Nottingham Children Should Read Early and Read Often

It is integral to get our children reading from a young age. Not only are children receiving books from the Dolly’s Imagination Library initiative 28% more likely to start school ready to learn, but they are more likely to enjoy reading. The initiative seeks to close the attainment gap by intervening at an early stage.

The Imagination Library is a brilliant scheme which delivers a free book to children aged 0 to 5 years on a monthly basis. The scheme has reached a milestone with 5,000 children receiving books and more than 150,000 books have been delivered.

In 2018, the Imagination Library initiative was active in 7 wards across the city. Cllr David Mellen smashed his 2018 target of reading to 2,018 children as well as raising £4,456 – over £1,200 more than its original £3,018 target. The 2019 Big Reading Challenge has made similarly excellent progress with an aim of reading to at least 5,000 children between 28th January and 19th March 2019. As of 12th February 2019, £1,651 of a £5,000 target has been raised with 5 weeks to go. Now almost 5,000 children receive a book each month and the DPIL is delivered in 10 of the city’s 20 wards. If you would like more information about the campaign or would like to donate to this worthy cause, please follow this link: https://www.gofundme.com/bigreadingchallenge

Nottingham City Council has introduced other initiatives aiming to promote reading across the city. In November 2018, plans were put through to develop a new Central Library as apart of the Broadmarsh car park development that is equipped for the 21st century, with an ambition of being the best children’s library in the country. A contractor for the project was appointed earlier this month. We hope that the new library and the success of Cllr Mellen’s Big Reading Challenge will consolidate our early years success, with Nottingham placed in the top 10 cities in the country for improvement in learning to read and write through phonics. The Reading Challenge also complements our status as a UNESCO City of Literature, allowing us to transform lives through reading and the arts. There are lots of culture-based events run by the organisation which are taking place over the next few months, ranging from the UK Young Artists’ Takeover (8th-11th February) to talks and book launches. For more information, please follow this link: https://nottinghamcityofliterature.com/

Nottingham Commits to Become Carbon Neutral by 2028

Nottingham Labour has been at the forefront of creating a more sustainable and greener city for the past two decades. However, the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report “Global Warming of 1.5°C”, shows the urgency for more action in order to prevent irreversible climate change and protect Nottingham citizens from flooding, drought, heatwaves and other extreme weather events. That is why Nottingham Labour used January Full Council to commit to making Nottingham a carbon free city by 2028, two years ahead of the target of many other cities which have taken similar pledges.

Over the past two decades some of the action Nottingham City Council has taken as a part of the green agenda has included:

  • Signing the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change in 2000 with a follow up in 2011,
  • £15 million investment in one of the UK’s largest electric bus fleets
  • 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 and
  • Installing solar panels on 4500 domestic properties across the city.

Sustained action over the next decade is critical. The IPCC report urgently reminds us that we must go further and faster in our efforts to keep within the boundary of a global temperature rise of 1.5C, and the devastating impacts this would have around the world. This temperature rise doesn’t sound like a lot, but there is already evidence of what a changing climate can do to people’s lives. Our weather is becoming more extreme as climate warms, we are getting warmer, drier summers, with more extreme storms, and warmer, wetter winters.

Nottingham has made a good start, already meeting our 2020 energy strategy emissions target early, reducing emissions by 39% for the city and 43% per person. The next aim is to lead the way nationally and play our part in the global effort against climate change by becoming a carbon neutral city by 2028. Work is already being done towards a long-term citywide sustainable development strategy which will set out a positive vision for a sustainable future for Nottingham.

I look forward to us delivering on the important motion.

Cllr Sally Longford,
Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment

Nottingham Supports Small Businesses

Small businesses in Nottingham play such an important role. They provide people with choice, good value within easy reach of their homes and ensure wealth is reinvested back in local communities.

This is why last week I was proud to join the University of Nottingham, B-Global Nottingham’s Black businesses Network, The SheEO Alliance, D2N2 Growth Hub and Growing Nottingham at the ‘Actualising Your Goals 2019’ event taking place at The Ingenuity Centre, University Nottingham, Triumph Road. The event brings together SME business owners and introduces people to the tools and support available to help their businesses grow and thrive. The event is also aimed at encouraging young people to think about setting up their own SMEs as a chosen career path.

