Agenda item

Questions from Councillors - to a member of Executive Board, the Chair of a Committee and the Chair of any other City Council body


Night-time safety

Councillor Maria Watson asked the following question of the Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion:

As I’m sure everyone here agrees, the recent reports of “spiking” in the City’s bars and clubs make for terrifying reading.  It is completely unacceptable that anyone should have to worry that they could become the victim of these crimes while they are enjoying Nottingham’s nightlife.  Can the Portfolio Holder outline the steps that we, as a Council, are undertaking to safeguard our citizens of Nottingham and to reassure parents of students that Nottingham is a safe city for them to attend?


Councillor Neghat Khan replied as follows:

Thank you Lord Mayor and can I thank Councillor Watson for her question. As this question has already been raised under ‘Questions from Citizens’ and answered by the Leader, I would reiterate his response and add that: yes, there has been a recent increase in the number of alleged drink spiking cases across the country and so Nottingham is not alone in tackling this very serious concern.


I can confirm that the Police are in primacy for investigating the allegations of drink spiking within Nottingham, however the City Council’s Community Protection and Licensing Services are working collaboratively on this matter of serious concern. City Council officers have been attending and contributing to the inter-agency meetings led by the Assistant Chief Constable.  The Police are thoroughly investigating these potential crimes and are seeking the required evidence as part of the ongoing investigations. In addition, the Police have issued advice to venues on how to record and report suspicious behaviour to obtain the best evidence possible to progress investigations. The Police are undertaking high profile patrols as well as undercover operations in order to both deter and detect such incidents. The use of CCTV to investigate allegations is also being fully used as a tool to obtain evidence.  Community safety partnerships including the BID and Pub Watch have also contributed in assisting businesses to take precautionary measures to reassure customers. The City Council Licensing Services have carried out visits to nightclub premises to assess if door supervision and entry checks are reasonable and proportionate in accordance with their licensing conditions. All premises were found to be cooperative with both Council Officers and Police colleagues in promoting reasonable safety at their venues.  Should the Police find any evidence in their investigation that suggests some current licensing conditions are not being met or that additional measures should be put in place, then the City Council Licensing Service will work with the Police and other Responsible Authorities to implement appropriate changes to secure reasonable safety of citizens.

I am pleased to report Nottingham’s collaborative approach by all the agencies and businesses together in addressing these ongoing concerns and commend everyone for their continued efforts to protect citizens from harm.  Lord Mayor, of course, we will never be complacent and will continue to take the necessary steps within the powers prescribed to us but I hope this reassures citizens that Nottingham remains a safe place to live, work and visit. Thank you.


Councillor safety

Councillor Kevin Clarke asked the following question of the Leader of the Council:

I’m sure everyone in this Chamber will join me in expressing their deepest sympathy for the family of Sir David Amess, who was brutally murdered last month while serving his constituency.  Like with ourselves, I’m certain this tragic event has brought the safety of elected officials to the forefront of everybody’s mind.  Being available to members of the public is a fundamental responsibility of elected politicians and it is vital it remains so.  Can the Leader outline best practice for Councillor surgeries going forward and any extra steps to be taken to ensure Councillor safety?


Councillor David Mellen replied as follows:

Thank you Lord Mayor and can I thank Councillor Clarke for his question. The attack on Sir David Amess on the 15th October left a sense of shock and sadness across the Country.  The loss of a dedicated Parliamentarian who served for almost four decades, was also the loss of a husband and a father.  Lord Mayor, the thoughts and prayers of this Council have been with his loved ones, and following the awful killing of fellow Member of Parliament, Jo Cox, just five years ago the challenge and danger to the elected representatives doing their duty cannot be underestimated.  Lord Mayor, the attack on Sir David was an act of contemptable violence; the fact that it took place at a constituency surgery, something which is so essential to our representative democracy, made his murder, somehow, all the more shocking.  When members of this Chamber get elected as local councillors it is vital that we remain accessible to the people who elected us. The method of contacting us from constituents may have changed, in my nearly 20 years of being a councillor, from letters and telephone calls to now it is much more likely to be texts, emails, Facebook messenger messages and the like, but the principle remains: those who voted for us and those who didn’t deserve to have someone in that position that they can contact to ask for help, advice or to give feedback to.  Advice surgeries in person, I believe, are an important part of that. 


