Goosemoor Lane News
(Unofficial news for Goosemoor Lane, Short Heath, Erdington, Birmingham, B23, United Kingdom)

Monday 29th September 2014 Edition

Additions? Comments? Queries? Corrections? email Gary O'Brien at gary_obrien_99@yahoo.co.uk

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Latest Erdington Ward public meeting report -
www.birmingham.gov.uk/democracy/Pages/MeetingDetail.aspx?MeetSchedID%3d24541

The next public meetings of the Erdington Ward Committee;

26 November 2014 at St Barnabas Church, High Street

4 February 2015 at Yenton Primary School, Chester Road

25 March 2015 at Erdington Court Sports Club, Bowling Green Close

Contact Sarah Stride on 0121 303 0709/0121 464 4243

Latest Erdington District Committee meeting report - www.birmingham.gov.uk/democracy/Pages/MeetingDetail.aspx?MeetSchedID%3d22086

The next public meeting of the Erdington District Committee is on 25/11/2014 in Committee Rooms 3 and 4, Council House, Birmingham 11am

Beech Road has new lamps - certainly that road is much brighter at night now - might be TOO bright for residents now though! I've put some leaflets through doors along there to see what opinions come in.

The next public meetings of the Erdington Ward Committee;

24 September 2014 at St Margaret’s Church, Jarvis Road at 7.30pm

Outside 234 and 238 Goosemoor Lane are loose paving stones on the pavement - reported

Poor Sycamore Road Camber - at the junction with Goosemoor Lane on the even side of Sycamore Road it floods in heavy rain due to a poor camber. Reported.

Beware That Conkers Are Falling
That time of the year again, the crusty outer shell can fall with a bit of a thud to the floor and then break open to reveal the conkers. Just make sure you aren't walking underneath at the time. We've got such trees along the walkway leading from Goosemoor Lane to Gravelly Lane by the Rose And Crown, in parts of Wylde Green by the shopping centre, and along Hawthorn Road in Kingstanding.

A no-waiting post at the junction of Sycamore Road and Chester Road has been knocked down and is at an angle - is being fixed

Action Plan for Erdington - by Erdington Conservatives
Cllr Robert Alden has teamed up with Cllr Gareth Moore, Tyburn campaigner Clifton Welch and Kingstanding campaigner Andy Rudge to launch their Action Plan for Erdington and Kingstanding. Have your say on the future of our local area by filling in the petition below and help decide what will help make our home even better for local residents - www.erdingtonconservatives.org.uk/news/action-plan-erdington

More Diseased Trees To Go
More trees on Goosemoor Lane now have removal notices on them due to disease or structural faults. Another one has already now gone (a second of the large brick-foundation ones right at the junction with Court Lane which dates from the 1930's and is in pictures on the History Page from that time).

The Council does plant others in their place, but it is sad to see some notable ones go.

TV Shows To Look Out This Week

  Channel Time Synopsis
Saturday      
Cricket Sky Sports 1 10am Warks v Durham
Inside Africa CNN 5.30pm Profile
CNN Marketplace - Africa CNN 1.45am Profile
Sunday      
Birmingham Ladies v Liverpool Ladies BT Sport 1 11.30am Women's game
Points Of View BBC 1 4pm Viewer's opinions of BBC TV
CNN Marketplace - Middle East CNN 5.45pm Profile
Your News News 24 11.30pm Viewer's news stories yourpics@bbc.co.uk
Monday      
Inside Out BBC 1 7.30pm Local issues
Road Wars Pick TV 10pm Cameras follow police
Tuesday      
Man Utd v Aston Villa 2012/3 MUTV 2pm Old game
World's Untold Stories CNN 5.30pm Off-beat tales
The Motorway - Life In The Fast Lane BBC 2 9pm The crowded sections of the M6
Wednesday      
Man Utd v Aston Villa 2012/3 MUTV 9:30am Old game
Road Wars Pick TV 10pm Cameras follow police
Thursday      
Man Utd v WBA 2012/3 MUTV 3am Old game
Friday      
Man Utd v Aston Villa 2012/3 MUTV 11.30am Old game
Newswatch BBC News 24 8.45pm Examination of BBC News coverage
Road Wars Pick TV 10pm Cameras follow police
Daily, Mon-Fri, Sat-Sun etc      
Invictus Games BBC 1/2 various For wounded service people
Rip Off BBC 1 9.15am Consumer show
Emergency Bikers Watch 3pm Emergency services in Birmingham
World News Today BBC 4 7pm International news
Learning Zone BBC 2 0.00am www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone
Community Channel - - www.communitychannel.org
4 Learning Channel 4 0.00am www.channel4.com/4learning
Central News ITV 1 6pm www.itv.com/central
Midlands Today BBC 1 6.30pm www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham
BBC Local TV - - www.bbc.co.uk/localtv

(See the Games Page for more community broadcasters' details under the Radio/TV section).

Station Road Methodist Church - VISION PROJECT STARTS WORK

"At last we have a start date for building work to begin - August 26th. We have been fortunate in rraising a large part of our total money needed and can amalgamate some of the phases. So in three months there will be a transformation to the building. The picture shown is what we are aiming for, but the front trees will be smaller, and signage on the side wall will be larger and bolder. There is already someone sitting on the proposed community seat near the bus stop."

More - www.mine.org.uk/page11/index.php

Uncollected Green Waste By Tree - Goosemoor Lane/Amber Court junction - www.fixmystreet.com/report/515080

Will the "Garden Tax" affect the leaves collection? - I'm assuming with fewer Green Waste collections occurring now that we'll have a bigger problem than usual when the leaves fall in the Autumn?

Sycamore Road Floods At The Goosemoor Lane Junction In Heavy Rain
This is caused by a poor camber rather than a blocked drain etc - I'll report it.

Missed Refuse and Recycling Collections - Goosemoor Lane - Update
(A strike meant the recycling boxes were collected from the odd side but not the even side on Monday 18/8/2014. Staff on the reception at Erdington Neighbourhood Office didn't even know there HAD been a strike - and the 303 phone service didn't know what if anything was on the website)

I finally managed to track down this official news anyway;

"Despite extensive talks with representatives from Unite, the City Council has been unable at this point to reach an agreement over issues that have been raised by the Trade Union about terms and conditions of employment for refuse collection staff.

The Council is continuing to talk to the Union with a view to reaching a resolution, but regrettably, there will be some industrial action that will lead to disruption of collection services on Monday 11th and Friday 15th August. There is also a temporary ban on overtime working.

Residents who are due to have a rubbish, recycling or green waste collection on the above dates are asked to put their bin, sacks or boxes out for collection as usual. If these have not been collected by the end of the day, please take the bins/sacks/boxes back onto your property and re-present them for the next scheduled collection (one week for rubbish and 2 weeks for recycling collections). Please do not contact us to report that your collection has been missed as this will not result in a quicker service.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the strike action and assure residents we are doing our best to resolve the Trade Union dispute."

Webpage - www.birmingham.gov.uk/missedcollections

Mattress DUMPED on side of road - 117 Short Heath Road - www.fixmystreet.com/report/511256

Oil on Gravelly Lane car park - "A skip hire truck driven every day by one of the residents of the pavilions housing estate is making a mess of the car park. It has had some kind of oil or fuel leak which has been left to soak into the ground and spread across the car park."

More - https://www.fixmystreet.com/report/506839

(That is up by the Chester Road junction and next to the gym)

Collapsed Man Hole Cover - Cherry Lane/Chester Road junction. Crumbled and destroyed concrete man hole cover. a danger to pedestrians - https://www.fixmystreet.com/report/506817

New Traffic Lights At Salford Circus/Spaghetti Junction - better now?
Let it be known if these new lights solve the problems, or make it worse. Certainly at evening rush-hour on weekdays the traffic was often backing up along Lichfield Road to Aston Railway Station (massively delaying the 65, 66 and 66A buses amongst everything else even given the bus-lane in some stretches along there). The seeming cause was traffic on the island trying to enter the crowded M6 and mingling with all the traffic entering the island from Lichfield Road which was trying to enter the M6 too or travel up Gravelly Hill or Slade Road etc.

It will probably be hard to make a proper judgement until the kids go back to school.

(The walkway underneath seems hardly used)

The "pinch-point"" problem at the junction of Gravelly Hill and Kingsbury Road out-of-city remains. I think there are plans for there too, but nothing has happened yet - I always suggest putting in modifications which block right-turns from Gravelly Hill onto Kingsbury Road, but allow right-turns from Gravelly Hill onto Wheelwright Road where the lights are. Presently, paused traffic out-of-city halts everyone, but that new idea would leave one lane open whenever traffic has to stop before making a right-turn.

Tame Valley Viaduct Local Pinch Points bid (road-widening/traffic-calming proposal etc), www.birmingham.gov.uk/tamevalleyviaduct

There Was A Bad Accident On Gravelly Lane
On the pavement down by the shops at the Gravelly Lane/Station Road junction in Erdington there's an uprooted phone-box and mail-box next to it also uprooted, there were workman taking the phone-box away

That was indeed the result of a car mounting the pavement and striking them both (late on Sunday 13/7/2014). Somehow the car missed the bus-shelter very nearby.

The driver was ok apparently.

Would be serious impact to knock over a phone-box and mail-box too.

Recent Street-Lamp News
Lamp 2 Jarvis Road is out

Lamp 23 Witton Lodge Road is out (by The Ring) - reported

(The lamps on Beech Road are being upgraded)

Lamp 12 Bowling Green Close is out - reported

Lamp 3 Amber Court blinks - reported

Lamp 1A Jerrys Lane is still out

Unnumbered lamps on St George Avenue still out

Didn't take long, one of the solar park-lights has had oil poured over it. Still works though.

Lamp P6 on the Top Croft estate (by what is coined the North Maisonette Block) is still out, reported again.

Lamp PAA1 (or something) at the side of the South Block on Top Croft - is missing it's head!

At the bottom of Court Lane between Short Heath Road and Marsh Lane is an alley with a lamp obscured by shrubbery etc. Reported.

The specific Council webpage for reporting broken lamps etc is;

www.birmingham.gov.uk/streets or ring 0121 303 6000 or email streetlighting@birmingham.gov.uk

Boldmere Road/Church Road junction shut after collision involving a lorry and a car

 

Boldmere Road was closed in both directions and West Midlands Fire Service advised residents to avoid the road at the Church Road junction. West Midlands Fire Service, Police and Ambulance were at the scene and although no-one was trapped,a female is being treated by paramedics onsite suffering from a chest injury.

At 1.47pm on Friday June 27 in 2014, West Midlands Fire Service were alerted to the incident by the Ambulance Service and sent crews from Perry Barr and Sutton Coldfield.

Read more: www.suttoncoldfieldobserver.co.uk/Road-Sutton-Coldfield-shut-collision-involving/story-21299669-detail/story.html#ixzz36iCimhcj

(Historically that junction has been dangerous. Motorists coming out of Church Road can only see a few yards down Boldmere Road in the direction of Chester Road - though I don't know if that was the actual cause in this case)

Fix My Street report - lots of broken glass from Guinness bottles - Witton Lodge Road - http://www.fixmystreet.com/report/496057

From Fix My Street - Uneven and dangerous pavement. Sutton Road and Chester Road junction, outside the Sutton Road Surgery.

Photo of this report

The report - "The pavement here on the corner of Sutton Rd and Chester Rd, outside the Sutton Rd Surgery is extremely uneven and dangerous. My elderly father had a nasty fall here after tripping for which he can sue."

More - www.fixmystreet.com/report/497576

Some Workman Were On The Land Between The Jarvis Road And Topcroft Estates
The area is ear-marked for housing, and a few workmen have been spotted doing some sort of preliminary work there. I can't find any Planning Applications for that land though. Watch this space.

Recent local planning applications;

2014/02973/PA - 87 Court Farm Road, Erection of single storey front extension

2014/02921/PA - 10 Somerset Road, Erection of single storey rear extension

www.birmingham.gov.uk/planningapplications

Fly-tipping complaint on The Hurstway - https://www.fixmystreet.com/report/497409

Recent changes to 66 and 66A bus routes
From National Express - "The 66A will be changing route in Erdington and will run the other way around to current. This means it will serve the same bus stops as the 66 on buses going towards Perry Common."

(Certainly on the way to Erdington High Street now the 66A doesn't go up Station Road anymore but follows Gravelly Lane up on to Summer Road and under the bridge - I think the 66 does the same thing)

View and download PDF timetable for service 66 from Tuesday 27th May 2014 - http://nxbus.co.uk/files/NXWestMids/current_timetables/B066_25May14.pdf

View and download PDF timetable for service 66A from Tuesday 27th May 2014 - http://nxbus.co.uk/files/NXWestMids/current_timetables/B066A_25May14.pdf

In Post Parcel Locker - reference number UKBIR16945, Gravelly Lane, Birmingham B23 5SB
Location: Premier Store (in front of the shop)

Operating hours: 24/7

Call Centre: 0330 335 0950

How to use it etc - http://inpost.co.uk

Erdington councillor Robert Alden to be appointed leader of Birmingham Conservative group - http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/regional-affairs/coun-robert-alden-appointed-leader-7197985

A number of issues have been sent in, my comments are underneath each in brackets;

"Somerset Road - There are a number of front garden walls which look like they are leaning towards the pavement at a worrying angle and there is one in particular which looks ready to collapse at any moment. I don't know if there is an inspection of walls in Birmingham, but it does raise the question of preventing injury to folk walking by."

(I've checked some of these walls - yes some lean out slightly but none are actually in any danger of toppling over it seems. Each is only about a yard high too - a danger to cats and poodles if anyone).

"Gravelly Lane - I reported this one to a PCSO twice within the last 2 years and even paid a visit to the Police Station. There is a large black cable of about 18 inches outside a garden wall which snakes along the pavement about an inch or two from the wall. It seems like it is only a matter of time before someone trips and hurts themselves."

(This is a botch job by Virgin Cable when leading the cable from the pavement to a house etc. In theory it is a tripping hazard to someone who is partially sighted).

"Metal rails by steps at the start of the gully between Somerset Road and Jarvis Road have been missing/stolen for about 2 years also. These rails were invaluable to the older folk, especially in the bungalows, who have difficulty walking as this is the main route to get to the shops on Gravelly Lane."

(I assume the metal railings in that alley have been nicked the same way that everything metal is nicked these days. Replacing them with something non-metallic is one idea).

"Another thing I have noticed is the sound of Police, Ambulance and Fire Brigade Sirens around Erdington which have increased 1000 fold I feel, in recent years and has definitely made a huge noise impact on the ambience of the area day and night. I am not disputing that these are emergency vehicles perhaps on a life or death incident, but I do wonder why the huge increase? You can almost guarantee meeting one of these vehicles rushing by on every trip or outing you make in this area, especially at the Chester Road junction with New Summer Road, in fact it does make that junction very dangerous due to the frequency and perhaps a road sign could be put up regarding this danger spot, as the road into Sutton has been narrowed into a two into one lane as you turn left at the lights going into Sutton, this junction gets very busy at rush hour and I have witnessed emergency vehicles going in different directions from two approaches at this time."

(We are not far from Erdington fire station and Erdington police station, so will always have them rushing about the area - I'll try to find out if the sirens are louder now though. I have noticed the 2 - fire and police - trying to both cross junctions in a rush at the same time in the area and getting in each other's way - such as at the Station Road/Sutton New Road junction - but I don't know what can be done).

Missing Bus Stops And Wobbly Bus Stops - Update
There is now a new 66A bus-stop post by the electricity substation on Goosemoor Lane from the Erdington to Sutton way. Some of the existing bus-stops posts on Goosemoor Lane are wobbly.

Reported to Centro - response;

"Thank you for your email received the 5 February 2014, regarding the bus stops on Goosemoor Lane. We are aware that the flag which was originally installed on a lamppost on the 66A route travelling towards Erdington is missing, and are looking to rectify this. The bus stop at this location has 'And Opposite' arrangement in place, meaning that bus services should stop on both sides of the road.

We have however received feedback from passengers that this is not always the case, and that on occasions drivers have not been stopping on the opposite side of the road. It is therefore our intention to install two new stops at this location, meaning the bus stop flag would no longer be installed on a lamp post. Prior to a bus stop being installed we have to ensure the location meets with the Highways Authority's strict road safety criteria and hence need be located in a safe environment for passengers to board and alight vehicle. Therefore we have arranged for a member of our team to carry out a site survey to find a suitable location for the stops to be installed.

Whilst I cannot give you a confirmed decision at this time I can advise you that we will endeavour to install stops here as quickly as possible, subject to receiving highways approval.

I hope this information helps, and thank you for taking the time to contact Centro.

Kind regards

Shelley Lewis
Customer Relations Officer"

www.centro.org.uk

Motorcyclist sent 'flying through the air' in Erdington crash
A motorcyclist had a lucky escape after witnesses described him ‘flying through the air’ following a crash on Short Heath Road early on Monday evening (19/5/2014). The bike collided with a car at the junction with Turfpits Lane just before 6pm.

More - www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/motorcyclist-sent-flying-through-air-7142696

New Pavement Bin In The Area
On Court Lane by The Spinney, between the 2 Witton Lodge Road forks and on that side. By the 66A bus-stop

Vegetable plants for sale at Court Lane Allotments
"We have a large selection of vegetable, fruit and herb plants for sale through the shop at Court Lane Allotments. The plants have been grown from seed by our own plot holders. They are in the netted area near the main car park by the shop. The shop is open to everyone on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 3pm.

Please come along and help to support us to raise funds for our site.

Thank you"


Court Lane Allotments - www.courtlaneallotments.com

There was a car accident on the junction of Chester Road and Church Road during the night of Thursday 8th May
The car mounted the pavement and demolished the brick wall of the house on the corner of Chester Road and Church Road in Boldmere. There was a spillage of engine coolant on the path which was also littered with broken glass, and pieces of broken car bumper.

Potholes on Goosemoor Lane - at the Bowling Green Close junction, Sycamore Road junction, outside 142, and outside 124 - fixed.

Dog Fouling - More
The Council have put up a dog-fouling warning sign by the Court Lane junction. A resident on Goosemoor Lane opposite the Amber Court junction has a sign on their gate about dog-fouling on the pavement outside - and another resident have a sign up by The Inset too. There is dog dirt on the pavement along Goosemoor Lane if you check. Here is the general Council info about it;

"The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act requires any person in charge of a dog which fouls on designated land, to remove the dog mess immediately. Almost all land in Birmingham is designated. Offenders can be issued with a fixed penalty notice (£50).

If you are issued with a fixed penalty notice this will include details, where and how payment of the fine can be made. Failure to pay will result in prosecution and, if the matter goes to court, may result in a fine of up to £1,000.

The dog wardens affix appropriate signs to lamp posts and distribute educational leaflets and posters to encourage dog owners to clean up after their pets."

More - www.birmingham.gov.uk/straydogs

(Wed 7/5/2014) Goosemoor Lane was closed between Sycamore Road junction and The Inset
They were fixing the subsidence there. Was done by the afternoon.

Points of Light: May 2014 winners;

Mary Harvey (Birmingham). Mary has for years been an important part of her local community. She is a member of the local Community Watch in Perry Common, Birmingham and set up a ‘Duckling Watch’ scheme - amassing an army of local children to become junior community wardens, tackling anti-social behaviour and helping local wildlife.

www.gov.uk/government/news/points-of-light-may-2014-winners

Gravelly Lane roadworks - between the Enfield Close and Somerset Road junctions

Gravelly Lane has also sunk by the Mona Road junction - www.fixmystreet.com/report/469759

From Erdington Conservatives;
"From previous leaflets residents will be aware we have been working to secure the former Leopard Pub on Jerry's Lane. The pub was sold at auction, earlier this year, and since then has remained empty and accessible. We are delighted to confirm that the pub has now been secured. The owner has sealed all the windows and installed a gate to the rear.

We are now working with the police to find a long term solution to the building both security wise and what the site will be used for in the future.

We will update residents with more information as and when we receive it. If in the meantime you find more issues or ASB occurring at the Leopard Pub site please do ensure you ring the local Police Station to record it and ask for a log number. This will ensure that it is recorded on the Police database and even if the Police do not come out and attend at that point, it will ensure the Police allocate even more resources to the area to tackle the site.

If you have problems with anything else please let us know on the details below."

www.erdingtonconservatives.org.uk

Cllr Robert Alden (Con) launches his Standing Up for Erdington Campaign - www.erdingtonconservatives.org.uk/news/robert-alden-launches-his-standing-erdington-campaign

The Spinney - from Erdington Conservatives;
"We have contacted the Council demanding that the Spinney on the corner of Witton Lodge Road and Court Lane is cleared up (below).

The site is owned by the City Council Housing Department and so they have an obligation to keep it clean. It is in desperate need of being cleaned up and so we have asked them to send a cleaning crew down to clear the site."

Erdington Conservatives letter to the Council;
"I have been contacted by a number of residents regarding the state of the Spinney on Witton Lodge Road at the junction of Court Lane. I have been out to look at it and once again it is been used as a dumping ground almost. The site is full of litter which has been thrown over the fence. As this land is owned by the City Council housing department please can we get a cleaning crew out on site to get it cleared up for local residents. In addition part of the fence has been damaged please can we look at this and see if we can get it repaired as well please."

Pavement (Chester Road and Sutton Road junction) to 687 Chester Road is littered with broken glass - www.fixmystreet.com/report/452115

"Dangerous" Barbed Wire - Marston Road (by Chester Road station)

A report has been sent to Fix My Street by someone - "A property on this road has a fence with barbed wire on top of it. That's not a problem of course, but in one section the bracket has fallen over meaning the barbed wire is hanging over the public footpath. A tall person may not see it and it is low enough to injure them. The owner of the building needs to put the barbed wire back in place."

www.fixmystreet.com/report/448027

Serious Accident - Goosemoor Lane Bend - Car Upside Down! More
(The car's speed and then the sound of the crash actually woke me up and I live by the Kirkwood Avenue junction!)

Friday morning 5.30am - 28/2/2014. A car (small grey or silver hatchback) travelling at speed down Goosemoor Lane (in rain) from the direction of the Kirkwood Avenue junction towards the notorious bend on Goosemoor Lane went completely out of control on that bend - and ended up on its roof! Lamp 14 was completely uprooted.

I've no idea of injuries etc but I could soon hear sirens - nearby people were already there within minutes.

It hadn't gone through the fence into the kids play area (was by the Anstey Field junction) - luckily no kids were in there at that early time though.

That bend is notorious for crashes and the issue of the nearby kids play-area and the new housing development there was repeatedly raised with the Council beforehand - planning permission was still granted though.

The car had been removed by around 10am.

Erdington MP Jack Dromey "Under-Age Sex" Row
This issue is now being widely reported nationally. I have no further information beyond that, here are the mainstream media links about it;

www.jackdromey.org/harriet-harman-condemns-papers-smear-campaign
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26333558
www.itv.com/news/story/2014-02-24/harman-condemns-paedophile-rights-smear-campaign/
http://news.sky.com/story/1216883/harman-denies-colluding-with-paedophile-group
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2567329/Call-apology-Harriet-Harman-Labours-deputy-leader-expresses-regret-civil-liberties-groups-links-paedophile-lobby.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paedophile_Information_Exchange

(When Labour finally got a leader capable of winning general elections after 18 years notice how he either quickly dumped or sidelined Harman, Abbott, Short, Livingstone and Dobson etc - and from cases like this you can see why. Who would the crucial Essex swing-voter support in this big row - the mindlessly stubborn Harman or The Daily Mail?)

I do routinely collect Midland and national websites which assist children - www.goosemoor-lane.com/links.htm#thingToJumpTo334

Water leak fixed - Goosemoor Lane - by the Inset and Sycamore Road junction,, was on both sides of the road, gushing a bit. Severn Trent spent several days fixing it.

Alley Between Jarvis Road An Somerset Road Cleaned

From Erdington Conservatives;

`Last month saw local residents, our popular local Cllrs Robert Alden, Bob Beauchamp and Gareth Moore, join with members of St Margaret's Church to carry out a clean up around the Alley between Jarvis Road and Somerset Road and the land on Jarvis Road around the Church. Robert said "it was great to see so many people from the local community come together to help clean it up and show pride in our area. Thank you to everyone who took part and to the Council for taking the 40 plus bags of waste collected away!"'

www.erdingtonconservatives.org.uk

Small holly trees pruned in Short Heath park - by the car-park. Seems to be a move against anti-social behaviour given the other small bushy holly trees have been left alone.

Mini Power Cut - Goosemoor Lane
This was spread out over a few minutes round about midnight Sunday 16th February 2014 and Monday 16th February 2014 - on/off, on/off, on/off etc.

I do list them when they occur in the area, here are the ones from the last few years that I know of;

Power Cut - Gravelly Lane - Monday 3/2/2014. It affected one side by the junction with Station Road (the off-licence, grocery store, Chinese takeaway, lamp-posts and nearby housing for about 6 houses up etc). An electricity van was there with workers digging up the pavement. I don't know if that was the cause, the repairers, or arranged beforehand. An odd time to do it deliberately if that was the case.

Electricity Power Cut - Goosemoor Lane - 4.50pm on Thursday 1/8/2013. Was out for about 1 hour.

