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GE17 manifesto musings: Forward together, Conservatives

A few years ago, HM Treasury documents made detailed reference to ‘brownfield’ sites. Forward Together makes none.

Green Belt merits a single mention, in the context of the ‘strong protection’ such designated areas are supposed to enjoy, unless it is in Broxtowe it seems.

Other ‘pointless’ terms are: waste, renewable, previously developed land, surplus, unwanted.

So our green and pleasant land doesn’t really get much of a look in…

GE2017 Liberal Democrat manifesto

Sorry this is so short! (and late). ‘Changing Britain’s future’ it seems does not include saying anything about the green belt (or even ‘greenbelt’) nor about brownfields.

But there is talk of enforcing house building on unwanted public sector land. No details on who decides whether or not it is unwanted or if the proposal allows for different types of public land owner.

There is talk of a land tax, and mention of a potential Tory landslide.

There is also a lot of rubbish. Well, waste to be more precise. A 70% target for recycling and also extending the landfill tax to an incineration tax.

There is also talk of a Zero-Waste Act, including legally binding targets for reducing net consumption of key natural resources, and introducing incentives for businesses to improve resource efficiency – something very high on the EU agenda too.

GE2017: Musings on the Green Party Manifesto

The Green Party Manifesto (https://bramcotetoday.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/green-party-manifesto.pdf) has the byline of being for a “Confident and Caring Britain”. It seems we are no longer Great nor a United Kingdom.

In fact “the environment is top of the political agenda” according to the Greens.

As usual I will focus on planning and related environmental matters rather than delve into foreign, health, care etc. policies – plenty of places where those topics are discussed. So this will not take too long.

The Manifesto makes no mention of brownfields.

It makes a single reference to Green Belt – with a promise of “Strong Protection”. However there are no details of what form this strong protection will take nor how it will be stronger than the current strong protections in the National Planning Policy Framework.

One policy that may well strike a chord with residents of Bramcote is “Equality of access to nature and green spaces…”.  

In terms of energy – ‘fracking’, coal and nuclear are out and ” clean green efficient renewable energy of the future” is in. The Greens will also be “investing in community owned energy.”  No mention of either oil or gas – perhaps that is in the Scottish Green Party manifesto.  Devolution also features in a disclaimer on the back page that any policies relevant to areas that have been devolved to the Welsh Assembly would only apply to devolution-free England. The question to the answer about life the universe and everything has been known for decade. Perhaps it is high time the West Lothian question was answered.

Those of us frustrated at the long delays between land being granted planning permission and the first brick being laid would welcome “a trial of a Land Value Tax to encourage the use of vacant land and reduce speculation”.

More homes are needed. The Greens would “significantly increase the numbers of homes built to lifetime home and mobility standards over the next 5 years.”  This is important for Bramcote’s ageing population and could well help alleviate the pressure for family homes in the area.

Sadly neighbourhood plans do not feature.

But “ecologically sustainable development” does – even if the phrase is not defined.  So I looked it up. In Australia the phrase means ” ‘using, conserving and enhancing the community’s resources so that ecological processes, on which life depends, are maintained, and the total quality of life, now and in the future, can be increased’.” (http://www.environment.gov.au/about-us/esd) Oh and by the way, that is the only time the prefix “ecolog-” is used in the entire Green Party manifesto.

Finally traffic. HS2 would be scrapped and so would the  national major roads programme. There would be investment in regional railways, especially in the South West and Northern England. Trains would be renationalised, buses re-regulated and walking/ cycling be promoted as the modes of transport of choice.

PS Hope you liked the green text!

 

 

 

GE17 manifesto musings: Labour’s ‘For the Many, Not the Few’

The Labour Party manifesto ‘For the Many, Not the Few’ (http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017) was leaked and then published in the last few days.

It makes but one mention each of brownfield, greenbelt (sic) and green belt.

“We will prioritise brownfield sites and protect the greenbelt. We will start work on a new generation of New Towns to build the homes we need and avoid urban sprawl.”

“The balance needs resetting: our air is killing us, our farms face an uncertain future, our fish stocks are collapsing, our oceans are used as dumping grounds, and our forests, green belt, national parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest are all under threat.”

