Thursday, 31 December 2009

To you

We're all off to Shropshire for the weekend so "A HAPPY NEW YEAR" to you all!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Cock Hill Children's Party.

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Nearly there

Its been a busy run up to Christmas with a couple of parties and some meetings.
On Monday Keith & Sue went to the Callowbrook Day Centre for their Christmas lunch and singalong. Father Nick from Longbridge Methodist Church was the turn and very good he is too, He does an incredible Elvis show. Afterwards Sue went to Deelands Hall for the Cock Hill Children's Party. Very well attended and a good time had by all. Keith was off to the Council House for a meeting.
Ken was battling his way up to Scotland to pick up his Mother in order to bring her back for a Christmas break. Due to the snowfalls he had to dig his car out in order to get back.
On Wednesday Sue was at Licencing where one of the applications was for an off-licence for a shop just around the corner from us in Nuthurst, we see trouble ahead.
Keith was at the Co-Ordinating Committee to hear a Call-In by the Labour Group on the new Central Library. We say the Labour Group but the suspicion is that this had more to do with Trinity Mirror Newspapers in the form of our old friend Pale Dale of the Birmingham Post, a local weekly, than the Labour Group. Keith had to declare an interest as a member of the board of the Sir Barry Jackson Trust which owns the Rep and was unable to vote. The vote was tied and the Chairman voted against the Call-in and it was lost. Hopefully now the presents are all bought, if not yet wrapped, and we are signing off for a few days. Next week we will be finishing off our Christmas Cards, we still have some to do, that's why they say "Season's Greetings.
May we take this opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year.

Sunday, 20 December 2009


Red faces all round. It appears that our Christmas card this year has spelt Frankley as "Frankly". Our fault of course as we proofed it but didn't spot the mistake. Our apologies to all who live on Frankley but I am sure they will forgive one mistake in another year of achievement. As for those who don't....Happy Christmas anyway.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

The big switch-on!

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Aidan Davis signing autographs

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St. Christopher's "Sunday Crew" from Frankley. Led by Andy Ross.

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Ken, Adrian Delaney & Sue.

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Neville Summerfield

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Northfield Christmas lights switch-on

Yesterday we all turned out for the switching on of the Northfield Town Centre Christmas Lights. This follows a £4m refurbishment which has seen the High Street transformed into a people friendly shopping area from the traffic choked main road it once was.
Cllr Neville Summerfield, Cabinet Member for Regeneration gave a speech followed by Ken in his role as Constituency Chairman. The main attraction of the afternoon was an appearance by Aidan Davis, a finalist on "Britains got talent". He is a tiny young man and he must be bewildered by having all the girls screaming at him. He spent a lot of time signing autographs and posing for photographs on a very cold afternoon. Well done to him.
Aidan also performed the switching on later that evening when the rain was falling quite heavily but still a lot of people turned out to see him.
Our sympathies to our sensitive local MP who came on stage to a few boos and went off to stony silence. Fame is a fickle thing.

Dancing the night away

On Friday evening we, Ken Sue, Keith, Barbara plus Cllr EddieFreeman and Adrian Delaney joined members of the Northfield HLBs for a party at the Greenlands Club. Although numbers were down on last year, mainly due to illness, it was a great night with plenty of dancing and a raffle which raised money for Acorns Hospice. Sadly no sign of our sensitive local MP. He also failed to turn up at the Presentation Night at Frankley High School last week where he was due to give a speech, no doubt he had a good excuse.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

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Celebrating Frankley Library

We also were delighted to attend the celebration at Frankley Library to mark the recent refurbishment carried out with Big Lottery money.
Keith tried out his plate spinning skills before Ken made the opening speech. Everyone then enjoyed a magnificent cake made by Penny Moore of The Friends of Balaam's Wood.
Does anyone know why it is called Balaam's Wood.

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Non stop till Christmas

We have been kept busy for the last few weeks. We have completed delivery of our Autumn In Touch plus Bulky Rubbish leaflets and numerous letters on local issues. Next up are our Christmas cards. We have 11000 of these to deliver next month. We put "seasons Greetings" on them for the simple reason that we don't always get them finished before Christmas and sometimes push them through letter boxes up to the New Year. After all we like to enjoy Christmas too.
Just to show you a few of the things we have been up to here is a photo of Sue at Wembley with some of the staff and youngsters involved with the KICKZ project. One of the lads was a prize winner and Sir Trevor Brooking made a speech and presented a prize.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Labour Hypocrisy still rampant.

We read with great interest the recent article in the Birmingham Post highlighting the local MPs comments to Jaguar bosses that "they must restore trust with the workforce". Fine words and rhetoric from a person whose government have condemned thousands of manufacturing workers to the dole queue.
Ken, as a recruitment consultant whose company works closely with the automotive industry has seen at first hand the devastating effects the current governments lack of support has caused. Whilst pumping £billions into the banking system this government have failed in a dramatic fashion to provide support to the manufacturing industries in the Midlands - Jaguar being a prime example !
And lets not forget that as a direct result of the Labour governments love of taxation on emissions they have done more to force people into buying foreign cars than any other before them.
So here we are in the Midlands producing world reknowned quality built and prestigeous cars such as Jaguar and Landrover and Labour have a company car taxation system that effectively puts people off having them. Thats a great example of support to the industry !!
As for restoring trust with anyone I think the MP has a cheek trying to lecture anyone when MPs should be doing their utmost to restore trust with the electorate.
So I'm afraid it looks like same old soundbites and crocodile tears from Labour but then again there is an election looming !!

