Author Archives: JonCollins

Major Milestone for Broadmarsh Development

Construction of the new Broadmarsh Library, Car Park and Bus Station has reached a significant milestone this week, as installation of building foundations begins and I was proud to visit the construction site with Steve Merrin, Operations Director of Galliford Try and David Williams, Deputy Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership D2N2.

Now construction work is visibly underway both here and at intu Broadmarsh, local people will start to benefit from the new construction jobs and training in the city, and subsequently when the developments are complete. We can look forward to a fantastic new area, bringing a variety of new jobs, the best children’s library in the country and a welcoming Broadmarsh area Nottingham can be proud of.

The development of Nottingham’s Southside area is ambitious, providing new spaces for people to work, live, play and learn with new Grade A office space, housing, retail and leisure opportunities and the new Nottingham College City Hub. It’s an exciting time for Nottingham as these unprecedented developments get underway. This does mean there will be some disruption, but we intend to keep this to an absolute minimum while we transform the Southside area of the city.

It’s important to note that this redevelopment is not at the cost of council services people expect such as street cleaning, bin collection or Community Protection Officers. The money the council is investing in this is not council tax – instead the council has secured external funding and loans, supported by increasing car parking, advertising and rental income so council services aren’t affected.

The people of Nottingham have shown a lot of patience by waiting for the forthcoming redevelopment of the area and it’s about to be rewarded. This redevelopment is about the future of our city and will bring jobs, growth, more visitors and greater confidence in the city centre. Already the redevelopment is inspiring private sector investment around the area, at Unity Square, City Buildings and the Island Site to name a few, meaning there will be better opportunities for those who live and work here and more prosperity for local people.

Delivering Housing Developments with Jobs, Shops and Services for Local People

As with many other housing developments in the city, Waterside is creating a new residential community with its own identity and character, but the full potential of this can only be achieved by ensuring the proper infrastructure comes along with it – which is why I was pleased last week that a 420-place school with a 60-place nursery had been approved in the Waterside area.

The Waterside development is in my ward and one of my local promises for Dales ward during the election was to campaign for a new primary school to address the shortage of places and provide for new families moving into the area. We have long wanted to develop the Waterside area into a new sustainable community and Greenwood Academy Trust have worked well with the council to develop their proposals, which will provide much-needed extra school places and a high-quality learning environment for local children.

In addition to additional school place Executive Board this week also approved which gave further guidance for the next phase of the development, leading to:

  • A new Riverside Path
  • New facilities to complement the residential development
  • New streets and routes
  • New high quality open space and public realm
  • Provision of parking appropriate to the scale, layout and design of new development
  • Green infrastructure

It is so important that new housing developments are accompanied with these sorts of infrastructure so the standard of life does not suffer. In our 2019 manifesto that’s why we committed to making sure that new housing developments are fully served with jobs, shops and services for local people.

We are succeeding in achieving this with Waterside and must make sure this practise takes place in other upcoming housing developments such as Clifton.

A new team and an ambitious vision for Nottingham

Two weeks ago I was honored to be formally elected as the Leader of Nottingham City Council and I am proud to share the responsibility of leading our city with a new team that reflects and represents our city. The new intake of councillors brings with it new ideas and experiences and I am ready to lead and work with the talented group of councillors to achieve the ambitious and exciting pledges that we have set out to the public.

I recognise that the City Council has a role to play in leading by example on equalities. That’s why we included an equalities section in our manifesto for the first time and included a pledge to make sure that at least half of the Council’s Executive and one of the Leader and Deputy Leader are women. Having elected Cllr Sally Longford as the Council’s new Deputy Leader, I am pleased to confirm that the Group have now elected the following members to the Council’s Executive: 

  • Councillor Cheryl Barnard
  • Councillor Eunice Campbell-Clark
  • Councillor Neghat Khan
  • Councillor Rebecca Langton 
  • Councillor Dave Trimble
  • Councillor Sam Webster
  • Councillor Adele Williams
  • Councillor Linda Woodings

It is also great to welcome councillors Merlita Bryan, Angela Kandola, Zafran Khan, Leslie Ayoola and Chantal Lee as our new Executive Assistants. The new intake of councillors has seen the number of women increase to 29 out of 55 and the Cabinet becoming predominantly female for the first time ever, while all the executive assistants from a black and minority ethnic background.

At a time of great cynicism towards government, I want Nottingham City Council to stand out as a group of people who do what they say they will do. Setting out our plans and reporting back on the progress of these policies is essential to being accountable to the people we are here to serve. Over the next 4 years, our top 5 priorities for the city are:

  1. Build or buy 1000 Council or social homes for rent
  2. Create 15,000 new jobs for Nottingham people
  3. Build a new Central Library, making it the best children’s library in the UK
  4. Cut crime, and reduce anti-social behaviour by a quarter
  5. Ensure Nottingham is the cleanest big city in England and keep neighbourhoods as clean as the city centre

In May, the Council adopted Labour’s 2019 manifesto which will form the basis of council policies over the next four years. The Council has transformed dramatically and we’re having to find creative ways to manage cuts to vital services. Despite these challenges over the last 4 years we’ve delivered in full on 178 out of the 202 commitments in the Council Plan. The message is clear – funding cuts don’t mean we can’t afford to be ambitious, they mean we can’t afford not to be.

