Cllr Bowles

Labour saves Hall Green Library

Great news as draft district budget is set. Needs to be agreed by Lib Dems but surely they will vote in favour if it means saving the library?

Read all about it here:

Labour – working in communities

The Labour Party in Hall Green is committed to ensuring that concerns raised by all residents are addressed quickly and effectively and this collective community spirit was seen today when a team of Labour Party activists undertook an environmental clean up in a gated alleyway running between Acheson Road and Gracemere Cresent.

Campaign Organiser Kerry Jenkins said “It is a real shame that a small minority of residents have not chosen to be a little more considerate when disposing of unwanted items. We have cleared two settees and an array of bulky waste which has caused real concern and inconvenience to other residents. Luckily, we have a large number of activists within the Labour Party Branch who take this issue as seriously as I do, and we have managed to clear up the area concerned.”

Cllr Barry Bowles was also involved in the clean up operation and has organised disposal of the unwanted items. He said “Any resident needing to dispose of bulky waste can get up to 6 items collected free of charge up to three times a year if they contact Birmingham City Council. There really is no need for this behaviour which not only has a detrimental effect on the area but can cause real problems relating to pest control.”

BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL TO GIVE MARION WAY SOME TLC

The long awaited plans to upgrade Marion Way Play Area began yesterday and we have written to all residents living near to the park to let them know what is happening!

The park at Marion Way has been neglected and under used for a long time and has over the last five years fallen into a real state of disrepair. This has been extremely bad news for youngsters in the area as it is presently the ONLY park in Hall Green providing play equipment for children and young people.

Monies have now been released to be specifically used for this project and as the long awaited signs of Spring finally arrive, the refurbishment could not be more timely, and it is hoped that children in Hall Green will soon be able to use these new facilities and enjoy themselves in a safe fit-for-purpose park.

Despite the refurbishment, Cllrs Sam Burden and Barry Bowles are fully aware that Marion Way offers a limited facility, and as the number of children and young people in Hall Green grows, so does the need for additional facilities. As your elected representatives, they continue to pursue the establishment of additional facilities and resources and continue to move forward to locate another playspace for children and young people at the Newey Goodman Open Space, which is located on the Stratford Road, near to the Robin Hood Island. If successful, this can only spell good news for all in Hall Green.

When asked about the planned refurbishment, Councillor Sam Burden said “I am extremely pleased to see the park refurbished. We need to ensure we have safe areas for our children and young people and the upgrading of the park with new equipment is much needed in a Ward where our children have so few places to have fun and enjoy themselves.”

Councillor Barry Bowles said “Play and playgrounds foster communality and free expression. A child who plays regularly learns to respect the environment and the world around him or her. Children of school age, who have been able to play regularly, have been shown to possess a higher level of co-ordinated skills that equip them for life and make them confident. By providing a specific area where they are welcome and where they can be valued and cherished, children and young people learn that the world they live in respects them.”

We believe this new upgrade is great news and we are sure that all parents will be pleased that Birmingham City Council will be overseeing this vital work for future generations. We will also continue to drive forward plans to ensure the children and young people of Hall Green are afforded the facilities and resources they deserve.

Please be sure to let us know your thoughts once the refurbishment of this lovely little park is complete and of course of any other issues that concern the Hall Green community.

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Feedback from Ward Meeting

All councillors were in attendance at last night’s Ward Meeting, chaired by Cllr Bowles. The meeting discussed a variety of issues ranging from planning applications to the lack of cycle routes in Hall Green but the issues that appeared to generate the highest level of debate are outlined below:

An overview of the cuts being implemented by the current ConDem government to the West Midlands Fire Service and the impact of these cuts to the provision of services across the District was noted. Residents were encouraged to participate in the consultation process regarding these cuts either online at or by requesting a copy of the document from the local fire station by the 4th January 2013. http://www.wmfs.net/content/consultation

The meeting welcomed Sgt Chris Rigby who has taken over from Sgt Tom O’Keefe and who gave a brief report back regarding crime statistics.

