There is a fair bit to report this time so, as always, I’ll aim to be succinct and concise by continuing to ruthlessly review text and cut out all superfluous waffle (!) The main item concentrates on last week’s Steering Group (SG) meeting and in particular, the session when we were joined by the leader of Broxtowe Council, Milan Radulovic. Milan provided fascinating insights into a series of initiatives taking place that will have significant impact in our neck of the woods.
1. Milan at the SG
- Strategic Masterplan. Milan started off explaining his views on the importance of the current consultation of the masterplan. He reinforced the message we’ve been pushing over the last couple of weeks – the need for as many residents as possible to provide feedback to the council. It will demonstrate the strength of feeling the community has about the development we expect to see over the next 20 years. Milan was complimentary of the work of the Forum played in providing input to the masterplan and believes this version provides a sound foundation to be taken forward to the next stage.
- East Midlands Connect. This initiative is the one that produced the ‘Access to Toton’ proposals that we published back in May. You’ll recall it is all about improving regional rail connectivity for the East Midlands (in advance of any HS2 work) that is centred on Toton. Milan explained that a fair bit of work is taking place to ensure the north of the borough doesn’t lose out. There are plans afoot to upgrade Langley Mill station and ensure regular connections to Toton.
- Development Corporation. You may have seen the publicity last week about the launch of the Development Corporation (here’s a link to our post about it). Despite the publicity, there is still a lot of work needed to bring the Development Corporation out of the shadows. It is hoped an interim board will be formed in the next couple of months – the Corporation needs government legislation before it can be formally established. The interim board is expected to contain a mix of elected members from regional local authorities (including Broxtowe) as well as private sector representatives. We told Milan that we believe the Forum – as the voice of the community – should be a member of the board and he agreed to push for us to be involved. He fully supports our belief that the community needs to be heard at the ‘top table’.
- Finally, Milan talked a little about the Innovation Campus and in particular about the setting up of a Skills Academy in the area. He made clear that the Academy doesn’t have to be located in the Innovation Campus – he mentioned that Stapleford may be a better place for it. We all agreed that we didn’t want to see the universities dominate the Innovation Campus and that a focus on apprentices and vocational training was much more appropriate for the area.
2. Strategic Masterplan
- Following on from Milan’s talk, the SG agreed to continue to encourage our readers to provide a response to the consultation. You may already have submitted your feedback to the council but if not, we strongly urge you to take part.
- To that end (and as mentioned last week) we will be compiling our response to the masterplan. We will publish it here next week so you will be able to use it (if you wish) as a basis to compose your own thoughts and observations.
- In the meantime, here are the links again to the consultation so you can have a look and familiarise yourself with the proposals:
- A link to the Strategic Masterplan page on our website where you will find further links to individual boards in the virtual consultation room.
- A link to the actual online consultation – the virtual consultation room. You then use the navigation buttons (at the bottom of the screen) to examine each board in turn. There is a ‘?’ button at the bottom that contains Frequently Asked Questions
- Feedback has to be provided online – using the ‘Submit Feedback Online’ icon on the table to the left of the room. However we have produced a MS Word version of the questionnaire so you can download the questions and compose your response offline. Here’s a link to the feedback form
3. And finally…
- Government Planning white paper. You may have heard in the national news that the government have been running a consultation on some significant reforms they are proposing to the planning system. The Forum has studied their proposals and we submitted our feedback to the govt last Thursday. Here is a link to our submission if you are interested. (Many thanks to SG members Mark, David and Margaret for compiling our response.)
- Erewash Riverside Environment review. We have been approached by the consultants appointed by Notts County Council to examine the impacts of the Hub Station and new rail connections on Erewash Valley. Whilst the Erewash Valley is technically outside our Area, we have firm views on how we’d like to see the environment improved in the Sidings as well as further afield. And, of course, we want to ensure great connections to the green spaces in our Area – in particular Toton Fields Local Nature Reserve. Our chairman, Richard has been back to them to suggest some meeting dates and our Environment Focus Group will be providing our ideas and suggestions. More on this in future editions.
- Covid 19 Revisited. I won’t keep publishing these links but felt it worthwhile do so again this week given the latest situation:
That’s all for this week folks. More next time.