Friday, 31 December 2010

CHANGE TO OSCOTT COUNCILLOR'S ADVICE BUREAUX TIMES



Councillor Barbara Dring and I about to attend one of our regular Councillor advice surgeries at the 610 Community Centre






As you may be aware Councillor Barbara Dring and I feel strongly that Oscott residents should have the opportunity to meet with their Councillors on a one to one basis (no hiding place for us) and with this in mind we hold regular Councillor Advice Bureaux's.
Our 2011 schedule has changed slightly form last year.
Our altered arrangement is.
Most Saturdays 10.30am at the 610 Community Centre, Kingstanding Road at 10.30am
The 1st Wednesday in the month at the 610 Community Centre at 7pm
The 1st Thursday in the month at the PERRY COMMON LIBRARY College Road at 3pm.*

We offer home visits by appointment for the elderly or infirm. please ring 360 6486 or 360 7565.

OSCOTT GRIT BINS NEED FILLING NOW


Yet another empty grit bin to report.







Now the weather has eased the Council's Highways department should be getting our grit bins filled as a matter of urgency in case the weather takes another turn for the worse.
I have been out and about checking on grit bins and have found many like the one in Burnham Road to be empty and this is not good enough.
I have asked the highways department to get our grit bins filled and if you know of an empty grit bin let me know and I will inform them.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Not only have I been busy in the Oscott ward but also in my capacity as a Planning committee member. Here I am with my "arch rival" Tory Councillor Bob (Biggles) Beauchamp, another busy planning committee member and for all that a great bloke.







It has been another busy year in Oscott (if you look back on this blog you will see just some of the things I have been trying to do in Oscott). I have done my best to try and help as many residents as I can in Oscott. I have not always succeeded but I can at least console myself in the knowledge I have tried.
As usual I met many residents in 2010 and hope to continue to meet many more in the New Year. I am always interested to find out what residents think about what is happening in the area.
There are no doubts things will be hard for many in Oscott with Council and Governments cuts starting to bite in 2011 but I will do what I can to try and help residents where I can.

I would like to remind those living in the Oscott Ward if I you have a concern you think I may be able to assist you with please contact me either by email keith.linnecor@birmingham.gov.uk or by ringing 360 6486. I also still hold surgeries most Saturday Mornings at the 610 Community Centre (10.30am) and you are most welcome if you want to pop in and meet me.

May I wish every one a Happy and prosperous New Year.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

BLACK BAGS NEED TO BE COLLECTED

Dormington Road is just one of many roads in Oscott which have had their blag bags uncollected for weeks.




Many residents in Oscott are concerned about their black bags not being collected. The Current Council Administrations chiefs are using the following reasons as the excuses for the bags not being collected.
In summary,
1. Combination of strike / industrial action;
2. The legacy of the bad road and conditions caused by the bad weather last week; and
3. The usual increase in the volume of waste placed out immediately following Christmas (bank holidays).

The Council normally deploys 40 black bag collection crews, 20 multi material crews and 20 paper collection vehicles. These vehicles are staffed by the usual crews.

A casual workforce, operating up to 19 vehicles has been collecting black bags since Monday 27th December 2010 - they will finish Mondays round on Friday. They will then start work on Tuesdays round at the weekend. They intend to complete as much as possible of Tuesdays round by Sunday, and then start again on Monday's round. Tuesdays round should be completed on Tuesday by the Councils permanent workforce. The casual workforce will then collect on a daily basis any uncollected waste from the previous day’s collections.

Basically the collection service is in a mess at the moment and this is why many Councillors like my self are doing what we can to try and get the Salvage department to resolve the situation ASAP.
For example I have been in regular contact with Salvage department chiefs trying to get Oscott residents concerns dealt with. The main message I am receiving is that resident should leave bags on the street to be collected. Many Oscott residents have been very patient up to now but that patience is getting a bit thin.

Monday, 20 December 2010

COMPLIMENTS OF THE SEASON

Just a few of the Oscott residents I have met at Christmas parties at the run up to Christmas.
I would like to wish everyone Compliments of the season.

I am having a few problems with my computor at the moment (Emails and so) and if I do not get back to you as quickly as usual please be patient.


Regards


Councillor Keith Linnecor

THERE NEEDED TO HAVE BEEN MORE GRITTING DONE EARLIER

Like most Oscott residents I have been very concerned about the way our roads have been (or not been) gritted over the weekend.
While I can accept we have had a lot of snow and the weather is very cold it does seem to me in the north of the city the Council Administration has been slow to react.
Roads like the Aldridge Road and Dyas Road were not gritted early enough in my view. Neither were a number of other roads in Oscott. Bus routes were in many cases left ungritted for some time.
As for refilling grit bins on side roads this is being done very slowly if at all. I have but in dozens of requests for local residents.
This Council does not really seem to have learnt many lesson's from last year. Lets hope they will now get their act together.

Friday, 17 December 2010

ELDERLY RESIDENTS SHOULD ENJOY THIS TIME OF YEAR


One of the nice things I find about this time of year is the welcome I get, when I pop into see elderly residents.
On Wednesday for example I was invited to the Oscott Elderly Residents Group "Xmas bash" and had a great time.
It is wonderful in the Oscott area to see how many of these groups (partly funded by the Oscott Community Chest) there are and how many elderly residents get such a lot out of their activities.

Like many others, I also get pleasure from popping in to see elderly residents in their homes at this time of year. Some of these residents find it difficult to get out and about and like to see a visiter from time to time.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR LIBRARIES?


There has been a lot of speculation regarding the closing of local libraries in the area. This has come about because due to severe funding restrictions imposed on Constituencies funding by the current Council administration (more are to follow from the Government) and all local services are under pressure to be reviewed. No decisions have yet been made but in Perry Barr Constituency, both the Liberal and Labour Councillors are determined to try and stop our libraries from shutting if we can.

As one of the few Councillors who regularly use our libraries I am only to aware how residents feel about them and I will try and keep you informed about the subject in the future.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

MARY VALE COMMUNITY CENTRE ELDERLY RESIDENTS GROUP HAVE GREAT TIME


I popped in to see the elderly members of the Mary Vale Community Centre club at their Christmas lunch today. They were all enjoying themselves and being well entertained by excellent singers and waited on by local school children. They were having a great time with the party in full swing
It is really pleasing to see the elderly and school children getting on so well. The Maryvale Project staff work really hard for the local community and do a great job.

SNOW GO FOR REFUSE AND RECYLING COLLECTIONS

Over the last couple of weeks I have been inundated with complaints regarding missed rubbish and recycling collections.
I have to say the Councils bad weather excuse is wearing a bit thin. With possible Industrial action and further bad weather in the offing things are looking a bit bleak of the refuge collection front.
I will however continue to forward to the Salvage department management team none collection complaints as the councills own Call Centre, residents are supposed to use seems to have broken down in many instances.

Monday, 13 December 2010

ROAD SAFETY WORK TO START AT LAST IN SANDY LANE

At long last work is to start this week on road safety measures near the Sandy Lane entrance to the Perry Beeches Schools, in Sandy Lane.
I was approached some time ago by residents who told me in the past no one had managed to get any safety measures taken and they needed help. Since then along with residents I have put pressure on the Transportation department to take action.
The Transportation department are now introducing new signs, road marking and bollards in an attempt to stop some parents parking in an inconvenient and dangerous way near the schools.
These measures are a step in the right direction but I still feel more needs to be done.
However I am sure if they do prove a success others with claim the credit next year but I may be wrong.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

HAWTHORN ROAD AMUSMENT ARCADE GETS THE GO AHEAD.


Sadly at today Planning Committee meeting the application for an amusement arcade for Hawthorn Road ( The old Johnsons butchers shop) was agreed BY A SLIM 6 TO 5 MAJORITY.
The anti social behavior that has been happening on a regular basis in the vicinity of the proposed planning application was felt by some committee member not enough to warrant the refusal of the application.

However following strong representation from Councillor Dring a number of residents and myself the Committee decided to put in place a 2 year monitoring operation to ensure and problems that may arise will be noted and if necessary the planning permission reviewed.

Needless to say I will do what I can to keep an eye on the situation and if you you have any concerns please contact me on 360 6486

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

BOOTHS LANE MEETING TO TAKE PLACE TOMORROW

Cameron Homes the potential new developers of part of the land off Booths Lane have, at my suggestion arranged for a meeting for local residents to attend regarding their proposals for a housing development ON LAND NEAR BOOTHS LANE.
Cameron homes have at my request have already circulated notices of this meeting to local resident and hopefully as many residents as possible will attend this meeting and see just what Cameron Homes want to do with the vacant land.
The meeting will be at the Queslett Golf course Booths Lane between midday and 7.30 tomorrow. (8th December.)
I shall be attending the meeting to see the plans along with Councillor Barbara Dring.

