Cyrille Regis in a Shrewsbury shirt

So many spectacular goals by Cyrille Regis but not many will remember the one he scored wearing a Shrewsbury Town shirt.

Meeting an inswinger from the wing, getting ahead of the last line of defenders and powering in a header from 12 yards.  (“Good morning, ball”.)
Yes, 1981 and West Bromwich Albion wore either the classic navy & white stripes or the iconic green & yellow stripes – both deemed to clash with Salop’s blue & amber.  So when they drew Salop in the League Cup in an era before third strips (and universal TV coverage), the Albion had to wear our all red away kit.

It was a phenomenal match when the second tier side beat the top tier side 3-all at home.  By which I mean, the Albion were 3-0 up at half-time, thanks in part to Cyrille’s header, but we brought the game back to 3-all at full time (a last minute goalmouth dribble by Steve Biggins).

Regis’s death is so emotional for many reasons – the phenomenal footballer he was; Cunningham & Batson; that West Brom team; how he broke barriers for black players; the content of his character; that 59 seems no age for such a former athlete – and cos I witnessed it: vs Salop, vs Man U at The Hawthorns (1979) and the “match of the decade” (that wasn’t) at Anfield (also 1979).

It brings back memories of the racism – especially that gorilla chants were OK and good cos they put black players off (which I felt often was not the case – e.g. Wimbledon at home, Laurie Cunningham scoring at Old Trafford in the 5-3 victory).
You wanted to be on the Three Degrees’ side, cos of the victimization, cos it was right, and yes, because they were the heroes.

See Guardian tribute; and a cartoon tribute.  Look out also for the Youtube videos.


NHS Crisis

Time for people to reflect on what, with 3 General Elections, we have allowed to slip with regards to our health care and our NHS.

I received 2 tweets in quick succession from Theresa May boasting about a scheme that they claim will help a few thousand people onto the property ladder.
That evening, a BBC tv East Midlands political journalist lists the kind of conditions that warrant a visit to A&E (and I didn’t hear broken bones included).
Whatever was said, on top of the cancellation of non-urgent operations, this is a pretty shocking statement. And it’s the BBC announcing it! (Not someone from the NHS.)
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, comes on national tele to say they’re trying to do it a different way this year – expressed in a way that makes it sound like he deserves some sympathy at least.
Another spokesperson has said that a range of factors have come together – including the cold weather. (Maybe it’s true that we didn’t have snow in Tony Blair’s era.)

Time to remember, the factors of growing demand (including more people, an older population, more cures (with greater expense) and more people surviving with challenging conditions) existed before 2010 when (after 13 years), New Labour more than trebled the spend on the NHS including the launch of the largest hospital building programme in our history. Targets for getting a GP appointment, being tended to in A&E and for operations, were set and were being met.

We deserve better. We used to get better.

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.

Bridge ward monthly report 75

Quick points –

·         Money has been released for the renewal of Meadows Health Centre (circa £750k);

·         Keepmoat have a published community portal webpage, with plans for Arkwright Walk & Blackstone Walk, FAQs contact details, jobs info and local issues;

·         We will consult on further parking changes in The Meadows to tackle problems caused by commuters; (delayed by Broadmarsh changes);

·         the replacement of the old lighting on the north and south bank of the Trent at the Embankment with new LED fittings (to reduce the energy consumption and improve the light quality) has been agreed;

·         Many new flats and apartments are proposed at Waterway Street West and at Meadows Way / Sheriffs Way; get in touch if you have concerns.

·         The proposed new electoral wards unhelpfully divide The Meadows, despite nearly all public services treating The Meadows as a whole; (many are protesting);

·         Cuts in national government support for Nottingham City Council will require further cuts of £27 million.

Run down of new building

Proposed houses, flats and students rooms between Meadows Way and Crocus Street has prompted new questions about how new development should relate to the New Meadows, especially that of height.
As a substitute member of the Planning Committee I won’t make any judgements, but what follows is a quick run down of new building in The Meadows, along Crocus Street and Queens Road, Broadmarsh, Narrowmarsh, the Lace Market and Meadow Lane; plus what is not happening.


** “Creswell” site: Houses, flats and students rooms between Meadows Way, Arkwright Street, Crocus Street and Sheriffs Way
Hundreds of homes (400-ish), pitched at young professionals and students, with no provision for cars.  Design by Stephenson Studio.  Public consultation has begun, application to be submitted in 3rd week of January and could be coming to Planning committee in April.  Claiming some inspiration from the Lace Market and proposed in a whitish brick.  Tapers down, but impact on neighbouring houses weren’t available at a public meeting.  Might need extra bus stops.

