Friday, 28 May 2010


Like many other area's across the city there is a need to help and support local youth clubs to find useful activities for their members. With this in mind both Councillor Dring and my self were pleased to be part of the Oscott Ward Advisory Board who are recommending to the Oscott Ward Committee that £3.000 be given out of Community Chest funds, to the Mary Vale Youth Club.

The money will be fore promoting youth leadership training and sports equipment.
There is a need for older member particularly girls to be able to train to be able to help younger members of the club develop their skills.
Various sorts of youth training are available and will ensure the continued development of this club which already has over a 100 member (9 to 17 years of age) from all over the Oscott Ward.
The club offer football and net ball coaching, they have Poole tables, IT equipment, x boxes and a TV chill out area. They meet on a Friday evening
If you would like more details please ring Mr Paul Chawner 077 1144 0831


There is a problem in regards to speeding in certain Oscott Roads and that is a fact. How to deal with it is the problem. Simply to throw up a few road humps and an odd sign is not the answer in my view (although it may help in some cases however and as the Transportation department is under new management perhaps more will be done.)
What is needed is a joint approach to look at areas in the Oscott ward, the Kettlehouse estate for example and to deal with speeding issues in a wider sense.

It is no good just dealing with a speeding problem in one road just to see it move to the next.
With this in mind I am calling on the Councils Transportation department and the Police to work together in the Oscott area (AND IF NECESSARY OTHER WARDS) with a new joint approach.

Oscott has recently set up active Neighbourhood Police Tasking Group meetings and this is a venue where this joint working to look at speeding in Oscott should take place.
Engineers, the police and community representative should be looking into this issue together and coming up with solutions. Those solutions could rage from speed cameras to educating/ targeting young drivers in the area about the dangers of speeding on our roads.

I have put this proposal forward to the authorities and I do hope it does not become a political football and is taken seriously. Residents deserve to be able to use their roads in safety.

Thursday, 27 May 2010


While I am waiting for petitions from residents calling for road safety improvements for the Kettlehouse Road I am keeping up a stream of correspondence with the Transportation department regarding the matter.
There have been some vague humming and haring from Council officers over the last couple of weeks (I will report further once they have confirmed anything in writing) about what they are considering doing. I am also keeping the Police involved.
The new cabinet member has however advised me that his predecessor has been looking into the matter and now he (Councillor Huxtable) will if need be do the same. He will also be asking for the views of the other Oscott Ward Councillors.

I am also trying to get those residents who are concerned to contact the other Councillors for the Oscott ward regardless of political allegiances too ask for their support the more involved the better.


I was delighted as some one who tries to actively support Age Concern, to take part in the Oscott Ward Advisory Board last night where it was recommended that Age Concern receive 15K from the Oscott Community Chest.
This funding recommendation will be formally put to the Oscott Ward Committee (the 3 Oscott Councillor) in 2 weeks time.
The granting of this funding will pay for Age Concern the new lease holders of the Oscott Community Centre in Birdbrook Road, to pay for some urgently needed internal improvements. They intend improving the kitchen and office facilities at the Centre. This should help their users and other groups a lot. They will also be improving the security of the building.
Age concern have also received the full backing of the Oscott Ward Advisory Board including Councillor Barbara Dring and myself for further funding bids including for extending their Handy person Scheme and gardening help projects. This bids will also go formally to the Oscott Ward Committee for approval.
( The Oscott Ward Advisory Board is made up of leading community Representatives, Voluntary organisations and Representatives of the, Fire brigade, Police and health Service. Oscott Councillors attend to listen to the views and advice of these members)

If you would like to know more please ring me on 360 6486

Wednesday, 26 May 2010


At yesterdays meeting of the full Council it was announced that Councillor Timothy Huxtable is to take over a the New Cabinet member of the newly merged Regeneration and Street Services portfolio.
This joining of these 2 important committees will be a big responsibility for him. He will for example be the Councillor who holds the purse strings and has the finale say to whether for example road safety work is carried out in a particular road.
You may be assured I will be pressing him and some of his senior officers on a whole range of issues concerning road safety issues in Oscott. Let us all hope he will make some serious decisions and help keep Oscott residents safe. It is time we saw his department take action in Oscott.


A number of residents asked me to present a petition (the second one in 2 years) calling upon the Birmingham City Councils Transportation department to introduce traffic calming measures on the Aldridge Road between the Boars Head and the Metropolitan college including traffic lights at the Greenholm Road junction.
Most people in the area will know following previous campaigning by councillors of all parties and local residents slow down signs were erected near the Greenholm Road junction, but in my view it is time the Council bit the bullet spent some money on traffic lights and some speed indicator signs. Their constant refusal to spend money on appropriate road safety measures in the Oscott area is very worrying. I am now hoping with a new man in charge of the Transportation department things may start to happen.