While seas, bees and plastic bottles will be addressed there is nothing on how threats to green belt will be neutralised.

There is no mention of neighbourhood plans but there is a promise of more neighbourhood police.

In terms of planning, there are promises to strengthen planning authorities but no mention of neighbourhood forums. The assumption is these authorities know and act in accordance with community interests. Extra funds for local authorities are promised, paid for perhaps by a ‘land tax’.

The reasons behind so many pub closures will be reviewed to see what can be done.

Drinkers are promised ‘first class’ bus services by re regulating buses and getting councils to run them. Nottingham of course is blessed with excellent bus services, independently run, supported by ever improving council funded infrastructure: bus lanes, bus stops, robin hood cards. Retrofitting diesel buses, rather than more ‘poo buses’, is the way Labour will keep buses moving.

HS2 will be built… and extended to Scotland and perhaps elsewhere too. London’s Cross Rail 2 tunnels will also see the ‘light of day’.

The University towns of Oxford, Cambridge and… Milton Keynes will be linked by the rail Science Vale route.

Recognising the demographic time bomb, “we will ensure that local plans address the need for older people’s housing, ensuring that choice and downsizing options are readily available.”

Depending on how this pans out, it could release under occupied family homes and create communities that rescue our elderly out of loneliness. At least any raging against the dying of the light can be done in choirs not as unheard solos.

There will be investment for new school buildings and a promise to remove asbestos from existing buildings. Sadly no specific return to the Schools for the Future programme is mentioned.

Nuclear deterrence will be maintained but the nuclear power industry is mainly spoken of in terms of its potential for worldwide decommissioning work. Staying in Euratom suggest an interest in generation too. So does references to ‘no carbon’, as opposed to renewable, energy sources. Tidal lagoons get a special mention among a general warmth for renewables.

No mention of soil, shale gas, minerals or, parochially, geology.

I suspect the above won’t get prominence in reporting the manifesto contents. Thank goodness for PDFs and search functions.

I think, therefore… I vote

“I think, therefore I am.”

I THINK giving Coventry Lane playing fields to the White Hills Park trust, a private company limited by guarantee, is wrong, THEREFORE I AM a candidate for the County Council elections on 4 May.

I hope you, dear readers, will think the same and say to yourselves “I am going to vote for PAUL NATHANAIL” on 4 May.

An article in last Wednesday’s Times caught my eye. It’s about a ‘damning’ report on over spending on free schools while ‘other schools were crumbling’.

More places are needed, ‎420,000 by 2021 it seems. The report apparently shows that half of new places in free schools will not be needed. And anyway places in free schools cost 50% more than those in local authority ‘maintained’ schools.

The leader of the Association of School and College Leaders laid down a £6.7 billion gauntlet before the new government. That is how ‎much is needed to ‘return all existing school buildings to satisfactory or better condition’ and maintain them.

I do not agree with Labour party policies that have essentially nationalised parenting over the past twenty years. Conversely it seems the Conservative policy of privatising state education is both wasteful and‎ inefficient.

Bramcote & Beeston North as well‎ as all divisions in Nottinghamshire should return county councillors who will work to keep state education fit for purpose starting by keeping public land and buildings in public hands.

Oh, that report? It was the Public Accounts Committee on the Department for Education

If you think you’d like to help stop the planned giveaway‎ of the Coventry Lane playing fields, please vote PAUL NATHANAIL on 4 May.

Paul Nathanail is the independent ‎candidate for Bramcote and Beeston North in the Nottinghamshire County Council elections.

Please consider voting for PAUL NATHANAIL on 4 May 2017 to help retain land and school buildings in public ownership.

This message is promoted by Peter Nathanail on behalf of Paul Nathanail, both of 8 6 Moor Lane, Bramcote

Invitation to Paul Nathanail’s web-meeting on Labour’s proposed ‘great giveaway’ of the Coventry Lane playing fields

Why would a Labour-controlled county council want to give away the Coventry Lane Playing Fields to an independent academy trust? 

Find out more during a short web-based meeting with Paul Nathanail, today at 5pm. 

Paul will speak for no more than 15 minutes and then answer questions sent in by those watching. 

