Emotions running high at HG Ward Meeting

The meeting was chaired by Cllr Burden who informed those in attendance of the extremely sad loss of Cllr Bowles’ wife  and that therefore he would not be in attendance this evening and had tendered his apologies.

The meeting discussed a variety of issues ranging from environmental issues, to community chest applications, with approvals being given to BCC Youth Service, Scouts group and Shire Country Park Friends amongst others. The issues that generated the highest level of debate are outlined below:

The issue of wheelie bins was yet again raised and a brief discussion was held about the forthcoming consultation. The new bins are currently being piloted in Brandwood and Harborne. The full details of the consultation process were as yet unknown but Cllr Burden reported 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 reiterated the need for residents to fully engage with the consultation process.

Some concern was noted about the suggestion that residents would be charged an annual fee of £35 for a green service once the new bins were introduced and a number of residents suggested that this would lead to fly tipping.

The meeting welcomed Sgt Chris Rigby who gave a brief report back regarding crime statistics. It appeared that although national crime stats had fallen, burglary in Hall Green was up by 11%.

A resident reported on the worrying increase of buildings appearing in people’s gardens and was very concerned that large, brick built buildings were appearing, not as extensions to properties, but being built at the bottom of gardens across Hall Green. He gave the example of a building which had recently received planning permission and informed the meeting that this building was 9 x 7m and 12 feet high, brick built with a tiled roof and a satellite dish. It also was reported that Liberal Democrat Cllr Smith had voted in favour of this build recently.

By far the biggest debate of the evening was in relation to proposals for a playground installation at the open space on Newey Goodman. Residents in attendance from the Newey housing estate opposing the proposals argued that it would result in an increase in anti social behaviour and criminal activity. Emotions ran high from opposing stances. It was reported that in a ward with over 10,000 households, current facilities were totally inadequate, and the only playground in Hall Green was at Marion Way, where the land was unsuitable and the equipment in desperate need of replacement. If the new proposals went through,  the park at Marion Way would also be revamped. A petition with approximately 250 signatures in support of the proposals was handed in. An application for Village Green status was presented.

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