Thursday, 27 November 2008

LETS HOPE WE TO NOT HAVE A NEW PLAGUE OF ABANDONED CARS

I thought I would ask the cabinet member for Street Services the following Question (written) at the next Council meeting. I wonder what his answer will be. I hope he has been taking action or we could end up with abandoned cars in every road.?

CITY COUNCIL – 2 DECEMBER 2008

WRITTEN QUESTION TO THE CABINET MEMBER FOR TRANSPORTATION FROM COUNCILLOR KEITH LINNECOR

“ Metal menace ”

Question:

Given that the price of scrap metal is dropping significantly and car breakers and scrap metal dealers will not be so keen to take away scrap cars, are any measures being put in place to counteract any increase in abandoned vehicles on our road, which may well be the result?

QUESTIONS THAT NEED ANSWERING

At today's Planning Committee we were asked to review the Birmingham City Councils Draft Parking Policy and to offer up our responses on it.

Having read this some what inner city orientated vague document I asked four questions.

  • Why can this Council Administration not reintroduce the subsidy on drop curbs to help reduce them from their ridiculously current prices?
  • Why is there not more enforcement on our double yellow lines.?
  • Why when there are many empty small spaces on many of our Council car parks can there space not be used for Motor bikes or bicycle parking.
  • Why are our grass verges being left in such a state.

There was not a lot of time for more questions and they have gone away to add my questions and other Members. to there consultations. I wonder if anything will be done about these issues?

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

A MESSAGE FROM THE MP FOR PERRY BARR


Khalid Mahmood the MP for Perry Barr has asked me to pass on his thanks to all those who have sent him get well messages recently.
As you may be aware Khalid was rushed into hospital last week, with a serious Kidney Complaint. Now after urgently needed medical treatment, he hopes to be out of hospital by the end of this week and after some time convalescing he hopes to take up the challenge of being the MP for Perry Barr again.
In the meantime, he has an experienced staff working for him and his constituents, from his Perry Barr constituency office , based at Paper Mill End in Oscott.
I have also agreed to help out where I can, with any issues relating to the Oscott and Perry Barr Wards.

If you would like to contact his office the number is 356 8264.

In the meantime I am sure we all wish Khalid a speedy recovery.

CYCLISTS MAKE SURE YOU CAN BE SEEN

At this time of year many parents think of buying their off spring bikes for Christmas. This is fine but make sure you do not forget to make sure they have the vital equipment bike riders need to be safe at this time of year.
  • Working lights
  • Refective clothing
  • A helmet.

I have been in touch with the Police as usual at this time of year and asked them to remind bike riders, to make sure they use their lights on their bikes, as they often do not seem to realise how hard they can be to see at night by motorists. Lets hope the message gets accross.

Friday, 21 November 2008

SKATE BOARD CONTROVERSY.

A POSSIBLE SITE FOR A NEW SKATE BOARD CENTRE. PERRY BARR PARK ON THE ALDRIDGE ROAD JUST YARDS FROM ALL THE MAIN BUS ROUTES TO AND FROM THE HART OF OSCOTT.


Councillor Barbara Dring and I have been working hard to find a location for a proposed scate board facility for some time. We have looked at a number of options in Oscott and found where ever we would have liked to put it, would cause a number of problems either logistically or with Local residents. With this in mind we have been working with the Liberal Councillors in the Neighbouring Perry Barr Ward to seek a solution. We have come up with Perry Barr park where there are proposals to revamp the BMX track as well. This site is on the edge of Oscott near all the main bus routes and the Park has been used by Oscott residents for generations.
The one problem we have however is the Oscott conservative Councillor is now objecting to the proposal. On behalf of the youngster in Oscott I hope we can resolve his issues with the proposals as soon as possible and we can all move forward with this initiative on behalf of the youngsters in the area. We all have the interests of Oscott Kids at hart.

BUSY BEE NURSERY TO GO

I was contacted by member of the Busy Bee Nursery staff this week who had heard last Friday, their Nursery would be closing in July next year. They were informed of the by the Sutton Coldfield (Great Barr Campus) This is a great shame, Busy Bees have been been using the college building for 15 years, have 90 children attending the nursery (they are over subscribed) and employ 30 staff, mainly from the Oscott area.
SuttonColdField College want the rooms where the Busy Bee nursery use, for students who will be coming from the Joshua Mason College as part of a land deal with Birmingham City Council.
Residents are rightly concerned about the effect all this will have on the already awful parking ,there is around the college.
The college have indicated they need the space for these new students at the college and will try and create more parking spaces.
I am not convinced. I think more should be dome for the Busy Bee Nursery and they should have been allowed to stay until the College moves in 2010.
As Busy bees have no alternative locations to go to I have asked the Council to help them find somewhere to re locate if possible. We need this facility in Oscott for Oscott Children and we need to keep Oscott resident employed
If you know of a suitable location where the Busy Bees Nursery may find a new home please give me a ring 360 6486.give employed.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

NEW STYLE TRANSPORT USERS FORUMS ON THE WAY

I Chaired a meeting of the Birmingham. Transport Users Forum yesterday for the first time. This is a forum where residents interested in Public Transport can come along and discuss issues with WMPTA Members, Public Transport providers (Rail, Bus, Metro,) the Police Travel Unit and Centro Officers.