On the weekend that followed the tragic death of Sir David, Members across all sides of the Chamber chose not to do surgeries out of respect, but we have returned to our duties since then. I’m sure Members will agree that people come to see us in different states of mind: some are upset, some are angry, some are anxious, some needing information or advice or some help to help things change. As Councillors we do our best to help, we can’t always solve every problem but we do what we can, and in any case we listen and give time to those to whom we are accountable.  After the awful events that transpired in Essex last month, we must of course look at security and how best to keep these surgeries safe places to be.  Additional measures may be needed but it would sadden me if this method of contact with constituents couldn’t continue, indeed those who knew Sir David best would say that he wouldn’t want that either.  By all accounts, he did this part of his job as an MP very well.  Do we as Councillors get abuse and threats? Sometimes. Have I been physically challenged? Yes, very occasionally.  But these occasions for me have been outnumbered by those who are grateful for the time given, who give challenge, who complain but yet who do so with respect.  Councillor surgeries take place across this City week in, week out, in a variety of community venues. We will listen carefully to security advice and take additional measures where this makes sense but my commitment, and I believe the commitment of all in this Chamber, is to stay available in as many ways as we can safely possibly do.  Since the tragic event in October we have consulted with other councils, the Police and security services.  At this time there is no indication that there is any enhanced risks to councillors.  The Local Government Association has also published guidance on practise in relation to Councillor surgeries which includes matters such as not holding surgeries alone in an otherwise empty building, assessing safety arrangements in the room including seating arrangements, entrances and exits and councillors should also consider using Council premises during opening hours or other premises where there are other people about using spaces which are close to members of staff or other people in case assistance is needed, such as a room that is in view of a public area or a reception.  There is more to do on this.  Lord Mayor, we have asked the Council’s Monitoring Officer to circulate the LGA guidance to all Members of the Council and we will continue to review our arrangements.



Christmas market

Councillor Kirsty Jones asked the following question of the Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Schools:

We were delighted to learn about the return of the Christmas Market to Nottingham city centre and I for one can’t wait to visit.  However last year’s event – and despite our warnings beforehand – was a disaster and the national news coverage of it was something of an embarrassment for the City.  Can the Portfolio Holder outline the steps taken to ensure a safe event and provide reassurances that we won’t see a repeat of last year?


Councillor Eunice Campbell-Clark replied as follows:

Thank you Lord Mayor and can I thank Councillor Jones for her question.  We have given the go-ahead for a Christmas Market and festive attractions in the city centre this year.  The new-look event will be a dispersed offer using spaces across the city centre rather than all attractions being sited in the Old Market Square as usual.  A range of seasonal activities will therefore be spread across the Old Market Square, Smithy Row, Long Row and Trinity Square.

In planning for this Christmas we have been mindful of the issues at last year’s event and we acknowledge it’s important to maintain a balance of keeping people safe and urging caution but also allowing people to enjoy the seasonal festivities.  Throughout the last 18 months we have always taken decisions that were within the law and applied to the prevailing local context.  Planning for all events over the past 18 months has been challenging with constantly changing advice from Government. 

There were specific reasons why higher than expected numbers attended the event in 2020 that are not relevant this year.  Our event plans for Christmas 2021 allows for any amendments or adjustments that may be needed due to Government advice or legislation and include fewer attractions dispersed over wider parts of the City centre allowing easier circulation; relatively low expected daily visitor numbers across a longer time frame; multiple travel options and ways to enter and leave the main sites; prevailing conditions with the majority of all City centre businesses open since April, adds to the overall city centre offer; events and individual attractions can be adapted based on latest Covid advice and statistics.

I am, of course, disappointed not to be able to bring the entire Winter Wonderland experience to Nottingham this year.  However, the reduced scale and dispersed offer of events and attraction across the city centre will still ensure that Nottingham remains one of the best seasonal destinations for visitors this Christmas.


E-scooter trial

Councillor Kevin Clarke asked the following question of the Portfolio Holder for Highways, Transport and Cleansing:

We note that the citywide e-scooter trial has been extended for a further year.  The scheme remains controversial, with a recent Nottingham Live survey suggesting as many as 75% of 3000 surveyed people were against them being made a permanent fixture of the city.  In April, the previous Portfolio Holder explained the steps the Council was taking to combat anti-social use of the scooters.  Now that the trial has been running for a full year can the current Portfolio Holder inform us to how successful these measures have been and whether further measures are needed to reassure citizens?


