Wednesday, 29 April 2009

A mixed bag

We have had some varied experiences lately.
On Friday the 17th Keith & Sue attended the funeral of former Councillor Gordon Green at St. Nicholas Church in King's Norton.
There was a very large turnout as befitted Gordon's life and a beatiful service.
Gordon was the country's youngest headteacher when he took on Kings Norton High and was the President of the NUT in 1983. When he retired(?) He didn't put his feet up but became a Councillor for Longbridge and served until 2004.
Keith was honoured to pay tribute to Gordon at the Councill meeting in April and we would like to express our condolonces to his family in this place.
There were some Labour luminaries in attendance including Ian Ward, Cath Grundy, Laura Ross, Hugh McCalliog and Stuart Stacey. The Deputy Lord Mayor, Randal Brew was there but no sign of his former colleagues Steve Bedser or Robert Flello MP. How soon they forget.
The following day Ken, Sue & Keith were off to TwickenHam to watch Moseley RFC win the final of the cup competition. Also there was Ian Ward, deputy leader of the Labour Group. This time we were all united behind Mose and really enjoyed watching them beat the top placed Leeds Carnegie. A great day all round.
Since then it has been the usual round of meetings. Sue's workload has been particularly busy with both Adoption Panel and Licensing. This always requires a tremendous amout of reading in preparation for both meetings. Some of the adoption cases make for harrowing reading but of course confidentiallity is of the utmost importance. On Licensing Sue was at the meeting which discussed the reforms to the Taxi regulations, this went of pretty quietly after much fuss and bother and mis-apprehensions by some taxi owners, not helped by some press stories.The press do not always help on these occassions but to be fair that is not their job. Their job is to sell newspapers. It will be interesting to see the circulation figures since the revamp of the Post.
Sue also sat on the case of the Fordrough Pub. This followed the incident when a local man trying to break up a fight was, allegedly, punched and hit his head, leading to his tragic death. The pub was closed by the magistates and this was to attempt to decide the future of the license. The case was adjourned for 3 weeks to see if agreement could be reached between the licensee and the police.
Some excitement on Monday, Keith & Coun Adrian Delaney were at the Dingle pub on Frankley Beeches Rd, the pub is closed by the way, to inspect the state of the raodway which borders Weoly and Longbridge Wards and look at getting it cleaned up, especially the strip of land which border the golf course and is used for fly-tipping. Suddenly there were police cars everywhere and a helicopter. We followed the chopper into Frogmill Road and found several police cars and a van prked up. There was a young man in the back of a police car and we were informed that there had been an armed robbery at the Arden Road Post office and they were looking for the weapon. A visit to the shop found it closed off by the police and witnesses being looked after outside. It seems, and this is not confirmed, that customers and staff in the PO tackled the offender and he was forced to run off. Well done to the police for their swift response but it begs the question that if they can deploy 3 vans, about 6 cars and a helicopter to a major incident like this, how come they can rarely send 1 car to a more minor incident?
Ken & Keith were at the Council House yesterday for the HR & Equalities Committee which Keith Chairs. This was highly detailed and technical and overran for some time.
Today Sue & Keith are off to Deelands Hall to visit the Lunch Club there.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Posted by Picasa

Chris, Steve and Paul

Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa

Longbridge Ward Committee

Last night we held the Ward Committee at Frankley Community High School.
As usual there were not many members of the public there. This can be viewed two ways: are there no issues that people get excited about or are we not publicising the events enough? The details are published inthe Forward, on the Council website and in the local libraries but it is obviously not enough and we will have to think of extending and expanding the publicity.
It was still an interesting meeting with a police report from Inspector Thurlow and updates on the Youth Service and Deelands Hall on the Cockhill estate.
The YES (Youth Enterprise Scheme) continues in Frankley, this is the group that came out of the Frankley Summit and is attracting funds and training youngsters to bring in other young people in order to provide them with alternatives to hanging about on the streets causing trouble.
It looks as if Deelands Hall will be taken on by Syconium who are a Community Enterprise Company already doing outreach work across Northfield. This will enable the hall to be opened regularly to local people and provide somewhere for local kids to go.
This Saturday morning Keely Huxtable and local Councillors and activists will be manning a stall outside Northfield Shopping Centre as part of an Action Day on Pensions & Savings. If you see Keely there stop and have a chat and maybe sign the petition.
We were recently at Ormond Road to see the work going on to make the road safer and cut down speeding. We managed to find the money, £120.000, from some Sec.106 money left over from the Great Park Development. There are some photos including a couple of the team who were carrying out the work, Chris, Steve and Paul.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

More bad news

We hear today that unemployment in Birmingham has risen to over 45000, up roughly 50%in a year.This comes as no surprise but is still a shocking figure. So much for this country being best placed to survive the recession.
It is a sign of the bad luck surrounding this government that they have ended Neighbourhood Renewal fund and replaced it with Working Neighbourhood Fund just as the economy went into a nosedive.The idea was to try to get people off long term unemployment, sorry, worklessness, just at a time when thousands of people with qualifications and experience were being thrown onto the job market. Perhaps if this had been tried much earlier we would have had more local people working instead of so many jobs going to foreign workers. Remember British jobs for British workers?
The saga of Longbridge and Bournville College goes on. We can only hope that our quiescent local mp pulls his finger out and shakes Sion Simon MP, the minister for Universities and Skills no less, until the money for the college appears. We suspect that the money will be found but they will make a big production of it and our sensitive local mp will try to take all the credit for himself.
Our apologies for the break in blogging but normal service will now be resumed.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Longbridge Area Action Plan

The AAP was formally accepted at full Council last Tuesday. Cllrs Ken Wood and Keith Barton both spoke in the chamber expressing their relief that at long last, having had to jump through more than enough Government Hoops, that it can now get underway. However both also expressed their deep concern that the Learning Skills Council - having got its sums wrong - may put a halt to the move of Bournville College to the Longbridge site. Yet another example of the current Labour Government being incapable of keeping its own house in order! Keith called on the Northfield Labour MP to get moving and start fighting Longbridges corner - after all he has always been quick enough to criticise others so now perhaps he can do his bit and get the college move funded as promised. Ken expressed his opinion and concerns, that in the same way the residents of Longbridge and Northfield were used as political pawns in the run up to the last general election when the Rover situation was coming to a head, they were again about to suffer the same fate in the run up to the next one
Regardless of the above, the moving of Bournville College is critical if we are to get the kick start we need on the redevelopment and you can rest assured that your Conservative councillors and PPC Keely Huxtable will be doing everything they can to ensure it happens.