Monday, 27 October 2008


‘’Get Yourself Motivated’’
(formally known as ‘’ Gym for Free’’)

I am pleased to be able to inform you that the plans for the roll out of ‘Get Yourself Motivated’ to Perry Barr Constituency including OSCOTT are now in place.
This is a good opportunity for some of our older teenagers in particular, to keep them selves occupied during the winter months.

The scheme will now operate across the whole of the Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust area.

For the purposes of this scheme this includes ALL four wards in Perry Barr Constituency: Handsworth Wood, Lozells and East Handsworth, Oscott and Perry Barr Wards.


1) Open to all residents in the HOB ( and Oscott) area over 16.

2) This is not means tested, and applies to everyone.

3) Free use of all swimming, gym facilities and fitness classes across the city (i.e. not necessarily in the HOB area.)

4) Residents can register at any local Sports and Leisure facility within HOB area. They will need photo ID (i.e. Drivers Licence or passport) plus and 2 separate forms of ID showing full postal address.

5) All the local sites have the details of the scheme available and can answer questions from residents but telephone enquiries are being directed to Alexander Stadium (on 464 0208) as they have the greatest capacity to take calls.

6) To use the gym facilities residents will have to undertake an induction session (as is standard now.)

7) They do not need to have a gym induction session to make use of the free swimming or free fitness classes.

8) ‘’Get Yourself Motivated’’ scheme members will still have to pay for use of some facilities e.g.: Hire of courts for badminton and five-a-side football etc, club use of facilities, sauna and steam room, private hire.

9) The existing Direct Debit scheme will still be operational and if residents wish to stay on this to get the additional benefits they can do so (e.g. sauna / steam room)

10) The Leisure Flex System can now enrol people on to this scheme, which means that if someone does register they can join immediately. Word of mouth is spreading fast and we do not want to discourage anyone from joining the scheme.

11) To remain on the scheme, customers must use their card at least four times a month.

12) The scheme is funded by HOBt PCT and an amount equivalent to the Passport to Leisure rate (currently £22.50 per month) will be credited to the Constituency for each resident on the scheme every month.

13) Promotional material is being funded by HOBtPCT in addition to this regular revenue income.

14) It is likely that this scheme will be taken up citywide in the very near future but at this stage it is just available to HOBtPCT residents.


For further details ring the Oscott Ward Support Officer on 464 1869 or at any of our Oscott Leisure Centres.

Saturday, 25 October 2008


I am currently working closely with the Chair of the Oscott Disabilities Group, George Hough and other members, on the issue regarding the lack of Disabled Parking Bays in the Oscott area, and the need for more disabled friendly drop curbs.
We have already received agreement from the Transportation department, about having a disabled parking bay, placed in Kettlehouse Road near the HSB bank and have made a number of other suggestions. There clearly needs to be a balance between the needs of disabled motorists and the need for parking generally. I am now hold ongoing discus ions with the Transportation department and disabled residents regarding this matter.
There are also a number of disabled friendly drop curbs being put in place around the ward over the next 12 months.

If you have any thoughts on issue of Disabled Parking bays please give me a ring on 360 6486


At this weeks Planning Committee it was agreed to allow replacement Sunday races in the event of Good Friday and or Bank Holiday races being rained off.
It was also agreed to allow the holding of a press and practise day on a Wednesday in March 2009 between 12.00 and 15.00.
Finally it was agreed that practis laps and races can operate between 10.00 and 22.00.
These changes will it is hoped help promote the running of the speed way in Perry Barr.
At the meeting the speed ways represEntatives agreed to meet with concerned residents and I asked that Councillor Ray Hassall's previous request for conifers to be planted around the site to help reduce noise levels and pollution, be considered by the speedway club.


The very popular and hard working Oscott Environmental Warden Debora Parsons, has (sadly for Oscott) decided to move on to new challenges elsewhere in the Perry Barr Constituency.
While I am, like I would image, hundreds of local residents disappointed to see Debora go, I can understand that some times you need a new challenge, to test your self and I wish Debora all the very best in her endeavor.
She is in my mind the best Environmental warden in the City and I have been amazed the Tories have not tried to have her moved to where they control wards in the city. Mind you this may be because they are not great believers in using environmental wardens effectively? Hence their plans to get rid of them from individual wards.