Councillor Rosemary Healy replied as follows:

Thank you Lord Mayor and thank you Councillor Clarke for your question. The Nottingham rental e-scooter trial became underway in October 2020 and was originally set to last for 12 months. In April 2021, the Department for Transport introduced an extension phase allowing trials to continue for longer until 31 March 2022. In early October the Department for Transport updated this guidance and confirmed trials would continue and last until 30 November 2022.  The Department for Transport are allowing for the extensions to allow more time to gather data on the use of e-scooters, address public perception and improve safety given it is our understanding Government will be moving towards permanent legalisation on e-scooters.  In October the Council took an Operational Decision to extend the trial to November 2022 under the current terms with the rental e-scooter operator contract, Wind Mobility Ltd.

Overall, the Nottingham trial has been successful in attracting high numbers of journeys. There have been over 1 million rides, almost 35,000 registered users and over 1.4 million miles travelled. On average 5,000 journeys are being carried out using e-scooters per day by more than 3,000 people. There has been consistent frequency of usage throughout the city with the mode being used in all neighbourhoods, including residential areas and areas not well served by public transport.  Despite its popularity, the scheme has generated many enquiries and complaints. The issues are not unique to Nottingham as all trials are encountering issues but can be grouped into three categories:

·  E-scooter parking – that includes bad parking, alleged abandonment of e-scooters and location of parking spots

·  Pavement riding – this is illegal riding on pavements which creates a potential danger for pedestrians, especially those with mobility issues or visual impairments

·  Rider behaviour and incorrect conduct

Since April a number of measures have been put in place to combat improper use of e-scooters while others have just been, or are about to be launched.  These include:

·  Introduction and expansion of e-scooter patrollers.  Currently six Wind patrollers roam on hotspot routes engaging with users and enforcing correct conduct. This has resulted in approximately 25 engagements with riders a day. Patrollers also note instances of pavement riding to take disciplinary action against riders not adhering to the rules.

·  Wind has introduced a three strike process introduced for incorrect riding and this comprises:

o  1 – a warning text message sent to riders reminding them of the rules

o  2 – a one week ban from the scheme

o  3 – a permanent ban from the scheme.

·  Additional geo-fencing measures.  Following feedback, a number of areas have been made into ‘go-slow areas’ including the along the canal, parks, Middle Hill/college area, Carrington street, as well as specific interventions in residential areas.

·  Flat fee fines introduced for poorly parked e-scooters outside the parking radius.

·  Parking spots causing obstruction have either been removed or moved to appropriate places supported by physically marking the parking spots with paint.

·  Joint work with the Community Protection Officers who completed a number of days of action in May at hotspots e.g. Derby Road to engage and educate riders.

·  Liaison with University representatives and the Police and Community Protection Officers on the scheme. There will be future liaison with universities, law enforcement, neighbourhood representatives and councillors on the usage of e-scooters within their specific areas.

·  Ongoing communications and messaging on correct usage through the Wind user smartphone App, blogs, social media content and engagement with local media.

·  Regular meetings with Disability Inclusion Group representatives to enable them to provide feedback and direct improvements.

It is felt the combined package of measures are helping to improve the trial and experiences of users.  As part of the extension an action plan of measures has been developed and will comprise of continued enforcement and education activities to ensure a safe and controlled trial.  This includes:

·  Increased education and information to the general public, and training resources for e-scooter users about safe e-scooter riding. This includes in-person safety events.

·  Increased enforcement through stricter fines and penalties for users not adhering to the rules.

·  Increased communications and engagement activity through different online, social media platforms and through stakeholder meetings.

·  Piloting of physical docking stations at the busiest e-scooter parking locations.

·  Piloting of an i-Sight App for vulnerable users and people with visual impairments to be notified of e-scooters in their vicinity.

·  Improved customer service operations.

Thank you Lord Mayor.


Broadmarsh Centre

Councillor Kevin Clarke asked the following question of the Leader of the Council:

We were saddened to see the City miss out on the “Levelling Up” funding to demolish the remnants of the Broadmarsh Centre.  Can the Leader outline the next steps the Council is taking to secure enough funding to finally remove this eyesore?


Councillor David Mellen replied as follows:

Thank you Lord Mayor and can I thank Councillor Clarke for his question.  Although we were glad to receive £18 million from Government for our recent transport bid to the Levelling Up Fund, we are disappointed that our bid for the Broadmarsh site was not successful.  This is one of the UK’s largest regeneration sites and can play a hugely significant role in Nottingham’s post-pandemic growth.  It would seem to be an obvious candidate for Government funding that aims to level up areas which have too often been overlooked for financial support.  Once we’ve received formal feedback, we will be looking towards submitting a fresh bid to the next round of Levelling Up funding in the spring as we firmly believe it is too important for the Government to ignore.  Over the coming months we will be engaging with Government who have offered feedback sessions to places with unsuccessful bids to enable them to better support applications into the next round giving our bid the best possible chance of success in round 2.  


