Archives for category: Solihull

Employees at Blythe Valley Park in Solihull can now use a free shuttle bus from Solihull and Birmingham International to and around this business park. The colourful, eye-catching shuttle bus service is operated by Solihull-based transport service provider LandFlight, formerly known as Silverline. It runs 16 daily shuttles, each accommodating up to 60 people, between the park and the two rail stations.

Deborah Fennell, park manager at Blythe Valley Park, said: “This bus service not only helps us reduce our collective carbon footprint but also ensures that parking demands continue to be met without impacting on the space and facilities we can offer businesses. By providing complimentary and convenient connections between the park and nearby rail stations, we encourage visitors and employees at the park to use public transport for their commute.”

The owners of the park, IM Properties, introduced this service to encourage park employees to commute via public transport. Approximately 2,700 people working for the park’s 24 companies and more will come on as site continues to develop.

Water taxi used in Leeds, advocated for use between Icknield Port and the congested, polluted Birmingham city centre:

Canal or riverside business and industrial parks are able to take another measure to reduce air pollution and ease traffic congestion by extending the use of water buses for passengers, already operating in a number of cities (above), and larger vessels for bulky freight (below).

In Trafford Park which has transport links by road, rail, water and air, businessman Graham Dixon advocates using Manchester’s waterways rather than clogging up the road network with cargo. He has welcomed the first arrival – a 2300 tonne ship, RMS Duisburg, which brought two large silos from Germany, bound for a Manchester factory.

Dixon’s ultimate vision is for Esprit’s Trafford Docks which he has re-opened and refitted, to be busy once again, bringing bulk goods such as road salt, aggregates, grain and biomass via the Manchester Ship Canal into Manchester. This would remove many lorries from the surrounding roads, reducing congestion and pollution.

As he said: “If one ship brings 3000 tonnes of freight up the canal, that’s over 100 lorry journeys removed from the roads, requiring only the first and the final few miles to be carried by lorry instead of potentially hundreds of miles.”

Richard Wise writes: “This portrait of my daughter Samantha daydreaming on our doorstep in 1969 fuelled my interest in photography”.   

He is able to put his interest to work even today through his volunteer work for Headway Birmingham & Solihull.

Entry to the exhibition is free, but any money raised from the sale of catalogues will be donated to Headway.

Headway Birmingham and Solihull (B&S) is a local charity set up to give help and support to people affected by brain injury. We do this by offering services to meet the needs identified by those affected by brain injury.

Read more about Headway here: http://www.headway-bs.co.uk/history

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This series – to which reader are invited to contribute – opened with a tirade about the failings of our bus servicesPositive news would be preferred however and the editor thanks Ann and Malcolm Turner (below) who recently recommended the A2B taxi service (0121 733 3000).

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 Why choose A2B?

  • Not because A2B is Birmingham & Solihull’s largest taxi company, with over 650 private hire vehicles operating.
  • Not because the A2B business has been around since 1991 and moves around 4.5 million passengers each year, servicing in excess of 500 business in the region.
  • And not because A2B can provide a vehicle to suit any journey & occasion, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

Because, having tried it several times since the recommendation, the writer found them totally efficient, arriving a few minutes before schedule and offering really good customer service, unlike other taxi services in the locality which have proved extremely unreliable.

 

 

 

 

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Residents’ Rally 11.00am, Sunday 22nd January

Assemble In Top Field Entrance from Woodloes Road

Solihull Ratepayers are pressing for a reduction in the numbers of proposed new housing in the area and protection for public amenity land around the Woodlands and Badgers Estates

A rally to protect the council owned site is planned for 11.00am next Sunday 22nd January on the threatened section near the Woodloes Road Access to the fields (see photo below)

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The public amenity land around the Woodlands and Badgers estates

SRA’s Membership Secretary writes:

“Having lived and brought up my family on the Woodlands Estate I understand the importance of this longstanding public amenity area and the wooded corridor to the Bills Lane Bridleway to the health and well being of the local community and we mustn’t let it be swallowed up by development.

This section of land is owned by Solihull Council who represent us the community and they cannot blame greedy developers this time.

If you possibly can take time out on Sunday morning please attend for a photo shoot to demonstrate the level of public support to retain this reasonable section of green buffer around the South Shirley estates.

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Keep up with further developments on https://en-gb.facebook.com/solihullratepayers/ which may be read by unregistered people.

 

 

 

“Last week’s announcement by Birmingham City Council that it was commissioning a feasibility study into whether to bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games was as surprising as it was welcome”.

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So writes Steve Beauchampé, co-author of ‘Played in Birmingham’, Former International Officer of the FSA and member of Birmingham’s Euro ’96 Organising Committee.

Beauchampé notes that in general there had been little expectation of any alteration to the local authority’s previously stated position that a bid was not viable, in a period of unprecedented cuts to council services and substantially diminished central government grants. He continued:

“So what has changed?

