Monday, 30 September 2013


“At an early-bird price of £30, the service offers a inexpensive, convenient and environmentally-friendly way for people to dispose of their garden recycling, and I would urge households to take advantage of the discount offer while it is available.”
Where properties are completely unsuitable for wheelie bins, an alternative sack collection can be provided. Households will receive 60 specially marked sacks to use during the 2014 growing season (February-November), also at an annual charge of £30 (early bird) or £35.
Composting is an alternative option, with composters available for purchase for as little as £16.98 plus £5.98 delivery via
To sign up to the green recycling collection service or find out more, please visit or call 0121 303 1112.


The public right of way between Templeton Road and Old Oscott hill which is used by may parents to take their children to local schools the Mary vale J and I has been cleaned up.Fly tipped litter has been removed and brambles and nettle cut back hopefully preventing little children from being stung.
This right of way should now be monitored more regularly.

Saturday, 28 September 2013


Despite some rumours to the contrary Age UK's application for a change of music licence terms and conditions  will not result in late night anti social behaviour and nuisance to residents living near the Old Oscott Community Centre Birdbrook Road.
Earlier this month I asked Age UK who agreed to put a note out regarding their intentions, to local residents  and they kindly followed my advice.
Most residents having read the note agree there should not be any undue problems. For those who are still insure I would like to say Age UK are a well known and caring organisation and they have assured my there should be no problems as the licence is more about keeping things correct than making changes. Age UK are very approachable and if you still have any concerns I would advise you to simply pop in and have a chat with them or let me know.


At the request of a number of elderly residents living in the Old Oscott Hill area I have called up on Centro to look into the idea of installing a flag bus stop in Old Oscott Hill somewhere opposite Servite House.
This is due to the fact the 88a which is the only bus which links residents living in Old Oscott Hill to the Kingstanding Circle, does not have a stop between Kingstanding Circle and beyond the Kingfisher Public House on the Corner of Birdbrook Road.
Many elderly residents live in Servite House and else where near by and there are also schools on this road.
If ongoing negotiations with local residents are successful Centro have agreed a small area of hard standing and a bus flag pole will be erected.
The main issue of concern is the amount of parking on the side of the road effected but this is being looked into, however as the 88a only runs hourly during the day it is hoped this problem can be resolved.
Old Oscott Hill is also one of the roads I am asking to have a 20 mph speed limit put on it.


 Sadly due to the huge cuts in government funding the Birmingham City has had and will have to make many hard decisions . One of those was to end the free green waste collection service.

The way green waste is to be collected from next year is still unknown to some Oscott residents I have met and with this in mind I have sent Councillor James Mckay who is responsible for the change a few questions on behalf of Oscott residents and this is his reply.
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Thank you for your questions regarding the above. I am sorry for the slight delay in responding, as I am out of Birmingham at the moment.

Questions and answers as follows:

Q. What is the system for signing up for the charge

A. Residents will be able to sign up for the new service either online or via the call centre.  There is an advertising promotion programme which is already underway. Further information can be found on our website, here:

Q. How many collections will there be in the year

A. 20, spaced fortnightly through the growing season

Q.  How much waste will be collected each time

A. The £35 service will be for a 240L wheelie bin, or equivalent sack capacity for properties unable to have a wheelie bin. That is the total capacity we will be able to collect, per £35 service.

Q. Will deliveries to the local recyling centre still be free of charge.

A. Yes

James Mckay
Cabinet member
Green,Safe and Smart City

 Also please note
Resident can place green garden waste in any colour sack. It is also recommended that the bags, as in previous years, should be left open when put out for collection, to aid their identification as green waste.
It is clear that some thought will have to go into the way we residents use the service in future.
 For example we will still be able to have up to about 60 green bags removed  a year for the £35 charge but they may have to be staggered in the way they are collected.
Residents will also have to consider taking bags to the salvage yard (just down the Aldridge Road) or composting. (see the Internet for helpful hints)


One of the most annoying situations you sometimes find your selves in is when you cannot get on or off your dropped curb because of an inconsiderate driver who is blocking it with their parked vehicle.

From 1 June 2009, local authorities have new powers under the Traffic Management Act 2004 (Sections 84, 85 and 86) and are able to issue Penalty Charge Notices (parking tickets) to motorists who, park irresponsibly across foot way crossings or double-park.

