John Cottee, born in Nottingham, is married and has two daughters. He has lived in South Nottinghamshire in the Keyworth area for most of his life. He was educated at West Bridgford High School and Nottingham Boys' High School and continued his studies while working for his father at Windley Fibres.
In 1979 he was a co-founder of Cottee Fibres Limited with his father and he became Managing Director in 1994 when his father retired. John sold his interest in the business to his brother in 2005 to concentrate on politics.
John has represented the Keyworth division on Nottinghamshire County Council since June 2001.
In June 2009, he was appointed Cabinet Member for Culture & Community, having previously been the Opposition Spokesman on this portfolio. He had previously served as Conservative Group Business Manager. Following the change to a committee system of governance in May 2012 he became Chairman of the Culture Committee.
John regards his role as Chairman of the Culture Committee as "the best job in the Council". That may be because promoting Nottinghamshire sport forms an important part of this portfolio and he is a very keen sportsman, having had experience in running and managing various local football teams as well as being an active qualified referee.
The passion he has for the job extends into other areas of his portfolio which include Nottinghamshire’s Library and Archive Service and The National Water Sports Centre. Some of John’s other interests are as Vice Chairman at Creswell Crags in North Nottinghamshire and Chairman of the Russell Youth Club in St Anns in Nottingham (to name but a few).
John is available to meet with constituents at any convenient time at a suitable venue. His contact details are displayed on the left of this page.
John's latest Councillors' Divisional Fund awards...
Each Nottinghamshire County Councillor now has an annual fund of £10,000 to support worthy initiatives in the division they represent. The Councillors' Divisional Fund aims to make use of each councillor's 'grass roots' knowledge to identify projects, events, people and clubs that work hard to benefit and promote their local area, but often lack access to resources. Even a small amount of funding can sometimes make a huge difference.
If you know of a deserving initiative in the Keyworth division that might be eligible to receive a CDF grant, please contact me. You can click the following link to read the eligibility guidance criteria.
Follow this link to the Councillors' Divisional Fund web page to see some of the latest projects I have been able to support.
John's latest news...
Council tax frozen for the fourth consecutive year
At the Nottinghamshire County Council budget meeting on 28th February 2013, I joined my Conservative colleagues in voting to freeze county council tax for a fourth consecutive year.
In the 2013/14 financial year, Nottinghamshire County Council will be investing: -
an extra £13.3 million in services to children and young people;
an extra £17.9 million in adult social care;
an extra £3 million on the county’s highways;
an extra £500,000 for a Youth Employment Strategy; and
an extra £700,000 for our ‘Olympic Legacy’ sports development fund.
This followed our ‘Big Budget Conversation’ consultation process, in which 65% of Nottinghamshire respondents supported a council tax freeze, with only 21% against. Further information on the results of the Big Budget Conversation can be found in Appendix A to the budget report.
Nottinghamshire County Council is now spending over £40 million more on services to vulnerable adults than it was four years ago, and over £35 million more on services to vulnerable children.
Exciting news for National Water Sports Centre
I'm delighted to report a multi-million pound investment plan set to secure the long-term future of the National Water Sports Centre as one of the UK’s premier outdoor leisure attractions. Nottinghamshire County Council has announced Serco as the preferred bidder to manage, operate and maintain the site. The proposal will bring a total of £6.7m investment into the centre, which includes a £1.6m contribution from the County Council. At the same time, it is estimated that the operation, management and investment proposals will save the council over £14m in revenue costs over the life of the 21-year contract. The bid proposals promise enhancements to facilities across the site including:-
• A refurbished main building with improved and enhanced accommodation, catering and conferencing facilities.
• State-of-the-art community fitness facilities within a new larger gym and performance gym.
• Campsite improvements and developments featuring upgrades to the existing changing block and new outdoor wooden ‘camping pods’ set in small community groups.
• Refurbished changing facilities in the main building and at the ski tow, plus a fantastic new catering offer at the slalom course.
• An exciting new “Sky Trail” high ropes course that will challenge the whole family on a large scale climbing adventure.
• An adventure golf course located in the new ‘family’ zone.
• New activities on site such as Outdoor Laser Quest, Segways, cycle hire and many more water based activities.
More details can be found in the media release issued on 30th January.