Power cut on Monday 5/3/2012
Power cut on the night of 4-5/10/2011
Power surge on Tuesday Night/Wednesday Morning 21/22 December 2010
Power cut - New Year's Day 2009

A WARNING has been issued to pet owners following a fire in Glendon Road in Erdington involving a naked flame
The blaze was started by an animal knocking a candle on to curtains at a three-bedroomed property in Glendon Road in Short Heath - Wednesday, February 5. Fire crews from Erdington and Perry Barr were called following a 999 call at 10.22pm reporting a house fire at an end terrace house. Two fire officers using breathing apparatus entered the two-storey home and extinguished the fire in a rear bedroom.

The ambulance service also attended and gave precautionary checks to the four people in the property but none were taken to hospital.

Read more: www.suttoncoldfieldobserver.co.uk/Warning-issued-pet-causes-Erdington-home/story-20575041-detail/story.html#ixzz2t2q80ftO

Food Bank/Debt Surgery Starting At Bethany Church On South Road In Erdington
"We are starting a food bank up in our church, if you know of anyone who is giving away some good shelving please let me know. Also we are seeking donations of food from those able to help. On Tuesdays at 11am we are now running a debt surgery - all the information is on our web page - www.bethanypentecostal.org "

Pot-holes on Hurstwood Road and Maxted Road, report - www.fixmystreet.com/report/431015

Erdington Websites Recently Added To The Links Page
Edwards Bar and Restaurant (inside Cookes), Goosemoor Lane, www.edwardsbarandrestaurant.co.uk
L & M Nutt Sewing Machines, 418 Chester Road, Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield, B73 5BS www.nuttsewingshop.co.uk
Mac Tailors (suits, shirts etc), 165 Gravelly Lane, Erdington, http://mactailors.webs.com
Rustrans (house clearances etc), Station Road, Erdington, www.rustrans-uk.com
Bromford Club, Erdington, http://bromfordclub.com
Tame Valley Viaduct Local Pinch Points bid (road-widening proposal), www.birmingham.gov.uk/tamevalleyviaduct
Transformation Life Centre (church), 1 New Street, Erdington B23 6SD, www.transformationonline.org.uk
Tudor Practice - Stockland Green Primary Care Centre (doctors), www.thetudorpractice.nhs.uk

Recent Local Fire Service Incidents By Perry Barr Fire Station
Sunday, January 12, 12.58am. Road traffic collision, Witton Lodge Road.

Sunday, January 12, 11.36am. False alarm (equipment), Turfpits Lane.

Perry Barr Fire Station, College Road, www.facebook.com/pages/Perry-Barr-fire-station/120087154757235

Chester Road by the railway station is being re-surfaced and there is a complaint about heavy traffic causing vibration to homes - www.fixmystreet.com/report/422009

Topcroft North Maisonette Block Door Finally Fixed
Took a few months, but it locks again now. Had been bust open for some time.

(North Block is the one nearest Goosemoor Lane - coined by this website to tell them apart).

Substation On Court Lane Renovated

By the car-park in Short Heath Park. The old timber at the front of it has been replaced with new wood

Road Accident - Chester Road/Sycamore Road Junction<>
A resident reported that there was a road traffic accident on the corner of Chester Road and Sycamore Road at about 7.15am (Wednesday 11th December). The accident involved a car and a motorcycle. The police and ambulance service attended the scene. Traffic was restricted to one lane causing some tailbacks in both directions but by 8am traffic conditions had returned to normal.

(The Birmingham Mail mentioned that the motorcycle rider injured their wrist and was taken to hospital as a precaution)

Jack Dromey MP Fuel Expenses Row/Jack Dromey MP Proposed Increased Salary Row/Jack Dromey MP Twitter Row<>
I say that the `huffing and puffing' voter of Salford pretty much makes all of this sort of thing irrelevant in the safe Labour seat which Erdington is (the Salford voters totally swore blind to get rid of expenses cheat Hazel Blears MP - but then simply re-elected her when given their first chance to chuck her out).

Here are all the recent `scandals' anyway, but I say Jack Dromey will be re-elected the Erdington MP in 2015;

As ever Jack Dromey is offered the right of reply on these 4 issues, any response which will be placed as prominently on the website as this original notice. He may choose to only respond on his own website though - www.jackdromey.org

Jack Dromey MP fuel expenses row - http://tyburnmail.com/2013/11/03/sunday-mirror-mp-energy-bills-claims-340-mps-claim-money-for-heating-jack-dromey-only-birmingham-mp-to-claim-energy-bill-money/

Jack Dromey MP proposed increased salary row - www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25344188

Jack Dromey MP Twitter row - http://news.sky.com/story/1182006/pr-blunder-over-labour-mps-pikey-tweet

Re the Twitter row - I've reported the bombastic Tory David Morris MP to Parliamentary regulators - I'll keep you updated.

From Erdington Conservatives - "The team have been continuing to chase the Council regarding their continuing refusal to fix the potholes in Court Lane, Wilton Road, New Street and Osborne Road."

www.erdingtonconservatives.org.uk

From Erdington Conservatives - Leisure Centre Petition
Can you help our campaign reach 10, 000 signatures to help save our local leisure centres. The petition to save Erdington Constituency Leisure Centre’s can now be downloaded and printed here to help sign up friends, family and neighbours to the campaign - www.erdingtonconservatives.org.uk/news/download-swimming-pool-petition

Renee Spector MBE, a Labour councillor for the Erdington Ward from 1986 to 2007, has died aged 84

A major achievement was the setting up of the ring and ride bus service in the city, for which she was awarded the MBE.

www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/tributes-former-councillor-renee-spector-6238181

(I believe that she was responsible for those 2 `Tippex Islands' on Goosemoor Lane at the junction of Topcroft Road and Sycamore Road! Local govt is often that mundane but she loved all of it. She was Planning Committee chair when they re-built The Bullring - as I say she took on everything. Birmingham and Erdington have lost a true public servant).

www.doglost.co.uk/poster.php?dogId=58428

Sycamore Road Was Blocked
From a resident;

"Sycamore Road was partially blocked for an hour last night (Thu 10/10/2013) due to a broken down car at the junction with Chester Road. The wheel had broken clean off the vehicle as it entered Sycamore Road from Chester Road. The RAC were called and the vehicle was recovered by 10pm."

Councillors Reject Plans To Put School For Troubled Teenagers On Gravelly Lane
Councillors have rejected plans to put a school for troubled teenagers in an empty office block on one of Birmingham’s busiest road junctions. The council’s planning committee criticised the scheme for a special education unit at Stuart Court in Erdington and asked the developer to come back with more information. They were outraged that not only is the office block on the busy junction of Gravelly Lane and Station Road but it also lacks any outdoor play area for the teens – who would be children recovering from emotional and physical abuse or with behavioural problems.

www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/councillors-reject-plans-troubled-teen-6146416

Road Signs By The Bend - Changed
On the run to The Bend (in both directions) on Goosemoor Lane there were a caution triangular-shaped sign each way warning of the bend ahead - but they were out of date because they didn't include a warning about traffic emerging from the new Anstey Fields road onto the bend. I reported them for updating and they have been updated.

Erdington Coat of Arms revealed - www.erdingtonconservatives.org.uk/news/erdington-coat-arms-revealed

Planning Permission Application - Land at Dovedale Road, Perry Common, Birmingham, B23 5BP
Erection of 59 two - four bedroom houses for social rent with associated highways, parking and landscaping works - Approved

More details - http://connect.birmingham.public-i.tv/document/Land_at_Dovedale_Road__Perry_Common__B23_5BP.pdf

Elderly Widower Died In Bus Collision - Witton Lodge Road
An elderly widower died after he stepped in front of a double decker bus, an inquest heard. Ron Butler, 72, had been on his way to meet his daughter when the accident happened, in Witton Lodge Road, Perry Common on August 19th in 2012 (last year)  - www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/elderly-erdington-widower-died-bus-5755578

(That is not the first fatal road-accident in living memory at that location. They'll be official statistics held somewhere. The nearest pedestrian crossing is about 100 yards away serving Perry Common Recreation Ground and crossing over to the Maxted Road junction).

Permission For Small Mosque Approved - Station Road - Cllrs Approve It On A 1 Year Temporary Basis To Allow Assessment Of  Any Impact On Residents

More - www.suttoncoldfieldobserver.co.uk/Mockery-claim-mosque-decision-residents-traffic/story-19574883-detail/story.html

Big Road Accident - Gravelly Lane! (No-One Badly Hurt)

This serious incident where a VW hatchback car overturned occurred on Gravelly Lane on Monday 15/7/2013 around 6.15pm. Amazingly the driver (the only occupant) only suffered a cut elbow and no-one else was hurt! Police, fire service and ambulance all attended. Obviously the road was blocked for a time.

The VW was travelling on Gravelly Lane towards Station Road (having gone past the Norfolk Road junction) when it hit a parked car. It flipped over onto its side and slid across and down onto the other side of the road - but didn't then mount the pavement on the other side - it nearly did though.

e.g. note how the number plate is yellow - because that is the BACK of the car. It was heading towards Station Road and got knocked right across onto the other side of Gravelly Lane.

(See the mixed-race guy in the blue jacket behind the car in the pics? That is me! I was walking along towards Station Rd when I heard the big bang behind me and looked around saw the car coming right at me sliding along on its side! I ran of course, but thankfully it never came onto the pavement etc. It slid about 50 feet right across the road diagonally though!)

A lucky escape

A resident sent the pics to me.

(There is a long-standing issue on that stretch of Gravelly Lane of loads of parked cars on that busy road because front gardens are too small to have any cars in them. You can see front-drives for cars on the other side but as I say the car was travelling towards Station Road and it a car on that side of Gravelly Lane).

Littlecote Drive Right Of Way Dispute
This letter was in the Sutton Observer last week;

"Bordering on the dangerous. MYSELF and my neighbours live in an apartment block which borders the Chester Road and Littlecote Drive Over the recent years we have been plagued by dozens of adults, both male and female and their children, using our private gardens as a shortcut to and from the Chester Road.

Myself and my neighbours often stop and point out to these people that they are trespassing in someone's garden, but usually all we get back in response is a stream of abuse. We are subjected to litter, dog faeces and people walking though and making noise late at night often after 11pm.

All of this despite the fact that the footpath and garden is gated and the land is marked 'Private', 'No Public Right of Way' on three separate signs. The single wide footpath runs from our car park around the side of our block past several bedroom windows and finally past a bathroom window. There are several female residents, including myself, who live in the block of six apartments.

I feel we no longer have any privacy because of these selfish people.

J Wilson, via email."

That is a series of botch-jobs from the developer of that 1980's estate - e.g. gas emerging from the ground has to be monitored (it is an old rubbish tip) and the public green space become boggy and unusable for days after any rain.

Some years ago I suggested bringing together residents and Vesey cllrs etc to resolve the right-of-way dispute, but instead I got a threatening letter from a known resident of the Littlecote Drive apartment block in question - one of whom was bleating to you last week. I passed the threatening letter to the police, but they did nothing (so Rupert Murdoch lives in that apartment?)

With at least one new Vesey cllr these days, a certain Dr Pocock might want to resolve all the long-running disputes and problems on that estate? Good luck.

Sutton Vesey Cllr Alan Rudge To Stand Down In 2014
News from just the other side of the Chester Road - www.suttoncoldfieldobserver.co.uk/Tory-councillor-rejected-new-rules-stand-37-years/story-19419668-detail/story.html

Ceiling Collapses Into Swimming Pool At LA Gym On Gravelly Lane!

This was the scene inside LA Fitness, Erdington, after part of a ceiling collapsed onto swimmers. Picture: Gordon Molyneux

Sunday morning 23/6/2013 at 9.30am. Four people were hurt -  www.suttoncoldfieldobserver.co.uk/Erdington-gym-structurally-safe-despite-ceiling/story-19376037-detail/story.html

LA Fitness, 366 Gravelly Lane, Erdington, www.lafitness.co.uk

Latest Erdington Committee report - www.birmingham.gov.uk/democracy/Pages/MeetingDetail.aspx?MeetSchedID%3d22081

Summer Road By The Railway Bridge Still Floods
In heavy rain the dip in Summer Road by the Railway Bridge still floods despite the many drains there. Traffic and pedestrians either can't pass or get stuck etc. The drains do eventually clear the water but it takes time.

Fly-tipping by Spaghetti Junction - www.fixmystreet.com/report/364033

Fly-tipping by The Hurstway - www.fixmystreet.com/report/364366

Erdington Chip Shop Goes Up In Flames - Marsh Lane (at the Summer Road junction)

This photo of the Marsh Lane Chippy fire was taken by Sophie Andrews

A fire at a chip shop in Erdington was tackled by 30 fire-fighters on Thursday morning (6/6/2013) - www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/erdington-chip-shop-destroyed-fire-4065391

Goosemoor Lane/Baldmoor Lake Road Conjoined Alley - Clogged With Rubbish - Latest
There is a gated alley at the back of about 100 - 158 Goosemoor Lane (shared with some houses on Baldmoor Lake Road) and it was reported to me about all the rubbish in there some time ago but I couldn't get in there at first. I managed to get in there recently though and can confirm all sorts of stuff is in there.

(Even a cat's remains are in there! Giving you some idea of how long that dead animal has been lying there!)

It used to be wide enough to drive a car down from one end to the other - you'd struggle to do that now with all the dumped stuff and overgrown bushes etc clogging it up. Even the Council can't always get in there to fix the lamps (it does belong to the Council)

Some residents want to make it nice again - but don't really know how. They have suggested arranging a sort of Community Day for residents to do it, or getting the Council to do it - or both.

(With at least one dead animal lying in there though it might not be a good idea for residents to clear all the stuff?)

Burglars have been known to enter that gated alley to then gain access to the back gardens too - it being clogged with dead cats etc might deter them - so think about that before reaching any decision over clearing it!

From Erdington Tories;

`Re: Fly-tipping in Alleyway - Goosemoor Lane

"Further to my previous correspondence, I have now received a response from Environmental Health, a copy of which I have enclosed for you. I have been informed that some of rubbish in question has been arranged for removal. I am aware that there may be further rubbish located within the alleyway itself which will be problematic to remove. Should you still have further concerns about this rubbish, please do let me know and I do what I can to get it moved.

Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding this matter and should you have any questions or would like to raise another issue, please do not hesitate to contact me."

Response from Environmental Health;

"Re: Fly tipping in rear access way leading from Goosemoor Land to Top Croft Road, Erdington, Birmingham B23. I acknowledge receipt of your enquiry of 2nd May 2013 written on behalf of residents of Goosemoor Lane concerning fly tipping in the rear access way leading from Goosemoor Lane to Top Croft Road. I visited Goosemoor Lane on 8th May 2013 and my survey revealed that there is a pile of builder waste approximately half a skip near the access way between 98 Goosemoor Lane and 17 Top Croft Road . I have photographed the waste and will arrange for the rubbish to be cleared by way of the City Council's Your City Your Birmingham Initiative. I will let you know once the waste is removed."

Plan For Moslem Prayer Hall - Station Road

`A planning application (20L3/03259/PA) has been submitted to the Council for 22-24 Station Road, Erdington to allow;

"Additional use of ground floor as Islamic prayer hall in addition to existing permitted use as ground floor education centre".

This is the site of the old Scuba diving shop. Residents have raised with us a number of concerns relating to traffic and parking issues this is likely to cause for the Station Road area. As you will be aware the Road is the only route east - west across the railway line within Erdington Ward and as such is vital it remains moving. The location of this shop for a prayer hall is very unsuitable for such a use, lacking any parking. Indeed the plot is surrounded by a crossing and yellow lines so there is nowhere close that could be used for dropping users off. We also feel it would be open too early (4.15am) and late (11pm) with the times causing residents a real disturbance in a heavily residential area.

In addition to writing to the planning department we are collecting a petition to demonstrate the strength of residents objects.'

For more details on all of these issues - www.erdingtonconservatives.org.uk

From Erdington Tories;

"Speeding On Court Lane - We have been contacted by a number of residents asking for us to lobby the Council for action on speeding cars in Court Lane following the tragic events over Easter, where a young child lost their life.

We have therefore launched a petition calling on the Council to take action in Court Lane and do something regarding the speeding traffic."

"Former Court Lane Allotments Site - The Labour Council has recently decide to restart plans to build on the old allotment site between the Topcroft Estate and Jarvis Road, bordered by Goosemoor Lane and Court Lane. The current allotments site is not at risk. They are still planning to build a road from the site onto Jarvis Road running between the first tower block and the rear of Cookes furniture store. However now instead of the previous plan which would have seen part of the homes been private for sale and part rented by the Council they are making the whole site rented but not by the Council. This means that the properties will not be managed by the Council in any way.

We are very concerned that the Council has gone ahead and agreed to restart the plans to build on this site, despite concerns raised by ourselves and res­idents not being asked their views. Both the Labour Council and London based La­bour MP fully support this scheme. Indeed a member of the London based La­bour HP's staff said to the Council that they were `supportive to these proposals'".

For more details - www.erdingtonconservatives.org.uk

(More Erdington news is carried from The Tories than Labour on the website simply because The Tories send more stuff in than Labour)

Erdington Highways Repair Schedule

Erdington highways repair schedule

Erdington highways repair schedule

<>Erdington NHS Walk in Centre Saved From Closure
< style="font-weight: 400"> F< style="font-weight: 400">or the next 18 months, and ‘for the foreseeable future’, according to Birmingham’s Cross City Clinical Commissioning Group - http://tyburnmail.com/2013/05/10/erdingtons-nhs-walk-in-centre-saved-from-closure-well-keep-up-the-pressure-say-local-conservatives/

< style="font-weight: 400"> Website - www.nhs.uk/Services/GP/Overview/DefaultView.aspx?id=43575

Labour campaign - www.jackdromey.org/show-your-support-our-nhs-walk-centres

Tory campaign - www.erdingtonconservatives.org.uk/news/erdington-walk-centre-survey-update

Fire - Windsor House - Jarvis Road
Two people were rescued from a sixth-floor balcony at a Birmingham tower block as flames engulfed a flat yards from where they stood. The terrified pair took refuge on the balcony and could only watch in horror as the blaze tore through the flat at Windsor House in Jarvis Road.

More - www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/two-trapped-blaze-rescued-erdington-3156699

(The report is dated 26/4/2013 but doesn't say when the fire was)

That new large YMCA hostel on Reservoir Road wasn't universally greeted as a good idea by existing residents before it even got Planning Permission, and `grist to their mill' here by the look of it now it has been built. A photo of loads of rubbish which has been dumped from there onto the adjacent Cross City railway line - www.fixmystreet.com/report/346531

Note enough dumped stuff yet to cause a problem with the passing trains (which serve stations at Gravelly Hill, Erdington and Chester Road etc), but only a matter of time unless something is done - that report was sent to the Council by whoever took that photo.

Rare Birmingham ducks in sniper sights during Government cull. Seven ruddy ducks killed at Witton Lakes in Erdington, in bid to exterminate species in UK - www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/rare-birmingham-ruddy-ducks-sniper-2443547

Constant dumping of rubbish by The Ring on Witton Lodge Road - www.fixmystreet.com/report/330291

Erdington Boy Found Hanged Was Being Bullied At School - says family friend
Aaron Dugmore was discovered at his home on Tyburn Road but died a day later at Birmingham Children’s Hospital - www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/erdington-boy-found-hanged-being-1322037

Man Dies After Suffering Heart Attack Playing Football In Erdington
A man has died whilst playing football on a playing field near Park Approach in Erdington (near Brookvale Park) - http://tyburnmail.com/2013/02/17/man-dies-after-suffering-heart-attack-playing-football-in-erdington/

From Erdington Tories;

"Some bollards have been secured for the junction of Jerrys Lane, Streetly Road and Sheddington Road to stop cars going straight over the junction and into the pavement."

www.erdingtonconservatives.org.uk

(That's that "Eau Rouge" chicane I've been complaining about for years - it is as dangerous as that (in)famous stretch of track in the Belgian grand prix)

Alleged bad parking on Court Lane - www.fixmystreet.com/report/322747

Alleged fly-tipping at the Witton Lodge Road/College Road junction - www.fixmystreet.com/report/323458

Pot holes, Marsh Lane - www.fixmystreet.com/report/321358

Little Luca Atzori (Sycamore Road) Loses Fight For Life

Terminally ill Luca Atzori has died aged two after suffering with a rare genetic disease. Here his Erdington parents tell the story of his tragically short life - www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/little-luca-atzori-crammed-a-lifetime-1294798

Website - www.lucaloveslife.org.uk

The Tay-Sachs disease webpage at NHS Choices - www.nhs.uk/conditions/Tay-Sachs-disease/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Report - huge pot hole outside 541 Chester Road - between Boldmere and Gravelly Lane - www.fixmystreet.com/report/318329

Low Tree Branch Cuts Off Bus Roof On Witton Lodge Road!!! Update

The top of a double decker bus is sliced off after it crashes into a tree in Erdington

Thursday 17/1/2013 around 3.15pm. The updated story is here - www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/top-floor-of-birmingham-double-decker-1234332

(If a mere over-hanging tree branch did that then it is another alarming symptom of our "Walk On By" society. The size of low branch needed to do that would hardly have grown out overnight and so it must have been whacking bus after bus for weeks previously with no National Express staff, passengers, or public etc reporting it).

A KIND-HEARTED community has come together to bring Christmas spirit to a family of five after their house was struck by a blazing fire. The incident took place last Thursday (December 13) around noon on Witton Lodge Road, Perry Common.

Three appliances attended the scene but the fire damaged the whole property. Lost in the blaze were all of the Christmas presents bought for the family, which includes a mum, her two boys aged, seven and 11, and two girls, aged 15 and 18.

So moved by their loss, Kingstanding mum Toni Cave of Binstead Road, has rallied round to gather gifts for the family in time for Christmas. Toni witnessed the fire from her business, the Cave Tattoo Studio on Flackwell Road, in Erdington, which she owns with husband, Lee.

More - www.suttoncoldfield-people.co.uk/Community-rallies-help-ruins-family-home/story-17648135-detail/story.html

From Erdington Conservatives;

"Have your say on the Future of Erdington's Walk in Centre

Dear Resident,

The NHS will be carrying out a review of all Walk in Centres in the Country starting in December to see what local demand there is for each of them. As you will be aware the Erdington Walk in Centre is based on the High Street and as well as being well located for users, also attracts people to shop on the High Street.

We feel that the Erdington Walk in Centre is well used and should therefore continue. To help us with putting forward the case for protecting the Erdington Walk In Centre we are now carrying out a survey and Petition of local residents to provide evidence to back up the case we are putting to the NHS. Please fill in the survey, sign the petition and return to us freepost using the slip on the back. This will then be submitted to the Consultation when it is launched by the NHS. Thank you for taking the time to support our campaign to keep Erdington's Walk in Centre.

For more information on the centre go to - www.nhs.uk/Services/GP/Overview/DefaultView.aspx?id=43575

 

Short Heath Road and Witton Lodge Road have now been resurfaced following campaign by local Conservatives

Potholes on Station Road and Edwards Road have been reported for repair.

 

Yours Sincerely

Cllr Robert Alden

Cllr Bob Beauchamp

Cllr Gareth Moore"

They are delivering surveys locally, or visit here - www.erdingtonconservatives.org.uk

Birmingham Development Plan< style="font-weight: 400">
The Birmingham Development Plan will set out the statutory planning framework to guide decisions on development and regeneration in Birmingham until 2031. It will set out how and where the homes, jobs, services and infrastructure will be delivered and the type of places and environments we want to create in Birmingham.

By 2031, Birmingham’s population is projected to grow by 150,000. This level of growth, based on recent trends, is greater than previously considered and presents a challenge for planning the future homes and jobs the City needs.

www.birmingham.gov.uk/plan2031

Firework Accident At The Jarvis Road Event On Saturday?
I got this from a resident;

"I was at the Firework display at St Margarets Church at Jarvis Rd on Saturday evening. Towards the end of the display a firework seemed to malfunction and fired at the crowd of people in all directions. A Paramedic team was called out as a child was injured I understand and was treated inside one of the tower blocks. I saw another young boy with a burn to his face, although not serious looking but it could have been his eye. I wondered if you had heard about this incident and if there was any news on the child, a young girl I understand."

Erdington Boundary Change Plan Is Dropped
Plans to move the ward of Sutton New Hall into the constituency of Birmingham Erdington were dropped following protests.

Read More - www.birminghampost.net/news/2012/10/19/boundary-change-plan-is-dropped-65233-32058870/#ixzz2AiaPFUWj

Girl, 5, Knocked Down On College Road Left Brain-Damaged
The devastated parents of a young Polish girl who was struck in an alleged hit-and-run in near Perry Common Library have been told that she has suffered brain damage in the crash.

More - www.birminghammail.net/news/local-news/parents-of-girl-knocked-down-by-car-267154

From Erdington Conservatives;

Hoardings Removed From James Court

Robert, Gareth and Bob are delighted to announce that following their pressure to Highways, the Council have demanded the owner of James Court, Gravelly Lane/Station Road corner, remove the hoardings that had been blocking the pavement for years.

Bob said "it was vital that the pavement was cleared so residents could use it. In the end it took the threat of a fine from the Council for action to be taken."

Had A Heart Attack On Saturday
I had a (small) heart attack on Saturday (20/10/2012). Hence the delay updating the page. Am back from the hospital now, one artery was temporarily narrowed and the others were clear - all are back to normal now.

Doctors say I will be ok IF I follow their direct instructions from now on etc - they say it is just one of those things, e.g. my Race and age (47) etc.

