Seeing Bramcote a little differently with Ellie Winfield, Labour’s candidate in the County Council election on 6th May
Wanting to be your county councillor comes from being part of the community, a community I have lived in, and been a part of, for much of the past six years.
I have the privilege of having lived in Bramcote village and, now, Beeston Fields, which come together in the Bramcote and Beeston North Division on Nottinghamshire County Council. I have a genuine understanding of the needs of the area as a whole and feel passionate about protecting vital community assets, such as Bramcote Ridge, our bus services, schools, roads and our other green spaces.
I am very proud of Labour’s County Council commitments and I’m confident in my ability to help deliver them for Bramcote and Beeston North. Here is a list of Labour’s priorities:
- Caring for all our residents.
- Supporting families, children and young people.
- Protecting our precious environment.
- Strengthening our local communities.
- Rebuilding our local economies and a
- A review of public transport services and support.
I have also been asked about my personal commitment to the issues facing Bramcote, so below I set out my own commitments and key priorities for our area:
One of the local issues I have always been acutely concerned about is child poverty in our area and 2011 census data shows that in Beeston North and parts of Bramcote it stands at 26%. In other words, one in four local children and their families struggle to afford basics like food, the lack of which seriously undermines their ability to concentrate at school and achieve their full potential.
My fear, looking at current national trends, is that the census we have recently undertaken is likely to show a worsening, rather than improvement, of the situation and this is why I decided to take action and set up Broxtowe Community Projects, so no child in our area needs to go hungry and that everyone can have access to fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy and proteins, such as meats and eggs, which are so vital for healthy development, as well as the usual dry goods which are so often the only foods offered by food banks.
Broxtowe Community Projects is different because it’s a self-referral foodbank, and much else besides covering the Broxtowe Borough Council area. It began life in the Labour Party Hub on Chilwell Road and I have been involved from the start.
‘Self-referral’ means that anyone in need can request help, rather than having to be referred by social services or other agencies.‘Throughout this pandemic I have worked hard to ensure that no child, in our community, has gone hungry.
On the back of the work carried out at the Labour Hub, I and my fellow trustees set up Broxtowe Community Projects to provide everything from food boxes to nappies and laptops to help with home schooling.
The Project has now moved to 210 Queens Road, Beeston NG9 2BZ, Tel: +44 434 664174; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also on Facebook.
Thanks to my work in the communities and neighbourhoods which make up Bramcote and Beeston North, I’m confident that I can provide a strong voice for those who often fall by the wayside – something I have demonstrated time and again in the casework I have undertaken as part of my food bank work, which has seen me personally assist in getting three young men sleeping rough off the streets and into supported accommodation. I am tenacious and hardworking, with a ‘can do’ attitude.
Broxtowe Community Projects has an excellent record, of which I am proud. In a short space of time we have distributed 5,000 food boxes and 2,500 hot meals. In total we have helped1,000+ people and 385 homes, plus 18,000 meals have been made from food we have re-distributed that would have otherwise gone to landfill. We have also provided 500 pets with food as well.
The success of Broxtowe Community Projects demonstrates that I know how to build relationships within the community and that I will happily work with others to find solutions to local problems and issues. Because I know first hand the difference community and self-help groups can make, I will work hard to help and support local residents who want to set up their own community and support groups.
Staying in touch
I know how important it is to communicate regularly with the public; to stay in touch, I will publish a quarterly newsletterto keep you updated on what I do and to ask for your opinions on important local issues.
I am also a firm believer in the importance of building positive relationships with community leaders and residents alike, which is why I am committed to making better use of our public notice boards and making them more accessible to community groups. If our notice boards are better used, then people will stop and take a closer look. When the boards rarely change people just walk on by. When I become your county councillor I will make sure the Council’s notice boards are better used and worth a look! We all know small things can make a big difference to everyday lives.
I will also hold regular surgeries across Bramcote and Beeston North and ensure that they are held in locations that are accessible by public transport. I will also hold digital surgeries and look at ways of assisting those who are digitally deprived, but have no physical means of attending surgeries.
Protecting our green spaces and local environment
In areas like Bramcote and Beeston North, there can never be too much open space. To build houses on open space means more pressure on what little open space there is. Other services and resources also suffer. How sensible is that? ‘pen space matters. I will fight to keep it and engage the community in this process.
The County Council’s decision to sell parts of Bramcote Park to the White Hills Park Federation Trust so that they can sell the land on for housing and use the proceeds to build new school buildings may seem a worthy act to some, but all you get in return is more pressure on scant services and resources, already close to breaking point. It would have been better to lend them the money, given that interest rates are low.
Selling open space is never a good decision. Where will be next? Bramcote Park, Bramcote Ridge? Bramcote is a great location for HS2 housing. More homes will mean more pressure on services and facilities. At present what we have is ad hoc decision making which forgets long-term plans when it suits. As your county councillor I will always want to make decisions which take account of environmental concerns and the interests of the wider community.
Open space is important for our mental health as well as our physical wellbeing. Somewhere to go with family and friends; to walk the dog and so much more and Bramcote is blessed with many of these precious spaces which will need a strong advocate for their protection in the coming years – I will be that advocate.
Supporting young people and others who want to use our parks has to be better than excluding them. The Labour Party believes community involvement is the key to reclaiming and protecting our parks and green spaces and so do I’.
I can’t drive a car, so buses matter to me and living in Beeston Fields now and before that in Bramcote I know how important the little buses are. It would great if they ran every 30 minutes and into the evenings too, so that we can go and meet friends, or visit the new cinema, and get home afterwards without having to hire a taxi.
I know that there are drawbacks — not always enough space on the bus for buggies or others with shopping trolleys. This only has to happen a couple of times and you give up on the bus. We need buses able to carry more shopping trolleys, wheelchairs and buggies, and I will work hard to achieve this.
I want all bus stops to have shelters to help protect us from the weather and which are lit when it’s dark. Personal safety is very important at all times.
I’ve been working with other local bus users to come up with a proposal to make sure that we still have at least an hourly bus linking us to Beeston, increasing to every 30 minutes as more of us use the bus.
The possible route shown on the map will take 22–23 minutes from Bramcote Lane to Beeston and would look to connect Bramcote with Beeston new cinema and night time economy which will mean residents of Bramcote won’t have to rely on expensive taxis to engage with what Beeston has to offer – we could even connect Bramcote to London if we extend the service through to the railway station.
The LocalLink L10 and L11 buses have been carrying many of us around parts of Bramcote and Beeston for a good few years, appreciated by many, invisible to others. Whatever kind of service replaces the LocalLink buses, I will ensure that our local little buses get the attention they deserve.
Please lend me your vote and I will put it to work
I look around Bramcote and want things to be better for everyone.I joined the Labour Party because I want things to be better for everyone. I want a fairer society. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that things have to be changed for the better and this will only happen if we start seeing Bramcote and the world as we want to be, instead of believing things won’t change whatever we do. I am that change, so please lend me your vote on Thursday 6th May and I will put it to work, helping to make Bramcote a better place for all.