Monday, 6 December 2010

TEMPLETON ROAD TO GET- ROAD SURFACE IMPROVED IN THE SPRING

Thanks to the help of local residents I have managed to get High department chiefs to agree to improve the road surface of Templeton Road.
Councillor Huxtable who is the Cabinet Member for Transportation and his senior officials have now agreed what has already been done is not good enough and resurfacing work will take place in the better weather during the spring.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

DO NOT RISK WALKING ON THE FROZEN OVER QUESLETT NATURE RESERVE LAKE


Every year despite warnings people foolishly venture out onto open water when it iced over. It is the same with the lake in the Queslett Nature Reserve. Even some grown up adults feel the need to "walk on water" and regardless of the danger step out onto the frozen lake without thinking of the potential danger.
Lakes like the one in the Queslett Nature Reserve are not meant for swimming in at the best of times and given its remoteness from any help, trying to walk on this lake when it is covered in ice is a dangerous thing to do.
Sadly if the worst happened and someone fell through the ice, the cold would probably mean they would not be able to save them selves by swimming and they could get trapped under the ice.
The message is simple please do not risk trying to walk on lakes like the one in the Queslett Nature Reserve when they are frozen over. (and do not let your dog do it either)

Friday, 3 December 2010

WE NEED MORE GRIT ON OUR ROADS IN OSCOTT

I have been busy this week fielding calls from angry residents about what they see as the poor gritting of our roads in Oscott. Worryingly a number of the complaints I have recieved have about our priority roads (those on bus routes and so on). As a result had to chase up highway chiefs to get them to ensure roads like, Dyas Road, Aldridge Road, Kettlehouse Road, Cooksey Lane for example were gritted adequately.
While I can understand the sudden on come of winter conditions has stretched the Council somewhat! I think more needs to be done in the future. One thing I will be calling for is yet more grit bins to help out those residents living on none priority roads, and who tend to be forgotten when we have wintry conditions.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

DON'T FORGET THE ELDERLY IN THIS COLD WEATHER.

As usual! this cold spell with its snow has took many of us by surprise, it happens every year.
The elderly are at great risk when we do face weather, like we are at the moment so please if you have an elderly relative or an elderly neighbour do not forget to check if they are ok.

Friday, 26 November 2010

COTLEIGH GROVE DANGER WALL STILL NEEDS REPAIRING


As you may recall after a lot of pressure for a number of years the Council finally removed conifers which were damaging a retaining wall near houses in Cotleigh Grove earlier this year.
Now the battle is on to get the retaining wall and a fence on the top of it repaired.
After a number of phone calls to the Local housing team management from my self they are finally getting quotes from contractors to do the work. I will keep the pressure on the housing department to try and get the safety work carried out on the wall and the fence repaired for security reasons. I will also be keeping an eye on the situation in case they try and renege on getting this work done.
If I am successful look out for others jumping in taking credit in their shinny blue leaflets. But remember you read it here first!

TEMPLE TON ROAD RESIDENTS FEEL LET DOWN OF ROAD REPAIRS

A number of Templeton Road Residents have contacted me today saying they feel let down the way their carriage way has been repaired.
A large number of cracks have been repaired but many residents feel the quality of the workman ship is very poor and the road still needs resurfacing.
As a result I have been in contact with Councillor Timothy Huxtable (con) who is the Councillor responsible for the highways, and he has agreed to get his senior officers to look into the complaints. I will keep you post to their decision. re what to do or not to do.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

OSCOTT ELDERLY RESIDENTS GROUP HAS SUCCESSFUL TRIP TO CADBURY WORLD




As a regular attender of the Oscott Elderly Residents Group monthly Tea and biscuit session (I give advice and try and help out) I was delighted to be asked to go along to help out on their coach trip to Cadbury World today. Councillor Barbara Dring who also came along and I were thrilled to see how this trip brightened up the day of those who went.

Many of those who do not get many opportunities to get out and about and I know they all enjoyed them selves. Both Councillor Dring and myself were pleased to be help by pushing wheel chairs and so on. The free Curly whirly and Chocolate buttons were also a nice treat for all concerned.
Well done Maureen Byrne Chair and main fund raiser for the group for finding the funds and organising the trip.
For more details about this group please ring 464 1869

LOWER SECTION OF BIRD BROOK ROAD TO BE RESURFACED THERE MAY BE ROAD CLOSURE

I am pleased to see following representation from the 3 Oscott Councillors Birdbrook Road (lower half) which has partially been resurfaced, is to be finished off.
Part of this section of Birdbrook Road was resurfaced earlier this year but for some reason the end section was left unfinished.
I have been informed there will have to be some time when the road is closed and this may well cause a fair bit of inconvenienced to Traders and Motorists. However I will be pressing the Transportation department to do all they can to alleviate any problems. It would have been better to have either done this work earlier in the year or after Christmas as not to interfere with the trade of local shops during the run up to Christmas..
The 2 weeks when the road may be closed will be week ending 3rd December and the week ending 17th December warning signs will be on display.

Monday, 22 November 2010

ANOTHER PETITION CALLING FOR ROAD SAFETY MEASURES IN OSCOTT REFUSED.

The Birmingham City Council Transportation department has shown yet again the disdain they have for the residents of Oscott, by turning down yet another petition calling for the introduction of road safety measures. This time it was a petition calling for the Aldridge Road from the Boars head to the Metropolitan College. I suppose we will have to Wait for the next series of accidents to have the needed improvements introduced.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUP

The Oscott Residents Association are a ward wide Community Group who actively campaign to try and help residents in Oscott improve the area.
They meet every Saturday at 10.30 in the 610 community Centre.
Why not pop in and have a chat about any concerns you have with some of their members over a cup of tea.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

KETTLE HOUSE ROAD GETS SPEED INDICATOR SIGN AT LAST.



After 4 phone calls and 2 visits to see Transportation Engineers this week to chase them up, the long awaited Speed Indicator sign has finally been erected (and more importantly is working) in Kettlehouse Road/ Bandywood Road. I would like to thank all those residents who helped me keep the pressure on the Transportation department to get this Speed Indicator sign.
This is just one step in the right direction but more needs to be done to help safe guard some of the roads on the Bandywood Estate and the Council needs to do more and as far as I am concerned the battle goes on.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

METROPOLITAN COLLEGE CAR PARKING UPDATE

At comparatively short notice I attended a meeting with senior Metropolitan college officials (the old Great Barr James Watt College on Aldridge Road.
They were kind enough to give me the latest update re their development plans with particular regards to increasing car parking on the site.
Phase one is now all bar complete and a hundred new car spaces have been found. One of the problems is the contractorS on site need to use some of the car parking available.
Phase 2 will begin soon and should be finished in about 12 months. This could include up to another 100 car spaces. There will also be a new coffee shop on site which should help encourage students to stay on site.
The College officials have agreed to attend a public meeting which I will be arranging with other Oscott Councillor, Barbara Dring, Councillor Green, Council Officers and the public it is important all concerned understand what is proposed and is going on. At this meeting the College officials will give an update and the meeting is likely to be in the New Year.
In the mean time I intend to continue to work closly with Council Officers and College officials to try and resolve any issues which come up.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

TEMPLETON ROAD,BANDYWOOD CRESCENT AND MEADTHORPE ROAD CLOSURES THIS MONTH




Templeton Road may be subject to closure during the week ending 19th November due to a number of concrete bays needing substantial repairs.

Bandywood Crescent near Kingsland School will be subject to road closure during the weekending 26th. November . This will be due to major structural work and repairs to the carriage way.

Meadthorpe Road will be subject to closure during the week ending 26th November due to substantial repairs too some concrete bays on the carriage way.

Repairs are not being undertaken along the whole of these roads. Following my informing the Highways department, miss leading road signs indicating road resurfacing work on these roads is to take place are to be removed. The Highways have acknowledge they have made a mistake putting out these incorrect signs and have agreed to replace them.

Sadly it is not the case that these roads will be re surfaced at this time however both Councillor Dring and I will continue the battle to get them done in the future.
The work which is done is urgently needed and is as a result of continued complaints by various Councillors in the Oscott ward and local residents.
If you have any concerns regarding this matter please contact me on 360 6486.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

OSCOTT YOUTH SERVICES PROVISION UNDER THREAT.