All is not lost however, as Oscott does have a replacement Environmental Warden, Liam Tarry as a result of Councillor Barabara Dring and my own representaions, and I am sure as he becomes familiar with the Oscott Residents , Councillors and the area, he will do a good job for us.


After year of trying the Oscott Team with Councillor Barbara Dring at the forefront, have finally managed to get the authorities to tidy up and improve the house next door to the 610 Community Centre. The House and gardens are currently been renovated with a mind to handing it back as part of the lease agreement to the Birmingham Settlement. Not only will the look of the area improve as a result but more importantly the house will be put to good use.

Friday, 24 October 2008


This week I have spent a lot of time meeting with older residents in Oscott. For example I have attended the Kingstanding Pensioners Convention meeting which took place on Monday, I then met on Wednesday with the Chair of the Oscott Elderly Residents group* and some of her committee. I popped into to see the Befriending project at the Emanuel Centre on Thursday, which is ran by Age Concern and then today Friday I had a walk about at the Ashgrove Complex.

It is pleasing to that our older residents in Oscott are finding things to do and the money from the Oscott Community Chest is being well used to help them.
Councillor Barbara Dring and I are very keen to promote activities for our older residents and will do our best to find funding for them.
If you or some one you know would like to know more about activities for older residents in Oscott please ring any of the following.

Age Concern 358 o309
The Oscott Elderly Residents Group 356 6894 (messages)
The Oscott Ward Support Officer 464 1869
Councillor Keith Linnecor 360 6486

* The Oscott Elderly Residents Group meet every Saturday at the 610 Community Centre (10.30am) for a free cup of tea and a chat. There is also a game of Poole available for any one interested.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008


It seems ever few weeks there is another proposal to change a shop in the Oscott Ward into a Take Away. Many people feel there are already too many? These Take Aways often cause Environmental and Transportation issues. With this in mind I am asking the Planning department to look into the matter.

I need to make it clear however that Councillor Dring and I are not opposed to all Take Away applications, but we do feel all such applications need to be carefully considered and the viability of the shopping area , a Take Away is proposed for is considered.

What do you think? why not Post your thoughts on this blog or give me a ring 360 6486.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


Between the 3rd November 2008 and the 31st March 2009, the Pest Control Section are planning to trial a new and innovative approach to rodent control in the Perry Barr and Hall Green constituencies. Both of the constituencies have been chosen due to there geographical location within Birmingham and level of reported pest control problems.

The trial, in brief will involve the following:

When rodent problems are reported to the section they are currently categorised as being a problem located in a residents house or garden and each are currently dealt with in a different timescale. Due to the priority nature of problems identified inside a property there will be no change to the current provision for dealing with these cases and they will be responded to within 24 working hours, with the majority of all calls received before 13:00 being dealt with the same day.

The most noticeable change will involve the less urgent but more important RATG problems which if dealt with more proactively and more efficiently will prevent the more serious RATH occurring, providing residents take advice regarding proofing, bird feeding and rubbish removal. The change in this service will be based around a two week service delivery cycle:

• Week 1: This will involve officers approaching every property in a predetermined area to offer free advice, surveys and treatments for rats, as required. The areas will be chosen using historical pest control information and local knowledge of the constituencies, which will enable those areas which have a high incidence of infestations to be targeted. In addition, we will be working with the Environmental Wardens, other City Council Officers / Departments and external organisations to resolve some of the causes and sources of rodent infestations so that a more long term solution to the problem can be achieved. During this week all requests to deal with RATG from residents will be recorded and actioned during Week 2.

• Week 2: During the second week all of the requests from residents to deal with RATG received during the first and second week will be actioned, and on contacting the section in either week the resident will be offered a suitable morning or afternoon appointment during the second week. This is a major improvement to the current service which is not able to provide an appointment and instead on contacting the department residents are told that an officer will contact them in the next 5 working days.

It is hoped that by combining a proactive and reactive approach to pest control the constituency and its residents will start to experience a noticeable decline in rodent populations, which in turn will have a positive affect on residents health and their environment.

I welcome this Pilot scheme and the residents in Oscott can be assured both Councillor Barbara Dring and I will be doing our best to ensure the Oscott Ward gets its fair share of this initiative, as we both have had a large number of reporting of rats over the last six months or so.
The problem of Rat infestation is something which needs to be dealt with and dealt with urgently. Other rat issues which need to be addressed are central reservations where there are bushes and where they are near to take aways. Also the amount of houses left empty with rubbish in their gardens.

