Preserving our grass verges

 

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On Wednesday at The Moseley Meeting I supported residents in bringing up the issue of constant parking and driving of vehicles on the open grass verges where Stoney Lane meets Yardley Wood Road  between Esme Road and Phipson Road. 90 residents have signed a  petition  calling for trip rail or other preventative measures to prevent the parking.

The Anderton Park Residents Association have been asking for these measures for some time, they campaigned years ago to stop the  green space being built on, but since then they have seen the road become more densely used by traffic, witnessed the grass being damaged by an increasing number of cars and vans being driven and parked on it and experienced children being deterred from playing there. They have in the past planted bulbs with the school children from Anderton Park School, and they regularly litter pick to keep it tidy. At one stage the area was even costed up for trip rail, but it was never installed.

I have had email conversations with the head of the Parks Department and the District Highways Engineer  over the last six months to ask for trip rail to be installed.  Springfield Police have . been contacted to deal with the parking on the grass, which is illegal. Letters were sent by Highways to the residents and several fixed penalty tickets were issued by PCSO Peach. However this has not deterred drivers from continuing to park on the grass area. As one individual or family stops doing it another takes over. The council departments have been supportive but a more long term solution is needed and we need funding to make it happen.

I have witnessed myself numerous instances of cars and vans parking and driving across the verges.  The area does not have any other safe green space for children to play close to their homes and  children play on the greens whilst cars are parked there. If the green verges were railed off to prevent vehicles accessing them we would create a nice safe space for families and children to enjoy and the residents  could utilise the space for  other family friendly projects such as bulb planting, games and community events.

The council would not have to repair ruts, potholes and damage to the pavements caused by heavy vehicles and police time could be better taken up with other issues. The green space is also important to help reduce the traffic pollution in the area

The green verges are wholly in Sparkhill Ward, however the petition shows there is a demand for this action from residents of both Sparkhill and Moseley Wards.   There is a budget for each ward to use for verge protection and minor transport measures. This is a small budget and there will be other needs to be considered in both wards however I believe this project should be seen as a priority need. It is possible if necessary we could fund some of the cost through an application to the Active Citizens fund or other similar scheme.

I  have sent the petition, together with photos to the Councillors for both Moseley and Sparkhill wards, the Police Sergeants for each ward ,Mike Hinton of the Parks department and Garry Dalton, the Highways Engineer and I have offered to work with them to get approval and find funding for this scheme.

 

I hope to have some feedback by the next Moseley meeting in November

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Further update to the School Road closure proposal

Further to my previous posts on this (January 29th & July 20th 2018) I  received the below email from Gill Brook in answer to queries I raised. I have written back to ask that both Billesley Lane and Oxford Road residents are included in the letter to be sent out.  

From: Gill Brook <Gill.Brook@birmingham.gov.uk>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2018 at 10:16
Subject: RE: School Road Traffic Issues
To: Izzy Knowles <moseleylibdems@gmail.com>
Cc: Joe Green

Hi Izzy, thank you for your email. The information on the School Road Issues Facebook page was taken from a direct response to an email they sent in to our assistant director. The response was as follows:

Dear School Road Issues group

Thank you for your email of 13th August in response to the message sent out by Gill Brook on 19th July. I would like to respond to the points you have raised as follows:

  1. I can confirm that the experimental closure is still proposed for between Cotton Lane and Greenhill Road. There appears to have been a discrepancy between the information that was shown at the meeting in January 2018 and what was passed on from this. Apologies for any confusion, this has now been clarified.
  2. Before any scheme can be implemented, we need to take the proposal through the city council’s project management process, to obtain approval and release the required funding. The paperwork for this has been written, and is due to be taken through the first stage of this process on 10th September. With regards to the letter drop, this is not to formally consult on the experimental order but to make local residents, businesses and schools aware of what is being proposed as a matter of courtesy. There are many local people who would be affected by an experimental closure of School Road, and we need to make sure people in all local streets are informed of the proposal.
  3. Once the project management process is complete, and letters have been distributed across the local area informing people of the proposed experimental closure, the management of this scheme will be handed across to the local engineer. They will make the necessary arrangements for the implementation of the scheme. It is hoped that the timescale for this will be in the next couple of months. I am happy to look to arrange a meeting with yourselves along with relevant officers and local Councillors if you feel that this would be useful for further clarification and discussion. 

With regards to the questions you have asked:

  • The 64% figure refers to the total responses we received, including those from the meeting, and those we received after the meeting, including those that you kindly forwarded to us.

The total number of responses we received was 109.