Concerns were raised regarding the often dangerous parking outside our schools across the Ward. Cllr Smith reported that despite both herself and Paul Smith spending the last six weeks attempting to attend to the parking problems outside of Hall Green Junior School, these were ongoing. The parking enforcement team had been on site this week and had issued a high number of tickets and it was hoped this would deter this type of behaviour. Cllr Burden and Cllr Bowles agreed that irresponsible parking at this particular school and others across the Ward were putting children’s safety into question, and the main issues seemed to being experienced at St Ambrose Barlow; Lakey Lane; Chilcote and Robin Hood Schools. Sgt Rigby was aware of of these problems and asked that the worst affected schools were identified so that the neighbourhood team could prioritise them for action.

The issue of wheelie bins was raised and a discussion was held about the forthcoming consultation. The full details of the consultation process were as yet unknown but it was thought that this would be launched in the New Year.

Cllr Bowles reported that Birmingham Council had been successful in its bid and had been awarded £29 million from the ConDem coalition government under the Weekly Collection Support Scheme for household refuse. He stated that it was important to note that if the decision was made not to go ahead with the wheelie bin introduction, then this money would be taken back as it could not be used for any other purpose.

Cllr Bowles stated that personally he was neither for or against the idea of the introduction of wheelie bins, he did feel that it was very important that all residents who had a view engaged with the process and input into the consultation.

Cllr Smith made it very clear that she was personally vehemently against the idea of wheelie bins and despite not having details of how any such system would be implemented made suggestions that there would be charges made for cleaning, replacement and perhaps installation. It seems that this is a bit of a theme with Lib Dem Cllrs across the City adopting similar tactics in opposition. http://birminghamlibdems.org.uk/en/article/2012/634630/wheelie-bins-your-verdict-they-re-rubbish

Cllr Burden gave an overview as to the reasons behind the bid and how the introduction of wheelie bins impacted on the retention of weekly collections and the replacement of the fleet due to the financial pressures being experienced. He also noted that it would not be a one hat fits all approach and felt it unhelpful to speculate about how such a system would work until full details were known. He reiterated the need for residents to fully engage with the consultation process.

As an add on to this item, it was noted that the collection timetable over the festive period had now been published and the details were read out to the meeting.

Representatives from WeAreB28 were in attendance and reported that the information regarding collections was on the Forum website www.weareb28.co.uk for those with online access and there was also an option of completing an online survey with regard to wheelie bins for those with a view.

Proposals for Newey Goodman Park

Cllr Bowles has been progressing discussions in relation to improving the green open space at Newey Goodman Park.

An outline plan which was presented to the ward committee meeting in October is available below as well as a copy of the letter being sent to local residents, community groups and schools.

It was agreed that further community consultation in the Hall Green area would be carried out before completing the design work and deciding whether to proceed with construction.

If you would like to see a larger scale version of the drawing there are plans to be putting a plan/poster on the notice board and some questionnaires in the local library for more detailed information.

Cllr Bowles and James O’Sullivan, Senior Landscape Architect, would welcome your comments and observations on the proposals.

Planning proposals will take the green out of Hall Green

Cllr Sam Burden and Cllr Barry Bowles are both very concerned about the coalition plans to relax planning controls and the impact that this may have on Hall Green.

The Government intends to consult on a three year relaxation of planning rules on extensions for both residential and business premises. This proposals would mean that extensions of 6 metres could be built without any planning permission required. For the leafy suburb of Hall Green, this could have disastrous effects and potentially destroy the local area and cause misery to residents.

Although the Lib Dems have in the past appeared to value the local environment, Nick Clegg seems to be in full support of the Tory proposals.

Our councillors will be writing to the Local Communities Minister, Eric Pickles to set out their concerns on behalf of Hall Green residents….watch this space

 

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