Visits to local businesses
Nottinghamshire County Council is sounding out businesses on its economic development plans and proposals to stimulate growth and jobs. Recently I was one of a delegation of committee chairmen and council officers, led by Councillor Kay Cutts, to visit the award winning Southwell-based business, Advanex Europe.
Councillor Cottee with Paul Clifford, Managing Director of Advanex
Advanex specialises in design and manufacture of metal and plastic components, springs and assemblies to sectors as diverse as medical, pharmaceutical, aerospace, electronics and agricultural engineering manufacturers. The meeting and tour was the latest of a series of visits to companies throughout the county to talk to local businesses about the issues facing them, local growth plans and how the Council can provide support.
Senior Councillors have made twelve formal visits to Nottinghamshire firms in the last two years, including Laing O'Rourke (Worksop), Alliance Boots (Beeston), Abacus Lighting (Sutton-in-Ashfield), Synseal (Huthwaite), British Sugar (Newark), Hardstaffs (Gotham) and British Geological Survey (Keyworth).
I believe there's no substitute for getting out there and seeing how our businesses are doing on the ground. Often there are actions the County Council can take which make a huge difference to businesses and their employees - from small things like tweaking a bus route or trading standards advice to major infrastructure projects such as improving the A453 and faster broadband.
Karl Sirrell, Regional Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses and Mark Chivers, Director of Nottinghamshire Enterprise Zone (Alliance Boots) recently became co-opted members of the County Council's Economic Development Committee. And businesses from throughout the county were involved in the production of Nottinghamshire's first Growth Plan, which is out for consultation until 7 December. It can be viewed at: http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/growthplan
Proposal to freeze Nottinghamshire council tax for a fourth consecutive year
On Monday 12th November, Councillor Reg Adair, Chairman of the Finance & Property Committee, moved Nottinghamshire County Council's initial budget proposals for 2013/14 and signalled our intention to freeze Council Tax for a fourth consecutive year.
Committee members agreed to consult the Nottinghamshire public on the budget plans, which would provide an additional £25 million to meet increased demand for services, including an extra £16 million for adult social care and £3 million for children's social care. The proposal requires no savings further to those announced in previous years.
You can view the budget report and participate in the public consultation at: http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/budget
New telephone number for Nottinghamshire County Council
Nottinghamshire County Council has launched a new telephone number 0300 500 80 80 which is cheaper than the previous 08449 number. The change to 0300 500 80 80 means that wherever you live in Nottinghamshire, you'll pay a local call rate when you get in touch with the Council. Calls to 0300 numbers are included in all-inclusive minutes and discount schemes offered by telecoms and mobile phone providers, meaning that some calls are even free of charge.
To celebrate, the County Council's Customer Service Centre has revealed some of the strangest requests it has received since it was launched in 2008, including a lady requesting an audience with The Queen and someone asking if it's okay to exercise their kestrel at a local tip!
Civic celebration of local Olympians heralds major new commitment to Nottinghamshire sport
On Tuesday 9th October, as Chairman of the Culture Committee I attended a Civic Reception hosted by Nottinghamshire County Council at Trent Bridge, the home of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, to celebrate the successes of local athletes, coaches and other key contributors to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Dressage rider Sophie Wells and swimmer Ollie Hynd are among the local athletes funded through the county council's Shining Stars Scheme who have won gold medals at the Games. In total, ten athletes who are funded through Shining Stars represented Team GB, receiving an annual grant of £2,012 to help with transport and travel costs.
Shining Star Olympic bronze medallist Sam Oldham from Keyworth with Councillor Cottee and Councillor Leader, Councillor Kay Cutts
Some of the highlights for Nottinghamshire at London 2012 included:-
- Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie (gold) and David Florence and Richard Hounslow (silver) taking canoe slalom medals having all trained at the National Water Sports Centre managed by the county council;
- Two bronze medals at the Aquatics Centre for Mansfield’s Rebecca Adlington whose swimming club Nova Centurion receives an annual grant from the county council;
- Shining Star medal successes including Richard Whitehead (gold), Sam Oldham (Gymnastics, bronze) and Charlotte Henshaw (swimming, silver);
- Nottinghamshire County Council staff Maggie Else and Pete Edwards named as line judges for the Boccia tournament at the Paralympics.
