News and political views

A photo-journal of news and views from The Meadows, Nottingham and the Labour Party, by Councillor Michael M Edwards, using Wordpress

Maasai Cricket Warriors

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As featured in The Guardian.
Full res photos available on Facebook.

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Jermaine Pennant publishes memories of The Meadows

Now 35, Pennant, man of the match in a European Cup Final and twice close to major silverware, has published an autobiography which starts with some challenging memories of The Meadows.
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No gratitude to the community in the first extract; instead, football was his only way out;  dramatic stories – of a father who was a dealer; a mother who moved away; gangs in The Meadows, lined up against gangs from St.Ann’s; a set-to at a fried chicken restaurant in town, which led to a lad from St.Ann’s being kicked to death; a grand-auto style car chase.
I didn’t recall it being as bad as that, then.  Later, I do know a teenage lad was shot and killed in The Meadows; and a teenage girl was shot and killed in St.Ann’s by an indiscriminate shot aimed into a group of girls fired from a moving car from The Meadows.
But we’d made progress from then.  The council employed neighbourhood wardens. There was a major drive on gun crime.  We were tough on the causes of crime.  More jobs.  Children’s centres.  Higher attainment at schools.  We had made significant progress.
Some of the progress has been lost.  Now, we’ve had a period of knifings between dealers.  Tackled, but the underlying causes – lack of proper jobs, insufficient earnings – not so visible, but witnessed by our schools – are ongoing and getting worse.
I was struck by an assertion by Pennant that he would still be at risk if he came back to The Meadows.
Jermaine Jenas survived a visit to The Meadows with a TV camera crew, about a year ago, but the risk factor seemed talked up given community activists who live on the featured Holgate Road have not reported any problems.
As for football, following goals put in at The Green, we are planning to improve the MUGA equipment at Queens Walk Rec., and possibly find some kit to install on Arkwright Walk.  And we want to support local clubs more.  But the finance is a challenge.  Not saying either Jermaine should be obliged to help, but it would be nice.  Not so much to help kids find a way out; just for the enjoyment of the game.

publishes

Riverside Festival fireworks 2018

Borrowed Tracey Whitefoot’s photo cos mine on the phone weren’t very good.
Checked out departure of cars after the event, and there was no congestion north of Bathley Street – a distinct improvement.
Assumed therefore that attendance was lower, but it wasn’t.
Still some issues of inconvenience for residents’ parking along Bathley Street.

Apostasy

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An incredible film.  Another thing which I went to out of a sense of obligation to learn or witness, to find it was so much better than that.
A film featuring Jehovah’s Witnesses by a former Jehovah Witness, who makes interesting choices about which elements of the story to tell, rather than what might have been the most melodramatic.
Guardian reviewA previous Guardian review.
(r:9.0; e:4, s:5, t:4)

Paddy visits Arkwright Walk

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Canvassing in the streets in The Meadows most affected by drug dealers and users in the last few months.
There is a multi-agency day of action on the forthcoming Wednesday in the neighbourhood.
All following a public meeting with Lilian Greenwood MP and a major uniform initiative – after a series of knifing wounds inflicted by dealers upon dealers.
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We had a special leaflet printed, to help seek opinions including a possibility of re-used play equipment for the neighbourhood.
Plans for investment in parks elsewhere in the city might release a 3 sided fence which includes a goal, a basketball hoop and a cricket wicket.
But it needs a kinda 22 yard by 12 yard piece of tarmac, so there is a cost.  If we can find the money, we’d like to offer this “half-muga” for the neighbourhood, either to the west of the play area on Arkwright Walk, or to the south.
Crudely, the play-area would continue to serve toddlers and younger children, and the “half-muga” would serve teenagers.
Response on the doors was positive, including from older residents.

Paddy found one home that was still displaying a “vote Labour” poster from last year’s General Election; he spoke to a number of residents about policing matters.
Nicola and I picked up some general case-work.