News from David Watts, Leader of the Liberal Democrates 23 November 2014

David-Watts1.Bramcote Hills Golf Course, 2. Christmas Lights, 3 Speeding Motorists, 4. Freemen of the Borough, 5. Homecoming Parade, 6. Expensive Cigarettes, 7. Fabric Collections, 8. Beeston Crime Café, 9. QMC Donations,  10. Alderman Pounder School , 11. Recycling Figures, 12. Christmas Market, 13. Stapleford Christmas Tree, 14. Closure of Devonshire Avenue junction, 15. Eastwood Planning Application, 16.  Operation Christmas Child. 

1.Bramcote Hills Golf Course

A planning application has been submitted to build a large retirement complex on the old Bramcote Hills Golf Course. A public meeting will be held for residents to discuss this next Wednesday (26th November) at 7.00pm at Bramcote College on Moor Lane. It will also be discussed at the Bramcote CAT meeting next Monday (1st December) also at 7.00pm. Applications like this illustrate the conflict that exists in the different roles that councillors have to undertake. As a member of the Development Control Committee I am meant to maintain neutrality until the night of the committee meeting but residents want their local councillors to say what they think of schemes like this. I’ve taken the view that this is one where being a spokesperson for my ward is most important so I will say from the outset that I think that this proposed scheme is absolutely awful. If this means that I can’t sit on the committee when this is discussed then so be it, but Bramcote residents have a right to know what their councillors think. I have to say that I do not think that there is any possibility of this scheme getting planning permission, nor do I think that the applicants will really expect to. What I imagine will happen is that the scheme will be turned down and that they will then come back with a smaller scheme in the hope that people will think “that’s not as bad as the last one” and therefore not object to this. If this is their tactic then I think that they will be disappointed. The golf course is protected open space and I do not think that any development there should be permitted.

Christmas Lights   – Many apologies to the residents of Eastwood that I missed their Christmas lights switch on off the list that I gave last week. The Eastwood lights will be switched on this Tuesday, 25th November, at 6.00pm in the town centre. There will also be the opportunity the next day for children to meet a Christmas fairy at the DH Lawrence Centre from 6pm to 8pm. The event costs £4 for children with adult carers free.

  1. Speeding Motorists  – Less good news for Eastwood residents is that the NG16 post code, which includes Eastwood, Nuthall and Kimberley, has been listed as one of the top ten post code areas in the country for motorists being fined for speeding. It was Number 7 on the national list, and had 1,399 motorists who had been fined for speeding last year.

 

  1. Freemen of the Borough  – At a ceremony last Wednesday the borough council awarded the honour of being a Freeman of the Borough to four residents. Traditionally this is awarded to significant citizens of the borough (not councillors or former councillors) during the last year of a council administration. The four recipients this time round were Barry Thornley, Jessie Clarke, Ron Faulks and Patrick Hamilton. You can read about each of them here:    http://www.broxtowe.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=13798

 

  1. Homecoming Parade  – Troops from 64 Works Group, 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group will mark their final return from Afghanistan on Friday 5th December at 10am with a Homecoming Parade through Beeston. They will be accompanied by the Queen’s Division Marching Band and the parade will march along Broadgate and Beeston High Road to the Town Hall in Foster Avenue. Hopefully there will be a good turn out from the public to support them.

6. Expensive Cigarettes  – Usually I don’t report on criminal in the newsletter but this story is a little out of the ordinary. In April this year one of the borough council’s neighbourhood wardens saw a taxi driver dropping a cigarette in the street in Beeston. Attempts were made to speak to him but the taxi driver refused to do so and refused to supply any details. Ultimately the details were obtained from his firm and he was given a £60 fixed penalty for littering. He didn’t pay this and so he was prosecuted. He appeared in court this week and was fined

£400 for littering, £200 for failing to provide his details and also ordered to pay £225 costs to the council. Hopefully he will think twice before dropping a cigarette again.

7. Fabric Collections   – I reported last week that the council would now collect waste fabric for recycling and this has generated quite a bit of correspondence. May I make it clear that if you have items that could be donated to a charity shop then we would still encourage you to do this. We are only aiming to collect items which would not have any use elsewhere. Fabric can be left out with your green bin on the same day that glass can be left out (i.e. once every four weeks).

  1. Beeston Crime Café  – This is, I confess, a new one for me but members of Beeston Crime Café will be discussing clichés of crime at their next meeting on Monday 24th November at 10.30am at Beeston library. Everyone is welcome to attend.

9. QMC Donations  – Congratulations to the customers, staff and visitors of the Cadland pub in Chilwell who have raised £1,100 to provide televisions and toys for the QMC.   They will be presenting their gifts tomorrow, 24th November, at 1pm. This is a fantastic achievement so well done to everyone involved.

10. Alderman Pounder School  in Chilwell is to receive a slightly unusual  new library. Rather than a new building or refurbish an existing one the library will be installed in a former bendy-bus which has been donated to the school.   Much of the cost has been met by the MoD as 49 pupils at the school have a parent in the armed forces.

