Monday, 30 November 2009


I would just like to thank those members of the Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve who have helped out on the reserve over the last 12 months and all those members who have given their support. I thing the way the reserve has improved over that period is testament to your efforts.
The path ways are much clearer now, many trees and bushes have been planted and the reserve is much tidier.
I would also like to thank those members who braved the conditions on Saturday
to plant trees, prune back bushes and litter pick. It was a miserable day but it was a job well worth doing.
Any one wanting to join the FQNR please ring 360 6486 for details

Councillor Keith Linnecor

Saturday, 28 November 2009


Both Councillor Barbara Dring and I were delighted to be asked as guests to a surprise birthday party for Jean Baker being held by the Oscott North Neighbourhood Forum.
I have known Jean for many years and she has worked tirelessly to help her local community.
If you have nor heard of her that is part of her charm. She works behind the scenes with no fuss and not craving publicity.
It was a smashing party with Friends and relatives present. Jean was taken by complete surprise.
Jean has been ill recently and I am sure every one who knows her wishes her all the best.

Thursday, 26 November 2009


At long last some joint discussion regarding the Queslett Road are to take place between senior officers from the Sandwell and Birmingham City Council. see the note I received below which I received from Sandwell Councils Transportation engineer.

"With regards your concerns about road safety on this stretch of the Queslett Road I can advise you that I am meeting the- Senior Projects Leader Transportation Studies - of the City Council in the next week or so to discuss this matter."

Lets just hope it moves beyond mere discussions. I will be keeping up the pressure.


Following my intervention (see post 13th Nov) Free doggy bags have now arrived at the Kingstanding Library.
If you need any bags please just pop in and ask.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


I have noticed recently that Gas containers seem to be being dumped willy nilly all over the place. This has potentially dangerous consequences as they may leak.
If you want to get rid of a gas bottle there should be the owners names and phone number on the side AND THEY SHOULD COLLECT THE BOTTLE. You can also take them to the Holford Drive salvage department.
If you know of a dumped gas bottle let me know by ringing 360 6486.

Monday, 23 November 2009


The now notorious accident black spot on the Queslett opposite the Nova Court junction has claimed yet another written of car.
An eyewitness on this occasion informed me in his opinion this time it was more down to the careless way cones were left on the carriage way than anything else. It was his view that because signs were not visible the unlucky car owner was forced to pull to one side of the carriage way where he lost control and hit a fence. The cones had been there for some time for no apparant readon.?
I am sure we will get the same old excuses from Sandwell Council and unless the driver was injured they will not even note it in their records. When will this stretch of road be safe for its users?

Friday, 20 November 2009


There will be an activity day on the Quslett Nature Reserve which will take place on the 28th Nov at 11.30am. The meeting place will be the Ashworth Road entrance.
There will be tree planting, pruning work and litter picking.
Please come prepared for the weather and wear stout shoes.
For more details please ring 360 6486

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


I was delighted to be asked to present the Hawthorn Traders Association best Christmas shop window award today. Children from the Hawthorn Road Junior school acted as impartial judges and chose Miles pet supplies as the winner.
It was I am told a close run thing but Miles Pet shop who have been on the Hawthorn Road for generations were ruled the worthy winners.
The owner Mr Miles than had the honour of switching on the Hawthorn Road Christmas lights.
I would like to say well done to all those at todayS switch on including Father Christmas, traders , children and other shoppers. I would in particular like to thank the team led by Jeanette Hart for collecting funds for the Christmas lights.


The Age Concern Kettlehouse Group is a group of elderly Oscott residents who meet up with the help of Age Concern every Thursday ( 2pm at the Emanuel Church) to carry out a range of activities from having a cup of tea together to going on trips. (I pop in from time to time to see if any one has any problems I can help with.)
For example their December itinerary is as follows.
Decembers 3rd. A tea and chat session.
Decembers 10th A trip to the Dudley Concert hall for a "Forces sweethearts Concert (£13)
December 17th A Christmas party at the Emanuel Church fun and games music and so on.
No meeting December 24th or 31st
January 7 a quiz

For more details ring Age Concern 358 0309

Saturday, 14 November 2009


Thanks to the great efforts of Jeanette Hart, Nicki, Ken and other Hawthorn Road Traders Association members collecting money and holding raffles the Hawthorn Road Christmas lights will once again be tuned this year. The lights will be " turned on by Father Christmas" who is making a special one off appearance on Wednesday afternoon between 3.30pm and 6pm.
I am glad to say the Oscott Ward Committee has played its part making a donation to this worthy cause and once again may I say well done to all those involved.

