Friday, 30 May 2008


I always feel very sad when I see a neglected abandoned dog on the street , like I did today.
There is no such thing as a bad dog only bad owners.
I am a great supporter of the Birmingham Dogs home and having had a dog from there my self some years ago(he lived with me for 19 years) I know the good work that they do looking after the stray dogs of Birmingham.
I would like to see it made harder, in a way, for people to have dogs. There should be much more awareness in the responsibility people should have when owning a dog. A dog licence should be reintroduced and the money from this licence should go towards protecting dogs and making sure dog owners are more responsible. Having a dog should really mean having it for life.

If you would like to support the Birmingham Dogs home their phone number is 643 5018


The Birmingham City Council Parks department have finally agreed to identify locations on the Kingstanding Road, Central Reservation which are suitable for having the appropriate specimen of trees planted on them. There are a number of such sites where new trees will make the road look much better and I welcome this happening at last.
However there needs to be much more done to identify and replace unsuitable trees in the Oscott ward, with trees which are more suitable, (usually smaller) for the urbane environment. I will continue pressing the Parks department to look into this issue more proactively.

Thursday, 29 May 2008


I still fail to see how when the Oscott Ward due to Boundary changes a few years ago, increased the amount of homes in its boundary by hundreds, it was fair that Oscott residents received no extra allocation, of Street Bulky Item Collections?.
Oscott still receive the same amount of collections annually as it did before the boundary changes and in fact the situation has been made worse, because the Council Administration has reduced the size, in house number terms of each collection. Is it just another of those hidden cuts in services?
There needs to be an urgent rethink in this regard and wards like Oscott should receive extra Street Bulky item clean ups to allow more streets to have Street Clean up collections.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008


The Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve team have agreed to hold a litter picking session on the Aldridge Road Recreation Ground at 11am Saturday 14th. They will meet at the Shady Lane entrance.
This has come about following discussions with the Leisure Services department regarding the FOQNR incorporation the Aldridge Road Recreation Ground into their sphere of influence.
The litter picking on the 14th is seen a a complimentary service to the Leisure Service departments own operation.
Keeping the Aldridge Road site clean is a help to the environment and should make the recreation ground more attractive to those who may wish use it.
If you would like to help or know more please ring me on 360 6486

Sunday, 25 May 2008


I went to the 610 Car boot sale held Sat 24th and was pleased to see it was well supported.
There were a number of tables out and and you could even have your blood pressure checked. As usually the case I found myself entering various charity raffles. (I won a prize!).

The 610 Community Centre is a little gem in my view and I would recommend residents young and old to take a look at what it has to offer. For example they have drop in sessions for Community Groups, a number of youth clubs, indoor bowling, a gym, and a new all weather pitch.
This centre could well be an answer to those who think there is nothing to do in the area.
O' by the way I also hold a surgery there on a Saturday morning!

Saturday, 24 May 2008


Despite it being bank holiday and the local papers not publishing notice of it! the Queslett Nature Reserve, seed planting session went very well.

As usual a band of dedicated volunteers, helped remove bricks and rubble from semi prepared sites in the reserve and sowed the seeds of a number of different plants. There was also a number of potted plants which were planted. Just some of the plants seed sown were Fox Glove, Birdfoot Trefoil, Cornflower, Evening Primerose, Ox- Eyed Daisey, Toad Flax, Hedge Bedstraw and Quiner.
These plants and seeds, have been selected to help Butterflies, Bees, and Birds flourish on the reserve in years to come. Some members of the group carried out a litter pick, to ensure the reserve is kept as tidy as possible.

I would like to thank all those who attended the event for their hard work and also for the Leisure Service department for its contribution.

The Leisure Services department have now also agreed to place 2 or 3 log benches within the reserve for the comfort of those who use it. It is also hoped that another "Bat walk" will take place in late July.