Parking Problems Outside Short Heath School - Streetly Road - More
I've got a response over this;

This is probably an issue outside many schools across the city when parents collect their children, but we've traffic havoc at the end of the school day, especially if two 65 buses meet there at the time too (one travelling to-city and one from-city), cars and buses even having to drive fully on the pavement.

The road can be widened by narrowing the very wide grass verge outside the school, but it would cost money and we'd lose that green space with its trees.

The school have sent this in;

"Thank you for your e-mail with regards to the parking problems outside Short Heath Primary School. We have contacted the Police and the Council and they are aware of the issues that you mention."

School website - www.shortheath.com

`Cars Illegally Driving/Parking On Pavement' - Top Croft Road - report on Fix My Street

"Cars are being driven at speed along the pavement on Topcroft Rd - they are using 2 separate dropped kerbs to mount the pavement and park, they then drive at speed along the pavement to exit. Young children frequently use this pavement (many 4/5 year olds on their own) to cross the road and go to the corner shop and they cannot see or expect these cars being driven at them - this is a accident waiting to happen. Bollards need to be installed to stop this happening as this corner piece of pavement has turned into a car park nos 29, 31, 33 and 37 worse offenders."

The full report - www.fixmystreet.com/report/282218

(That's just one report placed online on Fix My Street and I can't vouch for how accurate it is entirely - though that photo is fairly conclusive over at least cars being parked on the pavement. Purposely placed on the News Page rather than the Crime Page for now. Let me know your own views)

Lorry Stuck Under Bridge - Summer Road - Erdington<>
< style="font-weight: 400">(From The Birmingham Mail) A BUSY Birmingham road had to be sealed off when a HGV got stuck under a rail­way bridge. Police cordoned off Summer Road in Erdington after the lorry lost part of its roof in the accident about 1pm on Thursday (27/9/2012).

Jack Dromey MP Was On Newsnight Last Week<>
13 minutes or so into it he appears. A debate about Eastern Europeans working in the country - www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01n3h0j/Newsnight_27_09_2012/

I always say our Politics resembles a Bug Bunny cartoon, like 4 minutes into this one - www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGx8kdt8dNM

(Yosemite Thatcherite - "Tear down that Wall mister Gorbachev, tear down that Wall! - Close it, close it, close it up again!")

And yet dopey Labour got stuffed by Gillian Duffy on the topic.

Chester Road/Beggars Bush Traffic Lights - The Farce Continues
The traffic lights at this junction now often back the traffic up to the Sycamore Road junction each day even around midday! Yet the other junctions (Jockey Road and Kings Road) often clear on each change. Meanwhile traffic coming towards Castle Vale on Chester Road always clears easily.

Council forever looks at it, and it was better for a bit. Reported though - again.

I think there is a correct altering and flexible setting throughout the day which they can be put on, the Council still has to find it though.

Contact the Council about these lights if you have more info about how bad it is - transportation@birmingham.gov.uk

Local Trains Ground To A Halt After Tree Fell Onto Power Cables - 30/8/2012

BLOCKED LINES: This is the scene after a tree came crashing onto the tracks between Chester Road and Erdington railway station yesterday morning.

Read more - www.suttoncoldfield-people.co.uk/Trains-grind-halt-tree-falls-power-cables/story-16798726-detail/story.html

Erdington Cllr Robert Alden Has Got Married Recently

Get Well Soon Cllr Beachamp
Initially, due to privacy issues, I didn't want to mention a medical injury on the website even though Cllr Beachamp was openly on crutches, but this then appeared in The Birmingham Mail recently, having occurred a few weeks before;

"HANCOCK is relieved to hear that a motorbike injury to Birmingham councillor Bob ‘Biggles’ Beauchamp (pronounced Beecham) is on the mend. The intrepid car and bike-mad Erdington councillor tore his achilles tendon while starting his vintage 1936 Norton motorbike at an airfield near Shenstone."

Read More - http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-blogs-views/birmingham-mail-columnists/2012/06/29/hancock-bob-proves-a-true-blue-97319-31287813/#ixzz20952kYat

Rutherford Road Was Nameplate Broken - Fixed
One at the junction with Court Lane - fixed. One of the nameplates on Bowling Green Close was broken and has also fixed now.

Dead Body Found In Burned-Out Car In Scrapyard - Gravelly Lane - Foul Play Ruled Out< style="font-weight: 400">
From the Birmingham Mail at www.birminghammail.net

`A SCRAPYARD in Birmingham has been sealed off by police after a body was found in a burned-out car. Fire crews were called to the salvage yard on Gravelly Lane just before midnight last night to reports of several cars on fire. Following an examination of the scene a body was found in one of the torched vehicles and confirmed dead. Cordons were set up around the site while forensic examinations take place.

A post mortem will be carried out on the body, which has not been identified, today to determine a cause of death.

Detective Sergeant Andy Bradley, from Force CID, said this morning - "We are at the early stages of our inquiry and the death is being treated as unexplained as we try to determine how the person died, and the fire began. We are urging anyone with information about last night’s events to come forward and speak to us at their earliest opportunity."

Early enquiries included detectives speaking to local residents in the wake of the grisly discovery, a process which will continue today. Anyone with information was asked to contact force CID on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.'

(This has been found to be a suicide - more details to come)

Last Pitch For Votes
From Labour;

(It was sent all in capital letters)

IN THE LAST YEAR ALONE, ELAINE AND LABOUR CAMPAIGNED TO:
 

SECURE FUNDING FOR THE COURT FARM DAY CENTRE
 

SUPPORT NEW OSCOTT VILLAGE RESIDENTS IN THEIR COUNCIL TAX BANDING APPEAL
 

REMOVE A SKIP CAUSING A LONG STANDING EYESORE AT THE JUNCTION OF FLACKWELL ROAD AND WITTON LODGE ROAD AND FLY-TIPPING ACROSS THE WARD
 

SUPPORT LOCAL COMMUNITY INITIATIVES AND CHARITIES SUCH AS COURT LANE ALLOTMENTS AND JOHN TAYLOR HOSPICE
 

STOP IRRESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERS FROM LETTING THEIR PETS FOUL VERGES AND PAVEMENTS - AND IN PARKS SUCH AS SHORT HEATH.


From the Conservatives
Bob and the team have secured new trees for our parks and streets this year. Bob is pictured planting trees in Short Heath Park.

Bob ensured that the tree planters on Goosemoor Lane, which had fallen into disrepair, were upgraded and fixed using natural stone rather than plain bricks as done elsewhere in the City.

Bob's Road Rescue Plan for Erdington has seen roads and pavements improved across the ward. Bob is pictured inspecting the new pavements in Tedbury Crescent.

During the year Bob and the team have carried out numerous litter picks across the local area to help try and keep Erdington cleaner, safer and greener. Here Bob is pictured cutting weeds back on Station Road

The team support all our local school, here Gareth, Robert and Bob are pictured on a visit to the Abbey Catholic Primary School, holding the School Travelling Ted'. Bob is a governor at Court Farm Primary School.

This year the team helped secure improvements to the play equipment in Short Heath Park that have meant not just new play equipment but also some outdoor gym equipment has been installed.

Bob by the new speed sign on Orphanage Road, this is one of the three the team have secured this year.

Drains on Goosemoor Lane
The drains at the Top Croft junction are blocked, and we've bad road cambers by the Gravelly Lane junction and on the Bend which cause water to collect there, and bad cambers doing the same at the junction of Short Heath Road and Marsh Lane too (the very heavy rain-water was nearly flooding up to the doorways of both the pubs there on Sunday night). Sinking more drains under the railway bridge on Summer Road by Six Ways has sorted the "weir" problem which used to occur there in heavy rain. I've reported things to see if anything can be done.

Sainsbury's Press Release - 26 April 2012
`Planning Committee approval set to bring new jobs to Erdington. Around 400 new full and part-time job opportunities are set to come to Erdington following Birmingham City Council Planning Committee’s decision to approve Sainsbury’s plans for the redevelopment of the Colliers Motor Group site on Sutton Road.

Sainsbury’s believes that the development will improve the choice of places for local residents, for main groceries shopping. It also hopes that shoppers will combine trips to the store with visits to other shops in Erdington High Street, to help boost local businesses and open up further opportunities for rejuvenating the district’s centre.

The scheme includes a Sainsbury’s foodstore with a 50,000 sq ft sales area as well as over 380 parking spaces. The approved scheme will also provide:

A wide range of Sainsbury’s popular food products
An in-store bakery
A customer restaurant
Cash machines
Motorcycle and bicycle parking
A pick-up and drop-off point
Dedicated disabled and parent/child facilities
Facilities to deliver online grocery orders directly from the store
New trees, shrubs and other planting around the site
Three independent retail units
A public square facing Orphanage Road and Edwards Road
Safe pedestrian links to the store

Proposals for residential properties, which also form part of the development, have also been approved by the Planning Committee in principle.

Subject to approval from Birmingham City Council and the signing of a legal agreement associated with the planning decision, Sainsbury’s will also provide a number of benefits to the local community including:

Two hours free parking at Sainsbury’s car park
£215,000 towards improvements to public areas and pavements between the store and The Green, and within Erdington High Street
£500,000 towards improvements to the Six Ways roundabout
Improvements to the junction at Edwards Road/ Station Road/ A5127, including a new signal-controlled pedestrian crossing on Edwards Road
Linking the timings of traffic lights at the junction of Edwards Road/ Station Road/ A5127 with those at the proposed store access to co-ordinate the through-traffic along Sutton Road
Improvements to cycle routes in the area
A pedestrian crossing at the junction between Edwards Road and Orphanage Road

Michael Adenmosun, Sainsbury’s Regional Development Executive, says, "We’re delighted with the committee’s approval and we look forward to becoming part of the community in Erdington in due course. Our next step is to work with Colliers to progress on the details of their plans to relocate to Tyburn Road, as one development can’t happen without the other. We will continue to keep the local community updated."

For further information regarding Sainsbury’s Erdington, please call Joyce Yip on Sainsbury’s freephone: 0800 975 5299.'

From Erdington Conservatives< style="font-weight: 400">
`Popular tireless local campaigners Cllrs Bob Beauchamp, Robert Alden and Gareth Moore have been running a campaign to improve road safety across Erdington.

As part of this they have overseen the installation of new driver feedback signs on Orphanage Road, Goosemoor Lane and Gravelly Lane and taken part in local police led community speed watch events, like the one on Holly Lane.

Now they are campaigning for improvements to the junctions at the 'Yenton' where Sutton Road and Chester Road meet, the Jerry's Lane and Shedington Road junction and by the Station Road and Gravelly Lane junctions.

Bob said "both of these junctions are very busy and yet have no pedestrian phase making them very dangerous, we have collected a petition for each and are lobbying the Council for action. As well as all this we are also running a Twenty is Plenty' campaign to have 20mph zones introduced around Erdington's schools to protect local families".'

Erdington Conservatives - www.facebook.com/people/Erdington-Conservatives/1151875226

Birmingham City Council Facing Legal Battle Over Sainsbury's Erdington Plan
Read More - www.birminghammail.net/news/birmingham-news/2012/04/12/birmingham-city-council-facing-legal-battle-over-sainsbury-s-erdington-plan-97319-30747596/#ixzz1sEqqAz4c

From Sainsbury's - PRESS STATEMENT

17 April 2012 - COUNCIL DELAYS DECISION ON SAINSBURY’S PLANS FOR ERDINGTON

`Following Birmingham City Council Planning Committee’s agreement to delay making a decision on Sainsbury’s proposals for Erdington, Michael Adenmosun, Sainsbury’s Regional Development Executive says:

"Whilst it is disappointing that the deferral decision has delayed our application, we still remain hopeful that the planning committee members will endorse their officer’s recommendation to approve this regeneration scheme, which will deliver new job opportunities for local people and provide the investment needed to boost the local economy and rejuvenate the area. In going forward the scheme will also enable Colliers to expand its business, by relocating to larger premises on a vacant site on the Tyburn Road."'

From Erdington Conservatives;
`Speed Signs

Bob, Robert and Gareth are delighted to announce that the overdue speed warning signs for Goosemoor Lane and Gravelly Lane have now been installed. Bob said;

"Residents will be aware that we secured the funding for these along time ago and since then the Council transportation department has dithered and taken far to long to install them.

However we are glad that these vital signs are now installed. Both these locations are prone to speeding traffic and hopefully the signs will help discourage people from breaking the speed limit. We are continuing our campaign for improvements to the junction at Station Road and hope to update residents soon".

Summer Road Micro Park Campaign

Resdients will recall that Bob, Robert and Gareth took matters into their own hands earlier this year when residents got in touch about the appalling state of the waste ground at the junction of Station Road and Summer Road. Following this Bob has been leading a campaign to have the area turned into a "micro park" so that it is properly maintained and is an asset to the local community rather than a blight on the environment.

Bob said;

"We have been working hard and meeting with Transportation department to get permission to do work to the site. We now have that permission and so are working on schemes to see if we can secure the required funding to get the work done."

Erdington Conservatives - www.facebook.com/people/Erdington-Conservatives/1151875226

Electronic Speed Sign - Goosemoor Lane< style="font-weight: 400">
We have a 30 mph speed-limit along the road of course, and a new electronic sign is now by The Woodyard indicating the speeds of vehicles heading towards the Bend, a notorious accident black-spot. See if it makes any difference.

Power Cut - Monday 5/3/2012
We do get these every so often now, I don't know what the problem was this time. The electricity went off around 10.30pm in the Goosemoor Lane area on Monday 5/3/2012, and came back on around 11.15pm that same day (someone working the generators who doesn't like Jeremy Paxman?)

It was only localised, certainly the Topcroft Estate power stayed on.

Goosemoor Lane Resident Graeme Croton (Project Aspie) - On The Alan Titchmarsh Show
Watch online here - www.itv.com/itvplayer/video/?Filter=311684 - about 38 minutes in, during the Philip Schofield interview about the Princes Trust.

www.projectaspie.com

(I recognise that back garden he's in!)

Lord Corbett Of Castle Vale (And Erdington MP From 1983 - 2001) Dies, Aged 78, After Cancer Battle<>
From the Birmingham Mail at www.birminghammail.net

`FRIENDS have paid tribute to Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, the former Birmingham MP who has died aged 78. Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, Robin Corbett represented Birmingham Erdington as a Labour MP for eighteen years, from 1983 to 2001. He was also a former journalist, working for the Birmingham Mail and later the Daily Mirror.

He died on Sunday at 8am with his wife, Val, and family present. He had been suffering from cancer.

Jack Dromey (Lab), the current MP for Erdington, said:

"Robin was truly a great man, loved and a legend in Erdington. He leaves a remarkable legacy of achievement and it was typical of him that, after outstanding service to the people of Erdington, he went to the House of Lords as Lord Corbett of Castle Vale."

Lord Corbett was born in Fremantle, Australia, on December 22, 1933, and attended Holly Lodge Grammar School in Smethwick. After his national service in the Royal Air Force in 1951, he became a journalist. After a career in newspapers, he became deputy editor of Farmer’s Weekly in 1968. He was elected Labour MP for Hemel Hempstead at the October 1974 general election, losing the seat in 1979 but returning to parliament as a Birmingham MP in 1983.

Lord Corbett was a senior figure in the Labour Party in opposition, serving as a party whip from 1984 to 1987, shadow home affairs minister from 1987 to 1992 and a shadow culture minister from 1992 to 1994. He later served as chairman of the influential Commons Home Affairs Select Committee from 1999 to 2001, until retiring from the Commons to join the House of Lords.

There, he was chairman of the all-party British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom and chairman of Friends of Cyprus.

He was a supporter of local employers as an `ambassador' for Advantage West Midlands, the government agency set up to support the economy.

Mr Dromey said: "He never lost touch with the people he served so well. He will be sorely missed but forever remembered."'

Erdington MP Jack Dromey Sorry For Failing To Declare Almost £30,000 In Wages
From the Daily Mirror at www.mirror.co.uk

`Shadow Housing Minister Jack Dromey yesterday apologised for failing to declare £30,000 of wages from the Unite union. The former Unite deputy general secretary told Parliament in June 2010 he was giving up his old job and salary after becoming an MP but he stayed there part-time until October. Mr Dromey - the husband of Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman - said he had made an honest mistake by forgetting to update the register of members’ interests.

He told the Commons in a statement: "I failed to update my initial registration. I want to apologise unreservedly for this."

The Standards and Privileges Committee said Mr Dromey had failed to give an accurate picture of his relationship with Unite but it also noted he ­apologised and co-operated fully with them'.

POLICE Investigating The Death Of A Woman In Erdington Ruled Out Foul Play<>
The body of the 37-yearold, named locally as Claire Brown, was found at a house on The Hurstway, Erdington, on Thursday evening (5/2/2012). A 53-year-old man from Harborne was initially arrested by police.
However, following the completion of a postmortem examination, they are no longer treating the death as suspicious.

"Although further tests are being conducted, officers can confirm the death is not suspicious,'' a spokesman said. "A 53-year-old man has been released without charge. The file has now been passed to the coroner."

A neighbour of the woman, who asked not to be named, said: "I knew her to say hello to but that was all. I would see her going to the shop. I just can't believe she's dead, I only saw her a few days ago. It's such a shock."

Sainsbury's Update From Jack Dromey MP
"Most of you will know that Sainsbury’s are applying to build a store on the piece of land which currently is occupied by the Colliers Motor Group and the Honeywell building near to Erdington High Street.

The proposed development does have real potential benefits for Erdington but brings with it genuine problems, and concerns as well. I have met with hundreds of local residents to ensure I represent your concerns properly.

The final planning application has now gone in and it is clear that real progress has been made. Sainsbury’s have agreed to move the loading bay access from Orphanage Road to Sutton Road so that lorries and traffic do not come down residential streets. They have also changed their normal recruitment process to put local people first. On the High Street, they have now committed to playing a central role with local retailers and a reinvigorated Town Centre Partnership to put the heart back into Erdington High Street.

The planning application is complex (you can find my summary here) but in it I have found a number of points which continue to concern me which I have written to the Council about:

The delivery lorry schedule - The application states that the proposed development is likely to ‘receive around 12 daily deliveries, 9 of which are typically overnight’. I am surprised that Sainsbury’s believe that 9 deliveries will be required overnight to service the store. This cannot be necessary and I fear this will blight the lives of local residents.

Residents’ parking - The Council must a find a sensible solution in its parking consultation, including consideration of Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs), prior to any construction if the development goes ahead. Local people must be able to park outside their own homes.

Car parking - One of the main concerns that was raised by local retailers throughout the Sainsbury’s consultation period was the issue of linked visits to the High Street, encouraging those who shop in Sainsbury’s to go on to shop in our High Street. We need a minimum of 3 hours free parking not just 2 as the application currently states.

Investment in the High Street - Sainsbury’s have said they will invest in the High Street. The Council must ensure that there is clarity about the amount Sainsbury’s will contribute and how and where this money will be used.

Any potential development must help, not harm the High Street which is why I have taken such an interest in the progress of this application. I would be grateful for your views on my submission – please click here to let me know - www.jackdromey.org

Best wishes - Jack Dromey"

Press Release - Sainsbury’s Submits Application For New Development In Erdington
`Following two public consultations earlier this year, Sainsbury’s has submitted its application to transform the Colliers Motor Group site and create up to 400 jobs in Erdington. The plans, which have received full support from 75% of respondents to Sainsbury’s recent consultation, feature a Sainsbury’s foodstore with a 50,129 sq ft (4,658 sq m) sales floor, a car park, retail units and housing.

Original proposals for the site were unveiled in May this year. In response to concerns raised by nearby residents, Sainsbury’s moved the service yard access to Sutton Road, set back the development away from adjacent residential properties, reduced the height of the development, and added more trees and shrubs to help screen the development and soften its appearance.

The submitted plans feature further amendments in addition to those made to the original proposals. The service yard ramp is now covered to reduce noise, and barriers have been added which will be locked when the store car park and service yard ramp are not in use.

The plans include:

A Sainsbury’s store, with sales area of 4,658 sq m

A car park on top of the store, with 383 spaces and accessible from Sutton Road

Three independent retail units

15 three-bedroom residential properties, each with its own parking

A public square facing Orphanage Road and Edwards Road

New trees, shrubs and planting

Relocation of the existing signalised crossing on Sutton Road to provide a safe pedestrian link to the store

Improvements for pedestrians at the junction between Edwards Road and Orphanage Road

Utilisation of existing pedestrian links between Erdington High Street and the development

Michael Adenmosun, Sainsbury’s Regional Development Executive, says;

"We’re very pleased with such a positive response from the local community, and I’d like to thank everyone who took part in our public consultation.

We’ve been working hard to design a scheme which will create new jobs for local people, help regenerate this part of Erdington and improve shopping choice whilst addressing some of the issues raised by residents near the site. We look forward to the application being considered by the planning committee in due course."

For further information regarding Sainsbury’s proposals, please call Joyce Yip on Sainsbury’s freephone: 0800 975 5299.

Erdington Residents Concerned Over Sainsbury's Superstore - Latest
Application Number - 2011/08251/PA

Development Description - Hybrid planning application (Part Full and Part Outline) comprising:

1) - Full planning application for a retail superstore (Class A1), 3 no. retail units (Class A1, A2 & A3), cash point (ATM's), car parking, public realm works, landscaping and associated works

2) - Outline planning application for approximately 15 residential units

3) - Demolition of existing buildings 1-41 Sutton Road, Erdington, Birmingham

Applicant - Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd

Agent - Turley Associates, 25 Savile Row , London W1S 2ES

Erdington Residents Concerned Over Sainsbury's Superstore - ercoss@live.co.uk

Planning Dept website - www.birmingham.gov.uk/planning

Update On Application To Build On The Old Anstey Fields Site
From Erdington Conservatives;

"Dear Resident,

We are saddened to report that the above application to build on the land off Goosemoor Lane has been approved by the Council at this week's Planning Committee. They have however imposed a number of conditions on the applicants.

The Planning Committee took into account our petition of objection with 150 residents having signed it (it was the only petition handed to the Council objecting to the planning application). In addition to Cllrs Robert Alden and Gareth Moore writing to object 10 residents also objected which helped the case we put to the Planning Department.

Cllr Robert Alden said "Thank you to everyone who completed our petition and survey, wrote to object and displayed a poster objecting. The planning department have imposed conditions on the applicant regarding; need for a sustainable drainage scheme, noise insulation to protect residents, materials to be as agreed, boundary treatments, landscaping, ecological enhancements, tree protection measures, new public open space as part of the final scheme, a safety audit both before and after construction of the entrance to see if further safety measures are needed at cost to the developer".

At the meeting Cllr Bob Beauchamp, a member of the Committee, who voted AGAINST the application, said "This application is totally unacceptable for the local area. I have deep objections. I really think more needs to be done regarding the dangerous. junction and if it is to be approved feel we need a better safety audit carried out".

Cllrs Robert Alden and Gareth Moore attended the meeting to be on hand, against the application on resident's behalf. Cllr Gareth Moore added "It was very disappointing to see the application approved; they did at least impose some conditions to help local residents on the applicant. We will now be working to ensure that if/when the developer builds on the site they meets the conditions imposed on them."

The initial Planning Committee report - www.birmingham.gov.uk/democracy/Pages/AgendaDetail.aspx?AgendaID%3d63209

A plan of the proposals is below.

Ed Miliband at Perry Common Junior and Infants School

Successful First Planting Event At Short Heath Park - Trees For Life Project
www.btfl.org.uk/blog/view/id/17

Sutton Coldfield News Newspaper Closes Its Doors
Originally founded in 1869, the local free newspaper The Sutton Coldfield News published its final edition last week.

Delivered to homes in Sutton Coldfield and Erdington, the paper is one of three regional publications being closed by the Trinity Group Midlands as the company goes through a restructuring process.

The restructuring of the group could result in the loss of up to 50 editorial posts across the Midlands region despite turning around a £7m loss in 2009 to an operating profit of £3.2m in 2010.

Speaking on the loss of the paper Cllr Philip Parkin said,

“I am very sad to hear that the Sutton News is being axed. I would like to wish the best of luck to everyone involved with the paper.”

Other publications in the Trinity Mirror portfolio include the Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail. Trinity Mirror Midlands managing director Steve Anderson-Dixon is overseeing the changes and is quoted as saying

“This review of our organisational structure is vital if we are to ensure a future for our newspapers and websites in the Midlands.”

NUJ Midlands organiser Chris Morley has accused the group of making nothing but cuts since taking over the reigns in 2001.

For now the website is still live though - http://icsuttoncoldfield.icnetwork.co.uk

Erdington MP Jack Dromey Accused Of Not Declaring Union Salary
Read More www.birminghampost.net/news/politics-news/2011/11/09/birmingham-mp-jack-dromey-accused-of-not-declaring-union-salary-65233-29743248/#ixzz1dihqhAth

The Register of Members' Financial Interests: Part 1. As at 31st October 2011 - Jack Dromey's online entry - www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/111031/dromey_jack.htm

The same rules as always with this - Jack Dromey has the chance to put his own view forward here on the website - which will appear unedited and as prominent as this initial report.

He's not obliged to take up this chance to explain himself directly to his Constituents of course, and may choose to do it only on his own website - www.jackdromey.org

His predecessor Sion Simon was always given the same chance during the Expenses Scandal, for whatever reason he always ignored the offer.

