Moseley’s LTN enters its next stage.

The details of Tranche 2 of the Kings Heath and Moseley Places for People aka Low Traffic Neighbourhood have been released by Birmingham City Council.

Details of the proposals which include four designs, two for each side of Kings Heath High Street and stretching across the ‘Moseley triangle’ to Wake Green Road and Yardley Wood Road, can be viewed on the Council’s consultation website, where you can also make comments: https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/economy/kingsheathpfp/

A series of engagement events are scheduled in October, including an online information / question and answer session on – Tuesday 5th October at 6pm 
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/kings-heath-moseley-places-for-people-teams-live-event-tickets-181032381727

An online briefing for businesses is to be held on Wednesday 6th October at 3pm. 
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/kings-heath-moseley-places-for-people-business-briefing-tickets-181592938367

Further drop in sessions are listed on the website and plans and questionnaires will be available at Kings Heath Library.

Moseley Forum will be holding a public meeting to discuss the proposals on Tuesday 26th October.

The consultation closes on 5th November, after which the council say they will prepare a final plan for implementation under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order in early 2022.  

We are already aware of some confusion and different interpretation of what the designs will mean in practice. We also know that the project is controversial and if it goes ahead will bring huge changes to travel in our neighbourhood. 

We urge everyone to take time to go to one or more of the events and to ask questions.

Izzy has written to Birmingham Connected to ask for much better engagement with businesses located in the project area,  including a one to one visit from a Council Officer to any business that requests it. The potential impact on businesses must not be underestimated.

She has pointed out that residents who do not have access to the internet need more information on how to comment and an address to send their feedback. The council needs to ensure the consultation and information to assist in making an evidence based decision is available to everyone. The council should also publish its equalities and impact assessment report.

We have also noticed no mention has been made of the number 34 bus which travels hourly between the City and Kings Heath along Billesley Lane and Oxford Road
  
We are very keen to hear first hand what residents and businesses think about the proposals, and we will be talking to as many of you as we can in the next few weeks. 

Continuing to support EU citizens

Izzy asked an important question at Birmingham City Council full council meeting as a member of the pro EU pressure group, EU IN BRUM.


Funding to support EU, EEA & Swiss citizens to secure Settled Status and ensure their continued rights in the UK ends at the end of September. Yet there are still 1000’s of people who need help now or in the future, especially those granted pre-settled status who will need to re-apply for full settled status after five years UK residence. Their continued right to live in this country is by no means guaranteed.


We were pleased to hear Birmingham City Council do plan to apply for government funding to continue this support. This is vital for charities like Centrala, Asirt Birmingham and Central England Law Centre to be able to continue their work with vulnerable people across Birmingham.


It will also mean the Council EUSS working group, of which Izzy is a member, can continue to meet to assess the situation of EUSS across Birmingham, tackle issues as they arise and offer networking and other support to the charities involved in the group.

How many collisions does it take for action on Billesley Lane?

Last November Izzy wrote to our local Councillors and our Neighbourhood Police Sergeant and Police Inspector about the alarming frequency and seriousness of collisions on Billesley Lane. https://moseleylibdems.com/2020/11/30/action-needed-on-billesley-lane/

Since then we have received lots of assurances , repainted white lines and in March Vehicle Activation Signs were installed to monitor and record speed. https://moseleylibdems.com/2021/03/17/vehicle-activated-signs-for-billesley-lane/

What we have not seen is a reduction in racing, speeding or serious collisions.
Following two further bad collisions, both in the early hours, within the last 10 days Izzy has once again written to our local Councillors and Police. as below:

Dear Kerry, Martin, Tom and Neil
Last November I wrote to you all about the increase of serious collisions in Billesley Lane. Since that email at least another four serious collisions have occurred in the stretch of road between the One Stop shop and the Tennis Club. They are mainly situated at or near the two junctions, with Greenhill/Dyott and Oxford Roads.  That is seven collisions in just over a year. The latest two collisions, within just over a week have occurred in the early hours. The majority of the collisions have involved young male drivers and speed is the biggest factor. These are not minor shunts. In every case cars have been damaged to such an extent they are written off. In some serious damage has been caused to property including garden walls, a front window and porch.
A recent email from the Highways Engineer Garry Dalton in response to local resident’s continued concerns sets out the criteria for assessing roads for traffic safety measures as follows: 
“As you are aware the need for traffic safety measures are prioritised according to reported numbers of injury collisions with locations considered by the Capital Programmes teams for inclusion as a potential Local Safety Scheme.  The Capital Programme team have recently evaluated all similar requests received to put together the Local Safety Scheme element of the Capital Programme for 2022/23 and Billesley Lane was not included. Typically, priority is given to sites that have 9 or more Road traffic collisions over a 3 year period, where injuries have been sustained.
The collision history for the length of Billesley Lane has been checked, for a period of 3 years to end of May 2021 to reveal that there have been three injury collisions recorded here.   All three of these collisions resulted in slight injuries and speed was attributed as a contributing factor in only one of them. 
This is not an exceptional collision history, in comparable terms, and therefore, based on this information, this location wouldn’t gain high enough priority for traffic calming measures when compared with other roads with adverse collision records”.

I don’t know when the criteria of 9 serious injury collisions over a 3 year period was decided or re-assessed, I suspect it was some years ago, but it seems more attuned to a motorway or busy A road rather than an unclassified  road in a  residential suburb. By insisting collision history has to involve serious injuries it does not take into account the big improvements in safety to vehicle occupants, such as seat belts, air bags and vehicle design . It does not take into account other factors that make the location so dangerous to others such as proximity to residential and community premises, a church hall used daily by children groups, sports club, allotments, garage, local shop and now a take away/ restaurant with associated high number of children, pedestrians and cyclists. Nor does it consider the layout of the road and factors that increase the likelihood of collisions occurring. 
Another reason I believe the criteria is flawed is that police are attending fewer collisions, especially if no injuries are reported. That means evidence of drink, drugs (including increasing use of nitrous oxide) and excessive speed as factors is not being recorded or assessed. Neither are the police gaining intelligence on increasing use of vehicles by young men for racing and cruising.  Yet, photographs obtained by residents often show the huge impact these collisions are having on the local community. However this information is not acted on which results in a negative view of the authorities and a reduction in community confidence and relations. 
I would like to see a whole different approach to prioritising traffic safety measures based on a ‘near miss’ criteria involving the factors listed above rather than injury caused. 
I would also point out that 20 years ago a fatal collision did occur in Billesley Lane when a cyclist was killed in the early hours by a driver who misjudged the bends. Following that collision the current speed humps and pedestrian refuges were put in place, however despite a rise in volume of traffic accompanied by numerous and increasingly serious collisions no serious attempt has ever been made to address the obvious issues  with the layout of the road. 
I am aware that the proposals for Tranche 2 of the Kings Heath / Moseley LTN are due to be released very soon. I am hopeful they include significant measures which will make a huge difference to the residents every day experience of living in or travelling along Billesley Lane. If they do not then I would urge you to reconsider the use of this years Ward Minor Measures Transport Programme. Would that be sufficient to install two chicanes at strategic points? At the very least some crash bollards could be installed  to prevent vehicles leaving the road whilst  consideration is given to what other measures are available and how to obtain funding.
 I remember well Councillor Trickett , when talking of the traffic issues in School Road, insisting that the safety of children is not something that can be compromised. I appreciate everything you have been trying to do but sooner or later someone is going to be killed in Billesley Lane in an incident where the warning signs have been apparent for years. 
Very best wishes
Izzy


18,400 families in Birmingham Hall Green constituency face heartless government Universal Credit cut

As many as 42% of hard-pressed families across Birmingham Hall Green constituency face being left worse off when the government end the uplift to Universal Credit next month. 

New data from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation exposes the true nature of how badly some areas will be hit by the £20 Universal Credit cut, which is opposed by Izzy, Radley and Birmingham Hall Green Liberal Democrats.  In the report, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimate that the Universal Credit cut alone could force 500,000 people, almost half of them children, into poverty. Their breakdown shows that some 18,400  families in Birmingham Hall Green Constituency , which includes Sparkbrook, Sparkhill, Balsall Heath, Hall Green, Kings Heath and Moseley will be harmed by the governments uplift cut, with 64% of families with children  being affected adversely.

