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Statement to voters
A number of people have asked me what I would actually do for the people of Bingham if I were elected as a Bingham Town Councillor or Rushcliffe Borough Councillor, and I’m now going to attempt to answer that question.
My starting point is a document called the Bingham Community-led Plan, which was published in May 2016. In September 2015, 4500 questionnaires asking for people’s views of their priorities on key issues surrounding the development of the town were delivered to every household in Bingham and a further 2100 shorter questionnaires to the town’s three schools.
The response was excellent, and the survey identified 37 actions that the people of Bingham said that they wanted taken.
Of those, the actions that I am mainly concerned about centre around our community services and facilities. They are:
The building of a Community Centre. This objective is partially addressed in the proposal for a new leisure centre north of the railway line which is to come in at a budgeted cost of £20 million, which will in real terms mean an ongoing liability of at least £21.4 million repayable over 40 years and assumes £10 million grant funding that may or may not be available and rental income that may or may not materialise. The true cost of this project to council tax and business rates payers and users of the centre has not been properly disclosed or explained.
The upgrading and improved maintenance of the existing Bingham Leisure Centre rather than build a new facility north of the railway line. This option was airily dismissed in a feasibility study compiled by the consultants appointed by RBC in 2017 who said that building on the Toot Hill school site was “costly and technically problematic” and that “an off-site location should be considered”. It’s hard to imagine that refurbishing and improving the existing leisure centre would cost more than £31.4 million and be more problematic than building on the ex-Tesco site. Also, the proposed new leisure centre doesn’t include any indoor sports hall, outdoor sports pitches, tennis courts, athletics tracks or field events grounds, for all of which we’ll have to content ourselves with the existing facilities at Toot Hill Academy, always assuming that the Academy is willing for us to continue using them free of charge, which is a very big if indeed.
Provision of more outdoor play areas and better equipment for all ages. The provision of additional recreation areas for teenagers was well supported by the adult respondents, who saw it as a means of mitigating anti-social behaviour, and even better by the school-age respondents. So far, one play park has been provided with new equipment and surfacing, providing play opportunities for 0-5 and 6-12 year olds, but nothing for teenagers or disabled children. There are no current proposals to provide any kind of play or recreation facilities in the town for teenagers.
Ensuring the long-term future of Warner’s Paddock, establishing a country park and gardens, open play areas and wildlife areas and upgrading the Linear Park. Warner’s Paddock has been reprieved but its long-term future is far from certain. The Linear Park is continually improving and is a very valuable asset for the town. The rest is not even under consideration.
Re-establishing a local tip or recycling centre. We have been told three times that a new site has been identified, but not where or what exactly those sites were. Many of us may wonder quite what was wrong with the Coach Gap Lane site.
The provision of a new bridge or lift system to allow disabled access to the Eastbound platform at Bingham railway station. Since Tesco pulled out of its involvement in the town, no progress towards disabled access has been made, there have been no representations to Network Rail that I know about, and the best we can offer wheelchair users wishing to go East is for them to go the opposite way to Nottingham, cross the line there and come back, adding at least an hour to their journey time. This is not acceptable in the 21st century.
The preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan. The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee started work in February 2019, but I’m not at liberty to say yet what the timescale for production of the Plan is, or when its effects might be felt.
I want to see:
* A greener, cleaner town, with a sustainable policy of tree and garden planting and maintenance
* A caring town, with affordable housing and public parks, play areas and open spaces freely available for everyone to enjoy
* A town and a borough that invest in the future, use their capital resources and income wisely and do not burden their citizens with unnecessary and unaffordable debt
John Lewis, candidate for election to Bingham Town Council and Rushcliffe Borough Council on the 2nd May 2019
This statement was added by John Edward Lewis, their team, or by a Democracy Club volunteer, based on information published by the candidate elsewhere.
Rushcliffe Liberal Democrats
John Edward Lewis's local party is the Rushcliffe Liberal Democrats.
@RushcliffeLibDm on Twitter
This candidate has previously stood for election in:
- 2019: The Rushcliffe local election, as the Liberal Democrats candidate for the Bingham East
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