If you find that your foot way drop crossing is continually being blocked for any length of time the Birmingham City Council Parking Enforcement team  can be contacted by ringing 0121 303 7613 or you can still inform the Police 101 if necessary and ask for their help.

All drivers especially parents taking their children to and from school should make every effort not to block people’s foot way crossing. How would you like it done to you it just takes a little common sense to realise the inconvenience blocking people in can cause.

Friday, 27 September 2013


As part of its plans to devolve decision making to Districts the Council's Leaders have decided District Housing Panels are to be set up.This will include representatives from Housing Liaison Boards from each ward within a District..
These panels will be important because ultimately there will be 2 members co opted onto District Committees.
This being the case at yesterdays (26th Sept)  Perry Barr District meeting, I have insisted that Oscott who have by far the largest proportion of tenants in the district  should be well represented.

District Housing Panels will be cross tenure including more than just tenants (in the same way Housing Liaison Boards should). However given the main focus is on council housing it is clear in Oscott Case, they should have a majority say on the Perry Barr District Housing Panel and that is what Oscott Councillors will be fighting for.

For example I have insisted that a working party of Perry Barr District Councillor's who will be looking into the issue of how the DHP will be set up should have 2, rather than 1 Councillor like the other 3 wards in the district on it.
Both Councillor Barbara Dring and I are now on the working party and will ensure Oscott residents through its HLB will have an opportunity to have a say and receive any training necessary for the role.

If you want to know more about District Panels or about Oscots Housing Liaison Board please ring 675 2349

Friday, 20 September 2013


The Persimmons Housing development in Booths Lane has led to the long time closure of Booths Lane in the middle leaving many frustrated residents having to double their journey times in many cases and getting "stuck" in heavy traffic at the Scott Junction and at the Old Horns island. With the winter fast approaching this situation will be made even worse.

Persimmons the developers  have told a number of residents there will be no reopening of the middle section of Booths Lane for over a year do to construction and health and safety reasons.

I am in touch with Persimmons, the Health and Safety department, Transportation department and the Planning department to see if anything can be done to speed up the re-opening process. A senior official from the Persimmons site has already told me he will look into the situation and do what he can to speed up the process.
Many of the new houses on the site are approaching the time when they will be completed and hopefully the quicker they are build and sold the quicker the road will re open. naturally I will continue to monitor the situation and liaise with Representatives of the Oscott Residents Association who live in the area.

Thursday, 19 September 2013


The Birmingham City Council Licensing Committee are calling for a ban on Chinese floating lanterns.
These are also known as Kongming lantern or Chinese lantern, is a small hot air balloon made of paper, with an opening at the bottom where a small fire is suspended.
In Asia and elsewhere, sky lanterns have been traditionally made for centuries, to be launched for play or as part of festivities. In recent years there has been growing concern about their potential to cause crop or building fires and harm animals that may eat their remains. Several countries have banned them for that reason.

 They are becoming more popular in this country and people from all back grounds are using them to celebrate birthdays and other occasions they have also become very popular at open air parties and so on.
There has been a major fire at a recycling plant in the midlands believed to have been caused by one of these lanterns which is why the Birmingham City Council are backing attempts to have them banned.

I have seen a number of these lanterns floating across the sky in Oscott and as a local Councillor I am always interested in the views of my residents especially as Bon Fire Night is approaching.
 If you have one on this issue please Email me

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


While attending the Oscott Ward Committee (Chaired by Councillor Barbara Dring) A Mrs Byne asked why furniture could not be micro chipped to prevent fly tipping.?

I think this is a good question. While I except furniture may be difficult to mark or microchip I certainly believe many white Goods Washing machines Fridges and so on could be chipped as part of there production or sale.

Fly tipping is a real problem though in many areas of the country and also in some cases because of there scape value some white goods could tempt thieves. By micro chipping these goods and things like TVS this could help with identifying fly tippers and goods taken by thieves.
Other things which could be micro chipped are bikes and more expensive garden equipment.

All sorts of fly tipping may soon be on the increase and this fairly simple measure if supported and introduced by manufactures could help the situation in years to come.