The format of these meeting is due to go local next year in as much as there will be 5 meetings a year. One meeting will be held in the Centre of Birmingham and one each in four different areas of Birmingham. The Chairs of these meeting will, rotate with a locally based WMPTA Councillor Chairing a meeting near his/ her own patch. It is also hoped more local resident will get involved.

If you would like more details about how the TUF meeting operate or how you could get involved with them please ring me on 360 6486

NEW GATES FOR KING GEORGE PLAYING FIELD


After year of campaigning along side local resident Brian Stevens it is good to see the gates and fencing go up at the entrance to the Keston Road entrance to the King George Playing fields.
This fence although low in height will put off youths from hanging around at this entrance causing problems to local residents. Also the new " kissing gate" should help stop motor bikes getting onto the field from this entrance.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

QUESLETT NATURE RESERVE ACTIVITY DAY A GREAT SUCSESS




A number of the Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve and members of the public spent an interesting morning watching bird ringing taking place on the Queslett Nature Reserve today.
Dozens of wild birds were caught identified and ringed. We were also given a talk on the wild life in the reserve.
Later in the afternoon a number of FOQNR volunteers helped Council officers who were working on their day of to carry out tree pruning on the site.
To all those who came along can I thank you very much and hope you enjoyed the events.
THis is a list of the birds spotted during the day.

Woodpigeon
Feral pigeon
Redwing (30+)
Starling
Blackbird
Dunnock
Wren
Goldfinch
Greenfinch
Chaffinch
Meadow pipit
Goldcrest
Reed bunting
Lesser black backed gull
Black headed gull
Kestrel
Carrion crow
Jay
Jackdaw
Magpie
Great tit
Blue tit
Long tailed tit
House sparrow
Cormorant
Grey heron
Gadwall, 10 +
Wigeon, 50+
Tufted duck
Coot
Moorhen
Mute Swan
Mallard
Not bad and even I reconised some of them!

RESIDENTS SAY NO TO BURNHAM TAKEAWAY


A number Burnham Road residents and local traders have contacted to day and asked for my support, to try and stop a planning application for a take away in Burnham Road being allowed..
They will get my full support and I am sure that of Councillor Barbara Drings to.

The plans to open a take way close to a junction that has been plagued by parking problems the way this junction has for the last 4 or 5 years if frankly ridiculous. The existing takeaways near this junction cause enough problems and the parking problems caused by students from the near by Great Barr college is to say the least at times dangerous. The Police have not got the man power to deal with current parking problems at this junction and the Councils Transportation department, have been dithering for some time trying to come up with a solution.
There have also been a history of anti social behavior associated with the shopping area where the take away is proposed for and a number of residents have stopped complaining because of fear of reprisals.
Residents are now collecting a petition which they have asked me to present to the Planning Committee on Thursday and I am only to willing to do so on their behalf.

Friday, 14 November 2008

SAVE OUR SHOPS CAMPAIGN OFF TO A GOOD START




Residents were very please to see our SOS campaign kick off on Wednesday.
A number of residents stopped to sign petitions calling for more help and awareness for out local shops.
Many of the shoppers I spoke to were concerned about the lack of resources being put into the area by the Council and wanted to see local shops remain. Many also wished to see more variety of shops in the area especially on the Hawthorn Road.
Lets hope shoppers become more aware of the need to support local shops.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

ALDRIDGE ROAD DAY CENTRE NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT


I paid a visit to the Aldridge Road Day Centre yesterday (this is a day centre for those with learning disabilities). It was good to see those using the centre looked happy and contended and that preparation for Christmas, are well underway*.
However I was surprised how the building has deteriorated since my last visit earlier this year.
Sadly window frames are becoming rotten, the ceiling in one of the rooms has been damaged by squirrels and not repaired. The whole place needs redecorating.
The staff although working tirelessly for their charges appear to be becoming demoralised by what is happening to the centre. No one seems sure what is to happen to them in the future.
I will be passing on my comments to the Social Service team responsible and hope the Council start taking more notice of the Centre and make their policies more user and staff friendly.

