Monday, 29 December 2008

IF ONLY OSCOTT HAD 10 MILLION?

I understand that plans are about to be drawn up for a new 10 million pound Civic Centre for Sutton Coldfield. If this is the case all I can say is it is all right for some.
I am sure the residents of Oscott could think of better uses for the money.
(Please don't ring me with suggestions on this occasion as the chances of Oscott getting any reasonable amount of money from this Council are slim to none existent.)

Friday, 26 December 2008

THREAT TO QUESLETT NATURE RESERVE

This is the site of the last play area on the Queslett Nature Reserve and where a Skate Board Park has been prosed for. Please note there is no evidence left of the last Play area, as it was completely destroyed by vandalism

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A number of local residents and members of the Queslett Nature Reserve have now contact me with concerns about the threat of building a Skate Board Centre on the Queslett Nature Reserve.
As far as I can ascertain this threat is not likely to occur although you can never say never.
Certainly I can speak for both Councillor Dring and myself when I say we are totally apposed to such a silly idea. Here are just a few reasons why.

  • Perry Barr Park is a better option.

  • There is no regular ranger service on the Queslett Nature Reserve.

  • The QNR is a reserve and it has now been up graded to a SSSI category for its importance to nature.

  • There would be problems regarding the security (observation of the site proposed)

  • It would disturb the wild life and the activities of those using the reserve.

  • If there was an accident the Ambulance Service would have difficulty accessing the site.

  • It would encourage Motor bikes and other acts on anti social behavior on the reserve.

  • It would alienate many locally residents and users of the reserve.

  • The idea has been put forward without any consultation.

  • It is not on a handy bus route.

  • It would undermine all the hard work carried out by the Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve to improve the reserve.

In fact it is hard to see any merit in the idea and not a lot of thought seems to have gone into the proposal? For the view of the Friends of the Queslett nature Reserve please go to Google and then to the Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve.

This is an importatnt decision and politics should be kept out of it for the sake of the young people in Oscott.

If you would like to discuss this issue with me please ring 360 6486



OLD NEW HOPE FOR PROBLEM PARKING OUTSIDE GB SCHOOL

I was pleased to note that the Great Barr School have put in a request for planning permission regarding using one of their old disused play grounds for staff parking.
This idea was put to them by myself and former Councillor John Cotton about 5 years ago and I am pleased that the School is finally looking seriously at the option. While we are waiting I will be carrying on working with local residents and monitoring the parking situation.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

WITTON CEMETERY NEEDS A SPRING CLEAN NOW


Following receiving a couple of complaints only very recently about Witton Cemetery I have popped in to take a look for myself and have been surprised to see, it has deteriorated since the last time I went in September. There are overflowing litter bins and the place looks unkempt.
I have been in touch with the Head off the Bereavement Services who have informed me it is due to seasonal problems, more visitors and so on.
Given this is an even more sensitive time for those visiting the cemetery, this is not acceptable and I have called for an early spring clean of the cemetery. It looks More like Council cuts to me but I could be wrong.?

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

SEASONAL GREETINGS


I would like to take this opportunity to wish anyone reading my blog all the very best for the festive season.
It is also my hope that you will continue to read my blog in the coming year. (Yes even those of a different opinion to my self and who may be tempted to use my blog for ideas on their leaflets?)

Many residents in Oscott have been kind enough to help me with many campaigns and issues during the course 2008 and to those I would like to pass on my thanks. Much of what I may have achieved has been down to us working together.

It goes without saying I will also be carrying on working closely with my Colleague Councillor BARBARA DRING, to do what we can for Oscott Residents and losing a colleague of the calibre of John Cotton has been a problem, we have had to over come.
BARBARA has worked tirelessly on Issues such as where to locate a proposed Skate Board facility, on finding new a home for the Link Play group and on issues like tidying up the island near the Bandywood Shopping area, just to name a few. I like to think as a team we compliment each other in what we do.

Sadly Khalid Mahmood the MP for Perry Barr has been seriously ill recently, but despite that, he has been involved in a number of initiatives to improve the Oscott area and I wish him a speedy recovery.

