(The Final) Broxtowe News Update and Information Service
For the last 32 years (it will be 11,680 days in total) it has been one amazing privilege to have served you as a councillor in the northern reaches of Broxtowe representing Eastwood, Kimberley (and for part of this time, Cossall, Awsworth and Trowell too).
On 4th May this year for the local elections my name will not appear on the ballot paper as after much careful reflection over the past few months, I believe it is time for me to move on and make way for others to represent you.
When I was first elected as a councillor in Broxtowe in 1991 this was in Eastwood (lovely fresh looking photo of me shown looking just a tad younger is attached).
– Also in 1991 John Major was Prime Minister (remember him)?
– There’s been 7 Prime Ministers since then (with 3 of course last year).
– Petrol was 42.4 pence a gallon.
– Freddie Mercury died.
– Unemployment stood at 1.8million.
– Forest lost 2-1 to Spurs in the FA Cup Final.
– The first British person in space, Helen Sharman launches aboard the Soviet Soyuz TM-12 mission.
-Bryan Adam’s single (Everything I Do) I Do It for You, entered its fifteenth successive week at number one in the UK singles charts, setting a world record in October.
– There was no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tiktok.
From 1991-1999 I was a borough councillor in Eastwood, and from 1997 – 2005 I was County Councillor for Kimberley & Trowell.
Since 2003 I have been a borough councillor in Kimberley.
The people of Kimberley in particular have become an integral part of my life for the past 20 odd years. I don’t think that there’s a road in Kimberley where I haven’t tried to help someone who has reached out for assistance.
At times during my time as a councillor I acknowledge I’ve made mistakes and at times could have done things both differently and better. For example despite all of the endeavours getting the T1 Phoenix Flyer bus service up and running, it was way too expensive, and on reflection, I could have done things rather differently.
There has huge been disappointment too at times – again I put a huge amount of work into getting a cinema at Giltbrook Retail Park – the owners showed me plans at one point of where they planned to have a cinema, but sadly it never came to fruition.
The fact that we never managed to secure the Oxylane development in the north of the borough, has been a huge blow. We would have had a state of the art (the first of its kind in the country) sports and leisure complex – that would have been a huge boost for Kimberley, Nuthall and the surrounding areas.
Sadly for the past 12 years despite working into early hours of the morning on many occasions, and representing our area in Westminster – the plans to build the tram extension to Kimberley, Eastwood & Langley Mill have hit a buffer that seems impossible to remove. A reminder of some of the work that’s gone into this can be found here:
I am also very disappointed that the County Council have singularly failed to take any account of the work that has been undertaken to improve traffic areas in around Kimberley. So much work was done:
yet the response from the County Council was so poor.
Of course there have been plenty of successes! Ranging from the Skateboard Park on Hall om Wong, to more play equipment on Knowle Park, Speed Cameras in Cossall, footpaths resurfaced (most recently between Broomhill Road and Chapter Drive, car parking tickets cancelled from Kimberley Precinct, Residents Parking on James Street & the Ruislip Wall finally got reduced after 10 years of trying!
Whilst I was on the former Nottinghamshire Police Authority I piloted a scheme with Kimberley Primary School to encourage closer working between the police and schools across the county to encourage greater respect and break down some of the barriers between young people and the authorities. The results of the study in Kimberley went to the Home Office to inform work they were doing at the time.
At Broxtowe Borough Council itself I’ve held several Cabinet portfolio posts and I introduced a new Flexible Working Hours scheme for staff over 20 years ago that remains in place.
This year I’ve written a nomination for the Kings Honours for a member of the community in Kimberley – I hope it’s successful.
For a while we have a successful Farmers Market in Kimberley, with a huge amount of work undertaken by Maureen Smith, Sue Cooper and others.
After much opposition we did manage to get a wind turbine in Giltbrook, that I don’t think has caused the issues that some said it would.
There remains a huge amount of work to be done in Kimberley – whether it be sorting out the traffic issues, really poor mobile ‘phone reception and regeneration of the town centre to name but a few.
I might not have been able to solve every issue in Kimberley, however it has not been for the want of trying.
There’s been the lighter side of politics too! I even ended up playing drums in front of Westlife:
I should pay a huge tribute to Milan Radulovic – a good friend and fellow councillor for the past 32 years. At times we’ve disagreed – but all good friends do so from time to time. Milan has overcome so many health issues and has been a strong leader for the council during some very difficult times.
My good friend Rev Barbara Holbrook has offered much wisdom, friendship and insight over the years. She’s not been afraid to challenge my thinking. Kimberley would be much the poorer without Barbara.
In the past Jim McDonald helped through some particularly difficult times.
My family too have put up with me working away, late nights – and have delivered leaflets in all sorts of weather at all sorts of times. They are inspirational: Laura Hargreaves Joseph Robinson Sarah Robinson
There’s people in Kimberley who aren’t on Facebook who do so much for the area who never get recognised. Elizabeth who works at the recycling centre is an amazing servant to the community, as is Bob Walker, who lives close to Alma Hill.
As a councillor I’ve been invited to Buckingham Palace and Downing Street. It’s been great to go there. Invariably though the following day I’ve been in Kimberley trying to help out with issues – from Swingate, & Coatsby Drive to Alma Hill – it’s been helping out here that I’ve enjoyed the most.
Despite failing at times I’ve always tried to be an Ambassador for the northern part of Broxtowe and put Kimberley in particular on the map. I’ve tried with varying degrees of success to make Kimberley a better place.
I still work in politics – currently my day job is as a Government Relations Consultant. I have recently re-joined the Labour Party – so there is interesting times ahead on that front.
Not being a councillor from May will free up more family time (but not for gardening however). I am sure new opportunities will arise.
We’ve not moving house, and you’ll still see me around in around Eastwood & Kimberley – I shall be watching the election results in Broxtowe on 4 May with keen interest.
On Friday 5th May – if you want to come and say Hi – I’ll be in the Miners Return from 7pm.
Keep in touch!