Thursday, 20 May 2010


Members of the Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve have informed me that a visit to view a number of the Bird boxes put up last year has proved they are a success.
many of these boxes have been located off the beaten track for obvious reasons and this has helped the bird life in the reserve to be able to use them.
Most of the boxes appear to be occupied and birds and amongst the birds recorded as nesting are Blue tits, Stock doves and Owls.
It is hoped as the boxes mature there will be even more species nesting next year.
If you would like to join the Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve or would like more information about its activities please ring me on 360 6486

Monday, 17 May 2010


A resident has informed me of yet another traffic accident in Kettlehouse Road which took place this weekend. This is yet another accident in the same road within days and this situation is clearly unacceptable. Sadly it would appear on this ocassion there were injuries.
I have been in touch once more with Councillor Len Greggory the Councillor with Cabinet responsibility for Transportation (the man who has the finale decision on what is to be done and is in charge of the funding needed to deal with this situation) requesting action is taken to deal with the traffic problems in Kettle house Road.
I will let you know his and his officers response.
As indicated previously I am also with the help of residents preparing a petition to be handed to the Council about this matter. I would also suggest residents may wish to write to Councillor Len Gregory C/o the Birmingham City Council House. B1 1BR

Friday, 14 May 2010


I hold regular meetings with the Chair of the Oscott Disabilities Group George Hough to see how I can help his group campaign for disabled Oscott residents. George does tremendous, often unseen work for his members and other disabled Oscott residents. He certainly tries to ensure their voice is heard.

Many of the issues of concern come up on a regular basis. The state of our pavements is a typical example.
The poor maintenance of our pavements over the last few years has resulted in a number of residents tripping over and this includes disabled residents. Most fall go unreported as those who trip over often feel embarrassed. This should not be the case whether you are disabled or not if you trip over on a pavement which is badly uneven or broken you should consider claiming against the Council, it is you're right.
As soon as you can take a picture of the scene as evidence and write to the Transportation department for a claims form (or to me to get you one if it helps). I would also recommend that you make a note of what and where you accident happened. You can also if you feel it is justified contact a solicitor for legal advice and help.
The new PFI scheme which the previous government backed and it is to be hoped it will not be cut, should mean a steady improvement in the state of our pavements but we will have to wait and see.
In the mean time the OERG and I are also continueing our battle to get the Council to install more disabled drop curbs in the area to hel wheel chair users and mothers with push chairs get about easier. If you know where one is needed please let me know. Tel 360 6486


Now the elections are over lets hope there will be a move away from the I did this and I did that when it comes to Dunedin Road for example. We all know that a lot of people, residents and Councillors from all parties and so on have worked hard for years to try and get something done about Dunedin Road.
The pavements have now been resurfaced but the quality of the work in places leaves much to be desired and I have put in a number of complaints about it.

Mr Pritchard the Senior Birmingham City Engineer responsible for getting the carriage way resurfaced in Dunedin Road has assured me that Amey the Private contractor who will be carrying this out as part of the PFI initiative will be prioritising this work in the summer.
I have urgently requested that the road surface is fully repaired before ant resurfacing work is being carried out we do not want it to tun out to be another Burnham Road.

I am also with the help of residents trying to put the pressure on the Transportation department to deal with the problems of speeding traffic particularly vans in this road.

Monday, 10 May 2010


After waiting a considerable time like residents in Burnhan Road I have been extremely disappointed in the way Burnham Roads carriageway was re surfaced. With weeks I had to complain about the surface and holes appearing in the surface again. Now only months after the work was carried out it is having to be re done. Who ever checked this work off has a lot to answer for. The waste of money even if the contractor has to foot the bill is a bad joke.
This time I am asking that curb stones and other finishing work be looked at as well. The work needs to be carried out correctly this time and not rushed. The Councills Transportation Department can not allow another fiasco to take place. Councillor Barbara Dring and I will certainly do what we can to stop this happening again in this road.


There has been another car accident in Kettle house Road. This took place at the weekend. A car was badly damaged after the driver appeared to lose control?.
Following being contacted by a local resident and having spoken to a number of others in Kettlehouse Road. I have now been in Touch ith the Leader of the Birmingham City Council and the Cabinet member for Transportation informing them, (as they have the ultimate say on how this issue can be dealt with and find the funding to deal with it,) of the situation and that it is becoming a regular occurrence.
I have also spoken to Senior Transportation engineers asking them to look at the situation again urgently and offering if necessary to meet them on site if it helps. I am awaiting their responses.
I have already put forward a number of proposals in the past for them to consider in regards to equipment they could use to improve things and reminded the Transportation Department that they were going to look at 20mph zones around schools and Bandywood Road for example is a road where this should take place.
A local KH Road resident also volunteered to collect names on a petition on behalf of residents and he would pass it on to me in order for me to present it to the Council. I will be doing just that when I receive the petition.
Finally in the interim I have also requested the Police look into the matter and also use their Community Speed Watch initiative as often as possible in the area.

