WRITE-UP TO FOLLOW
A simple stall with leaflets focussing on green achievements in Nottingham – bio-fuel buses, energy investment homes, better and accredited public parks, Robin Hood Energy – all by Labour. With visits from Paddy Tipping (Police Commissioner) and Leonie (former Parliamentary Candidate in Sherwood), as well as colleagues Glyn and John.Some city centre casework, and a big thumbs up from a Clifton North resident who’s saving £12 a month and more having switched to Robin Hood Energy.
Eighty people marching from Nottingham Midland railway station to the city centre, demanding justice for those members of the Windrush generation who suffered from the “hostile environment”.
An amazing slogan on one t-shirt – “More blacks, more dogs, more Irish”.
Paddy Tipping, PCC, Cllr Merlita Bryan and I joined the march.
(one typo to fix.) Photos available.
60 attended a meeting which I expected to be a rigorous grilling and relentless lashing of those with power and responsibility because of the crime associated with the drug dealing.
Bit of a surprise then when a victim of a stabbing, a young man, called for more to be done to help victims and offer hope for those who see no alternative.
People were queueing up to shake the guy’s hand afterwards.
Paddy Tipping PCC addresses the public meeting convened by Lilian Greenwood MP, to discuss community safety and developing parks.
I circulated a 3 page progress report. The meeting began with something like 45 minutes of contributions from the floor before the panel started making contributions. Many of the contributions emphasised the importance of community and youth services to mitigate criminal activity.
I spoke at the end, and the points for me are –
– there was a tendency from one or two to represent individual special interests; and some of the old stories about people running The Meadows down when for example, Paddy Tipping had said the exact opposite; (Paddy dealt with that challenge);
– the emphasis on youth services was as if the criminal activity is from teenagers when the perpetrators are probably a bit older; I did take the opportunity to stress the important of more jobs, and secure and regular jobs that supported stronger family life;
– I don’t think the assertion that the dealers are not from The Meadows is entirely correct;
– The Police Inspector reported arrests of dealers carrying wraps of drugs, but may not have been heard very clearly; catching the dealers red-headed has to be a key element of any fight back for community safety;
– a repeated call for the BT phones boxes (that seem only to serve the drug trade) to be removed (Lilian had already been chasing, and been refused once);
– temporary and movable 3G cameras have had an impact, but they’re moved on.
The meeting was intense at times, but quite thoughtful and reflective.
Parks and open spaces didn’t really come up, save some complaints about grass-cutting and litter generally.
Some points afterwards about not having more yellow lines on the junctions in the Old Meadows.
Some requests for another meeting to be held.
TO BE REVIEWED
Please join Lilian Greenwood MP at a public meeting at 6pm on Friday 1st June in the Concert Hall at Queens Walk Community Centre.
Meadows Police Inspector James Walker;
– opening remarks from Lilian;
a. community safety
(tackling use of knives and drug dealing; improved cameras);
b. parks, play and open spaces
(repairs, security and promoting usage; VE and QWRec; In Bloom);
(Meadows residents permits phase 2; RINGGO for shopping centre);
d. housing developments
(off Crocus Street, Sheriff’s Way and Traffic Street; new housing in the south-west);
e. street scene (tree pruning, grass cutting);
f. events (city wide and local);
g. other (health, schools, Brexit);- conclusion (7:15pm)
Kinda bizarre that anyone should try to launch a “hate a Muslim” day.
So “love a Muslim” was the message promoted at a rally beneath the Brian Clough statue.
With one speaker reminding us of Martin Luther King’s “Mountain Top” speech, 50 years ago to the day.
I spoke on Nottingham standing together, against Islamophobia and against anti-Semitism.
First a word of warning: crime figures in the above graphic may not pay attention to changes triggered by changes in classifications of crimes; but crime has gone up under the Conservative governments, whilst resources nationally have been cut by 25%.
Notts’ current view is that crime has “plateaued” although in my ward I have concerns.
With new counting methodologies, you need a new baseline, and this was announced today as the 1st April, cos it’s when the new Policing Plan kicks in, itself delayed so as to allow the new Chief Constable to work outa new way for Notts Constabulary.
Back to the finances, that were being debated in Parliament today.
No doubt business rates are going up for next year, but none of that is finding its way to Notts Police.
– Police Core settlement stays at £76,843,070.
– DCLG formula funding stays at £47,448,274.
– Legacy Council Tax Grants stays at £9,726,154.
– Current precept of £56,450,177,
means a total base of £190,467,715.
This follows a late change of mind by the Conservative Gov’t; they were set to cut the national funding by £1.7m! Some Police forces – West Midlands, Merseyside – are getting cash cuts.
Meanwhile, pay increases by 2% and general inflation is perceived to be 2% too.
An assumption is made that the tax base will increase by £733,892, representing an 1.3% – care I think has to be taken with this being a free hit, cos you might expect more people to serve means more to do.
The Gov’t have offered an opportunity to raise the precept by £12 for band D properties, and an £11.97 increase on the £183.43 base is recommended; a 6.5% increase.
The extra money represents £665,724 above inflation, out of a total of £192,942,793 (0.034%), serving perhaps 10,000 people (1.3%) more. So still reductions in service to Notts by central government.
So business pays more tax but none of it goes to the Police; and residents will pay more for at best a standstill budget.
However, I take the view that we need all the staff we can get. So I supported the recommended precept.
More staff however , in part cos of a shift to younger staff, and more responsibilities falling to ranks such as Sergeants. 42 extra Police officers, 3 less Police staff. 39 extra, although changes in other funding reduces this by 6.
Changes in staffing is shown as –
– Operational up 85
– Intelligence & Investigation down 20
– Operational collaborations down 18
– Corporate Services down 5
Police staff –
– staff down 11
– PCSO up 8
The Nottingham Post reports Paddy Tipping as emphasising Gov’t not funding the Police properly, raising Council tax to pay for more officers, a new knife crime manage and a new custody detention suite to replace the existing Bridewell detention building, next to the courts.
I have criticisms of the Bridewell proposal, but in truth, until a fuller set of information is made available, I took the view no to criticise in public.