Sunday, 15 March 2009

To Let signs and an introduction to 'RON'

Unipol provide a registration and lettings scheme for landlords in Nottingham, which is beneficial to all concerned: If landlords meet Unipol's published standards, then Unipol will advertise their properties for them, which means that students can be sure that the accommodation they choose to rent meets standards approved by Unipol. Other local residents benefit because it is another, very useful, way of helping to ensure that the private to-let houses around us are better maintained and controlled than might otherwise be the case. Even Nottingham City Council benefits, because it has a partner in Unipol it can work with, as do local groups like the Dunkirk and Lenton Partnership Forum and the Nottingham Action Group (NAG)

Now Unipol are proposing that the number of 'To Let' signs in and around Lenton are limited to one sign per letting agent per street and that they have to be attached to the property, instead of freestanding, and to an agreed size. If and when the property is let, the sign has to be taken down within fourteen days. This is something a number of local residents and groups have been arguing for, so this is really good news, even if the proposal is only for a trial period at first (1 May–31 October 2009), with a review in November 2009.

But first, there will be a period of public consultation, ending on 27 March 2009. In between now and then there will be two public meetings. Whilst it would have been nice to have more notice of the meetings, the fact that they are getting on with it is some compensation. The meeting times and dates are as follows:

Monday 16 March @ 7.15pm
St Mary's Church Hall, Wollaton Hall Drive (by Lenton Lodge, opposite Hillside, off the Derby Road).

Wednesday 18 March @ 6,30pm
Thomas Helwys Church, Church Street, New Lenton.

Views and comments can be sent direct to Unipol Student Homes at:
Old Engineering Building
Cut-Through Lane
University of Nottingham NG7 2RD

On a lighter, yet equally serious, note, last Wednesday, I picked up a copy of a booklet about the Nottingham University Students' Union 2009 elections, which were held this week and saw that 'RON' appears on every ballot paper. It isn't a person's name. It is, in fact, an abbreviation for 'Re-open Nominations'. If students don't like any of the candidates running for a particular post, they can vote for RON and should 'he' win, the election for the post in question has to take place again. I rather like the idea — it's certainly preferable to compulsory voting — and wonder what might happen in some our local and general elections if voters had the chance to vote for RON?

A ban on restaurants using staff tips to make up wages to the legal minimum could be delayed after the hospitality industry claimed the move could put jobs at risk.

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