Tag: transport

Nottingham Labour Statement on further intervention

This morning we were notified by government that they are minded to appoint commissioners to oversee some parts of the City Council. The appointment of commissioners would be unjustified, and an attack on our local democracy. Under new leadership, Nottingham Labour have been making progress, being open about the difficulties we face and working hard to put things right. We have worked with the government appointed Improvement and Assurance Board to address all their concerns and they have reported positively to Government about our progress.

This work has resulted in the reduction in council debt, a transformation plan that will save the council £45m and improve services for Nottingham people. We have set a four year balanced budget, and have changed the culture and governance so that issues like the HRA are uncovered, shared transparently and sorted. The Council under the current leadership has made significant changes to the way it works, is open about the issues we face and is determined to get things right and this has been recognised by the Improvement and Assurance Board.

The Improvement and Assurance Board, headed by Sir Tony Redmond – the former Local Government Ombudsman – have described our progress positively to government and reported on our determination to succeed, so we are asking government what additional change they expect to achieve by bringing in people who know nothing of the City and our residents’ needs. Although we oppose the Governments’ intention to appoint commissioners the continuity provided by Sir Tony Redmond provides some assurance that our previous improvements are understood and can be built on.

But, we are asking what new actions would happen as a result of commissioners coming in that would improve the working of this council, or result in any changes that Nottingham people would want. We will use our opportunity to respond to this proposal from Government to ask these questions.

If it is the case that the government does take this action, this will be based not on what is best for the city, but what is best for the Conservative Party.

We will of course work positively and openly with commissioners, as we have with the Improvement and Assurance Board in the best interests of our city, but we will be straight with them, and straight with Nottingham people and will continue to fight for what Nottingham people need and have elected a Labour council to do.

The government cuts to our budgets means that it is more difficult to do everything we want to do to help our communities at this time but we have been fighting for Nottingham and protecting our services against the worst effects of Tory cuts. We made sure that Nottingham City Council – and our amazing staff – were there for you during the Covid crisis and we fought hard to get what we needed for our city to help keep people safe.

After more than a decade of Tory austerity – and the pandemic – we have managed to set a four year balanced budget. This has not been easy, but Nottingham Labour: Has retained 75 community protection officers Are still building council houses and have improved private rented housing through our licensing scheme Has kept ownership of our outstanding care homes Is still running six leisure centres Is supporting Welfare Rights advice services across the city because we defend what is needed by Nottingham people.

We are still supporting free events for families all year round, and you can still expect a regular bus service to get you there from our award winning city owned bus company. We have our own bus company because Labour protected it, when many others were sold off to private operators and they are now seeing more cancelled services and far higher fares. We invested in a tram that brings good jobs to the city and gets people to them. Our great public transport system has contributed to cleaner air than other cities in the UK and made people less reliant on a car.

The transformation of the Broadmarsh is underway after the shopping centre operator went into administration, a new central library will soon be fitted out, a green space in the heart of our city will be created and new developments creating jobs and homes will be coming in the next few years.

We are a city of hardworking people and Nottingham deserves better than intervention from an out of touch Tory government that is more concerned with protecting the profits of the energy companies than the people who can’t heat their homes or struggle to feed their families. We understand what twelve years of Tory austerity and now the cost of living crisis means to you, because we do not just represent our communities, we are part of them. We will carry on fighting for what Nottingham needs and will still be ready to help with the problems you are facing, or hear your views and hopes for the city.

Clean Air Day

Today marks Clean Air Day. This day seeks to highlight the dangers and impact of air pollution as well as seeking to improve air quality. In Nottingham City we are particularly focussing on idling vehicles, an issue which is easily preventable and which every driver in the city can tackle.

Over 50% of dangerous particulate matter polluting our cities is caused by taxis and cars, idling is especially an issue as it builds up pollution locally. This can be a big problem around schools, where parents dropping off or picking up their children can leave their engines running, causing spikes in particulate matter. This pollution and poor air quality can have huge impacts on our health. it causes 36,000 premature deaths in the UK annually. This can be even more pronounced for children who are still growing.

There are a number of ways air pollution can be reduced, many of these via actions that everyone can take. For example leaving your car at home and using public transport instead or travelling at quieter times to avoid congestion. More details about this can be found online at: https://www.cleanairhub.org.uk/clean-air-information/what-can-i-do

What is clear is that while air pollution is a global and national issue, the proactive steps taken by the Nottingham Labour led city council has meant that Nottingham has reduced pollution levels while ensuring that its residents can still get around the city easily.

