Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Three wheelie bins per household for Birmingham

Three wheelie bins per household for Birmingham

The new Labour administration have been very quiet on the details of their proposed wheelie bin scheme for Birmingham – at yesterdays Cabinet these details were only discussed in the private non-public section.

However, I’ve managed to get details of what is being proposed. In short, all households will have three wheelie bins

      Recycling a 240 litre wheeled bin with a separate insert box for paper/card - fortnightly collection service
      Domestic waste 140 - 240 litre bin depending on household size - weekly collection service
      Green waste 240 litre wheeled bin - fortnightly collection

The Labour administration is proposing that EVERY household will have these and are bidding for £24million from the government for this scheme. Sack collections would stop.

The Labour administration has abandoned the previous Conservative-Liberal Democrat administrations plans for kerbside food recycling, which have significantly raised the city recycling level.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Update on Moseley Meteor Ford site and proposed Tesco's

Update on Moseley Meteor Ford site and proposed Tesco's

Councillor Ernie Hendricks attended a meeting with Tesco’s at Moseley Community Development Trust offices (rear of Moseley Post Office) on 26th July. The meeting was organised to discuss the future of the mature chestnut tree on the Meteor Ford site at the corner of Oxford Road and St Marys Row, Moseley.

A summary of the meeting can be seen below. As you will see, it looks as if the future of the tree is doomed, unless an engineering solution can be found to retaining it.

Also, it looks as if the development of the Tesco’s is on hold until an agreement can be reached with Wake Green surgery to move onto the site. With the disbanding of the Primary Care Trust’s (PCT) it is now entirely up to the surgery  9 (and not the PCT) if they want to move onto the site. I do know from my meetings with the PCT and the surgery over 4 years ago, the surgery were really more interested in extending their present building, than moving across the road.

Until an agreement can be reached between Tesco’s and Wake Green surgery, then the chestnut tree will have a stay of execution.

SUMMARY of meeting held on 26 July 2012

Groups represented

·         Local Ward Councillors
·         Birmingham City Council – Planning department
·         Tesco
·         Aspect Arboriculture
·         The Moseley Society
·         SusMo,
·         Moseley Forum
·         Independent Arboriculturalist
·         Moseley Community Development Trust

1.       The main suggestions made by Councillors and representatives of local organisations have been investigated by Tesco and their advisors. However the boreholes have to be drilled vertically, rather than at an angle as suggested, in order to assess levels of pollution on site. The petrol tanks could be filled with concrete – but to build over them a raft would have to be constructed above the tanks. Piles would have to be driven in to support the raft and the supporting piles would damage the tree roots. In addition, the removal of the current hard surfacing over the tree roots is likely to unbalance the tree, which is already leaning out towards the road.
2.       The conclusion is that the tree is not going to survive these works. Part of the canopy is now affected by a leaf-mining caterpillar but that is a temporary problem. However the works on site will mean that the tree cannot survive in the long-term.
3.       However the tree will be left as long as possible.
4.       Any further reasonable ideas about how the tree might be saved will be considered by Tesco, but would have to be balanced against the need to remove pollution from the site and the fact that horse chestnut trees are prone to disease and so there is a limit to the amount it is worth spending to protect the tree.
5.       The remediation works, which include removal of the petrol tanks, are necessary as part of the conditions covering the planning permission granted for the site.
6.       Demolition will not be begun until an agreement has been reached between Tesco and the medical centre.
7.       Tesco is keen to agree details of landscaping on site with Moseley in Bloom and other local groups, and also willing to plant trees on other local sites to compensate for the loss of the horse chestnut tree.
8.       Tesco has agreed to further meetings to keep the situation under review and to discuss other matters about the site.

Councillor Jerry Evans condemn Albert’s centralising diktat on District Committees

Councillor Jerry Evans condemns Albert’s centralising diktat on District Committees

Cllr Jerry Evans (Lib Dem, Springfield Ward) has condemned Birmingham City Council's new Labour administrations decision forcing District Committees to meet in the Council House during the day as a backward step for genuine local democracy.

Jerry said:

“The Council’s decision to impose a new protocol regarding the venue for District meetings is to ensure that Sir Albert gets his way by preventing the Districts who want to hold meetings in local venues from doing so.

“This is control freakery at its worst and a “slap in the face” for Yardley & Sutton Coldfield districts which are controlled by Lib Dem & Conservative councillors who want to hold their District meetings in local venues.

