Friday, May 17, 2013

Council - 1943

How things used to be - back in 1943.Lots of things have changed - particularly the range of services that the council used to operate. The counting process is reassuringly unchanged - although I can't recall ever having a public audience at a count. A wonderful historical document.

Objects in the rear view mirror ...

There has been a spate of thefts of BMW Mini wing mirrors across the West Midlands force area. Some neighbourhoods have been hit harder than others, but each of those still counts as a crime and our local coppers are being proactive. The mirrors are attractive to thieves as they are quite easy to remove very rapidly. A little while back, officers raided a house elsewhere in the force area and found a whole load of these mirrors, but as there is no way to tie the mirrors to a particular vehicle and thereby prove that they are stolen goods, no action can be taken.

To help tackle this, local officers have identified owners living in the ward - about 100 - and will be contacting them to offer some advice and a free visit to allow the officers to covertly mark the mirrors to ensure that if they do turn up in a haul of stolen goods, they can be tracked back to a theft.

If you own one of these cars, spending a few quid on some security screws may help (example here, but others are available) and an investment of £7 could save you more in lost excess.
Half term looms ahead and if you want to give your kids something to do, the House of Play and Education, a great little local charity that is going from strength to strength, is running some sessions at St Edmund's Church on Reddings Lane (just outside the border of the ward by about 100ft).

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rubbish cleared

This little lot was reported by a local resident to Stewart and me this week after they had been asking for months for it to be cleared. We had it gone within a few days.

Planning Applications to the 11 May 2013

Another quiet week:

2013/02836/PA - 18 Ryde Grove, B27 7SW
Erection of single storey rear extension to replace conservatory..

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.

Unemployment Update

Month on month, the number of unemployment benefit claimants in Acocks Green fell by 45 between February and March 2013. That leaves us with a claimant rate of 10.4%, compared to a Birmingham rate of 11.9%. That remains up 25 on the same month last year, however.

Overall, the number of people unemployed in the city fell by 143.

There is positive news in these numbers, but it is still tough out there. I'm aware of one part-time post advertised in Acocks Green that attracted over 300 applications.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Library Update

Just a quick paragraph about Acocks Green Library. Stewart and I attended a site meeting this morning with representatives of the contractors and the City Council. We've confirmed that the asbestos testing is to be carried out around the roof lights on Friday, with scaffolders on site to provide temporary towers around each of the areas so that the testing can be completed as quickly as possible. It is expected to be done within the day, but there is a possibility that it might run over into Saturday.

The testing is only usually done close to the start of work because it is destructive - physical samples have to be removed from the fabric of the building.

We'll have the results of that testing early next week and that should allow us to move forward reasonably rapidly to get the works properly underway.