I have asked the Police,Council and (government through the Perry Barr MP) to consider the idea although I doubt they will but well done to Mrs Byrne for stimulating a debate on the subject at our meeting.


The Birmingham City Council is asking residents views as it draws up new laws on tackling dog mess health hazards in Birmingham.
This will be a chance for residents like those in Oscott to have their say on the subject and Council Chiefs are at last looking to bring in new laws on the subject.(and about time too)
There may be new rules on ensuring the use of pooper scoopers and there will be larger fines.for those dog owners who fail to pick up their dogs mess.
A responsible dog walker cleans up dog mess and new proposals will not effect them as they are aimed at the minority of dog owners who flout the rules and I would hope their interests are also taken into account and I have raised a number of issues regarding this subject with the powers that be.

The proposed orders, which have received committee approval, would mean even small dogs need a lead on the street if the Council chiefs get their way.
Offences under these orders will be dealt with by fixed penalty notices of £80.
Failure to pay would result in prosecution.
The council is carrying out a full public consultation on the Dog Control Orders that would be brought in under the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005.
People have until Friday to submit their views.
The problem of dog fouling and stray dogs within Birmingham including Oscott is high profile and leads to over 4,000 complaints each year from members of the public including elected members. Under the orders, dogs would be banned from children’s play areas and schools in the city under the new proposals.
Owners would have to face fines for failing to clean up after their dog on any land that can be accessed by the public.
The order would also make it an offence for pets to be off their lead on all public roads, adjoining foot ways and grass verges. We need to keep our pavements free of dog mess.

New orders would limit the number of dogs you can take on to open land at any time to four. It would also make it an offence for anyone in charge of a dog not to put it on a lead when asked to do so by an authorised officer on any land that is open-air and open to public access.

People can send their views to: Head of Environmental, Development & Planning Team, Legal and Democratic Services, Legal Services, PO Box 15992, Birmingham, B2 2UQ and quoting reference LS/PKU/126171.
Alternatively, send opinions by email to


The Oscott Elderly Residents Group will be holding one of their regular Tea and Biscuit sessions this morning (18th Sept) at 11.15am at the 610 Community Centre. New members are welcome.
There will be light refreshments, a Q and A session with myself, raffles and the chance to have a good chat and a laugh.There are also various speakers invited like myself from time to time.
 The room used is on the level and wheel chair users are welcome.
If you are over 55 live in Oscott and want to come along why not pop in.
For further details please ring 675 2349

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


I was pleased to be asked today to go on a trip to Weston Super mare to help out the Oscott Elderly residents Group and the Oscott Disability Group.
Despite very poor weather all those who went enjoyed themselves and it was nice to see elderly and disabled residents get out and about.
Weston being flat is ideal for those in wheel chairs or with motorised scooters.
The pier and shops were enjoyed by all.
Well done to Maureen Bynre Chair and Senior organiser for the OERG and to George Hough Chair of the Oscott Disability Group for organising and funding the event. I was glad to help out.
Also well done to Panther Coaches for an excellent service to the groups.

For more details about either of these groups please ring 675 2349


I am asked now and again by Oscott residents how to stop an unwelcome planning application.
Residents can object although new rules introduced by the government this year do seem to have made it easier for those making an application?.
The Planning department usually give you 3 weeks for comments on a planning application, although in practise they will accept comments up until the day the application is decided. The Planning department cannot guarantee, however, that late comments will be considered. The consultation end date is given in their letters, or any site notices and newspaper adverts, and on Planning Online.
It may help if you want to object or even if you want to support a planning application to know what is taken into consideration or not as the case may be.

Comments received must relate to planning matters. 
These include

:        Loss of privacy
  • Loss of light
  • Intensity of development
  • Design and appearance
  • Highway matters, such as traffic and parking
  • Impact on community facilities

Not taken into consideration are take into account:
  • Loss of property value
  • Commercial competition
  • Loss of view
  • Disturbance during building work
  • Land ownership disputes
As a rule of thumb I would always advise before altering you house or building anything you check with the Planning department and for those wishing to object to a planning application  should do the same.