If you would like to become a member of the Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve or if you have any concerns about the reserve please contact me: Tel 360 6486

Friday, 23 May 2008


Had a busy day yesterday meeting wise. I ended up attending the Planning Committee, a Great Barr J&I school Governors meeting, a Goodway Nursery School Governors meeting and the Oscott Housing Liaison Board meeting. I often wonder how all these groups manage to pick the same day for their meetings?
In between meetings I met a number of residents who are concerned about the way recycling boxes are still being left all over the place, rather then being put back on residents gardens. Although I think most residents support door step recycling there is still a lot of discontent about how the system is working.
During another impromptu walk about A number of residents let me know in no uncertain terms how dangerous they think the Aldridge Road / Greenholm Road junction is. Needless to say I totally agree with them and assured them I will continue to press this issue with the Transportation department.
When I am out and about I am still having a number of residents tell me how sorry they were when they heard John Cotton had not retained his seat, I am sure he would have got some satisfaction knowing in what high regard he is held by so may residents.

Monday, 19 May 2008


I attended the Kingstanding fun day Saturday (at the Wheldan Rec) and despite the rain it was estimated that around 1500 people came to the event from the surrounding area, over 500 rides were taken on the bouncy castles and the football cage also proved popular.
The general consensus of opinion is that the event should take place again next year, many of the small charities seemed quite well pleased with the amount of money that they raised, and agencies giving out details about their activities were also satisfied with the response.
Organisers will be approaching the Awards for all team for another £5,000.00 grant, but will also be looking around for additional funds. No doubt the community chests of both the local wards might be one such avenue, £2,000 would go along way to providing many more attractions. However due to the way grants are now given to wards for distribution, it will be difficult to find such amounts, as the purse strings may well have to be tightened next year.
I would like to thank all those who organised the event for their efforts and all those residents who attended.


I am now pleased to be able to announce, that there will be a Wild seed planting session on the Queslett Nature Reserve on Saturday (24th May). Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve and other volunteers are welcome to come along and help out. We will be meeting at 11am at the Ashworth Road entrance. (see picture above)
Tools will be provided but if you can bring a rake so much the better. Please come prepared for the weather and to get your hands dirty?
Council officers will be there to give advice on the planting of Hedge row and Meadow seed producing plants. It is hoped that many of these new plants will not only be colourful to look at, but will also help Bees, Butterfly's and Birds etc, increase their numbers in the future on the reserve. It may also go someway towards mitigating the negative effects to the wildlife the forth coming new housing development on Booths Lane may have. There will also be another opportunity to help clear litter from the site.
For further details please give me a ring on 360 6486.

Friday, 16 May 2008


It is very sad to see that the Emmanuel Pre -School Group are being forced to leave their base at the Emanuel Church after so many years. Parents, children and volunteers are extremely upset about this as you can imagine. They have to be out by July. Unfortunately there apears to be no real answers to why they have to go?
I have been working with my colleague Councillor Dring and Council officers to see if there are any other suitable venues. Up to now we have had no luck. If you have any suggestions for a suitable venue please let us know.

Thursday, 15 May 2008


It looks like Salvage department senior offiers have had the go ahead from their big chief to do something to clear up the back log of Green Bags. ?
Perhaps they do listen to complaints after all which is hartening given how many times I have to complain to the Council on behalf of residents.
I have now been informed that Green bags will be picked up tomorrow and Saturday to catch up with the back log.


I popped into the Emanuel Church today as I often do, to see how the elderly residents who go there, every Thursday afternoon for a chat, are getting on. I could not help but notice how this group has taken off, since I helped Age Concern set it up at the orginal location, the Tea Pot Cafe, a few years ago now.

They are enjoying meeting each other and have the ocasional guest speaker (like me) coming along to give them a talk. The Age Concern voluteers as you can imagine are doing a great job looking after things.

If you or some one you know would like advice or would like to go along on a Thursday afternoon to the Emanuel Church hall, to make friends over a cup of tea, give Age Concern a ring 358 o309


`Councillor Barbara Dring and I now operate the following Councillors surgery time table.

