Wednesday, 31 March 2010


Work has started on putting up speed cameras on the Aldridge Road between Shady Lane and the Great Barr School. It is hoped they should be activated by the summer when the electricity has been contacted. As for the rest of the scheme I have outlined the current position below.

Aldridge Road Local Safety Scheme Phase 2:
Adverse comments by local traders to the proposed guard rail at the junction of Dyas Road and Aldridge Road sadly remain unresolved at the moment. This has resulted in the delay in implementing the scheme as a whole
After constant pressure from Councillor Barbara Dring and myself concerning the safety of this part of the Aldridge Road, the Transportation Department propose to deliver the scheme in two phases this would ensure that Phase 2a could be implemented whilst a suitable solution is developed for Phase 2b.

Phase 2a- Traffic Calming Measures along Aldridge Road
Improvement works which were covered in the 2009 consultation, with no adverse comments received. Support from the Schools has also been secured for constructing a pair of pedestrian refuges in front of the Schools. This Phase should now proceed to detailed design and implementation subject to financial approval at each stage. It is envisaged that the implementation of this phase could commence in August 2010. This narrowing of the road should help reduce speed amd allow easier crossing of the road.
A separate consultation exercises will take place with local residents and Ward Councillors on the proposed double yellow line parking restrictions in the vicinity of the proposed pedestrian refuges in lieu of the single yellow line waiting restriction currently shown on the consultation drawing. This change has been proposed based on safety grounds for ensuring clear vehicular passage at the traffic islands.

Phase 2b- Pedestrian Safety Improvements at the Junction of Dyas Road and Aldridge Road, and Traffic Regulation Orders along Malthouse Lane
Investigation of junction improvements and parking restrictions on Malthouse Lane will be progressed concurrently with Phase 2a. Upon finalising the option, a separate consultation will take place. All views on this proposal will be treated separately to the consultation carried out for phase 2a.

I am also continuing to press for the Transportation Department to get on with their consultations with residents in Sandy Lane also, given the time they have taken to come up with safety measures on Sandy Lane (which is a separate scheme) near the Perry Beeches Schools. Delays to both these schemes and their various phases are very frustrating for everyone and are unacceptably slow.

Saturday, 27 March 2010


The potential drink and drugs den in the Queslett Nature Reserve I posted about 12th March has now been completely removed following my request to the Parks Department. The department have now removed all trace of this dangerous structure. However there is still a lot of mess to tidy up and this will be done during the summer by the Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve.
Sadly as I reported previously a number of tree have been destroyed by those who build this den.
I will try and ensure replacement tree are placed in suitable locations throughout the reserve to make up for this.


Over 20 people spent an enjoyable and interesting morning on the Queslett Nature Reserve today and this did not count the 3 users of the reserve who joined the Friends Queslett Nature Reserve while we were there..
Activities ranged from bird netting (for identification they were all released unharmed and the work was supervised by an expert) bird observation and litter picking the site.
Dr Stephan Bodnar the Councils Bi diversity officer proved yet again what knowledge has when it comes to the world of nature.
Dozens of different birds were identified and it is hoped that the work being undertaken by the FOQR and other groups, will make the wild life on and around the reserve even more varied.
The FOQNR strongly believe working on the reserve is just part of their aim which is to improve the environment throughout the area.


Birmingham roads are to benefit from £2.7bn transformation plan which has now been given approval.

The Governments Transport Minister Paul Clark has rubber-stamped the £2.7 billion scheme – the biggest Private Finance Initiative deal of its kind.
Engineering giants Amey have now been handed a 25-year city council contract to improve and maintain 1,500 miles of highways.
One of the first things they will to do is deal with worst outbreak of potholes in living memory – the result of the neglect by the Council over the last few years as you can see in many roads in the Oscott area for example.
The Department for Transport will provide funding of £600 million towards the total cost of the scheme.

You can rest assured both Councilor Barbara Dring and I will be pointing out the many problem roads in OSCOTT and will be demanding action to get them sorted out.

The Government spokesman said: “This contract will see the condition of Birmingham’s roads greatly improved and will include the maintenance of footways, bridges, street lighting and traffic signals.

