Hall Green

Responding to the Hall Green boundary changes – Responding to the Boundary Commission proposals for Hall Green Ward

Responding to the Hall Green boundary changes – ideas for taking part in the written consultation from WeAreB28

Given that the proposed new boundaries for wards in Hall Green are just that – proposals – it is very important that every resident and member of the Hall Green community who feels strongly puts in a response. The final decision of the Boundary Commission will not change where you live, but it will change how you are represented, how your local services are shaped and how economic development works for local centres.

However, we believe that the Local Government Boundary Commission  will not appreciate having hundreds of identical responses, so WeAreB28 have created this ‘crib sheet’ of points you can select and add to your own individual points as part of your response. You can draw on any of them or all of them and please add your own thoughts, experiences, feelings. This will help the Boundary Commission to see the various points of view and will lead them to make a more democratic and informed decision.

As stated on the LGBC website “the three main considerations in conducting an electoral review are set out in legislation and are to:

  • Improve electoral equality by equalising the number of electors each councillor represents;
  • Reflect community identity;
  • Provide for effective and convenient local government”

If you have internet access, you can find the consultation webpage (including interactive map) here: http://www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/west-midlands/west-midlands/birmingham

If you would prefer to write a letter, please send your views to the following address:

The Review Officer (Birmingham), Local Government Boundary Commission for England, 14th Floor Milbank Tower, Milbank, London, SW1P 4QP

There is a change.org petition to be signed specifically about the Hall Green boundary changes: http://chn.ge/1T1517z

There is also a change.org petition to be signed on Birmingham Boundary Changes: http://chn.ge/1WqyRSJ

You can email reviews@lgbce.org.uk

Reflect community identity

Point 1 – Hall Green, an area of historic interest

The Boundary Commission’s proposals for Hall Green ward is to split it up into three wards – Hall Green North, Hall Green South and Tyseley.

Hall Green’s origins date back to the 16th century. The first record of Hawe Green dates back to 1562, taking its name from a Medieval family whose moated hall stood at the junction of School Road and Fox Hollies Road.

The modern centre of Hall Green has spread along the Stratford Road. This route is of great antiquity and was mentioned in the Yardley Charter of 972 AD . For 1000 years, people have travelled through Hall Green.  For years, it was the main route into Birmingham.

Although Hall Green as a residential district is a mid-20th-century suburban development, very many residential areas in the north of the ward were built between 1910 and the 1920s. It is very proud of its Arts and Crafts buildings.

The Church of the Ascension is a Grade II* Listed building is over 300 years old dating from 1703. It remains one of the few neo-classical church buildings in the city. The streets around the church form the important Hall Green Conservation Area.

For more details on the Hall Green conservation area, see http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/schoolca

This link  includes a map that indicates the boundaries of the conservation area.

There is an argument that the almshouses and the side of School Road they abut should also be included in the ward.

There has been a Hall Green school for 300 years. There’s been a station in Hall Green for over 100 years. Hall Green United Community Church has existed for nearly 100 years. Hall Green Parade has existed for over 100 years and Sarehole Mill dates back more than 250 years.

With this in mind, a Hall Green ward boundary that does not encompass the whole Hall Green conservation area and the historic buildings mentioned is ripping apart an area with over 300 years of historical importance.

Point 2 – Hall Green – forging a community identity

Recently Hall Green has undergone great demographic changes. For many years, community organisations have been working hard  to forge good community links between the different faiths in the community and the different generations. The number of young people in the ward has grown considerably in the last ten years. It now needs a period of real stability so that the community cohesion of the area can continue to be nurtured and fostered.

The community group WeAreB28 have worked very hard to bridge the divide caused by the Stratford Road and now the Boundary Commission are intending to undo all this good work by creating Hall Green North and South – the divide being the Stratford Road.

Hall Green is composed of residents and community members who enjoy taking an active part in their community, whether the activities being offered by the various religious organisations, the schools, the Library, South & City College, Fircones, a centre providing activities for senior residents,  Beechcraft Tennis & Multi Sports club and  community events such as the Arts Festivals and various community markets as well as the annual Middle Earth Festival.

Point 3 – Hall Green – culture and economy

Hall Green has only one council asset – Hall Green Library – but it is rich in religious community buildings and also has Highfield Hall.