 

<>Hazard! Anstey Fog< style="font-weight: 400">
Given recent events on The M5 motorway, a timely reminder of a little local weather pattern we have which is patchy fog banks appearing only about 50-100yds long on the Bend at night, caused by the Anstey (Goosemoor Lane Playing Fields), a bit of a hazard. It sometimes surprises motorists taking the Bend. It happens to a much lesser degree caused by the Park too, Court Lane and Goosemoor Lane affected there. No bends there though of course.

Yet Another Power-Cut On Goosemoor Lane
The night of 4-5/10/2011 this time, off again for a couple of hours. Happens every few months now. The electricity company never says what it is.

Driver Crashes Car Into House - Gravelly Lane
From the Birmingham Mail;

"A WOMAN motorist was treated for shock after she crashed into the front of a house in Birmingham. The driver had to removed from the car through a hole cut into the roof by fire-fighters.

Luckily no one in the house in Gravelly Lane, Erdington, was injured in the crash shortly after 7pm on Saturday (1/10/2011).

Warning After Latest Child Road-Accidents In Erdington
People have been urged to take care after a fourth serious collision involving a child or young adult in the West Midlands in 24 hours.

A 17-year old girl was hit by a car in the latest incident in College Road in the Kingstanding area. She was taken to hospital with serious head and pelvic injuries after the ambulance service was called to the road at about 08:20 BST on Thursday (15/9/2011).

It has advised drivers to use "extreme caution" near schools and colleges. A spokesman said:

"As schools and colleges return for a new academic year, parents and children are being urged by West Midlands Ambulance Service to take heed of key road safety messages."

A boy, believed to be aged 11, suffered foot and leg injuries when he was hit by a car at the junction of Holly Lane and Sutton Road, Erdington, at about 15:35 BST on Wednesday (14/9/2011).

Large Tree Branch Was Blocking Pavement - Goosemoor Lane
The high winds on Tuesday (6/9/2011) brought down a large tree branch on Goosemoor Lane which was now blocking the pavement at the Sycamore Road junction. Was reported to The Council - removed.

Harlech Tower - The Lyndhurst Estate - RIP
The unloved tower-block (surely named after Harlech Castle in Wales) that like all the others stood as a monument to the infamous 1960's architectural error. However, its towering nature at least told you where `home' was if gazing anywhere in the city from miles around - but no more;

www.birminghammail.net/news/top-stories/2011/09/03/demolition-of-erdington-tower-begins-after-falcons-fly-their-nest-97319-29354872/

Harlech Castle in Wales, which will no doubt stand for far more many years yet - www.castlewales.com/harlech.html

Caretakers & Concierge Newsletter - Jarvis Road & Top Croft Estates - August 2011
"Black Bags On Communal Landings - Could we please ask residents not to leave black bags outside their flats by the front doors. This is a Health & Safety hazard, not only to the Caretakers but to other residents.

Name Change - There are changes in the Housing Department, The department is now called HOMES AND NEIGHBOURHOODS.

Are you proud of where you live? If you are why don't you become more involved. Why not become the BLOCK CHAMPION for your block. You would only have to use up to an hour of your time a month. If you like to find out more please contact Marc Hawkes Housing Officer on: 0121 386 2392

Digital Aerials - Tomlinsons: 0121 327 2660. The change over will happen on 7/9/11 & 21/9/11 No new aerial no TV.

Welcome to New Staff - We would like to welcome some new 'members to the team Patricia Morris: is the new Housing Officer for Estate Services. We also have four new concierge who have joined the team they are Dave, John, Rob, & Pat.

Sky Dishes - We have been asked on a number of occasions if residents can put Sky dishes on their balconies, unfortunately the answer is NO.

Dog Excrement - Could we please remind residents who have dogs, that if the dogs use the balcony as a toilet it is your responsibility to make sure that the balcony is cleaned after you dog has used it. If the balcony is not cleaned it can then affect other residents as they may not be able to open their windows due to the smell, if we do have any reports, we will have not alternative but to pass the information on. This is also against your conditions of tenancy.

Cigarette Ends - We are aware that some residents don't like to smoke in their flats & smoke on the balconies, Could we please ask, those residents who do smoke on the balcony, can they please discard the nub ends in the right way & not throw them over the balcony. The lit butts are landing and hitting washing, children playing on the balconies, and other resident's window sills.

If you have any problems regarding the above contact your Concierge on; 0121 386 2336."

News From Jack Dromey MP
"I thought I would take the opportunity to update you on my latest coffee morning. Thank you to those who were able to attend. These regular sessions help me do my job better as your MP.

The main issues raised were:

1. Buses. A number of services have been reduced recently. There was particular concern about the 638 route. There was general agreement that the 638 needs to be extended to go all the way to the ASDA store. I have included a petition with this letter. If you are able to collect some petition signatures to support this service I would be grateful. I have also arranged a meeting with National Express managers. I plan to ask them how often they use the buses and challenge them to use them to get to work.

2. Local democracy. Several residents felt that the local ward meetings and constituency meetings were poorly advertised. Whilst that is the responsibility of the council I have put (and will continue to put) forthcoming ward and constituency meetings on my website.

www.jackdromey.org

3. Railway issues. Concerns were raised about London Midland proposals to reduce the staff opening hours of Erdington and Gravelly Hill train stations. I have set up meetings with the police to talk about the safety implications and also the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) to talk about how reduced opening will affect disabled users.

4. Health. I was very concerned to hear of the difficulties that some people had had with health care in the area. It is important that we keep this under review. I have also taken up the concern of a local clergyman who has to pay parking fees when visiting the very ill and dying.

There were obviously, a number of other concerns raised and any individual queries that you spoke to me about will by now have been taken up by my caseworkers."

From Erdington Conservatives - Flackwell Road Phone Mast Stopped
`Residents will recall that local Conservatives Robert and Gareth have been campaigning against a planned phone-mast for the junction of Flackwell Road and Witton Lodge Road.

Having collected a petition against the application and handing it into the Council as well as arranging for letters of complaint from local residents Robert Alden was delighted to confirm that the application has been rejected by the planning department. Robert said "this was the wrong location and we are delighted that we have stopped it from going ahead. Thank you to all the residents who signed our petition objecting".'

Young Girl Injured In Road Accident - Abbeyfield Road
From West Midlands Ambulance Service;

`Friday 22nd July 2011 - A three-year-old child has been taken to hospital following a road traffic incident in Erdington.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Abbeyfield Road, Erdington at 11.50am.

An ambulance; a paramedic officer in a rapid response vehicle and the Midlands Air Ambulance based at Cosford were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesperson said:

"On arrival at the scene ambulance crews found a three year old girl who had been injured after reportedly colliding with a car." The child sustained a serious head injury. The patient was stabilised at the scene by ambulance staff before she was taken by land ambulance to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for further assessment and treatment. The hospital was alerted to the condition of the child."'

Found Dog In Erdington On 22.07.11
Collie cross, male, black with white markings, collar, no ID

K9 Search UK
Contact 07988 433187

www.k9searchuk.com

From Erdington Conservatives< style="font-weight: 400">
`
Local Councillors' Robert Alden, Bob Beauchamp and Gareth Moore, recently supported the Royal Wedding Street Party on Dean Johnson and Oliver Roads - funding from Community Chest has also be awarded to help fund the day. Bob said

"Thank you to everyone who organised and supported not only this street party but also the others across Erdington".

Short Heath Car Park Resurfaced< style="font-weight: 400">
Short Heath Park car-park has been resurfaced as part of the latest section of Erdington Conservatives plans for improving the park for local residents. The car park was funded through a grant secured by your local Councillors Bob Beauchamp, Robert Alden and Gareth Moore. Previously the Conservatives action plan has seen new paths, solar-lights and a secure fence be installed around the Park.'

Erdington Conservatives - www.facebook.com/people/Erdington-Conservatives/1151875226

From Jack Dromey MP (Labour)< style="font-weight: 400">
"Putting a stop to the pedestrianisation of the entire High Street, protecting our local shops. Working hard on the ground and in Parliament to put the heart back into the high street. Sainsbury's now wants to build a store but we must ensure that the high street is a place where people want to go, and that local streets are not clogged up with traffic.

Backing two hundred residents of New Oscott Village to challenge the unfair Council Tax that they're having to pay."

www.jackdromey.org

Proposed Sainsbury's Supermarket - Erdington - Latest
From the Birmingham Mail at www.birminghammail.net

`RESIDENTS blasted plans for a new Sainsbury’s store in the city at a packed meeting. More than 100 people made their views known Erdington Ward Meeting - with the vast majority hitting out at the proposals.

Residents voiced their anger at plans for a new store, parking, housing and additional retail units on the current Colliers site at the edge of the town centre between Sutton Road and Orphanage Road.

Sainsbury’s community affairs manager Bob Keyes faced the barrage as resident after resident told him the store was not needed or wanted in Erdington.

The discussion, which was chaired by Coun Robert Alden (Conservative), follows a consultation exercise in which members of the public were invited to comment on Sainsbury’s plans.

Fears raised at the meeting at St Barnabas School, Spring Lane, included noise from delivery lorries, gridlock from increased traffic, parking from staff and shoppers and security concerns regarding a proposed rooftop car park.

But Mr Keyes told the hall that the initial plans were already being revised. He said:

"Sainsbury’s policy is to consult the local community at pre-planning stage and we are taking on board your concerns. Those plans are undergoing serious consideration and amendment. When we have got to the point where we have met all of those concerns we will be coming back to the community."

Coun Alden welcomed the fact that Sainsbury’s was listening to residents.

"Until Sainsbury’s feels the community is happy with the plans they will not put in a planning application and that is positive. When that happens we will be making sure that their traffic surveys are robust and that the community really has been heard."

And he added there is still time for people to make their views known.

"We were really pleased with the turnout at the meeting and we have also delivered questionnaires to 6,500 homes so are collating their responses. If anyone has comments they can raise them with us and we will ensure they are passed on to Sainsbury’s."'

Cllr Robert Alden (Tory), C/O Council House, Birmingham B1 1BB Robert.Alden@birmingham.gov.uk

Jack Dromey MP (Labour), House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA www.jackdromey.org

Erdington Residents Concerned Over Sainsburys Superstore - ercoss@live.co.uk

Website - www.sainsburys-erdington.co.uk

Planning Dept website - < style="font-weight: 400"> www.birmingham.gov.uk/planning

Birmingham Councillor Was Offered Sexual Services In Erdington Massage Parlour
From the Birmingham Mail at www.birminghammail.net

`A SENIOR Birmingham councillor has told how he visited a massage parlour to alleviate back pain - but was offered "sexual services" on the side.

Coun Roger Harmer, deputy leader of the city’s Liberal Democrat Group, said he was shocked by the proposal made to him by Thai staff at Fruity Spa, in Erdington, and made his excuses and left.

The 46-year-old father of three said he only visited the massage parlour once.

It is based in an apartment near the Six Ways roundabout in Erdington, but only reveals its full address to registered website members.

Councillor Harmer’s name was revealed in a membership list, seen by the Mail, which was sent out by the owner informing clients of a change in contact details.

The venue has pictures of its staff on the webpage dressed in their underwear, or draped across beds.

Their faces are obscured.

It says it offers Nuru massages, described on the site as "erotic", for a starting price of £40 for 30 minutes.

Coun Harmer unsuccessfully stood as the Lib Dem candidate for Edgbaston at the 2010 General Election.

He was previously a primary school governor.

And he has claimed to have a passionate commitment to the environment and works for an environmental charity.

Speaking about his experience in the massage parlour, the Oxbridge graduate said:

"I regularly get back massages because I have muscular issues and I am lazy in terms of my posture. I have had therapeutic back massage for the last 15 years or so, which has been very effective, and I’ve rarely had back pain in that time. The same guy has done it in all that time and he is very good, but occasionally he isn’t available. I either wait or I have to find somewhere else. It all looked very respectable at this place, the price for Thai massage was reasonable and I certainly did not expect anything to go with it. I had the massage and at the end of it I was offered various extra sexual services. I said ‘no thank you’ and I made my excuses and left. It is a fine line how some of these places dress themselves up as massage parlours, but may be offering sexual services. Equally, the place itself might be perfectly respectable and it’s just a rogue girl who is trying to make some extra money. It is very difficult for people like me who are genuinely looking for a massage. I had to register with them in order to get an appointment. I have obviously not been back since it happened and I will not be going back. It’s just one of those things. It’s an embarrassing thing, but that’s life."

A spokeswoman for Fruity Spa, which is also known as Myumimassage, said:

"I think Yumi has sold the business".

The woman, who did not want to give her name, added: "I don’t know who owns the business. I don’t have their name or their number. Maybe you should call back."'

Prickly Bush - Hawthornbrook Way (off Court Lane)
"The very prickly bush on the corner of Hawthorn Brook Way is growing into the path. It is especially noticeable when holding a child's hand as they are almost certain to be brushing against the bush. I would really like it to be cut back, please."

www.fixmystreet.com/report/190625

It's opposite the cemetery entrance.

(I've seen that bush and it is indeed prickly! Someone set fire to it not long back, but it's now recovered. I'd recommend residents clip bits off and plant them in their back-gardens where they think burglars might get in - the Home Office even says do things like that!)

e.g. www.securedhome.co.uk/garden-security-home.html

Latest On Goosemoor Lane Resident Graeme Croton's Asperger's Syndrome Project

From the Birmingham Mail;

`A MAN who battled bullies and abuse for much of his life before being diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at the age of 25 has officially launched his website to help others in a similar situation.

Graeme Coton, from Erdington, set up Project Aspie to offer free counselling services and a chance for youngsters with Asperger's syndrome to build friendships and enhance their social skills by taking part in meet up activities.

And it went live yesterday (5/5/2011).

He said: "The message of my website is that young people with Asperger's syndrome can do positive things. It also offers advice and support to parents, carers, and family members of loved ones with Asperger's syndrome."

Graeme's hard work has already seen him named the regional winner in the Triumph category of the vinspired national awards which recognise the work of young volunteers across England aged 16 to 25.

He was also awarded a Prince's Trust community award. And this year he has won an UnLtd award and an O2 Think Big award.

Graeme said: "I have achieved more with a short space of time than I ever did through out my entire life. I am educated and passionate on my condition and I am dedicating my whole life now to helping the future of Asperger's. I want to offer Aspies, the autistic word for individuals with Asperger's, a chance and opportunities that I never had in my childhood, adolescence and early adulthood."

Graeme has also started to write the first part of his three-part autobiography on the years before he was diagnosed. During that time he faced bullying that forced him to move from school to school. He achieved just one GCSE in creative arts

He also faced bullying in the workplace because of his difficulty communicating and lack of qualifications.

Since being diagnosed, Graeme has dedicated his life to helping others in a similar situation. He said:

"I always craved one dream and wish throughout my life to gain a cultural belonging and identity."'

To see Graeme's website visit www.projectaspie.com

Goosemoor Lane Speed Warning Signs< style="font-weight: 400">
From Erdington Conservatives;

"As you will be aware over the last year we have been campaigning on trying to help stop speeding cars on Gravelly lane and Goosemoor Lane. This campaign which included petitions to the local Council called for electronic speed warning signs for the two roads and the repainting of the slow down markings in Goosemoor Lane. We have reported and chased regarding the markings and the work should now be done.

We are also delighted to announce that we have secured £6,000 funding for the electronic signs and they have now been ordered. They take about 6 weeks to be delivered. When they arrive they will then be installed one on each of Goosemoor Lane and Gravelly Lane."

Erdington Conservatives - www.facebook.com/people/Erdington-Conservatives/1151875226

Pensioner Dies In Fire At Erdington Housing Complex - Perry Common
From the Birmingham Mail at www.birminghammail.net

`A PENSIONER died and another man is seriously ill in hospital after fire ripped through a ground-floor sheltered housing flat on a Birmingham estate.

The woman died in the blaze at Sycamore Court, a sheltered housing complex run by Witton Lodge Community Association, in Buxton Road on the Perry Common estate in Erdington. Firefighters said the blaze was started by "smoking materials".

A man, thought to be a relative aged in his 60s, is being treated in hospital after suffering chest pains when he arrived at the flat while fire crews were fighting the blaze at 8.30am yesterday. His condition is not thought to be life-threatening.

Paramedics also treated another man at the scene, aged in his 50s, for smoke inhalation. Emergency services have not named the dead woman or the other casualties.

A spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service said the woman was killed in the fire and not by the resulting smoke.

"She died in the fire itself which we think was caused by smoking materials," he said.

Part of Buxton Road, a quiet residential street, was closed at the height of the fire. Crews spent several hours damping down the property and the scene was still cordoned off late yesterday afternoon.

The woman has lived at the ground flat for about a year. Other residents at the housing development were too shocked to talk about the incident.

A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said:

"An elderly woman has died following a fire at a property in Erdington. Ambulance crews also assessed and treated a man in his 50s for high levels of smoke inhalation. The casualty was stabilised at the scene and later transferred to hospital."

The Sycamore Court complex, which was opened in 2005, houses 40 self-contained apartments. It offers non-residential care to elderly residents. Grieving relatives refused to talk about the fire or reveal the identity of the dead woman.'

From Jack Dromey MP - Two Issues< style="font-weight: 400">
"Buses:

There was a great deal of worry about changes to local bus routes - in particular the 68 and also the 638 which people want extended so that it reaches the ASDA. Concern was expressed about the lack of bus transport to the Dove Medical Centre. I have a meeting planned with the relevant authorities shortly where I will raise these matters.

Housing:

The flats outside the bungalows in Jerry's Lane were going to have security cameras but nothing ever happened. I have been in touch with the Housing Department."

www.jackdromey.org

From Erdington Conservatives - Two Issues
`Making traffic junctions safer - the Summer Lane and Station Road junction where Erdington Conservatives got the Council to demolish their derelict building so that visibility at the junction would be improved.

Bob, Robert and Gareth have managed to secure solar-lights for the paths from the Topcroft Estate to Goosemoor Lane through Short Heath Park.

Gareth Moore said "we fought to get these lights so that the paths would be safer at night".

Erdington Conservatives - www.facebook.com/people/Erdington-Conservatives/1151875226

Park Lights!
The new tarmac paths running through Short Heath Park now have (seemingly solar-powered and charged during the day) lights on the ground at night! Also at The Ring at Witton Lodge Circle. Hopefully they won't confuse passing aircraft that it's a runway!

Damaged Car - Court Lane - Gone
A small green Ford Ka - number W 711 PDM - had been parked empty for ages at the side of the road with serious front-end damage at the notorious accident black-spot that is the Court Lane S-bend by The Greyhound pub. Now gone.

Former Erdington MP Sion Simon (Labour) Defends His "Redundancy" Payout<>
From the Birmingham Mail at www.birminghammail.net

`Sion Simon, the former MP for Erdington who is now campaigning to become Birmingham’s first directly-elected mayor, said he had received a redundancy payment like any other public-sector worker who lost their job.

He was one of 20 former West Midland MPs who pocketed payments of up to £64, 766 following last year’s general election.

Politicians were entitled to payments known as resettlement grants whether they fought their seat and lost or simply chose to stand down, but they only received the money if they applied for it.

Mr Simon and former Black Country MP Sylvia Heal, who represented Rowley Regis and Halesowen, spoke about the grants when the Birmingham Mail contacted them yesterday (7/4/2011).

Others, including former Birmingham MP Clare Short (Labour), former Redditch MP Jacqui Smith (Labour) and former Bromsgrove MP Julie Kirkbride (Conservative), who all received the payments, did not immediately return our calls. Payments were based on length of service and Mr Simon, who was an MP for nine years, was eligible for £32,383 after he stood down.

He told the Mail:

"After nine years of the tremendous privilege of serving the people of Erdington in Parliament, I got six months’ redundancy, which is broadly comparable to local government or other public sector schemes. Contrary to common perception, not all former MPs want to be directors of banks or walk straight into other jobs. I am in Birmingham working in the community."

Ms Heal was entitled to £43,393.22 based on her length of service in the Commons.

She said:

"It is almost like a form of redundancy, in terms of giving people time to adjust and time to find alternative employment. I understand people’s concerns. All I can say to that is it is part of the terms and conditions of employment that you accepted when you became a member of Parliament. Compared to the type of bonuses many people get, certainly bankers, it is not so enormous."

Westminster officials have only now revealed which MPs chose to apply for the money, after trying to keep the details secret for almost a year.

Commons authorities released the names after the case was referred to the Information Commissioner, the official freedom of information watchdog.

It emerged 220 MPs from across the country accepted the grant and only five, none of them from the West Midlands, chose not to apply for it.'

Proposed Car Wash - Gravelly Lane
From Erdington Conservatives;
 

"A planning-application to turn the garden-centre on Gravelly Lane into a car-wash has been received by the Council. Robert Alden, Bob Beauchamp and Gareth Moore have submitted a petition to the Council objecting to the application."

(Update - the carwash is currently there now).

More from Erdington Conservatives;

"The car-wash has not yet been given planning permission the planning department are waiting for Network Rail to respond before it goes to a planning meeting."

Erdington Conservatives - www.facebook.com/people/Erdington-Conservatives/1151875226

Safer Routes For Schools - Osborne Road
Chris Davison, Highways attended an Erdington Ward meeting and displayed drawings of the two options proposed for the Osbome Road safety scheme.

Option 1, one-way traffic system running down from Station Road

Option 2, two-way traffic system incorporating a crossing-point, a table and three cushions

Consultation had taken place in 2010 and it was hoped that a final decision would be made this week with work planned to begin in February for completion in March.

Members and residents raised concerns which included the following points:

A one-way scheme would not work due to parked cars

There would not be sufficient space for passing cars

There would not be sufficient space for emergency vehicles

Why were there to be three cushions?

In response to a question from the Chairman, Chris Davison confirmed that the table would be placed at the junction with no loss of parking. He further explained that cushions were designed for emergency vehicles to straddle, and that the width of the road and regulations determined how many cushions were needed.

After further consideration of the scheme, the Chairman thanked Chris Davison for attending the meeting.

Osborne Road 'One-Way' Plan - Objections< style="font-weight: 400">
From the Sutton Coldfield News - www.icsuttoncoldfield.co.uk

`ERDINGTON councillors and police have flatly rejected a proposal to make Osborne Road one-way. That was one of two traffic-calming schemes put forward by Birmingham City Council's Highways Department for the street, which connects Station Road and New Street and is close to Erdington police station, Erdington railway station and Osborne Primary School.

The second option is for 'speed-bumps' to be added, at the Station Road end.

It was suggested that traffic be prevented from entering Osborne Road from the New Street end. After hearing unanimous objections to the idea from residents and police officers, Coun Robert Alden told Wednesday's Erdington Ward Committee meeting: "It's safe to say that everyone [agrees] one-way won't work."'

Alley Alongside The Blocks Of Flats On Jarvis Road< style="font-weight: 400">
Patrick Canavan, Housing and Constituencies attended an Erdington Ward meeting and responded to previous concerns relating to the Jarvis Road walkway, which had become overgrown. He explained that a team from Community Payback would undertake the work.

Local Road Resurfacing< style="font-weight: 400">
From Erdington Conservatives;

"Pavements to be resurfaced this year;

Blossom Hill

Sandon Grove

Shrub Lane

Witton Lodge Road

Roads resurfaced this year;

Barnabas Road

Chipstead Road

Cossington Road

Flackwell Road

Norfolk Road

Orchard Road

Somerset Road

Station Road

Roundabouts on Holly Lane by Orphanage and Grange Roads."

Erdington Conservatives - www.facebook.com/people/Erdington-Conservatives/1151875226

A Wild Alsatian Dog Was Running Loose
A large German Shepherd (Alsatian) dog was frantically running loose in the area on Sunday 20/3/2011 around 2pm. It was spotted on Witton Lodge Road, then it ran up to Court Lane and then onto Goosemoor Lane - dodging in and out of traffic all the way. Very lucky not to either cause a road-accident or be hit by traffic.

It was eventually apprehended (after many pedestrian passer-by and motorist attempts) by a motorist by the Goosemoor Lane/Kirkwood Avenue junction. The dog had a collar but no identification was attached!

He bundled it into his car with the intention of handing it in to the police.

New Pop Band Named `Court Lane'!
A Sutton Coldfield boy-band has been formed called Court Lane, and yes they are named after our Court Lane. Website - www.myspace.com/courtlaneofficial

Plans To Shut Neighbourhood Offices
From the UNISON trade-union at www.westmids.unison.org.uk

`The City Council proposes to close six Neighbourhood Offices and relocate another nine Neighbourhood Offices, as well as reducing their opening hours.

With fewer locations and a reduction in opening hours, it is likely that you will have to travel further to access your service and it is likely you will have to wait longer for an appointment - it is already taking up to 3 weeks to get an appointment!

Your Neighbourhood Office will no longer be your local community-based office.

You will face:

A future of fewer interviews with an advisor - Because the Council will force you to seek to resolve more of your queries over the telephone or via the Internet.

A future of fewer staff to see you - Birmingham City Council are proposing a 25% reduction in staff as fewer offices will be open for you.

A future of longer travelling - If your office is moved further away from where you live, you will have to travel further to see an advisor.

A future of longer waiting times - Because there will be fewer offices and fewer advisors there will be fewer appointments.

A future of limited choice - Because more of your queries are dealt with electronically or over the telephone, you will get an inferior service as you will be talking to inexperienced staff reading from a script.