“The arguments regarding effective use officer time simply don’t stand up. The report admits that there is pressure on meeting rooms in the Council House. Hiring alternative venues within in the city centre would be expensive & not cost effective”.

“Labour claims it wants to enhance devolution – this decision suggests this is purely lip service to the concept”

Commenting on the revised protocol Cllr Sue Anderson (Chair Yardley District Committee) said “Holding meetings in the city centre during the day will reduce if not eliminate attendance by members of the public. District meetings are about local services & community issues why is Albert making it difficult for people to attend?

“This decision is a step backwards. There is no legal reason why these meetings can not be held locally. How can this decision that prevents public participation equate to the councils desire to involve people in the localisation of council services”.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Birmingham City Council underspent by £10.2million in 2011/12

Birmingham City Council underspent by £10.2million in 2011/12

The new Labour administrations claim that the previous Conservative-Liberal Democrat administration was financially incompetent has been left in tatters today with the release of the end of year financial figures for 2011/12. The figures show that that last year, the Council stayed within budget and actually achieved an underspend of £10.2million.

The new Labour administration has been claiming for the last four months that they would find the previous administration had left them a large black hole in the financial figures. Not only has their incorrect use of the financial term ‘black hole’ shown them to be totally financially illiterate, but there is no ‘black hole’ as they claim.

The financial figures were due to be released at the June, but the Labour administration withheld them, clearly in the hope of manipulating them to prove an overspend.

Birmingham Labour abolish Ward Advisory Boards

Birmingham Labour abolish Ward Advisory Boards

Further to my previous blog about the new Birmingham Labour Administration banning Constituency Committees (now re-named District Committees) from holding their meetings locally – see http://martinmullaney.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/labour-to-ban-sutton-coldfield-and.html   Further reading of the same Cabinet report shows that Ward Advisory Boards will be abolished.

As it says in the appendix of the report:

“Ward Committees are not expected to have sub structures reporting to them such as Ward Advisory Boards. The Ward Chair and Councillors may wish to engage stakeholders appropriately prior to formal decisions on Community Chest. However, as guidance and priorities for Community Chest will be agreed by District Committees through the District Plan (with the input of Wards) it is not considered necessary for Local Services staff to service additional meetings outside of Ward Committees and pre agenda meetings.”

I think this is a bad day for local democracy in Moseley and Kings Heath Ward where the Ward Advisory Board worked really well.

Ward Advisory Boards were created in the late 1990s as a non-public committee of local representatives to advise the three Ward Councillors on the spending of what was then called LILA money – if my memory is correct, it was £30,000 per Ward. Later on the same Committee advised on the distribution of Neighbourhood Renewal Funds (NRF) and these days Community Chest - £125,000 per Ward.

In the case of Moseley and Kings Heath Ward Advisory Board we had representatives from:

Moseley Forum
Kings Heath Forum
Moseley in Bloom
Kings Heath Floral Trail
Kings Heath Centre Partnership
Moseley Business Association
Moseley Sustainability
Kings Heath (Green) Transition
The police and fire service would also send representatives

The Ward Advisory Board was particularly useful in going through the numerous bids from local organisations for whatever funding was available to the Ward – latterly Community Chest. The Ward would always receive bids for money that when accumulated, came to over three times what money was available. By having the Ward Advisory Board, it provided an opportunity to decide in a non-public environment which bids to put forward for a final decision at the publicly held Ward Committee.

With the abolition of the Ward Advisory Board, all of this debate will have to be done in public, which, I believe, will end up as public slanging match and no decisions being made – remember two thirds of the applications end up being rejected, since there isn’t enough money to fund every single bid. You can easily imagine the situation, where numerous bidders put loads of their friends in the audience who argue for a particular bid to be granted. The whole thing is going to end up a mess!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Labour to ban Sutton Coldfield and Yardley Constituencies holding their meetings locally

Labour to ban Sutton Coldfield and Yardley Constituencies holding their meetings locally

The iron fist of Councillor Sir Albert Bore will be pressed down on the rebellious Sutton Coldfield and Yardley District (or Constituency, as was) Committee on Monday 31st July. On that day, both of these Committees will be banned from holding any further meetings in their constituencies. They have held their meeting locally the case since 2003.

The decision will be made at Cabinet on Monday in the paper entitled “Council Committee Meeting Arrangements”

Anyone who has attended Constituency meetings will know that they have always held in a community hall somewhere in the Constituency, always in the evening – this was so as to enable members of the public to attend. How the Committee was run was entirely up to the committee itself – this being in the true spirit of devolution.