Friday, 7 May 2010


I would just like to add my congratulations to Councillor Barbara Dring for her excellent Local election result. Barbra had a returned majority of 592.
The residents of Oscott can now look forward with more confidence in the future knowing that Barbara is looking after their interests.
I would also say well done to Khalid Mahmood MP who surprised some by not only retaining his seat but also increasing his majority.

Sunday, 2 May 2010


Councillor Barbara Dring was contacted by a number of youngsters in the Oscott Ward a few years ago who asked if there could be a skate board facility for their use.
Barbara Took up the challenge and after holding a number of public consultations and receiving a large amount of correspondence mainly from young people, managed find a site for a skate board centre and the funding. With the agreement of other Councillors from different parties within the district it was decided to have a new skate Board placed at the Oscott End of Perry Barr Park. This will now complement a state of the art BMX track (to be built in a year or so) and will create a multi use complex for the benefit of the youngsters in Oscott and the surrounding area.
Baraba says
“this site has many advantages. It is on all the main bus routes which means youngsters from all over the Oscott area get to it easily, as they have done for generations. (It will save many of them a trip to town where they go in the various squares at the moment.).
This site has plenty of room . The site will have the security of passing Police vehicles on the near by main road as well as a park ranger.. It also has a big advantage in that it is not to close to where residents live which should help stop complaints about noise and so on.”

Well done Barbara I am sure the youngsters in the area will love this facility. Work is due to start on it this month. It is also hope when this initiative proves to be a success more funding may be given for similar ventures.

Saturday, 1 May 2010


I have been pleased to see at long last there have been some movement to carry on securing the pavements near the HSB Bank ATM on Kettlehouse Road.
Working with Local Community Groups I have been pushing for additional pedestion railings to be put up near the where the Zebra Crossing is and now a long last this has been done.
Previously bike stands, a bench and litter bins have been placed on this stretch of pavement to help prevent drivers bouncing over the curbs to get as close to the bank as possible.
Residents may recall the battle we all had ( petitions and so on) to get the Mecca Bingo Hall to kindly allow driver to park free of charge in there car park just yards away from the Bank.
Residents and my self also petitioned, held site visits and wrote letters to the Transportation Department to get the Zebra crossing installed near by to enable people to cross the road from the car park and to help slow the traffic down.
But still drivers inset on getting as close to the bank and other shops as possible regardless of the safety of pedestrians.
The next stage is the establishing of a disabled bay and a single taxi bay near the front of the bank which we are told should further help stop cars going on the pavement. Once again thanks to all those who are keeping up the battle for safer pavements in the area and I will continue to do so also.


Sadly recently there has been a move to reduce the bus network coverage by the privately owned bus companies across the West Midlands. I feel this is the wrong thing to do and have spoke out against in RTA meetings on a number of occasions. You can see a result of this reduction in Oscott for example by the change of the route on the 655. (It is not all bad news at least we have kept the 375 after a major battle?)

I have been requesting as compensation that Bus Estate hopper schemes be considered. This is where small mini buses operate routes on “forgotten” housing estates. Again in Oscott for example residents in roads like Caddick Road and Ringinglow Road could be considered as routes. The hopper buses could link up to destination like shopping areas such as the Kingstanding Circle where it could help generate extra trade and supermarkets for example.
I also think in areas like Oscott where there is an elderly population there needs to be a rethink. It would also be a help to the unemployed and for children trying to get to school.

Centro have agreed to look into a number of my suggestions and who knows, if and when the current economic climate improves they may persuade the bus companies to take action .


I have been asked by the Oscott Elderly Residents Group to remind elderly residents in the Oscott area that they (the OERG) will be holding another of their social get togethers on Wednesday 5th May. The venue will be the 610 Community Centre and the time 11am.
Why not pop on for a cup of tea and a chat.
When ever I manage to pop in and see this group they always seem to be enjoying themselves socialising. They also often have guest speakers and Q & A sessions.
If you know any elderly residents especially if they could do with getting out of their home for a break why not let them know about this meeting.


For some time now as you may know I have been advocating the introduction of 20mph zone around a number of different schools in the Oscott Area.
The Councils Transportation Department have indicated that they fully recognise there are serious problems around many schools in regards to speeding traffic and were considering introducing 20mph Zones as a matter of policy across the city.
While I welcome this commitment as ever these things seem to take for ever unfortunately to be carried out.
I have written to the department about a number of roads near schools schools in Oscott over the years where I think these zones would be useful, these include for example.
Greenholm Road, Glenmead Road, Sandy Lane, Bandywood Crescent/road , Kingsland Road, Old Oscott Hill and Sundridge Road.
I am also calling for 20mph speed limits to be considered for a number of other streets in Oscott.
I am continue to press the Transportation department and will write to the new Cabinet member for Transportation when he is appointed asking to look at these roads and will keep you posted as to their response.