Please register for:
On Earth Day 2017, Paul Nathanail asks “What on earth was Labour thinking of?”
on Apr 22, 2017 5:00 PM BST at: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5743725980368020482

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from the webhosting server (LQM trainer) containing information about joining the webinar.

If you cannot make it, then register anyway and Paul will send you a recording to watch at your leisure. 

I hope to meet up this afternoon.

Paul Nathanail
Candidate for Bramcote and Beeston North in the Nottinghamshire County Council elections. 

Please consider voting for PAUL NATHANAIL on 4 May 2017 to help retain land and school buildings in public ownership

Promoted by Peter Nathanail on behalf of Paul Nathanail, both of 86 Moor Lane, Bramcote

School rebrokering and all that – What happens if it goes pear shaped?

“Marriage is for life” – well that is certainly my opinion although 27 years in I cannot be sure as I have yet to complete my first marriage!

But death and taxes apart, few things are certain in this life. So spending a bit of time thinking about what could go wrong, how to prevent it and how to minimise the damage in case things do go “pear shaped” is probably wise.

What happens when an academy trust is judged as underperforming is its schools are ‘rebrokered’ – that is they are transferred to someone approved by the Department for Education (DfE) to support an underperforming academy, a so-called ‘sponsor’.

Last month the first academy trust in the country had to give up all its schools after financial problems and concerns from Ofsted over poor outcomes for pupils.  In February it was reported that “more than 100 schools are now rebrokered every year”. There is also a growing multi-academy trust (MAT) merger market.

There is no suggestion here that WHP is facing the prospect of rebrokering but neither is there a guarantee that it won’t at some point in the future. Nor that it will not become part of a larger multi academy trust which may want to dispose of assets in Bramcote to fund activities elsewhere.

Only by retaining any land and buildings in County Council ownership can the public be sure that these assets will continue to be available for the children of Bramcote, Beeston North and Stapleford now and into the future. What happens in 40 years time when the new buildings will need replacing?

Bramcote faces losing much of its green belt and large swathes of its open space because the LibDem/ Conservative coalition government cancelled the Labour Government’s Building Schools for the Future scheme just as Nottinghamshire schools were getting to the front of the queue.

Since then, the academy that runs the Bramcote and Alderman White schools chose to seek its independence from the County Council, becoming a Multi Academy Trust in 2012. It took on the lease of the land and buildings. It has been unable to maintain the buildings of the Bramcote School and is closing the buildings down in June.

The need for new buildings is clear. The reason for a Labour controlled County Council handing land, and essentially the money to build these buildings, over to a Trust outside the public sector is not at all clear.  The County Council could rebuild and then lease the land and buildings to the Trust.

On balance it is sensible to vote on 4 May for a councillor who will give Bramcote & Beeston North a voice in County Hall to help keep #PublicLandsInPublicHands

Paul Nathanail
The Independent Candidate for Bramcote & Beeston North.

Please consider voting for PAUL NATHANAIL on 4 May 2017 to help retain land and school buildings in public ownership.

SIGN UP TO MY EMAIL LIST: http://eepurl.com/cKuty1

 

Links:

11 Academies close their doors:
http://schoolsweek.co.uk/11-academy-trusts-close-their-doors/

Education Fellowship trust gives up all 12 schools over poor performance
http://schoolsweek.co.uk/education-fellowship-trust-gives-up-all-12-schools-over-poor-performance/

Booming academy transfer market…
http://schoolsweek.co.uk/booming-academy-transfer-market-pushes-costs-to-potential-30m/

Promoted by Peter Nathanail on behalf of Paul Nathanail, both of 86 Moor Lane, Bramcote, Nottingham, NG9 3FH

 

 

Homes on the Bramcote School site?

“Enabling development” refers to development that would usually be considered harmful but is considered acceptable because the resulting benefits outweigh the harm.   Our planning system has developed over the past 70 years into a sophisticated but complex system to help make decisions about land use.  The concept of “enabling development” is one that will be central to the decisions about what to do with Bramcote’s green belt in the coming months.