These proposals will make it more difficult for you to;

Avoid losing out on benefit entitlement

Stop the risk of paying bills late

Get your benefit documents verified

Have a letter or bill explained

Reply to an urgent letter

Report as homeless

Sort out a housing issue

Deal with bailiffs

We believe you should have the chance to shape the future of the service that you, your family and your friends use.

We believe that not all of your enquiries can be resolved over the telephone or over the Internet.

We believe that you would still like the real option of meeting with an experienced and trained advisor when you need to.

We want our role to stay focused on helping with your enquiry.

Write to your Local Councillors or attend their advice surgeries and let them know what you think about the proposed changes.

Sign the Save Our Neighbourhood Offices Petition

Join our `Save Our Neighbourhood Offices' Facebook Group - www.facebook.com/?tid=1662421633727&sk=messages#!/pages/Save-Our-Neighbourhood-Offices/128726827184745

Join the national demonstration against the cuts, in London on 26 March 2011.

For coach details email birminghamagainstthecuts@gmail.com'

Erdington Neighbourhood Office, www.birmingham.gov.uk/erdingtonno< style="font-weight: 400">
Perry Common Neighbourhood Office, www.birmingham.gov.uk/perrycommonno< style="font-weight: 400">
Sutton Coldfield Neighbourhood Office, www.birmingham.gov.uk/suttoncoldfieldno<>
Castle Vale Neighbourhood Office, www.birmingham.gov.uk/castlevaleno
Kingstanding Neighbourhood Office, www.birmingham.gov.uk/kingstandingno

Plan To Close 9 Ticket-Offices On The Cross-City And Other Local Railway Lines
From train-operator London Midland;

"There are some ticket-offices where the sales are very low and so it makes commercial sense to target our resources where our customers most need them. We are proposing the closure of nine ticket-offices:

Adderley Park, Bescot Stadium, Cheddington, Duddeston, Jewellery Quarter, Lye, Small Heath, Witton and Wythall."

More from The Sutton Coldfield Observer newspaper at www.thisissuttoncoldfield.co.uk

`EVERY rail-station in Sutton and Erdington will have its hours of operation slashed if proposals by London Midland get the go-ahead.

The train-operator has launched a consultation on proposed new opening-hours for 86 of its ticket-offices, which would see manned operating-times in Sutton stations cut.

For instance Sutton Coldfield's main station, with a ticket-office that currently closes at 11.49pm on weekdays, would potentially close at 7pm or 8pm on Fridays.

Butlers Lane, Chester Road, Erdington, Four Oaks and Wylde Green station would face similar cuts, while the ticket-office at Witton station would cease to operate at all.'

More on this - www.londonmidland.com/your-journey/proposed-changes-to-ticket-office-opening-hours/

Petition Against:

Send the below message on a postcard to the address given;

"Dear Passenger Focus,

As a regular user of London Midland services, I am writing to you to request that Passenger Focus objects to London Midland proposals to close nine ticket-offices and reduce ticket-office opening times at over 70 of! their stations.

London Midland has received over £260 million in public subsidy since November 2007 and has seen passenger revenue increase in the period to 1st January 2011.

Replacing trained ticket-office staff, who are best placed to advise rail users about their best and cheapest travel options, with ticket-machines will reduce the quality and range of services available to passengers.

Passengers will have to queue longer to purchase tickets

Machines do not offer the full range of available tickets

Seats can't be reserved using a ticket-machine

Machines can't deal with damaged or mis-purchased tickets

Machines are not always conveniently located

Machines are all too often subject to vandalism

Yours sincerely ........... "

Send to;

Passenger Focus
Freepost (RRRE-ETTC-LEET)
PO Box 4257
Manchester
M60 3AR

(More freepost protest-forms can be gained from the Erdington and Chester Road Station ticket-offices)

Watchdog Organisation;

Passenger Focus (rail watchdog), www.passengerfocus.org.uk

Relevant Trade Unions;

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers - www.rmt.org.uk

Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen - www.aslef.org.uk

From Erdington Conservatives on the topic;

`Move sends the wrong signals - LONDON Midland Trains has made an application to the Department of Transport to alter the hours of operation of station ticket offices in the West Midlands form the summer.

These proposals include plans to reduce the early morning and evening opening times of the Erdington and Chester Road train station ticket offices. Myself, fellow Erdington Conservative councillor Bob Beauchamp and local Conservative campaigner Gareth Moore are campaigning to stop these changes.

We have made the following points to London Midland:

Erdington and Chester Road stations have many more than 12 people an hour getting on trains in the evenings;

These stations are vital for the local community, especially for those without a car. To remove the office from them, and thereby the ability to be able to buy the right ticket in a practical and helpful manner, is a disgrace and will surely only worsen the situation of numbers using the trains in the evenings;

Loss of help to passengers who are mobility-impaired;

A possible negative impact on attempts to regenerate the area and a negative impact on the promotion of public transport.

The most important point is that the stations are in secluded areas raised up away from houses. They can, at night, be very dark and intimidating places for residents.

The manned ticket office therefore provides a very valuable source of protection and puts off people from doing any anti-social behaviour or from committing crime.

They are vital for all users of the train, even ones who already have a train pass or ticket and for local residents around stations that rely upon them being manned to keep them safe.

This, of course, also encourages customers to use the train which helps London Midland and stops things from being damaged at the station, thereby saving London Midland money.

We are collecting a petition against these changes. If you would like to add your name, please do so by calling 07810 291 302 or email g_moore1805@hotmail.co.uk

We also urge as many people as possible to also make their feelings heard by replying to the consultation before it closes.

Councillor Robert Alden, Erdington.'

Chat Room For Goosemoor Lane
A website called @ Birmingham has set up a chat-room for every road in the city! Here is our's;

www.atbirmingham.com/birmingham/goosemoor_la

Take the usual common-sense precautions if using it of course - it could be Bin Laden asking if Lamp 2 ooon Bowling Green Close has been fixed yet!

Linda Burt Death - Trident Close, Erdington - West Midlands Police Pay Damages<>
From the Birmingham Mail website at www.birminghammail.net

"THE family of a Birmingham teaching assistant who died in police-custody has received damages and costs from West Midlands Police following a seven-year battle for justice.

Teaching assistant Linda Burt, aged 49, was arrested for an alleged breach of the peace after an argument with her elderly mother at her home in Trident Close, Erdington.

She suffered a cardiac-arrest shortly after being handcuffed and was taken to Good Hope Hospital, where she died, on September 27, 2003. Her family waited six agonising years for an inquest.

Finally, in October 2009, a coroner’s court jury at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall concluded that a catalogue of police failings, combined with an undiagnosed heart-condition, led to her death.

Ms Burt suffered pain while being restrained by the arresting officer and began to experience breathing difficulties, the inquest heard.

The jury found the arresting officer was not justified in handcuffing her and officers did not act quickly enough to help her.

And when her condition had been acknowledged, police officers continued to make failings by allowing a member of the public to help, resulting in Ms Burt being placed in the wrong recovery position.

The jury’s findings contradicted those of the Independent Police Complaints Commission which ruled no officers should face disciplinary action over the incident.

Neither West Midlands Police nor Linda Burt’s family would reveal the amount of damages given.

Solicitor Iftikhar Manzoor, acting on behalf of Linda Burt’s family, said the out-of-court settlement was reached shortly after the defence was filed late last year.

A police spokesman said:

"Any death is a tragedy, and West Midlands Police regrets the fact that Linda Burt died whilst in our care. We have taken time to carefully consider the extensive narrative verdict of the jury to establish if lessons can be learned from Linda’s tragic death."

Power Surge On Tuesday Night/Wednesday Morning?
I suffered an Electricity surge, and so did someone in Great Barr too (reports from Kingstanding too). The night of 21/22 December. It destroyed some of my electrical stuff and put other stuff out of action for a bit, and actually blew their TV up!

(Just as well they were still up since their TV was actually set on fire!)

I switch my TV off at the wall each night.

Were others affected?

Fatal Road Accident - Chester Road (by Pype Hayes Park)
From the Birmingham Mail website at www.birminghammail.net

`TRIBUTES have been paid to an “inspirational” art teacher killed in a road accident. Ian Preston, aged 39, died after his Ford Focus was crushed beneath the back of a parked lorry in Chester Road, Erdington, just before noon on Thursday (16/12/2010).

Mr Preston was also chairman of Erdington Arts Forum and worked with a group of artists at The Cube in the area.'

Read More - http://www.birminghammail.net/news/top-stories/2010/12/18/tributes-left-to-popular-teacher-killed-in-rtc-97319-27846882/2/#ixzz18fTNoc1e

Witnesses or anyone with information should call West Midlands Police on 0345 113 5000.

Where Chester Road curves where it runs alongside Pype Hayes Park is something of an accident black-spot.

Erdington Arts Forum, www.erdingtonartsforum.co.uk

Woman Hurt In Smash - Chester Road
From the Birmingham Mail website at
www.birminghammail.net

"A WOMAN was taken to hospital with neck injuries after a three-car smash in rush-hour. Police were called to the junction of Chester Road and Fernwood Road, in Sutton Coldfield, at about 5am yesterday (Monday 13/12/2010).The road was closed off for a short time as the 34-year-old casualty was dealt with.

No-one else was was injured."

Electricity Substation Was Open - Goosemoor Lane
Either by careless workmen or by (very dangerous) trespassing, the electricity-substation opposite Bowling Green Close had been left open at the back.

Path Alongside The Erdington New Testament Church Of God, Goosemoor Lane - Cleared Again
From that Church earlier;

`We (New Testament Church Of God - Erdington) have been in correspondence with the Probation Service recently, and as part of the work we will be doing with them we arranged for the "walkway" alongside the church to be cleared.

As well as the bushes etc. encroaching over our fences, we are also aware a lot of residents use that path as a shortcut from Jarvis Rd. The path should be a lot clearer now; free of the overgrown grass, cans, broken bottles, needles etc - for the time being at least - so a little bit safer to negotiate!!'

www.newlife.org.uk

Fire - November 2010 - Number 4 Goosemoor Lane - Pictures

Garden Shed Fire - Turfpits Lane
From the Birmingham Mail website at www.birminghammail.net

"FIREFIGHTERS were called to a garden shed fire on Turfpitts (sic) Lane in Erdington around 1.30pm yesterday (Nov 16 2010).

No one was hurt during the incident."

West Midlands Fire Service, www.wmfs.net< style="font-weight: 400">
Fire Kills, http://firekills.direct.gov.uk

From Erdington Conservatives;

Road Re-surfacing

Gareth's road rescue plan for Erdington has seen Station Road, Chipstead Road, Cossington Road and Flackwell Road be resurfaced already this year.

In addition we have also contacted the Council and asked that Johnson, Norfolk, Somerset and Anderson Road's are resurfaced as soon as possible.

Speeding cars on Goosemoor Lane

We have been contacted by residents regarding a number of traffic accidents on the bend in Goosemoor Lane from cars speeding. We have contacted the Police to monitor the speeding. We have contacted the Council regarding the possibility of having some kerb treatment to prevent cars mounting the pavement and smashing into the street lights, trees, telegraph-poles and pedestrians who maybe walking past at the time of a crash. We have requested that the slow down warning on the road is repainted as it has started to fade.

We have also launched a campaign to have a speed warning installed on Goosemoor Lane to warn people of their speed. We will keep residents updated with the campaign as it progresses."

Road Accident - Goosemoor Lane
From West Midlands Fire Service;

"At 17:12 hrs yesterday (Tuesday 26/10/2010) Fire Control received an emergency-call to attend an RTC (road-traffic crash) on Goosemoor Lane in Erdington, Birmingham.

Crews from Erdington Fire Station attended the scene that involved a vehicle in collision with a telegraph-pole. One female was released from the vehicle prior to the arrival of fire-crews.

Fire-crews made the vehicle safe whilst West Midlands Ambulance Paramedics assessed the casualty.

The incident was made safe at 17:35 hrs."

Serious Road Accident - Gravelly Lane/Summer Road Area
(
This might have been a Crime since excessive speed was cited) Sunday 22/8/2010 around Noon. By the bridge and the South Road junction a car crashed, one occupant had to be cut out.

Community Fun Day - Pictures

 

Leaning Parking Restriction Post - Gravelly Lane
Opposite the Trident Close junction. Reported.

Local Heron Birds
From resident Gina Mair;

"I live in Kirkwood Avenue and have taken a keen interest in the antics of herons who seem to have a regular schedule for perching on top of a conifer bush/tree at the back of Goosemoor Lane at regular intervals during the day.

Does anyone know where they ‘live’, i.e. in marsh land or by the side of a pond/pool/lake etc.

I do know that neighbours have lost fish to these herons, and they are particularly active at the moment, so watch out if you have just re-stocked a pond in your garden.

They are, of course, the largest bird native to Britain and are so majestic in flight, it would be a great pity if they become extinct - although I do sympathise with those who have lost their expensive fish to these birds of prey!

My email address is gina.mair@blueyonder.co.uk

Hope to hear from someone else who sees these birds on a twice daily basis."

Pictures from 2007 and 2008

Lionel Felton - Obituary And Tribute

Lionel Felton - in younger and happier times with his wife Irenees with his wife Irene

Kingstanding community-activist Lionel Felton passed away at his home from a heart-attack on Saturday 3rd July 2010. Born in June 1948, he was 62.

An agoraphobic, I rarely (if ever) knew him to leave his house where he lived on Finchley Road with his family - he leaves a widow Irene, children, and grandchildren.

That said, his illness never halted his enthusiasm in assisting the area and people of Kingstanding.

I came to his attention (via my community activities in the Short Heath area of Erdington) in December 2008. He asked me to become involved in Kingstanding community issues, and I was happy to oblige - and have done so ever since.

It was his idea to gather a petition over the planned release of Darren Bardsley for the hit-and-run killing of Justin Murphy, which was later delivered by me, Justin's mother Theresa Murphy and his uncle Larry Murphy to Downing Street earlier this year.

The bane of several local Kingstanding politicians in an area where ultra safe-seats are indicative of a wider Political malaise and forever brings about little hope of overall change amongst residents, Lionel was seen by many locals as their only chance to get things done.

So it is with great sadness that I acknowledge that Lionel is no longer with us.

Further tributes are on his Facebook page;

www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1278291614

He sent me an enigmatic message via Facebook on Saturday at midday. But thinking it wouldn't be long before we spoke again anyway - I never responded to his enigmatic message.

So here is that final Facebook message from Lionel Felton to me;

"Please accept this gift -- I got it just for you! I hope you like it!"

With a picture of a strawberry and rose.

(Makes me think of that song "Hello - This Is Joanie" - remember that one? During the Winter Of Discontent it was a hit of course - December 1978/January 1979).

They famously chose Elton John's Candle In The Wind at Princess Diana's funeral in 1997 of course - but I always think Sheena Easton's 1981 album track Don't Send Flowers triumphs hands down at times like this;

"Carry on to the other side,
Have some fun on the other side
You were always trippin' on your feet
'Round the wrong way down the one-way street

Since the day when you found your wings,
You awake to much better things
Now you'll never get the chance to see,
What's been goin' on inside of me
Don't forget all the love I gave you on your way

Chorus:
Don't send flowers, just give me some hours
Just a minute of your time, would really make it shine, so think it over
Don't send flowers, from ivory towers
I just wanna see your face, forever and always, please think it over

Find your way through uncertainty,
Then one day, please come back to me
I'll be waiting in the wings for you
If you find you don't know what to do
Darling, come back to me forever, but till then

Chorus
Don't send flowers, just give me some hours
Just a minute of your time, would really make it shine, so think it over
Don't send flowers, don't send flowers, don't send flowers."

 

Don't Send Flowers - The opening track from the 1981 album Take My Time, by Sheena Easton;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Take_My_Time

I always think it should be played at every funeral where mawkish emotion threatens to overshadow the ongoing need for the rest of us to carry on with life and get things done and make decisive changes - as at Princess Diana's.

So indeed, I'll be carrying on with my community activities in Kingstanding - Lionel Felton would want that.

Loads Of Broken Glass On The Land Between The Topcroft And Jarvis Road Estates
From Fix My Street;

"Massive amounts of broken glass and rubbish - had to rush my son to hospital and he needed an operation after falling onto glass."

www.fixmystreet.com/report/120512

A Car Was Stuck Under Chester Road Railway Bridge
Wednesday 9/6/2010 around 7pm. A car broke down on Chester Road, the to-Streetly way, right under the railway bridge. It was stuck in gear and an automatic etc so was stuck solid and could not simply be pushed into nearby Knipersley Road etc, so traffic chaos was quick in coming! A passing police patrol car was alerted. Don't know for how long that car was stuck there though.

Road Accident - Witton Lodge Road
Wednesday 2/6/2010 around 6.30pm. At the Flackwell Road junction, two small cars collided. Didn't look like anyone was hurt.

Teenager Injured In Collision With Car On Streetly Road - 65 Bus Was Diverted<>
From the Sutton Observer website at www.thisissuttoncoldfield.co.uk

"A TEENAGER was airlifted to hospital on Wednesday (26/5/2010) after being injured in a traffic collision.

The boy, who is thought to be 15 years old, was hurt in an accident with a car on Streetly Road, Erdington around 4pm. He suffered back and leg injuries. The driver of the car was uninjured.

The Midlands Air Ambulance airlifted the boy to Birmingham Children's Hospital, where staff were on standby."

The 65 bus service was diverted due to that road being blocked for some time. One bus driver then tried to make up time later on - and simply caused ANOTHER road accident by colliding with a car at speed on Slade Road! No-one hurt in that one.

(Less haste - more speed).

Road Accident - Station Road/Gravelly Lane Junction - Friday 14/5/2010 - More< style="font-weight: 400">
From the Sutton News;

"A car and a taxi collided at a notorious blackspot in Erdington last Friday. Police and paramedics were called to the traffic lights at the junction of Gravelly Lane and Station Road a about 10pm. A Sutton Coldfield police spokesperson told The News there were no serious injuries to either driver."

Road Accident - Witton - Disrupted The 7 Bus Route< style="font-weight: 400">
A major road accident blocked Witton Road in Aston at the junction with The Broadway, Thursday 6/5/2010 around 6.30pm. The road was blocked for some time in both directions whilst the Fire Service cut a person (or people) free from a car.

Several 7 buses were held up in a long line, so if you were waiting for ages for one in Erdington that evening - that's what happened.

I have no more details about the road accident itself, it was a very serious one though.

Woman Cut Free From Car After Erdington Crash< style="font-weight: 400">
From the Birmingham Mail website at www.birminghammail.net

`A STRICKEN motorist was cut free from her car after it flipped onto its side in a collision with another vehicle in Birmingham.

The woman was trapped in the wreckage until firefighters cut her free following the crash near to the Cross Keys pub in High Street, Erdington.

She was immobilised with a spinal board and taken to Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield for back injuries. The male driver of the other car was not injured in the accident at about 7am yesterday.

The road was not closed.'

<>New Gates - Top Croft Estate<>
< style="font-weight: 400"> You may have noticed more new iron gates surrounding the Large Island www.goosemoor-lane.com/largeisland.htm, this from Erdington Conservatives;

< style="font-weight: 400"> "Over the last two years we have managed to get gates on alleys in Dunvegan Road, Fern Road, Orchard Road, Mason Road, Hart Road, Holiday Road, and Topcroft Road."

Finally! Some Stuff From The Labour Party
Do you reckon there is an election coming? Well Labour have now sent some stuff in to the Website at last! Here's the relevant local bits;

"On the Lyndhurst Estate, residents say they were promised by a Labour Council complete re-development and a better quality of life within 5 years. The Tories then captured and ten years later only painfully little progress has been made."

"Just look at the Dove Medical Centre, would that have ever happened under a Tory Government? Would the North Birmingham Academy, formerly College High, be looking at a complete rebuild under the Tories? Never!"

Dean Road Cleaning Issue
From Fix My Street;

"I have lived in Dean Road for 22 years & there has never been a designated street cleaner. The road is heavily used as a cut through to Erdington town centre & is always heavily littered. Johnson Road which runs adjacent to Dean Road & is a much quieter road has always had a designated street cleaner. Please can a street cleaner be assigned to Dean Road for a weekly clean?"

www.fixmystreet.com/report/99656

Grit Bin For Jerrys Lane
From Erdington Conservatives;

"Jerrys Lane can be very dangerous in the snow and so we are delighted to have secured this extra bin for the area."

Court Lane Death - Foul Play Ruled Out
From the Birmingham Mail website at -

Erdington flat murder

`DETECTIVES investigating the death of a woman in Birmingham have ruled out foul play.e ruled out foul play.

The body of the 54-year-old, who has not been named was found in her Erdington flat on Friday evening when worried neighbours raised the alarm after not seeing her for several days.

The block of flats on Court Lane was cordoned off for much of the weekend while scenes of crime officers in white suits carried out a fingertip search for clues.

However, a post-mortem examination found she had suffered injuries consistent with a fall.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said that her death was no longer being treated as suspicious and added that the case had been referred to the city coroner.

Shocked neighbours yesterday told the Birmingham Mail of their sadness at her death. She had lived here for about 15 or 16 years and was very quiet but always said hello and smiled when she went past, said one neighbour.'

Gravelly Lane - Erdington Businessman Claims He Lost Out On £4,000 Takings Due To Roadworks
From the Birmingham Mail website at
www.birminghammail.net

`A BIRMINGHAM businessman wants compensation after the city council started roadworks at just 48 hours’ notice.

Ken Thompson, who runs Square Deal Car Spares, on Gravelly Lane, Erdington, said he has lost up to £4,000 in takings since Birmingham City Council closed the road for resurfacing work over the last two weeks.

All lanes were closed off by workers between 9.30am-4.30pm every day since February 2 and work is expected to finish today (Feb 12 2010).

Businesses were given two days’ written notice of the disruption, but a council spokesman today insisted this was due to the work being subject to an "emergency reschedule".

Mr Thompson, who has run the store for 18 years, said access issues caused by the roadworks meant small traders on Gravelly Lane were hit hardest.

"The council’s attitude and the way they have dealt with us has been pathetic," the 63-year-old said.

"We only had two days’ notice, so I didn’t have time to tell my customers what was happening, so I’ve probably lost nearly £4,000 because of this."

He said stock deliveries had not reached him since work began, and that trade had slumped at his busiest time of year.

He said: "I will be writing to the Council to give them my thoughts and I’m going to ask for compensation. This could damage repeat business, because if people have trouble reaching us, then they can easily go elsewhere."

A council spokesman said: "We apologise for the short notice. We usually like to give people two weeks’ notice, but in this case the programme of works was subjected to an emergency reschedule and became a larger project due to the recent bad weather."'

Dumping - Osborne Road
From Fix My Street at www.fixmystreet.com

"Someone is dumping all sorts of rubbish from car seats to the latest item, a fireplace surround and general rubbish being dumped behind wooden fence and on path. Now I'm sick and tired of ringing contact Birmingham to firstly ask whether these items have been booked for a bulky waste collection (they never have) I must have rang up over 10 times and have advised contact Birmingham that it might be worth putting up some signs or posting leaflets through the flats doors as suspected where it's all coming from.

Contact Birmingham doesn't seem interested and have done nothing to deter whoever is consistently fly-tipping there, they do get it removed in quick time but why should I have to ring up every time to get rubbish removed when the lazy person who dumps it could make one simple phone call to get it removed on a bulk waste collection !??

Please investigate as it's getting worse now."

From Erdington Conservatives - more info on 3 recent topics;

1. Gravelly Lane Roadworks
There are local signs giving more details, buses are diverted too - look on the stops. There seems no official info online about the closure.

2. Tarmac Damaged By Cookes
The road surface by Cookes is really turfed up now - especially by the entrance nearest Gravelly Lane. Reported for repair.

3. Belisha Beacon Out
On the Gravelly Lane zebra-crossing - fixed.

From Erdington Conservatives;

"We have been campaigning for for the damaged parts of Gravelly Lane to be resurfaced and for the Zebra Crossing on Gravelly Lane by Jarvis Road to be repainted and repaired ....... the Council will then repaint the Zebra Crossing markings. We will continue to push for repairs to the poles of the Zebra Crossing if they do not complete this work as well."

Cllr Gareth Compton (Tory), C/O Council House, Birmingham B1 1BB < style="font-weight: 400"> gco@no5.com
< style="font-weight: 400">Cllr Robert Alden (Tory),
C/O Council House, Birmingham B1 1BB< style="font-weight: 400"> Robert.Alden@birmingham.gov.uk
Cllr Bob Beauchamp (Tory), c/o Council House, Birmingham B1 1BB bob.beauchamp@birmingham.gov.uk

2nd Suspected Suicide In Erdington In As Many Weeks
Oh dear - re the missing person appeal regarding
Janice Adetoro of Erdington, read the Birmingham Mail report here;

www.birminghammail.net/body-found-in-brookvale-lake-in-erdington

Suspected Suicide - Jarvis Road - 25/1/2010
From the Birmingham Mail website;

`HORRIFIED residents have spoken of the moment they found the body of a mother-of-one who died after plunging 80ft from a Birmingham tower block.irmingham tower block.

Flowers and a candle marked the spot outside Stokesay House on Jarvis Road in Erdington where the 20-year-old was found lying on the grass, at 8.30am on Monday.

The Birmingham Coroner’s office have named her as Jolanta Wielgus, who was believed to be Polish. Neighbours said she was a lovely woman with a young daughter.