 

  1. Recycling Figures  – Sadly the latest figures for the amount of waste recycled in Broxtowe make disappointing reading. The borough has the second highest recycling figures in Nottinghamshire, with 40% of our waste being recycled (behind Rushcliffe who recycle 51% of their waste) but this is down on last years figures and below the national average
  2.  Christmas Market  – Alderman White School in Chilwell will be organising a Christmas market on Saturday 29th November between 1.30 and 4.30pm. Entry is free and there will be a Santa’s grotto, arts and crafts and food and drink.

13. Stapleford Christmas Tree – Unfortunately the supplier who provides the Christmas tree to the council for Stapleford let us down badly by delivering a sub-standard tree. A number of residents have expressed their concerns about this and I’m pleased to say that they have now agreed to provide a replacement (and far better) tree free of charge.

  1. Closure of Devonshire Avenue junction – As part of the expansion of tram services to Beeston and Chilwell, work to construct new traffic islands on Devonshire Avenue at its junction with Chilwell Road and Middle Street is expected to start on Monday (24 November 2014).    The work is expected to take one month to complete and, while it takes place, it will not be possible for traffic to enter or exit Devonshire Avenue from the junction. Local traffic diversions will be in place.  The works will be carried out between 8am – 6pm, Monday – Friday and 8am – 4pm on Saturday. There should not be any working on a Sunday.
  2. Eastwood Planning Application  – A planning application has been submitted this week for 14 new houses to be built on Frearson Farm Court in Eastwood. The land off Chewton Street is currently full of derelict farm buildings and outhouses which would be demolished to make way for the new homes if the plans are approved. The proposals would see ten two-bedroom houses and four three-bedroom houses constructed on the former farm as well as a new cobbled road constructed to provide access. This is the sort of application that the council generally welcomes, as it is a brownfield site bringing old land back into use.

16.  Operation Christmas Child  – Congratulations to the pupils and staff at Nuthall’s Larkfields Infant School who filled more than 100 shoeboxes with toys ,games, stationery, sweets, gloves, scarves, hygiene items (toothbrushes, soap, toothpaste, and sports equipment which will be distributed to needy children the Samaritans Purse Operation Christmas Child..

As ever thank you for your support for this newsletter. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Best wishes  David

This entry was posted in Bramcote Planning Applications, Broxtowe Borough Council, Updates from Politicians. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to News from David Watts, Leader of the Liberal Democrates 23 November 2014

  1. “As a member of the Development Control Committee I am meant to maintain neutrality until the night of the committee meeting but residents want
    their local councillors to say what they think of schemes like this.”

    As did people with regards Field Farm, yet you ignored the concerns of ALL those people and voted to allow building of the Greenbelt.

    “I’ve taken the view that this is one where being a spokesperson for my ward is most important so I will say from the outset that I think that this proposed scheme is absolutely awful. If this means that I can’t sit on the committee when this is discussed then so be it, but Bramcote residents have a right to know what their councillors think.”

    So now you have lost the right to discuss and vote on this matter at the development committee, surely being on a committee and making a vote that counts is what is important, now you have lost the right to represent the ward you claim to represent. 

    “I have to say that I do not think that there is any possibility of this scheme getting planning permission, nor do I think that the applicants will really expect to. What I imagine will happen is that the scheme will be turned down and that they will then come back with a smaller scheme in the hope that people will think “that’s not as bad as the last one” and therefore not object to this. If this is their tactic then I think that they will be disappointed.”

    Again now you have made your views you have lost the chance to vote on this and represent the people of Bramcote. 

    “The golf course is protected open space and I do not think that any development there should be permitted.”

    But you was okay to vote to allow development on greenbelt, what’s the difference here, or is it that your becoming a NIMBY now. Or is Bramcote different to Stapleford or Toton.

    • Steve Austin says:

      Paragraph 4 in Richard Macrae’s comment is very worrying.

      David Watt’s objects to the development but appears to have excluded himself from discussing the proposal in Council Committee and voting on it.

      Do we have the representation on Broxtowe Borough Council that we have the right to expect?

      • David Watts says:

        Steve you seem to have got completely the wrong end of the stick and as a result made a comment which has no basis in fact whatsoever. I will be able to speak at the committee meeting and put forward the views of residents, I haven’t excluded myself from that at all. I won’t vote on it and so will have a substitute on that night who will vote. I think residents would prefer to have their councillors take a lead on things rather than have to sit on the fence. I doubt personally that the scheme will ever even get to a committee meeting as I think that it will be rejected by officers before that. I am disappointed that you chose to make your final comment in bold print without even checking the situation first.

        As for Macrae’s comments he complains that councillors don’t listen to residents and now complains when I do. He can’t have it both ways. The difference between applications now and the Field Farm/Toton issue is that they came as part of preparing a new local plan which had to be compliant with Government policy. Now that we have a local plan applications should be judged according to it and this does not fit in at all. I guess that what Macrae is saying is that he would rather we have building in Bramcote rather than in Stapleford.The irony of being called a NIMBY by him is not lost on me.