Monday, 20 October 2008


When ever I get the chance I like to try and attend the Police Neighbourhood Tasking meetings. which take place at the Kingstanding Police Station. These are an opportunity for resident Groups,. Council officers and the Police to get together to flag up local issues relating to crime and anti social behavior.
At today's meeting amongst other things, I made sure that dangerous and inconsiderate parking was high on the agenda.
The Police have now agreed to look again into a number of my requests to look at parking near local schools, the parking near the end of Birdbrook Road (Aldridge Road end) and the general problem with vehicles which park right on the junction of roads.
I have asked the Police to be more pro active on these issues and they have agreed and also to look again at these issues. It has now been put on future agendas for on going updates.


The Junctions of Birdbrook Road, Burnham Road and Aldridge Road are still causing many residents and motorists major concerns. There is often parking right on these corners and on both sides of the near by island.
There are also on occasions, problems for the near by Saint Mathews church when they wish to hold a funerel service.
In the past there have been a number of public meetings and various issues have been raised by residents and shop keepers alike. The Oscott Central Neighbourhood Forum have also been very active, in trying to get action taken to deal with this problem.

While I can accept delays have occurred in dealing with the problem, given the SuttonColdfield College (whose students cause most of the problems) have had problems reallocating to their new site further down the Aldridge Road. (the new building is now scheduled for 2010) I do feel more needs to be done while this move is being awaited.

I am constantly calling upon the Transportation department to taken action and for the Police to get tough with those who park right on these junctions. The Police have now informed me that is what they intend to do and more fines can be expected by those who park inconsiderately to close to these junctions.


A number of residents have now been in touch with me about the state of the island at the top of Warren Road. (the Hawthorn Road junction. )
It is a great shame that the Current Councils Leisure Services department have let this small island become weed infested and unkempt. I remember working closing some years ago with the Hawthorn Trader Association to get this island re vamped and how good it looked when it was.
Letting it get into its current state is just a sign of the lack of respect the Current Council has for the appearance of this area. I will keep om trying to get them to take action and clean up not only this island but other sadly neglected areas in Oscott.

Friday, 17 October 2008


I was pleased to take part in today's "Oscott Nighbourhood Team Street Action Day", today.
Most of this afternoon along with a number of Police officers, other Councillors and members of local resident groups, was spent touring round well know hot spots in Oscott.
These are areas where there have been a number of problems with anti social youngsters, or in some cases parents, dropping off their off spring, out side of some Oscott Schools with out any thought for the safety of others.
Some of the places we visited were, the Burford Road Playing Fields, the Aldridge Road Recreation Ground and the Queslett Nature Reserve. We also spent time out side the Great Barr and Perry Beeches Schools.
It was a good opportunity for every one concerned to understand the different problems these areas cause and trying to work out how problems could be solved.
There was also an opportunity for the public to discus issues of concern, at a mobile Police Station which was parked at the Kingstanding Circle for most of the day.
There will be a similar operation taking place in the new year and I have asked for a number of other problem areas to be considered, such as the parking problems at the Birdbrook Road/Burnham Road / Aldridge Road junction.
If you have a problem area in Oscott you would like the team to have a detailed look at please let me know and I will pass it on for consideration. Tel 360 6486

Tuesday, 14 October 2008


There has been another session of fly tipping in Booths Lane (un adopted section). This is despite a CCTV Camera which was installed earlier this year.

While the owner is ultimately responsible for clearing the rubbish I will be putting pressure on the Council to get rid of it before it becomes a danger to motorists and would ask any one spotting someone fly tipping in Booths Lane to contact 303 1112 and let the Council know.


Today at the full Birmingham City Council Meeting I handed in a petition on behalf of residents living in Courtney Road requesting that the trees in their road be pruned. Currently only 4 trees have been pruned in that road and the Council will not give a firm date when other trees in Courtenay Road will be pruned.
This is a familiar story in Oscott where there are so many trees which need pruning. Lets hope the Council takes action.


Members of the Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve, today received a further batch of Bird and Bat nest boxes for erection on tree in the reserve. These boxes include new style Tawny Owl boxes and it is hoped that owls will someday use these boxes to breed and become a common site on the reserve.

