All posts by James

Cllrs. Battlemuch, Longford and Webster – For the sake of the city, resign

Nottingham’s Liberal Democrats have called for the resignation of three of the Labour councillors at the heart of the Robin Hood Energy scandal. Following the damning report from the external auditor released on Tuesday 11th August 2020, the Liberal Democrats believe it is clear that responsibility has to be taken for what the report described as the council’s “institutional blindness” for pouring millions of pounds of loans into a company that was compromised in its ability to make repayments.

Speaking for Nottingham Lib Dems, their chair Rebecca Procter said:

“Today we are calling for accountability and we are calling for action. Firstly it is clear that three councillors have been heavily involved in this mess and should resign immediately. Cllr Battlemuch is a former Chair and current board member of Robin Hood Energy, as well as being the Chair of the Audit Committee at Nottingham City Council. We believe his position is untenable and he should remove himself from all positions at the energy company and resign as a councillor.

“The current Portfolio Holder for Energy is Cllr Longford. This report has happened on her watch and she must take responsibility. It is worth remembering that short of being put in special measures, the publication of this report is the most serious sanction that a local authority can be given and they are not given out lightly[1]. The Portfolio Holder must take responsibility.

“Finally, this has been a financial disaster for the city. For a council to knowingly loan a company public money when the company’s ability to repay was continuing to ebb away is gross incompetence. The Portfolio Holder for Finance is Cllr Webster. He should do the decent thing and resign his seat on the council today.

“We welcome the apology from the Leader of the Council, Cllr Mellen. He is right to apologise but an apology without action is not enough. We hope he will persuade his colleagues to take responsibility for their actions and resign their seats.

“The future of Robin Hood Energy now needs to be looked into. It is a local employer and it has millions of pounds of public money invested in it. The Labour Council needs to come up with a solution that benefits the city and its residents rather than taking us all for granted so that they can pursue ideological vanity projects”

[1] – reference to Report in the Public Interest under section 24 and Schedule 7 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014

It’s time to turn the Broadmarsh into a ‘green gateway’

Nottingham’s Liberal Democrats have welcomed the Government’s announcement of £44.4m of funding available for 10 projects in the D2N2 area, one of which is to enable the ‘removal of blight through demolition’ of the Broadmarsh Centre.

Lloydie James Lloyd, a spokesperson for Nottingham Liberal Democrats said:

“The city council now have the ability to put forward plans for the Broadmarsh and Southside transformation. We have been clear from the start that a green space needs to be at the heart of these plans and part of a ‘green gateway’ into the city. Thousands of residents have signed a petition asking for a green space and the Liberal Democrats have produced a plan of how the area could look. Today we call on the city council to sit down with us to discuss our plans. The Council Leader said they were interested in hearing views from people in the city so we are taking them at their word.

“The Liberal Democrats have offered a vision of a regenerated, greener Nottingham. We hope the Labour-dominated council will put party politics aside and sit down with us and other interested parties so that we can discuss the future of the city we all live in.

“The Liberal Democrats put forward a plan on July 24th which detailed a mixed use development which is exactly what the government has said it is willing to fund in its announcement. After years of delay with the Broadmarsh, it’s time for the City Council to be bold. We urge them to talk to us about creating a greener, vibrant gateway into our great city”

The Lib Dems’ plan for a new ‘green gateway’ into the city, produced with NTU School of Architecture alumna Alexis Lane. Click to enlarge.