The new Labour administration in change of Birmingham decided in May, without any consultation or any explanation, that District (formerly known as Constituency) committee would be run as the Labour Leadership wanted them to be run. From now on they would be:

· Held during the daytime – thus making it difficult for members of the public to attend
· Held in the Council House – making it even more difficult for members of the public to attend
· Members of the public would not be allowed to speak at the District meeting, unless granted permission by the Chair – or as the recent the case of Hall Green District Committee showed, members of the public will be ignored by the Chair.

Conservative-run Sutton Coldfield District Committee and Liberal Democrat-run Yardley District rebelled against the orders from Councillor sir Albert Bore and decided to run their Committees as per previously – ie locally and in the evening.

It is to end this uprising that this ban will come into forced on Monday.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Report reveals where Labour would build on Birmingham's Green Belt

Report reveals where Labour would build on Birmingham's Green Belt

The Council has in the last few days made public a document that provides the strongest indication of where Labour plan to build over 20,000 houses on Birmingham’s Green Belt

Readers of my blog will know that Councillor Jerry Evans (Lib Dem, Springfield Ward) has been digging up evidence on the consequences of Birmingham City Council Leader, Councillor Sir Albert Bore’s recent announcement to “accelerate the city’s house building target of 70,000 by 2026.”

If you look at my previous blog at http://martinmullaney.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/albert-bores-70000-new-houses-mad-and.html  you see that 43,000 is the limit on the number of houses that could be built in Birmingham, before the need to build on the Green Belt, industrial land and back gardens. That therefore leaves Labour with the 27,000 houses to find space for.

In the last full Council meeting on 3rd July, senior Labour politicians refused to rule out the need to build on the Green Belt. There’s a good report on this on the Birmingham Mail at  http://www.birminghammail.net/news/top-stories/2012/07/06/labour-will-not-rule-out-building-homes-on-birmingham-s-green-belt-97319-31334291/

So the question is: where on the Green Belt would Labour build these 26,000 houses.

First of all a few calculations to work out how much land would 26,000 houses require. The Council at the moment allow 30 to 70 houses per hectare. So let’s assume for simplicity sake we work on the basis that any new housing estates on the Green Belt have a density of 50 houses per hectare.

So to build 26,000 houses will require (26000/50) hectares or 520 hectares.

The report that has been made public within the last week, can be seen at: http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/corestrategy ; click on ‘associated documents’ ; click on ‘SHLAA 2011 Appendix 1-14 (Size: 3.33 Mb Type: PDF )’

The map showing where the houses would be built on Green Belt land can be seen on page 17.
The list of the developers who are willing to offer up this land can be seen on pages 15 and 16
....and what is the total area that has been offered up by the developers? At the bottom of page 16: 534hectares or 480hectares within the Birmingham boundary.

The map shows that the largest chunk of the land will be to the east of Sutton Coldfield – all in strong Conservative voting areas, so no worries there for Labour.

The nearest contentious bit to Moseley and Kings Heath is next to the Maypole. A large slice of land that will have the impact of filling in the green space between Birmingham and Wythall. Maybe in the future Wythall will become part of Birmingham?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The truth behind Labour’s claimed £21million “black hole” – part2

The truth behind Labour’s claimed £21million “black hole” – part2

In part 1 of my investigation into the truth behind the Labour administration for Birmingham City Council claims of a £21million ‘black hole’ – see http://martinmullaney.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/truth-behind-labours-claimed-21million.html  I showed the following:
a)      The claimed “£21million black hole” is really a budgetary pressure.
b)      That a £21million budgetary pressure at month 2 in Birmingham City Councils budget is nothing unusual.
c)       That similar budgetary pressures have existed in month 2 in Birmingham City Councils budget and the previous administration has reduced these down to zero by month 12.
d)      The new Labour administration is withholding from public scrutiny the end-of-year accounts for 2011/12. These are always made public at the end of June.

For this blog, I want to look a bit more closely at the budgetary pressures that the previous Conservative-Liberal Democrat administration inherited in June 2004 from Labour.

The below table shows the budgetary pressures for each month during the 2004/5 municipal year.

Month in Financial year 2004/5
Date the Cabinet report was presented
Month 2 revenue financial pressure (£millions)
Month 2

Not reported
Month 3
Month 4
Month 5
Month 6
29/11/2004 (revised20/12/2004)
Month 7
Month 8
Month 9

Please note that months 1, 10 and 11 are normally not reported. Month 12 is the end of accounts.