Every Saturday morning 10.30 am at the 610 Community Centre.*

The First Wednesday in the month at 7pm at the 610 Community Centre.*

The first Thursday in the month at 3pm at the Kingstanding Libary.*

For those with genuine mobility problems home visits are available on request.

If you would like to contact us by phone please ring
Councillor Keith Linnecor 360 6486
Councillor Barbara Dring 360 7565

Alternatively you can email

To write to us it is C/o
The Birmingham City Council
Council House
B1 1BR

Don't forget you can leave a post on this blog for me.

* Operated on a rotor basis

Please note additional information.
The 610 Community Centre is on the Kingstanding Road.
It is on the 34a bus route and there is parking at the rear.


I was delighted to be asked along with the other Oscott Councillors, to attend a street walk about with members of the Oscott Housing Liaison Board and Housing officers yesterday. Both Councillor Dring and I were pleased to attend at least. During the walk about we met a number of residents and heard their concerns.
It is good to see that after years in the doldrums with the help of their new Chair Carole Dempster the Oscott HLB is getting its act together and is starting to bring residents on board.
In my view surveys and leaflets are useful but you can not beat meeting residents and hearing their views, even if they are not what you expect.
I hope to be out and about as usual over the coming year meeting residents all over the Oscott ward and if you would like to meet Councillor Dring or my self please take a look at the next post for our surgery details.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008


It looks like the Current Council has bitten off more than it can chew regarding the Green Bag collection service.?

I am getting more and more complaints about green bags not being collected on time and have been informed it is because of the unexpected additional use of residents re the service.

Perhaps the answer should be employing a few more staff to get the back logs sorted out.

A bit to simple for the Council leaders perhaps?

Tuesday, 13 May 2008


Its funny the difference a Local Election can make?. For example at an all party workshop carried out by the West Midland Passenger Transport Authority on March 18th members from all parties were supportive of introducing a plan to increase the fleet of Ring and Ride vehicles by an additional 39. The justification for improving the Ring and Ride Service and the benefits to the elderly and disabled were all accepted, if this was to be carried out. This was to be done as part of a 5 year plan.
This was option B, which was in contrast to option A (which was to add only 8 new vehicles and to maintain the current level of provision with some tinkering of the scheduling to allow more trips to be made.)
Now low and behold at the meeting of the WMPTA on Monday 12th May just days after the Local Elections, the Conservative majority and their Liberal partners agreed with a report which supports option A.
Now why am I surprised?. When you think of the elderly residents in Oscott who lost out because of the lack of active support from the Tory dominated WMPTA (Centro) , when it came to consulting and fighting for the retention of the 376 and 655 bus routes to stay on their old routes, the lack of sympathy for the needs of the travelling elderly, should not be that surprising.
If you would like to use Ring and Ride Tel 333 3114

Saturday, 10 May 2008


It is good to see the Local Tories have found my blog as it may help them find out what is happening in the area and challenge them to do something positive?
I am sure there will be a few more comments from them (no names though as you might guess)

Wednesday, 7 May 2008



The current Council appear to have dramatically reduced the priority they give to repairing pot holes. This can be seen in places like Burnham Road, where pot holes have not been repaired, despite constant requests over a number of months.
There are rumours that now the election are over a number of pot hole repairs will suddenly be carried out and if this is the case you can only wonder if there was an ulterior motive?.

We will soon see, especially if there is a increase in jumping on on the band wagon by some claiming the credit? I suspect there may be with such issues as concrete road repairs and so on. Please note you read this concern here first.

Friday, 2 May 2008


It was very sad to see John Cotton who was undoubtedly one of the most able Councillors the Oscott Ward has ever had, loose his seat yesterday. His defeat clearly had far more to do with national rather than local issues. John has worked hard during his terms of office and has made his name sorting out issues for local residents.
While I congratulate his successor Councillor Graham Green on his victory I must warn him he has a very hard act to follow.
I wish John all the very best in what ever he does in the future as I am sure do the countless Oscott residents he has tried to help over the years.
I would also like to thank all those who voted for John on Thursday.