Friday, 13 November 2009


I have been told by the Councils Animal Welfare Section that dog fouling bags are to no longer be given out on request to residents because of cost restraints (we call them cuts in service). This is a great shame as it will clearly lead to an increase in dog mess on our streets.
This measure when taken with other like the reduction in the Free Bulky Waste Service are without doubt going to mean dirtier streets in the long term in Oscott.
However I have been assured following my request that "doggy bags" will be given to the Kingstanding Library and local neighbourhood offices for residents to request. Lets hope they do not put a stop on this.

Thursday, 12 November 2009


It was with great sadness I carried out my last visit as a Councillor to the Aldridge Road Day Centre. Thanks to the current Council Administrations policies on day centres this day Centre will now close down on the 18th of December.
I have paid numerous visits to the Aldridge Road day Centre (this is a day centre which cares for a large number of adults with special needs) both formally and informally. I have always found that the staff take tremendous care of their clients and their dedication is superb. Even with the fast approaching closure of the centre you can see how much the staff care and how much the users of the Centre get out of that care and the facilities the centre provide.
I will continue to believe the site should have been kept and the range of facilitates extended to other disabled groups. It is nothing short of a disgrace that this centre is closing.

On a brighter note I also visited the Kings Lodge Centre in Oscott where young adults with various problems are prepared for the out side world. These youngsters have excellent self contained accommodation and are well supervised in a semi independent way by a dedicated well motivated team of care workers .


This is intended to be another update on the parking problems in the area caused by the James Watt College.
At my request Mr Hill a spokes person from the James Watt College attended last nights Oscott Ward Advisory Board meeting, where he informed, Community representatives and your 3 local Councillors about the latest proposals from the college.
In summary these are.
To create an extra 150 car spaces on the college site by next March. This will be done by demolishing the old caretaker’s house. Using the old brick layer yard in the college grounds and by using an area of grass land near the college.
It is also the college’s intention to open up a new access point for vehicle using the site.
With regards to the longer term future of the site. The College still intends to move to the Old Dairy site on the Aldridge Road. The proposed move is on hold for 3 years and has not been cancelled.

Planning permission is still to be finalised, but the college are confident they will be successful given the reaction they have received from the Planning department. There are still issues to be finalised such as the access to the college and new landscaping requirements.

There will be an opportunity to have an early look at a plan indicating the proposals, at the Oscott Ward Committee, which will be chaired by Councillor Barbara Dring. This meeting will take place on Wednesday 2nd December at the 610 Community Centre Kingstanding Road. The time of the meeting will be 7pm.

If you would like any further information please give me a ring on 360 6486

Wednesday, 11 November 2009


I am beginning not for the first time to consider both the Birmingham City Council and the Sandwell City Council either are to concerned about footing the bill for road safety measures on the Queslett Road or are to busy point scoring off each other to do anything.

I have now received an email from a senior officer of the Birmingham City Council saying the following.

"Since the meeting between Sandwell and Birmingham officers, we have had some telephone discussions and have considered the current traffic situation. "

If you go back 2 Posts you will clearly see Sandwell are saying there has been no responce from the Birmingham Council since their last meeting with them on April the 8th.

I have pointed this out to both Council Transportation departments and mildly suggested they get their heads together sit round a table and sort this problem out the sooner the better.

Also see posts re 31st Oct

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


Sadly it would appear that there have been yet more delays with regards to work starting on the Perry Common Library. It is now expected that work will begin on this listed building at the start of the new year with a finish date in late April.
This is not clearly a satisfactory state of affairs especially if like me you were a regular user of this library.
We can see by the way the current Council Administration is making heavy weather of their expensive proposed new 19 million Central library nothing goes to plan.
As you make expect I am regularly in touch with the Senior Librarian for the area and have pestered the various planning officials to try and speed things up. I will continue to do so.
I just wish this Council would pump some more money into all our libraries to help keep them better maintained and supplied with books?


I am taking the unusual step of publishing the letter below to give you some idea of how Birmingham and Sandwell Councils are dodging their duty to introduce road safety measures to the Queslett road in my view.