Novel steps such as the Workplace Parking Levy reduces pollution, while our safe school programme seeks to reduce cars idling at school gates, mitigating potential harmful pollution hurting our city’s children

bus showing NCT biogas bus referred to in body of text
NCT biogas bus in the city

We have maintained majority ownership of NCT, which operates the largest fleet of biogas double decker buses in the country with zero tailgate emissions. Our tram network enables people to move around the city easily powered by clean electricity. We are also focussed on making more homes more energy efficient, as well as championing solar panel technology to reduce the burning of fossil fuels.

Despite all these positive steps, there is still more we can do and Clean air day offers a good time to reflect on that, and for Nottingham Labour to renew and strengthen its commitment to being as green and forward looking a city as possible. Councillor Sally Longford, portfolio holder for Energy, Environment and Waste said “This Clean Air Day we want to remind people that clean air is everyones responsibility and everyone can make a contribution to a healthier city”

Nottingham Labour delivers a “great transport system” says Tory Minister

The Tory Transport Secretary Chris Grayling visited Labour run Nottingham this week and praised the cities infrastructure as the example to follow for integrated transport. He commented on how Nottingham was ahead of other areas of the country, seeing how decades of Labour investment has created for Nottingham the kind of transport system that we want to see around the country.

Nottingham has been a Labour Council that’s known that investment in infrastructure is the right thing to do. It is good to see that the Conservatives and Government has finally caught up with the work Nottingham Labour has been doing for decades. In Nottingham, there is an effective and efficient integrated transport system for the city. The introduction of the Robin Hood payment scheme has allowed for cross-operator and cross-transport payments within Nottingham. This is complimented by more integrated service lines with Nottingham Train Station acting as a transport hub for trains, trams, bikes and, buses. There have also been improvements for cyclists around Nottingham with the introduction of specific cycle routes, better access to the city centre and the implementation of a city-wide bike hiring scheme.

The government’s policy to scrap the electrification of the Midlands Mainline is limiting what more we can do however. This increase in speed and the beneficial environmental impacts are vital for Nottingham’s future transport needs. The governments proposed bi-powered trains simply do not provide the same benefits as rail electrification, are far more expensive, and have rightly been criticised by the Council and Nottingham’s Labour MPs.

There are also been an unfair distribution of transport spending from the Government that is holding back Nottingham’s potential with London too often being prioritised over the East Midlands. London currently receives £2,592.68 per head for transport compared to the East Midlands which only receives £218.94 per head. The fact the Government chose to give a £30 billion cheque to London and the South East for Crossrail 2 instead of £700 million for Nottingham and the electrification of the Midlands Mainline is another example of how the Government has wrongly prioritised its transport spending.

If there is more money coming for Transport, Nottingham needs its fair share to continue the success we have had in building an exemplar transport system.  

 

Conservatives Broke Their Promise on Rail Electrification and Instead Gave a £30 Billion Cheque To London

In the same week the Conservatives broke their promise  by cancelling the electrification of the Midland Mainline, they wrote a £30 billion cheque for Crossrail 2 which will primarily benefit London and the South East.

The government is already unfair in the way it spends money on transport infrastructure. London receives £2,592.68 per head compared to the East Midlands which only receives £218.94 per head. It is clear that their priority is London and not Nottingham. The cost of the electrification of the Midlands Mainline is £700 million. Instead the Conservatives spent £30 billion on the region that already gets the most spent on transport.

This shows the warped priorities the Conservatives have when it comes to spending and the extent to which they not care about the well-being of Nottingham. We will be demanding that the Government changes this unfair situation alongside other Core Cities by lobbying Parliament on Tuesday 12th September.

Nottingham Labour Invests in Bio-Gas Buses

Nottingham Labour has invested in the largest fleet of bio-gas buses in the world.

As a part of Nottingham Labour’s commitment to build a Greener Nottingham, Nottingham City Transport (NCT) has introduced the largest fleet of bio-gas buses in the world that will cut the cities carbon footprint and improve the air quality. The bio-gases will produce a reduction of 3.5 million KG Co2 emissions and 36,000 KG of NOx emissions, making an enormous contribution to improving the quality of air in the City.

NCT’s first 30 bio-gas buses will begin operating on routes  6, 10, 24, 25 and 44 from the summer, with a further 23 being added to the fleet early next year on routes 36 and 45. The new fleet has been funded through a successful bid by Nottingham City Council that secured £4.4 million from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.

The buses provide new features such as USB power sockets, allowing people to charge their phones as they go about their day, free 4G Wi-Fi to keep passengers connected as well as the inclusion o comfier seats.

This is a nexample of how Nottingham City Council and NCT are working together to significantly improve our city’s air quality. To get the biggest fleet of electric buses in the UK shows Nottingham is leading the way for the UK’s future bus travel and shaping our future as the UK’s greenest transport city.