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Alan Clark Memorial

Councillor Alan Clark has a proud history of service to Nottingham. He was pivotal in establishing Robin Hood Energy, the first council-owned, not-for-profit energy company that aimed to provide the cheapest possible energy to Nottingham residents, and for the fitting of thousands of solar panels to Nottingham homes.

Alan was also instrumental in drawing up the Nottingham Declaration, an agreement signed in 2000 by over 300 councils that signalled a political commitment to tackle climate change – a breakthrough at the time.

Alan’s biggest legacy has been making Nottingham one of the greenest cities in the UK; however the impact he had on his community was far reaching.

At a local level, Alan helped 100’s of his constituents from when he was first elected in 1988. Alan was loved and respected by individuals and community groups in Bulwell, Top Valley, Rise Park, Highbury Vale and the surrounding areas.

He was also particularly committed to ensuring local children had the best start in life and was a governor for 3 local schools; serving as Chair of Governors for Southwold Primary for 30 years.

Leader of the Council and long-time friend Jon Collins said, ‘Alan will be deeply missed and he has worked tirelessly for his local community over the last 29 years.’  Former MP for Nottingham North, Graham Allen said, ‘Alan would always put the people first and to work alongside him has been a privilege.’

The funeral service for Councillor Clark was held at St Mary’s The Virgin Church, Lace Market this morning (14th August) and was very well attended. Council staff, Labour Party colleagues and members of the community joined Alan’s close friends and family for the service.

Our thoughts are with Alan’s family and friends at this time, particularly his wife, Councillor Eunice Campbell. He will be greatly missed by his colleagues and comrades of the Labour Party.

 

National Recognition for Nottingham Parks

Labour Councillor Dave Trimble displaying this years Green Flags
Green Flag Awards

Nottingham’s parks and open spaces have received national recognition by achieving 56 Green Flag Awards.  The awards are given by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy to parks that have the highest possible environmental standards, are beautifully maintained, have excellent visitor facilities and are regarded as one of the best parks in the country.

Three additional parks achieved green flag status this year, making Nottingham the City Council with the highest number in the UK.

18 sites received Green Flag Community Awards and are managed by local community groups; they include the City Hospital Garden, St Ann’s Community Orchard and Meadows Library Garden.

Park Improvements

There has been extensive cuts from central government funding, however 77 play areas have been improved in Nottingham since 2010. £36 million of external funding has been achieved since 2007. Thanks to work from volunteers and parks staff, a massive 96% of residents are satisfied with parks and open spaces.

Labour Councillor and Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, Dave Trimble said, ‘We’re really pleased with the amount of green flags we have received this year and it’s great that so many sites that are managed by the community have been recognised too.’

‘As Labour Councillors we made a commitment to work with local people and deliver more Green Flag Award winning parks. We have improved the numbers year on year and people are enjoying the benefits.’

To find a Green Flag Park near you click here, or to find out what’s on in Nottingham during the summer holidays, click here.

Derby and Nottingham – Gym and Swim Offer

By announcing the launch of the Nottingham and Derby Metro Strategy 2030 in May, the two cities and their councils have made a commitment to work more closely together for the benefit of the whole area and its residents.

The aim of the strategy is to bring together resources and make the region an exciting place to live, work and place by 2030.

Last week, the two Labour led Councils announced a Gym and Swim membership offer, meaning that residents with gym and swim membership in one city will also be able to use facilities in the other city at no extra cost.

Labour Councillor and Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture in Nottingham, Dave Trimble said: ‘Leisure is an ideal area for us to look at how we can bring benefits to local people in both Derby and Nottingham through the two City Councils working more closely together.’

‘There are around 40,000 people who commute between the two cities to work. It makes good sense for us to offer gym and swim membership to Derby residents who work in Nottingham, and vice versa, so they can make use of the facilities at a time that suits them.’

Another benefit for residents of both cities includes a £1 discount on Trentbarton buses to travel to events such as Splendour in Nottingham or the Hannells Darley Park Concert in Derby this summer.

For more information on the gym and swim offer, please click here.

Labour Leading the Way in Fight Against Fuel Poverty

In the Labour Manifesto that was launched on Tuesday 16th May, the party outlined the ambition to ‘Support the creation of publicly owned, locally accountable energy companies and co-operatives to rival existing private energy suppliers’.

