Thursday, March 15, 2012

Planning applications to 10 March 2012

2012/01611/PA - 247 Douglas Road
Erection of single storey rear extension. Erection of single storey rear extension

2012/01528/PA - 136 Yardley Road
Change of use of part of ground floor from retail (Use Class A1) to a 1 bedroom flat (Use Class C3)

2012/00843/PA - 30 Station Road
Change of use from retail shop (Class A1) to childrens day nursery (Class D1)

2012/01595/PA - 904-906 Warwick Road
Conversion of 1st and 2nd floors to 4 self-contained 1-bed flats, installation of dormer to rear of No. 904,
erection of single storey extension to rear of No. 906 and installation of new shop fronts and roller shutters.
This relates to a shop building on the slip road between Stockfield Road and Warwick Road.

You can find the details by inputting the reference number into the Council online database here and details on planning usage classes here.

For information:
A1 - Shops - Shops, retail warehouses, hairdressers, undertakers, travel and ticket agencies, post offices (but not sorting offices), pet shops, sandwich bars, showrooms, domestic hire shops, dry cleaners, funeral directors and internet cafes.

C3 - Dwellinghouses

D1 - Non-residential institutions - Clinics, health centres, crèches, day nurseries, day centres, schools, art galleries (other than for sale or hire), museums, libraries, halls, places of worship, church halls, law court. Non residential education and training centres.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Latest unemployment figures - hurting, but not working

270,000 public sector jobs were lost in 2011 - a huge number of people affected across the country. Independent observers of employment trends seem to think that unemployment will continue to rise this year, with no likelihood of it starting to fall back until the start of 2013. In Yardley, unemployment has risen slightly year on year, up 0.3% to 7.3% or 4820 people. That breaks down to 10.3% of men and 4.4% of women claiming JSA - not a full count of unemployment, but the most accurate figures available. These are the worst national figures in 17 years.

As Liam Byrne pointed out this week, we've also seen a return to the 1980s as one in ten young people in this city - over 16,000 of those aged 18-24 are currently claiming JSA. As a city blessed with a good supply of young people, not having work for them is a prime concern for Labour, which is why we've got a plan for jobs that would fund 100,000 jobs for young people across the country and provide 25,000 affordable homes.

Sadly, this government continues to fetishise austerity and cuts, risking a downward spiral. Even within the government, they admit that 'there is still something important missing; a compelling vision of where the country is heading' (Vince Cable, 8 Feb 2012).

Labour has been clear from the start - the deficit will be closed by a mixture of spending cuts and growth. That's why we planned slower reductions in public spending. That's why we created an agenda for growth.

The Liberal Democrat/Conservative government have got it horrendously wrong for the past two years and we're all paying the price.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tory/Lib Dem government make it tougher for working families in Yardley

Thanks to the Tory/Liberal Democrat government, 850 low income families in this constituency would actually be better off if they left their jobs and went onto benefits.

Working Tax Credit is currently paid to those who work at least 16 hours a week, but from April that will be raised to 24 hours, with one member having to work at least 16 hours. This means that a two child family with one member working for 16 hours a week on the minimum wage - hardly a life of luxury - will face a whopping cut in income of £73 a week, £14 less than they would get on benefits.

The Liberal Democrats are feeling satisfied with themselves because they plan to raise the income tax threshold - but not yet - and put £60 a month back into your pocket. That's a drop in the ocean compared to the £292 a month some families will lose within a few days.

We should be encouraging people into work - even for a few hours a week - not punishing them.

At the other end of the scale, we have them restricting aspiration by taking away child benefit for those who have a single earner on 40% tax, so families with a single earner on £44,000 annual income lose out, but families with two earners on £41,000 each can bring in £82,000 and keep the child benefit. That is simply unfair.