As we move forward, partnership working will be crucial to meet the challenges ahead. We will need to refresh and where necessary, reset our relationship with our traditional partners across the city, and beyond, and develop new ones where we can. During the last 2 weeks I have been meeting with partners across the city to explore new and creative ways to deliver vital services to the people of Nottingham and will continue to do this in the weeks and months ahead.

Greener Housing Through Nottingham’s Innovative ‘Energiespronge’ Project

Nottingham City Council has long led the way in green technology and has already done lots of work to create a more sustainable city. The latest project will see 150 Nottingham City Homes upgraded with innovative energy-saving and energy-generating measures, which will lead to warmer homes, cheaper energy bills for local residents and reduce our carbon footprint by ensuring all energy needs come from low carbon sources.

The £5 million project called Energiesprong is a ground-breaking whole-house renovation approach, pioneered in the Netherlands. It upgrades a home with innovative energy-saving and energy-generating measures, which include new highly insulated outside walls and windows, a solar roof, and a state of the art heating system. The programme is also entirely funded through an EU grant. 

This work builds on the Greener HousiNG programme which has already seen the council working with Nottingham City Homes to connect 94 new households to the city’s energy-from-waste, low carbon, district heating network. Likewise the REMOURBAN project has already provided funding to make 400 homes in Sneinton more energy efficient and has led to a significant improvement in the external appears of homes adding to the regeneration of the local area. 

The Energiesprong project is complemented by a number of other initiatives taken by Nottingham City council to reduce the city’s carbon footprint, including:

·        £15 million investment in one of the UK’s largest electric bus fleets

·        Investment in biogas and retrofitted buses

·        Developing and expanding the electric tram network

·        Improving cycling facilities, including bike hubs and a cycle hire scheme

·        Significant investment in cycle corridors

·        Introduction of the Workplace Parking Levy – tackling congestion and containing traffic growth, while generating funds to invest in public transport

·        ·Installing solar panels on 4500 domestic properties across the city

I look forward to the completion of this work on the NCH homes and hope we can continue to get the funding needed to ensure every Nottingham home gets similar improvements. 

Ten Achievements of Nottingham City Council in 2018

As 2018 comes to an end I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on some of the things Nottingham City Council has achieved working alongside many of our partners including Nottingham City Homes, Nottinghamshire Police, Framework, Intu and many others.

Here are ten things I’m proud the Council has done in 2018:

1. More School Places in Good Local Primaries – in 2018, 480 school places and 26 nursery places were created following expansion programmes in Westbury Special School, Glade Hill Primary School and Middleton Primary School.

2. Safer Private Rented Accommodation with Selective Licencing – This year Nottingham City Council introduced new licensing rules to tackle rogue landlords, improve standards and enforce basic safety requirements that anyone would want for their home.

4. Remembering and Celebrating our Armed Forces – To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War a number of events were organised and earlier in the year HMS Sherwood was given Freedom of the City, recognising the contribution of the East Midland’s only Royal Naval Reserve unit. 

4. Building a Better Nottingham with new Affordable Homes – A number of Nottingham City Homes ‘Building a Better Nottingham’ developments were completed with Lenton Green as one of the highlights, transforming the area with 142 homes, including bungalows, flats, family homes and independent living schemes.

5. Providing Support for Homeless People – Homelessness is on the rise across the country, but the City Council continues to fund initiatives to address the issue. This year we have secured an extra £420,000 to help fund this work and provide extra bed spaces to cope with additional demand and are also ensuring no one in Nottingham need sleep rough. We have also managed to reduce the numbers of people using bed and breakfasts as temporary accommodation to single figures and are set to reach our target of 0 by Christmas.

6. Cheering England on in the World Cup – Nottingham Castle played host to the screenings of England’s World Cup quarter and semi final with 3000 people coming to cheer England on in a positive and family friendly atmosphere.

7. Greener City with Nottingham’s Clean Air Plans– Nottingham is one of the first cities to have their clean air plans approved by Government. Many other cities around the country are struggling to get their clean air plans passed so the fact they have approved Nottingham’s is testament to the numerous green initiatives that have taken place over many years.

8. A Move Back to City Focused Policing – Though we have had success in reducing anti-social behaviour, crime has risen as Government cuts have hurt frontline policing. It was encouraging though to see Nottinghamshire Police took the decision to move back to city focused policing which will increase joint working between the police and council.

9. Plan to Improve Children’s Literacy – Building on our status as a UNESCO city of literature, The Dolly Parton Imagination Library book giving scheme was rolled out to three more wards in the city, Bridge, Wollaton East and Lenton Abbey and Dales. The scheme is currently providing books to more than 4000 children in Nottingham. I was proud to spend the summer walking a marathon a day on the Pennine Way, raising £5340 for the charity.  We have also consulted on plans for a new library with the aim of making it the best children’s library in the country.

10. Progressing with the Broardmarsh Development – The Council Executive has agreed to proceed with the redevelopment of intu Broadmarsh and the new Broadmarsh Car Park which will bring jobs, growth, more visitors and greater confidence in the city centre.

There are many other things Nottingham City Council has achieved this year and even more to try and achieve in 2019. It is a good record to build on however, and a testament to all the people that work in Nottingham City Council and our partner organisations, who continue to strive to deliver the best for Nottingham people.