Nottingham has a proud record in promoting small businesses and is recognised as England’s top city for small business growth. Likewise, Nottingham City Council’s procurement Strategy puts small and medium enterprises (SMEs) at its heart with £48 million worth of contracts awarded to SMEs in 2016/17 to help support the local economy.

This is why Labour councillors were keen to take part in December’s Small Business Saturday and visited local shops in their wards. They enjoyed the opportunity to speak to the owners about what challenges they face and what more the council can do to help support and grow their businesses.

Cllr Leslie Ayoola
Executive Assistant for Small Businesses and social enterprise/ Digital inclusion and IT

No Homeless Children in Bed & Breakfast’s Over Christmas

Earlier in 2018 we set the target of ensuring Nottingham City Council would not need to temporarily accommodate any children in a Bed & Breakfasts by the end of the year. After a lot of hard work and focus, I was proud to hear on Christmas Eve there are now no children staying in a B & B in Nottingham.

Homelessness is on the rise across the country, with Shelter estimating nationally 130,000 children are in temporary accommodation and 10,000 expected to wake up on Christmas Day in a B & B. Until 2015 we had not had to use Bed & Breakfasts for over a decade. Likewise, until 2010 Nottingham City Council alone used to receive £26 million annually in funding for the underlying issues that can lead to homelessness, and at that time levels of homelessness in Nottingham and nationally were much lower. Since then, this funding has been scrapped altogether and the money we do receive from government to support our services. Revenue Support Grant funding has also dropped from £126million in 2013/14 to just £25million now. In addition to this, the Government’s changes to welfare, specifically its introduction of Universal Credit, is leaving more people in debt, rent-arrears and ultimately homeless. In October, there were over 100 households in Nottingham who had to be temporarily placed in B & Bs, of which two-thirds were families with children.

Over the past few months we have been bringing together lots of council services to reduce the number of people in bed and breakfasts to zero. This has included buying back council housing lost under right to buy to be used as more suitable temporary accommodation and taking action to prevent unnecessary evictions in the first place. Last year, we were able to prevent 258 people from sleeping rough and this year we have secured an extra £420,000 to help fund this work and provide extra bed spaces to cope with an additional demand.

Thank you to Housing Aid, Community Protection, Framework, Emmanuel House, Nottingham Together and Nottingham City Homes for working so hard together to achieve this target. Their work has ensured there is enough alternative accommodation for homeless families in hostels, such as social housing or private housing.

Our task now is to maintain this throughout 2019.

Cllr Linda Woodings
Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning and Heritage

Register to Vote Today!

100 years ago today was the first time that women were able to vote in a General Election and also the first time that women were allowed to stand for election to Parliament.

This was achieved after more than eight decades of campaigning by both men and women, including the courageous suffragettes.

Although only some women got the right to vote in 1918, the change led the way to all women getting the vote ten years later and forced politicians to consider ‘what will women think?’ when they wrote their manifestos and put new laws into place.

In the 21st Century most of us can only imagine a time where women had no legal status, no rights over their own children, no ability to divorce, except for the wealthiest (and only in the cruelest of circumstances).

The right to vote led to significant improvements to women’s basic rights and later to progressive laws like equal pay and the Sex Discrimination Act.

Voting itself and being registered to vote are so important; women should be heard, their voices counted and their views known. On this important anniversary I’d urge all women to make sure they are registered to vote.

Make sure you’re registered to vote in upcoming local elections and in case a snap general election or referendum. New voter registration rules mean that you now have to register every year.

You can register easily online www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Councillor Linda Woodings
Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage

New Strelley Road Library Opens Following £1 million of Investment

Today the Strelley Road Library opens its doors after £1 million of investment to provide local residents with a new library that is modern, open-plan and provides improved computer access and equipment, including free WiFi.