I have tried to help as many individual residents as possible in 2008. I have had some success and some failures but I do hope residents will know I have done what I can for them.
If I have not been successful on your behalf, I am more than will to have another go if you wish and who know we may have more success next time. However as you will be aware I will make you know promise other than I will try and help if I can. If you would like to contact me please ring 360 6486.

Once again may I wish you and your family and Friends all the very best for the festive season and for the New Year.

Regards


Councillor Keith Linnecor

The one in the middle of the photo !!!!




AGE CONCERN THROW A PARTY


One of the nice things about this time of year is being able to pop in and see some of Oscott more elderly residents enjoying them selves at their Christmas "do's"
I was pleased to be able to pop in for example and see a number of elderly residents enjoying their Christmas party at the Emanuel Church. This was organised by Age Concern as part of their Be Friending Scheme. There was good for and entertainment on offer so I kept my hollows to a minimum, but as ever enjoyed myself there.
Age Concern really do a good job for the elderly in the oscott area and I would like to thank them for all their work. If you would like to know more about their activities please give me a ring on 360 6486

Friday, 19 December 2008

LOCAL SWIMMING POOLS UNDER THREAT?


There is now a rumour going round that because the Council want to build a Olympic size swimming pool in the South of Birmingham, Local swimming pools , Beeches Road, and Dulwhich Road, may be sacrificed to find the money for it.?

I am not aware of any such proposals at the moment but I will be monitoring the situation While Birmingham does need a swimming pool of international standard it certainly should not be at the expense of other local swimming baths.
As with Post offices and Local Shops the onus is also on residents to make sure they use these facilities or risk losing them. With the Government backed Gym for free scheme, many residents can now use the Beeches Road swimming baths facilities for free and I hope they will use them as often as possible.
For more details about this this scheme ring 464 0208 and make the most of this facility.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

GO AHEAD GIVEN FOR NEW COLLEGE

At today's Planning Committee the new Sutton College planning application for the old dairy site on Aldridge Road was given the go ahead. The new college will replace the old Great Barr Campus and the Stockland Green Josiah Mason Campus. It will have over 2,500 staff and and students. At its highest have 6 floors.
While I have welcomed this development and recognise that the new building design is good and the plans will mean less trouble for Oscott residents near the old Great Barr Site near Beeches Road. I still have concerns about the parking arrangements for the development and the surrounding areas.
However there will be monitoring of the parking situation for 5 years and money put to one side to help ease any problems. I have also asked that the near by river is protected during any building work on the site. All in all it is a development to be welcomed and it can not come soon enough.

ANTI SOCAIL BEHAVIOR DETERRENT FOR GREAT BARR LEISURE CENTRE


Due to the diligent work of PC Casson the Oscott Schools Liaison officer, funding has been found to have prickly bushes planted near the Great Barr Leisure Centre wall (next to the Aldridge Road Recreation Ground.)
Although there have been some delays, it is hoped these plants will go in early next year.
Given the anti social behavior occurs near the offending wall and the graffiti on it, which has to be cleaned off regularly, I was only to pleased to offer my support for this project.
Hopefully the planting of these bushes, will complement proposals to install new CCTV cameras near the Great Barr Leisure Centre and will help combat the anti social behavior which is happening there.

deterrent

THE ALDRIDGE ROAD DAY CENTRE MAY BE SET TO CLOSE?


The Aldridge Road Day Centre (an Establishment which caters for adults with learning difficulties) is now under threat of closure. There is apparently going to be a 12 week consultation period, which is never a good sign!
As you may have read on my 11th November Post I did visit the Centre back in November and was concerned about how the buildings had been allowed to deteriorate and the poor moral of the staff there. However the users of the Centre were all happy and well looked after by the staff. All of which I reported to the Social Services department.

It would appear to me now that it may be the case that the Council have been letting the condition of the building deteriorate, as a way of convincing people it is time the centre closed? I hope this was not the case. The announcement just before Christmas is a real body blow for all concerned.