“Several things perhaps: Chancellor George Osborne’s departure from office, which has seen his Northern Powerhouse project downgraded, or at least reconfigured as a more balanced national approach to devolution; that new Prime Minister Theresa May’s chief advisor Nick Timothy is from Birmingham, which might result in the city receiving a fairer hearing in Whitehall than was previously the case”.

The backing of the recently established West Midlands Combined Authority, as well as that of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership may well have been decisive, according to Beauchampé, who points out that, “both of these organisations are potentially able to access the sizeable funding streams necessary to develop the infrastructure improvements required to put on a high profile global event and deliver substantial economic regeneration as a consequence”. 

To secure the tacit support of central government and then the nomination of Commonwealth Games England, Birmingham must forget the notion of an ‘austerity’ Games:

“The Games, and the physical legacy they leave, must be tangible, its focal point both visible and accessible from the city centre. And whilst most of the facilities required already exist, albeit with some needing to be adapted, expanded or upgraded, several new venues and facilities will both be required and desirable (including a competition standard 50m pool, a velodrome and an athletes’ village)”.

He emphasizes that the region’s history and culture – sporting, artistic, ethnic and otherwise – should be mined and celebrated both in advance of, and during, the ten day spectacular of competition; there needs to be imagination in each aspect of how the event is conceived and delivered, and in how its benefits are to be maximised and secured afterwards. A Greater Birmingham bid needs to show how the region would advance the concept of what the Commonwealth Games can be, as successfully as London 2012 did with the Olympics.

Beauchampé reminds us that Manchester did not see staging the Commonwealth Games as the end of a process, but merely the beginning: “It’s an approach and a mindset that we too should adopt”.

Read the whole article: Bring The Games To Birmingham here: http://thebirminghampress.com/2016/10/bring-the-games-to-birmingham-2/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.playedinbritain.co.uk/authors.php

SAVE OUR BATHS!

One-party rule for the foreseeable future?

On Sunday evening two of our readers were considering the future and seeing no possibility of anything other than an elective dictatorship, after boundary changes expected to boost the Conservatives by 20 English seats.

The younger generation and their children will bear the brunt

trickle-downAs yet, people in their 20s and 30s in the Birmingham-Solihull area merely express mild concern about this prospect – they don’t seem to realise the implications of such apathy for all who are not wealthy, not of Oxbridge/Russell Group ability or not in good health.

Award-winning journalist Matthew Norman has asked three questions:

How long do you think it will be before a party other than the Conservatives is in position to form a government?

Can you imagine it within two decades, or three?

Can you envisage it in your lifetime at all? 

An article he wrote last February referred to “our enfeebled democracy” and his sense that “Britain is shuffling on its Zimmer towards one-party statehood”. The points made included:

  • Labour is politically wounded by its huge losses in Scotland.
  • Labour has also been financially weakened by the Government’s Trade Union Bill halving what it gets from the unions.
  • Government will continue to sidestep the Commons by using statutory instruments and
  • threaten to create new peers whenever the Lords don’t rubberstamp cruel and oppressive measures.
  • Government will inflict more austerity on the poorest, continue to award beneficial concessions for the richest
  • and allow the health of city dwellers and the climate to be even more affected by many forms of pollution which benefit big business. 

Matthew Norman finds it “incredibly depressing . . . that no one gives a damn”

The writer puts it more mildly, like Yeats she finds that: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity”. 

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Democracy appears to be doomed – unless the cross-party alliance to promote electoral reform gains ground.

 

 

 

A Solihull reader alerts us to an award-winning Pulse magazine report that medical practices are facing delays as patient records and supplies are missing and payments made late. Alex Matthews-King, who wrote the article, reports on the situation using data published in April 2016 – two years after the private company Capita won the £330m contract to provide primary care support services, with a budget cut of 40%.

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In 2014 Dr Robert Morley, the Birmingham and Solihull representative on the BMA General Practitioners’ Committee (GPC), anticipated problems when it was announced that NHS England was outsourcing primary care support services to save money.

A Pulse survey of more than 500 GPs and practice managers revealed the full administrative challenge practices are facing; GPs report:

  • missed referrals,
  • delayed care
  • delayed supplies
  • a major backlog of unprocessed records
  • cancelling clinics due to patient records not being available
  • new NHS numbers not being issued quickly enough
  • practice payments are delayed.

In one case a practice was reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office for being unable to provide records, while another could not fulfil a court order because two patients’ records were missing. Another had to wait 15 days for a violent patient to be removed from its list.

The BMA’s General Practitioners Committee (GPC) passed a vote of no confidence in Capita in July, its chairman stating the problems are ‘putting patients at risk’ and causing ‘serious disruption’ to practices. Even NHS England says it is ‘disappointed’ in the service, and is ‘vigorously holding Capita to account’.

However, to date, problems with medical supplies have persisted; 33% of GPs and practice managers told Pulse their practice was experiencing delays, forcing them to ‘borrow, swap and beg’ supplies such as FP10 prescription pads, needles and sterile cups. And 18% of all respondents said patient care had been affected.

Capita says it is improving its systems, now moving records within three to six weeks, fulfilling ‘more than 90%’ of clinical supplies orders placed in August and all new registrations will be completed by the end of the summer.