As you will see above, the financial pressure for 2004/5 reached a peak of £31.8million in month 5. The increase in predicted overspend was due to a Social Services department that was massively overspending. By the end of the year the account show that  this had been reduced this to an underspend of £4.8million – this was done by careful budget monitoring and identifying where the Council budget was being overspent.

If you take into account inflation, the £31.8million budgetary pressure in month 5 2004, is worth £39.4million in today’s money

For Councillor Sir Albert Bore to complain about a £21million budgetary pressure in month 2 is complete nonsense. The previous administration inherited a £39.4millon, in 2012 values, budgetary pressure from his administration. The previous administration dealt with it and reduced it to an underspend by the end of the year.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The truth behind Labour’s claimed £21million “black hole”

The truth behind Labour’s claimed £21million “black hole”

The new Labour administration for Birmingham City Council has excitedly released a press statement claiming to have found a £21million ‘black hole’ in this years budget. See http://birminghamnewsroom.com/2012/07/council-faces-budget-%E2%80%98black-hole%E2%80%99/

Any political party taking over an administration will go out of their way to rubbish the previous administration. So first you have to apply the “they would say that, wouldn’t they” filter.

What the press release doesn’t say is the following:
1)      The new administration is withholding the final accounts for the financial year 2011/12. They should have been made public at the end of June. It is safe to assume that these accounts are not to the liking of the Labour administration, since they most likely show a balanced budget by the previous administration.
2)      The claimed £21million ‘black hole’ is really early year ‘financial pressures’ and on a par with ‘month 2’ financial pressures seen in recent years.

Just to explain these monthly ‘financial pressures’. Each month, the Cabinet (or indeed any large corporate organisation) produces a financial report giving an update on how the organisation is keeping within its budget. This report will explain where the organisation is likely to overspend by the end of the financial year – these are ‘financial pressures’.  The report will most likely explain what measures are in place to reduce that financial pressure. This part and parcel of basic budgetary control that any organisation will do. The objective is to reduce all the financial pressures down to zero by the end of financial year, so that the annual budget balances.

So let’s compare how Albert’s £21million financial pressure compares to previous year sand how  the final Council budget balanced? See the below table

Financial year
Date the Cabinet report was presented
Month 2 revenue financial pressure (£millions)
Date the Cabinet report for year end spending was presented
Revenue Overspend (underspend) at the end of Month 12 (£millions)


21.9 (month 3 pressure)


As you will see above, the Council had a financial pressure of £21.9million in month 2 in 2004/05, yet by the end of the year had reduced this to an underspend of £4.8million.

Also, the Council had a financial pressure of £19.73million in month 2 in 2009/10, yet by the end of the year had reduced this to an underspend of £25.5million.

So as you can see a £21million financial pressure in month 2 is nothing unusual. We’ve had similar pressures in other years and they’ve been reduced to zero. Yes, the £21million pressure will require alot of work to reduce.

There are three ways of dealing with this £21million financial pressure, these being:
a)      Look at ways of making the Council more efficient
b)      Look at new ways of raising income for the Council, that does not involve raising the Council tax.
c)       Close down services that the Council provides
d)      Raise Council Tax above inflation.

The previous administration dealt with their financial pressures by using both options (a) and (b). Past history of Albert Bore’s last administration in Birmingham shows that he’ll go for options (c) and (d).

The Birmingham Street Food revolution starts tonight at the Prince of Wales pub, Moseley

The Birmingham Street Food revolution starts tonight at the Prince of Wales pub, Moseley

Street Food has become all the rage in London over the last four years. Forget the greasy burger bar on the street corner, whose products are downmarket. ‘Street Food’ is about top of the range food stalls that have perfected a single dish. If you want to see the start of a big push to bring this London phenomenon to Birmingham come to the Prince of Wales pub, Moseley, tonight to taste Meat Shack – this guy makes the best hamburgers in the UK outside of London.
But before we come onto MeatShack, let me go back two years.

Two years ago I was listening to a Radio 4 programme about a new fad in London called ‘Street Food’. The programme started off next to a mobile burger van in a pub car park in a dodgy part of East End of London – there were about 100 customers waiting for this burger van to open, since it had been blogged that this burger van sold the best burgers in London. The proprietor of this stall had studied the traditional hamburger and had worked out the ideal recipe for the bun, the relish and the burger itself.

Street Food was born!

