Broxtowe election campaign needs your help

The Broxtowe Green Party election campaign is well and truly under-way as we join the other parties in stating our case before the crucial elections on May 7th.

It has been disappointing to see that with stakes high for all parties the behaviour of some is letting their supporters down but also politics in general.

We have in the recent past seen a Labour councillor apologise for remarks relating a colleague to Eva Braun, The Labour leader of Broxtowe Borough Council using highly offensive language to a constituent and refusing to apologise and another Labour councillor admitting to condoning the use of aliases on social media in order to generate support for the Tram plans in Kimberley and referring to this period of campaigning for a government and local councils as “silly season” . This puts politics in a very dim light at a time when we need to engage with the community to encourage as many as possible to vote on May 7th. It seems Broxtowe Labour have abandoned their previous mantra of Positive Politics.

The Green Party will continue to offer an alternative to the old style politics and will continue to see how welcome this is to voters as they realise politics can change if they change their vote.

You will no doubt have seen that the Green Party has more than doubled its membership in recent months and now has a larger number of members than UKIP or the Lib Dems. This is fantastic news and makes OFCOM’s view of not being a major party even more ridiculous.

As the arguments continue over whether we are included in the leaders debates, and we continue to be ignored by the media (even when we poll higher than Lib Dems in opinion polls we don’t appear in the graphics) we continue to work at a local level in raising concerns of those we represent and winning over new supporters through common sense and hard work.

The coming months will be our chance to make a real impact on all the results that come in on May 8th, we have the supporters, we have the commitment what we now need are the funds. Its an unfortunate fact that elections cost a lot of money and as a party we will not sell out and become beholden to any wealthy backers. We rely on our supporters at grass roots level to support our campaigns.

With this in mind we would ask you to consider making a donation however small to our campaign here in Broxtowe. We need £500 for the deposit to stand in the parliamentary election, £800 to print leaflets for the Freepost service and funds for other local campaigns.

Any amount will help us win so whether its £5 or £500 please support our campaign.

If you can help financially  please follow the link below

DONATE HERE

If you cant help financially then there are still lots of ways to help

Join us 

JOIN HERE

Like our Facebook pages 

Broxtowe Green Party Facebook Page

Kimberley Green Party Facebook Page

Follow us on Twitter 

@BroxtoweGreens

@davegaz

Help with canvassing/leafleting

email:  david.kirwan@greenparty.org.uk Tel 07454 771271

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Posted in General Election 2015 | Leave a comment

Happy New Year

2015 promises to be an exciting year, and hopefully a year of real change for Broxtowe and for the Green party.

The general election in May will be the first time there has been a real break away from traditional 2 party politics with real hope that the Green party surge will continue to massively build on our current representation in Westminster.

The Green party has more than doubled its membership across the country and that is reflected here in Broxtowe too, there is a real sense that together we can change politics for good.

Across the UK we are within touching distance now of the Lib Dems and UKIP in membership terms, polling ahead of the Lib Dems in opinions polls and regularly finishing ahead of them in actual by elections. This started in Newark with my own campaign back in June and repeated itself in Clacton and again in Rochester.

We now know that the Green party is becoming the party of choice for more and more people and especially amongst young voters who are disenfranchised by the traditional parties and want a new way of working.

People want a fairer society that looks after those who are in need and narrows the gap between the haves and have not’s. Austerity has crippled public services and been devastating to so many people who played no part in the economic crisis created by the banking industry and greed.

There is a huge opportunity for the Green party to get our message out loud and clear that we are not a 1 or 2 policy party but a party of real change. A party that will build a better society by introducing not a minimum wage but a living wage that enables people to live decent lives.  We will protect the NHS unlike the current coalition and the previous Labour governments who both introduced and grew the privatisation of the NHS. We will give what the Lib Dems promised but failed to do and that is education free from tuition fees and a re-nationalised and affordable rail system. These are radical proposals but they are also achievable with a new way of politics that is not beholden to any particular group in society.

The “traditional” parties have taken us too far in the wrong direction for long enough and are worried the Green message is getting through resulting with refusal to allow Natalie Bennett to be heard in the leaders debates, Labour setting up their own specific unit to tackle the Green surge and almost complete media blackout.

They still try to say change is not possible but more and more people are seeing it is, and the Green party is offering that change.

The first step to that change is with each individual vote that is cast, as with each Green vote the change comes quicker.

Locally we also are able to make a huge difference this year with borough and town elections taking place on the same day as the general election.