As a part of Nottingham Labour’s commitment to improving children’s literacy in the city the new library also has a dedicated under-fives children’s area featuring a unique specially commissioned story tree and it will offer opportunities for a greater range of activities and events for all ages.

The facility has been designed and built by Nottingham City Council and Nottingham City Homes to serve the needs of the Aspley ward. It will not only include a new contemporary library, but also 37 one-bedroom independent living flats, run by Nottingham City Homes. Residents at Strelley Court will have direct access to the new library.

It’s great news that that this new library will offer people in the area the 21st century facilities they deserve. Visitors will enjoy improved facilities in the new building and it will be a positive addition to the local community. We expect that this move will encourage more people from the whole of the Strelley and Aspley to make the most of their local library.

At a time when so many places around the country are being forced to close their libraries as a result of Government funding cuts, we are proud in Nottingham to have maintained a network of local libraries throughout the city. A consultation was also recently launched on developing a new central library with the ambition of making it the best children’s library in the country. Unless austerity is ended as the Prime Minister promised however, maintaining, improving or opening new libraries will become increasingly difficult.

There will be a special official celebratory launch event of the Strelley Road Library on Wednesday 12 December 2018, but it’s hoped many people will come to the library once it is opened tomorrow to see and use the library facilities.

Building a Greener City Through the Nottingham Refill Campaign

As a part of our commitment to building a greener Nottingham, I was delighted to be involved in the launch of the new Refill scheme in the city recently. Thanks to Blue Planet 2 I believe more people are aware of the need to reduce our use of plastic in general, and single use plastic in particular. Therefore this scheme which makes it easy for individuals to re-use their bottles or refill their own bottle rather than buying a new one is very welcome.

It is a very simple but effective idea that 60 businesses in Nottingham have already signed up; with support coming from Seven Trent Water, 200 Degrees Coffee and the Malt Cross to name just a few. These businesses now proudly display their Refill window stickers, as well as appearing on the Refill app where people can find any Refill Station here in Nottingham or across the UK.

This initiative will make a real impact on one of the biggest single use plastic offenders. There has been a real move towards sustainability in the city from both citizens and businesses and all are keen to reduce their environmental impact, so I am really pleased but not surprised that this initiative has done so well in Nottingham.

Of course while we are tackling single use plastic like water bottles, it is important not to forget the other plastics which people use and dispose of every day.  Currently about 3% of waste going into our recycling bins is plastic and the majority of this is recycled, that which cannot be recycled goes to fuel cement kilns, none of the unrecyclable plastic goes to landfill. Our recycling contractor, WasteCycle runs a tight ship and we are confident that their plastic goes to legitimate destinations in Western Europe for recycling. In our general waste bins around 17% is plastic, this goes for incineration along with all other residual waste, apart from periods of incinerator shutdown for example for annual maintenance.

The government is due to launch the Resources and Waste Strategy next year, and I hope that our ability to reduce the quantity of plastic waste in the system will be supported by the Strategy.

In the meantime, I would encourage everyone to download The Refill app for free on Google Play or the App Store. Anyone wanting to get in touch, find out more about Refill, or those looking to sign up or become an ambassador, can email refill@severntrent.co.uk.

Cllr Sally Longford
Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment

 

Another Year of Fun, Free or Affordable Citywide and Local Events

Last week was Nottingham Goose Fair, one of Europe’s largest travelling fairs with a history that dates back more than 700 years. Visitors to the fair will have had over 500 attractions to choose from, including an array of Roller Coasters, Water Rides, Giant Wheels, Bombers, Dodgems, Twists, Waltzers and Miamis familiar to Goose Fair, as well as a number of new attractions that had not visited Nottingham before.