The current Council Administration are looking to make cuts in Youth Service provision across the city. In Oscott as a result of cuts the Bandwood Families Project and the 610 Community Centre could well fall victim to any such cuts?. We will have to wait and see what happens next year. Users of the 610 Centre have already started a petition to save their centre.
THIS AREA IS CRYING OUT FOR MORE PROVISION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE NOT LESS

Both Councillor Barbara Dring and I are opposed to any such cuts and will do what we can to save Youth Service provision in Oscott.
Barbara Dring at a recent meeting got a commitment from the Birmingham Labour MPs to take this issue to Parliament.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

GRAFFITI BEING TARGETED IN OSCOTT


Following a number of complaints a number of Environmental Wardens are coming to Oscott over the next few weeks too target the growing problem of graffiti here.
I have given them a number of hot spots and they have assured me these will be targeted.
Cable boxes street lamps, and so on are starting to look a real mess with the graffiti on them.
If you know of any graffiti which needs removing please give me a ring. 360 6486 and I will pass on you observations.

Monday, 8 November 2010

SPEED CAMERA TO BE INSTALLED THIS WEEK IN KETTLEHOUSE ROAD

I have received another promise from the Birmingham City Council regarding the missing speed indicator sign which was due to be erected in Kettle House Road in September. Apparently the sign must have been found because contractor are now due to install it this week.
I do not think this sign alone will cure the speeding problems in the Kettle House road area on its own but it is a step in the right direction at long last by our apathetic Transportation department. Mind you I wont count to many eggs till they hatch as it were?

ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL ACTIVITY DAY AT THE QUESLETT NATURE RESERVE


There was another successful activity day at the Queslett Nature Reserve on Saturday. The weather held out and a lot of pruning back off paths and clearance work was carried out. Members also cut back over hanging branches on the Queslett Road boundary even though the Council should have done this work. Stephan Bodnar the Councils Bio Diversity officer was hand to answer a number of questions about the wild life in the reserve. The Friends of the Queslttt Nature Reserve also signed up a number of new members.
On the down side there has been a complaint by one anonymous resident about members of the FQNR parking outside the reserve and making a noise?. I was not aware of any noise ? but I would ask all visitors to the reserve who use the the reserve not to park too close to the Ashworth Road entrance and be considerate to the residents who have to park there.
There is also an entrance to the reserve off Old Horns Crescent near the ASDA super store.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

CHECKING OUT OSCOTT'S GRIT BINS.


As you may have noticed Grit bins have been placed around the Oscott area in readiness for winter conditions. These grit bins including 5 new ones which were given to the Oscott ward. Oscott Councilors have helped decide where they went but we still need more.
I have been going round checking many of these grit bins to make sure they have grit available for when the bad weather comes. So far so good they have all been filled.

However at the first sign of bad weather the grit will soon be used on the roads and pavements and if you do notice a bin which has been emptied, give me a ring on 360 6486 and I will ensure the department is made aware of it.

COUNCIL TURNS DOWN KINGSTANDING ROAD PETITION

Councillor Barbara Dring who has been leading a campaign to get the Council to introduce some for of roads safety measures to the Kingstanding Road, has informed me a petition handed in by her on behalf of residents has been turned down
I am not that surprised this Council seem determined not to take road safety in this area seriously.
The have now been a score of such rejections to calls by Oscott Residents in various roads for road safety measure. The one thing you can be sure of is at least Councillor Barbara Dring and I at least will not give up and will continue to try and get action taken by this Council.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

MORE FLY TIPPING IN OSCOTT


I am afraid there is more fly tipping going on is Oscott. This time it has happened in Desford Avenue. This is usually a quiet walk though which people use as a short cut. Sadly this green little passage way has found the attention of some anti social fly tippers.

I think the inevitable increase in fly tipping does not seem to have been catered for by those who decided to make cuts in the Bulky Waste home collection service earlier this year. Lets hope more thought is given to the next round of cuts they come up with.

DONT FORGET ANIMALS ON BON FIRE NIGHT

With fire works going off most nights at the moment and with bonfire night fast approaching, it is time to remember our pets. Try and keep dogs and cats in your house as much as possible over the next week as they are often frightened by the noise of fireworks.
Also If you are hold a party for bonfire night let your neighbours know especially if they have pets.

Monday, 1 November 2010

YET ANOTHER ACCIDENT AT THE BANDYWOOD ESTATE BLACK SPOT.



Can you see a Speeding vehicle indicator sign! neither can I.





There has been yet another accident on the Bandywood Road KettleHouse Road over the weekend.
Now It would appears the Transportation department have miss laid a speed Indicator sigh which their chief promised me would be installed on this accident black spot by the end of September.
I have been in touch with senior engineers, as you may expect demanding answers. It is just not good enough. I accept there will always be accidents what ever safety measure you take but not to have put this sign up a month after it was promised is simply not acceptable.

GREEN BAG COLLECTION ENDS NOVEMBER 26TH FOR 10 WEEKS

I have now been informed there will be no green bag collections for 10 weeks between Friday November 26th until Monday February 6th. This is due to the reduction in green waste usually put out at this time of year.
Should you have any green waste during this time it can still be taken to the nearest salvage department. For Oscott residents that is Holford Drive.
Other recycling collections are not effected.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

HELP IMPROVE THE QUESLETT NATURE RESERVE


The friends of the Friends of the Queslett Nature reserve are holding an activity session on Saturday Nov 6th at 11am starting from the Ashgrove entrance.
All are welcome but children must be accompanied by an adult. Please dress in accordance to the weather and wear stout footwear. Any tools will be provided.

Light pruning work and rubbish clearance will be taking place. Please do not park to close to the entrance to respect the residents living their.
This is an opportunity to help keep the reserve looking good and to help encourage wildlife and the environment. The City’s Bio Diversity officer will be on hand to answer questions about the wild life on the reserve.

If you would like more information please ring 360 6486

Thursday, 28 October 2010

ELDERLY OSCOTT RESIDENTS ENJOYING THEM SELVES

I popped in again to the Age Concern club which meets Every Thursday at the Emanuel Church.
It is really nice to see elderly resident enjoying each others company and doing a number of activities together. Today they had a young man with them called Domenic who appeared on X Factor a year or so ago. It was really nice to see him enjoying their company and visa versa.
If you want to know more about what Age Concern does in the Oscott area please ring 358 0309

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

H MARKINGS AND DISABLED BAY MARKINGS MAY NEED REPAINTING

A number of resident have complained to me recently that H markings and Disabled bay markings out side their homes are beginning to wear out. These can be repained and if you have any difficulty getting it done please give me a ring on 360 6486

NOVA COURT JUNCTION IMPROVEMENT WORK UNDERWAY


It is good to see that at last work is being carried out to improve the Queslett Road Nova Court junction. I would like to thank local residents, Councillor Barbara Dring and the Perry Barr Councillors for their support over this issue. I have been pushing to get something done at this junction for some time but it looks like now we are getting somewhere..
The junction is being widened and better markings are being put in place which will be a big improvement..
There are still many more road safety improvements needed on the Queslett Road but at least I can see some progress being made.

Friday, 22 October 2010

SUPPORTING LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUPS


As a local Oscott resident as well as the Oscott Ward Councillor I am always keen to try and help support the many local resident groups in the Oscott area. With that in mind I was more than pleased to be asked to "plug" the next Oscott Elderly Residents Group Coffee morning which takes place on Wednesday 17th November at the 610 Community Centre Kingstanding Road. The session will start at 11.15.
If you want to get out of the house and have a cup of tea and a chat why not pop along. There are also often guest speaker there to listen to or to ask questions.

The Oscott Residents Groups hold regular drop in sessions on Saturday mornings at the 610 Community Centre where you can go and have a chat with them or to pass on any concerns you have about the area. They meet at 10.30am.

If you would like to know more about the many Oscott Residents Groups (Including the Oscott Disability Group) and their Chairman George Hough ( see photo above) in the area please ring 464 1869

Thursday, 21 October 2010

SANDY LANE / ALDRIDGE ROAD SAFETY PLAN UPDATE

Having met with senior Transportation engineers on site to discuss the Aldridge Road Road safety plan (for the Great Barr Schools and surrounding area) and the Sandy Lane Road Safety Plan (near the Perry Beeches Schools. I have been reassured things are starting to move again.

I have insisted that residents/ traders along these routes as well as the various schools are kept informed and consulted, however progress must be made urgently.

