Wednesday, 29 July 2015


Sadly vandals are potentially putting visitors to the Queslett Nature Reserves, lives in danger.

The lake in the reserve although it is strictly not for swimming or paddling in (as the water is not treated,) can tempt some youngsters to swim in it during rare periods of hot weather.

The lake has a swimming float near by in case one of these swimmers does get into difficulty but sadly vandals are constantly unable to resist the urge to throw these flotation rings into the lake.
These rings are expensive, for legal reasons need to be in place and are difficult to retrieve once in they are in the lake.
It may only be a matter of time when  a ring missing from its poll near the lake causes a major problem where a swimmer in difficult cannot be rescued.


Please do not throw rings into the lake and do not swim in the lake IT IS MEANT FOR WILD LIFE ONLY


There has been a further speight of fly tipping recently and residents in Oscott are waking up to find quite large amounts of fly tipped material blocking their rear access ways.
Some of this is due to rear access way gates are simply not being locked and this is preventable.

However there are cases where pad lock are being cut through and this is only preventable by residents buying better quality pad locks. At the moment there is help with part funding for this available form the Oscott Ward Committee and Police. This is only for genuine cases.

In most cases rear access ways in the Oscott area belong to the residents themselves and many have sensibly been gated to prevent acts of anti social behaviour, improve security and to prevent fly tipping. For those 3 reasons it is a must that resident lock their rear access ways at all times. Even if you are not taking you car around the back and you see gates open it is best to lock them.

Open rear access are a golden opportunity for those wishing to act in an anti social way, graffiti,drug use, vandalism, garage break ins, entering residents gardens with crime in mind are as well as fly tipping all much easier in the seclusion of a rear access way.

Now we hear due to government cuts the number of local Police officers is to drop it is more important than ever residents help them selves and secure their property including rear access ways.

Groups like the Neighbourhood Watch and the Neighbourhood Police Initiative are available to help remind residents of the problems and do what they can to advise on crime prevention but they can only do so much.

Sadly even when some gates are locked some residents are temped to fly tip in their own rear access ways, but it should be remembered that the Council is not responsible for clearing rubbish from rear access ways and these residents are fly tipping in their "own back yards"

The council still collects bulky items at a cost of £25 and most rubbish can be taken in at the Holford Drive Salvage department FOC.

The council are putting up a number of No fly tipping signs and the fine has gone up if you want to pass on any evidence related to fly tipping the no is 303 112

Tuesday, 28 July 2015


One of my rolls as a representative for the Birmingham City Council on the  Transport delivery Group (formerly ITA) is to as as a bus champion for one of the bus routes.

Councillors are asked to volunteer to keep an eye on a route of their choosing and keep in touch with the NX bus companies manager for that route. The idea is to try and spot problems and inform the route manager.
With this in mind when I use the route regularly I try and encourage other residents who use that route to let me know of their experiences and concerns. I usually do this by means of twitter. One constant problem is the Well Head Lane junction.

I also work closely with local resident bus Champions (along with Centro) and for example recently it was brought to my  attention by a local resident bus champion that a lot of litter was being generated on the Dyas road by the sheer weight of number of school children using the bus stops. As a result I have managed to get a new litter bin sited near the Coop.

I  travel on the 997 route with local bus champions but don't worry I also take a keen interest on other bus Routes and I am a regular bus user anyway.

If you have any concerns re the 997 bus route please email me

Monday, 27 July 2015


My next advice surgery will be on Tuesday 28 July at 9.30am. The venue will be the 610 Community Centre.

If this is not convenient please leave me a message on 303 2039 or email me at 
Please do not forget to leave me your full contact details


If you are under 16 why not get a U16 photo card which proves you are under 16 and therefore eligible for child fares on Buses Trains and Tram and for buying season or term tickets.
Pubic is a great way to get around independently with your friends.

For more information visit
 Or pick up a leaflet from the 610 Community Centre.


It was good to see such a good turnout of Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve on Saturday.
Even a brief but heavy shower could not stop their hard work.
A significant amout of litter was removed this time (Please take litter home with you when you use the reserve) and a number of paths which had overhanging bushes on them were cleared.
It was also vet pleasing to see some new volunteers wishing to join the Committee and as a result a number of future projects are being considered.

This committee is not a talking shop as is the case with so many these days but is full of members wishing to do something useful to help wild life and the environment.

The FQNR would also like to thank James the park Ranger for his help. 

Please note there is now a new face booknpage edited by FQNR's  Brenda

Friday, 24 July 2015


The Next Friends of Queslett Nature Reserve activity day will take place on the 25th of July (Sat) at 11.15am.
Please meet at the Ashworth Road entrance but do not park to close to residents drives.

There will be light pruning and litter picking taking place. 
A Park Ranger will be in attendance.
Please come prepared for the weather. (The meeting may be cancelled  in poor weather see below)
Children are welcome under the strict supervision of an appropriate adult.

The FQNR are a small group of volunteers who believe rather than talk at endless meeting about improving the local environment and wild life it is better to do things actively.
They also take an interest in other open spaces in Oscott and help out in mini litter picks around the ward. it also works closely with the Oscott Residents association.