Goose Fair is perhaps the crown jewel in Nottingham City Council’s autumn events programme. Despite significant financial pressure as the Government takes more and more money from Nottingham’s Revenue Support Grant, we still remain committed to offering an array of free or affordable citywide and local events and activities for local families to enjoy. This year they include:

. Robin Hood Marathon, 29th and 30th September, Vicotria Embankment and Wollaton Park
. Robin Hood Beer and Cider Festival, 17th – 20th October, Motorpoint Arena
. England vs Brazil UEFA Women’s Euro 2021, Saturday 6th October, Meadows Lane
. Jurassic Kingdom Exhibition, 20th October to 4th November, Wollaton Park
. Hockley Hustle, 28th October, Hockley
. Nottingham Halloween, 19th – 31st October, Old Market Square, Newstead Abbey and Wollaton Hall
. Nottingham Bonfire Night, 5th November, Forrest Recreation Ground
. Nottingham Comedy Festival, 2nd – 10th November, Various Venues across the City.

This year’s Autumn Events programme also includes a number of events to remember the centenary of the end of the First World War including the 1918 Armistice Centenary Concert at the Royal Concert Hall on 4th November, the Games of Remembrance at Meadow Lane on 8th November, the Commemorative Ceremony on Sunday 11th November at Victoria Embnakment and Battle’s Over a Nations Tribute from 6:30pm at the Victoria Embankment.

This will be complemented by a new war memorial at Victoria Embankment which will likely be completed May next year and will be the first memorial in Nottingham to list all the names of those from Nottinghamshire that died during the Great War.

I hope you and your family will be able to get down to some of these events and celebrations over the next couple of months.

Dave Trimble
Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture

Click here to fine What’s On.

Nottingham Labour’s record in Clifton North…

Over the past four years Nottingham Labour has worked hard to make Clifton North a brighter and better place to live. With your help we have be able to deliver:

  • New Play Area at Clifton Flower Park following £85,000 of investment by local Labour councillors for local children and families to enjoy.
  • Lidl Store on the Clifton Triangle site creating new jobs and providing an affordable supermarket option for local people.
  • 50 New Jobs with the B&M store on the Clifton Triangle, 85% of places went to local residents in Clifton.
  • Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair hosted in Clifton with more than 30 stalls from employers such as Nottingham City Transport, Boots and many others.
  • Better looking A453 following landscaping work with Highway England, including 3000 bulbs planted to improve the look of the area.
  • Warmer Homes through external wall, cavity and loft insulation on 2,185 houses with the Green HousING Project which is also helping bring down energy bills for local people.
  • Free bulky waste collections in order to prevent fly-tipping and help keep Clifton, Wilford, Silverdale and The Grove clean.
  • Free residents parking scheme in Clifton Grove so local people always have somewhere to park their car.
  • Fun family events including Teddy’s Bear Picnic, Ruddington Lane Family Fun Day and Clifton Parkrun for local people to enjoy in their free time.
  • More School Places with £770,000 invested in expanding South Wilford Primary School, creating 100 new places so local children can go to a local school.

Lilian Greenwood and Cllr Josh Cook have already been able to achieve all this. By electing Shugutah Quddoos on Thursday 27th September, we can achieve even more for Clifton North. 

Shugutah Quddoos for Clifton North on Thursday 27th September

 

I grew up on a council estate and came to Nottingham to study. Since then, Nottingham has become my home and is where I raised my family. I have worked as a manager at the Metropolitan Support Trust leading a team delivering support for frail older people, I have been a support worker at at Women’s Aid helping survivors of domestic abuse and I now run a social enterprise that promotes equality.

I know the difference Lilian Greenwood MP and Councillor Josh Cook have made and if you elect me, I can help make things even better around here. Together we can continue to raise the issues that matter to you – including parking, speeding, potholes, protecting our parks and ensuring there are more opportunities for young people in the area.

My pledges if elected are:

  1. Seek to expand free residents parking permit schemes wherever possible across Clifton, Wilford, Silverdale and Clifton Grove.
  2. Work with our partners in the Police and Community Protection to tackle criminal and anti-social behaviour.
  3. Continue to fund a series of affordable or free fun family events.
  4. Develop a Clifton Cleanliness Campaign to tackle littering and fly-tipping in the area.
  5. Increase the number of councillor surgeries to three per month.

I hope you’ll consider voting for me to elect a second Labour councillor so we can achieve even more for you.

Best wishes,
Shuguftah Quddoos