Saturday, 31 October 2009

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Visiting the set of Doctors

Afterwards Sue and Keith went deep into the forest to take a look at the BBC shooting a scene from Doctors. We had to be careful about taking photos and it was very gloomy so the pics have been brightened up on the pc.

A "Rocky" moment.

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You won't get me up in one of those things.

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Scaling the heights!

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The Grand Opening

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The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress meet pupils from Colmers Jnr School including the young man whose design was used for the Play Boulder.

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The Lord Mayor meets Cllr Roger Hollingworth, Leader of Bromsgrove District Council, Joe Hayden, Constituency Parks Manager and Sue.

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Play Boulder

Last Friday the Lord Mayor, Cllr Mick Wilkes, and the Lady Mayoress graced us with their presence at the Lickey Hills Visitor Centre for the opening of Birmingham's first Play Boulder. You may remember a post some months ago which showed Sue and Keely up in Stoke taking a look at one of these. Thanks to a Big Lottery Fund grant children from Colmer's Junior school designed the new installation. It is made from polystyrene blocks, shaped like rocks, then when it is in place it is covered in 4 inches of concrete and all the foot and hand-holds are worked into it while it is still workable.
The Lickey Hills Country Park is owned by Birmingham although it is in Bromsgrove. This is one project that youngsters from both places can enjoy.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Paul Dale strikes again

In Friday's Iron Angle Paul Dale devoted almost the entire column to Keith, describing him as "The archetypal working class Brummie Tory" and like "Terry Scott with attitude". Priceless, so impressed is Keith that he intends to use it in his 2011 re-election campaign. To read the entire column go to the Birmingham Post & Mail website and click on Blogs & Comments.

Far & Wide

That evening we all went our different ways. Keith was at the AGM of  "West Heath Aware". This is a group of local church leaders, police and local residents who found themselves with a large sum of money from Children in Need but with no means of spending it. Over the year they have brought in an organisation called Worth Unlimited who have done some marvellous work with local youngsters by way of outreach and drop-ins to help get them off the streets.
Sue was at a marathon Finance Committee meeting, of which she is the chairman, at Colmers Junior School. More about the school later.
Ken was off to London for an awards ceremony which saw BCC Housing Dept again worthy winners.

Keely, Grant and Adrian with Jim Roach, CEO of BVT

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Bournville Village Trust new build in Black Haynes Road.

The next leg of the visit was to the new Eco homes being built by BVT. The are to a very high standard and are transforming what was a sink estate into a brand new high quality estate. There to meet Grant and Keely were the Chairman of BVT, Peter Cadbury and Jim Roach, it's CEO. Councillor Adrian Delaney in whose ward the new estate lies rushed hotfoot from the Planning Committee in order to greet Grant.
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Innovation Centre

The next visit was to the Innovation Centre on the former MG/Rover site to meet Mike Murray who manages the site. There Mike explained to Keely and Grant some of the problems he faces trying to develop the site.


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Grant Shapps MP hands over an award to Carol Lowe

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Grant Shapps visit

Another busy week saw a visit from Grant Shapps MP, Shadow Minister for Housing. In a jam packed day he had talks with Council Leader Mike Whitby and then arrived at Oddingley Hall with Keely Huxtable to have a look around the new Wychall Estate. Also there were Kings Norton Councillor Barbara Wood, Margaret Dutton, Chairman of Kings Norton Conservatives, Ann & Elaine from Bromford Housing who built the estate and Sue from the Wychall Family Trust. In the first shot Grant is handing over an award to Carole Lowe of South West Birmingham Community Association which is the organisation that runs Oddingley Hall. Further shot are of the walkabout.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Great expectations

There is some fevered speculation that we may get a new film studio on the MG/Rover site. We have been watching this closely and if there is a possibility of it happening we would grab it with all 6 hands. However, and there is always an however, things are at a very early stage and it would be unfair if not downright cruel to raise people's hopes only for them to be dashed.
Pinewood Studios put in a planning application which was rejected. We all know from bitter experience that this is only the start. The appeals process allows them to go over the heads of local people and their representatives and impose a solution from above. We will watch with interest.
It has now been announced that Trinity Mirror Newspapers are to turn the Birmingham Post into a weekly edition with a multi-media profile, that's a website to you and me. The Birmingham Mail will cease to be a evening paper and become a morning paper, competing with papers like The Sun, Daily Mail etc. Yes well..... The Post Editor is to leave at the end of the year. Keith has met Marc Reeve and admired his efforts to save a fine old Birmingham institution which had fallen into the hands of the owners of the Mirror. We see Paul Dale has kept his job. Steve (I want a mayor) Dyson, editor of the Mail is also leaving.