If the ward of Tyseley is created, Hall Green will lose South & City College, Sarehole Mill, Hall Green school, Hall Green station, Hall Green parade, Hall Green Medical Centre and Hall Green United Community church (the former Methodist church). Everyone in Hall Green will be affected by these changes.

There is also a thriving Hall Green Arts organisation.

Provide for effective local government

We have had three councillors representing the Hall Green ward for a long time and they have been of excellent calibre, mainly living in the area and being passionate about it. If one councillor was sick or on holiday, the others would take over. This will be much more difficult if Hall Green is split into single one member wards.

Hall Green turns RED

The results of the local elections held on Thursday 22 May were fantastic for Labour in Hall Green and resulted in a third Labour councillor. Kerry Jenkins, being elected to represent the residents of Hall Green.

You can listen to the declaration and acceptance speech below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#brumvotes14

2014 Campaign Launch

Our candidate for Hall Green in the 2014 local elections, Kerry Jenkins, was invited to speak at the 2014 Campaign launch held last week. Her key messages were to increase participation by all sections of the community and the need for local representation. She also took the opportunity to thank the many Labour activists and supporters who have assisted in the campaign for a #labourgain in Hall Green.

Lib Dem campaign priorites continue to puzzle

Lots of people in Hall Green have been contacting us about the choice of issues that it seems our local Liberal Democrat Councillor is currently leafleting about.

These leaflets, distributed on behalf of Cllr Paula Smith, focus on a wide range of issues from attacking facilities time for trade union representatives to continued campaigning against additional facilities for children and young people in Hall Green.

It goes without saying that we find this choice of campaign priorities puzzling at a time when there are residents in Hall Green, struggling to make ends meet as a result of the draconian welfare reforms brought in by their coalition buddies in April this year. And at a time when there are 76,000 young people in the West Midlands without employment and when Birmingham has been short changed by £79 million by central government.

Birmingham Labour and Hall Green BLP continue to focus on the issues that matter.

What are your priority issues for Hall Green and for Birmingham?

If you receive any leaflets from Cllr Smith please do let us have a copy of them. You can email them to campaigns@hallgreenlabour.co.uk or request collection using the same email address.

Cllr McKay’s response to our open letter…

Thank you for your letter of 28th February.

I absolutely agree that the views of residents need to be taken into account when decisions are made over how the wheelie bin scheme will operate.  As you may know, we have now started a City-wide consultation with residents around the best way to roll out the wheelie bin scheme.  This will involve an open-access online questionnaire with paper copies available in libraries and neighbourhood offices, and consultation with specific groups, such as tenants, conservation areas, and disability organisations. The survey can be found here: www.opinionresearch.co.uk/birminghamwheeliebins

Based on experience in other local authorities, we estimate that 90-95% of households will be able to use wheelie bins.  The consultation process will help us to understand where exceptions need to be made.  We have already said that the sort of exceptions that we would need to think about include: major problems with rear access; and where the physical features of the homes make such bins impractical.  Also, we will be continuing with assisted collections where people are unable to manage their bins. The results of the consultation will give us much better understanding of these issues, but the central message to send out is that we are very aware that one size does not fit all.

The City-wide consultation will let us shape our policies for the roll-out.  However, this will need to be translated to the household level, prior to roll-out, in every neighbourhood in the City.  That is why we will assess the suitability of every property prior to roll-out, and then write to every householder, opening up the opportunity for a further conversation around suitability.  This will happen before bins are delivered to households.

With respect to the proposed charges for green waste collection, this needs to be set in the context of the scale of the budget cuts the City is facing.  We were forced to cut more than £100m from the budget last month, with hundreds of millions more to come in future years.  If Birmingham only faced the same reductions per head of population as everywhere else, with the pain equally shared across the country, the cuts to services would be far less severe.  But the Government has not chosen to apply this logic, and the people of Birmingham will see their services heavily impacted as a result.

What that inevitably means is that many services in Birmingham will have to either be completely transformed, or stopped altogether.  The garden waste collection service began in 2001 in Birmingham, and was fully rolled out by 2007. However, we can no longer afford to run the service as it currently stands.  At the moment it operates at a large subsidy, and the changes we are introducing will move it towards a cost-recovery basis.  But I do of course totally agree with the general point, these cuts will have consequences, and that is what we are saying again and again to Government.

With all best wishes,

Cllr James McKay
Harborne ward
Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City