Those who use the centre (some of the most vulnerable members of our community) in many cases have been going there for many years and it would be a big up evil to them and their families, if they had to have to go else where. In fact to many of the users, the Centre is a second home to them, where they feel safe and have activities to do. It would be a great shame no a disgrace!!! if this centre has to close.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

SECURITY LIGHTING STOLEN FROM MARY VALE COMMUNITY CENTRE


I was very saddened to hear that flood lighting on the Mary vale Community at night have been stolen. These lights which were part funded by the Oscott Ward Committee have helped keep dozens of local youngster occupied during the evening playing football, organised by the Mary Vale Youth Club. If you have any information about these stolen lights please contact the Police they are badly needed by the youth club and the Mary vale Centre..

THE SAINT MARKS DAY CENTRE HAS A GOOD DAY




It was really nice to be invited again to the Saint Marks Day Centre (for elderly residents)Christmas Party.
Although I have not been a committee member for some time I do pop in from time to time to see if there is any help I can give and I always receive a warm welcome.
At today's "bash" every one had a good time the food was excellent, crackers were pulled and the day centre careers cheerfully ran themselves ragged.

MORE LITTER BINS ARE NEEDED NOW

We need more of these litter bins in Oscott

One of the lessons I am learning from the Save our Shops campaign is the need for still more litter bins in the area. Not just on our shopping centres but also on routes used by school children and so on. I have in the past had a lot of new litter bins put in around the Oscott Ward, but this Council are slow at replacing any that are damaged and that need to changed or replaced.

I have put in a number of requests for litter bins recently but I am always ready to listen to suggestions as to where even more would be useful. If you know a location calling out for a litter bin let me know 360 6486 and i will add on your suggestion to my list of requests and will try and get the Council to take action. These litter bins do after all play their part in keeping Oscott tidy, with less litter on our streets, not to mention helping to reduce dog fouling.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

SUPPORT IS GROWING FOR THE SAVE OUR SHOPS CAMPAIGN




Shop keepers on the Aldridge Road near the Dyas Road junction have now come out in support of the Save our shops campaign. Many of these hard working traders have been let down by a disinterested Council,l but I hope to remind the Council and local residents that they are there and need support. I am pleased to say that the Great Barr Observer are getting behind this campaign also.

I have for example ensured their views have been listened to at a recent Transportation consultation meeting, looking into road safety in the area.

I am also asking Khalid Mahmoods MP's office (sadly he is ill at the moment) to look into the issue.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

ELIM CHURCH SERVICES OVER CHRISTMAS

The Elim Church will be holding Christmas Services, on the 21st of December, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For the times of these services or for further details please ring 350 9650

STANDING OUT AGAINST PARKING CHAOS

At today's Planning committee I stood alone in arguing for another look at a possible parking nightmare. This is what may now result from the granting of a Planning application, for a Travel Lodge with food takeaway, off the Aldridge Road on the Tame way Park , Perry Barr.
This planning application only has enough parking space for 46 cars and there are 6o rooms for example.
There are parking problems in the vicinity of this planning application already and with the expected building the new Sutton College Centre just across the Aldridge Road in a year or two, I can see a lot of problems.
I am not against the plans for a Travel Lodge and acknowledge a number of jobs will be created by the new hotel. However the parking issues now and in the future, in my view have simply not been addressed.

THE VALLEY NURSING HOME HAS CLOSED


Sadly due to a number of circumstances the privately owned Valley elderly peoples nursing home has closed.
I have been in touch with the Birmingham City Council director of Social Services asking him to do what he can to ensure the elderly residents in this area get a replacement ASAP.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

FREE SWIMMING AND GYM USE

The HOB PCT are offering the free use of Swimming, Fitness classes or Gym facilities, in the Oscott area.
To find out more take a look at my October 27th post or ring 464 0208.
Alternatively pop into your nearest Lesure Centre for more details.

MORE CCTV CAMERAS ARE WANTED FOR GREAT BARR LESURE CENTRE AND ALDRIDGE RECREATION GROUND.




Following the success of the introduction of a CCTV camera which covers the play area and parts of the Aldridge Road Recreation Ground, there has been a request for another CCTV Camera.
Because of problems with anti social behavior over the years on the Aldridge Recreation ground the first camera was installed a couple of years ago. This was when a childrens Play area was installed.
In the last twelve months or so 5 individuals have been arrested thanks to this camera. Now I have been asked to help secure funding for a second camera. As you may guess I will do what I can to help the Leisure Centre find the funding. We need to ensure there is no build up of anti social behavior on this site.

