Meadows Labour leaflet – August 2019

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Meadows ward monthly report 03

Frame from time lapse video of the Nottinghamshire Parade capturing me photoing Roxanne Ellis and her friends with her long trans flag.

The AMC Gardens Midsummer Community Event and Nottinghamshire Pride, are triumphs; celebration of people and communities at their best. Full council is happy too as it celebrated 9 of its retiring Councillors.
Old Meadows TRA public meeting is a more serious event, talking about planning and new developments in the north of The Meadows. A progress report is shared which again tries to show all the ongoing issues in one place. The ward walk picks up on the main current concern – the use and abuse of 3 public telephone boxes.
Consultation on a renewed Memorial and Memorial Gardens begins.

Salutary to begin to read the report published by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse whilst in the care of Nottinghamshire Councils.

EnviroEnergy reports £487k profit and Audit committee meets twice to approve the Statement of Accounts and reflect on how the council is governing. Planning committee starts special planning documents for biodiversity and caves, and a collection of public information films on New Towns prompts further reflections on what planning has to do to create and sustain great places.

The 50th anniversary of first man walking on the moon (and Apollo 11) could have been an opportunity to re-focus and be ambitious. Having suffered the hottest day in the UK’s recorded history, it all ought to prompt a focus on climate change, but Britain is horribly distracted by Brexit and a new Prime Minister who seeks to create and impression of can do through jolly hockey sticks and bags of tomato and lettuce, but soon hits the reality of concerns for Britain’s border with Ireland and whose presentation of progress in Britain is piffle.
Despite the proposed deal with the EU being written off, the only one the EU has said it will offer, Tony Blair reminds us that a People’s Vote will be needed; which is kinda Jeremy Corbyn’s view, too except he still offers the notion that a jobs friendly Lexit can be considered. He has though re-launched Labour’s anti-Semitism campaign.

For drama, the Cricket World Cup final excelled, though the abiding memory should be the sporting nature of amazingly unlucky New Zealand players. Instead, more piffle – as the multi-cultural nature of the England team passes nationalists by.
In football, England lost another semi-final. The Open is kinda ruined by the weather of the final round, and what you learn is golf on TV is only interesting when enough players doing well.
The Lehman Trilogy is great theatre, but arguably misses the big conclusions to be drawn. Yesterday is a great concept ruined by Richard Curtis’ concept of romance. Sometimes, Always, Never is a gentle surprise.
Grace Eden also offers thoughts on growing older but using photos and pre-Raphaelite painting.

Children in the care of Nottinghamshire Councils

A report published by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, with a lot to take in. “The primary purpose of this investigation was to examine the institutional responses to such allegations of Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham City Council, and other organisations such as Nottinghamshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service, and to consider the adequacy of steps taken to protect children from abuse.

David Mellen has issued a statement on the report.

I know how in 1994/5, Notts. County Council showed vigour and resolve in reviewing the death of a child in Ashfield District.
The report on abuse is long and I will be interested to see what the report fully says. For now, the City Council’s Leader response is presented.

East Midlands Today
Coverage on East Midlands News (BBC tv) is worth looking up, especially for survivors saying that they now feel they have been listened to. Interviewed on the programme, David Mellen explained clearly that we are apologising for what happened and I’ve re-published his apology made on *our* behalf.
There are 161 pages in the report, with quite a section on Beechwood.  
May well say more when I’ve properly read it.

Full Council – July 2019

A special meeting celebrated the service and commitments of 9 retiring and retired Councillors by appointing them as Alderman and expecting them in turn to represent the city and city council at events – and more particularly do tours of The Council House.
The 9 have 199 years of service on the council between them.
I moved Glyn Jenkins, my fellow civic in 2017/18 (see comment below).

Fuller res photos are available.

A motion on LGBT rights and solidarity was agreed after amendment by Labour, who had consulted LGBT groups. The Clifton Independent leader declared he would oppose the amendment, but after a storming speech by new Councillor, Angharad Roberts, he backed down.

The first questions from the Clifton Independents saw confusion as –
– they tabled a question condemning special allowances for Councillors; in effect calling for them to receive the same allowance as the Leader and all Portfolio Holder and chairs of committees; (this differing from Ashfield Independents who have recently increased Special Responsibility Allowances);
– then they forgot to ask the question;
– when they did ask the question, they followed up by announcing they were giving their personal allowances away for local spending in Clifton East; different again from the question tabled; but omitted to ask a question, so the leader was not called to reply.
Beyond the confusion about the asking of the question, the proposal challenges one of the core values of any kind of a free society – that elected representatives are compensated for time and effort given, because it’s right and so that people of less then independent means can consider standing at all. Financial support for elected representatives was a principle first advocated by the Chartists around 200 years, and Nottingham was the only city to elect a Chartist MP.
A DAY AFTER THE MEETING, THERE IS STILL CONFUSION OVER THE COMMITMENT MADE, SO THIS MAY BE REVISED – DIFFERENT WITNESSES TO THE MEETING HEARD DIFFERENT THINGS!

Meadows ward monthly report 02

The World War I Centenary Memorial is completed, but the opening service is formulaic and doesn’t try to celebrate the stories of the fallen.
D-Day 75th anniversary is flat too.
A poignancy comes from the funeral of a man who after 25 years living on the streets, had found peace in a flat provided by Nottingham City Homes.

A depressing national political situation –
– Trump visits London and invokes supporters on the streets that never were;
– the Conservative candidates to be next Prime Minister see them all committing to Brexit by 31st October, when it’s still not clear the country could achieve it;
– the criticism ventured focusses on a new Prime Minister not being returned via a General Election, when it is what our constitution allows and has been the case more often than not;
– all but one of the Conservative candidates advocates big increases on public spending and the lost revenue from tax giveaways to corporations and banks is mentioned by no-one;
– Jo Brand apologised for a joke about throwing acid (that BBC Radio decided to transmit) which was a relief cos people had taken it literally, and the remark was a tad too close to a potential reality, but it prompted a debate about the death of metaphor and the power of outrage;
– Labour continues to struggle with the charge of anti-Semitism when an MP who supported party members expelled for anti-Semitism and said the party was too apologetic on the matter, is first let back in so he can be re-selected, and then suspended again in response to the outcry;
– we have to make a stand for RSE and we have to remind people about the injustice toteh Windrush generation. More positive was the celebrations of our green spaces and the launch of a book to campaign on climate change. Britain was wet, Arnold was flooded, Europe suffered a fierce heatwave and the Earth recorded its hottest June.

Locally, progress is reported at the new Area 5 committee on car parking solutions for Bridgeway Shopping Centre, which also now has improved camera coverage. The Bridgeway GP practice celebrated new rooms and facilities.
Reports on crime is positive overall, but some bizarre incidents including a hit and run on Bathley Street.
The tram’s finances improves. The electric bus service from Queens Drive park & ride are replaced by the NCT Navy 49, which means Meadows Way west loses its most local buses again. I’ve tried to be upbeat about what further major improvements to public transport are possible at joint committees.

Diary of the month.
Arts include – “Support The Girls”, “Design for Living”, “Sunset”, “Diamintino”, “One Night in Miami”, “The Keeper”.
Nice exhibits by Nottingham College design students.
Sports: England’s cricket team, Tottenham and England’s male football team are all below par; England’s women win 5 games in the World Cup without conceding a goal, but the Cameroon game brings out something ugly. A spate of wet weather means the triathlon adopted a swim-free format, but the crowds are driven away nevertheless.