Dorothy Burrows, aged 63, was first on the scene when the woman fell from the ninth floor balcony of her two-bedroomed flat.

The grandmother-of-six said:

"I heard a scream and I looked out of the bedroom window and saw her lying there. It was as though she was asleep on her tummy. She wasn’t moving and was just about breathing. She was completely white. I asked her brother to take off his coat and wrap her in it. A lady from the first floor threw down a blanket. The cleaner called an ambulance."

Crews from the Midlands Air Ambulance battled to save the woman but she was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 9am. Police said they were not treating the death as suspicious.

Ms Burrows, who is also vice-Chair of Jarvis Towers, said:

"I’m still in shock. People all knew her in the block because she was a mom and there are other mothers here. I didn’t know her name. She was a very, very nice lady and spoke good English. She wasn’t married. She had been in the flat for two or three years and her daughter was getting ready for infant school. I think she worked as a carer but don’t know for sure."

A number of other tearful residents said they were too traumatised to talk but all said she was a wonderful woman.

Jarvis Road was cordoned off for most of Monday and a police tent was erected above the spot where the woman was found.

Helen Chambers, aged 53, who lives in the neighbouring Berkley House, said:

"Suddenly there was a lot of commotion and we had all sorts of flashing lights from the police and ambulance."

A force spokesman said: "Police are investigating the death and the Coroner has been informed."'

Useful websites;

Samaritans, www.samaritans.org.uk
Survivors Of Bereavement By Suicide, http://sobs.admin.care4free.net
Papyrus (preventing youth suicides), www.papyrus-uk.org
Shine On Shelly (bereavement by suicide), www.shineonshelly.org

For more Counselling websites, see the Links Page list here;

www.goosemoor-lane.com/links.htm#thingToJumpTo29

The Polish community websites are here;

www.goosemoor-lane.com/links.htm#thingToJumpTo224

Scrap-Dealers In The Area - Latest
From the Birmingham Mail website at www.birminghammail.net

`FED-UP Birmingham residents have declared war on noisy Rag and Bone men who have been waking them up on a "daily basis" from 7am.

The city council has written to at least 18 registered scrap collectors after Erdington residents started demanding action over the racket created by the modern-day Steptoe and Sons.

The new nuisance was blamed on the increase in scrap collectors who are thought to be cashing in on the higher value of metal.

Erdington councillor, Robert Alden (Con), said:

"It has become a daily occurrence. You can hear the noise echoing around the constituency as early as 7am. The rise in the price of scrap metal, coupled with the current economic climate is probably making it more lucrative. The real problem is the noise they make. The issue was raised at our last meeting by a number of residents who were fed up. They have advised by the environmental health officers that there are powers available. Officers urged residents to take down the registration details of the vehicles."

A spokeswoman for Birmingham City Council said:

"Over the last two years we believe there may have been a increase in scrap metal dealers plying their trade in north Birmingham. We have received an increase in complaints. However, this does not appear to be a citywide problem. The majority of the 18 vehicles identified to us recently are registered in the Walsall area. People should report the complaints and provide as much information as possible. Environmental health officers will investigate the complaint and take action if necessary. If they are using amplification, then the Control of Pollution Act 1974 makes what they are doing an offence. However, if they are just calling, shouting out, or using unamplified musical instruments, then there is no obvious criminal offence. We are currently collating complaints. Letters will continue to be sent to all scrap collectors as they are identified."

Erdington MP Sion Simon added:

"I always support enterprise and business. But, we have to ensure this does not impact on the lives of residents. If this has increased to the point when people are being woken up early in the morning on an almost daily basis, it is important the council uses legislation to tackle these problems."'

Latest Reports To Fix My Street<>
Dog mess by Erdington police station - www.fixmystreet.com/report/85537

Pot-hole problem on Gravelly Lane - www.fixmystreet.com/report/85464

The big pothole outside 279 Witton Lodge Road already reported by me, but still not fixed, reported by someone else now - www.fixmystreet.com/report/85329

College High School Becomes "North Birmingham Academy"
From the Birmingham Mail website at www.birminghammail.net

`OUT with the old and in with the new! Pupils at a Birmingham school will start the year in a new environment - without moving out of their existing classrooms.

Youngsters at the former College High School in College Road, Erdington, are to start 2010 as students of the new North Birmingham Academy, which opens its doors on January 6.

The academy is the third to be sponsored by the Edutrust Academies Charitable Trust following those at the former Shenley Court Arts College in Selly Oak and The Heartlands High in Nechells.

All three have been taken out of local authority control, with three other Birmingham secondary schools earmarked as academies under different outside sponsors.

Pupils of the new North Birmingham Academy will be based in the existing buildings, but will move to purpose-built accommodation in 2012.

Extensive improvements have already been carried out while designs for the new building take shape.

Former College High head, and now North Birmingham Academy principal Kim Popratnjak, said:

"I’m delighted to be opening as a new academy. We have worked hard to prepare for implementing the new changes. This is an opportunity for us to provide an exceptional learning experience."

The academy will have a new school uniform, including the new academy logo which students helped to design.

Edutrust manages eight academies, including ones in London, Sheffield, and Leeds, with more due to open next year.

Director General Sir Bruce Liddington said:

"North Birmingham will join our other academies focusing on our vision of delivering educational excellence for all. Developing a new academy will make a real difference to the future of the students, as well as providing excellent new facilities to benefit the students and the wider community for decades to come."

Birmingham’s academy programme, which also includes two new 14 to 19-year-old institutions specialising in engineering and the performing arts respectively, is still being opposed by the Anti-Academies Alliance.'

Website - www.nbacademy.org.uk

Troubled Pub The Place 2B Sold
From the Birmingham Mail website at www.birminghammail.net

`THE pub that was owned by shamed TV presenter Ashley Blake when he attacked a teenage customer has been bought by the garden centre next door for £1million.

Blake, 40, was jailed in September after being found guilty of hitting teenager Greg Jones in the face with a large wooden pole outside The Place 2B, in Sutton Coldfield.

He was given a further six months in prison for attempting to pervert the course of justice, by throwing the pole into the garden centre next door, in Chester Road.

Mr Jones, who was 17 at the time of the incident on January 25, needed ten stitches and now has a permanent scar from his lip to chin.

The attack happened after violence broke out at the end of an 18th birthday party at the pub, which Blake co-owned at the time with his partner Jessica Hayes.

The pub was taken on a short term lease after the couple left, but there was another tragic incident nearby in July, which resulted in the death of one man and serious injuries to another.

The venue was put on the market by Punch Taverns and has now been bought by the family business that runs the garden centre next door. Robert Hall, senior partner of Hall’s Garden Supplied, confirmed he had taken possession of the keys this week and that it would be turned into a Christmas spectacular next year.

Mr Hall added: "The pub had been on a long-term lease to Ashley Blake and his partner Jessica. Acquiring The Place 2B will allow a natural progression to our current site adding both undercover showroom area and outside display space. The new addition to the garden centre will initially be open to the public in April with a new coffee shop, while other areas of the building will be opened later."

Blake, a former BBC Midlands Today and Watchdog presenter, had his challenge to his two-year prison sentence rejected by the Court of Appeal last week.

His legal team argued before sentencing that he had already suffered a severe punishment by losing his job. He was convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice by throwing the pole away into the garden centre in an attempt to conceal it from the police.

He later admitted to lying to officers on a number of occasions. He was dismissed by the BBC following an internal inquiry.

The pub was built in the 1920s and named The New Oscott Tavern. Hall’s Garden Supplies moved next door in the 1950s.'

Dire Warnings Over Youth Service Cuts In Erdington
From the Sutton News website at http://icsuttoncoldfield.icnetwork.co.uk

`ERDINGTON residents fear the Council’s cuts in youth spending will see the return of anti-social behaviour to their streets. At the Erdington Constituency Committee, which met at Stockland Green School on Monday night (14/12/2009), they dismissed the case made for the Council’s decision by the Head of Youth Service, Harry Fowler.

A full-time Youth Work post at the Malcolm Locker Centre will go and be filled by two trainee youth workers.

The Pype Hayes Community Focus will also close this month. Elsewhere a 17.5-hour-a-week post at the Green Door project, on Wyrley Birch, will end in April.

Linda Hines, chairman of the Kingstanding Neighbourhood Tasking group, warned Mr Fowler the cuts were a mistake.

She said the Green Door worker had helped reduce anti-social behaviour to five incidents a week from 40 a year ago. The 58-year-old said:

"Be prepared. If anti-social behaviour increases other services will have to come in to deal with it."

Area youth officer Jim Shand said in a report handed to the meeting:

"Staff will endeavour to do everything to make the required level of savings and to minimise the impact on services to young people."'

"Dunhill Gardens" By Kirkwood Avenue
If you look in the Birmingham A - Z, you'll see reference to "Dunhill Gardens" over by Kirkwood Avenue. However you'll see too if you actually go to that specific area that it doesn't actually exist! In reality it's merely a continuation of Kirkwood Avenue.

The answer to that mystery, from A-Z themselves;

"The name Dunhill Gardens is one of our copyright signatures which assist us in establishing copyright infringement. This name will be removed in future editions."

< style="font-weight: 400">A-Z Map Company, www.a-zmaps.co.uk

Goosemoor Lane Bend - Speeding Vehicle Demolishes Anstey Wall - Yet Again!
For the THIRD time now a vehicle has again mounted the pavement and demolished the Anstey (Goosemoor Lane Playing Fields) brick wall where that has then been hit.

Same place (a few metres further along) that the same wall was hit a few weeks back. You can see the THREE separate places now along that stretch of wall.

It's only a matter of time before a pedestrian is hit along there I reckon, and with the force clearly enough to knock down a brick wall - oh dear.

The Council have inspected the Bend and have said the traffic-calming there is ok, I beg to differ though - and so does that brick wall knocked down 3 times now.

Road Accident - Chester Road - Police Appeal For Witnesses
By the railway station, Friday 27/11/2009 at 5.25pm. Call 0121 606 7845.

Erdington Community Chest Grant Approvals - 2009/10

Project Amount
Salvation Army £4, 000
Erdington Town Centre Partnership - Erdington In Bloom £10, 000
Court Lane Allotments £2, 057
Springthorpe Green Car-Park £5, 335
Erdington Town Centre Partnership - Erdington Christmas Lights £10, 000
Street Lighting £1, 000
Parking bollards £4, 000
Bethany Community Outreach £2, 800
Lyndhurst DVD £1, 800
Machin Road Car-Park £9, 054
The Cube In The Square £2, 500
Alive And Kicking Club £1, 000
Turfpits Lane Residents Group £400
Rookery House (Restoration) Ltd £10, 000

Number Plate Found - Handed In To Police< style="font-weight: 400">
The front vehicle number-plate W 384 PJA was found on Station Road, handed in to Erdington Police Station.

Bus Drivers Urinating By The Spinney At The 7/65 Terminus< style="font-weight: 400">
Probably caused by the fact there are no public toilets anymore, and Winter is coming so this will get worse! There's some pub or garage facility etc along the 2 routes which drivers can be arranged to use?

Here's the complaint;

www.fixmystreet.com/report/75458

Tree In Park Collapses< style="font-weight: 400">
So a lucky escape here, has fallen over in a little used part of Short Heath Park - at the rear of the electricity substation on Court Lane, the corner by the car-park.

I do report trees in the Park that are obviously a danger, difficult to check each tree for sure though since there are so many and with some it isn't obvious.

Birmingham Flat Blaze Man Dies After Being Rescued< style="font-weight: 400">
From Birmingham Mail website at www.birminghammail.net

`A MAN died after a flat fire in Birmingham, despite attempts by paramedics and doctors to save him. Firefighters carried him from a second-floor flat of a four-storey block, at Swan Gardens, in Erdington, at about 4pm yesterday. Sep 23 2009.

The man was taken to Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield, where he later died. West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: The man was brought out of the building by firefighters and we immediately started advanced life support.

He was then taken on blue lights to Good Hope Hospital but was sadly confirmed dead shortly after arrival.

Today, fire investigators were probing the cause of the blaze.'

http://firekills.direct.gov.uk

Pot Hole - Station Road<>
At the Wesley Road junction, insulated wiring is exposed - either from street lamps or traffic lights. Reported.

Holes On Pavement Outside 58 Goosemoor Lane And At The Amber Court Junction
Both fixed now. Amber Court has only been in existence 5 minutes, so holes in it's pavement already suggest slip-shod building work. The Council should ascertain the standard of initial work done by the developer before agreeing upkeep of it's road and pavement at public expense.

Community Group Seek Volunteers To Help With Duck Watch - Witton Lakes
From The Sutton Observer website at www.thisissuttoncoldfield.co.uk

`A caring community group in Perry Common is looking for volunteers to help stop water birds being killed and nests being destroyed at an urban beauty spot.

The newly-formed Friends of Witton Lakes is seeking new members to assist with a number of initiatives at the site between Perry Common and Wyrley Birch, starting with a 'Duckling Watch'.

Their aim is to enhance the natural habitats formed at the lakes, which were previously drinking water reservoirs.

The new watch, which runs from February to September, aims to patrol Witton Lakes in a figure of eight route to provide a visible presence to deter those who either inadvertently or deliberately endanger the water birds.

The watch members will wear high visibility waistcoats with the 'Duckling Watch' logo and will be armed with cameras to record any environmental crime.

Deputy chair of the Friends of Witton Lakes, Linda Hines MBE, said: "It is a crime when one swan is killed and this is a way the residents can do something for themselves.

"The frequency of the watch will depend on how many volunteers we have."

The friends group hopes to get more islands built to attract more birds to the lakes.

Park manager John Biddle said a lot of people were upset when nests were destroyed and he welcomed the new scheme.

"It is difficult to have a 24-hour presence on the site," he said.

"Sometimes nests are destroyed naturally by things such as fox attacks, sometimes it is people's ignorance.

"We welcome the initiative. It is good for the park, it is good for the wildlife."

The Friends of Witton Lakes are seeking new members to help with their Duckling Watch initiative.'

Email - linda.hines@blueyonder.co.uk

Mysterious Iron "Drain" At The Spinney< style="font-weight: 400">
All the recent rain has unearthed some puzzling iron thing on the floor by The Spinney. If you stand at the 7/65 to-city bus-stop, there's a grass verge of course. About 5 yards from the Cable box, part of the verge has sunk. An iron grated drain is actually there you can now see - was hidden under the verge.

Unclear how stable that area now is, the iron-grate has holes large enough for (children's) feet to become stuck in (kids do play on that verge - often when waiting for a bus - they could fall onto it too as it's presence is still not that obvious), and it's unclear what it's original purpose was or is - the pit below it MIGHT be deep, that's unclear too.

I've contacted the Council, so they can get to the bottom of it - excuse the pun.

Court Lane Speed Indicator Installed
Wasn't aware there was a problem there, but an electronic speed indicator has been placed on Court Lane near the Jerrys Lane junction. For traffic heading towards Short Heath Road.

From Erdington Conservatives;

"Local Conservative Councillors ....... have been campaigning against speeding traffic on Court Lane."

Area Behind The Woodyard - Still Appalling Drainage
This large grassed area is supposed to be for public open space, but after any rain it's still useless for days, you sink to your ankles. Should be like Short Heath Park. Can the drainage be improved? It has never been right in that regard since it's creation in the 1980's.

Blocked Drains - Goosemoor Lane/Gravelly Lane/Summer Road<>
The recent heavy rain is showing where major blockages are;

On Goosemoor Lane at the junction with Top Croft Road, that big drain STILL blocks up. Work is forever done there and still fails to solve the problem.

On Gravelly Lane opposite the Mona Road junction, a blocked drain causes a HUGE puddle in heavy rain.

Just further up on Summer Road, under the railway bridge, passing cars sometimes get stuck in a big water pool that forms in that dip in the road - blocking traffic of course. The drains do clear the water eventually, but not quickly enough. So another drain needs putting there under that bridge - there are 3 big ones already but it's not enough.

All reported.

Missing Kitten Cleo - Found
8 months old female, was lost on Monday 25/5/2009, black with white splats on lower black, micro-chipped. From the owner;

"Just to let you know we have found Cleo, one of our neighbours took her but she has come home. Thanks again for your help."

Found Cat
A resident has sent this in;

"We have a cat who is black, with a white underbelly, and bottom of all four legs are white. He is not our cat but he or she comes here and spends all day here. We do feed it, but were wondering if anyone owns it?"

(Yes - the found cat sounded like the missing cat Cleo above - but it isn't her it later transpired).

Community Chest Grant Approvals - 2009/10

Organisation Project Description Of Project Cost
Life Education Centre Health and Drug Education Programme Holistic health £1, 625
North Birmingham Community Club Repairs to roof, purchase of new equipment Gym in Holly Lane £2, 860
YMCA National Play Day in Short Heath Park National Play Day - 5/8/2009 £1, 694
Erdington Town Centre Partnership Town Centre Managers Post From 1/4/2009 - 31/7/2009 £5, 200
Jarvis Towers Ltd Summer Gala Day Summer Gala Day £500
Total     £11, 879

Local Road Repairs/Litter Removed
Erdington Conservatives tell me they have asked for pot-holes in the following local roads to be fixed;

Goosemoor Lane, Flackwell Road, Gravelly LaneGretton Road, Jarvis Road, Jerrys Lane, Madehurst Road, Sheddington Road, Station Road, Turfpits Lane.

And removed litter from Johnson Road, Dean Road and Oliver Road.

And fixed trip-rails around verges on Gravelly Lane.

And have placed a bin in the alley between Jarvis Road and Somerset Road.

And fixed the railings around the Park play-area.

The Spinney News
From Erdington Conservatives;

"We have reported The Spinney at the junction of Witton Lodge Road and Court Lane to the City Council. We have asked the Council to clean up the inside, cut back the bushes that have become so overgrown it is now difficult to see out, and for the damaged fence sections to be repaired."

Dog Bins Proposal - Another Appeal
A resident suggested dog-bins for Goosemoor Lane and I was trying to move things along but heard nothing more - and where? The only place I can think that isn't by housing, shops and would be emptied easily is in Short Heath Park along it's stretch with Goosemoor Lane (by the Sub-station). That way it could simply be emptied with the others in the Park but would be by the pavement on Goosemoor Lane.

Major Road Accident - Gravelly Lane
Thursday evening 30/4/2009, by the Oliver Road junction, road was cordoned off. No more details available I'm afraid.

Goosemoor Lane Bend - Speeding Vehicle Demolishes Wall
A vehicle has mounted the pavement and demolished the Anstey (Goosemoor Lane Playing Fields) brick wall where that has then been hit. You can still see the tyre tracks leading up to the wall!

Same place that a lamp-post was hit a few weeks back.

On the odd side of the road, as traffic speeds down from the direction of Court Lane and meets the roughly 70 degree bend. Often happens that vehicles leave the road there. Traffic-calming has been put in over the years - still not enough though.

So another dangerous incident, given that a brick wall has been demolished this time (Monday night I think - 27/4/2009. Probably in all that rain/hail we had).

The Council officially records only injury accidents, so the lamp-post and now the wall being hit might officially count as "no accident" if no-one was injured.

Bit of a farce if so, since lamp-posts and walls being hit and knocked down will soon be a person if nothing more is done.

<>Hazard - Gravelly Lane Junction Problem - Still Happening
< style="font-weight: 400">(This problem probably not unique to this type of junction). There is a small traffic island at the junction of Goosemoor Lane and Gravelly Lane. 3 plastic keep-left signs are on that island.

< style="font-weight: 400">Sometimes traffic coming down Gravelly Lane (from Chester Road towards Station Road) ignores them (or doesn't see them) and turns onto Goosemoor Lane on the WRONG side of that small island (i.e. using the first gap instead of the second).

< style="font-weight: 400">Then running head-on into traffic leaving Goosemoor Lane onto Gravelly Lane (completely surprising both sets of motorists).

< style="font-weight: 400">Happened around midday on Friday 25/4/2008 - but I'm now told it happens lots. e.g. Happened again on Sunday 19/4/2009 around 10.30pm.

< style="font-weight: 400">The 3 keep-left signs are either too small, or no-entry signs need to be put where appropriate at that junction.

Jarvis Road News
News sent in by a resident re Jarvis Road, when I've looked into it all I'll add the responses.

"Just to mention that new large litter bins have appeared on Jarvis Road, they seem to look out of place to me, there's even one in the alleyway to Somerset Road.

The unofficial car space outside Alnwick House had metal railings put around it today, this seems a thoughtless move as this area has a shortage of car parking spaces and this will only add to them, can't help but wonder why they did not leave it as it was. The workers had to park their truck astride 3 parked cars in proper bays, thus proving the need for increased parking facilities. There is always lots of work being done by council workers and other service providers in this road which adds to the problem.

Considering Jarvis Road has a regular bus service up and down every 20 minutes or so, cars which have to park next to the kerbs risk having wing mirrors broke off or worse as the road has curves and is awkward and difficult for the bus drivers to navigate.

There should also be the addition of parking bays for the bungalows along this road as it gets more difficult for health workers such as Nurses, Doctors and Social Services to get to provide the services they need, there is plenty of room outside the bungalows for this work.

I have seen Ambulances and Fire Engines struggle to make their way along Jarvis Road with all it's obstacles and cannot understand why the Council does not improve parking facilities.

As we are now in Summertime it seems that children and adults think it is fine to play football outside the flats in this area, pounding the wall of the tower blocks and hitting cars parked nearby."

(There is a plan to build a park on the land between Jarvis and Topcroft, more on that as it comes in).

Speed Check On Chester Road Now
Almost certainly in response to the recent fatal accident (see Crime Page) a speed checker is now near the Lakehouse Road junction.

Planning Boss Nearly Arrested After Visit To Erdington Islamic School Site - Station Road
From the Birmingham Mail website at www.birminghammail.net

`BIRMINGHAM’S planning chief was almost arrested for causing an obstruction during a visit to the proposed site of an Islamic school and education centre.

A police community support officer took Coun Peter Douglas Osborn’s name and threatened to move him on as the Council planning committee chairman hosted a site visit to Station Road in Erdington.

The committee was viewing traffic and parking congestion in the area before considering proposals to convert vacant shops into an Islamic school and adult education centre for up to 30 pupils.

The councillor’s claims that it was an important public meeting cut no ice with the PCSO who wanted to clear the highway.

Coun Douglas Osborn (Con, Weoley) said: "He objected to us having a meeting there, but I felt the obstruction was a minor problem and it was an important that people could have their say."

The meeting was soon wrapped up and the small crowd allowed to disperse.

And planning committee members felt the obstruction and gridlock caused by their arrival in a minibus showed that the road could not cope with up to 30 people coming and going to attend classes, despite assurances from transport officers that it would not add to traffic problems.

The committee unanimously overturned the official advice and decided they were minded to refuse the application.'

Oscott College Dangerous Trees
Around the perimeter of the Oscott College (especially on Chester Road), over-hanging branches are falling into the road and onto the pavement in rough weather.

www.oscott.net

Tarmac Worn At The Kirkwood/Goosemoor Junction
On Kirkwood Avenue at the junction with Goosemoor Lane, the tarmac has worn away. Reported for repair.

The Bend Is Tough For Lorries - Sat Nav Can Re-Direct Them?&llt;
Articulated lorries find The Bend in Goosemoor Lane VERY difficult to negotiate, but we have Cookes and Travis Perkins having to accept such deliveries of course. Can Sat Nav be altered so that when directing lorries to those two premises it's via the Court Lane end (Travis Perkins) or the Gravelly Lane end (Cookes) and The Bend is therefore avoided?

(Although thinking about it - when they've unloaded wouldn't they have to go round The Bend THEN to drive off - so IS there an overall solution? At least an empty lorry would find The Bend easier to drive round though).

Anger As Perry Common Phone Mast Is Approved
From www.thisisgreatbarr.co.uk

`Controversial plans to erect a 15-metre high phone mast on land near to a busy road junction in Perry Common have been approved. Fifty incensed residents put pen to paper and signed a petition calling on Birmingham City Council to throw out Orange's plans to install the mast at the junction of Witton Lodge Road and College Road.

But yesterday members of the planning committee gave the green light with some conditions.

They ordered that the mast be in the style of a mock telegraph pole, and that the number of cabinets be reduced from five to one and painted in anti-graffiti paint to combat vandalism.

Gary Sambrook, who lives in Plumstead Road, visited scores of homes asking people to sign the petition. He expressed anger at the committee's decision.

He said: "There are already enough phone masts in the area. We started a petition three weeks ago and this was handed in to the council. It is disgraceful that this phone mast has been allowed to go ahead, however we will be making sure they do not break the conditions of the permission."

The mast is expected to provide 3G coverage to the Perry Common, Upper Witton and Short Heath areas of the city.

Erdington ward councillor Robert Alden had supported the protestor's campaign. Speaking after yesterday's planning meeting he said: "We are glad that alterations have been made so that vandalism should be combated, however we are concerned that the committee, following planning legislation, isn't allowed to consider the health impact of a mobile phone masts."'

Fatal Road Accident - Perry Common - Police Appeal For Witnesses<>
(This will be moved to the Crime Page if dangerous driving etc is later proved).

From www.thisissuttoncoldfield.co.uk

`A man died after suffering serious injuries in a road traffic accident in Kingstanding today (Thursday).

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to College Road shortly after 9.40am.

An ambulance, two rapid response vehicles and the Warwick and Northants Air Ambulance were dispatched to the scene where the 27-year-old was lying in the road with multiple injuries to his head, chest and leg.