Councillor Gregory (Con ) the Councils road chief has now stated: “There is no way we could have done this without the £600 million from the Department for Transport.”

I find this last comment strange when you come to think Councillor Barbara Dring has been condemned by her political opponents for informing residents that the Government was to bail out and fund the Councils road maintenance plans.

Friday, 26 March 2010


Since the start of this year possibly as a result of the bad weather I have had many complaints about dog fouling in Oscott.
The level of complaint is fast becoming completely unacceptable.
You may be aware that following a number of requests from my self it was agreed by the Environmental Department to send out a special team to look into this issue in Oscott, during March.
I have to say there has not been a noticeable reduction in complaints about this issue so far, although there has been some action taken.
Also it would appear Free of Charge Dog Fouling bags are no longer being supplied which is a decision I think the Authorities need to urgently review.
If you would like me to pass on a complaint regarding this matter please leave me a message on 360 6486.
You have probably guessed by now this is an issue I am going to keep onto the Council Authorities about.

See also my post 24th Feb

Thursday, 25 March 2010


I was pleased to learn a the meeting of the Hawthorn Traders Association I attended last night, plans to form a local Shop Watch are underway.
I idea is that traders will inform each other by phone when a suspect shop lifter of someone acting in an anti social way is in the area. Warnings given to each other should help prevent crime amongst the local shops on Hawthorn Road.
I very much hope as many traders and shop workers get involved as possible as it will help prevent crime in the area. I would also commend all those working so hard to try and get it off the ground.

Saturday, 20 March 2010


Both Councillor Barbara Dring and myself are very concerned at the delay in implementing much needed road safety work on Sandy Lane near the Perry Beeches schools entrance.
The Council are currently supposed to be consulting with residents with regards to having measures put in place to prevent parents parking across drives and on pavements out side residents houses in Sandy Lane. However this has been going on for well over 2 years and action is needed now before an accident occur rs. There are also still similar problems in Beeches road which we are also trying to get the Council to address.
Residents in Sandy Lane be at least be assured the problems caused by parents parking while picking up and dropping off their children is not on I will allow the Councills Transportation Department to forget.

Thursday, 18 March 2010


I have had a busy week meeting elderly residents in Oscott. Today it was the turn of the Age Concern group in the Emanuel Church Kettlehouse Road.
I manged to get to there meeting due to an usually early finish of the Planning Committee today.
Once again I have been informed about all sorts of concerns including dog fouling in the area, the state of the pavements and why the Council are wasting so much money on "big schemes"

These residents are never slow at coming forward. They were also looking forward to a talk show and as usual the Age Concern staff were doing a grand job entertaining them.

If you would like to know more about this group ring Age Concern on 358 0309

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


The Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve were surprised when Khalid Mahmood MP who was in the Aldridge Road Recreation Ground on other business turned his hand to helping to plant a tree.
There were six trees being planted today (see post 15th March) and members of the FOQNR were only to pleased when Khalid came to help out.
Many thanks were also offered to Nickola and the Glendale team who worked hard on all the preparation work, along with Lea Southall the Local Parks Manger. The trees were kindly donated by Tree for England. It all goes to show many hands make light work


I have been asked what is happening to the old Pudding and Pint Public House on Kingstanding Road again, by a number of Oscott residents.
With this in mind I have asked the Erdington Constituency (including the Kingstanding Ward) Planning Senior Officer if he was aware of any Planning applications for the former Pudding and Pint Public House.
He has informed me there have been none since I last contact him in November. He is also not aware of any informal inquires. I have also asked the Kingstanding Councillors to let me know should they hear anything.

See also Nov 3rd post

Tuesday, 16 March 2010


Birmingham City Council road workers came along today and filled in the worst of the pot holes in Booths Lane. Although by no means brilliant at least the road is now safe to drive along.
I now hope they pursue those responsible for the road for payment.
I also hope that ALL those with a genuine interest in the area can work together to pressure the Council into biting the bullet and to take over responsibility for maintaining this road.