In London there is now a thriving community of artisan chiefs, who focus on one piece of food, perfect it and sell it, ready to eat, from street stalls. There is now a lively blog and twitter community in London debating the best ‘street food’ stalls, such that the street food markets can have a regeneration efforts on shopping centres – the street food markets attract hundreds of customers who use the local pubs and shops as well as the food market. Indeed, I heard about one ‘street food’ market that rented the top (8th) floor of a car park in Peckham – it attracted thousands. When the market was finished, there was a party on this top floor to watch the sun set.

Now Birmingham has transformed itself over the last 8 years as a gastro-city. Many thanks are due to the excellent work of Marketing Birmingham who has led on this agenda. When I was Cabinet member for Leisure, Sport and Culture in Birmingham City Council (2009 to 2012) I was keen to help Marketing Birmingham, especially in growing the mid-range restaurant sector – Birmingham has a thriving bottom and top sector restaurants, but a big gapping hole in between. I believe ‘street food’ can plug this gap.

To explain a bit more about Meat Shack, has a piece by Mark Laurie, Director, the Nationwide Caterers Association


The humble burger has gone through many transformations over the years, from public enemy number one during the fast food explosion to over-priced gastro pub mainstay. This simple beef patty sandwich never seemed to live up to its billing, either over-priced, inedible or even downright dangerous. Whether Rocket and Stilton or lips and ass-holes, it seemed no one knew how to recreate this classic piece of Americana.

In the last few years however, there has been something of a revolution, starting in London a couple of years ago, companies such as the meat-wagon stripped back the gastro pub - gourmet fluff and started looking at what made the burger so popular in it’s heyday of 1950’s America.

Old cooking techniques were re-discovered, care and attention paid to sourcing the meat and the buns; trying every type of ‘plastic’ cheese, no stone went unturned.  Led by the Meatwagon, this burger renaissance has since led the street food revolution in London, which has transformed the city scape with good honest food done properly. It was only a matter of time until word got out.

I was chatting to one of the men responsible for bringing us GBK a few months ago about what made burgers so irrepressible and we agreed.  They have to be dirty, sloppy, greasy, guilty pleasures! there’s nothing ‘nice’ about a good burger. It’s all about a great combination of simple food prepared and cooked well. There are no pretensions when you’re battling to keep meat juice and ketchup off your clothes. 

Paul Collis’ Meat shack opened a few months ago with a residency at Stirchley market, offering proper ‘dirty burgers’. It was the culmination of months of research into the London burger scene, sourcing the right local produce and practicing cooking techniques. After cutting his teeth BBQ-ing at private parties the meat shack was ready to trade.

We’d been talking to him throughout the process, recommending new burger joints, hearing of his new discoveries, discussing the finer points of processed cheese (cheddar has no place on a burger and don’t get me started on stilton!) and how to get it to melt into the medium rare patty –true burgeracs let off the leash.

Now Paul has secured a new residency at the Prince of Wales pub, arguably the most popular haunt for Moseley hipsters, with it’s tiki-bar, urban beach and cigar shack, if the garden was a little bit smaller you’d swear you were in Shoreditch. Resurrecting the ghosts of the underground restaurant, the Meat-Easy with boozy cocktails and dirty burgers, this combination is just what Moseley’s been crying out for.

Opening tonight, the Meat shack will be at the POW Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. If you are looking for an alternative to the high end Birmingham food fest at Colmore Row head down to the Prince of Wales, I’d recommend a medium rare jalapeno or for the traditionalists, the classic dirty cheese burger. To find out more about street food and street food in the Midlands check www.streetfood.org.uk

Written by Mark Laurie, Director, the Nationwide Caterers Association

Monday, July 09, 2012

The mystery over Councillor Trickett comments and the controversial Moseley fish and chip shop

The mystery over Councillor Trickett's comments and the controversial Moseley fish and chip shop

Readers of my blog will be recently aware of my concerns over a proposed fish and chip shop at the corner of Billesley Lane and Southlands Road – three doors from my house.

After an uproar from local residents, the developer withdrew the planning application – see http://martinmullaney.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/controversial-moseley-fish-and-chip.html

In my blog I have been especially critical of local Labour Councillor, Councillor Lisa Trickett, who despite been contacted by two local residents, asking her to support their objections, she completely failed to comment on the planning application.