Monday, 16 September 2013


There will be a meeting of the Perry Barr District Committee on Thursday 26th September at 3pm at the Council House.
The PB District Committee is made up of Councillors from the 4 wards withing that district. Oscott, Perry Barr,  Lozells East Handsworth, and Handsworth wood.
Matters concerning the budget for the district and other local issues are discussed and they is an opportunity for residents to come along a find out what is happening in the area. The meeting is also live streamed.

Saturday, 14 September 2013


Centro's proposals to erect a new bus shelter on the Aldridge Road near (820) opposite Scarsdale Road, Has received a resound not thank you from a majority of local resident.
The general feeling is there is enough problems with parking and anti social behaviour already at this location to say no to this idea.
While I agree with Centro and some other local resident and bus users it would be nice to have a bus shelter at this location I feel like many other  residents it would cause to many problems and distress to many local residents if a new shelter was erected.

Friday, 13 September 2013


Some dog owners are allowing their dogs to mess on the Aldridge recreation ground with removing it.
I would ask these owner to think of the children who play there and pick up and remove their dogs mess. There is no objection to dog owners exercising their dogs on this or other open spaces in the area as long as they remove their dogs mess.
There will be more no dog fouling signs put up on the recreation ground and I have asked for further enforcement from the Dog warden service in the area. I think now is the time for penalty notices to be given out as much as possible as it seems to be the only deterrent sadly for a small  minority of dog owners who abuse our open spaces.


There will be a meeting of the Oscott Ward Committee (Chaired by Councillor Barbara Dring) on Wednesday 18th September at 7pm. The venue will be the 610 Community Centre Kingstanding Road.
This is an opportunity for Oscott residents to come along and find out from Council officers what is happening in the area and to ask questions.
 There is also an opportunity to hear how the Oscott Community Chest is being spent.

The 3 Oscott Councillors, Councillor Barbara Dring, Tristan Chatfield and my self make up the Committee.

Thursday, 12 September 2013


Amey are yet again to carry out essential maintenance work to the viaduct which carries the m6 over the College Road

They plan to start work on Monday 23rd and the work will take 6 weeks. The work will be carried out day and night and they have apologised for any likely noise.

To make things even worse Amey will be closing the A453 College Road into city over night during the 6 weeks. The slip road left turn out of city will also be closed over night.
They have assured me they will do this work as quickly as possible but the question has to be why are they working on this bridge causing possible chaise again so soon after major work was carried out on this bridge.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013


Many resident may not have seen press articles regarding the situation concerning Wheelie bins which have appeared recently. With this in mind I have posted a summary of a recent press article on the subject as I believe there can be no running away from the subject. love them or hate them most of us will have to have them.

I do feel however as they are to be introduced it should be done a quickly as possible.
I will certainly be doing what I can to help resident having difficulty during the transition and would advice you when you are due to receive a Wheelie bin if you have concerns about it  let me know and although clearly there is a limit as to what can be done, I will try and help if I can.
 It should also be noted not all resident will have to have a Wheelie bin and some elderly or disabled residents will receive assistance If they need it with the collection of their wheelie bins.

summary of press statement
Wheelie bins for Birmingham

Advantages and aims of wheelie bins scheme:

- Save the taxpayer money by reducing spend on landfill taxes and incinerator fees, while also generating income from more recycling
- To improve cleanliness of city, by reducing number of split bags, problems with vermin etc
- To help recycle 50 per cent of waste by 2020, and by 60 per cent by 2026 (in 2012/13 Birmingham’s rate was 32.31 per cent)
- To reduce waste sent to landfill (in 2012/13 Birmingham’s figure was 7.43 per cent)
- Reducing carbon emissions (eg landfilling/incinerating less, more efficient vehicles)
- Reducing waste to a level better than national average for England

The plan:

Subject to Cabinet approval on September 16, wheelie bins to be rolled-out city wide by end of 2015, in the following order (following assessments of all low-rise properties for suitability):

- Montague Street depot (Ladywood District): March-July 2014
- Redfern Road depot (Hodge Hill, Hall Green and Yardley Districts) August-December 2014
- Perry Barr depot (Erdington, Perry Barr and Sutton Coldfield Districts) February-June 2015
- Lifford Lane depot (Edgbaston, Northfield and Selly Oak Districts) August-December 2015

The roll-out order has been chosen on the basis of which areas produce the most ‘black bag’ waste, the lowest levels of recycling, the highest incidence of litter and therefore the highest level of current cost for the service.