  2. Martin Plackett says:

    Richard,Steve. Just read your comments. Yes indeed it is worrying that David has disenfranchised himself from having an influence at the Council Development Committee on this important decision on Bramcote’s precious Green Space.
    Perhaps others might like to offer suggestions why he has made his views and decision known before hearing the views of the folk who elected him nearly 4 years ago this coming Wednesday and next Monday?

    • You guess wrong then as where have I mentioned building in Bramcote rather than Stapleford.

      Myself I know the importance of keeping green spaces and greenbelt for future generations to enjoy. And the golf course is part of the area that connects along from Wollaton Park right along to Field Farm. It all forms a great wildlife corridor.

      It’s amazing how now an election is on the way people’s attitudes change to where can and can’t be built though.

    • davidwatts12 says:

      Some people really do take the biscuit. If we’d stayed silent Martin would have been on here saying why aren’t our councillors saying where they stand.Because I’ve come out and expressed my view he has to find something else to moan about. I am very clear about the views of many local residents as I have had been contacted by many people living near the golf course, far more people than would usually get in touch over a planning application, and their responses have been 100% negative. If there are people who support this scheme then I can make sure that their views are accurately reported to the Development Control Committee (should it get that far) but my personal view, formed after studying the plans and supporting documents in detail, is that this scheme is wholly wrong.

  3. J Richards says:

    David, will your substitute have the same views as yourself? Or will they vote in favour?

    • davidwatts12 says:

      I do not imagine that anyone would vote in favour of this, This is a dreadful scheme and should be turned down flat.

  4. Martin Plackett says:

    I still find it a little strange that David as an experienced politician, having such firm views against the proposals should not have waited to hear the views of his Constituents before disenfranchising himself from voting at the Development and Planning Committee.. I believe the only other Liberal Democrat substitute on the Development Committee is one of our other Bramcote Ward Councillors? Does he have the same views as David or did he too visit Larkhill and have favourable views as to it’s amenities and the benefits it might bring to Bramcote? In any case I believe David should have withheld his views and listened to folk before making his opinion known.

    • davidwatts12 says:

      Martin is factually completely incorrect in his beliefs above as one quick check on the Broxtowe borough council website would have told him.

  5. Jan Goold says:

    Councillor Watts,
    Do I sense an election in the offing? or has the Leopard really changed his spots???

    • davidwatts12 says:

      So a Labour candidate thinks that my actions are driven by a forthcoming election. Thankfully I’m not that shallow.

      • Jan Goold says:

        I am not a prospective labour councillor Mr. Watts ! Just a perceptive member of the community.

      • beestonia - Matt Goold says:

        Jan Goold a Labour Candidate? Perhaps you should consult the electoral register before making slanderous comments, David. I can assure you I’m more likely to vote UKIP than see her voting, let alone standing for, Labour.

  6. Howard Shakespeare says:

    Bramcote Hills Golf Course is a Protected Open Space. That is the end of the argument. It can not and never should be built upon.
    The land is a haven for wildlife as it is rarely visited by people. As well as Foxes and Badgers there are Muntjack Deer and the occasional visit by Roe Deer.
    But here is another reason why it cant be built upon. The land is home to Grass Snakes. These are a protected species. Many residents on Balmoral Drive and Thoresby Road have had Grass Snakes in their gardens over the years. At this time of year they may well be hibernating but photographic evidence is available.
    The former golf course is part of a wildlife corridor which stretches from Derbyshire almost to Wollaton Park. To destroy this corridor would be catastrophic for many animals and detrimental to the residents of Bramcote.
    The current owners, prior to purchase of the golf course, were aware that the land was of a status that could not be built upon. It is not the business of the council to “Bail Out” property developers.

  7. stevejcarr says:

    I think David is right to do this. I have never sat on the Development Control Committee because of its “gagging” effect. As in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt , “Do what you think is right because you will be criticised for it anyway!”

  8. Alan Beale says:

    I agree Howard and to add to the list here are some more ecological reasons to retain its “protected open space” status

    1 My understanding is that all of the grassland is defined by Broxtowe Borough Council as “rare acid grassland”. If you google rare acid grassland you will see the proection that it requires. It is the same rare grass that grows at Wollaton Hall and the entire ridge from Wollaton Hall to West of the Hemlockstone forms a migratory route for wildlife.
    2 Voles and field mice are resident on the course and kestrel, sparrow hawk and buzzard are seen over the site and have been resident for many years. A record of over 50 bird species has been accurately recorded of birds seen on/in around the protected land
    3 A wide variety of bats feed above the land and again they have been resident for many years. Bats are a protected species and any disturbance will be illegal and Natural England have strict rules about this.
    The bats need to feed in darkness and the protected land provides this. Putting up so many properties and new street lights will simply mean that the bats will be unable to feed as the land will be lit up to such an extent that they will move away from their feeding site.
    4 The trees on site are in some cases protected by tree preservation orders and my understanding is that the hedge running around the site is of great historical value and may need to be saved for ecological reasons rather than being ripped out to gain access.
    5 I have always regarded the ecological value of the protected open space to be the same as that to land to the east of Thoresby Road ie the nature reserve and the two areas should be seen as one.

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