This was made up of :

3 in favour of Option 1

1 in favour of Option 2

7 in favour of Option 3

28 in favour of Option 4

70 in favour of Option 5A/5B

  • We will be sending the community wide letter to the entire length of School Road, any road that leads directly off School Road (and roads leading off these), Valentine Road and Cambridge Road. The area will be bounded to the north-east by Oxford Road and to the east by Billesley Lane (but will not include these roads).
  • The public meeting was a resident led initiative, and therefore this is something that you would need to speak to the organisers about.

I hope that the information above answers your queries.

Kind regards, Gill

Gill Brook  BA (Comb Hons)

Senior Transportation Officer – Transportation Behaviour Change

 

Moseley (mostly) goes from Hall Green to Kings Heath. Constituency Boundaries Report released.

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The Boundary Commission for England has released it’s final report on the revision of Parliamentary Constituencies in England.

You can read the whole report here: Boundaries Review

It still has to be voted through Parliament but if approved it will be implemented at the next General Election.

Birmingham will lose one MP overall with some wards joining up with neighbouring areas. To add to confusion the changes have been based on the old council wards rather than the one’s that were introduced in the council elections of 2018.

Moseley & Kings Heath will come into a new constituency called Birmingham Kings Heath, joining up with Billesley, Brandwood & Bournville.  However anyone living in the parts of the new Moseley Council ward who were originally in Springfield or Sparkbrook, will remain in a constituency called Hall Green.

That does not mean local Councillors or ourselves will no longer represent everyone in the new Moseley ward. It  means we will have two MP’s covering different parts of Moseley rather than one.

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Time to tackle plastic pollution in Birmingham

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Birmingham Lib Dem’s are paving the way for Birmingham to phase out single use plastics by 2019. Local Moseley campaigners  have played a big part in making this happen. We are very hopeful of cross party support at full council.

This is the text of the motion Councillors Jon Hunt & Baber Baz will be bringing to the city council on Tuesday 11th September to cut the use of single use plastics.  We’ve looked at ideas from other councils introduced by parties of all hues. 

“Council is alarmed at the growing evidence of the impact of disposable plastic items on the world’s oceans, fish supplies and the litter on the streets and in the hedgerows of Birmingham.
Council notes and welcomes the success of plastic bag charging policies introduced by national governments. It calls for action at a city level so Birmingham makes a significant contribution to reducing disposal of plastics and cleaning up the environment.
Council calls on the executive to:
1. develop a robust strategy to make Birmingham City Council a ‘single-use-plastic-free’ authority by the end of 2019 and encourage the city’s institutions, businesses and citizens to adopt similar measures;
2. end the sale and provision of disposable plastic products such as bottles, cups, cutlery and drinking straws in council buildings;
3. . encourage market traders to sell re-usable containers and invite customers to bring their own, with the aim of phasing out single-use plastic containers and cutlery on market stalls by the end of 2019;
4. investigate the possibility of requiring pop-up food and drink vendors at large council events to avoid disposable plastic items as a condition of their contract; 
5. promote refill schemes, in which retail businesses agree to free water refills, pointing them to the apps that are available to signpost customers to refill points;
6. investigate the use of free water fountains in reception areas and elsewhere;
7. further investigate having locally branded water containers for sale;
8. work with tenants in commercial properties owned by Birmingham City Council to encourage the phasing out of disposable plastic cups, bottles, cutlery and straws.
9. Ensure the 2022 Commonwealth Games is free of single use plastic items
Council further proposes a report be brought to the relevant scrutiny committee setting out the financial costs of adopting a strategy of this kind”.
Proposer: Cllr Jon Hunt
Seconder: Cllr Baber Baz

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Moseley Litterbusters made this chart from the rubbish collected from the streets of  Moseley Village in one hour to show how much recyclables ends up in our discarded waste. This doesn’t include the waste actually put into bins. Currently all of Birmingham’s street waste goes to the Tyseley incinerator.  We would like to see the city policy change to include re-cycling bins in our parks, streets and shopping areas.

 

New Moseley Ward Meeting

Moseley Community Development Trust  have put together a new type of ward meeting combining the previous local Police and Greener Cleaner Safer Environment Groups with the Ward Councillors meetings. The aim is to work together to address community concerns in Moseley and try to find solutions to problems affecting people either locally in one particular neighbourhood or across the ward.

This is our chance in Moseley to shape how we approach problems collaboratively  and differently, and to understand and tackle barriers to getting change.

Thank you to our Councillors for their support to get this going.  For it to work people need to come along and get involved.

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Birmingham Mela Road Closures

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The annual Big John’s Birmingham Mela comes to Cannon Hill Park this Sunday 12th August.  Following the horrendous parking issues that occurred last year Izzy sent a report and photographs to the Mela committee, Moseley Forum and local Councillors. 

