Friday, February 22, 2013

Save money on energy spend - Birmingham and Solihull Together

This new scheme - backed by Birmingham City Council and Solihull Council - will allow residents to share in a bulk buy scheme for domestic energy. Householders have a four week switching window starting last Monday and running through to Sunday 17 March to register. You can find out whether you can save money on their energy bills before deciding to sign up quickly and easily on line or on the phone.

The campaign has negotiated three tariffs – for pre-payment, direct debit and green energy options. As an added bonus the more people who sign up, the greater the cashback style discounts they will receive on their first bill. The national pilot "Together" campaign saw 1,000 people in Cornwall save an average of £133 on their annual bills.

The switching window opens on Monday February 18 and closes on Sunday March 17.

Sign up here.

Unemployed? Need help to get to work or an interview? Help is at hand.

If you live in Acocks Green, South Yardley or Stechford & Yardley North, you may be eligible for help with the costs of public transport to get to interviews or even for up to eight weeks after you've got that job through the WorkWise scheme. This could be a free, unlimited day pass for bus, train and tram across the Midlands to get you to an interview or a pass to help you through the first two months of a new job. 

To be eligible, you must:
  • Live within an eligible ward in the West Midlands (all three listed above are part of the scheme and the rest can be found here). You can check your ward here
  • Be a JobCentrePlus client and not receiving travel assistance from another provider
  • Be unemployed before signing up for WorkWise
  • Be attending an interview for or starting a new job that takes up at least 16 hours a week
  • Provide proof of ID, address and employment or interview
  • Have an existing travel card or provide a passport-sized photograph
  • Make a complete application within five days of starting work through your JobCentrePlus advisor
To apply, ask your advisor in the JobCentre or call direct on 0121 214 7436.

(A hat tip to fellow Labour Cllr Ian Cruise for bringing this to my attention).

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Which report on ticket machines

Not great reading for those of us near stations where the Liberal Democrat transport minister agreed to let London Midland - named as one of the worst operators in the country - cut back on ticket office opening hours.
Buying a ticket for tomorrow was restricted to after 4pm at one station and unavailable at others. Information buttons often failed to provide anything about ticket validity - get this wrong, and you could get a fine or miss your train altogether.... Which? executive director Richard Lloyd told us: 'Ticket office hours are being cut, often leaving people with little choice but to use a machine. It is only fair that machines sell exactly the same tickets as websites or ticket offices. We are calling on the train companies to update their machines and also make it crystal clear how, when and where tickets can be used.'
Remember that ticket office cut - it was a decision taken by a Liberal Democrat minister where he could genuinely have chosen to help the people in Acocks Green. He chose not to. At least he had the good grace not to turn up for a photo opportunity.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Diary Date - Acocks Green Ward Committee

Acocks Green Ward Committee
Wednesday 20 February 2013 - 7pm
Severne Road J&I, Severne Road

Items on the agenda will be
  • BSEEN - Promoting and supporting Birmingham Energy Savers
  • Planning update - planning officer attending to discuss commercial planning considerations and other issues. 
  • Planning matters
  • Community Chest
  • Local Housing
  • Wheeled bins consultation update
  • Other issues of local concern

Look forward to seeing you there!

Next meetings: 
17 April 2013 - The Oaklands Primary School
29 May 2013 - Scout Hut, behind Scanlons on Spring Road

Planning Applications to the 16th February 2013

Another single application for this week's crop

2013/00789/PA - 42 Victoria Road
Erection of detached structure to side

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

If you have any comments, you can submit them online - feel free to pass your comments on to me.