This commitment follows the launch of Robin Hood Energy in 2015, a not for profit energy company that was brought to fruition by Nottingham Labour Councillors. The company provides a discounted rate of energy for City residents and provides strong competition to the ‘Big 6’.

1000’s of city residents have benefited from switching to Robin Hood Energy and the company has made positive steps in combatting fuel poverty, something that affects one in ten households across the UK.

The Labour manifesto highlights that energy customers in the UK are overcharged by £2 billion per year, however regionally based, accountable and not for profit energy suppliers such as Robin Hood Energy would ensure that residents are not being unfairly and unnecessarily charged.

Leader of Nottingham City Council, Councillor Jon Collins said ‘Robin Hood Energy is an example of how fuel poverty can be tackled and how setting up not for profit energy companies, at a local level, can give people an alternative to the big 6.

A Labour Government could use this model all over the country and stop people being exploited by huge companies.’

The Conservative manifesto does not support locally owned energy companies that are not for profit, instead they are content with people all over the UK being overcharged by huge multi-national corporations. Labour has shown ambition to drive energy prices down and end fuel poverty for people all over the UK, both locally and nationally.

Nottingham Labour Committed to a Green Future

Nottingham Labour has all the right policies in place for our green future, such as the Nottingham Community Climate Change Strategy 2012-2020 and our commitments to Climate Local, the Nottingham Declaration, UK100 and a pledge to end fuel poverty.

We have a lot of programmes underway with existing funding.

  • Through Salix interest-free loans we have spent over £2m on energy efficiency on our buildings  since 2009, saving  £500, 000 a year and 4.5T of CO2.
  • We have used Government funding (HNDU) to pay for various feasibility and mapping studies to look at projects to expand or make more efficient the district heating scheme that should progress in the next few months.
  • Horizon 2020 (EU) funding has triggered the REMOURBAN programme of smart cities measures including deep retrofits (energy efficiency, generation, and storage) of 366 homes worth £5.5m (about 50% matched by tenants’ money).
  • The Big Six ECO scheme has enabled around 6000 homes to be fitted with external wall insulation – about 4000 social houses and 2000 private.  Match funding came from the rent account and Green Deal for Communities Fund.
  • We used Feed In Tariffs to fit 4000 homes with solar panels before the tariff dropped dramatically.
  • We have an Ultra Low Emission Vehicles programme (Government funding) for £6m of work on electric buses, rolling out electric car chargers, and helping businesses to switch fleet to electric.

But many of these funding streams have been stopped, reduced or will be withdrawn.

What we now need are clear proposals from Government on future funding.  We can make most schemes work, and would not invest unless we make a long-term saving, but we need certainty and stability of schemes.

It takes time to train a workforce in some of these skills (fitting solar panels, installing solid wall insulation and so on), and so many young people, nationwide, have been let down by training in a skill that is still needed but that people can no longer afford.

Our next set of schemes is ready, we can flex our priorities to meet Government targets, but we must ask what are their priorities now?

Our priorities are clear.  We want to lift residents out of fuel poverty when the figures are moving relentlessly the other way.  We want to attract whatever funding is available.  We want to engage with local communities.

Will there be energy proposals from Phillip Hammond in his Spring Budget?  I wonder.

Councillor Alan Clark, Portfolio Holder for Energy and Sustainability

Nottingham Works – Helping Young People into Employment and Training

Over the past year, Nottingham Works has helped hundreds of young people into work or training places. The programme, that is funded in partnership between Nottingham City Council and the European Union, provides mentoring for 18-29 year olds who are unemployed, Traineeships for 16-24 year olds and general careers support and guidance. The scheme also offers financial support to employers who create jobs for young people.

Nottingham Labour made a manifesto commitment in 2015 to guarantee a job, training place or further education place for every 18-24 year old in the city; that is why Nottingham City Council and Labour Councillors secured the £6.9 million in EU funding to make this project possible.