Broxtowe has suffered one of the highest spending cuts inflicted by the coalition government on any authority in the country at over 6% in a single year and this will compound the already drastic cuts faced by the area.

Labour controlled Broxtowe borough council continues to fly in the face on public opinion by making decisions to build on green belt land, encourage the Oxylane development by bringing it back for a third time despite meaning the almost certain closure of local and accessible leisure facilities in Kimberley and Eastwood and pursuing a tram feasibility study in Kimberley again despite it being rejected just weeks ago by the council and before we have learned the lessons of Beeston and even know if there is genuine support from the local community.

As with national we need change in local politics too, a change where people’s views are listened to and we have real consultation and act in the interests of those we represent and not the parties we represent. Green party councillors are never whipped to vote one way or another they vote in the interest of the people who vote for them.

In Kimberley the fight to protect the local chapel without support from resident is being spearheaded by Green Councillor Kat Boettge and this is just one example from many of how Green councillors support communities.

In May we have the chance to make that change both locally and nationally so let’s continue to increase our membership and get our message out and wake up with a better society on May 8th .

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Kimberley Town Council Votes on Chapel

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Last night (18/12/14) Kimberley Town Council met to decide the future of the iconic Cemetery Chapel.

The future of the Chapel has been the subject of debate for many years and whilst the debate has continued the chapel has fallen into disrepair and was closed as it had become unsafe over 2 years ago.

Whilst those choosing to use the chapel for funeral arrangements were small in number approx 3-4 per year the significance of being able to use the Chapel as a resting place and also burial service is significant for many in Kimberley and the withdrawal of this facility is something that causes genuine distress to many.

There have been many suggestions for the future of the chapel and many plans considered, there are also many aspects of the council’s plans that I agree with, they are;

  • There needs to be progress made on the chapel so it can be preserved and re-opened for the community, this is something all those who care about the chapel agree on.
  • Whatever the future of the chapel, if it is to be used for any gatherings Weddings, Funerals, meetings or whatever there has to be basic facilities and these would include a toilet and facility for making a hot drink. I realise not all similar venues do accommodate this but in 2014 we are in a place where these are basic needs for gatherings of people.

There has been speculation that the council plans to build a kitchen within the chapel would result in it becoming a social venue with parties etc I don’t believe this is the intention of the council or would be of any future council. The sensitivity of the area is something that everyone agrees on I am sure.

However there are many areas of the plans put forward by Kimberley Town Council where I do have concerns.

For those who haven’t followed recent events the council commissioned surveyors Faithful & Gould to report on what repairs the chapel needed, what was the local opinion on its future use and to suggest ways the chapel could be developed going forward. The cost of this work was £11,500 and although denied by some of the council now the clear intention at the time was that Faithful and Gould would also then submit the plans to various bodies to seek funding on behalf of the council and as this would be done professionally it would result in higher grants being awarded than if the council did it alone. Hence the £11,500 was seen as an investment to recoup future funding.

This is why I when on the council voted in favour of commissioning Faithful and Gould.

In fact it was later revealed after the commission that Faithful and Gould would not undertake any applications for funding on behalf of the council and therefore the £11,500 fee merely produced a set of proposed plans for the chapel and a survey of local residents both of which could have been obtained locally at minimal cost.

There has more recently been a series of ideas put forward including the addition of an extension to the chapel which due to local feeling and planning issues have now been dropped. Consultation has been minimal, last night’s meeting was only advertised by the council on its website and the actual drawings of how it plans to convert the chapel have not been publicised. Calls last night from both the public and councillors to continue with a robust consultation were not even put to a vote. Most people in Kimberley I am sure will not know what is planned for their chapel and have not been able to give informed comment.

The council now plan not to extend the building but to convert the small room opposite the entrance to a toilet facility and to place a kitchen in the front of the main area that most would recognise as the ‘alter` space although I appreciate as an un-consecrated chapel it isn’t an later in fact. The pews will be removed and replaced by movable conference seating.

The costings are anticipated to be:

Concrete block and beam floor with 150mm insulation and 70mm screed    £7,500

Wet system underfloor heating with electric boiler £6,000

Disabled toilet £1,200

Separate room to front of chapel (alter) £2,600

New Kitchen in above room £2,300

Electrics and LED lighting £4,700

Septic tank and drainage £7,200

New water pipe from existing supply £3,000

Building regulations £600

Decoration £1,100

Floor coverings £1,800

5% contingency £1,900

Total cost of plans in region of £40,000

I asked repeatedly last night what applications had been made to any bodies for funding grants and was only told of a grant from Nottinghamshire County Council for £30,000 which was announced by Kimberley Town Council and County Councillor Ken Rigby earlier this year when in fact the County council made clear it had never been granted, no further applications have been made and so the £11,500 report that would give a funding return has produced £zero funding.