As a result the organising committee have informed us that:

A new locally based traffic management company – UK Traffic Solutions will deal with the road closures. Road closures will be from 10am to 9pm although the Mela is scheduled from midday to 8pm.

The licence is for 20,000 attendees at any given time.

Local residents should have received a letter through the door which will have their pass for their car for the day. This will also have the phone number for any complaints or compliments on the day. 

There will be three supervisors, each equipped with radios, two staff on each of the large road closures and they too will have radios.

Four Civil Enforcement Officers have been appointed to work during the peak period and cover the Edgbaston Road/Cannon Hill Road area  . They will start earlier than last year so that they can get a strong message of enforcement out earlier in the day.We are going to

Barriers will be placed along  Edgbaston Road to stop people parking on the pavement

A new company has been engaged to deal with litter after the event. More bins, skips and more people have been hired for this. 

Noise levels will be monitored during the event.

More details of road closures etc can be found here:  Birmingham City Council events

More details of the event can be found here: Big John’s Mela website

 

Police survey on ANPR

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West Midlands Police are asking for your views on their use and increase of ANPR technology (Automatic Number Plate Recognition).

Take part in the survey here

They have also produced a short film about how ANPR can be used to prevent and detect crime Watch it here

There is not an option to add a comment to the survey so I suggest if you do have individual comments you email g.chana_57666@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk.
We welcome this survey as we think public consultation over use of surveillance is incredibly important. In 2010 the police and council got it terribly wrong when trying to implement ‘ Project Champion’ in Sparkbrook and Moseley.

School Road Traffic Issues- An update

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We last posted about the traffic management of School  Road, Moseley  on January 29th. Scroll down through the posts to read it. 

We have now received a letter, copied below, from Gill Brook  –  Senior Transportation Officer – Birmingham City Council.

The council are proposing a trial scheme in which they will close School Road to traffic at a point between Greenend Road and Birches Close. This is slightly different to options 5a and 5b  presented at the meeting on 24th January in that the proposed closure is further along School Road. 
Closing the road at this point will have an impact on nearby roads with a potential for  displaced traffic to find another way around.  We are supportive of a trial but the exact point of closure is important to get right.  
The council have been advised that before a full consultation takes place they should carry out a wider engagement of residents to ensure people have the opportunity to comment. It isn’t clear how that engagement will be conducted but we will make sure that residents in the surrounding area are kept informed.
Gill Brook can be contacted  by email hereGill Brook

 

“Dear resident,

I am feeding back as a result of the two resident-led meetings that Birmingham City Council Transportation officers were invited to attend to look at and discuss potential options for a scheme to address the issues of safety on School Road in Moseley and Kings Heath & Brandwood wards.

Following responses collected from the meeting on 24th January 2018 where a number of different scheme options were put forward to residents, and further responses from local residents by email, 64% of those received were in favour of the option that would involve an experimental closure of School Road for motor vehicles at a point between Greenend Road and Birches Close.

From comments taken at the meeting on 24th January, and further comments from emails received, issues relating to parking on a number of roads in the area were highlighted – including parking at junctions reducing visibility, and vehicles parking on pavements.

Part of all of the 6 options put forward included a short length of one-way on Valentine Road from the High Street. This proved unpopular in the feedback we received, and will therefore not be taken forward.

I have been advised that before formal consultation on a proposed scheme happens, we should undertake some further area-wide engagement to ensure all properties in the local area likely to be affected by the closure of School Road as a through route have the opportunity to give their opinion.

The potential costs and logistics of an experimental road closure and any parking restrictions will need to be submitted through the usual city council channels in order to get funding agreed and allocated.

It is anticipated that this proposal can be submitted within the next month, and if successful, the consultation would take place after this. As we would like to consult as widely as possible with all local residents and businesses affected by the proposed scheme, we would anticipate this consultation taking place after the main summer holiday period.

We will try and arrange this as soon as possible after the beginning of September.

In the meantime, can I encourage you to have a look at our 20mph toolkits which can be downloaded at www.birmingham.gov.uk/20mph. These toolkits contain activity ideas and we also have a range of resources such as additional temporary signage, wheelie bin and car bumper stickers to help to bring great visibility to the reduced speed limits in the area. We would be happy to support any activities”.

Gill Brook  BA (Comb Hons)

Senior Transportation Officer – Transportation Behaviour Change

Growth and Transportation (Economy Directorate)

Birmingham City Council

1, Lancaster Circus Queensway

Birmingham

B4 7DQ