The scheme is designed to help young people, who are at risk of social exclusion, into work. Last year alone the scheme supported;

  • 550 people into the Intensive Careers Support programme

 

  • 124 people into Traineeship’s

 

  • 50 people into Nottingham North Traineeship’s

 

  • 199 people into the Step into Work programme

 

  • 30 employers through the Nottingham Jobs Fund Plus

In addition to supporting projects such as Nottingham Works, Nottingham Labour has helped to ensure that all entry level jobs and training places at Nottingham City Council are only available for city residents.

If you would like more information or to see what support is available to you, please visit the Nottingham Jobs or Nottingham City Council website.

Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills.

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day – Wednesday the 8th of March 2017

It’s a shocking statistic that, on average, two women every week are killed by their partner or ex-partner, and that 1 in 4 women will experience Domestic Violence (DV) in their lifetimes.   Sadly these figures haven’t changed for decades.  

We also learn this week that Nottinghamshire’s Police Force was rated ‘Inadequate’ in the way it identified and responded to vulnerable victims, with women reporting Domestic Violence highlighted as a concern.  They say they have already taken steps to address this.

Nottingham Labour has promised to cut the number of victims of crime by a fifth in the City.  Because of this we have made sure that Nottingham City Council support services for those experiencing Domestic Violence, such as Women’s Refuges, have been protected from cuts.  This is despite the £82M cut in funding handed down by the Tory Government over the last four years.

Progress made – more to be done

So although International Women’s Day is partly a celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, the day also marks a call to action for improving the lives of women.

I’m proud of what the Labour Party achieved between 1997 and 2010 to help women dealing with Domestic Violence;

  • ‘Go’ orders, to remove a perpetrator from a property for 14-28 days.
  • specialist teams of Prosecutors to handle DV cases
  • IDVAs, Independent Domestic Violence Advocates to help women through the courts process.

Attitudes have changed so much that even the Tories have started to recognize the scale of the problem.  They’ve introduced;

  • Making controlling behavior and emotional abuse a crime
  • Stopping violent partners from cross-examining their victims in the family courts
  • More funding for women with complex needs, such as alcohol and drug dependence, for which Nottingham has received an extra £100,000.

And I cheered last week when the Labour policy of Compulsory Sex and Relationship Education was announced.  This will be introduced in all schools in England and will teach children a greater understanding of safe, respectful and healthy relationships.

The Women’s Quilt 

I’ve spent many hours over the last few months sewing patches for The Women’s Quilt.  The Quilt is made up of patchwork squares, each one containing the name of a woman killed by a partner or ex-partner between 2009 and 2015 – 598 squares.  The Quilt is being launched in the House of Commons at 11.30am today, International Women’s Day, just before Chancellor Philip Hammond announces his budget.  I hope it will soon be displayed in Nottingham.

The Quilt currently measures 3 metres by 3 metres square.  On International Women’s Day, although I have hope for the future, I still ask the question ‘How much bigger will the Quilt have to grow?’

 

If you are experience Domestic Abuse or Violence, or know someone who is, please call the 24 hour Helpline for help and advice.  0808 800 0340 – and 0341 for text phone with Language Line.

IF YOU OR A FRIEND IS IN DANGER PLEASE DON’T HESITATE TO CALL 999.

Councillor Linda Woodings

Nottingham Labour Launches 2015 Manifesto

Nottingham Labour is proud to launch its manifesto for the 2015 local elections.

We are proud of the achievements we have made over the past 4 years- with unemployment down by more than a quarter from 6% to 4.3%, crime down by 14% and anti-social behaviour halved, more than 90% of school leavers getting a job, training or further education placement, all neighbourhoods as clean as the city centre and thousands of homes insulated and solar panels installed to help keep energy bills down.

We are excited to build on the progress as we set out our vision to make our city even better over the next four years.

Our 5 key pledges if elected to run the Council in May will be to;

  1. Ensure every child in Nottingham is taught in a school judged good or outstanding by OFSTED,
  2. Build 2500 new homes that Nottingham people can afford to rent or buy,
  3. Cut the number of victims of crime by a fifth and continue to reduce anti-social behaviour.
  4. Tackle fuel poverty by setting up a not-forprofit energy company to sell energy at the lowest possible price to Nottingham people,
  5. Guarantee a job, training place or further education place for every 18-24 year old.

We’re committed to making Nottingham the best place it can be for everyone who lives, works, does business and relaxes here. And we believe that only with a Labour Council can the city reach its full potential.