White Hills Park (WHP) Federation’s advisors consider that building 300 homes on the Coventry Lane playing fields to be enabling development – this much is not news. However they also consider development for housing on the current site of the Bramcote School to be enabling development too.  Yes, they talk about 40+ new homes on that site.

The harm is clear enough. Housing on the Bramcote School site. A figure of 40 homes or more has been mentioned in correspondence between WHP advisors and County Council officials. This would change the character of the area, reduce options on where to redevelop a leisure centre in Bramcote and fly in the face of the Broxtowe Councillors’ decision to allocate that land for educational or leisure uses.  That is also the site that the Bramcote residents most want to see developed for a new leisure centre before or at the same time as any school building.

So what might the benefits of building 40 or more houses on the Bramcote School site be? Principally building those homes it seems would raise some £2million for the County Council so it can expand Bramcote Hills Primary School to accommodate extra children from all the new housing in the area.

So because WHP cannot afford to build its new buildings, it wants Notts County Council to gift it land to raise the £20 million for the new buildings. And, because of the extra children, Bramcote Hills Primary School will need to be expanded. And to pay for this, Notts County Council needs to sell the site of the Bramcote School for housing.

I wonder when the councils involved were planning to tell us?

Perhaps it is time not only for Public land in public hands but also for state schools in public hands!

 

 

Paul Nathanail

The Independent Candidate for bramcote & Beeston North.

Please consider voting for PAUL NATHANAIL on 4 May 2017 to help retain land and school buildings in public ownership.

SIGN UP TO MY EMAIL LIST: http://eepurl.com/cKuty1

 

Promoted by Peter Nathanail on behalf of Paul Nathanail, both of 86 Moor Lane, Bramcote, Nottingham, NG9 3FH

Shale gas in Broxtowe: Labour’s dilemma; LibDem confusion and Tory … environmentalism?

The County Council planning committee voted on 22 March to give planning permission for further exploration for shale gas in the county.

The vote was close: 6 councillors in favour and 5 against granting planning permission.

The Nottingham Green Party reports that the councillors in favour of more exploration for shale gas were four Labour councillors, one Liberal Democrat and an Independent.

The five who voted against further exploration for shale gas were three Conservatives, a Labour and an Independent.

So I WAS SURPRISED TO read in the Winter/Spring 2017 issue of the “Labour Today” news sheet that Labour is against fracking in Broxtowe although they voted in support of fracking elsewhere in the county.

Labour says it has “major concerns about this controversial technology” and it believes “that it will contribute to damaging climate change; it will snarl up our roads with heavy construction traffic; and it could pose a serious threat to water supplies”. So why are their county councillors voting (4 to 1) for such technology?

LABOUR SHOULD CLARIFY WHETHER THEY ARE IN SUPPORT OF FRACKING IN NOTTS OR AGAINST IT.

The LibDems cast their single vote – and it turns out to have been a crucial vote – in favour of further exploration. What do their Green Party electoral partners make of this I wonder? Do they regret not standing in Bramcote and Beeston North to give voters a true choice?

And the Conervatives? The three Tory councillors voted against granting planning planning permission for further exploration. While a Conservative government overturns County Council decisions elsewhere and gives a green light to hydraulic fracturing.

Only an independent councillor for Bramcote and Beeston North will fight to protect our area from the enormous environmental impact shale gas extraction brings with it.

Paul Nathanail
Please vote for PAUL NATHANAIL for an independent voice for Bramcote and Beeston North in County Hall.

 

SIGN UP TO MY EMAIL LIST: http://eepurl.com/cJf5x5

NOTICE: The author is the independent candidate for Bramcote and Beeston North in the County Council elections on 4 May 2017.

Please consider voting for PAUL NATHANAIL on 4 May 2017 to help retain land and school buildings in public ownership.

 

 

LINKS:

Nottingham Green Party: https://nottingham.greenparty.org.uk/news/2017/03/22/county-council-vote-6-5-in-favour-of-second-exploratory-drill/

Drillordrop: https://drillordrop.com/2017/03/21/live-updates-decision-meeting-on-igas-shale-plans-for-tinker-lane-notts/#comments

 

Promoted by Peter Nathanail on behalf of Paul Nathanail, both of 86 Moor Lane, Bramcote, Nottingham, NG9 3FH