Thanking Labour members from Nottingham South for their campaigning, especially the wins in Castle and Wollaton West ward, David went on to highlight his priorities as the new Leader for Nottingham City.
– A council that does what it says it says it will do; work well with partners and listen;
– deliver the manifesto, especially the top 5 pledges;
– act on knife crime; homelessness; underfunding by government.
Lilian Greenwood came to the Bridgeway Practice at Meadows Health Centre to see the renewed surgery rooms.
Lilian Greenwood – “It was great to see how the changes to the building and general refurbishment was making a positive difference for both patients and staff. Congratulations to the practice and patient representatives – Susan, Terry and Eunice – for their determination.“
The Police Panel scrutinises the Police Commissioner, Paddy Tipping, and this was its AGM, electing Gedling Labour Councillor David Ellis as its vice-chair. My points –
* Safer Meadows – surprised by the N Post calm and Paddy reported that the stats had come for a slightly strange interpretation of a Police UK web-site; nevertheless, there has been progress after the 3 month spate of stabbings last year;
* part of the reason for progress in The Meadows has been the removal of a BT phone box from Bridgeway Shopping Centre; but this has brought pressure on other sties in The Meadows including on Risley Drive; BT resist disabling parts of the service provided that triggers the drug trade; and the sites has become the focus of rough living; so I asked for help with BT from Paddy Tipping and the Chief Constable;
* other businesses need to take more responsibility too; NCP car parks are vulnerable to false alarms being triggered, but despite charging £4 an hour, and suffering 2 significant fires at Stoney Street (albeit from car electrical failures), they don’t staff car parks and take too long to reset alarm systems;
* problems with the licensing of taxis by neighbouring boroughs, to passenger safety and organisation were rehearsed;
* Paddy Tipping announced that the enforcement of the peace around the fracking test site in the North of Nottinghamshire has cost Notts Police £900,000; whilst a lot, the style of policing meant the costs had been lower there than elsewhere and there had been no arrests; one wonders when the fracking companies will acknowledge how more difficult fracking is with Britain’s geology?;
* given the new emphasis on tackling climate change, I asked what the Police commitment was; answer is vehicle choice is still too difficult; but ground source (water from abandoned mines) heating was being planned for the extension to Sherwood Lodge;.
Other points –
* Police slightly overspent last year; a cross-authority initiative to save money had failed; and the need to improve 101 services and staffing had prompted over-spends that many savings elsewhere; spending overall remains under-control;
The Police are using the extra precept levied to pay for 40 extra officers – 33 for serving neighbourhoods and. 7 for tackling robberies; the Police are still having to make £3 million of cuts;
* 101 service has improved (disconnections down by 60%)cos of higher recruitment; note, the free is to be made free again next year;
* latest inspection. of Notts Police has improved to “good” from “requiring improvement”, partly cos of extra dedicated spend;
* knife crime is a concern- 8-9% increase in Notts., c.f. 11% increase nationally; Notts is receiving £1.5m and is hoping for 2 more awards.
I will be voting Labour in the Euro Elections. I’m advised that Labour will win one seat, and whilst I’d like to win all five, I’m told Labour’s second candidate on the list is the one who might be able to join Rory Palmer in the Euro Parliament, and that the second candidate – Léonie Mathers – has stated clearly that she is for Remain Labour. It’s my argument, and it’s Tony Blair’s too.
Like Zoe Williams in The Guardian today, I would have liked some kind of national campaign to take place around a separate symbol to be used to indicate how strong for Remain we are, but it seems too late to get any kind of message out in that way.
I had heard that some (facebook groups) are advocating a circle around an “X”.I’m advised that Nottingham’s count managers will accept an “R” in a Labour box as a positive vote.
But the surprise is that you can write what you feel, so long as the marks you use demonstrate a positive vote for Labour.
Now I’d thought handwriting would disqualify a vote, but it doesn’t. What disqualifies a vote is using your name, using your poll number, using your address (traditional disqualifiers cos it’s a way of earning a payment); and a lack of intent. And using a symbol without a general knowledge of what that means runs a risk of a vote being disqualified. A more explicit way of campaigning for Remain would have been nice.
Re-stating the argument for Remain, this has become clearer again.
That during the referendum, no-one, not even Farage, advocated “No Deal”. Instead he suggested some kind of Norway arrangement might have been a way froward.
Meanwhile, the closest there’s been to a deal is failing cos it undermines the Good Friday agreement. And MPs, scrutinising on behalf of their constituents cannot brings themselves too support it.
And the people have been changing their mind about Brexit anyway, although the snag now is that the Remain vote is spread across 4 parties in a system which in a 5 member constituency sets a high threshold for smaller parties.
(BTW, no particular beef about Change UK since some of their local members drove Nottingham’s radical transport policies and the changes that saw majority women Labour Group on the council. But I am surprised they’re not doing better in the polls for this election.)
So Labour it is for me in this election. With more door-stepping this evening.
With new Leader of the Nottingham City Council, David Mellen; and Lilian Greenwood MP.