It is worth reminding Council today of the work that has been going on since the Council was handed back the site following the collapse of ‘Intu’ last year.  It came back to us in October, just over a year ago.  Work started immediately on enabling a right of way to re-open, a bid was submitted to D2N2 (the Local Enterprise Partnership) to secure funding for a restart development on the site.  This was a successful bid. The Broadmarsh ‘Big Conversation’ was carried out at the end of 2020 and received more than 3,000 responses and almost 12,000 comments. Following on from the huge success of that engagement exercise we announced the appointment of an external advisory group – a group chosen based on their expert knowledge and experience in urban redesign, architectural expertise, work on delivering major international and national projects as well as their understanding of Nottingham’s heritage and future – all giving their time for free. The group is being chaired by Greg Nugent who, amongst other roles, was the Director of Brand, Marketing and Culture for the London Olympics in 2012.  He’s also a Nottingham lad. The group was asked to recommend two crucial aspects for the Broadmarsh area: a creative vision for the space as well as a recommendation on how Nottingham can deliver the project over the next few years.  After consideration of the engagement responses and further conversations and hours listening to many contributors, designers and architect firm Thomas Heatherwick Studios and development advisors Stories were appointed to deliver the vision and delivery options.  As I said, a successful bid to the Local Enterprise Partnership and the use of some of our previously gained Transforming Cities funding has provided more than £11m to start the first phase of the work which is ongoing.  It started earlier this year with an aim to demolish the western part of the site and once complete it will provide an area for redevelopment opening a pedestrian route from Carrington Street to Listergate, an area of high quality public realm that will complement the recently opened car park and the bus station which will open in the New Year and enhance the view up to the recently re-opened Nottingham Castle.  The work on a bright and bold vision for the Broadmarsh site has been ongoing over the summer and is nearing completion which will help to inform future bids for funding and assist the Council in establishing the next stage of thinking for redevelopment of the site.  We want to be able to deliver a vision that is both ambitious and imaginative but also economically advantageous to the City and achievable. It should first and foremost enhance the quality of life for local people in Nottingham but should also capture the imagination of people further afield who may want to invest in our City.  The Council will need some time to consider the work of Thomas Heatherwick and Stories, but it is anticipated that the vision and next steps for the site will be made publicly available by the end of the year. 




Councillor Nayab Patel asked the following question of the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources:

The recent budget announcements by the Chancellor will mean the biggest increase in taxes on Nottingham people for 30 years.  What impact does the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources believe this will have on the people we all represent?


Councillor Sam Webster replied as follows:

Thank you Councillor Patel for the question and congratulations on your election success.  It’s really fantastic to see you here in the Council Chamber as a Nottingham Labour Councillor and I’m sure starting as you mean to go on by standing up for the good people of Sherwood.  The issue you’ve raised is one of the top issues facing your residents right now and indeed households across Nottingham: rising taxes, the rising cost of living and the squeeze on household finances.  Since the Chancellor’s budget a couple of weeks ago a range of charities, associations and research groups have provided insight into the impact of the Government’s policies. It seems clear from trusted sources, such as the Institute for Fiscal Studies, that households face a combination of significantly higher taxes and higher living costs over the coming months. This on top of the big Universal Credit cut that we in Nottingham Labour lobbied so hard against and that we know will have a detrimental effect on Nottingham people, particularly the poorest children in Nottingham growing up in some of Nottingham’s poorest households. So, reflecting on the budget and the other economic challenges here’s what we know so far:  A big Universal Credit cut, over a £1000 per year, taken away from 46,000 Nottingham adults and 38,000 of Nottingham’s poorest children.  A big National Insurance increase from April – a low paid working person in Nottingham earning £20,000 per year will pay £130 more each year; an effective tax increase of 10% on the amount of National Insurance paid.  More big Council Tax rises – the Chancellor indicated a 9% rise over the next 3 years which will include a continuation of the Government’s Adult Social Care precept. The more the Government cuts its funding to local areas the more they have had to increase Council Tax.  Household energy bills rising at record levels - Nottingham people on a standard tariff with typical levels of energy use saw an increase of £139 on 1 October and many of the poorest households using pre-payment meters have just had an even bigger £153 increase.  Labour called on the Chancellor to give short term relief by way of a temporary VAT cut but the Chancellor chose not to help.  General inflation on food and other essentials is outpacing wage growth so people are increasingly struggling to make ends meet.  The current 3.1% inflation rate is set to increase even further in the coming months. The Governor of the Bank of England recently said he was ‘very sorry’ for the rising cost of living that people are facing but the Chancellor did not say sorry in his budget speech and he did not act to help those with the cost of living increases for many people.  The RAC also reported on 25 October that the price of petrol had increased to 143p per litre, the highest level on record to date.  So, it is very clear that this combination of tax increases and other economic challenges will mean that the impact on our residents is significant and will get worse when the Chancellor’s taxation changes happen in April. We know what this means for too many Nottingham families, right now this winter the choice between heating and eating is very real.  The Resolution Foundation reported that, with all things considered, the tax burden on UK families will have risen by £3000 since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister.  The budget did contain some big tax giveaways, however, most notably the £4billion cut to tax on bank profits, with a surge on bank profits being cut from 8 to 3%.  Nottingham people are experiencing the vast chasm between the Government’s rhetoric and the reality in their daily lives. Quite simply when it comes to living standards the Government is all talk and no delivery.  Government is simply not delivering for ordinary people. The last decade has been the weakest decade for pay growth since the 1930s.  By May 2024 real wages will have grown by just 2.4% since 2008 compared with a 38% real wage increase between 1992 and 2008. The result of this pressure on household finances means that we are seeing more food bank visits, more families presenting as homeless to the Council, more children growing up in poverty, growing numbers of people falling behind on their rent and other household bills and, to give the most extreme outcome of Conservative policies, for the first time in 40 years we have seen life expectancy falling and that was prior to the pandemic.  A recent BBC article said that areas in London and the Home Counties continue on the path of living longer, but life expectancy fell in many urban parts of Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool and Blackpool where life expectancy was below 70 for men and 75 for women.  By 2019 the researchers said there was a 20 year gap in life expectancy between a woman living in Camden versus a woman living in an area of Leeds and for men there was a 27 year gap in life expectancy between areas in Kensington and Chelsea and parts of Blackpool where life expectancy for men I just 68.3 years.  I think that pretty much sums up things, showing the choices the Government continues to make, the tax burden and Conservative policies.  The tax burden is being very purposefully placed on low and middle income households. Thank you Lord Mayor.





Councillor Michael Edwards asked the following question of the Portfolio Holder for Energy, Environment and Waste Services:

What would the Portfolio Holder for Energy, Environment and Waste Services like to see from COP26 this week and what progress has Nottingham made on its carbon neutral ambition?


Councillor Sally Longford replied as follows:

Thank you Lord Mayor and thank you Councillor Edwards for your timely question.  I am delighted to be attending COP26 next week accompanied by our Director of Carbon Reduction, Energy and Sustainability as part of the Core Cities delegation, to showcase Nottingham’s trailblazing response to the climate emergency, to  collaborate with other authorities from across the world and to seek a just transition to bring more green investment into Nottingham. I think we would all agree that the desired outcome of COP would be that agreement is reached to work together internationally to secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach; and adapt to protect communities and natural habitats and mobilise finance, particularly for communities at the greatest threat from the effects of climate change.

We know that if temperatures are allowed to grow by 1.5 degrees from pre-industrial levels that severe impacts are likely for everyone, particularly those who are already living in poverty and suffering inequality.  Many of you will have been moved by speeches and interviews over the last few days from people from small-island nations who face an existential threat and many people in this City will have family and friends in countries around the world where global heating threatens their food and water supply, their livelihoods and their homes.  That is why I was honoured to be given the opportunity to lead the march alongside Gillian Greenwood with a diverse group of people on Saturday to stand up for climate justice and to speak at the rally in the Old Market Square.  It was great to see such a wide range of organisations, trade unions, environmental campaigners and a really good turnout of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Labour representatives which was part of a global day of action.  

As to the progress made in Nottingham, I am very proud that the monitoring of our Carbon Neutral Action Plan, with over 273 city-wide actions, demonstrates that progress is being made across the board.  The annual report will be published on 12 November and will reflect the successes to date.  I’d like to thank everyone in the City who has played a part, the excellent work of the Green Partnership which regularly meets to discuss activities and share good practice, the group of organisation and businesses who have signed up to support our Carbon Neutral 2028 goal and all the thousands of individuals who’ve made the choice to reduce their own emissions. A few highlights include:

·  City CO2 emissions being reduced by 53% per capita since 2005, the most of any UK core city, that’s equivalent to 1m tonnes of CO2.

·  45% of Council fleet is now Ultra Low Emission Vehicles and we were first in the world to use purpose-built electric bin wagons.