The problems with traffic flow and parking near these schools will not be an easy one to rectify but much of the current plans are reasonable and must be implemented ASAP and further delays should be avoided.
I am sure if these plans which may be in place by the New Year if all goes well, are successful you will be reading all about them in someones leaflets but you have the news here first and that this issue is still being dealt with.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

FLY TIPPING AGAIN IN BOOTHS LANE


I was right yesterday when I said that it was only a question of time before Booths Lane will be fly tipped again. It has over night. It is time CCTV was re introduced to the area and the Council and the land owners took firm action to deal with this problem.

The over night tipping has obviously been carried out by professionals and along with other rubbish cash registers, lighting tubes, trays, glass and other objects make it clear that a pub/ restaurant has paid someone to get rid of their rubbish. Booths lane was actually blocked for a time by this rubbish.
Along with Council officers I helped search for evidence of the owners of the rubbish and have managed to get the rubbish removed.
If you see anyone fly tipping please report it to 303 9900 and lets work together to stop it.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

628 BUS ROUTE MIX UP ON DYAS ROAD

There has been a lot of confusion as to whether bus stop on Dyas Road near Cavandale Avenue is actually part of the 628 bus route. Now after contacting Centro, I can advise
that the 628 service is not registered to stop at this location.
The last stop on the route is further up Dyas Road. The signage on the bus flag near Cavandale Avenue and the online timetable, both of which are provided by Centro, are incorrect.
I will naturally be pressing Centro now they have been made aware of their mistake to put it right.

BOOTHS LANE CLEANED UP

Following numerous complaints from Councillor Dring and myself Booths Lane has finally had fly tipped rubbish removed from it.
Sadly however I expect partly due to the Councills decision to cut much of the free Bulky Item Collection service I think it will only be a matter of time until fly tipped reappears in Booths Lane.
I have been in touch with both the Environmental department and the Police asking them to be aware of the situation and try and catch those responsible.

KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH RESIDENTS

I am often criticised by some Councillors who do not presumably like to keep residents informed about they are doing in their wards, for being in the press to often.
I have to say I disagree with this view. Like with using a blog to inform residents, although it does allow some, to use the information in their leaflets, the press is good way of engaging with residents.
I think it is important to let residents know what is happening without bombarding them with leaflets. For example as well as using the press and this blog I also hold regular Advice Bureaux's on most Saturday mornings at the 610 Community Centre Kingstanding road at 10.30 am and attend a number of residents groups meetings.
I do not think Councillors should be frightened of meeting their residents face to face as this is often a good way of really getting to know residents concerns

Friday, 15 October 2010

COTLEIGH GROVE RESIDENTS TO SEE THE LIGHT


At long last after 10 long years many Oscott residents are seeing the light. 30 foot high conifers situated on a 10 foot high bank behind walling and fencing are now being removed from near residents homes.
About half have already been taken down this week and the rest should follow.
Their removal will also mean the crumbling, root effect wall, will be less of a danger to residents. It may also be possible to remove at last Stabilising beams put it to stop the wall falling down near some of the houses.
It is a great shame when trees have to be removed but in this case these Conifers had to go.
I am doing what I can to get the Housing department to sort out the wall and repair the remaining fence as soon as they can once the trees are gone.
(See also August 19th Post)

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

OSCOTT ALLOTMENT HOLDERS FACING RENTAL CHARGE INCREASE

It would appear there is going to be a hike in the price of renting an allotment. The very reasonable current £28 a year rent is to jump to £75 in 3 years time.
While the £28 current rent compares very well with other authorities the proposed fare increases will not.
I well remember trying to help promote the use of allotments in Oscott some years ago. The benefits being- to be able to grow you own health food cheaply, while keeping fit doing it.
I hope these price increases do not put off those who need this service most, those on lower incomes.
What extra services do you get for the price increases? None at all that I can see, in fact the Council have already reduced the allotment development staff from 3 to 1.

ANOTHER ROAD ACCIDENT IN SANDY LANE

Sadly there has been another accident on Sandy Lane near the Perry Beeches Schools entrance yesterday.
A young girl has been knocked down while being collected from school by a parent. I understand from an eye wittiness that in their opinion was no fault on behalf of the driver.
Accidents in my view are bound to happen at this location and also on the Aldridge Road near the Great Barr Schools. The Councils Transportation department have for 2 years dallied and dallied with putting in road safety improvements in both areas. They have received numerous request and suggestions from myself and local residents
I have by coincidence already arranged to meet with the latest Council Officer put in charge of sorting these areas out and you may be assured I will be making absolutely sure he has a personal look at these potential accident hot spots.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

DAYS OUT FOR OSCOTTS ELDERLY RESIDENTS

I was pleased to hear that the Oscott Elderly Residents Group (Chaired by Maureen Byrne) has been awarded 1 thousand pounds by the "Birmingham Community Foundation" I would along with Members of the OERG like to thank the Foundation for this wonderful donation and I am sure the money will be well used.
This funding will enhance the small amount of Community chest funding the Oscott Ward Committee gave to the OERG earlier this year.
I know this group do a lot of good work as I attend a number of their meetings to help out and give advice when I can.
They give elderly and often frail Oscott Resident a helping hand and a place to go away from their own four walls.
I understand coach trips are being planned and I am sure many of members of this group will be grateful for a day out.
If you would like more details about the activities of the Oscott Elderly Residents group please ring 464 1869

Friday, 8 October 2010

BIRMINGHAM EVENING MAIL - YOUR COMMUNITIES

I am glad to see that the Birmingham Mail is doing some work to promote bloggers that are busy in the Birmingham area, you can see for yourself here.Many thanks to the reporters at the Mail for this excellent idea. (AND ALSO FOR ADDING MY BLOG TO THEIR LIST)

PLANS FOR HAWTHORN ROAD AMUSEMENT ARCADE DEFFERED

Plans to open an Amusement arcade on Hawthorn Road have been deferred by the Planning Committee while views from the Police are sort. At the Planning meeting yesterday I reminded the committee of the history of anti social behaviour near the proposed arcade site.
This shopping centre needs more genuine variety of retail shops in my view and an amusement arcade would be out of place. I also handed in a petition opposed to an amusement arcade on the Hawthorn road with 200 signatures on it, which were gathered in just one day.
In these times when money is all I feel it will be difficult to stop the amusement arcade coming to the Hawthorn Road but on behalf of worried residents and traders I am giving it a go.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

LEAVE OUR DUCKS ALONE




Ducks are disapearing at an alarming rate off the lake in the Queslett Nature Reserve. It is believed that some people are going around catching them for the pot. This is great shame after all the hard work out in by members of the Queslett Nature Reserve to improve conditions for the wild life on the reserve.
If you see anything suspicious please ring the Police on 0345 113 5000 and do not put your self in any sort of danger.
I have also been informed Swans are having their eggs stolen in Perry Hall park

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

WHY DONT THEY EDUCATE CHILDREN ABOUT THE PROBLEMS LITTER CAUSE?

As part of my campaign to try and improve the cleanliness of our streets in Oscott I have been calling on the Council to go into local schools and talk about how important it is not to leave litter all over the place.
Sadly I suspect due to cuts being made in Council Services, the officer who would normally take on this education role finds her post no longer exists.
This is very disappointing, but I have now asked why Environmental wardens can not go into schools from time to time (especially during bad weather when it is difficult for them to operate out doors). Again I think I will receive a negative response as the time these Environmental Wardens once spent in an individual ward has been reduced. But i shall keep trying.

CONCRETE ROADS IN OSCOTT ARE STILL ON THE AGENDA

Oscott's many cracked and deteriorating roads is an issue that Councillor Barbara Dring and I are not going to let go away. This issue was brought up again with Amey and the Birmingham City Transportation yet again at last weeks Oscott Ward Committee.
I for one will not accept the fudge and dodging of the subject that has been going on and am continuing to demand roads with concrete carriage ways in Oscott are bought back up to a reasonable standard.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

VACANCIES FOR JOBS AT MORRISONS

Since I posted the news about the vacancies for jobs in Tesco's recently several residents have asked me to let them know if any other similar vacancies are in the pipe line. So with that in mind.

There will be a new Morrison’s store opening in early 2011 on the former Astra Training site on Holyhead Road. An application form can be obtained by phoning a telephone hotline run by Jobcentre Plus ring ( 480 3840) to book a place on an open day You will then be sent an application form.
There will be approximately 1700 spaces on the Open Days which will be held locally on the 11th and 12th October. This is the only way to get an application form.