Monday, 8 December 2008

SLOW DOWN NEEDED IN MOOR LANE

Moor Lane residents and drivers are asking how many more damaged fences and scratched cars does it take for this Councils Transportaion department to take action and introduce Road safety measures to Moor Lane.
I know one residents at least who has had three wing mirrors smashed from his cars by speeding motorists using Moor Lane. Residents are getting fed up, all over the Osott area, with a Transportation department who refuse to take preventative action to stop speeding traffic and only take action if there is a serious acccident.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

SKATE BOARD CENTRE IS NOT WANTED ON QUESLETT NATURE RESERVE

I have been approached by members of the public and by fellow members of the Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve about rumours, that there is now consideration being given re, locating the proposed Skate Board Centre on the Queslett Nature Reserve.
As far as I am aware there is no prospect of this happening, as the Skate Board Centre Option put forward by Councillor Barbara Dring (for it to go in Parry Barr Park on the Aldridge Road side) is still by far the best option and has the agreement of 2 of the Oscott Councillors and the 3 Perry Barr Councillors. I have Spoken to Councillor Ray Hassell, who is the Councillor with responsibility for Leisure Services, an he would also be unhappy if a skate board Centre was put on the reserve.
I will continue to monitor this rumour.

THINGS FOR KIDS TO DO ON PERRY BEECHES

Youngsters who live on the Beeches estate (and their parents) often tell me there is nothing to do for kids on the estate!
Well here are a few suggestions.

Why pop into the Perry Baptist Church and join one of their clubs.
For the 4 to 10 year old's there is the 3CS Club which meet on Tuesdays 5.30pm to 7.30 pm.
For those over 10 years old there is the FNL club which meets on a Friday evening 6.30 to 9.15.
For more details pop along at the times given above.

Alternatively why not go along to the Perry Beeches Swimming baths or Perry Beeches School Leisure Centre and find out all about the activities they have on offer. Oh and don't forget the Tree Hurst Community Centre.

For further details ring 464 1869

Thursday, 4 December 2008

ALDRIDGE ROAD LOCAL SAFETY SCHEME PHASE 11


  • * *

    There will be a meeting arranged by the TRansportaion department, on December 10th at the great barr school, 5.30am. At this meeting there will be an oppotunity to discuss the above scheme.
    It is very important to look after the road safety needs of the Children attending the Great barr School and Junior School and it is also important for locay residents to have their say.

    Some of the points I have already made are to the Transportation department are.
  • I would strongly object to the re locating further up Dyas Road the bus shelter currently located near the junction of Dyas Road and Delhurst Road.
  • There needs to be consideration given to finding more off street parking.
  • There is urgent need for a crossing facility at the end of Dyas Road near the Aldridge Road junction. either a School Crossing patrol or a pedestrian crossing?
  • A Traffic light system at the end of Dyas Road should be considered it could include the above. Or even a School Crossing Warden?

  • The amounts of bollards being placed the pavements near shop frontages needs to be carefully considered.

  • Residents and local schools should continue to be consulted regarding all stages of these proposals.

  • Care needs to be taken not just to move problems from one spot to another.

**

The Aldridge Road junction has needed action taken with regards to helping School children cross the Dyas Road for some years. Children from the Great Barr schools, Glenmead and Perry Beeches Schools also often cross at this point.

As there were a number of issues raised when the former Safety Scheme was presented to residents earlier in the year, I am pleased they have heeded Councillor Dring and myself and come forward to meet with residents to discuss the issues again.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

VEHICLE ACTIVATED SPEED SIGNS FOR THE OSCOTT WARD


In order for Birmingham City Council to help achieve their LPSA2 road safety targets by the end of the 2008 calendar year, various schemes and initiatives are being introduced city wide. One of these schemes involves the installation of Vehicle Activated Speed (VAS) signs at strategic locations as highlighted by Birmingham City Council and the West Midlands Casualty Reduction Scheme.