·  We have 130 electric charging points for vehicles, with an additional 81 recently installed at new Broadmarsh carpark, the most for any single site in the UK so far.

·  46% of the NCT fleet is fuelled by bio-gas and plans are in place for carbon neutrality by 2028.

·  Nottingham City Hospital is replacing coal fired boilers, saving 800t of CO2 each year.

·  We have 60 commercial scale solar photovoltaic farms owned and operated by the City Council.

·  Since 2012, over 7,000 social and private hard-to-heat homes have been insulated and over 4,000 social housing properties now have solar panels.

·  In 2020, we secured over £13m of funding for domestic energy efficiency retrofits and over 1,200 homes are included in the programme.

·  Traffic calming and road closure schemes have been put in place to encourage more walking and cycling, including ‘School Streets’ which will enhance air quality for children.

·  Over 14,500 new trees planted since 2019/20 toward our target of 50,000 by 2023.

However, I am far from complacent.  There’s still very much to do and we cannot do this on our own.  We need Government, private investment and other stakeholders to support our vital work.  We have already demonstrated projects in the City but they need to be scaled-up, creating jobs and achieving transitions to a lower carbon economy where more deprived communities can benefit from warmer homes, affordable energy and access to clean modes of transport.  We need the Government to take action and truly commit to a net zero future, stop demanding action from other nations and halt our own opening of new coal mines in Cumbria and the Cambo oilfield.  As hosts of COP it is vital that we are seen to take this seriously and stop the hypocrisy.  On one day last week, when delegates from around the world were considering stopping using coal, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy was on television talking about ‘carbon capture’ and wouldn’t commit to cancelling Cambo.  I’m afraid the Tories just don’t get it but I won’t be put off trying to convince them of this and every other week.


Adult Social Care

Councillor Graham Chapman asked the following question of the Portfolio Holder for Adults and Health:

What does the Portfolio Holder for Adults and Health make of the Government’s recent attempts to ‘fix’ the social care crisis?


Councillor Adele Williams replied as follows:

Thank you for your question Councillor Chapman.  Sometimes in these sorts of areas people say it’s not always about money and, whilst there is much more that is needed than just money to sort out social care or to support citizens to live the lives they would hope for, money is absolutely foundational to this crisis and without it, it will not be fixed.  So, General Fund support from Central Government to fund the services we need in Nottingham due to the pressures that come from deprivation and the issues that follow from that, has been cut by more than half since 2010.  The Conservatives have slashed Adult Social Care budgets and then suggested that Nottingham Council tax payers pay through the nose for an inadequate sticking plaster for the injury that they have caused in form of the Adult Social Care Precept. This year, we expect that the precept will only be allowed to be at 1% so it won’t even raise what is required but it will still bring unwelcome cost to Nottingham families.  It has always been a very unfair way, since it was introduced, to bridge the gap in social care and Council funding.  Cities like Nottingham, whose people can least afford to fund it and have greater need for it, are asked to fund the bill as the Government have looked the other way.  They are still looking the other way despite ADASS (Association of Directors of Adult Social Care) telling them that their plans will offer very little to social care with a vast majority going to the NHS, and in September warning them that the trumpeted plans will not add a minute of support or improve the lives of older people, disabled people or unpaid carers.  It’s almost like the social care crisis is something they don’t want to look at.  Jeremy Hunt, last year, actually admitted on Newsnight that social care cuts were “in a way the most silent but also the most devastating”.  Silent because the Government were able to sweep them under our carpet of local government and most devastating because nationally we have 300,000 people with needs or who are unassessed.  A workforce crisis along with that being a cause and a hole that the Local Government Association put at £1.1billion a year for demographic pressures, alongside the £1. billion immediate cash injection that is needed to stabilise the care market and prevent further provider failures that risks havoc in citizens lives and hit our budgets hard.  £4.8billion has been trumpeted for local government but we have yet to see what that means with no real detail of the impact of that on Nottingham yet, but critically at national level is it obvious that it isn’t adequate to the task.  The underfunding of the sector has contributed in large parts to the workforce crisis we are seeing.  Put simply, adult social care budgets aren’t funded to pay people what they deserve.  The Government will talk about the minimum wage increase that is welcome but unfunded and, in any case, what I would say is that why should someone doing that absolutely critical work be at minimum wage anyway?  The Government’s recent attempts to fix adult social care don’t seem to be looking at the pressing workforce issues which underpin the availability of care and the unhelpful pressure towards time and task care delivery.  They appear really to be aimed largely at the homeowners of Surrey and funded from the pockets of supermarket workers, nurses and even the care workers themselves. National Insurance is a grossly unfair tax as it is paid at 12% by the low paid but drops down to 2% when you earn over £50,000 and for many people whose wealth just keeps rolling in, it will make no difference.  The rise in National Insurance will raise some £12billion but we expect that to be largely passed to the NHS and it is by no means clear how much of that will end up funding care budgets.  I want to see a well-funded NHS, we all do which is why we’re in the Labour Party, but social care is a critical piece of the jigsaw that means our citizens are able to access health care as they need it and to also ensure that our citizens are able to live well in their communities as they would want to, with the support they would need to be active and play an active part in the place that they live and in their families.  This prevents and delays future adult social care needs and enables our citizens to live as they wish which is absolutely critical.  I am not the Shadow Chancellor and am no expert in taxation but there are many, many ways that this Chancellor could have chosen to fund social care.  When he made the choice, rather than recalibrate the tax system, to tax unearned wealth for example more effectively, to make the tax system fairer, to close loops holes, he chose to look in the pockets of low paid carers who’ll be asked to pay through the National Insurance rise and the Adult Social Care Precept, giving a significant chunk of their spending power to protect the assets of people who have a lot more.  This tells you, as has been mentioned, everything about this Government.  But, as Councillor Webster said in response to a previous question, Nottingham already knows - you can tell by the way the people of Nottingham vote.  They are not bothered, the Tories, about those who wait for care, they are not bothered about those who will struggle every month because of the National Insurance rise or the 1% social care precept.  Despite the claps they are clearly not bothered about the people who care for people in this City. They are a disgrace and no, I do not think there has been an attempt to fix the social care crisis. I can’t quite see where it is.  Thank you.