** Crocus Square: offices
Offices, under design, perhaps 8 stories high.

** Unity Square: offices and leisure between the railway line and Sheriffs Way
Three large and high blocks (perhaps 12 stories), with some provision for cars.  Outline planning permission agreed at Planning committee, but may have lapsed. Very proximate to railway station, tram stop and NCT Navy and Green.  If business customers can’t be found, developers might look for residential.

** Apartments between railway line and Traffic Street
40 apartments granted planning application, with parking.

** “Sentinel”: offices between Wilford Road and Traffic Street
Perhaps 8 stories; outline planning application, though may have lapsed.

** “Vantage”: Flats and students rooms between Waterway Street West, Wilford Road and Traffic Street
Hundreds of homes, pitched at students, with no provision for cars.  Public consultation has begun but more to be done and could be coming to Planning committee after April.  Designed in part to announce the start of the city centre on a trunk road, and proposing a high tower, much more to be done on the design.  Seems set to deny views of the castle to some households in Castlefields and Kinglake Place.  Might need extra bus stops.

** Hicking phase 2: houses, flats and students rooms between Crocus Street, Summer Leys Lane and the Nether Leen
350 flats, pitched at young professionals (so much so, might only bring an extra 8 children to local primary schools) with some provision for cars.  Red brick, with possibly some acknowledgement to the crocus in the design and naming.  Construction  has begun.  Proximate to the railway station, the tram stop and NCT Green buses.

** “The Laceworks”: flats and students rooms between Queens Road, Summer Leys Road and the Nether Leen DTSFanEX0AAK8ta
222 apartments, pitched at students and no provision for cars.  Agreed at Planning committee in dramatic black and yellow colours, but coming back to Planning committee in January with a new colour scheme.  Construction could start in March.  Proximate to the railway station, the tram stop and NCT Green & Navy buses.

** Apartments and flats between London Road Island and Pemberton Street
Hundreds of homes, pitched at young professionals, with no provision for cars.  Agreed at Planning committee but currently undergoing a “right to light” complaint process from the student block behind it.  Claiming a lot of inspiration from the Lace Market, 4 blocks, the highest of which reaches nine stories and proposes a metal sheet finish down the western side.

** Apartments and flats along Pemberton Street
Tens of homes, pitched at young professionals, with no provision for cars.  Not yet gone to Planning committee (CHECK) and currently undergoing some design changes.

** Apartments and flats between Short Hill and Malin Hill
Hundreds of homes, pitched at young professionals, with no provision for cars.  Agreed at Planning committee subject to getting the details of the views from Stoney Street and from London Road correct.
Fills one of the last 2 holes in the city centre made by the Nazis.

** “Boots Island”: huge site; mixed development
Might include 1500 homes.

** Houses and flats between Meadow Lane and the River Trent
Approved, then new owners and developers said they couldn’t build  as specified and a new design agreed at Planning committee.
I voted against the second set of proposals.

*** Smaller developments in The Meadows

** Mundella Building
To be converted into 10 houses.

** The Water Works,  Wilford Crescent East
25 houses agreed by Planning committee.

** Meadows Police Station
A 22 flats complex by Nottingham City Homes; no consultation yet.

** Clifton Welfare site
An 18 bungalow development by the council; design may be changed to meet EA flood defence expectations, cos of length of ramps required to serve enrances; no consultation yet.

*** What’s not happening

** Demolition of the Bridgeway shopping centre / The Precinct
Despite repeated whispers, there are no plans and no finance available for the demolition and re-siting of these shops; and haven’t been since the cancellation of £200m for the re-generation of The Meadows which was dropped by the coalition Government in 2010.

** Further Demolition of housing in the New Meadows
Despite repeated whispers, in part related to misunderstanding about Arkwright Walk, there are no plans and no finance available for the any further demolition; and haven’t been since the cancellation of £200m for the re-generation of The Meadows which was dropped by the coalition Government in 2010.

** Development at the former Collygate school, off Wilford Grove
Use of the land is with the owner, who may well seek new houses, but I am aware of no plans.

** Development at the former Three Bridges Inn, Gritley Mews
Use of the land is with the owner, who may well seek new houses, but I am aware of no plans.

*** Broadmarsh and Narrowmarsh

** Broadmarsh shopping centre
Plans agreed with Intu.

** Broadmarsh bus station and car park
Plans coming to Planning committee in February.

** New Nottingham College off New Popham Street in the Narrowmarsh
Plans coming to Planning committee in February.

All off the top; I’ll update with a bit more detail soon.