FRIENDS OF QUESLETT NATURE RESERVE AGM

I was delighted to be reelected Chair of the Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve at their AGM today.
There were some new faces elected onto the committee and I am sure they will do a great job.
I would also like to say a big thank you for the effort put in by those committee members who have been replaced.
The Queslett Nature Reserve is an old quarry site which was filled with rubbish and then landscaped. For many years until I and a number of like minded residents got together to form the Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve, the reserve was neglected by the Council

Bit by bit the FQNR are getting this reserve into shape and it has started to become a wild life haven. The Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve also help look after the Aldridge Road Recreation Ground and are interested in local environment
If you would like more details about the FOQNR please ring me on 360 6486 or see their blog http://queslettnaturereserve.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

OSCOTT RESIDENTS MAY HAVE THEIR BLACK BAG COLLECTION DAY CHANGED

There may be changes in stall for some residents in Oscott when it comes to when they have their blag bags collected.
The Salvage department will later this year introduce a system where the same salvage crew collect all the black bags through out the Oscott ward. It is meant as a stream linning of the service. However this may mean that some residents may find the day they have their blag bags collected will change.
I have been assured that black bags will still be collected on a weekly schedule and residents will be notified by leaflet when and if there is to be a change in the day their black bags are collected. (look out for leaflets explaining this.) Blue and green boxes will be collected on which ever day the black bags are going to be collected collected, as at present.
Finale plans for any changes have not yet been drawn up and when they are I will post any information I can on this blog.

THERE IS LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL FOR MANY OSCOTT RESIDENTS.

At today's Oscott Ward Committee Amey the contractor hired by the Birmingham City Council to maintain the streets in Birmingham informed the meeting all substandard street lights in Oscott will be replaced by the 31st of May 2015. In fact Oscott will be the first ward in the Perry Barr Constituency to have all its roads up to a modern standard street light wise.
Both Councillor Barbara Dring and I welcome this news and will be monitoring the progress of this initiative. WE WILL ALSO TRY AND GET AS MANY ROADS AS POSSIBLE DONE EVEN BEFORE THE DEAD LINE.

COLLEGE STUDENTS STILL CAUSING PARKING PROBLEMS

Sadly despite most of the new car parks on the Metropolitan college site being available there are still serious problems at the Aldridge Road to Burnham Road junction.
Following my concerns expressed to the Police (see my August 4th post re Police Tasking meeting) the Police are now putting out Police no waiting signs to help relieve the problems at this junction. Clearly however this can only be a short term measure.

I have asked the College to Finnish off their construction work and to free of more parking spaces ASAP and and to look at other ways to reduce the parking problems their students generate. I have also asked the Transportation department to look again at a more permanent solution. I will do what I can to keep this situation brought to the attention of the authorities.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

MAKE A COMMENT

Any one who would like to make a comment regarding any of my posts and wish me to reply to please email
keith.linnecor@birmingham.gov.uk. leaving your comments and your full details and I will do my best to respond.

CAT HOMING DAY

have been asked to advertise the following on my blog and I am only to happy to do so.

On behalf of Cats Protection.

Cat Homing Day

Saturday 2nd October 10.30am to 12.30am
Friends Meeting House
Kenelm Road Sutton Coldfield B73 6HD
(Behind the Cup Pub) Free entrance and free car park.

20 cats and Kittens will be on view who are all looking for caring homes (can you help?)

For further details ring the North Birmingham branch 0121 377 6302

Saturday, 25 September 2010

THE PERRY COMMON LIBRARY FUN DAY


I was pleased to be asked to open the fun day session at the Perrycommon Library this morning. (Councillor Barbara Dring as Ward Chair will be officially opening the library at 3.30 today)

This is my local library and I have followed the progress of the building work with great interest over the past year or so. I think the library now looks great inside although I do miss the traditional entrance and exit. I must admit however the Community Chest Funding allotted for the modernising interior work in the Library, by the Oscott Ward has been well spent.

It is expected to be very busy today with a wide range of events for all of the family. The amazing Clive Chandler is performing a puppet show of Jack and the Beanstalk, Potsman Pat will be doing craft activities and there are pre-school stories and face painting throughout the day.

Local historian and genealogist Paul Wilkins we be show you how to trace your family tree and Steve Dyson is presenting a talk on the history of Perry Common. The magnificent Spencer’s will be showing a traditional Victorian magic lantern show later in the day and staff will be running introductory computer sessions for older people.

I have certainly enjoyed being at the library this morning and think the staff are in for a long day.

NOVA COURT JUNCTION ACTION AT LAST?

At long last it looks as if the Nova Court / Queslett Road junction is going to have some safety improvements carried out (see my post 26th August also). The central reservation gap at this junction will be closed while work is carried out between the 29th of September and the 6th of October 9.30 am till 3.30pm.
As you are aware I have been leading the campaign for action at this black spot for some time now, along with Local residents Maureen Byrne and Bob Wylde as well as Councillor Barbara Dring.
It was also pleasing to see that the Liberal Councillors from Perry Barr were prepared to work along side me to keep the the pressure on the Birmingham City Council and the Sandwell Council.
Lets all now hope we are not let down again and the wait has been worth while.

FRIENDS OF THE QUESLETT NATURE RESERVE AGM.

The Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve will be holding their AGM on Saturday 2nd October at 11am. The venue will be the 610 Community Centre Kingstanding Road.
If you wish to be nominated for one of the Committee places please ring 464 1969 before 12 noon Monday 27th September.

Friday, 24 September 2010

SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING

If like me you are a regular bus user you are bound to have seen low level antisocial behaviour during a bus journey from time to time, This can be very frustrating but now you can do something to ease that frustration. See something say something is an easy way to report low level anti social behaviour which you have seen a bus or the Metro.
Just text “bus” or “Metro” leave a space, and then write now what you have seen along with the details location, time and route number and add 83010.

Your concerns will be fed to the Safer Travel Police Team who are dedicated to work on Public Transport. They will collate your concerns, as part of their strategy


(If you see something more serious call the Police in the normal way.)

Thursday, 23 September 2010

RIDING PUSH BIKES ON THE PAVEMENT IS DANGEROUS.

In areas like Oscott where there are a lot of elderly and disabled residents, riding a push bike on the pavement is dangerous. Many able bodied residents also tell me they feel intimidated when they are on the same pavement as a cyclist.
I would urge cyclist not to ride their bikes on our pavements and I am aware many responsible cyclist do not There is a fixed fine for riding a bike on the pavement and while not wanting to sound to draconian about it I feel perhaps the Police should consider issuing more of these fines.

The Council needs to do more. I have been asking for some time now for No cycling on pavement signs to be put up in strategic locations. There also need to be a program of education on the subject and yes many of our roads in Oscott need looking at to make them more safe for cyclist to use. For example they should be considering extend cycle lanes along some of our roads.

I am also working closely with the Oscott Disability Group to look at ways of getting the authorities to take more action on this issue.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

THE PERRY BARR CONSITUENCY MEETING

There will be a meeting of the Perry Barr Constituency Committee tomorrow 23rd September at the Rookery Road Children’s Centre Rookery Road Handsworth.

Councillors in the Constituency attend these meeting to listen to reports from a number of Council Officer about issues relating to the area. Residents have an opportunity to ask questions.

On the agenda will be

The Perry Barr Revue Budget Monitoring Report 20/10/20/11 – Quarter one April to June 2010

The Constituency Community Arts, Culture and Events Plan 2010/11

The 2010-2011 Consultation Plan

Should you wish to attend? The meeting starts at 7pm/

Saturday, 18 September 2010

FLY TIPPING ON THE INCREASE AS PREDICTED


Once again parts of the unadopted section of Booths Lane have been fly tipped. There are a number of mattresses and other items just dumped on the road side.
As I predicted earlier this year as some residents find they only have 3 free bulky collections these days, come this time of year many have used up their allotment and the temptation to fly tip is very real.
It is time the Council reintroduced more free bulky collections ( perhaps up to 6) and clamped down of fly tipping.

LITTER PICK SUCCESS.


Despite late notice there was yet another good turn out to the Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve litter picking session.
It was good to see a number of new faces turn up as well.
Over 30 bags of rubbish and a number of larger items were removed from the reserve.
I would like to say thank you to all those who took part.

COUNCILLOR BARBARA DRING TO OPEN PERRY COMMON LIBRARY


Councillor Barbara Dring in her role as Oscott Ward Committee Chair will be officialy re opening the Perry Common Library on Saturday 25th at 3.30pm. She will then go on to present awards to youngster in appriaciation of all the hard work they have been doing designing libray cards and so on.
Barbara will also be paying tribute to the retiring Gudyal Gandham for all the hard work she has put into the Library service over the years.

I have always found Gudyal very helpful and knowledgeable in the years I have know her (and in the countless times I have met her when using the Perry Common library). I certainly wish her well for the future.