For further details please email.


Thursday, 23 July 2015


 Embedded image permalink

Many thanks to all those Oscott residents who came along to the Oscott Ward Trees and Highways meeting.

At an often emotional meeting a number of residents told of the stress and inconvenience old poorly pruned trees, caused them.
Concerns were raised about the effect of over large trees on residents, health, lung and skin irritation for example. The effect of the trees when it came to poor light, trip hazards, the effects of roots on walls and drive ways.
There were also safety concerns raised, falling branches, to many leaves causing people to slip and so on.

I presented the attending officers with photographs (see above) of how other authorities not tide to a 25 year contract? can do the job.
With the audiences agreement I explained how a phased replacement and heavier tree pruning program was urgently needed.

When I put to the audience there was a need for far heavier pruning as indicated in the photos above there was unanimous agreement.

The senior tree officer attending informed the meeting of the Current tree pruning policy from the Council and Ameys point of view and he felt this was the best way of pruning trees.
 I put to the officer," other officers in other authorities who were presumably as well qualified as he was given the photos presented (see above) must feel differently as did former BCC tree officers who pruned trees more heavenly in the past". The office agreed trees had been pruned differently in Oscott in the past but insisted the way tree were pruned now was better.

My fellow Councillors Councillor Tristan Chatfield and the Chair for the night Councillor Barbara Dring also weighed into the discussion very strongly.
 I was also Pleased Perry Barr MP  Khalid Mahmood who came along was fully in support of his residents and Councillors in regards to this matter. He also informed the meeting he was aware there were more than just the one standard of tree pruning which was being quoted and he to will take up the issue

Everyone at the meeting recognised the need for trees and how much they were needed but called for more of the larger older trees to be either pruned more heavily or replaced by more suitable varieties.

At the meeting I was also asked to present 2 further petitions to the Birmingham City Council which I will pleased to do and Councillor Chatfield with the help of Councillor Dring and my self will try and arrange further meeting on the subject of Tree Pruning and highways concerns latter this year.

I would also like to thank all those officer who attended the meeting.

The battle goes on.........


As your Oscott Councillor I believe it is very important to keep in touch with the residents I represent.

In order that I can do this I have ensured there are a number I ways I can be contacted or can communicate with Oscott residents.

For example,
I hold regular street walk abouts and a Councillors surgery.
I also try to pop into elderly residents community areas and meetings regularly to talk to our older residents.
I also carry out local walk about's as part of the Oscott Labour team.

I meet with resident group leaders at meeting such a the Police Tasking Group meetings and Ward Committees as well as regularly by phone.

*To contact me directly residents can ring 360 6486 or leave me a message on 303 2039.
My Email address is
To send me a letter they should be sent C/o the Birmingham City Council House B1 1BR.

Many Oscott residents will also have received one of my return cards which can be sent to me FOC.

* If I am not available please leave all your contact details.

Living in the middle of the Oscott ward and being a regular bus user also means, when I am out and about I often meet with Oscott residents who let me know their concerns which is why I nearly always carry my return cards with me.

Through this blog which I have used for some years now and even more so by means of Twitter I also try and let Oscott residents know some of the things I am doing, as I believe that many resident feel over leafleted at times and using It helps preserve our trees?  I also try and communicate through the local press.

I have know idea how many Oscott residents I have tried to help over the years and clearly there are many times all I can do is to try and help, but it must run into many thousands.

Thanks to the huge unprecedented cuts in the Birmingham City Councils funding by Central Government things are getting more difficult for Oscott residents but I am still available to try and help where I can.

I also represent Birmingham on the Transport Delivery Committee for example I am the Councillor Champion for the 997  bus route (any issue please let me know) and I am the Chair of the *Friends of the *Queslett Nature Reserve (including the Aldridge Recreation ,in an independent capacity

If you have a problem (I cannot resolve all the issues) I hear about but I can at least try and help please contact me. If you have a family member or friend living in the Oscott area please let them know about this blog.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015


( How trees can be pruned)

Just a reminder the Oscott TREE AND HIGHWAYS MAINTENANCE meeting takes place on Thursday 23 July at 7.30am at the 610 Community Centre Kingstanding Road.

Senior Council and Amey officials responsible for Tree and Highway Maintenance will be available to answer your questions.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


 It is that time of year again when a number of Oscott residents start getting upset by youngsters and in some cased adults playing ball games in the street.
Clearly it is not advisable in this day and age to have ball games going on in the street, as today there are very few streets where vehicles are not using them on a regular basis,
Many residents are finding their cars scratched front gardens invaded, windows broken or constantly hit by a ball.

It is important however that there are places where ball games can be played and this is one of the reasons the Oscott Councillors have battled to keep open for the, playing fields like Glenmead and Burford Road.
There are also other open spaces in or near the Oscott ward, such as the, Aldridge Road Recreation Ground, Queslett Nature Reserve, King George Playing Field, Perry Barr Park and Turnbury Park.
 I am also trying to encourage the Police not only to remind youngsters, ball games are not meant for the streets, but also to montitor open spaces in order to help keep them safe for youngsters to play in.