It was also said by many councillors last night that the renovations would create a new social hub in the town that would be used by various groups, educational faculties etc. When I again repeatedly asked what groups and what revenue would it return and where is the business plan to show the need for the high level renovation no answer was given. The issue of car parking was also raised – Cllr Susan Page said Victoria Street car park was only 7-8 minutes ways, those in Kimberley will know that’s an optimistic time allowed and many would take far longer to make the walk and in adverse weather would not create the best start to a wedding, there is little by way of disabled parking in the area and the likelihood is that local residential areas would become makeshift car parks in the absence of any other facility.

The vote was taken to go ahead with the plans, and the result was

Cllr Dave Nunn – in Favour

Cllr Jim McDonald – in Favour

Cllr Christine Brown – in Favour

Cllr Sue Cooper – in Favour

Cllr Andy Cooper – in Favour

Cllr Susan Page – in Favour

Cllr Jeff Dickman – in Favour

Cllr Tony Hallard – Abstained

Cllr Kat Boettge – Against

Cllr Ian Wilson – Against

Cllr Karen Tennant – Against

Cllr Mary McGuckin Absent

Cllr Kirsty John Absent

Cllr Jim Dymond Absent

Therefore the council plan to go ahead with its controversial plan with just 4 months before the town council election with most people in Kimberley having little knowledge of what is happening , all monies coming from council funds , no idea of whether the finished result will be utilised or what revenue will be returned.

Green Party Town Councillor Kat Boettge and I are formulating a campaign against the plans to allow for more consultation with a selection of detailed plans being given to people of Kimberley with a real opportunity to respond. If after that this plan is the preferred option of the Town of Kimberley it will have my full support.

To keep in touch with the plans and other issues in Kimberley join

https://www.facebook.com/KimberleyGreenParty?notif_t=fbpage_fan_invite

David Kirwan

Green Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate – Broxtowe

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Local Broxtowe Green Party Candidate Pledges Support for Local Pubs and Brewers

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David Kirwan, local Green Party General Election candidate for Broxtowe has today pledged to support local pubs and breweries.

The three pledges are highlighted in the Manifesto for Pubs and Real Ale by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, which sets out a package of reforms they are seeking from the next Government. These important pledges are to:

  • Support well-run community pubs
  • Promote Britain’s breweries
  • Represent pub goers and beer drinkers.

Tim Page, CAMRA’s Chief Executive welcomed David’s support, saying:

“We are delighted that David has pledged their support for pubs, breweries and consumers. As, on average, 31 pubs close each week it is absolutely vital that our elected representatives recognise and champion the value of these important community assets, and work to protect them.

“CAMRA is urging the next Government to act to ensure that pubs are better protected in the planning system, that large pub companies treat their licensees fairly and that beer duty is set at a level which supports UK brewing.”

David Kirwan added:

“I am proud to be speaking up for pubs and real ale. Well-run community pubs play a crucial role in local life and make a huge contribution to the local economy – with each injecting around £80,000 to the local area every year.

If elected, I will continue to show my support in Parliament.”

CAMRA is a consumer group with over 165,000 members and acts as the independent voice for real ale drinkers and pub goers. CAMRA’s vision is to have quality real ale and thriving pubs in every community.

CAMRA’s Manifesto for Pubs and Real Ale is available at http://files.camra.org.uk/Camra%20Manifesto.pdf.

Over 230 election candidates (including sitting MPs who are restanding) have signed up to these pledges. For a full list please contact CAMRA – campaigns@camra.org.uk

