Bookbench painted by Greenfields school

IMG_8297mb0609h ML Greenfields Bookbench launch CllrNH MME
Bench is at Meadows Library.
Part of the Hoodwinked project.
Photos available.
BTW, the dog puppet mae its way back to its owner.

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Reviewing trees

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A visit to the City Council’s security camera centre at The Woodlands, to see that digital cameras provide much better images than analogue cameras – we’re planning to replace 4 of ours – and to see where trees could be pruned to improve the cameras’ views.
More anon.

Suspending public transport

Having seen England beat Sweden on Saturday, it was a bit of a surprise that people had left the big pubs on Friar Lane to demolish a taxi in front of a small crowd and to damage wing mirrors on buses.
NCT and NET responded by suspending services passing through Beastmarket Hill from the end of the Croatia match until the routes were cleared.  Crowd control directed people leaving the crowd of 3,000 away from Friar Lane and St.James Street.
Watching people coiming out, there were a few little melodramas – individuals striking out to show they were the ones most upset at England’s defeat to Croatia, or seeking to provoke an argument.  But nothing close to what had happened on Saturday occurred.
Some 200 Forest fans came together and marched down Long Row to Clumber Street to have a sing song.
Trams were running again 35 minutes after the final whistle.

England’s going home

Everyone seems to know the score
They’ve seen it all before
They just know
They’re so sure
That England’s gonna throw it away
Gonna blow it away

England’s going home …

As the media celebrate heroes, the ultimate irony is we’ve just experienced another episode which the song “Football’s coming home” so bewails.
Yep, we were singing how we always end up doing something rubbish at tournaments, and again we’ve thrown it away.  Well, an appearance in the final anyway.

And we’re back to what we’re used to.
Missing in front of goal and giving up on the importance of possession.

And the analysis remains woeful.  As extra time began, it was about heart and belief.

Having been the better side  in the first half, and having missed all those chances, we should have seen that Croatia would change, and we needed to change too, in a way that gave our players the opportunity to close down.  Instead, we kept pumping long balls way to long runs and we kept giving the ball away.

Take stock of England and their progress in the World Cup

The hype is back.  Media and commentators cannot leave it alone, and here are the latest examples.
1. England have exceeded expectations.  True, but only because the groups draw suggested that England would meet Brazil or Germany in the quarter-finals.
2. England’s players have been heroes.  False.  It’s only football.  But even in football terms, heroism comes when beating a side with a track record.  Circumstances means England can only now be heroic by beating France.
3. England’s players have been brilliant.  Bit unfair cos this has tended be a recent view from cheerleaders rather than football analysts.  Watch the Irish tv pundits and read the Guardian analysts for a more sober analysis.  But we know all our players have or have demonstrated flaws in this tournament with the possible exception of Kane.
4. England usually make us suffer in these competitions.  False.  The media make us suffer.  OK, Southgate has been a step above in being clear on his best formation and special tactics given the players available, and then tweaked selection to fit the plans.
5. The whole country is behind them.  False.  Viewing figures are still below half of England’s population, and once again, the failure to be sensitive to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

So why should we be proud of England in this tournament?
– In every game (except the England reserves – Belgium reserves game), England has gone out to attack, attacked with some potential of scoring in those attacks and that makes watching them so much more enjoyable.  And it is a change – we’re talking England, and the FA who in putting out their top 10 England competitive moments, put scoring a penalty as 2 of them
– The special teams play.  That great story – that Southgate met top US basketball teams to find out players can move in confined spaces when heavily marked.

England will beat Croatia by at least 2 goals.  True.  Well, opinion.  I’m actually prepared to go along with this one, not least cos everybody qualifies it with recognition for Croatia’s strengths.  But our players are commercially valued as worth twice as much, have developed a special teams approach with the ability to punch through a defence from set-pieces, the form has been improving, we have Harry Kane, and Trippier and Maguire, and Croatia have had longer games and look more tired.  Croatia do have an advantage in having more experienced players, and their midfield may well overwhelm Henderson (no criticism implied), but the punditry on Croatia has either been respectful, or passed them by, rather than announce that they’re not very good.

No extra cleaner air plan required

For some time, Nottingham was being picked out for projected increases in NO2 and extra plans to tackle it was being expected.
But it seemed odd given it was based on the projected growth of distance covered by cars in the city – and our public transport continues to attract custom.
A motion to do more was adopted at full council.
But the biggest thing we can do is in planning.  Two mantras – “cities are good for us” and “put mass transport first”.
Agglomeration – reducing the need for people to travel by bringing people’s homes, work, education and recreation closer together.
Putting mass transport first – and given the ability to expand the tram network seems so far off, we must not do anything that hits at the viability of the bus.
Meanwhile, the Conservative government announcement of measures such as electric car recharging form lampposts by 2040 pails into insignificance against plans of other countries such as the Netherlands who plan to cease the sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2025, and to start making progress on that through focussing on companies’ car fleets.

Full council – July 2018

We got as far as the minutes of the May meeting before the Conservatives started raising concerns – ‘the minutes were accurate but misleading’.  And they ‘didn’t contain answers to all the supplementary questions’.  A full 8 weeks since the last full council, and they hadn’t thought to correspond.
They then proceeded to tell Labour that we didn’t know how to run things.  Seemingly on the edge of welcoming Robin Hood Energy now that it had broken into surplus and is estimated to be worth £30 million as a business, and recognising how they thought such surpluses could reduce the Council tax; then saying it had all be done wrong and slightly surreal to hear the Conservatives talk about European regulations whilst Boris Johnson was leaving the government.

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Meanwhile, Labour was focussed on bigger issues than minutes –
– the concerns about the roll-out of Universal Credit depriving local people, putting them 4 weeks behind in payments; and being found to cost more to process than the existing benefits;
– the inability to build the houses people want cos of restrictions on use of right to but money;
– cleaner air;
– mental health, with a motion upon which one Conservative voted for and one abstained.