I am aware some people feel that roads should be used by children to play ball games? however
It is, illegal to play ball games on the road if this causes problems for road users: / residents?

The Highways Act 1980 s161(3) states that "if a person plays at football or any other game on a highway to the annoyance of a user of the highway he is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine

As with all national laws this is enforceable by the Police. The Council is not empowered to enforce this particular national law.

"No ball games" signs are not required by the Police for them to undertake enforcement although it is recognised that their presence may aid enforcement.
"No ball games" signs are erected on the highway solely to aid Police enforcement and consequently it is a pre-requisite of their erection for the Police to have undertaken to enforce this law.

Parents with young children who are not old enough to use our open spaces in the Oscott area, as is often the case in Oscott often have fairly large gardens and should really encourage their children to use their garden, as it is not safe for them to play ball games on our busy streets.

If you have an concerns regarding this matter please email me

Wednesday, 8 July 2015


We cannot hide from the fact that the expected teething problems regarding the wheelie bin collection service have gone on to long.

I have been out and about trying to deal with some of the issues and  have spoken to senior management about a number of problems.
 They have informed there have been a number of issues which have caused delays. I have expressed the view that this is not good enough and have contacted the Cabinet member responsible Lisa Tricket who is looking into a range of concerns that I have brought to her attention. We need solutions found to the problems encountered and quickly.

Residents who are having genuine concerns and practical problems using the wheelie bins can contacted me and I will ask that their situation be looked at again.


For some reason the Aldridge Road seems to be plagued by faulty traffic lights.

As a regular bus user on this route I am only to aware of the frustration the traffic grid lock that results from these  traffic lite faults and with this in mind I have asked senior Transportation engineers to check out the traffic lights systems on the Aldridge Road.


Due to a number of reasons including IT (Email issues) some case work responses may have gone adrift or may be late in arriving.

If you have contacted me regarding an issue and have not received a response please contact me again and I will try and help if I can.


The Next Friends of Queslett Nature Reserve activity day will take place on the 25th of July (Sat) at 11.15am.
Please meet at the Ashworth Road entrance but do not park to close to residents drives.

There will be light pruning and litter picking taking place. 
A Park Ranger will be in attendance.
Please come prepared for the weather. (The meeting may be cancelled  in poor weather see below)
Children are welcome under the strict supervision of an appropriate adult.

Non members are welcome.

I would like to thank

Brenda, Bob, Brian and John for all there work helping to organise these meetings.

For further details or to check if the meeting is on should it rain at least one hour before the session.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015




Just because the election are over does not mean issues I have been looking at have been forgotten.
For example the tree pruning campaign. I have always said I am in this for the long hall and it may take a number of attempts to sort out.
The latest situation is due to not being able to hold Oscott Ward Committees along with my Ward Colleagues Councillor Tristan Chatfield and Barbara Dring I am organising a public meeting regarding this issues and others related to the street scene.
We will be asking various officers from Amey Highways and the Birmingham Council to come along as well as Khalid Mahmood MP who is very concerned about the issue.
This meeting will take place at the 610 community Centre Kingstanding Road at 7.30 pm on Thursday 23rd July.
Oscott resident with questions or concerns about tree pruning or any other street related issues are welcome to come along.

Thursday, 2 July 2015


Anyone who has been away for a few days will often have come back to a mini mountain of unwanted /solicited advertising material. To make things worse this material has been delivered umpteen times in the past.

A leaflet/ advertisement put through the door now and again is understandable but when the same thing or something almost identical is posted through your door over and over again it becomes maddening. The Post Office add to the problem through no fault of their own by having to put the same adverting letters through you door over and over again.

Putting a notice on your door "NO free adds or charity bags please" has little or no effect in my experience.

I am clearly not saying the odd leaflet advertisement should not be delivered but there in my view needs to be some restriction after all our recycling pods are only so big. It is not only the resident who should be made responsible for recycling.

I have asked the Perry Barr MP Khalid Mahmood, if anything can be done nationally about this issue and reminded him that the issue of over packaging of goods generally (food and so on) has never really been dealt with? and I have also made senior Council officials aware of the impact this has on recycling.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015


One of the worst side effects of good weather and lighter nights is the return of the fly tipper.
I have had reports from the Atlantic Road area for example this is going on in a fairly big way in rear access ways.
Sadly most of this fly tipping happens where residents do not lock their rear access way gates and travelling fly tippers find easy access.
The lesson must be LOCK YOUR REAR ACCESS WAYS. and remember this land is usually the resents own responsibility to protect..
If you see any fly tipping going try and note any details type of vehicle, registration No and any description and inform the Council or Police. ( The Police have informed me they will be monitoring the situation)

There is no excuse for fly tipping as the Holford Drive Salvage department is free to use and is only minutes away from anywhere in Oscott. The fine for fly tipping has increased but evidence is needed to prosecute.