*
If you would like to help support the Aldridge Road Day Centre, you may wish to visit their Christmas fayre on 28th November(10am till 7pm). There will be a Father Christmas grotto, all sorts of refreshments and you can by pictures frames made by the Centres users. There are also hand made garden seats and Tables for sale, along with handmade Christmas cards and other gifts.
For more details ring 356 5161

The Aldridge Road Day Centre is located at 127 Aldridge Road Perry Barr.

LEST WE FORGET 11am TODAY

I hope every one remembers to honour the 2 minutes silence today at 11am, to remember those who have died for their country. If you do forget, please give those who have died and their families, some thought during the day.

Monday, 10 November 2008

SAVE OUR SHOPS CAMPAIGN











Many residents have complained that local shops are disappearing and local traders need supporting.
So far I agree, but what is really needed is every one to get behind our local shops and use them.
Shopping areas like the Hawthorn Road and the Kingstanding Circle are suffering mainly as a result of residents going to the near by Tesco and ASDA super stores.
Residents who are concerned about being able to use stores on their door steps, need to think a little more, about how they can support local shops.
Those with mobility problems for example often struggle to get to the big supermarkets and need their local shops. We all need our local shops from time to time, so lets try and use them a bit more often.
USE THEM OR LOOSE THEM. Like the Post Offices they need support all year around and not just before they give up and have to close. Think carefully about what you can buy from your local shops, instead of from the big supermarkets. Already many of our local shopping areas are being taken over by Charity shops and Take aways. There is nothing wrong with these sorts of shops in moderation, but we need to keep other types of retailers as well.
I am now leading a campaign to try and get shoppers to think local and to try and get the Council (and the Government) to be more sympathetic to small shopping areas, especially in Oscott.
Please think about buying from local shops if you can. I hope our local news papers will take up the challenge as well.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

OSCOTT RESIDENTS GROUPS INFO

I attended the Oscott Residents Association, the Oscott Disability Group and the Oscott Elderly Residents groups AGM's today.

It is good to see so many residents taking a genuine interest in their community. I would like to wish all those elected onto the various group's committees well in their endeavours.

If you want to know more about any of these groups ring 356 6894. Or pop into one of their joint sessions which take place every Saturday morning 10.30am at the 610 Community Centre. A free cup of tea, a biscuit and a chance to have a chat are on offer.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

THE SAINT MARKS DAY CENTRE IS WORTH EVERY ONES SUPPORT

THE TRANSPORTING OF THOSE USING THE ST MARKS DAY CENTRE IS VERY IMPORTANT, WHICH IS WHY THE OSCOTT WARD HELPED PAY FOR THE MINI BUS SEEN HERE.


I managed to go along to see the users of the Saint Marks day Centre this week. At this Centre many of our older residents, are ensured a good meal and good company for a couple of hours, for a few day a week. The staff at the day centre work wonders to keep their charges well looked after while they are at the Centre and often help with any little problems they may have at home.
I was sad to learn however that vital funding, which the Council has promised the day centre has been delayed. I will be perusing the Council authorities, as this money is badly needed. There is also a doubt as to how of payments may be made in years to come. I hope the Council sort out this situation as soon as possible.

MORE TASKS FOR THE POLICE

Councillor Barbara Dring and myself with some of the KSNPTG going in to be briefed.


This week I popped into the Kingstanding police Station to see what the Neighbourhood Tasking Group were doing. This is a group of local residents Representatives who work with the Police, the Council, Councillors and other authorities, to look into crime and ways of dealing with it locally.
It is a good opportunity for those who attend, to get to know the crime issues in the area and for those like me, who have crime issues given to them by concerned residents, to air these concerns.
Amongst the the topics on this weeks agenda were. The parking near the St Mathews Church, issues concerning Quad bikes in the area, the Burford Road Playing Field, Antisocial behavior occurring in locations such as Anstey Road and Cooksey Lane.
On the crime front it was good to see that figures continue to show a downward trend for most types of crimes in the Oscott area.

If you have any concerns about crime in the Oscott area please give me a ring 360 6486

HAWTHORN ROAD TRADERS ASSOCIATION 1OTH ANNIVERSARY


Chairman Geoff Heaps and myself with just some of the members of the Hawthorn Traders Association. Now operating from our new venue the Elim Church.





The Hawthorn Road Traders Association will have been in existence 10 years in December.
During that time they have campaigned on behalf of local traders and residents alike. There were instrumental in the Hawthorn Road improvement program a few years ago and have managed for some years now to get Christmas light put up over the festive period.
I have been delighted, to have been closely associated with the Hawthorn Traders Association since they were set up 10 years ago and I wish them the very best of luck for the future.