Councillor Keith Linnecor
I am in receipt of your email of 31 October 2009 urging Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council to work with Birmingham City Council to tackle road safety on the A4041 Queslett Road in the vicinity of the M6 over bridge.
I can advise that officers of Sandwell MBC met with representatives of Birmingham City Council on 8 April 2009 to discuss a proposal worked up to detail design for introducing traffic signals at the junction known locally as 'Nova Court'.
At that meeting Sandwell raised a number of questions about the justification for introduction of traffic signals at this location.
Sandwell Council requested Birmingham City Council to re-examine the traffic and accident data and come back to us with a justification for the need for traffic signals at this location.
To date we have received no response from the City Council.
I can assure you that Sandwell Council is committed to reducing accidents on our roads and is more than happy to work with officers of the City Council to find proportionate, cost effective and sustainable road safety solutions on our shared boundary roads.

This has come from Nigel Wilkins the Sandwell Councils Group Transportation Engineer.

For the umpteenth time I am calling on both Birmingham and Sandwell Council to stop point scoring and get together to resolve this issue.

Monday, 9 November 2009


I have just finished analysing the results of a walk about I carried out in Thornbridge Avenue on Friday. It is clear to me that yet again residents are fed up with speeding vehicles and anti social behavior. Residents also want to see new trees replacing ones that were removed and are disgusted that the Council have not introduced a traffic light to the Greenholm Road. Thornbridge Avenue, Aldridge Road junction. How many more accidents are the Council prepared to see at this junction before they take action.


It is not that often I agree with Conservative Councillors, but I have to say having read a number their scathing remarks about the capability of over paid consultants who are looking at revamping the Councils Forward news paper, for once I do.
Thousands of pounds are being spent by the current Conservative/ Liberal Alliance Council on revamping the Forward and as far as I can tell they are going to make it even worse. It is a great shame they do not spend this much needed money to prevent front line service cuts.

Saturday, 7 November 2009


The Oscott Ward Committee with the agreement and advice of the Oscott Ward Advisory Board, has helped fund the new Community Speed Watch initiative.
This is where local resident work with the Police and patrol speeding hot spots in the area with equipment to check the speed traffic using certain roads.
Cars spotted speeding will initially be sent a warning letter and should they be spotted speeding again further action may be considered.
I am currently putting together a list of roads where speeding is a problem and to help the Police I am looking for potential resident volunteers who would like to become involved.
It is hoped that this initiative will be up and running by the early spring.
If you would like more details please give me a ring on 360 6486.


I have noticed there does not appear to be as many people wearing Poppies as usual at the moment. I hope there will be a late surge and lots more people will buy and wear one over the weekend.
I would like to thank all those who work to help those who have given so much for this country.
Lets all wear our Poppies with Pride and give thought to those who have made such sacrifices for us all.


After years of comparative inactivity the Birmingham City Councils Transportation department have started to resurface roads in Oscott. Now the more cynical amongst us may say it is about time to.
Burnham Road ,Oscott School Lane and Part of Birdbrook Road have already been done and in the pipe line are Dunedin Road, Crestwood Drice and Wideacre Drive.
I have no doubt you will see blue leaflets taking the responsibility for all this but many of you know the real story and Councillor Barabara Dring and I will continue to put the real pressure on to get even more roads done.

Friday, 6 November 2009


For the last 10 years or so the Birmingham City Council have been avoiding taking responsibility for resolving the problem of having a large retaining wall, on the boundary of Cotleigh Grove repaired. The result is as you can see from the photos above the side passage at no 19 Cotleigh Grove is unusable.
Large wood battens have braced the wall for ten years and for most of that time youngsters have used these battens to clime on the wall up to a fence and into land to the rear of it.
The fence is now so damaged that it is a danger to children.
What is the Housing departments reaction to all this? "we don't know who owns the land and are trying to deal with the situation". This has I repeat been going on for ten years.
The very least the Housing department should do is make sure the fence on top of the wall is made safe the whole situation is a disgrace.

Thursday, 5 November 2009


After all the rain tonight which seems to have put a lot of using fireworks you can bet you bottom dollar there will be a lot of Fireworks going off this weekend.
I would suggest you keep your pets in at night over the weekend to stop them getting frightened.