Monday, 13 October 2008


I attended a joint meeting with Transportation engineers, a Safer Routes to Schools Officer, local residents and the Police today. We look at the nightmare parking situation there is near the Perry Beeches School Cluster.
Residents are being blocked in their own drives daily, by inconsiderate parents who are ofter rude and abusive when asked to move. Children's lives are also been put at risk, on corners such as the Beeches Road, Chelmorton Road junction.
Many parents who walk their children to school, informed the Police, at today's meeting they were fed up with the situation and home owners feel they need a lot more help with their problems. Every one agreed while the problem was not an easy one to solve but something needed to be done.
The Police and Transportation department have now gone away to look at possible solutions and hope some of the problems may be eased by the end of the financial year. be warned however, as we have seen with promises about the near by Sandy Lane, the famous and well known dithering by Transportation Chiefs can lead to delays in action being taken. I will be keeping an active watching brief on this as the problems at this location has gone on far to long.


A little bird tells me Transportation engineers have been sighted on Dunedin Rooad, measuring the road to estimate how much it will cost to repair. Could it be that the pressure put on them by residents and Councillors at the recent Oscott ward committee is taking effect? We will have to wait and see?
There is good new on the horizon as the Goverment have offered millions in the way of PFI funds to the Council for Highways improvements. (Could it be the Birmingham Council have not been not using their own funds while they waite and have simply ignored residents problems?)
In the mean time, I will however continue to increase the size of my file of requests for action, regarding Oscott concrete roads with the Transportation department and I am sure someone will be putting out a leaflet in the near future claiming credit!


Autumn is the time residents rightly get up in arms about the hit and miss way the Current Council Administration prune trees.
A classic example in the Oscott Ward is Courtenay Road. Here we have a situation where 4 trees at one end have been cut and the rest have been left. When I questioned this decision, I got the old flannel about different trees needing pruning at different times of the year. When pressed however the Tree Section could not even grantee the remaining trees in Courtenay Road would be pruned at the right time! next year. Like residents I think this is simply not good enough, although it is not untypical at the moment. I will continue to press this issue with the department.

Friday, 10 October 2008


The new staff room and meeting room which is being build at the Goodway Nursery is nearly finished. As a Governor there I am delighted that this new facility is about to come on stream.
The new rooms have been built on top of the Community room which is its self only about 5 years old.
The staff at the Goodway Nursery will at long last have an up to date staff room with a small kitchen and toilet. There will also be a small meeting room where staff member can meet parents in private and more storage space.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008


The Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve now have their own blog at
I have been delighted to been asked to contribute to it and will be doing so. There will also continue be the odd post on my own blog about the reserve.

Friday, 3 October 2008


I attended the Oscott Ward Committee on Wednesday where I am pleased to say all the funding requests recommended by the Oscott Ward Advisory Board were agreed (See post dated 25th September)

I was particularly pleased for Age Concern, as now they can continue with a number of projects for the elderly in Oscott.

Not so pleased were a number of residents who came along to speak to the Cabinet Member for Street Services. Unfortunately he was not able to attend the meeting.

The Transportation officer who did attend the meeting had to fend of a number of tough Questions from residents, such as why are our concrete road in Oscott such poor condition, Why have so few roads in Oscott been put on this years Highway Maintenance schedule, Why is there such a delay in having the new traffic lights on the Nova Court junction installed and why can nothing be done about the state of the Booths Lane carriage way? Perhaps in the circumstances it was just as well the Cabinet member for Street Services could not attend?

On a brighter note about Street issues we did learn that due to the Governments PFI funding initiative many of the concrete roads in Oscott should receive significant attention over the next 7 or 8 years. Dunedin Road may be one of the first to have some work carried out on it in a year or so.
I have pointed out once again however, there are a number of Concrete carriage way roads in Oscott, where work needs to be carried out and it should be done with a phased approach. Also road safety issues also need to be considered.
Councillor Dring and I are committed to carry on trying to get these roads repaired as soon as possible and welcome any one else who wishes to work with us to this aim.

It was also agreed at the meeting following consultation with local residents, that the 610 Community Centre would now be the venue for a possible new Skate Boarding centre. Other options are now being looked at.