Note: There will be a small number of properties, on or near District boundaries, served by depots other than their “home” one. This is because some boundaries run through the centre of roads, meaning it makes operational sense. For the avoidance of doubt, all households will be written to directly before receiving bins.

Budget and operational matters:

- Annual fleet and waste management service cost is currently £69.1m, to deliver refuse, green waste, recycling and street cleaning services, vehicle maintenance functions, graffiti removal, etc PLUS the disposal of waste through landfill and the Tyseley Energy from Waste Plant, maintaining five Household Recycling Centres, three waste transfer stations, etc

- This modernisation programme over the next five years will represent an investment of around £62 million

- Domestic refuse rounds to increase from 40 to 54 (takes more time to collect wheelie bins than it does sacks)

- Average number of properties on residual collection round = 1,500 with 1,000 properties on a recycling round (handling the pod inside the bin etc takes longer)

- Staff on each round reduce from an average of 4.5 to 3 (wheelie bins require smaller crews)

- The more we recycle, the more savings we achieve (income stream for paper/card and a reduction in landfill tax charges)

- Assisted collections for those who cannot handle bins, and have no other able-bodied adult in the household

- Bins to be fitted with chips linked to property details to enable better management of the service (such as missed collections and lost bins) and better knowledge of how the service is used. Also be used for the incentivisation scheme – but absolutely not for “pay as you throw”

There are opportunities to weigh the recycling containers as part of a reward based scheme, this continues to be explored and will depend on a business case for this part of the project.

Feedback and results from the pilot:

From the public consultation:

- 91 per cent agree we should do more to increase recycling/reduce rubbish
- 59 per cent agree wheelie bins will reduce rubbish spilt onto the street
- 51 per cent agree wheelie bins will be good for city as a whole, with 35 per cent disagreeing

Initial evaluation for the two wards of Brandwood and Harborne shows:

- Residual (formerly black sack) waste has decreased by 23.75 per cent
- The amount of paper collected has increased by 20.22 per cent
- The amount of mixed materials (plastic, metal) collection has increased by 40.35 per cent
- Levels of street cleanliness increased by 54 per cent in Brandwood and 50 per cent in Harborne

These figures cover the first six weeks in each pilot ward, and have been independently evaluated by WRAP (Waste Resources Action Partnership). They are initial findings and not projections or predictions for the rest of the city. They are in line with expectations for this type of collection scheme in urban areas. The council will continue to monitor tonnages in the future.

Pre and post-wheelie bin delivery surveys were carried out in the two wards (covering more than 200 households). They showed:

- 91 per cent of households are satisfied/very satisfied with bin collections
- 77 per cent think the scheme has had a positive effect on the cleanliness of their neighbourhood (just 7 per cent think it has had a negative effect)
- 76 per cent of households support the introduction of the wheelie bins to their area, with just 13 percent opposing (4 per cent opposing and 9 per cent strongly opposing)
- 47 per cent of households now have a better opinion of the wheelie bin scheme, with only 6 per cent having a worse opinion

Lessons learned from the pilot:

- A streamlining of communications is needed. Although successful, it is acknowledged that fewer leaflets per household can be distributed as the scheme is rolled out city wide

- The initial option of a smaller recycling bin of 140 litres is not feasible and will not be offered as the recycling pod for paper waste is too small.

- The number of requests for assisted collections (on offer to those who have no adult within their home able to manage the bins) increased significantly, affecting productivity. Prior to wheelie bins, 58 households in Brandwood and 40 in Harborne were registered for assisted collections. For the pilots, these numbers increased to 497 and 339 respectively. Therefore checks will be needed to ensure the service is only provided to those that genuinely need it.

- A need to create additional recycling provision for households that have large amounts of paper for disposal, giving the council/city a chance to improve even further its recycling rates.

Other developments:

Recycling incentive scheme – a separate report is due at Cabinet later this year on how such a scheme might operate in Birmingham

Communications/ICT – a “slab in the cab” computer system is being developed as part of the city-wide roll-out, giving refuse collection crews all the key information they need about their rounds at the touch of a button, taking advantage of the chips fitted to the new bins.