A spokesperson for the ambulance service said the man was involved in a collision with a vehicle and needed treatment at the scene before he was taken to hospital, where he later died.

West Midlands Police closed Witton Lodge Road, Hawthorn Road and College Road around College High School while inquiries were made at the scene.

A 40-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving.

Any witnesses, or anyone with information is urged to contact the road policing unit at Castle Vale on 0845 113 5000.

Some initial reports from emergency services - including those received before the January 23 edition of the Great Barr Observer went to press this afternoon - suggested a child had been involved. That information was incorrect.'

The issue of traffic safety on College Road between the Beggars Bush and the One Stop Shopping Centre does keep arising at various meetings etc.

Chester Road Baptist Church Welcomes New Minister<>
From http://icsuttoncoldfield.icnetwork.co.uk

"Chester Road Baptist Church has a new minister, the Reverend David Dewey. Rev Dewey's induction service will be on Saturday at 2.30pm in the presence of the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Birmingham. Also present will be councillors, representatives of local churches and friends from Rev Dewey's previous churches.

The induction service will be led by a member of the church, the Rev Edwin Boddington, and the sermon will be given by the Rev Clifford Fryer. The Rev Andrew Millns, regional minister from the Heart of England Baptist Association, will perform the induction ceremony.

Rev Dewey has been a minister for nearly 30 years and was previously minister at Chelsea Community Church. He has been features editor of the Baptist Times and has written for the Scripture Union, as well as writing several books on the Bible and faith."

Linda Hines Of Perry Common Awarded An MBE<>
From www.thisissuttoncoldfield.co.uk

`A dedicated community worker who has helped tackle crime and improve housing in Perry Common has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours List.

Linda Hines, who is director of Witton Lodge Community Association, was awarded the MBE for her work in the community in north Birmingham.

Mrs Hines was named in the prestigious roll of honour for her steadfast work, which includes playing an integral role in setting up Perry Common Community Watch, which last year received praise from Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The award is also in recognition of her work at Witton Lodge Community Association, a non-registered Housing Association which owns rented properties on the Perry Common Estate including an extra care sheltered scheme at Sycamore Court in Buxton Road.

Commenting on the honour, 57-year-old Linda, said:

"It is quite an honour it has been the hardest secret to keep as I have known about the MBE since November. When I received the letter I read it about 10 times to make sure it was correct. It is 18 years since I became active in the community and I have not won this award on my own, so many people have supported and helped me. I love a challenge and thrive on challenges. I do not know who nominated me but when I find out I will give them a big hug."`

Power Cut - Happy New Year<>
The electricity went off across a wide area on New Year's Day! From around 1.20pm - 2.30pm. The last one in this area was February 2008 - is that too many in too short a space of time? I'll keep an eye on it.

Damaged Bollard - Gravelly Lane
Just by the corner shop (junction with Goosemoor Lane) on the pavement is a snapped stone bollard, will be repaired.

Court Lane Rubbish Strewn About After Binmen Collections<>
The Council are aware that rubbish gets strewn about by both binmen and the recyclers when collecting, the emptied plastic boxes are thrown everywhere too. Court Lane affected badly each week, and other roads affected too.

If you are elderly/disabled you can be put on the Assisted List whereby the collectors know to come into your front garden to collect stuff if you can't carry it to the pavement each week.

The Council is arranging so that the street-cleaners come AFTER the collections and NOT before, so any rubbish left is quickly swept up.

If the problems fail to improve, can you let one of our Cllrs know please;

Cllr Gareth Compton (Tory), C/O Council House, Birmingham B1 1BB < style="font-weight: 400"> gco@no5.com
< style="font-weight: 400">Cllr Robert Alden (Tory),
C/O Council House, Birmingham B1 1BB< style="font-weight: 400"> Robert.Alden@birmingham.gov.uk
Cllr Bob Beauchamp (Tory), c/o Council House, Birmingham B1 1BB bob.beauchamp@birmingham.gov.uk

Community Chest Funding Approvals - 2008-9

Project Purpose Amount
Planters For St Barnabas School Planters for children to plant trees £430
Erdington Work With Older People Funding to help this group £500
Lyndhurst Community Shop Running this £3000
Youth Providers Event Reviewing youth provision in Erdington £150
Life Education Centres Health and drug education for children and parents £645
     
Total   £4725
     
     
Tree Pits In Douay Road For planting trees in £3025
Erdington High Street Christmas Lights Decoration £11000
Lamp-posts in Berkswell Rd, Ayre Rd, Allman Rd, Ewell Rd Re-painting them £2614
Court Lane Allotments Secure storage unit for produce £1800
Theatre D'Europe Drama workshops £3000
Malcolm Locker Youth Centre Ski-trip £2000
Street-lighting Upgrading £16800
     
Total   £40239

Jarvis Road Electrical Rewiring Faults<>
Cllr Compton recently took possession of a petition from residents of Jarvis Road objecting to the quality of rewiring work carried out on their properties.

The Mystery Of The Small Water-Mains Cover Outside 118 Goosemoor Lane
Sometimes it's there, sometimes not and there's a hole in the pavement! Even those at 118 don't know why it vanishes and then re-appears!

(One possible explanation is it keeps being nicked - it is metal - and Severn Trent keep replacing it. How they know it keeps vanishing to replace it I don't know though!)

The Hanging Baskets Of Station Road
From Erdington Conservatives member Cllr Robert Alden;

"I was especially keen to see hanging baskets along the Sutton New Road and from Erdington train station to the High Street so residents and visitors could follow the flowers to the High Street."

Princess Anne Was In The Area Recently
From www.thisissuttoncoldfield.co.uk

`The Princess Royal officially opened a 'state-of-the-art' adult care centre in Perry Common yesterday (Thu 9/10/2008), accompanied by dignitaries from across Birmingham.

Her Royal Highness visited the Perry Tree Centre in Dovedale Road, the first of four pioneering care centres set to open in the city this year.

The princess was shown around the centre by manager Mike White and then met residents and their families, along with staff and partner organisations.

Princess Anne ended her visit by poignantly planting a perry tree in the award-winning landscaped gardens.

"The Princess Royal took a genuine interest in what we are achieving here in Birmingham," said Mr White.

"As patron for the Princess Royal Trust for Carers since 1991, she is working towards the same goals that we are – to support older people and their carers to remain independent for as long as possible."

The princess visited a rehabilitation and in-patient area on the upper floor, which were provided by Birmingham East and North Primary Care Trust.

Director of strategy and redesign for the trust, Tony Ruffell, said: "It was a real pleasure to be able to demonstrate these new facilities to the Princess Royal.

"They will make an enormous difference to people in east and north Birmingham who need our support to help them regain their independence."

The centre is at the cutting edge of support services for people with dementia and boasts assistive technology, rehabilitation services, a gym and therapy rooms.

Residents are accommodated in 64 en-suite bedrooms, including long-term care beds.

The centre's gardens, which are specifically designed to help people with dementia, won the special award category in the Celebrating Construction Awards 2008.

Councillor Sue Anderson, cabinet member for adults and communities said: "Our care centres will enable us to deliver a much higher standard of care to older people in Birmingham.

"They are also unique in the country and it is wonderful that Her Royal Highness is with us today to help celebrate all the hard work that has gone into making our vision a reality," she said.'

Fire - Repton House - Top Croft Estate<>
From www.thisissuttoncoldfield.co.uk

(Repton House is the tower block with red brickwork at the top)

"An Erdington man is recovering in hospital after being rescued from a blaze in his seventh-storey flat.

The man, believed to be in his 60s, suffered a heart attack after breathing in fumes from a severe fire at his home in Repton House, Baldmoor Lake Road in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday 16/9/2008).

He was resuscitated by the ambulance crew and taken to Good Hope Hospital.

The fire brigade was alerted to the scene about 1am after a neighbour heard an alarm and reported smelling smoke.

Another man in his 30s was treated for minor smoke inhalation."

Government Smoke Alarm etc Campaign - http://campaigns.direct.gov.uk/firekills/

Plans For More Parking - Chester Road Station<>
From Sutton Observer website at www.thisissuttoncoldfield.co.uk

`Plans to extend the car park at Chester Road Railway Station have met with fierce opposition from neighbouring residents – but councillors have welcomed the idea.

The proposal is to build 38 new spaces behind numbers 16-24 Green Lanes and includes the addition of five, six metre high, lighting columns and two CCTV cameras which neighbours fear will be focused on their back gardens.

Vesey ward councillor Alan Rudge said while more spaces are needed, residents must be protected.

"We have to practice what we preach and I think this will give more people the chance to use the trains," he said.

"However, we have to be absolutely sure that measures are taken to protect residents and ensure the lighting and cameras do not interfere with their gardens."

In letters of opposition, residents say a bigger car park will also add to traffic chaos and will not be used to full capacity.

But Councillor Rudge argued that the demand is there.

"Already more people want to use the station than there are spaces and they park all around it," he said.

"There are steep hills which make access to the station difficult for people who live even half a mile or a mile away.

"The car park will need good security and lighting but conditions have been put on the application to protect residents and it is important, if it goes ahead, that these are adhered to."

Conditions also state that the existing 'anti-climbing' mesh fencing and thorny shrub border be extended to stop potential intruders clambering into the back gardens.

The application goes before planners this week and has been recommended for approval.'

Cookes Furniture Extension Completed - Goosemoor Lane<>
From www.thisissuttoncoldfield.co.uk

`"When the going gets tough the tough get going."

Undaunted by the impact the credit crunch is having on the housing market, Graham Cooke of Cookes Furniture unveiled an extension to their flagship store on Goosemoor Lane, Erdington on Tuesday (September 16).

"So many people are here because we've heard so much doom and gloom in the last six months every time we turn on the TV or see the papers it's there," he told a crowd of business associates at the official opening.

"We all know what trade is like and I'm so delighted we've seized the opportunity to do something positive so that, when it does come back up, we'll be here ready to go," added Graham, who officially took over ownership of the business after the death of founder, Ted Cooke in April.

The new extension has seen an increase in Cooke Furniture's more contemporary product lines, improved the alarm system and installed shutters to minimise potential damage should a fire ever hit the site.

"In '97 we said this would be the last extension to Goosemoor Lane - but I also said that in '92," Graham added.

"This is definitely the last time, we can't go any further here."'

Overflowing Bins On Jarvis Road
The bins on the bus stops on Jarvis Rd are not being emptied and rubbish is flying about the road and gardens as the containers are full - can the Council sort this please?

Loose Bricks Around Tree Bases - Goosemoor Lane<>
There are trees with decorative brick bases on the odd-side by the Court Lane junction. The heavy rain has caused some bricks to become loose/dislodged though the trees are still safe. Can the brick-work be repaired please?

(A glance at the 1930's photos on the History Page shows that brickwork is historic and we have lost a couple of those trees already due to new driveways etc. So can the brick-work be repaired in the original style too please? Would look out of place if ordinary house-bricks were used).

Telegraph Pole Problem - Goosemoor Lane< style="font-weight: 400">
Outside the Anstey on the Bend on that odd-side sits a telegraph-pole. One of the lines attached has snapped. Is quite long and easily touched but is only a phone-line NOT a power line. Reported to BT for repair.

(When people switch to Cable, BT don't disconnect the physical phone-line to the house from their poles, so many are redundant so aren't noticed by residents or BT when they snap).

<>Grass Verges Cut - But One Area Left On Kirkwood Avenue<> - Council Response
< style="font-weight: 400">The grass verges in the area have been cut again but either by accident or design part of Kirkwood Avenue is becoming overgrown. If you travel up and turn second right (towards the back gardens on Highfield Drive) you'll see a tree with an overgrown verge in the corner.

< style="font-weight: 400">Council response;

< style="font-weight: 400">"Further to our response to you on 31-07-08 regarding grass cutting on Kirkwood Avenue;

We have received an email from the Service Providers who cut the grass and they state that this area is not on any maintenance programme for grass cutting and the area may be privately owned.

If you require any further details, or have any comments you wish to make, please do not hesitate to contact us on: 0121 464 8728 or e-mail parks@birmingham.gov.uk"

Erdington Community Chest Approvals 2008-9 - From The Council Ward Report

Project Purpose Amount
Erdington Town Centre In Bloom Hanging baskets and plants £10, 000
Lyndhurst Summer Fayre Fun day £2, 000
Tiddlywinks Play And Stay Funding for Malcolm Locker Centre - Lyndhurst £1,000
Six Ways Baptist Church New Floor New wooden floor £550
Good Friday Walk Of Witness Traditional event on Erdington High Street £900
Babysong Equipment for Salvation Army parents and toddlers music group £500
External Funding Support Officer Helping groups find external funding £12, 000
Hanging Of Tapestries In Erdington Library Materials and labour £150
Driver Feedback Signs The installation of to assist motorists £1, 600

<>Still Flooding Problems At The Top Croft Junction<>
< style="font-weight: 400">Council have spent all sorts of time and effort on this but EVEN now in heavy rain it STILL forms a huge puddle! Before it was because the camber was wrong, not it's because the drain just gets overwhelmed!

Labour Party Survey Over Local Youth Facilities<>
Erdington Labour Party want to know your views on youth facilities in the area/the lack of. Here are the questions and you can email responses to each at Sion Simon's email address below;

"Are you happy with the current level of youth services?

What extra youth facilities would you like to see?

Did you know that the Tory/Lib Dem Council spends more money in Sutton on youth provision than they do in Tyburn, Kingstanding, Erdington and Stockland Green put together?

Do you think that if there were more things for young people to do there would be less anti-social behaviour/crime?

Would you prefer better Council services or lower Council Tax?

If there was a General Election tomorrow, which Party would you support?

On a scale of 0 - 5 with 5 being the highest - how likely is it that you will vote Labour at the next General Election?

Have you ever voted Labour in any election in the past?"

Send responses here - simons@parliament.uk

Pot Holes - Jarvis Road<>
Two large ones in the road surface by Arundel House - reported for repair.

Coin From 1822 Found On Maxted Road<>
If you have a metal-detector you may want to get it out! A coin dating from 1822 has been found by someone walking on the grass-land on Maxted Road.

That land has never been built on and did belong to Oscott College;

www.oscott.net

Bears King George IV on it's heads-side with Britannia on the tails-side.

Coin isn't in good condition and has not yet been valued.

Full inscription as can be made out;

Heads - "Georgius IIII DEI GRATIA"

Tails - "Britannar REX FID DEF 1822"

(Seems a commemorative coin rather than currency - possibly celebrating his Coronation. Became king in 1820 having been Regent from 1810).

<>Rats On Sunday Nights - Foxes And Hedgehogs Now Too
< style="font-weight: 400">All sorts of wildlife is scurrying round the bin-bags left out for Monday morning refuse collections - try to leave putting them out until as near collection time as possible (e.g. Sunday afternoon seems a bad idea).

Court Lane UK Youth Parliament Representative
From the Sutton Observer website -
www.thisissuttoncoldfield.co.uk

`An Erdington boy will be among a party of 300 teenagers who will today (Friday 2/5/2008) debate major youth issues at the House of Lords.

In the hours after millions of adults cast their votes in the local elections, Andrew Marlow, 16, a member of the UK Youth Parliament for Birmingham, will take over the distinguished chamber. He will debate what issues should become the subjects of Youth Parliament campaigns this year, with three to be chosen from topics including public transport concession cards, university tuition fees, youth representation in the media and lowering voting age.

"We are pleased that young people's issues are now being taken seriously as evidenced by their access to the House of Lords chamber and we will continue to support young people to get their voice heard at all levels across the city," said Harry Fowler, joint acting head of Birmingham City Council's Youth Service.

The debate will be chaired by Lord Speaker Baroness Hayman.

She said: "I am very pleased to welcome Members of the UK Youth Parliament who will be coming from all over the country to debate important issues in the House of Lords chamber.

"It is vital that we engage with young people and understand their views and experiences in order to pass laws which are fit for the future."'

Founder Of Cookes Furniture Dies
From the Sutton Observer website - www.thisissuttoncoldfield.co.uk

"The funeral of a well respected Sutton businessman will take place next Friday (April 25). Ted Cooke, founder of Cookes Furniture, passed away last week, aged 83.

A service will take place at 12 noon at St Michael's Church, Boldmere, followed by a private service at Sutton Coldfield Crematorium.

Family flowers only are requested.

Donations to Mr Cooke's favourite charity, the Great Midlands Fun Run, can be made c/o Ian Hazel Funerals Ltd, 5 Belwell Lane, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, B74 4AA."

Fire - Windsor House - Jarvis Road - No-One Hurt www.firekills.gov.uk
A fire occurred recently in the middle tower block - Windsor House - about halfway up the block. No-one hurt.

Fire - Abbeyfield Road - Sunday 9/3/2008 - Update - Was Subsequently Fatal www.firekills.gov.uk
(The top end of Witton Lodge Road). From the Sutton Observer website www.thisissuttoncoldfield.co.uk;

`A woman is recovering in hospital after being dragged from her burning home at the weekend. The 49-year-old woman, who has not been named, was admitted to the intensive care unit at Good Hope Hospital following a blaze at her Erdington flat. She had to be pulled from the ground-floor property on Abbeyfield Road at around 3am on Sunday after neighbours saw smoke billowing from the kitchen door.

Her condition was thought to be life-threatening when she was admitted on Sunday, but further details were not being released to the media as the Observer went to press.

It is thought the fire started in the kitchen after food was left cooking in the oven.

Neighbours alerted the fire brigade after smelling the smoke from her home and then hearing her fire alarm.

"We were on the scene quite quickly, as were the paramedics," said Mick Walsh of Erdington Fire Station.

"It was quite lucky that the neighbours smelled the smoke and heard her alarm because of the double glazing.

"We say it enough but it really shows how important it is to get a proper, working fire alarm installed."

A spokesperson for the West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "The woman has suffered critical injuries after the house fire in Erdington. Crews immediately started resuscitation attempts. She was taken on blue lights to Good Hope Hospital where medics were on standby to receive her."

Fire investigations officers say they are not treating the blaze as suspicious.'

(As the updated headline says - this fire was subsequently fatal).

Court Lane And Madehurst Road Junction Clean Up< style="font-weight: 400">
From Erdington Conservatives;

"Your local Conservative Team cleaned up the rubbish around the junction ..... We managed to collect more than 5 big bags of rubbish and have reported the site to the Council so hopefully they will maintain it's current state."

Jarvis Road And Somerset Road Alley Clean Up< style="font-weight: 400">
From Erdington Conservatives;

"Local campaigner Jessie Holland carried out a litter pick and weed clearance along the alley ... a large amount of plastic bags containing dog mess were found along with a number of needles and foil.

Jessie says, `We have reported the mess to the Council Hygiene Squad ..... we have also reported the matter to the police ..... '"

Short Heath Park Clean Up< style="font-weight: 400">
From Erdington Conservatives;

"Robert (Alden) and Gareth (Compton) arranged for a Short Heath Park to be given a special `deep clean' following complaints from residents ...... The two-day clean up at the end of January has left the park looking better than it has in a long time."

Short Heath Park Clean Up
From Erdington Tories;

"The Council has agreed to carry out two special deep cleans of Short Heath Park ....... The first of these has happened already recently when the Council spent a day picking up litter etc. They will be doing this again in coming days ...... These are special clean ups in addition to the ones which happen normally during the month."

Rose And Crown Alley Clean Up
From Erdington Tories;

"This times it was the alley running between Goosemoor Lane and Gravelly Lane that was the target of a clean up. Between them the Conservative Campaign team managed to collect 12 bags of rubbish from along the alley. The rubbish ranged from beer cans and bottles to sweet and crisp wraps but also building parts from the contractors who have been working on the next door site. These have been reported to the Council and we are calling on the Council to take action against these contractors leaving dangerous items behind."

Goosemoor Lane Clean Up
Again Erdington Tories;

"We have successfully got the Council to clean up the tree-root area, the weeds in the pavement and gullys of the road along Goosemoor Lane. We have also got the Council to do the neighbouring roads."

<>Failed Camber - Goosemoor Lane
< style="font-weight: 400">The road-camber has failed on the odd side of Goosemoor Lane at the junction with Gravelly Lane (so a very large puddle forms in the rain). Reported for repair ages ago but not fixed. Reported again.

Speeding Incident - Goosemoor Lane< style="font-weight: 400">
Many makes of car now have the spare-wheel attached underneath instead of in the boot, and we have those two "tippex islands". On Sunday night (6/1/2008) one speeding motorist decided to drive over instead of round the one by Top Croft Road - and tore the spare wheel clean off the bottom of the car and it bounced along the road behind the car for several yards!

It could have been quite a serious incident. Just as well the road was empty. They did stop and re-attached it underneath.

<>Another Phone-Mast On Cranleigh House
< style="font-weight: 400">Abseilers were working on the outside of it near the top some months back - Monday 18/6/2007. To do with the Mast (installing a small one). Another one has now been added.

Alley Cleaned - Bottom Of Court Lane Area
From the Sutton Observer website
www.thisissuttoncoldfield.co.uk

`A neglected alley in Erdington got a new lease of life last week after volunteers pulled out all the stops to get it clear. The alley, situated between Marsh Lane and Summer Road, was dirty and neglected with litter and rubbish strewn about the place. But last week Stockland Green and Erdington Conservatives pulled together to make the alley - which is used by people walking to the High Street and rail station - spick and span.

"Residents had come to me expressing their concerns about the alley being so dirty and unsafe to walk along due to all the rubbish building up and becoming wet and slippy," explained Stockland Green Conservatives local campaigner Matt Bennett.

"I decided that I should ensure it was clean for the local residents. For too long Stockland Green and its residents have been ignored. I'm determined to ensure that doesn't continue and that the Stockland Green residents have the quality of life they deserve. That's why I am fighting to put the green back into Stockland Green."'

Court Lane Grass Verge/Speeding Havoc/Inferior Road Surface - Latest< style="font-weight: 400">
< style="font-weight: 400">More white marker-lines have been added all along Court Lane now in attempt to better control traffic. See what effect it has.

Erdington Cllr Robert Alden now wants to hear from residents about this and has started a petition;

< style="font-weight: 400"> Robert.Alden@birmingham.gov.uk

This issue has been rumbling on for ages - by The Greyhound pub - see the Crime AND News page for more background re past events there etc. This from the Great Barr Observer at www.thisisgreatbarr.co.uk

`Disgruntled residents fear a nasty accident will have to take place on their road before something is done to slow traffic down. Court Lane in Kingstanding is a busy route used by hundreds of drivers every day, but several blind spots mean drivers are often caught out by the sharp bends, and crash into walls or fences. With more than 20 accidents on the road already this year, residents say it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt.

John Baldock, who lives in Court Lane, has had two cars written off on the driveway and a car crash straight into his wall.

"It's atrocious," he said. "We have been told that until somebody dies nothing can be done to slow traffic down - it's unbelievable."

John has two children, aged 12 and seven, and says he does not even let them go to shops alone because the road is just too dangerous.

He added: "Our biggest fear is we have small children, elderly people and disabled people on this road and someone's going to get hurt, but the council won't do anything."

In the last six months nine houses have had to make repairs to walls and fences. Street lights and trees have been knocked down and replaced.

One house has had a car smash through the garden straight into a front bay window, and another resident has had three cars parked on the driveway written off.

Kingstanding councillor Catharine Grundy said: "The statistics are unbelievable. Court Lane is a very dangerous road, especially when you consider that so many of these accidents involve vehicles leaving the road and crossing the pavement. In order to get real action we need the Council to take these into account, but currently they will only consider accidents where someone is injured and it is reported to police, when they are looking at their priorities for traffic calming."

Residents are calling for an island at the junction with Fosseway Drive to slow traffic down or more signs to be put up warning people the speed limit on the stretch is still 30mph.

Birmingham City Council said the highways department receives many requests for highway improvements across the city and any requests are assessed and prioritised.

A Council spokeswoman said: "Court Lane does not currently have sufficient high priority for traffic management improvement.

"However, arrangements have been made to carry out carriageway markings as part of the routine highways maintenance works programme in the near future, which will help to outline restrictions in the area."'

<>Court Lane Fire - More< style="font-weight: 400">
From the Birmingham Mail on Friday 14/9/2007;

< style="font-weight: 400">`A woman was taken to hospital after fire broke out on the ground floor of a house in Birmingham. The incident happened at Court Lane, in Short Heath, Erdington at 10.06pm yesterday. A West Midlands Fire Service spokeswoman said, "It was an incident involving a small fire in a rear ground floor room"'

< style="font-weight: 400">Latest - West Midlands Fire Service will be carrying out smoke alarm tests etc in the area;

< style="font-weight: 400">0800 389 5525

<>Another Road Accident - The Spinney<>
< style="font-weight: 400">(This may have involved unlawful driving - i.e. should be a Crime Page entry - we shall see) Monday afternoon 10/9/2007. Another accident involving a non-Travel WM bus circling the Spinney terminus and a car coming along Court Lane (which buses pull out in front of both lanes of). Traffic Police were in attendance suggesting at least one person had been injured. Second accident like that there in the last few months at least.

<>"Punch And Judy" Update
< style="font-weight: 400">More of this new feature. For the first time since about 1996, the Erdington Ward has a "split" set of Cllrs (2 Labour, 1 Tory in 2006 and now 1 Labour and 2 Tory). See Links page for their details. In the Erdington Constituency ALL three main parties are represented now at Ward level (from all Labour a few years back).

