A flying trip to Manchester for work gave me the chance to try out the tram system.
As a stranger to the city I appreciated the ease of using the tram knowing it was going to the mainline train station. I will confess however that knowing which direction to catch was harder than I thought.
Beeston’s tram offers a rare chance for renewal and regeneration.
The morning was spent going through seven party manifestos to see what the parties (Greens, UKIP, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Liberal Democrats, Conservative and Labour) said about brownfield, contamination, housing, green belt and planning.
Helping first time buyers was seen as important – but the mechanisms proposed were very different.
Key common themes were the need for more housing (but not how much), quickly and of good design for both young people and an ageing population.
Brownfield were seen as key sites for development. But I didn’t see much mention of the role of medium rise development in town centres. Such housing is very popular in many cities and towns like Beeston. They reduce car use, increase footfall into local shops (such as the award winning Fred Hallam’s) and foster greater community spirit. UKIP and the Greens want to scrap the National Planning pPolicy fFramework.
Late in the afternoon I was in the audience for the East Midlands Chamber hustings. Representatives of the Green, Liberal Democrat, UKIP, Labour and Conservative parties answered questions in the comfortable surroundings of the Experian offices at NG2. All their manifestos place a great deal of emphasis on housing. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) plays a central role in determining where to build, through its the presumption in favour of ‘sustainable development’. I was disappointed therefore that no candidate seemed to have a view on whether we needed guidance on what is UNSUSTAINABLE development, which should be refused planning permission.
The trials and tribulations of the tram construction are almost over and the trials of the new trams are underway. While Bramcote residents may well benefit – directly or indirectly – from the tram extension, none of the line and no stops are within Bramcote.
The congestion around the QMC and ‘Toby Inn’ roundabouts drove me out of my car and onto the i4, my bike and even occasionally on foot along the delightful Bramcote Ridge to get to work in University park. I won’t be going back to my car.
However ‘popping in to Beeston’ to repair a mobile phone, pay in a cheque at my bank or
“If you keep doing what you’ve done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve got”
These words are not mine but they’ve stuck in my mind since I first heard them from a friend a decade or so ago.
Our councillors have gone about formulating our local plan – their vision of Broxtowe over the next decade or two and beyond – on the premise of ‘business as usual’. That just won’t do!
The world changed in 2009 and Broxtowe is changing this year once our new tram service comes on ‘stream’.
Yet our Bramcote’s councillors backed the removal of Field Farm from the green belt to allow housing to be built in an attempt to meet targets they adopted themselves (having been freed from Central Government targets weeks after our coalition government came to power in 2010.
The developer’s own evidence shows they cannot mitigate the impact the extra road traffic will have on the double mini-roundabout at the site of the former Jaguar pub (now home to a convenient coop and fish’n’chip shop).
So our councillors have chosen a course of action that will weaken the green belt, destroy rehabilitated soil and add to an already over capacity road junction. Clearly unsustainable development.
If you agree with the above then please consider how your vote on 7 May can help put an end to ‘business as usual’.
Thanks for your attention!
Independent Candidate, Bramcote Ward
Broxtowe Borough Council is an endangered institution. Whether you think it ought to be subsumed into an expanded Greater Nottingham or not it is important to remember that it has not always existed. It formed in 1974 by merging two Urban Districts and part of a Rural District.
People who have read my campaign leaflet will realise that I think our councillors were wrong to take Field Farm out of the green belt. Yet that area of grade II and III agricultural land was, for a short period of time, an opencast coal site (OCCS). Hardly land to fight over. Yet much effort, energy and expense meant the scarred land an OCCS leaves behind was rehabilitated.
Soil is an essential resource. Soil is a threatened resource. Soil feeds us, filters our water and supports biodiversity. Soil does so much more too.
Our councillors chose to sacrifice a scarce resource for the easy option for meeting their own housing targets. Despite the extra traffic development would cause. Despite considerable local opposition.
Our councillors got it wrong on that small piece of soil. Over the next few months the final parts of our local plan will be put in place. I believe our local councillors have let us down, badly. That is why I’m standing as an independent candidate in Bramcote. If you agree then please consider voting for PAUL NATHANAIL on 7 May.
Thanks for taking the time to read this,
Five hours of leafletting yesterday afternoon and early evening meant I woke up with sore leg muscles this morning.
Bramcote was at its sunniest best and people were busy in their gardens, kids playing and the wise ones sitting in the sunshine soaking up the vitamin D.
Next week the schools reopen and the traffic levels will build up again as the Easter break comes to an end.
I wonder if we will come to rue past policies that led to large swathes of housing estates that result in having to ‘jump in the car’ to do anything /whether that is work, shop or play).
In the meantime it may be worth pondering on how the green belt has served Bramcote and what we need to do to ensure it continues to serve us and our children in years to come. This article gave me food for thought:
On 7th May we have the chance to
Think local – vote local
Played the BBC online game of building a coalition to try and achieve the 326 votes needed for a majority in Westminster.
With the polls suggesting no single party will win an overall majority and many parties winning fewer than a handful of seats, the political landscape looks busier than a Greek meze or Danish smorgasbord.
One of my coalitions needed 5 parties to cross the 326 line.
If you fancy a go at PM-making go to:
Since we are faced with local and general elections on the same day I hope folks in Broxtowe and specifically in Bramcote will:
Think national – vote national, and then
Think local – vote local.
Bins out – check
Son packed for school trip – check
Chores in Beeston – check
Evening meal sorted – check
Must be time to walk to Bramcote Memorial Hall for an hour or two of ballroom/latin. Strictly fun.
With the upcoming national Nordic Walking challenge (19 May in Wollaton park) I made an effort to get to tonight’s class held in Bramcote Hills Park. Five of us set off from the leisure centre car park and enjoyed to open space on Moor Lane fields and Hills Park. Plenty of gradients to stretch muscles and work the lungs. Passing by the group being worked hard on the ‘boot camp’ we nodded in acknowledgment of their efforts at log lifting.
BTW I caught the Nordic Walking bug after a taster at last year’s Hemlock Happening – thanks Stan!
Caught most of the ‘opposition leaders’ debate.
Walking is good for us!
A tweet comparing brain activity before and after 30 minutes of walking caught my eye. Whether it’s the increased flow of oxygen or simply time away from the keyboard (note to self!), who knows.
As newly weds we would go for hour long post prandial walks around our Wimpey built housing estate in Hayes… and always enjoy the burst of green in the little pocket park built next to a small brook (perhaps the flood hazard was too high to build on).
Nearby is the Minet country park developed over the years on wasteland (what a strange concept!) by A Rocha.
Perhaps day long meetings like the one I’ve been in should have at least one walking session, say straight after the midday meal.