There’s been a couple of meetings of late, handily scheduled against each other, that I missed due to other commitments. One was the NHS debate ran by campaign group 38 Degrees. I have a report from someone who could attend pending, but a word of warning: whatever the conclusions of the meeting, do not expect Soubry to listen to them.
Why? Well, she is a protegé, through serving under him in her last role, of that human-shaped ball of quivering idiocy, of Simon Burns MP. Burns is one of those characters who look like a Spitting Image puppet of himself, and is a pretty despicable chap. You may remember him from his wish to implement a two-tier system at Westminster, where MPs could jump queues at cafes, bars etc. Our political elite managed to rally against this intense pomposity, and it was not implemented, but was a fascinating insight into his self-importance. He also derided the Speaker, John Bercow, as ‘a stupid sanctimonious dwarf’ :
A bit of a nob, then.
It gets worse, and you may spot a parallel with Soubry’s inaction in responding to any correspondence that dares express a different view than her:
Nice. I’d call him an odious prick, but I’m not one to sink to his level of personal insult.
Did this inform Soubry’s attitude to the postal workers; to the constituents who have asked her to explain her utter loyalty to the Government despite local opposition (especially, tellingly, on health); and her refusal to engage with myself, or respondents to her column in The Beeston Express, on issues that really do matter here? She is, after all, Broxtowe’s voice in Westminster. Or, more accurately, Broxtowe’s voice in Westminster via Mapperley and once it has been ran by the Whip’s office and checked carefully and screened for anything that might offend Cameron and act detrimentally against any promotion/ parachute to Rushcliffe.
Maybe that’s unfair. For not the first time on Beestonia, we will open channels to our MP with a right of reply. Will you listen to the views of your constituents Anna, or will you just label them leftists/ trolls/misogynists, and throw clumsy legal notices at them? I await, with no particular breath baited, your response.
Mind you, her new boss is Jeremy ‘Hunt’ Hunt. Frying pan, fire?
Oh, and just out of interest, the glossy newsletter you circulated recently seemed to be printed in Birmingham. Surely a local printer could have done the job: we are about to enter a triple-dip recession , after all? Local firms would have loved that commission. I know, as a small time publisher, you have to watch the pennies, but if I , and indeed The Lib Dems, can kick out a publication printed in NG9, surely you can?
The second meeting is much more local than our MP: Chilwell Road, precisely.
Looks like due to a phenomenal cock-up by NET, the specialist machine that will lay and set the tracks for the tram is four metres too wide for the road. Thus, rather than run a switched one-way system across the road, the whole road needs to be shut for up to 12 months. Completely. No cars, no bikes, no buses, and possibly more importantly, no delivery vehicles. These are ALL independents that could be wiped out: a lot of their trade comes, simply, through being able to see their specialism while driving, or being driven, by their shops.
I talked to a local Councillor today to see what could be done, and they did provide some ideas:
- A free bus service that hops round Beeston, and is integrated to periodically pass through Chilwell Road to give shoppers greater access.
- Increased working hours from 8am-8pm to get the work done faster.
- A delivery hub set up at Bartons, that would thus allow access to suppliers and goods coming away from the closed off area.
Are the businesses convinced? I have yet to receive the report from one such trader who attended the meeting, but it doesn’t look like it’s convinced them. Despite a pot of around £2 million in compensation payments to them (where each business is paid 80% of their accountable year-on-year losses, issued quarterly), I will be finding out myself tomorrow.
When I’m asked my opinions on the tram, or the redevelopment of the Square, I fall back on a simple line that Beeston is bein thrown into the air right now: how it lands is key. It’s not hard to draw an opinion out of Beestonians when it comes to the tram, but I still want to hear you, especially those that offer new light and don’t just peddle the dull YES THE TRAM IS GREAT / NO THE TRAM IS CRAP please. A bit of nuance could make a real difference. I await your response