The Perry Common is already in use and I have to say the refurnishing (paid for out of Oscott Community Chest over the last couple of years,( and possible my fines for returning my books back late ?) looks really good. The modern Counter and the chairs in the youth Library are very good as is the new information Plasma screen.
The whole place looks so much brighter. Behind the scenes there have also been a number of worth while. improvements and so naturally are all the major roofing repairs.
I am sure users of the library will reap the benefits.
I will be helping out on the Saturday morning (10am) and have been glad to have been asked to. Perhaps I will see you there.

Friday, 17 September 2010

ANTI DOG FOULING INITIATIVE TO TAKE PLACE IN OSCOTT IN OCTOBER

As I predicted some time ago the reduction in the Oscott Environmental Warden time in Oscott, Ward, due to the current Council administrations, miss guided policy changes last year, occurrences of dog fouling in the area has gone up a lot recently.
Now Following a large numbers of complaints by my self on behalf of residents about the issue, a team of Environmental Wardens will be in the Oscott area in October reminding dog owners of their responsibilities and if necessary issuing fines.
If you have any concerns about this issue please contact me either by email (see my profile) or by ringing 306 6486.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

GREAT BARR AND PERRY BEECHES SCHOOL PARKING CONSULTATION A FARCE.

For over 2 year I have along with resident been trying to get the Transportation department to come up with solutions to parking problems near the Great Barr Junior and infant school and the Perry Beeches Schools (Sandy Lane and Beeches Road) The result so far apart from a Speed indicator sign of the Aldridge Road, has been a series of consultations and the odd public meeting. This is clearly not good enough and is a farce.
There have been a number of proposals put forward for the Aldridge Road and Sandy Lane which were all but agreed, but sadly just as just as they were getting some where it was realised there were problems in the design and problems would simply move up Sandy Lane.
Both the Sandy Land and the Aldridge Road need to be sorted out urgently and there needs to be a solution which takes into account both roads.
I have been in touch with one of the Directors in the Transportation department about this situation yet again and will continue to press his department to take action, for the safety of our school children and for the relief of local residents who are suffering from parking problems. I am in constant with the Police who are trying to sort out the problem while waiting for the Transportation department to come up with a solution.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

OSCOTT WARD ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

Councillor Barbara Dring and I attended the Oscott Ward Advisory Board meeting tonight. These meetings are where Community representatives, 'Council Officers, the Police, Fire Brigade and other voluntary group Representatives, meet with Oscott Ward Councillors to discuss issues relating to the Oscott Ward.
Tonight's agenda was heavily taken up with community safety issues.
The Police reported that following up recent a Police Tasking meeting (which I attended) they are going to prioritise a number of community safety issues. These are:
Looking at speeding issues in the ward (and continuing with the Speed Watch Initiative.)
Preventing drinking and anti social behavior on the Kingstanding Circles pavements and shop fronts.(Looking further at the Alcohol restricted Zones initiative for example)
Persuading youngster not to play ball games on the street and thus trying to prevent accidents.
Carrying out more anti burglary patrols in the area.
Monitoring disabled parking bays. (this links in with the on going initiative I have been working on with the Transportation department and the Oscott Disability Group to introduce more enforceability, to the use of these bays.) I am particularly concerned about the Kingstanding Circle area but to other locations as well.

It will be interesting to see how the Police get on with these initiative's.

A number of other reports and issues were discussed regarding unemployment in the ward, help for young families, help for the elderly and so on. Residents can raise issues with their Oscott Ward Councillors in 2 weeks time at the Oscott Ward Committee.

JOB VACANCIES AT TESCO'S LADYWOOD

I am asked occasionally if I am aware of any job vacancies in the North Birmingham area and with this in mind I am passing on the following information. If this is of any use to you or anyone you know please give the phone number below a ring.
(I understand there are about 50 vacancies)

TESCO
Vacancies for numerous roles
are available within a new store at
Ladywood, Birmingham.
Due to open in November 2010.

Previous retail experience may be advantageous
but not essential as full training will be provided.

Applicants must be able to work
flexible shift patterns
(allocated shifts can change with 48 hour’s notice)

Group Interviews will take place week commencing 4th October
Individual interviews will take place week commencing 11th October

PLEASE CALL THE RECRUITMENT LINE
BETWEEN
9:30am and 4:30pm,
from Wednesday 15th September
FOR A SHORT TELEPHONE INTERVIEW

0121 255 8027

A CHANCE TO HAVE YOUR SAY ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN THE AREA

If you are unhappy with the level of bus or train services in this area, there will be a chance on Tuesday 21st September to let the bus and rail companies know. Along with Birmingham Council members who are on the Regions Transport Authority, bus and rail representatives will be at a Transport Users Forum meeting. Member of the public are most welcome and will have the opportunity to raise questions at this meeting
The time of the meeting will be 7pm and the venue is Erdington Abbey-Parish of St John Thomas and Edmund of Canterbury, 32 Sutton Road, Erdington, Birmingham B23 6QL.

If you have a concern about public Transport you can Email me keith.linnecor@birmingham.gov.uk or ring 360 6486 and I will try and help.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

QUESLETT NATURE RESERVE TO GET CLEAN UP

The Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve will be holding a litter picking session on Saturday.
This will be an opportunity for member to work as a team to help clean up the reserve.
If you are a member of the FOQNR or would like to join and help why not come along to the Ahworth Road entrance to the Queslett Nature Reserve. (11am)
Don't forget to come prepared for the weather and children must be under the guidance of an adult.
I would also like to thank those member who have been out helping to clean up the reserve over the summer.

Friday, 10 September 2010

ROADS IN OSCOTT WITH CONCRETE CARRIAGE WAYS ARE STILL AN ISSUE

Oscott has a number of roads with concrete carriage ways many of which are deteriorating badly and are in need of repair/ resurfacing.
This year following years of campaigning by various residents and Councillors Dunedin Road was resurfaced.
This was great news but for me this has only been the start. I have no intention of forgetting roads like
Templeton Road, Southgate Road, Felstone Road, Eliston Avenue,Weybourne Road, Thornbridge Road, Regine Avenue, Glenmead Road, Meadthorpe Road and so on.
I have been in touch with the Highways department about the state of the carriage way in all these roads and will continue to put the pressure on until they are done. (I hope others may do the same.)

Birmingham Mail - Your communities

I am glad to see that the Birmingham Mail is doing some work to promote bloggers that are busy in the Birmingham area, you can see for yourself here.
Many thanks to the reporters at the Mail for this excellent idea.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

POLICE NEIGHBOURHOOD TASKING MEETING IN OSCOTT

JUST SOME OF THE NTG MEMBER ABOUT TO GO OUT TO MEET RESIDENTS
I was pleased to be able to attend the latest Neighbourhood Police Tasking Group meeting. These meetings are where the Police meet with community representatives, Councillors and Council officers to discuss crime priorities and issues in the Oscott Ward.
It was decided today that trying to persuade youngster to play ball games on local open spaces rather than on busy roads should become one of the priorities. Others include parking and speeding problems. (Community Speed Watch is doing well in the area)
Following the meeting the team went off to meet local residents and to look at areas of concern.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

NEED A GRIT BIN?


Like I am sure a number of other Councillors I am already receiving complaints and requests about grit bins.
I have been compiling list of requests for new grit bins to be located in different locations throughout the Oscott Ward and if you have an idea as where a grit bin may be needed this winter please let me know. I will ensure you request is passed on to the Transportation department and although this does not guarantee one will be put in place, I will make sure there is a good reason if it is not.

If you would like a grit bin located in a particular road please ring 360 6486 and I will do what I can to help.

Monday, 6 September 2010

JEAN BAKER R.I.P.

It was with great sadness that I heard of the death (last week) of Mrs Jean Baker.
Jean worked tirelessly for the local community as a member of the Oscott North Neighbourhood Forum and before its axing by the Councils,Housing department for the Oscott Housing Liaison Board.
Jean was one of those rarities today a wonderful caring person who worked with no personal agenda for the local community.
Jean was also a member of the Friends Queslett Nature Reserve which she cared very much about.
My thoughts are with Jean,s family. She will be sadly missed.

BUSY KINGSTANDING ROADS TO BE RESURFACED SOON.

Following complaints from Councillor Dring and my self Amey the contractor in charge of repairing our roads are now resurfacing the carriage way on Kings Road and at the Kingstading island.

This work will be started 13th September (Kings Road for 5 days) and the 17th of September (Kingstanding island for 3 nights).

There will be some delays as you may expect but I have asked Amey to ensure delays are kept to a minimum on these very busy roads.

