Friday, March 09, 2012


Despite the rain last week, we had a good turnout for the next big leaflet delivery - a thumping A3 size double issue. Thanks to all those who came over to this outpost of Labour in Birmingham. If anyone else fancies helping out with the remaining delivery rounds - you will typically need about an hour to an hour and a half to complete a round - please get in touch. We do have a handful left to distribute. Even if you can just do your road, that would be appreciated.

May 3 is now only a few weeks away and we're pushing hard to repeat last year's success. It won't be easy and it shouldn't be, but following on from Stewart's great win last year, we've got a chance of repeating it this year and sending a real message to the Liberal Democrats in local and national government.

Let's keep Sell Out Clegg looking sad.

Acocks Green Ward Committee - 7 March 2012

This week’s ward committee was a relatively quiet affair and also the last one before the elections in May.

On the agenda was a briefing from the Education team about plans to expand The Oaklands school to provide an additional primary class to cope with expected increase in demand from September 2013. They are working to a tight timetable, as construction work will be required to make the school fit for a modern, two form entry and this will need local consultation and planning permission. Cllr Stacey pointed out that the school governing body have yet to agree to this expansion and have only approved that the City Council study the feasibility at their own risk.

On planning, there was little of controversy. The original application to change the use of the former pub on the
Warwick Road
(just by the rail bridge) to a car dealership was turned down because the applicants failed to provide some additional technical details. These have now been provided in the form of another application. There was some discussion about the property to be constructed at the rear of 122 Westley Road and while there was some concern about this setting a precedent for other back gardens along the same strip, it was also pointed out that this might not be sufficient reason to block it in planning law terms.

The Community Chest spending was approved, as well as some continuation funds for the John Gayle football project, which has been a long term success in the ward and is currently looking for grant aid to provide ongoing support for a great scheme.

The only other thing was a note for future agenda to discuss access to the Leisure Centre from the public footpath between Fox Hollies Road and
Shirley Road
, which has been closed for some time now. This has been raised on Restirred and I will keep an eye on it. I can see no reason why access should not be restored – but this won’t come up until after the election in May.

As ever, watch this space.

Love maps? You want this link.

I love old maps and this site is a mine of information of maps of all kinds and ages. Even just looking at Birmingham, you can trace the expansion of the city and see as it draws in bits of the surrounding counties. A truly brilliant use of the web. (HT to @mrrobinmorley)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Library cuts bite

Changes are afoot in Birmingham's library system. The news for Acocks Green is that because our library is so popular in the community, it is secured as one of the primary libraries around the city and will be assured of funding for 40 hours opening time each week. The actual breakdown of those hours is a matter for the constituency to decide, but it is likely to be five days including Saturday and one late night, which is a disappointing reduction on the current six-day opening.

It is possible that further funding may be found from the Community Chest to restore the lost day, but that's still to be decided. Perhaps this is a question worth asking - should £10,000 of the ward's allocation be spent here on or on other projects? Which has the most value to you as a resident? Let me know.

Across the city, library hours have been cut by 13.7%, but worryingly, the library staff in the constituency libraries (excluding Central) have been cut back by 27% since 2010.

Planning Applications to 5 March 2012

2012/01135/PA - Ground Floor, 1119A Warwick Road
Change of use of ground floor from amusement centre to retail shop.

2012/00932/PA - 77 Oxford Road
Erection of two storey side extension and single storey rear extension

2012/01197/PA - 71 Woodford Green
Erection of single storey rear extension

You can find the details by inputting the reference number into the Council online database here