HAWTHORN ROAD CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SWITCH ON DUE SOON

Due to the hard work of Jeanette Hart, the Hawthorn Road Christmas lights are expected to be switched on Wednesday November 12th.
Jeanette who is a member of the Hawthorn Road Traders Association and is a committee member of the Warren Road Conservative Club, has worked tirelessly once again to find the funds to have these light go on.
Although both the Oscott Ward and the Kingstanding Ward Committees have chipped in with donations from their Community Chest budgets, Jeanette has still had to find a fair bit extra to pay for these lights. Jeanette has held raffles, selling tickets on Hawthorn Road and has tried to persuade local shop keepers, to stump up small donations towards these lights. I know Jeanette has been disappointed at the poor repose of some of the shop keepers, but I hope that wont put her off in the future.
Once again well done Jeanette and those who have helped her.
Lets hope one day the Council will pay for these lights and she wont have to work so hard to cheer up shoppers and local residents over the Christmas period.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

LOOKING OUT FOR THOSE IN NEED

One of the duties we Councillors are expected to carry out, is that of a advocate for those in our Council run care establishments. Sadly this duty is not always carried out out as expected however.

I therefore agreed, when asked by the Perry Barr Constituency Chairman, to act as a champion for such visits, on behalf of the Constituency. I will now do my best to ensure all such establishments in the Perry Barr Constituency get a least one visit from myself over the next 6 months and to let the relevant authorities know of my findings.
I also hope, other Councillors who have not yet done so, also make these visits, as many of those in our care establishments, are the most vulnerable in our society.

CONFUSION OVER CONCRETE ROADS IN OSCOTT

JUST ONE OF A NUMBER OF CONCRETE ROADS IN OSCOTT LEFT NEGLECTED BY THE CURRENT COUNCIL ADMINISTRATION.
After being congratulated today in the Council chamber for his coming to Oscott and arranging for the concrete Road in Oscott to be sorted out, by one of his colleagues!, the Councils Cabinet member for Street Services, in a show of admiral frankness, admitted that concrete Roads are a problem and he did not know how they would be sorted out.

I think this may show, he understands that because no money has been put to one side by the council for their proper maintenance, residents who have to put up with the well known problems which concrete roads cause, will have to wait until the expected Government funds arrive to bail them out.
Councillor Dring and I will continue to press the Street Services department to at least come up with a plan of action ready for their bail out.

Monday, 3 November 2008

CYCLING ADVISORY GROUP


I have now been asked to represent the Council as a member of the Cycling Advisory Group and with much trepidation, given my current work load I have agreed to give it a go.
For those who do not know, the aims of this group is to discuss all aspects of cycling in Birmingham with the Council and other agencies.
Many Oscott residents will know of my campaigns on behalf of local cyclists, to get more cycle racks in the area (like those in Kettlehouse road and near the Kingstanding Circle) and now hopefully with this new post, I can help ensure the views of local residents when it comes to cycling, are promoted.
When it comes to cycling there are 2 views which seem to be dominate. Those who think cycling is the way forward to ease Traffic congestion and for a healthier life style and those who just think cyclist are a nuisance who should not be on the road. Well you can guess which group I belong to!
If you have any views concerning Cycling please give me a ring 360 6486

ANOTHER REJECTION FOR ROAD SAFETY MEASURES IN OSCOTT


Well for once I can not claim the Transportation department are dithering when it comes to introducing urgently needed road safety measures in Oscott.
When asked yet again for the introduction of road safety measures on the Aldridge road and particularly for the introduction of a set of traffic lights at the Greenholm Road /Thornbridge Road, they have said NO.

I have now made several such requests for traffic lights at this junction given the number of accidents there and that children cross at this point, to come and go to the near by Greenholm Road school. Local community groups have been fully behind me on this issue and are also bitterly disappointed at the lack of interest shown by the Transportation department.
Why when we know the Council are paying millions for consultants, to consult on who knows what, can they not spend just a small amount of that on safeguarding this junction?

I really do hope I am wrong and there will not be a serious accident at this junction, but if there is the blame will have to be placed with the Transportation department. It is becoming more and more apparent, when it comes to road safety, Oscott is being forgotten by this Councils Transportation department.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

GET THE JAB !

I have just spoken to one of my elderly constituents who is really suffering with the shakes and a high fever. He is really regretting missing out on getting the Flu Jab earlier this year.
After speaking to this resident I would strongly recommend anyone over 65 or who has a chronic illness to speak to their G.P's Surgery about getting the Jab.
I think the Flu Jab should be open to all on demand and it is about time our PCT's considered offering this.