See also March 10th Post

Monday, 15 March 2010


The Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve (which incorporates the Aldridge Road Recreation Ground), were pleased to be asked for advice where to plant 6 new trees in the Aldridge Recreation Ground.
Trees For Life who have donated these trees along with the Councils Parks department asked the FOQNR advice last week.
Members of our Activity Panel committee met with experts on site who agreed with our suggestions. We have made sure these trees will be planted in such away as to ensure that they will not interfere with neighbouring residents property in the future.
FOQNR Activity panel members will be helping to plant these trees on Wednesday at 11am.


Although it is good to see the Council finnally getting to grips with Dunedin Road (we are still pushing them to get other roads in th area done) there have however been a number of complaints about the standard of the replacement foot ways be installed at the moment.
I have already requested a number of inspections regarding dips in the footways which cause puddles and the surface itself appears to be slippy.
It would appear that cost cutting may be going on and the Council are more concerned about getting the pavements done just before the Local elections? Perhaps I am just being cynical?

Councillor Barbara Dring, Khalid Mahmood MP and I along with other councilors past and present have worked along with local residents to get Dunedin Roads pavements repaired. (Work is expected to start on the carriage way later this year.)
I therefore find it quite humorous that some people seem to think they alone have worked the oracle. It takes all sorts and there will always be some who think residents are daft!.
However both Councillor Dring and I will continue to complain about the situation as much as we need to in order to try and get a good job done.

See also my post Jan 11th

Saturday, 13 March 2010


The much maligned Ring and Ride Service is to recieve a £35 million boost over the next 3 years
The WestMidland Special Needs Transport (WMPNT) who are the charity which runs this service,will get this funding over the next 3 years from the West Midland Intergrated Transport Authority.
Ring and ride is a vital service for the elderly and those with mobily problems and given there is expected to be well over a million resident over the age of 60 in a few years time in the West Midland area int can not come to soon.
It may also go some way to repair the damage being done by the withdrawing of bus services like the 655, which elderly residents rely on. The cut backs in the bus route net work by the private bus companies, are likely to cuase a lot of problems and I for one will continue to resist them.


Every month the Police hold Neighbourhood Tasking meeting (NTG) where the Police meet with local representatives , Councillors, Community group leaders (NPI ect) and Council officers to discuss crime in the area and way how to tackle it.
It is an opportunity for the community to air their concerns and pass on trouble spots as well as suggesting how problems may be eased. The Police also have an opportunity to inform those attending on what progress is or is not being made regarding various issues. The Council has an input and can note concerns about environmental issues and so on.
At this weeks meeting the Oscott Ward Committee was well represented by Councillor Dring and myself.
We both requested urgent consideration be given to speeding problems across the ward including, Kettlehouse Road and Kingstanding Road. There is also a perception that Police presence in some parts of the ward needs to be stepped up.
I also pointed out fly tipping in the Booths Lane area has become a major concern and dog fouling in the area seems to be getting worse.
Crime appears to be stabilising in the area following an increase towards the end of last year. However no one can be complacent and I know from residents that there are con men in the area and antisocial behavior especially by school children is still a worry to many people.

If you have a concern you would like me to draw to the atention of the Police please contact me on 360 6486.

Friday, 12 March 2010


I was pleased to be able to pop in and see the Oscott Elderly Residents group holding their Tea and Cake social gathering this week. Every time I manage to attend one of their meetings I am always impressed on how Well their Chair Maureen Byrne who is disabled her self and her helpers keep their members entertained. This week they had Khalid Mahmood MP as their guest speaker. Maureen said " I think it is wonderful that Khalid is able to come along and be our guest speaker when you consider how busy he is"

If you want to know more about this group and their activities please ring 464 1869.


A potentially dangerous construction which could be used as a drugs den has been found in woodland inside the Queslett Nature Reserve. The quick actions of local residents and member of the Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve, have made sure this structure has partly been broken down. Sadly a number of healthy trees were vandalised by those building this structure.
I have informed the Parks department requesting the rest is removed as soon as possible.
The whole structure was in an unstable way and could have fallen on a child who may be playing in the reserve. It is thought that this large shed like structure could have been used by youngster to take drugs or drink alcohol unobserved.
I would like to thank all those who alerted me to the situation.