CABINET MEMBERS RESPONSE TO KETTLEHOUSE ROAD SPEEDING PROBLEMS

I have now received a letter from Councillor Timothy Huxtable (con) the Cabinet member for Transportation and Regeneration. He has confirmed that although his department does not recognise the need for any traffic calming measures in Kettlehouse Road, a Speed indicator sign is to be installed. This sign will be in place by the end of September.

I have informed Councillor Huxtable whilst I do not think this measure goes far enough it is at least a start. I am calling for more and better signage to be considered for the whole Bandywood Estate and for the prosed indicator signs, effect to be monitored.
I am also asking the Police to monitor the problem and that of speeding motor bikes on the estate.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

NOVA COURT / QUESLETT ROAD

To put the record straight this is a reply I received a few weeks ago from the Birmingham City Council Transportation Department to a request for information by myself, about the Queslett Road.

"We now have approval to carry out the work to widen the exit from Queslett Road towards Nova Court, as we agreed at the site meeting earlier this year. Sandwell Council will be carrying out the work on our behalf, at the same time as they resurface their side of the dual carriageway, using the Section 278 money from the St Margaret's development.
Sandwell Council are currently completing the detailed design drawings. We believe that they intend to carry out the work during October, possibly targeting the half-term week to reduce delays to traffic. I will let you know once we have a definite date."


When I get the date I will post it on here the sooner the better given how long Local residents and I have been requesting action. It is a shame it this work has not already been done.

BEACON STAR FC NEEDS NEW PLAYERS

A local football team are looking for new local players aged between 7 and 11. Beacon Star Football Club have a number of teams and if you would like to have a go training is available. Matches and training take place on the Glenmead Playing Field, Glenmead Road, Great Barr.
If you are interested ring 078 351 644 87 for more information.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

ANOTHER ACCIDENT ON QUESLETT ROAD.

Tonight there has been yet another car accident on the Queslett Road resulting in the need for the emergency services to attend. Two cars have been involved in an accident about 6.30pm tonight at this accident black spot. (remember the Amberline car ?)
Once again the accident was on the Sandwell side of the dual carriage way near the motorway bridge next to the Nova Court Junction.
Birmingham and Sandwell Transportation Engineers have had meetings with local councillors including myself earlier this year and agreed to improve the Queslett Road at this point. This was followed by the Sandwell Council installing a speed indicator sign (later removed as it was not visible enough?) and the introduction instead of poorly displayed drive safely signs.
Sandwell and Birmingham need to do something urgently on this stretch of the Queslett and fulfilling their promises would be a good start.
Over the years they have promised new sets of Traffic lights, curb improvement, new signs and so on. Despite numerous request for action by local Councillors they have not carried out these promises. It appears they are too busy passing the buck.
I will continue to work with Local Councillors from any party and Local community leaders like Bob Wild and Maureen Byrne to try and get something done.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

SKATE BOARDS CENTRE A SUMMER TIME SUCCESS

Councillor Barbara Dring checking on the skate boards centres progress






The skate Board centre in Perry Barr Park near the border with Oscott has been a major success. All summer long this facility which Councillor Barabara Dring championed , has attracted dozens of youngsters. These youngster many of whom would have played on the street if they did not have the skate board Centre, have really took to this facility.
There has been a lot of litter and graffiti as a result but the Parks department tell me they are monitoring the situation and litter is picked up daily and offensive graffiti is being dealt with.
All in all this centre has been a great success.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

DANGEROUS CONIFERS TO BE REMOVED AT LAST


There has been an issue regarding overgrown conifer trees on the area of land between the Cot Leigh Grove estate and the new development off Kings Road. Concerns over the years many concerns have been expressed regarding the safety of the trees and their impact on the adjoining retaining wall, which in parts has had to be braced by timber supports for years.

This area of land is believed to be a works access route used by the former commercial occupants of the site, but has not been incorporated into the new ‘Wimpey’ development. Both Councillor Barbara Dring and I have had extensive enquiries made regarding ownership and responsibility for this land and no firm conclusion has been made from these investigations.

However I am pleased to see that it has now been determined that, in the absence of a responsible owner being identified, the conifers should be removed in an effort to protect the integrity of the retaining wall, by the Birmingham City Council Housing department.
Consequently an order has been placed to commence the necessary works to take out all the trees along the ‘access route’ and the appointed contractors advise us that the job should be completed by the second week in October 2010.
Having been in constant touch with residents and the Housing department for many years about this matter and given part of the wall is in a damaged and dangerous state this can not come soon enough for me

OPEN ACCESS PLAY SCEME WORKING WELL IN OSCOTT


The Birmingham Play Care Network Open Access Scheme is working well in Oscott. The Scheme located on Burford Road playings field for 2 weeks From August 16th attracted 50 youngsters to it yesterday
The aim of the scheme which runs from 10am to 4 pm it to encourage local youngsters to get off the street and to come and play in a safe environment. Staff looking after the youngster help devise traditional games and use the open space available. On the basis of what I saw yesterday fun was being had by all.
Although the scheme is working very well it is a shame that the container used to store equipment has been located so close to the boundary of the field and there have been some complaints about parking problems. I would ask anyone dropping off youngsters to take care how they park. For more details please ring.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

COUNCIL CHIEF TO HAVE KETTLEHOUSE ROAD SPEEDING ISSUES LOOKED INTO AGAIN.

When I write my blog I do try and be fair and with that in mind I would like to thank Councillor Timothy Huxtable (Conservative) the Cabinet member for amongst other things Street Services. He is one person you know who will respond to you when you inform him about a troublesome case. You may not like his answer but that is another matter?

I have recently received an email from Councillor Huxtable regarding his looking again at the problems faced by residents in regards to speeding vehicles in Kettlehouse Road. I hope he can get his department to change their mind and take firm action to deal with this problem

Saturday, 14 August 2010

OSCOTT ELDERLY RESIDENTS GROUP MEETING

Maureen Byrne the Chair of the Oscott Elderly Residents Group has asked me to remind people that her group meets for a cup of tea, a biscuit and a bit of light entertainment once a month on a Wednesday at the 610 Community Centre Kingstanding Road .
Their next meeting with be on the 25th at 11.15am.

If you would like more details please ring 681 1826. Why not get out of the house for a bit and go along ?.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

PERRY COMMON LIBRARY TO RE OPEN


It has been a long time a coming but there is some good news to report on Perry Common Library...... It is to reopen on the 23rd of August .

As you may already know due to the nature of the work needed to be done and the fact that the building is listed there have been a lot of delays in reopening the library but that is now in the past.

A new Community Librarian Jo Avery has taken over the reigns (she has been working at the library helping to prepare for its opening since the start of the month). I am sure she will do a great job once the library officially opens.

Perry Common will be re-opening to the public on the 23rd following major building work. The library looks excellent and will be a real asset to the community and the constituency again.

I would like to thank all those involved in getting the Library ready for action again. Major repairs have taken place structurally and internally a refit has taken place thanks in part to money given by the Oscott Wards, Community chest.

As a regular user of the Perry Common I am really looking forward to be able to use it again

Saturday, 7 August 2010

LISTENING TO THE COMMUNITIES CONCERNS

Along with representatives from the Police and the Fire brigade as well as Khalid Mahmmod MP I attended the meeting of the Oscott Residents Groups today.

I always find these public meeting interesting as it gives me the opportunity to listen to residents who are interested in the Oscott area.

Among the issue's raised and discussed with me as an Oscott Councillor were'

Parking problems in the area.
Speeding in many roads including, Cooksey Lane, Birdbrook Road, Dunedin Road, Kettlehouse Road and Kingstanding Road. ( The Police should be considering these roads for their Speed Community Watch initiative)
Tree pruning.
Burford Road anti social behavior issues.
The poor state of many of our roads.
Various environmental issues.
Those others who attended the meeting as guests also spoke in response to issues relating to them and I think we all found the meeting to be of interest.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

OSCOTT POLICE TASKING MEETING

I attended an Oscott Police Neighbourhood tasking meeting today along with officers from the Birmingham City Council and a number of Community Group leaders.

Some of the topics raised were speeding in KettleHouse Road, Cooksey Lane and Kingstanding Road. There has also been a bit of a crack down on speeding motor bikes in the area. Parking problems caused by the Metropolitan college were discussed. I explained action will be needed urgently by the Police if the car park is not finished in time for the new term.

The nuisance of ball games on the street is becoming an issue it may only be a matter of time until a child is run over.

Anti social behaviour in the Buford Road playing field area was another matter which was discussed.
I find these meetings with the Police useful as it helps keep various issues high on their agenda.