I spent a damp afternoon yesterday doing a walk about as part of the Police Neighbourhood Tasking Group. The idea was to speak to local residents on the Bandywood estate and trying to see if we could resolve problems for them. Taking part as members of the NTG as well as myself were were Local community Group Representatives, Council officers and the Police.
There was also a Police caravan on site for much of the afternoon.
A number of issues came up including fly tipping and problems with anti social behaviour. There was certainly one result a youngster taking drugs was spotted and dealt with.
Back at the base a number of issues were raised. I brought up the issue of parking near the James Watt College and various speeding issues. The Police were able to inform us that following an increase in burglaries recently the Police has a crack down and a number of people were arrested.
If you would like more information about the NTG please ring ) 0121 464 1869


Councillor Barbara Dring and I attended a public meeting to discuss the future of the Cooksey Lane Playing Fields last night. We were pleased to hear from representatives of the leaseholders Maxims that they had exiting plans for the site.
These include trying to raise funds for Astra turf and even a boxing pavilion which could be built on the back of the site. These facilities would be of wonderful benefit to local youngsters.
We also heard that after representations tree on the boundary of the site will be pruned shortly. This will be a relief to the sites neighbours.
The area's Councillors were asked to go on a new committee but I suggested and it was agreed this was in the form of observers who could go when possible. Local resident and organisations as well as users of the site will also be making up the committee.
As I say exiting times are are predicted for Cooksey Lane.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


POLICE are warning parents in Birmingham not to buy their children mini motos for Christmas presents as they could end up being confiscated and crushed.
They say the vehicles are unsuitable for children and teenagers, cause a nuisance and, in most cases, are illegal.
These days’ youngsters ride around parks, reserves and streets on the miniature engines which can be dangerous to pedestrians. Many pedestrians also feel that this is anti social behavior and noisy.
“There is nowhere in Oscott where the mini motos can be legally ridden.”
The motos, which cost over a £100, need tax, insurance, a license and MOT to be legally driven. But they cannot be used on the pavement, road or in a public place. The only place they can be legally ridden is on private land – such as a large garden or farmland –there is very little of this in Birmingham let alone Oscott. And police say in most cases they are unroadworthy as they do not have horns, a speedometer, or lights and the brakes are often not good enough.
: “This is the time of year when parents are thinking about what to buy for their children for Christmas they should – think twice about a mini moto. It is just not worth it.
The Police if they spot these mini motos can confiscate and crush them and I am told they will do so.”. No one wants to be a kill joy but what the Police are saying does make sense.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


It is unusual I admit but the Birmingham City Councils Transportation department seem to have done something right. They have now identified that cars parking over a drop curb is an offense which could lead to a £60 fine.
If you are troubled by vehicles parking over your dropped curb try ringing the Transportation department on303 7799 to seek advice.
It will be interested to see how officers of the Transportation department react. Just Quote Councillor Len Gregory (Cabinet member for Street Services report to the Birmingham City Council 3rd Nov 09.)


There appears to be a rumour going around that the Pudding and Pint public House Kingstanding, is going to convert to a place of worship of some description. I am not sure where this rumour has come from but it is certainly not on the cards.
Although it is not in the Oscott Ward, I have spoken to the relevant Council Planning Officers and they have had no approach from anyone, accepting a speculative approach from a consortium wishing to convert the site to a nursing home.
The current Pudding and Pint site only has planning permission for retail,Office, restaurant or public house use and any other type of operation would need a change in Planning permission with all the difficulties that could entail. I am also sure any Planning permission Changes would be closely looked at by the Planning department not to mention Kingstanding Councillors.

(For confirmation please see note below.)

Hello Councillor

Just to confirm our telephone conversation earlier - there are currently no planning applications for the premises.

The previous use was as a drinking establishment (use class A4), which can change to a shop (A1), financial & professional services - such as a bank (A2) and restaurants & cafes (A3) without the need for planning permission. Any other use would require planning permission for a change of use.

I hope this is of assistance.

Kind regards

Pete Barton
Constituency Planning Officer - Erdington


Monday, 2 November 2009


Kettle House Road and Bandywood Road have also seen more than thee fare share of road accidents over the last few years. But yet again the Current Council administration will take no action in introducing sensible traffic calming measures. As a local resident said to me recently "why is it Kingstanding and other areas can get things like mini islands to slow the traffic down and yet we can not?".
I may be wrong I admit, but I think those islands were put in during the life time of a previous administration?
I have handed in petitions and and put in numerous complaints but to no avail. But be assured I will continue to try and get the Transportation department to take up its responsibility to its residents.
I will also be asking the Police to look at using the community speed watch equipment (which will be paid for by the Oscott Ward Committee next year) in the Kettlehouse Road area.