Now this is where things get interesting, since Councillor Lisa Trickett e-mailed me a week ago to complain about my blog entry at http://martinmullaney.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/moseley-and-kings-heath-labour.html  . This is what she said:

Dear Martin
One of my constituents has drawn to my attention a report on your website regarding the planning application for a fish and chip shop close to your home on Billesley Lane.
I would ask you to note that I have in fact my views clear to the officers dealing with this application and therefore it is not true to say that I have not commented on the application. I have also supported the residents who are objecting to the application. I would therefore ask that you remove the wording on your website which makes the incorrect statements of fact.
I am grateful to you for your assistance.
Yours sincerely 
Lisa Trickett

Since that e-mail I have e-mail Councillor Trickett TWICE asking her for evidence of her submitting a comment to Planning. She has not responded

 I have asked Planning TWICE if they received anything from Councillor Trickett on this planning application, including on the day it was withdrawn. They have informed me that they have received NO COMMENTS from Councillor Trickett on this application.

So really Councillor Trickett was wrong to say “I have in fact my views clear to the officers dealing with this application and therefore it is not true to say that I have not commented on the application.”

As the reader you can make your own mind up as to what this says about Councillor Trickett. However, what I would be saying is that until she provides evidence to back up what she said in her e-mail above, I wouldn’t trust a single word she says.

Photographs from tonights pre-Judging Day clear up for Kings Heath Floral Trail

Photographs from tonights pre-Judging Day clear up for Kings Heath Floral Trail







Thursday, July 05, 2012

Poor condition of Cannon Hill Park after last weekends event

Poor condition of Cannon Hill Park after last weekends event

Both Councillor Ernie Hendricks and myself have been contacted by a number of residents concerned about the condition of the main field in Cannon Hill Park. After last weekend’s Olympic Torch Event, combined with the non-stop rain, the main field in the park is looking like a quagmire in places.

To illustrate the point, both Ernie and myself wore some wellies and inspected the park area. See attached photographs. Ernie is in the photos so as to provide some idea of size of the mudd.

As you will see from the photos, the main field has been churned up pretty badly in places. The area immediately next to the former Golden Lion pub is fine.

Ernie has contacted the Constituency Parks manager to understand what work the parks department is doing to get the park back into its pre-event condition. The response is as follows

Good afternoon

Further to your recent enquiry regarding the condition of Cannon Hill Park following the recent Olympic Torch Event and what are our plans to return the park back to its former condition

The Olympic Torch Event was a very successful event for the City of Birmingham and it was a great pity that its construction and subsequent breakdown took place in a month of persistent wet weather now recorded as the wettest June since records began.

The constructors worked very carefully throughout the build attempting to minimise any damage but even they were thwarted when we had the really heavy deluge on Thursday 28th June.  We then had a dry Saturday with an estimated 14,000 visitors walking around the park enjoying the day.

The subsequent breakdown of the event has been carried out under extremely difficult conditions and once again the contractors  have attempted  with great difficulty to remove all of the construction material  off site in continuous rain.  Now we have a very wet waterlogged and damaged field we have to carefully plan its repair. Therefore I have asked the Landscape Practice Group to seek three competitive quotes from landscape contractors who have a reliable reputation in this area of work. and once we have those estimates we will be in a position to set one of them the task of repairing the arena.  

However, we still have one major hurdle to get across - the non stop rain that is still falling onto the park. As I compose this response to you I am aware of a severe wet weather warning from the met Office for Friday which will only exacerbate the situation. We cannot ask any landscape contractors to begin work until we have at least a reasonable window of dry weather. They are not able to work on mud and recreate a firm and secure grass parkland.

So with that in mind please note that any perceived inactivity from the Parks Service gives a false picture as we have to wait for that brief but hopefully dry spell to arrive and once that happens we can then move forward.

Till then can I seek your support and patience in this matter. 



Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Controversial Moseley fish and chip shop withdraws planning application

Controversial Moseley fish and chip shop withdraws planning application 

The planning application for a controversial fish and chip shop on the corner of Southlands Road and Billesley Lane has been ‘withdrawn’ from the Planning register.

Background information on this application can be seen at

I’ve also checked with Planning this afternoon and they have received NO comments from either of Moseley and Kings Heath Ward Labour Councillors. This is particular appalling after two of my neighbours contacted Councillor Lisa Trickett, asking if she would support local residents in objecting to the application.

Thankfully Liberal Democrat Councillor, Ernie Hendricks, objected to the application.

The application was due to be heard at the Planning Committee tomorrow (Thursday 5th July. The recommendation from the Planning officers was that it should be ‘refused’. It will not be heard now.

Developers normally ‘withdraw’ a planning application, if they think the application will be refused - as was the situation here. It also means that their planning application fee, in this case £1005, will be set aside. The £1005 will be available to the developer to be used, at a later date, for a planning application at this address.