At the Civic Reception I announced that the Council would respond to Lord Coe’s London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic legacy plea with compelling investment plans to help produce future sports stars. The event saw the launch of proposals for a £1 million Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Fund to support sports development across Nottinghamshire. There will be two streams of funding – Kick Start grants of £500-£10,000 and Game Changer grants of £10,000 to £50,000 to help local sports organisations promote sport and nurture talent to find the sports stars of the future.
Plans were also announced for funding of £900,000 to Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club to part-fund a new scoreboard and replay screen, a commitment made to guarantee that Trent Bridge hosts two Ashes Tests over the next four years, bringing an estimated £30 million of economic benefit to the county.
The cricket club plans to introduce a three-year, fully funded, "Positive Futures" social inclusion programme in Hawtonville, Newark worth £270,000 over three years. It is modelled on the successful Cotgrave Positive Futures programme, which has tackled youth crime and social exclusion in the last four years.
Triumphant return to the National Water Sports Centre for Olympic gold medallists
Following their success at London 2012, I was delighted to join Team GB gold medallists Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie as they met young kayakers at Nottinghamshire County Council's National Water Sports Centre. The slalom canoeists took part in vital years of training at the centre in Holme Pierrepont in preparation for the Olympics and memorably clinched gold in the C2 Slalom event, with fellow Team GB canoeists Richard Hounslow and David Florence winning silver. Richard and David also trained at the National Water Sports Centre.
Councillor Cottee with Olympic gold medallists Tim Baillie (left) and Etienne Stott (right) at the National Water Sports Centre, where they trained for the London 2012 Olympics
Nottinghamshire County Council teamed up with GB Canoeing to host Tim and Etienne's triumphant return to the Centre where they trained while studying at the University of Nottingham. The fantastic performance of Team GB has certainly raised the profile of slalom canoeing and we have noticed a substantial increase in inquiries from the public interested in taking part in the sport. It was great for everyone to be able meet Etienne and Tim and congratulate them on their success.
As part of efforts to ensure a long-lasting Olympic Games legacy, the British Canoe Union aims through its Go Canoeing programme to open the sport up to new participants and encourage those with canoeing experience to take to the water more regularly. The Union estimates that 1.78 million people participate in canoeing in the UK and one per cent of households own a canoe.
Novices who decide to give kayaking a try at the National Water Sports Centre will need to undertake significant training before they are competent and have the skills to take to the white water course itself. Kayaking at the Centre was also profiled on Sky Sports News as part of its Get Involved campaign for people to try out alternative sports earlier this year.
For more details about kayaking opportunities, please contact the National Water Sports Centre on 0115 982 1212 or visit: http://www.nwscnotts.com
Success for Nottinghamshire's Olympians including Keyworth's Sam!
Five years ago I made a contribution from my Councillors' Divisional Fund to assist with the travelling/competition expenses of a young gymnast from Keyworth and expressed the hope on this web page that one day he would achieve his dream of competing at the Olympics.
Sam Oldham's family and friends cheering him on
Well, on 30th July Sam Oldham achieved all that and more, winning a Bronze medal as part of the five-strong Great Britain men's Olympic team at the North Greenwich Arena.
I'm sure I speak for everyone in Keyworth and Nottinghamshire in congratulating Sam on this quite remarkable achievement. Friends and family cheered him on in a special celebration event at The Plough Inn in Normanton on the Wolds.
Nottinghamshire County Council's support for Sam also included a grant from our Shining Stars fund, which continues to support the progress of more than 20 local athletes. Reaching the Olympics in itself is a great achievement, but winning a medal on home soil is the stuff of dreams!
As Chairman of the Culture Committee whose remit includes the support and promotion of local sport I am thrilled with the performance of Nottinghamshire's Olympians. Mansfield's Rebecca Adlington followed up her gold medal success of four years ago with two bronze medals this time, in the 400 metre and 800 metre freestyle. Nottinghamshire County Council provides an annual grant to her swimming club, Nova Centurion and we are proud of her achievements.
Meanwhile, Great Britain canoeists Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie, David Florence and Richard Hounslow, who have all spent most of their careers in Nottingham, won Olympic gold and silver medals in the two-man canoe slalom.
All four of them have trained at the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont. Florence, Stott and Baillie were students at the University of Nottingham, while Hounslow graduated from Nottingham Trent University. Congratulations to them and indeed all of our Olympic participants - you've done the county and the country proud.