Dolly Parton Imagination Library

Councillor Georgia Power asked the following question of the Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People:

What plans does the Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People have this year to raise money for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library?


Councillor Cheryl Barnard replied as follows:

Thank you Lord Mayor and thank you Councillor Power for asking this question.  Every year we look at imaginative ways to raise funds for the Imagination Library.  2021 is the 10th anniversary of the Imagination Library.  So far we have seen over 3,000 children graduate from this scheme,we currently have more than 5,600 children registered, that means we are above the 9,500 mark it covers 10 out of the 20 wards of the City and over 340,000 books are being delivered.  But we want to do more.

This year, especially given the impact of Covid on children’s learning and wellbeing, we want to raise even more than previous years.  A recent survey about children’s experiences during the 2020/21 pandemic and academic year, delivered in partnership with Nottingham City Council’s Educational Psychology service, highlighted the need to focus on children’s emotional health and wellbeing as well as the enjoyment of, and motivation for, life-long learning.  We know that reading and literacy supports this through the development of vocabulary and a broadening of children’s knowledge about the world and its opportunities.  We have already begun our fundraising campaign this year by bucket shaking at the ‘9 to 5’ musical at the Theatre Royal, raising an incredible £1,878 in 5 days and I’d like to thank councillors who assisted with that.  We are now planning for the Panto season.


During week commencing 22 November, along with the Leader and other colleagues, we will be undertaking the ‘Big Reading Challenge 2021’, reading as many stories as possible to lots of children in one week.  We will be reading to school classes, assemblies and nursery groups around the City.  Incorporated into this week of fundraising, will be a business breakfast where we will invite local business leaders along to promote and raise their awareness of this Imagination Library.  It’s a great opportunity for us to explain how the Imagination Library links to our ambitions for Nottingham and its economy and to gain their support for this important initiative. Our goal is to raise over £5,000 during that week. We will also look at planning our next Imagination Library raffle, early in 2022.

Our next, and most important step, is around sustainability and for us to find those links with businesses, partners and individuals to encourage regular monthly giving as well as donations to ensure the future of the Imagination Library for the children of Nottingham, so they can continue to benefit from receiving these books.  Councillors here today who are interested in one-off or monthly donations can do so at and I encourage you all to do so. Thank you Lord Mayor.


Broadmarsh Centre

Councillor Andrew Rule asked the following question of the Leader of the Council:

Much has been made over recent days about the Council’s unsuccessful bid to secure funding for the future of Broadmarsh.  Does the Leader accept that success in future applications will be dependent upon a clear vision for the future of the site, beyond merely demolishing it, and can he therefore update the Chamber on when this may be finalised?