I was pleased to be able to hold a rolling surgery at Saint Anne's Court today.
I had a number of issues brought to my attention by residents. These included the state of the Old Cross guns public house, which was converted into flats and is now derelict and an eye saw.
Although this building is in the Kingstanding Ward I have asked that the Council consider compulsory purchasing this building if it can not be sorted out in a reasonable time.
Litter in some of the near by shopping parades, the state of some shop fronts, and the pot holes on college Road were also amongst the issues raised with me.
Clearly the College Road is like many other of our roads in that it has been left to deteriorate through lack of adequate maintenance over the last few years. Naturally because we had a colder winter than usual this time the authorities are blaming the weather for the state of many of our roads rather than their neglect.

Thursday, 11 March 2010


Fly tipping along the un adopted section of Booths Lane is again on the increase. Rubbish of all sorts is piling up on the land next to this stretch of road. This is not just unsightly but may cause rats to increase in the area.

I am convinced due to the cuts in the bulky item clean up service which means after 3 collections you will be forced to pay for any rubbish collected from your home. This will mean in the long run people will fly tip more and Booths Lane is an easy target. It is made easier by the fact that a CCTV Camera has gone missing. I have asked the Council to look at restoring this camera.
They have also agreed to a request to sent in the You are your City Cleaner safer team to do a clean up in the Booths Lane area in the next few weeks.
If you see any fly tipped rubbish ring303 1112 or if you know any one fly tipping rubbish ring 303 9944.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


I have had it confirmed by the James Watt Metropolitan College Site Manager that work is to start on creating up to 150 new cars spaces on the college site. Work is expected to start on demolishing the old Care Takers house as the first phase of the work to create the car spaces. It is hoped the work should be finished by the start of the Autumn term.
Along with the yellow lines near the Burnham Road and Birdbrook Road junctions with the Aldridge Road slip Road and the new parking bays on the same slip road, the proposed car spaces will make a huge difference in easing local parking problems.
Local residents along with Councillor Barbara Dring and myself have been pushing for these parking improvements for some years now and at long last there is hope at the end of the tunnel.


After much argument I have had it confirmed that the Birmingham City Council now recognise the dangerous state of the Booths Lane (unadopted) carriage way. For months Council Barbara Dring, local residents and my self have been asking the Council to do something about this carriage way which looks like it has been bombed.
Following my most recent demand Council Engineers inspected the road and have agreed it is in a dangerous condition They have now agreed to do the work to make it safe and charge the owner of the Lane.
This Lane still needs to be fully taken into the ownership of the Council and Councillor Barbara Dring and I will continue to press the Council to do so.

Saturday, 6 March 2010


I attended a meeting of the Oscott Residents Groups today (these include The Oscott Residents Association, the Oscott Disability Group and the Oscott Elderly Residents Group) where they held their AGMs.
It made a refreshing change to see residents groups not hog tied by petty burocracy and just determined to get on and get things done. It proves to me that resident groups should where possible break free of the dogged rituals sometimes imposed on them by the Birmingham City Council. Residents Groups are much better when they are independent and free of Council involvements.
Khalid Mahmood MP attended this meeting answered questions ranging from the BCC Child protection events in the news recently to questions about Policing in the area.

There were also a range of Questions for the Councillors.


Due to deep cuts being made in Council budgets the Perry Beeches Neighbourhood Office, Beeches Road (Perry Barr Ward) is set to close in the summer of this year. This office which has been open on a 2 day a week basis has given good service over the years and although not in the Oscott Ward area some residents from Oscott have used this office and the staff there have done a good job.
Councillor Dring and I have insisted that Oscott where there is no Neighbourhood Offices should receive out reach assistance from Neighbourhood Office staff and sites within the Oscott Ward are being looked at to offer a place for Oscott residents to go.
The nearest other Neighbour hood office is on Rough Road near the Kingstanding circle.
Unfortunately due to the Council changing the way Neighbourhood Offices are operated you may need to make an appointment to attend and may even be diverted to other offices. In some cases these appointments are offered at Neighbourhood offices at the other side of the city which is completely inappropriate.
There is a new call centre however who can give advice and may make appointments for you.

Alternatively why not send your query via e-mail to: or phone Contact Birmingham on 0121 303 1111 where they can deal with all your enquiries. The lines are open from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday.