types of criminal behaviour.  A surprise that some vehicles are parking on the grass (for angling) cos that is now enforceable.  A request for bins on the riverside itself, but we have bins on the carriageway.  Praise too for an initiative called “park runs” elsewhere in the city, and it’s possible a junior version of that might come to Victoria Embankment.
Welcome to for the tram services – Meadows Embankment stop is just outside.  Some concern that services don’t always leave enough time for the frail to embark or get off; something the driver has CCTV to help decide if doors are clear; (we’re asking people who experience this to report the tram stop, date and time when it happens).  Concern that one of the ticket machines had not been working for sometime (something I’m chasing).  We will also check out CCTV coverage of the Old Wilford Toll Bridge.

Arkwright Walk media coverage mistakes

Co-Councillor Nicola Heaton and I were interviewed by Notts TV following press releases announcing the new designs for the flats proposed for each end of Arkwright Walk.
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Tweets already protesting about the design.  Except Notts TV have published the rejected designs – designs slammed by the November Planning Committee.
The actual designs were published here in January

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Meanwhile, the Nottingham Post coverage misses that the route along Arkwright Walk has already been opened.   Still some interesting points on the old Arkwright Street.

Arkwright Walk developments

New designs for the apartments at either end of Arkwright Walk have been approved.

It’s envisaged that the housing will be available from a year after construction works, with all housing planned for Arkwright and Blackstone being available after two and a half years.  Works might start in April.
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Now we have the full road open again to walking and cycling, we are also planning for midi buses to used the route (NCT Navy 3 and city council LOCALINK 1) both for convenience of local residents and to give the shopping centre a higher profile.
The grass patch next to the play equipment is very worn (the litter bin and the lighting column proving natural goalposts).  Perhaps some proper goal posts, a wicket and some grass mats might give the kids a better experience.

The Green – play equipment

Installation of equipment to serve the kiddies of the west of The Meadows is perhaps eight weeks away.
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Consultation on the design found people picking the castle theme as a favourite.
The consultation showed equipment going in the middle of The Green, which I had hoped to keep open for general ball games such as football.  However, locating the equipment near Hawthorn View and Tarbett Close, whilst allowing local residents more opportunity to oversee use and users of the equipment, also has to compete with cabling for lighting columns and with 4 service access covers for utilities such as drains and power (covers that are a bit hard and can’t reasonably have equipment sited next to them in case kiddies land on them).
To encourage football and cricket, we are exploring putting some goal posts in a strip of land alongside the largest of the mounds, which at 20 metres long, should still offer enough of an atraction for the kids currently using smaller strips along Kirkewhite Walk.

Ward Walk – November 2016

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Simply walked around the Bridgeway Centre, hearing about progress on tackling anti-social behaviour and reviewing a ranges of proposals for removing trees, cos of death, cramping, or blockage to street light and views.  A new plan for the trees of the northern car park has been produced for comment (see above).

Bridgeway Centre has a number of wider issues.
total list looks like –

  1. deterring hanging around in dark alleyways;
  2. improving views of CCTV, either by clearing trees, or by raising the cameras;
  3. tidying & utilising the green area to the immediate west of Bridgeway Hall, incl. poss. removal of self-set Rowan tree;
  4. a new vision for the north car park with better mixture of trees;
  5. better advertisement of Bridgeway shopping centre, including additional signage off Sheriff’s Way;
  6. better co-operation between traders so as to promote centre more effectively;
  7. re-introduction of café (on the way) and re-use of empty half-supermarket (strong lead);
  8. fuller use of Bridgeway Hall;
  9. dedicated use of north car park for visitors to the medical centre and to the shops;
  10. protection of all car parks, especially once parking permits kick in for most of the New Meadows in December;
  11. introduction of NCT Navy 3 and LocalLink 1 to Arkwright Walk and at grade bus stops, possibly in September 2017 (???);
  12. attracting trade from re-introduction of housing along Arkwright and Blackstone; and in future from land north of Healy Close;

More points to add, no doubt.  But probably need some kind of public consultation meeting.