VAS signs are triggered by oncoming vehicles which are travelling above the designated speed limit for that road. Once triggered, the VAS sign displays the speed limit along with the words “Slow Down” in an attempt to make the driver more conscious of their current speed and for them to reduce it.
The Council is proposing to install 31 signs across the city, of which 26 are fixed and 5 are movable. In the Oscott Ward it is intended to install one of these signs. This would be on the Queslett Road East. It is the Councils intention to complete the works within the calendar year.
I am in favour of the proposed site for the VAS but there need to be consideration for another such signs further down the Queslett Road towards the Old Horns Island and other safety issues on this road still need addressing.
The work is supposed to be carried out as a matter of urgency. I will do what I can to ensure it does not get the Councils Nova Court Junction treatment i.e. being held up for moths on end by a dithering Transportation department. I will also be asking for more of these signs in other locations in Oscott.
I would also like to thank all those residents who have worked so hard to get the Council to make safety improvements to this road we are slowly getting there.

If you want me to pass on your views please give me a ring on 360 6486

IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF A FULL TIME ENVIRONMENTAL WARDEN IN OSCOTT?

There are now moves afoot from the current Council Administration to reduce the number of Environmental Wards in the city to 40. (it was over 50)
The proposals also advocate each constituency only having 3 Wards each (there are 4 wards per constituency) with 10 wardens used as a kind of flying squad across the City.
At yesterdays Council meeting I argued strongly that each ward in the city have its own Regulatory Warden.
These wardens like Debi Parsons Oscott's well known former warden, should be multi skilled, have local knowledge, be hands on and have enforcement powers.
Although I may have lost the day I was pleased that at least some of the Conservative and Liberal Councillors agreed with me.
Councillor Barbara Dring and I will continue the battle to keep a warden in Oscott.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

DONATE TO EDUCATE

We always seem to hear bad news when it comes to youngsters these days. This is why I was so pleased to read in the Great Barr Oberver, about their joint campaign with children from the Great Barr School to help educate poor children in Sierra Leone. Their Donate to Educate campaign is something I hope will realy catch on.
Not only will the Children in Sierra Leone benifit but those Great Barr School children learning about the problems of the world will also gain much from this expeirence.

If you would like more dtails about the Donate to Educate please contact the Great Barr School.

COUNCILLOR BARBARA DRINGS CAMPAIGN FOR A SKATE BOARD PARK IN PERRY BARR PARK GOES ON


Khalid Mahmood MP and my self after reviewing the Conservative Councillor for Oscott options, for alternative locations for a Skate Board Centre in Oscott are not convinced.
We still support Councillor Barbara Dring and her campaign to have a Skate Bord Centre in the Perry Barr Park.
The options put forward recently are flawed in our view.
The Aldridge Road Recreation Ground option has a lot of opposition from concerned residents. Local Council Officers are wary that the problems on the recreation ground already regarding anti social behavior, would only get worse if there was a Skate Bord on the site.
The option regarding having a skate Board park opposite the Great Barr School would have the major snag in that the land there id not for public use for the next 20 years because of gas given off as a result of it being an old waste tip.
I am sure we all have the interests of youngsters at hart and hopefully a resolution to this matter can be reached soon.

ITS TIME THIS COUNCIL WERE AT YOUR CONVENIENCE

PUBLIC TOILETS ARE NEEDED FOR THE HAWTHORN ROAD SHOPPING AREA





For some years now I have been requesting that the old public toilet block on the Kingstanding Road near Dyas Road which was sold off, be replaced.
Year after year this Council Authority have tuned down my requests. They do not seem to care that many of those shopping in the area, are elderly and need this convenience. It could also be that having public toilets in the vicinity of the Hawthorn Shopping area could help local shops by encouraging more shoppers, especially the elderly, to do their shopping in the area.
Now the Authorities tell me they do not even have the money to transfer a public toilet from an area it is unwanted, to the Hawthorn Road area. They also do not have the money to maintain a public toilet.
I will not however give up and for the sake of the elderly and all residents in the Oscott area I will keep asking for this facility to be put in the Hawthorn Road shopping area.