Councillor David Mellen replied as follows:

Thank you Lord Mayor and can I thank Councillor Rule for his question.  As we have had a similar question this afternoon, he will know I have already spoken in my earlier answer of my disappointment, particularly as the Broadmarsh site is one of the UK’s largest regeneration sites.  It would seem to be an obvious candidate for levelling up and if Councillor Rule can help in terms of fighting for Nottingham and suggesting to his colleagues in Parliament that this would be a good site in which to bring their much needed levelling up funds, I would be grateful for his support.  Earlier in this meeting I reminded the Council of progress during the past year since the site reverted to the City: the right of way re-opened, a successful bid to the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership to secure funding to restart development to the site, the ‘Big Conversation’ and the appointment of the advisory group.  Significant progress in a relatively short period of time. The Advisory Group were asked to recommend two crucial aspects for the Broadmarsh area: a creative vision for the space as well as a recommendation on how Nottingham can deliver the project over the next decade.  We have appointed Thomas Heatherwick Studios, who have an international reputation, and Stories, who are development advisors, to help us deliver the answers to both those questions on vision and delivery options.  The first phase of work started earlier this year involving the demolition to the west of the site and that, as I mentioned earlier, will provide more open space, a link into Listergate, a better view of the Castle and will also extend the public space around the carpark and bus station.  We do want to deliver a vision that is ambitious and imaginative but achievable, which first and foremost enhances the quality of life for Nottingham people but also captures the imagination of people further afield and partners who want to invest in our City.  It is key to the delivery of this development.  The Council will rightly need to consider the work that will be reported to us soon by Heatherwick, Stories and the Advisory Group but it is anticipated that the vision and the next steps for this site will be made publically available by the end of this year.


E-scooter trial

Councillor Andrew Rule asked the following question of the Portfolio Holder for Highways, Transport and Cleansing Services:

Following the recent decision to extend the ‘trial’ of e-scooters within the City can the Portfolio Holder outline what extra enforcement powers will be introduced to deter the riding of e-scooters on pavements and ensure the safety of pedestrians?


Councillor Rosemary Healy replied as follows:

Thank your Lord Mayor and thank you Councillor Rule for your question.  The Department of Transport has introduced e-scooter rental trials to gain understanding and build evidence of e-scooter use before taking a decision to permanently legalise them.  E-scooters are permitted for use where cycles can be used on the public highway including bus/cycle lanes and shared paths.

Enforcement against illegal riding of e-scooters, just like illegal riding of cycles, rests with the Police. Since the trial launched, the Council has maintained regular contact with the Police and Community Protection colleagues to undertake stricter enforcement against users not obeying the rules.  Thus far this has included:

·  Introduction and expansion of e-scooter patrollers. Currently six Wind patrollers roam on hotspot routes engaging with users and enforcing correct conduct. This has resulted in approximately 25 engagements with riders a day.  Patrollers also note instances of pavement riding and take disciplinary action against riders not adhering to the rules.

·  Wind have introduced a three strike process introduced for incorrect riding and this comprises:

o  1 – warning text message sent to riders reminding them of the rules

o  2 – one week ban from the scheme

o  3 – permanent ban from the scheme

·  Additional geo-fencing measures. Following feedback, a number of areas have been made into go-slow areas including along the canal, parks, Middle Hill/college area, Carrington street, as well as specific interventions in residential areas.

·  Flat fee fines introduced for poorly parked e-scooters outside the parking radius.

·  Parking spots causing obstruction have either been removed or moved to appropriate places supported by physically marking the parking spots with paint.

·  Joint work with the Community Protection Officers who completed a number of days of action in May at hotspots for example Derby Road to engage and educate riders.

Ensuring the safety of all pavement users remains a priority through the extension period of the trial and Government confirmed the basis of the trial extensions to improve safety and address public perceptions of e-scooters.  An Action Plan has been developed to deliver improvements to the scheme which includes measures to tackle pavement riding.  This includes:

·  Introduction of in-person training and safety events, creation of online training resources and ‘how to’ videos informing riders of the rules, where to safely ride e-scooters using the local cycle infrastructure network, for example.

·  Increased communications and engagement activity through different online, social media platforms and through stakeholder meetings.

·  Increased enforcement through stricter fines and penalties for users not adhering to the rules.

·  Increased engagement and enforcement of hot spots by Wind’s e-scooter patrollers

·  Possibility of further Community Protection Officers days of action on hotspot routes

·  Technological innovations to provide better detection and GPS accuracy of e-scooters.

·  Further communications on correct usage and user conduct including on social media, in-app notifications, and Council communications.

I’m afraid the answer is not totally dissimilar to the previous question. Thank you.










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