 

  

Jeremy Mallin, writing from Solihull, firmly admonishes the FT

ft nikkeiSir, You argue in your editorial “Labour must now act to remove Corbyn as leader” (June 28) that Jeremy Corbyn should go.

Why? And why should you say so?

I am not a fan of Mr Corbyn or the Labour party, but its constitution vests the selection of its leader, whether you like it or not, in the whole party membership, paid-up supporters and affiliated trade unions.

It is all very well for an ever-increasing number of Labour MPs to state that they want him to resign, and although it is obvious that trying to continue without their support is impossible, I admire Mr Corbyn for standing by the rules of his party’s constitution.

The attitude articulated by Labour MPs in this instance, and by the FT and others on issues such as the EU referendum, that the rules of the game should be ignored in order to satisfy the whims of a self-appointed and laughably called “elite,” is one of the reasons Leave won last week’s referendum, and the ongoing uprising against the west’s “elite” will continue to resonate.

Source: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1fd24fba-3d3e-11e6-9f2c-36b487ebd80a.html#axzz4D4eZ75kV

 

 

 

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Music tuition for all ages and abilities:

Piano, drums, guitar and theory.

elegy school music

info@elegieschoolofmusic.co.uk

Venue: B90 1NH – between the Maypole and Shirley.

 

 

flood aqueduct road cars mill around

The Rivers Cole and Blythe in and around Solihull are ‘threatening to burst their banks’ according to the Birmingham Mail. Solihull Lodge was said to be at risk as the Cole rose to more than half a metre above its usual level on Sunday morning. ‘Aspirational’ housing was recently built above this regularly flooded area.

Some councils are not yet changing their approach to planning applications for houses to be built above or in traditionally flood affected areas, often approved despite warnings from local residents and councillors.

An FT report published yesterday estimates that one new home in every 14 built in 2013-14 — the most recent year for which data is available — was constructed on land that has a significant chance of flooding, either from a river or the sea.

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Solihull Lodge residents who saved the Environment Agency link to their area – current version above – will be able to monitor the situation, but those living elsewhere will find it difficult, perhaps impossible, to navigate the EA’s website. Areas like Selly Park and Stirchley need this information in easily accessible form.

Birmingham Resilience offers help

  • 1% of residents have signed up to receive warnings by phone, text or email from an automated flood warning gauge which records the water level every 15 minutes. This will give them time to move their family, pets and possessions to safety. Read on here, scrolling down.
  • People who live in a Birmingham area at risk of flooding and would like to set up a flood action group can be referred to the flood group co-ordinator. Resident groups have been set up in Witton, Selly Park South, Rea Valley and Frankley.

stirchley floods 08https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riosZ3V8_48: Skinny’s Videos – Floods in Greater Stirchley, 2008

Residents confirm The Stirchley News report that Severn Trent solved the flooding problems in Dogpool Lane earlier this year.

Severn Trent Programme engineer Claudia Sequeira explained that £3 million has been invested to install a kilometre of new, bigger sewer pipes and two large underground storage tanks in the Cartland Road area to store rain water, which will help to prevent sewer flooding. Storage tanks had also been built next to Pershore Road and Ripple Road, new sewers installed in Newlands Road, Ripple Road and Cartland Road and connected to the existing network.

In 2013, government negotiated an agreement with the Association of British Insurers, to give cover to all private housing and cap flood insurance premiums

All UK household insurers were to pay into a pool, creating a fund that can be used to pay claims for people in high-risk homes. The flood insurance premiums would be linked to council tax bands so that people will know the maximum they will have to pay. Implementation has been delayed and will not be in force until April 2016, however, and the process is far from transparent; insurance companies have different ways of assessing insurance costs:

  • some offer their own products.
  • some rely on the Environment Agency’s assessment and
  • some follow the rulings of the Association of British Insurers.

The Federation of Small Businesses will continue to press government to offer SMEs cover under the government’s flood programme, Flood Re

flooded business in yorkFlooded businesses in York

Smaller businesses will be excluded from the programme, which guarantees affordable insurance to domestic properties, except for rentals; landlords are not eligible, so tenants in flooded properties face the prospect of being removed.

Yesterday the Financial Times reported the FSB’s estimate that about 75,000 smaller businesses at risk of flooding had found it difficult to find flood insurance and 50,000 had been refused cover nationally.

Accountants – KPMG [Press Reader] and PwC [BBC] – have warned that thousands of businesses will face financial ruin because they will have to bear a fifth of the estimated £5bn national cost of flood damage, with inadequate or non-existent insurance cover.

John Allan, the FSB’s National Chairman, said: “Ministers should look again at the availability of affordable and comprehensive flood insurance for small businesses, potentially through a dedicated Flood Re style agreement. The financial cost to small businesses following the 2012 flooding was £200 million.

“We can’t hope to create a buoyant economy . . . if vulnerable small businesses can’t sufficiently protect themselves from increasingly unpredictable and severe weather that in the worst cases can close a business.”