AMEY BOSSES TO TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AT PAVEMENT IN DUNEDIN ROAD

Following a number of complaints regarding the way the pavement in Dunedin Road was relayed earlier this year Councillor Barbara Dring and I have been making a number of complaints on behalf of Dunedin Residents about it. (I would like to thank all those residents who have been in touch with me over the last few months)
It has been my view that the replacing of the pavement was rushed and left a lot to be desired.
I have already had a number of mistakes repaired and have now been assured by senior Amey (the Council's contractor's) that the road will be inspected again.
If you live in or use Dunedin Road and have any further concerns about the new pavement please let me know 360 6486 and I will will continue to pass them on to Amey and the Council on your behalf.

CALL TO REPLACE KINGSTANDING ROAD ZEBRA CROSSING


There has been yet another accident on the Zebra crossing located on Kingstading Road near the Elmbridge Road junction.
On this occasion a lady and her dog were run over whilst attempting to cross the road on the Zebra Crossing on Saturday.
This stretch of Kingstanding Road is well known for speeding ( a petition has been presented to the Council) and Police Speed Community watch events have taken place at this location. I managed to have a 30mph speed limit introduced a few years ago on this part of the road.

However the Zebra crossing where this accident has taken place is unsuitable in my opinion. It is poorly marked and should be replaced with a Pelican crossing which is much more visible from both directions on this very busy dual carriage way.
A pelican style type of crossing would also help slow traffic down more. Along with local residents I am calling on the Councils Transportation department to take action and replace the existing Zebra crossing.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

DONT FORGET I HOLD COUNCILLORS SURGERIES

This blog is only meant to show just a small amount of the things I am trying to do in Oscott for Local residents. (I also try and let people know what is happening in the Oscott area.)

I do believe in meeting residents face to face however and If you want to know more about the things I am doing or if you have a concern you would like to let me know about why not pop into one of my surgeries, which I hold most Saturdays at the 610 Community Centre, Kingstanding Road at 1o.30am. (The building is assessable for disabled users.)

BETTER DISABLED ACCESS NEEDED FOR THE QUESLETT NATURE RESERVE

The Queslett Nature Reserve is a lovely place and especially so at this time of year.
One of its draw backs at the moment however is it is difficult for some wheel chair users to get through the gates at the Ashworth Road entrance to the reserve.
The current gates were put in as they are to try and put off motor bikes as these are not suitable on the reserve and can be very dangerous to those who visit the reserve.

I am currently working with the Oscott Disability Group and other disabled residents to try and find a solution to this problem.
At the moment the current gates are to be modified to allow easier access for wheel chair users. However I am trying to get the Council to do more to help to find funding, in order to have more suitable gates put in, with a hard standing and a disabled drop curb near by.

Although clearly money is very tight at the moment I feel this gate should be changed as it would also help encourage schools with disabled pupils in wheel chairs and give them a better opportunity to visit the site if they so wish.

I am also working with the Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve on this issue.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

OSCOTT RESIDENT GROUPS MEETING 7TH AUGUST

I have been ask to speak at a meeting of the Oscott Residents Groups on Saturday August 7th at the 610 Community Centre.11am.
I will be doing my best to attend although rather than speak I am much more interested to hear about the concerns of local residents. I understand the MP, other local Councillor's and the Police have been invited to the meeting

KETTLEHOUSE ROAD PETITION

I have now collected a petition off residents in Kettlehouse Road ( re the need to introduce Road safety measure in Kettlehouse Road) and handed it in to the Council on thier behalf.
I would like to thank those who took the trouble to collect the names for the petition and those who signed it.
The Council does take time to respond to a petition but at least it has gone in now. I will remind them about it from time to time!
The problem of speeding on the Bandywood Estate is one I believe the powers that be are not taking seriously enough and I will be continuing to argue the case for some form of Road safety improvements to take place. I will ensure at the very least they understand the concerns of local residents and the matter is kept on their agenda.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

ASH GROVE ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR UPDATE

I attended what turned out to be the inaugural meeting of the Ashgove Residents association (which I had at the request of the residents and with the help of Councillor Dring, organised)
I was pleasantly pleased to see that after an initial period of bickering about a number of issues relating to the use of the common Room, late night parties and other issues the meeting settled down some what, following my request that personal differences should be dealt with by means of mediation through the Birmingham City Council.
I am sure with good will and a lot of effort from all sides this approach may succeed.

More importantly the issue of letters warning residents which were delivered though out the elderly resident’s complex, by the Housing department were discussed. (These were about residents anti social behaviour and caused much distress to innocent elderly residents).
It was acknowledged by a Council representative, it had been a mistake sending these letters and an apology would be given by the Council.
The Council officers also informed the meeting that the Common room will, as requested, continue to be for the use of residents on the complex and not turned into a community Centre for the wider community. This will go so way to make the residents on the complex feel more secure.
Finally officers admitted there had been a number of mistakes in the consultation with residents.
I am pleased that at the end of the day the Housing department and the other associated departments involved have acknowledged mistakes have been made and I hope things can now move on.

Councllor Barbara Dring and I also did our best to try and persuade all of those attending the meeting, to put their differences to one side and in the future work together to bring harmony once again to the Ashgrove Complex only time will tell if this is to be the case.

OSCOTT ELDERLY RESIDENTS TEA AND BISCUIT SESSION TODAY

I have just been reminded that there will be a Tea and biscuit session held by the Oscott Elderly Residents Group TODAY AT 11AM AT THE 610 COMMUNITY CENTRE.
There will be a chance to listen to live music and have a cup of tea and a biscuit over a chat.
I will also be there to listen to any concerns residents may have.


THESE MEETINGS ARE HELD EVERY MONTH
FOR FURTHER DETAILS PLEASE RING 4641869

28A BUS SERVICE CONFUSION

There seems to be some confusion regarding the 28 and 28a bus route.
The 28a service extension to One Stop is to be discontinued at Dyas Road and replaced by a 628 service.
This will operate between Dyas Road and One Stop via the Beeches. It will operate between 9am and 3pm after which it is replaced by the 952 service. It will operate until 4pm on a Saturday.
The 28 service will remain as it is.
These changes will mean those who have to pay bus fares will have to pay twice when changing to the 628 from the 28a which seems unfair and I have complained about this and the poor consultation regarding the issue to Centro and National Express (who are the private bus company running this service.).
I have been warning for some time that privatised bus companies drive for profits will effect bus users and this is another example of that.

YOUNG AND BORED TRY THE 610 COMMUNITY CENTRE

A lot of youngster complain they have nothing to do during the holidays with this in mind this year the Oscott Ward Committee with recommendations from the Oscott Ward Advisory Board, gave some of their limited Community Chest funds to a number of youth orientated organisations. For more details ring 464 1869.

For example the 610 Community Centre have been encouraged to offer more for the youngster in Oscott to do.
The 610 hold youth clubs, Duke of Edinburgh Awards activities and so on.
Also at the 610 CC you can find classes in Street Dancing, Karate, Art and keep fit all at very reasonable prices. Why not pop into the 610 and get more details.

Monday, 26 July 2010

BEWARE OF TRAVELLERS IN THE OSCOTT AREA.

For some weeks now small groups of Travellers have been taking up home illegally in various places near the Oscott Ward. The Old Cross Way Pub site, Witton Lakes and more recently Perry Barr Park.
With this in mind I have been in contact with the Birmingham City Council and the Police warning that they should be vigilant less these travelers move onto sites in Oscott.

In Oscott we have had many problems with Travellers in the past ( they have left mountains of rubbish behind), which is why some areas like Glenmead Playing fields and the Quslett Nature Reserve have some barriers to help keep Travellers off the land.
However we can not be complacent and I would ask residents to contact the Police if they suspect Travelers are trying to get onto a piece of open land in the area.
There is a Travellers site in Castlevale which is underutilised and this is where they should go.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

MOTOR BIKE MENACE.

Both Councillor Barbara Dring and I have received a number of complaints recently about noisy motor bikes being driven a speed in the Banywood Estate area. This is putting both the rider and other road users at risk.
Roads like Sundridge Road, Bandywood Road, Kettlehouse Road and Cooksey Lane seem to be having particularly bad times at the moment. It seems to me it will only be a matter of time until a serious accident happens unless something is done.
I have been in touch with the Police and have asked them if their Traffic Section can look into this issue. Warning need to go out to some motor bikers (and Scooter riders) in the area in my view at the very least. It is a shame that sometimes the well behaved motor bike riders get tarred with the same brush.
With the summer holidays fast approaching the Police need to deal seriously with this matter.

If you would like to discuss this issue with me please pop in to one of my Saturday surgeries 11am at the 610 community Centre.