Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Don't forget - Acocks Green Neighbourhood Forum tonight!

7:30 pm at the Baptist Church, Yardley Road.

They'll be talking about the conservation area with Joe Holyoak; the role of Jenny Millward, our ward champion and should also have the police and our waste team represented there.

Planning Applications to the 25 January 2014

A fair few that have landed over the past couple of weeks, with a bit of additional building planned for Station Road. Is that development getting too dense now, with 14 flats planned for the space?

2013/09452/PA - 32 Westfield Road, Acocks Green, B27 7TL
Erection of single story rear extension

2013/08949/PA - Archbishop Ilsley Catholic School, Victoria Road, Acocks Green
Erection of one portable classroom building

2013/09316/PA - 10-12 Station Road, Acocks Green, B27 6DN
Application for a prior notification of proposed demolition of existing buildings

2014/00151/PA - 84 Wetherfield Road, Tyseley, B11 3HR
Erection of single storey forward and rear extensions and two storey side and rear extension

2014/00123/PA - 227 Douglas Road, Acocks Green, B27 6EX
Change of use from retail shop (A1) to single dwelling (C3)

2014/00263/PA - 40 Kilmorie Road, Acocks Green, B27 6AX
Erection of single storey rear/side extension

2014/00006/PA - 15-17 Station Road, Acocks Green, B27 6DH
Erection of a second floor extension to create 4 no.additional residential flats (14 in total), with roof garden and associated gates, railings and covered cycle store.

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.

Acocks Green Post Office offers new current accounts

The Post Office is extending its current accountsoffering to 81 branches in the East Midlands and East of England. The move follows the introduction of the Control, Standard and Packaged accounts in 29 branches in East Anglia in May 2013. The introduction of the new region will bring the total branches to 110 and includes Sutton Coldfield, Kingsbury Road, Acocks Green, Rookery Road, Kingstanding, Northfield, Moseley and Corporation Street branches.

The Post Office offers three accounts. 

Standard Account
The Standard Account comes with a debit card and is the Post Office’s ‘free in credit’ everyday banking offering.
  • It will appeal to those who want all the convenience of an everyday current account with a straightforward, easy-to-understand approach to banking fees and no hidden charges or unexpected surprises.
  • It offers unrivalled access to banking services and transactions, all from an organisation customers know they can trust to treat them well.
  • Accounts can be set-up with an opening deposit of £100.
  • Standard Account customers can request a chequebook and can apply for an overdraft facility either when opening the account or anytime afterwards. Overdraft interest rate is currently 14.9% EAR. There are no unarranged borrowing charges.
Packaged Account
The Packaged Account is an ‘added value’ offering and provides a compelling range of additional benefits for a competitive monthly fee of just £8. 
  • It is designed for the growing group of customers who enjoy benefits such as European Multi-Trip Family Travel Insurance and Vehicle Breakdown Cover.
  • It will also provide Identity Theft Protection services and the convenience and guaranteed savings of a discounted Post Office Travel Booking Service that offers up to 7.5% discount on a variety of holidays and travel needs.
  • Packaged Account customers can request a chequebook and can apply for an overdraft facility either when opening the account or anytime afterwards. Overdraft interest rate is currently 14.9% EAR. There are no unarranged borrowing charges.
Control Account
The Control Account helps customers to keep in control of their finances and is a fully functional, ‘inclusive’ bank account for those who are new to banking, potentially on lower incomes or who have had difficulty with default bank charges in the past.
  • For a fixed monthly fee of £5, no further charges will be made for payments that are returned unpaid such as direct debits and standing orders.
  • It offers customers the certainty of knowing how much their banking will cost them without any unexpected surprises. 
  • The Control Account aims to deliver banking services in a way that removes the risk of missed payment charges and saves less affluent customers money overall.
  • To open the Control Account customers will need a minimum opening deposit of £20.
  • The Control Account offers a full banking service proposition to customers – branch banking, nationwide ATM access, online banking (including funds transfers and bill payments), telephone banking, Direct Debits and standing orders.

Saving you money
Our Control Account could save you money. Customers who have incurred a bank charge are highly likely to then incur more, averaging at £205 per year. In 2011 over 6.6 million people incurred bank charges of more than £100. That’s why we believe that just £5 per month could be a much better deal for you. Plus you could benefit from savings on your utility bills by paying by Direct Debit.

Customers in East Midlands and East of England wishing to open an account will be able to pop into their local branch to talk through their options with specially trained staff,  who will be on hand to discuss the types of accounts on offer and which one will suit their individual needs best. They will also be able to assist with the completion of the application form as well as transferring direct debits.

Customers who are unable to visit a participating branch in East Midlands or East of England can register their interest in a Post Office current account by going online at www.postoffice.co.uk/currentaccounts/register 

Incidentally, there's still no update on the plans to relocate the Crown Office in Acocks Green into a new partner store. I understand that it is unlikely to happen before the start of the new financial year in April. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Library Update

The saga of Acocks Green Library finally has an end in sight.

Decoration, improved lighting, replacement flooring and a few other items are to be completed this week, with a snagging meeting next Monday 3 February. If that goes according to plan, then we hope to have the building handed back on the 7 February, which will allow a deep clean, the restoration of the IT facilities and then a reopening.

I can't yet confirm a precise date, as that depends on the outcome of the snagging meeting, but I'd hope for one within ten days or so of the handback, allowing Acocks Green Library to return to its position at the centre of the community.