< style="font-weight: 400">Here I'll be updating any "punch and judy" activity between the 3 that in my view harms Erdington's overall interests. 2 things so far, one fairly minor;

< style="font-weight: 400">1. At the first Erdington Ward public meeting since the "split" it seemed the 2 Labour Cllrs hit upon a ploy to make sure one of them always chaired the meeting and the Tory never did. One simply (and quickly) nominated the other at the very start of the meeting during the welcoming procedure. Somebody present COULD then nominate the Tory, forcing a vote, but that would hold up the meeting - so it seems no other nomination would get made!

< style="font-weight: 400">2. From the Sutton Observer www.suttoncoldfieldobserver.co.uk

`Rubbish sparked a party political row between Councillors at a recent meeting of the Erdington Constituency committee.

Conservative councillor, Robert Alden, trashed claims that the constituency's Labour councillors had previously voted in favour of weekly rubbish collections.

"None of the Labour councillors voted in favour of weekly collections," he said, but claims he was branded a "liar" by the Labour contingent.

Cllr Robert Alden produced the results of the vote, taken at a full Council meeting on June 5, which show how each of the four councillors in Erdington, Tyburn, Kingstanding and Stockland Green wards voted, (see results below).

Three councillors - two Conservative and one Liberal Democrraat - voted in favour of weekly collections in Erdington.

Four Labour councillors voted against the motion with one abstention and four not voting.

But Labour councillor Penny Holbrook has hit back at the claims saying a vital amendment to the motion was not taken into account.

"Councillor Alden's claims are not true," she said. "We fully support weekly collections but only while there is a need for them. Who can tell what will happen in five or ten years time when recycling is at its peak? But while it is feasible and while the public feel there is a need we will always support weekly collections."

For retention of Weekly rubbish collections:

Cllr Robert Alden, Erdington, Conservative; Cllr Gareth Compton, Erdington, Conservative; Cllr Ann Holtom, Tyburn, Liberal Democrat.

Against weekly collections:

Cllr Lynda Clinton, Tyburn, Labour; Cllr Mick Finnegan, Stockland Green, Labour; Cllr Penny Holbrook, Stockland Green, Labour; Cllr Peter Kane, Kingstanding, Labour.

Abstensions:

Cllr Catherine Grundy, Kingstanding, Labour.

The remaining four Labour councillors did not vote.'

< style="font-weight: 400">(Sutton Observer tends to be more Tory-friendly than Labour-friendly - just thought I'd point that out!)

<>Dropped Kerbs - More< style="font-weight: 400">
This came up some months back, the Council wanted all of those with driveways for cars to have dropped kerbs installed on the pavement. Here is the Council page;

Council dropped kerbs page, www.birmingham.gov.uk/droppedkerbs

<>Minor Bus Crash - Court Lane - The Spinney
< style="font-weight: 400">(This might have involved a traffic offence - we shall see - so scant details here). Wednesday 13/6/2007 around 3pm. One of the "independent" buses was in collision with a car. Police were in attendance but I don't think anyone was injured. A very young child was aboard one vehicle.

<>Traffic Survey/Speed Check - Jarvis Road
< style="font-weight: 400">(Courtesy of Cllr Alden) Police conducted a speed check on Jarvis Road during the last week in April. Over all they found that only approx 5% of traffic speeds could be actionable. Although not as serious as elsewhere, they did admit that some cars were going very fast.

<>Suspected Drunk-Driver Arrested After Large Crash On Goosemoor Lane
< style="font-weight: 400">On Thursday night/Friday morning 26-27/4/2007 around 0.15am a driver was arrested by police after a road incident at the Kirkwood Avenue junction in which no-one was injured. More on this after any court proceedings.

< style="font-weight: 400">Cllr Robert Alden is looking into road-calming.

< style="font-weight: 400">(This report will be moved to Crime Page depending on those court proceedings).

These Issues Have Been Raised By A Resident With Cllr Alden<> - His Responses
1. Rubbish left for weeks by the Council bin on Goosemoor Lane opposite the Church of Christ.. This is now causing more rats in the area.

"We have contacted the fleet and refuse department regarding this and asked that it be collected more regularly."

2. Rubbish bins being emptied at Cookes Furniture (twice a week) this is done at 6.00am, when the vehicles reverse they are fitted with reversing proximity bleepers, this is not a welcome noise at this hour!

"We have contacted the environmental health department and reported it as noise nuisance. They will now carry out some monitoring."

3. What is the criteria for a residents parking scheme? Whenever there is a "special event" at Cookes (e.g. a sale) then the road is chaotic with traffic.

"A residents parking scheme would require over 60% of the road to vote in favour ....... It would mean that residents would have to pay yearly for a parking permit. Schemes only guarantee ONE permit per house and therefore could mean that you would not be able to park all your vehicles on the road."

4. More traffic calming measure in the road the as current "spot islands" are not effective.

" ..... we collected a petition on this very issue a few months ago and it is currently being processed by the Transportation department ...... "

5. Finally can you find out what opening restrictions the restaurant has in Cookes as there seems to be people leaving the premises very late at night.

< style="font-weight: 400">"We have contacted the licence department regarding this to find out the details ........ "

<>Erdington Labour Party Info< style="font-weight: 400">
They've actually started sending me stuff (must be an election coming - oh yeah, there is) and here is what is relevant to this area;

< style="font-weight: 400">"We are liaising* closely with Erdington's policing team, and have worked in partnership to provide neighbourhood police stations in Rookery House and Jarvis Road. We also share your concern about the often poor-quality of local street-lighting, and as a result we are committed to upgrading street lighting wherever possible. As a result we have recently authorised a major street lighting improvement scheme in Goosemoor Lane."

< style="font-weight: 400">* A word very often spelt wrong and they did - put liasing - I've corrected it ffor them above. Our schools are in safe hands then?

<>Man Found Dead - Gravelly Lane/Jarvis Road Junction - Yet More
< style="font-weight: 400">From the Sutton Observer, www.thisissuttoncoldfield.co.uk

`A middle-aged man lay dying, face-down on a grass verge at the side of a busy main road in Sutton. He was obviously in trouble, yet dozens of people walked on by. Their actions have sickened one of the two Sutton men who did stop to help.

Daniel Woodward, aged 23, who lives in Boldmere, was driving down Gravelly Lane last Monday (February 19) at around 12.30pm when he noticed a young man trying to get assistance from passers-by. Then he saw the older man lying face down on the ground near the junction with Goosemoor Lane and stopped in his tracks.

"I was on the way towards Erdington when I saw a man on his mobile phone looking shocked and worried and there was an older man lying on the ground," recalled Mr Woodward. "People were just walking past."

"I parked up and went over to help. We turned him over and he was blue and had stopped breathing. I quickly realised that all the time this guy had been dead on the floor."

Yet despite their obvious difficulties, nobody offered to help or to call an ambulance.

Mr Woodward continued: "Several people walked by and two men stopped, but when they found out he was dead they just ran off."

The ambulance arrived and the paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene.

Police also attended and, after interviewing Mr Woodward and the other man, allowed the pair to leave.

Now Mr Woodward says he is 'sickened' by the behaviour of passers-by who chose to ignore their pleas for help.

"It was absolutely sickening," he said. "If that was a member of their family I'm sure they would like to think someone would help them.

"I've got no first aid knowledge at all but at least I tried to help. Everyone's got a mobile phone on them nowadays so they could have called 999 at least.

"Even if they thought he was drunk they could have seen what the problem was and sorted him out."

Steve Parry, spokesperson for the West Midlands Ambulance Service, confirmed the incident, saying: "Ambulance paramedics did attend the scene at around 1pm.

"It was a male thought to be in his late 50s who had collapsed in the street.

"Paramedics certified the patient dead at the scene. It was natural causes."

< style="font-weight: 400">Now of course I wasn't there but this was right at the end of our road. Some Press accounts had people walking over the poor stricken man (I suspected that wasn't true). The most probable version would be, lying on that grass-verge by Jarvis Road is NOT that unusual - and when people saw others then helping and with a phone just left it at that. As for people running off - that's probably paranoia about the possibility of being falsely accused.

< style="font-weight: 400">(The number of times I'm warned over the website - that police might accuse me of doing the stuff I'm mentioning! And an idiot Council employee then did of course. Famously happened at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics too of course - a security guard found a bomb, was then accused of planting it! The real bomber then later found).

< style="font-weight: 400">So the area hasn't quite covered itself in glory, not quite what appeared in some quarters though.

< style="font-weight: 400">More from later issues of the same newspaper.

`The family of a man who was left lying on a busy street after he had collapsed has thanked the people who stopped to help him.

Cornelious Collins, known as Con, died of natural causes on Monday, February 19 after he collapsed on Gravelly Lane, near to his home. He was 51. Then, the Observer reported how most people walked by, but that he was helped by 23-year-old Daniel Woodward and an unknown man.

Now Con's sister, Eileen Hatfield, has contacted the Observer to publicly thank the people who helped her brother during his dying minutes.

"Con was a kind and generous man who fell on hard times towards the later days of his life," said Eileen.

"But we are sure that put in the same situation he would have been there offering assistance.

"Our family would like to thank Daniel Woodward and the unnamed person who stopped to help our brother.

"We thought it was really kind and we just wanted them to know."'

Spinney Now Cleaned Up< style="font-weight: 400">
(The fenced off woodland at the junction of Court Lane and Witton Lodge Road - the 7 and 65 bus terminus). From Cllr Robert Alden

"It's not perfect but much better than before. We are asking for it to be regularly cleaned from now on to stop it getting back to the situation it was in. Also we will be starting a campaign for a bin to put there as it clearly needs one for all the people getting on and off buses there."

<>Parking On The Pavement - Gravelly Lane
< style="font-weight: 400">I got a complaint about cars parking on the pavement between the Oliver Road and Station Road junctions (both sides). Cars half on and half off the pavement. Very few houses there have garages. The pavement is often obstructed to buggies etc.

< style="font-weight: 400">This has now been passed onto police by the Council.

< style="font-weight: 400">However;

< style="font-weight: 400">Be aware that situation allows Gravelly Lane at that stretech to always be clear in BOTH directions for traffic to move. Anything that makes residents park completely in the road WILL congest that busy road.

<>Bulky Rubbish Collections - Free<>
< style="font-weight: 400">If you have old fridges, beds, cupboards etc - the Council will collect them free of charge. 0121 303 1112. You are limited to 6 items however.

<>Campaign To Build A Path Through The Park www.birmingham.gov.uk/parks <>
Another long running campaign set to succeed now. More as I get it. One existed before (see History Page "Do You Remember?") but is now over-grown.

Gravelly Lane Car Crash Cuts Gas To Homes<>
(Birmingham Mail - Nov 28 2006)

"FOUR houses were left without gas when a car mounted a pavement and smashed into a pipe.

Homes in Gravelly Lane, Erdington, were cut off at 10.35pm yesterday when a driver lost control of his Ford Fiesta.

It collided with an external gas pipe connected to one of the properties.

The property was not badly damaged but the pipe fractured. Firefighters performed an emergency repair job.

The Fiesta also collided with street signs and hit a parked Rover. It was being driven by an 18-year-old man and his girlfriend was also in the car.

Police were today investigating the accident."

MP Lends A Hand With Community Tidy-Up
(Sutton Observer) The project, organised by Kelly Fogarty from the YMCA (Fosseway Drive), was part of Make a Difference Day which gives people the opportunity to give a day of their time to contribute something positive to the local community.

"Make a Difference Day provides a great opportunity for people to contribute something to their local community without having to put their hand in their pocket," said Mr Simon

The play area has been installed beside Court Farm Primary School.

<>Another Accident On The Bend - Goosemoor Lane - More< style="font-weight: 400">
Wed 14/9/2006 around 9.50pm. In the wet. As ever a car came down from towards Court Lane too fast and failed to take the Bend. Mounted the pavement by the Anstey but somehow missed everything down by there (the fence, trees, telegraph-pole, lamp-posts, keep-left signs etc) before venturing back onto the road and venturing on it's journey.

< style="font-weight: 400">All sorts of traffic-calming in place already there but not enough. A chevron-sign used to be there too and has either fallen down or been obscured by bushes. It should be easy to get that put back up though and I reported that - got this back from the Council though.

"An inspector has recently visited the location stated in your e-mail and has advised that the signs and traffic calming are of a good standard and meet the necessary requirements for the location."

<>Court Lane Grass Verge To Remain - But Another Accident
(See Crime Page for more about the stolen-car accidents there etc). Some residents wanted this verge by the Greyhound partly removed and then used for parking. However some want it to remain (according to the Council Ward report). It will remain, factors in the Council decision;

The dispute between residents,

Grass verges are a valuable amenity,

Money (as ever),

Sufficient parking already,

< style="font-weight: 400">However another accident occurred there on Sat 2/9/2006 around 2pm. Vehicles travelling too fast in the wet and skidding when reaching the bend (is it sign-posted beforehand in both directions?) It's worth noting that unless someone is injured (and no-one was) police usually aren't made aware to factor it in with any later decisions.

<>Tree Down! Goosemoor Lane - Road Blocked - Sat 2/9/2006< style="font-weight: 400" styylee="font-weight: 400">
We had a tree blown down in Goosemoor Lane near the Court Lane junction - blocking the actual road. It caught telegraph-lines on the way down, pulling those down brought down guttering on some houses and brought the pole down too.

< style="font-weight: 400">The Fire Service did NOT attend as no-one was trapped (and no-one was) so the Council had to clear it (road was blocked for several hours around 10pm-5pm). The Fire Service told the Council.

< style="font-weight: 400">I was not aware of problems up by there. In the past trees have been checked when reported by residents.

< style="font-weight: 400">Needs to be an investigation though, the wind was not that bad.

<>Road Accident - Goosemoor Lane
< style="font-weight: 400">Another minor shunt along the road as a van hit a car, no-one injured. Sat 15/7/2006 at 11.10am by the Kirkwood Avenue junction. Bear in mind when the road was built we didn't have as many cars, large business premises requiring lorries, side-roads off and driveways to reverse off, the 66 bus and people using mobile phones whilst driving etc.

< style="font-weight: 400">Hence all these little shunts along the road. Bear all that in mind when driving along Goosemoor Lane, all sorts of hazards along it.

<>Station Road Bridge Walkway To Be Widened
(See the Crime Page for the recent hit and run there). One side of this walkway is very narrow and widening work was scheduled to start in 2003. This has kept coming up in Ward meetings and the campaign started in 1936! Latest plans;

Negotiations have started with Network Rail, the bridge owner and associated land. Provision of £90, 000 is contained for detail design work. Network Rail Have been invited prepare a contract to deliver the work.

New Wardens Provided For The Topcroft Estate<>
(From Robert Alden - Local Cllr)

`Only a month after being elected as Councillor for Erdington, Cllr Robert Alden, this month, announced a new clean up team for the Topcroft Estate. It consists of 2 caretakers and 2-3 cleaners who will be for the use of the Topcroft Estate and Jarvis Road. Cllr Robert Alden said "This is the first time the estate has had this kind of support to help keep it clean. The addition of this team, by the Conservative led Council, also demonstrates how important the residents’ quality of life is felt to be by the Council".

Local campaign organiser Gareth Compton added "this is further proof that the Conservatives keep their promises, we fought the election on a Cleaner, Greener, Safer streets mantle and this is helping to make sure we deliver. I ask residents can you remember this ever happening under the old oppressive Labour administration? The answer is no because they had a no star and failing Housing department. Under the Conservatives we have a one star and improving department according to the independent audit Commission and we are helping all residents of Erdington regardless of where they live".'

<>Road Accident - Goosemoor Lane
< style="font-weight: 400">A minor shunt between two cars occurred at the Kirkwood Avenue junction in the wet, 7am Tues 27/6/2006. No-one hurt. (Be aware of the re-surfacing issue about Goosemoor Lane in the wet - see stone mastic asphalt report below).

<>Road Accident On Bend - Correction
< style="font-weight: 400"> Morning of Sunday 4/6/2006 around 4am. Some car speeding from the Court Lane end of Goosemoor Lane to Gravelly Lane but failed to take the Bend! Nearly ended up in the Anstey. I ealier said narrowly missed a tree but in fact it hit it! (Always be aware of walking by the Bend on that side as cars still rush down to there). No idea of casualties.

<>Car Accident - Goosemoor Lane
< style="font-weight: 400">Evening of Monday 8/5/2006 on the Bend (this might explain the uprooted keep-left sign there now). No-one hurt from what I can tell.

<>Yet Another Low Bridge Incident In the Area - Chester Road
< style="font-weight: 400">(Sutton News/Sutton Observer) Nine cars were severely damaged by a JCB carried on a lorry which struck the underside of the bridge and it's arm then swung out onto the cars. No injuries. Friday 28/4/2006 at 1pm. Train services were delayed for 20 minutes.

< style="font-weight: 400">Station Road in Wylde Green, Chester Road, Station Road and Summer Road in Erdington all have low railway bridges with an increasing roll-call of major accidents.

<>Bridge Accident - Gravelly Lane
< style="font-weight: 400">Friday 3/3/2006 at around 6pm, the railway bridge across Gravelly Lane (by the South Road junction) was struck by a high-sided lorry. Fire Service and police in attendance, road blocked in both directions. I'm unaware if anyone was hurt. Fatalities have occurred in the past at this location.

< style="font-weight: 400">Back in November we had a pedestrian seriously injured by a car at the Station Road bridge, and even the Chester Road Station one has been struck in the past (I'm unaware of the record of the Wylde Green one further along the same line).

< style="font-weight: 400">All these low narrow bridges in the area. The issue needs looking at in a wholistic way.

<>College High School - City Academies Controversy
< style="font-weight: 400">There are plans to turn some schools into "city academies" and this is a controversial move. College High (formerly Perry Common Secondary School) is one such school (no others in north Birmingham are in the plan). Here is one side of the story;

< style="font-weight: 400"> www.banut.net/campaigns.html

< style="font-weight: 400">If you are concerned about this issue can I advise you to contact the school or Sion Simon MP etc for more information;

< style="font-weight: 400"> www.collegeh.bham.sch.uk

<>Erdington Action Plan
< style="font-weight: 400">Birmingham City Council have plans for Erdington High Street and here is the relevant page;

< style="font-weight: 400"> www.birmingham.gov.uk/erdingtonplan

<>Paper Recycling Container Fills Quickly
The large container where you can put waste-paper for recycling situated at the Gravelly Lane junction outside the Costcutter shop fills very quickly though the Council seems to keep up with emptying it - just!

www.birmingham.gov.uk/recycling

<>Long-Standing Street-Lamp Issues
The Beech Road Inset area has no lamps (see Glossary). I have reported this for future consideration.

The Jarvis Road Estate; None of the side-lights illuminating the base of Alnwick House work. None of the side-lights illuminating the base of Arundel House work. All of the side-lights illuminating the base of Windsor House work (compare it to the areas above to see the big lighting difference it makes to the area around the block). All of the side-lights illuminating the base of Berkley House work. Only half the side-lights illuminating the base of Stokesay House work.

On Jarvis Road not far from Pertemps is a lamp obscured by an over-hanging tree. Has been reported for pruning. When it is that lamp will illuminate an unlit garage area too.

I'm a firm believer that if a system of street-lighting exists it should be functioning. (I've christened the 3 Top Croft Estate maisonette blocks on my website Glossary Page for clarity, though I'm unaware how widespread usage is;

North Block - the one nearest Goosemoor Lane.

West Block - the one stretching parallel lengthways to Short Heath Park.

South Block - the one nearest Cayton Grove).

All these have a system of 2 exterior lights on their side and 1 above both entrances/exits. So I count each block to have 6 exterior wall lights, so 18 in all. Only 3 work it seems, on the South Block (none vandalised it seems). If you stand on the short side of that South Block, the short side that doesn't face the Park, you'll see 2 side lamps on and the light given off is very good (another is on by the entrance/exit). Multiply that by 6 by fixing all the other exterior wall lamps that are attached to these 3 blocks of maisonettes and the estate will be considerably lightened, especially some previously dark areas. I have reported all of these for repair.

The lamp at the back of the Top Croft South Maisonette Block (see Glossary page) is still off, so is the other one now!

Another at the junction car-park of Goosemoor/Hawthorn is out. This is classed as private so no word on repair.

A lamp in the driveway of LA Gym/Pavillion Housing on Gravelly Lane is out. Private again.

The specific Council webpage for reporting broken lamps etc is;

www.birmingham.gov.uk/streets or ring 0121 303 6000 or email streetlighting@birmingham.gov.uk

<>Pigeons - Jarvis Road/Top Croft Estate
These birds have no owner and have become a severe pest. Some residents are being forced to fence off balconies etc. I will speak to the Council to see what can be done.

<>Land At The Back Of The Woodyard - For Sale?
This rumour has been doing the rounds (Littlecote Drive Public Open Space aka The Common). I've asked the Council and so far nothing back. This land is part of their wider public space strategy.

<>Park Cleaner www.birmingham.gov.uk/parks <>
The park is cleaned weekly by a company called Service Team (tel 0121 764 3333). They use the same person as when the Council did it! He reports things for repair etc. Nice to know someone is looking after it.

<>Calls For Traffic Calming On Court Lane (See Crime Page) - More
(Sutton News) Some residents want traffic calming after a series of incidents. On Monday morning 2.30am on 10/11/2003 and 10.30pm on 14/9/2003 vehicles collided with parked vehicles.

<>Parking Problems <>
Somerset Road/Gravelly Lane junction - Cars are parking on the pavement and too near this junction. A Traffic Regulation Order is going to drawn up, such as double yellow lines. However this will take time.

A resident has since emailed;

"Do you know if it is possible to get double yellow lines outside the shop at the corner of Goosemoor and Gravelly Lane? Cars park on the bend when using the shop and this causes disruption for cars turning left and buses turning right at this junction."

I will pass this on to the Council.

<>New Estate Planned
This is in the very early stages but plans are being drawn up for a new estate to sit between the Top Croft and Jarvis Road Estates (on what is now the Court Lane Allotments etc). Updates will be here.

<>Anstey Fence Strengthened - The Great Escape? - More Land Sought > I'm almost expecting to see Steve McQueen ride his motorbike round it! The Anstey is fenced off (again and much er now) so work can start on it (the fence was being torn down each time by some determined person(s) unknown!) This has been bought for housing by developer Walton Homes, subject to planning permission. Where the traffic will come out I don't know, hopefully not by the Goosemoor Lane bend (there were traffic problems when Hawthorn Close was being built). Originally the Anstey entrance was on Gravelly Lane but that is part of the Alexandra building there now. It means less open space in the area but with homes on flood-plains now being seen as a bad idea I suppose they have to build somewhere nationally.

(Sutton News 13/6/2003) A third party is wanting to buy adjacent land that is currently gardens on Chester Road and sell it to the developer. Hints that exit traffic will be onto Goosemoor Lane.

<>Dodgy Lamps - List
Since I've started monitoring this I've found the same lamps tend to go again and again, rather than every lamp bulb having the same "life" (it's not vandalism). They should last several years but some last only a few months. It may be the lamps not the bulbs that's to blame! Here's the "dodgy lamp" list for the area.

Lamp 1, Bowling Green Close (at the Goosemoor junction)<>
Lamp 15, Gravelly Lane (just before the post office going towards Station Road)

Here's the Transport Dept report on those first 3;

"From an enquiry into the street lighting maintenance system the lamp in Goosemoor Lane had been reported faulty on 4 occasions by a member of the public yet we have no report from our night inspectors. This may indicate a faulty time switch that is late in switching and the lamp is operating when the night patrol see it. The time switch will be replaced for a photoelectric cell that will operate automatically dusk and dawn. These devices are unaffected by power cuts and this should cure the problem. The other two street lamps in Bowling Green Close and Gravelly Lane have each received 2 fault reports in the last 12 months and this does not indicate a problem area. However, we will ensure they are monitored carefully over the next few weeks."

The report on Lamp 20 bears almost no resemblance to what has been going on with it over the last year, reported here each time it's gone off. (It was not coming back on very late at night each time, nothing like that. Some along Sycamore Road were doing that. Lamp 20 was being fixed within a week but going again after a few months. How come it's bulb is much brighter now? How could that occur if the Council report is true? It's a different bulb). The other 2 should last far more than 6 months. I will be pursuing lighting issues across the whole city now. The present system seems pretty hopeless.

<>Learner-Drivers At The Bowling Green Close Junction
Specific road junctions are popular with local driving-instructors teaching pupils how to do certain turns etc. The Goosemoor Lane/Bowling Green Close junction is one such place. Be aware of this when near that junction.

<>Weather Warnings
The Met Office sometimes slip up as they can't give very localised patterns. I now can detect severe storms coming into the area (though sometimes only 1/2 hour etc notice). I've wondered how to make use of this via the site. The E-Group will be used for this. Bear in mind I won't always be able to get to a computer always or be with my instruments, so not every storm will be forecast. Each alert will also link to the official Birmingham Met Office site etc so you can see who is the more accurate (time constraints mean I can't give a daily forecast).

<>Sion Simon MP Is Losing His Sight
Sad news, our MP is gradually going blind. He has a condition called choroideremia There is no known cure or treatment so gradually over a period of years he expects to lose his sight completely, and it has already started to happen. He intends continuing as our MP though.

<>Additions? Comments? Queries? Corrections? email Gary O'Brien at gary_obrien_99@yahoo.co.uk

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