Posted in General Election 2015 | Leave a comment

Controversy over Charming Chapel, Kimberley

The charming old chapel and cemetery with beautiful views of Kimberley is yet again centre of controversy. The chapel, which was used for weddings and funerals has fallen into disrepair and is currently not in use. Some time ago Kimberley Town Council took over ownership of the property with a view to renovating and extending it with a conservatory.
Following a small out-sourced consultation, which cost an amazing £11,500, the Town Council applied for a grant of £35,000 from Broxtowe Borough Council and earmarked an additional £50,000 for development. The proposal collapsed when the grant was turned down. More importantly, an offer by local community builders to renovate the property without charging for labour, merely for materials – at a cost of approximately £11,000, the same value as the consultation – was ignored. David Kirwan, Green Parliamentary Candidate for Broxtowe resigned from the Town Council last summer, over the chapel and the general running of the council; he argued that the consultation was very expensive and did not deliver what had been promised when it was commissioned and in the meantime the community was not able to make use of their beloved chapel for two years.
Now, Jim McDonald, a local Labour Town Councillor has put forward a proposal to renovate the property and install a small kitchenette and toilets at an estimated cost of £40,000. There are no quotes and no business plan for recouping the costs nor providing for ongoing maintenance.
Commenting on the whole process Kat Boettge, Kimberley Town Councillor, said ‘there are a number of issues here; first and foremost the costs listed in the proposal are seemingly guestimates without any clear quotes; secondly I think it would be appropriate to show three different quotes to allow a sound understanding for full costs. Third, where is the business plan showing how the renovated chapel will be able to contribute to recouping the cost of renovation and ongoing maintenance? Fourth, why has the low cost offer to restore the chapel from local community builders not been followed up? Finally, why was a small consultation outsourced, did it really need to cost £11,500 and was it value for money?’ Cllr Boettge has been contacted by several members of the community with various concerns. She would like that their points of view are heard. “Considering the history of controversy over the chapel, it would have been appropriate to offer two proposals including one covering basic renovations to enable the chapel to return to its original use, but without a kitchenette or toilet, which are not strictly necessary for weddings or funerals.”

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Kimberley Tram on the Wrong Route, says Broxtowe Greens

Commenting on the proposal by Broxtowe Labour Councillors to spend £20,000 on a Tram Feasibility Study, Broxtowe Green Party said that such a study is ‘premature’. They want more community consultation and for other routes to be considered. They also say that the lessons of the Beeston Extension must also be properly understood before public money is committed to the Kimberley project.

Speaking about the Labour proposal, which will be voted on by Broxtowe Borough Council today, Kimberley Town Councillor, Kat Boettge said, ‘The Green Party recognises the importance of the tram in helping to solve the problem of city congestion, but this proposal has many weaknesses. The majority of the people of Kimberley do not support the proposed route and they fear the awful disruption that has occurred in Beeston. It is essential that the lessons of that development are fully learned before the Kimberley extension is considered.’

In addition to extending the tram line, the Greens say that there are other transport solutions to be considered. These include linking Kimberley to Phoenix Park tram stop by efficient, low cost bus services; trams that can use existing train lines where possible and trolleybuses.

David Kirwan, prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Broxtowe went on to say, ‘The proposed route has clearly identifiable accessibility problems for the disabled, and the stations will not be convenient for local use. We feel that as it is, this is more about serving the needs of the City than of Kimberley. The Council must go back to the drawing board and listen to Kimberley residents.’

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Duo resign at fiery Kimberley council meeting that sparks cry of ‘shambles’

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Two elected members resigned at a fiery meeting of Kimberley Town Council that sparked a cry of “shambles” from members of the public.

During an open meeting on Thursday (July 31), councillors Katharina Boettge and David Kirwan made allegations surrounding the budget and made claims that the council was unwilling to include residents in decisions.

The duo, who are members of the Green Party, became the latest elected members to quit in the last two years.

They left Kimberley Parish Hall with the comment: “We are numbers eight and nine — that’s something to think about.”

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Boettge said she felt she could no longer be a part of the council as it was ‘no longer democratic’.

She said: “I have no confidence in the council any more.

“I think this council has lost its way and a lot of practices are not being followed.”

Coun Kirwan alleged: “Certain members of the council treat residents and other councillors with contempt.”

Chairman Cllr David Nunn declined to comment on their decision to resign until he received the official resignation from the two councillors concerned, which is expected to be submitted later today (Friday August 1).

Accusations of bullying the new town clerk were also aimed at Cllr Boettge and Cllr Kirwan by Cllr Karen Tennant, which were denied by both Green Party councillors.

The accusations were made after the two councillors had requested copies of recent quarterly financial statements.

Several issues with the most recent quarterly financial statement were raised by members of the council as there were expenses they said had not been budgeted for.

It was claimed at the meeting that these included an £8,000 grant allocated for Kimberley Institute Cricket Club and £15,000 promised for work on the town’s cemetery chapel, where only £3,000 was accounted for in the budget.

Coun Nunn explained that the new town clerk was still in training and this was the first quarterly financial statement she had completed.

However, he admitted that it was not in ‘tip top condition’ and therefore it would be revised and a new one released.

For the full story see next week’s Eastwood & Kimberley Advertiser (August 8).

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