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:

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.




11 Academies close their doors:

Education Fellowship trust gives up all 12 schools over poor performance

Booming academy transfer market…

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.



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?


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.



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.




Nottingham Green Party:



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

White Hills Park Federation consults on disposal of land and surrender of lease

There are only a few days left to respond to the White Hills Park Federation consultation on its intention to apply to  the Secretary of State for Education for permission to sell the 10 hectares (approx 25 acres) of playing fields adjacent to Coventry lane. This land is owned by the Nottinghamshire County Council and leased by the Federation on a 125 year lease.

The Federation is also consulting on a proposed application to the Secretary of State for Education to surrender its lease with Nottinghamshire County Council of approximately 4.7 hectares (approx 2 acres) of land occupied by the school buildings of the Bramcote School (formerly the Park School).   The Federation claims that “No decision has been taken at this time regarding the future use of this site.” In fact Broxtowe councillors have already decided to earmark this land for “Land for replacement School. Land for replacement Leisure Centre if required”

Details are at:

The consultation is open until 9 April 2017:




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.

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

Book review: Toxic Town (Peter Little, 2014. New York Univerity Press, New Yo)

Peter Little provides an anthropologist’s view of how the International Business Machines Corporation (better known to most of us as IBM or even Big Blue and perhaps associated with HAL – the computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey) managed its withdrawal from Endicott – home of IBM’s first plant.

The (anti) hero of the story is trichloroethene – a solvent widely used in industry to degrease surfaces. TCE is a very volatile liquid and a carcinogen. TCE comprises a single hydrogen, 2 carbon and 3 chlorine atoms. Although only sparingly soluble in (ground)water, TCE’s toxicity is high enough that even the small amounts able to dissolve in water are able to pose risks to human health that merit concern.  In fact it only needs about 3 teaspoons of TCE for the water in an Olympic size swimming pool to exceed  drinking water standards.

When a natural scientist leaves his comfort zone he expects to be challenged. Little certainly managed that for this reader. He quotes Geertz on ethnographic fieldwork but the comment applies as much to reading anthropological takes on a familiar scenario. Reading Toxic Town “is an educational experience all around. What is difficult is to decide what has been learned”. Language such as “the enduring ambiguities of the TCE plume lurk and the plume’s extralinguistic material reality persists” (p181) takes some getting used to. But persistence pays off.

Little refers to literature that my own constituency will be familiar with – including publications by the Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council (ITRC). What we would call risk management or risk control measures Little refers to as mitigation – and broadens it, to include its spatial dimension, to “mitigation landscape”. “Venting systems with white plastic tubing running from basements to roofs are visible on nearly 500 houses and businesses in Endicott’s downtown area” (p 16).  He observes that this visible mitigation, that has “made risk ‘public'”, is in stark contrast to the “elusive plume lurking beneath”.

Ultimately this is a story that will be familiar with many in the contaminated land, hazardous waste, brownfield and risk based land management communities in the USA, Europe, China, Australia and beyond.  Those of us who seek to ensure our work is of value to, and valued by, our communities would do well to read this book and reflect on what we need to do to maintain (or perhaps obtain) a social licence to operate our various mitigation technologies.

Paul Nathanail



DISCLOSURE I was sent a review copy of the book, at my request, but have received no payment nor has my review been subject to any third party review, including by the author or his publishers.

Hole in one or hole in the foot? Musings on Bramcote Hills’ Golf Course

“No man is an island” and neither is any piece of land, whether private or public. Each site adjoins others, is visible from elsewhere and is part of the intricate web of flows of air, water, seeds and animals that respect no laws of trespass and know nothing of ownership.

But hermits can isolate themselves – in cave, a desert or atop the Stylites’ pole. I don’t need you and I reject your polluting influence on me. Land can be fenced off, gated and secured to keep out unwanted homo sapiens. But wildlife is more sensitive. The pavement slab, the stretch of tarmac, the splash of night light are chasms – unknown, unfamiliar and unfathomable. The chain is broken, the link severed, the corridor turned into a dead end.

Let’s turn now to the golf links. The ball is teed up, the club swung and the trajectory is true and sweet… the green approaches, the ball lands, rolls and… disappears in to the hole. A moment of glory, an eye blink of elation that hinged on a blade of grass, a gust of wind or even the angle the flag pole was returned. It’s traditional that the achievement of a hole in one is followed by paying for one’s envious friends drinks in the 19th hole. Such is the cost of such largess that one can buy insurance against that glorious day.

When undeveloped land is built on, to all intents and purposes it’s forever. No till death do us part, no quickie divorce. The decision to build may take as long as a planning committee takes to raise its hands. The consequences echo down the years and decades. A monument to those raised hands. Sure the buildings will last, sure they’ll be used. But at what price? And who’s, and what’s, paying the cost? How far will the ripples go?

Broxtowe’s tory blue councillors face a dilemma this coming week. On Wednesday, 20 July 2016, do they follow the advice of their officers and permit development of part of the former Bramcote Hills’ golf course or do they listen to the clamour of the local community and the trinity of local councillors who stood on tickets so green they were the envy of Robin Hood.

As they ponder their decision, they might reflect on why they are in this position in the first place. They might lament the missed opportunities: Beeston Town Centre Phase 1, the air space above the bus-tram interchange, profligate low density development, the lure of the silver screen in Town Centre Phase 2.

They might also copy St Ignatius of Loyola. Eyes closed… fast forward in time: what will Bramcote look like if they say ‘aye’ and what if they defy their officers and say ‘nay’?

Is the ridge the place for concrete, bricks and mortar? If so, why stop at the Golf Course? What example will they be giving to others? Will this be a starting gun fired to encourage others in the race to pave Bramcote yet further?

Or is the ridge the place to savour that sweet moment of saying Bramcote is good; Bramcote works; Bramcote is sustainable. Even if there may be a, post hole in one, challenging cost to saying so.

This is a defining moment for a blue administration that wants to be seen as green: will it be a sweet hole in one or a bullet hole in the foot?

Wednesday night will tell.

Proper Planning Prevents Pitiful Places for People

Britain has a long standing policy of plan led development to make sure that a presumption in favour of land owners developing their land as they wish is tempered with the impact of the wishes and needs of others.
Every decade or so local planning authorities decide how much development and what sort of development their area needs and then produce maps of where they would wish such development to take place.
Inevitably plans are controversial. Change is uncomfortable – but inevitable. Plans allow for the wider, positive and negative, impacts of new developments to be anticipated and the worst errors avoided while minimising the chances of opportunities being missed.
People living in an area have long had a voice in agreeing local plans – through formal and informal consultation. While that voice may be heard, it is not always listened to.
As a country we can have pretty much anything we want. But we cannot have it everywhere and we cannot have everything. Negotiation, compromise, altruism and mutual understanding can give power not only to our elbow but also to our collective voice.