Responding to the data, Izzy Knowles, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson said:
“The community of Birmingham Hall Green has had to pull itself through this pandemic, while dealing with this incompetent heartless Conservative government, this cut will do untold damage to so many of our local families.  There is no question that Government has to reverse this needless cut and support normal working people here. Birmingham Liberal Democrats are calling for the Universal Credit uplift to be made permanent.” 

Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions Spokesperson Wendy Chamberlain MP added:“Just as we begin to hope that Covid is being tamed in the UK, the Government is ripping support from millions of families across the country. We cannot have a full recovery if families are struggling to make ends meet.

“The Prime Minister’s claim that he wants people to live by their own ‘efforts’ rather than ‘welfare’ shows how out of touch he really is. With almost half of those receiving Universal Credit already in work and with many having young families, this cut will leave parents and their children behind despite their efforts.”

The saga of the clanking Moseley manhole covers

Anyone visiting Moseley over the past six months could not fail to notice the loud clanging every few seconds as vehicles drive over a manhole cover in middle of the traffic light junction, Alcester Road at Salisbury Road.
It was first reported to the council as far back as April. In June some workmen turned up, examined the drain cover and went away again. In July Izzy found out that Severn Trent were the company responsible and sent them a video via Twitter which seems to be the best method of corresponding with most utility company’s these days.

Severn Trent duly supplied a job number and a promise to carry out a repair. In August Severn Trent’s contractors, Network Plus suddenly noticed due to patches in the tarmac that another unknown company had carried out a repair at the location on some unspecified date in the past. This they decided was a good reason to refer the job back to Birmingham City Council.
In the mean time a second manhole cover has become loose, so now we have double clanking. This second manhole cover has no signs of previous road repairs. Izzy duly made a further referral to Severn Trent with the request that if they have to go to all the trouble to close a junction to fix one manhole cover, two would not be such an extra burden. Unfortunately the computer says no department couldn’t see the logic of this at all.

Izzy has now written to the Principal Traffic Officer who has allocated the job to Kier Highways and sent a stern letter to Severn Trent.
Maybe the clanking will be fixed soon — watch this space!

Refugees always welcome in Brum

Refugees are welcome here in Birmingham. Moseley Forum was the first community organisation to endorse the campaign for Birmingham to become a City of Sanctuary in 2015. The West’s failure to effectively state-build and safeguard citizens in Afghanistan is something that we must take responsibility for. And we as a city must do our bit and be more ambitious in providing humanitarian relief to the citizens of Afghanistan. It’s good to see Birmingham City Council discussing how we can combine our efforts to help Afghan refugees at this difficult time. Our Lib Dem Leader Cllr Jon Hunt contributed to the discussion: “This is very welcome and the cabinet member is quite right in saying there is a moral obligation.” Birmingham City Council must be awake to the challenge of welcoming refugees 👍🔶 You can learn more about the work of Birmingham City of Sanctuary including how you can help and volunteer here

We are not safe until we are all safe

Radley has worked on a video with some of our local residents – calling for the importance of why receiving the vaccination is important to us. It’s been a month since legal restrictions were lifted and it’s positive to see that COVID cases are continuing to fall. However, mindful public behaviour is still crucial to ensure that the virus doesn’t spread. It’s important to remember that COVID is still present and we all need to do our part to keep each other safe. The Government’s statistics released yesterday show that there had been 35 positive COVID tests here in Moseley , 31 patients were admitted to Birmingham University Hospitals (QE Group), giving a total of 213 patients currently being treated for COVID in the last month. Please keep safe. For more information about how you can get vaccinated and do your bit to stay safe, please visit the gov.uk website. 🔶

Talking to residents in Billesley Lane

Izzy & Radley went out talking with local residents on Billesley Lane, about the top issues affecting their road. The main issue was, as we expected, constant speeding and racing of cars. Safety at the junction of Wake Green Road is a concern and a very bad collision there yesterday highlighted this. Other issues raised were litter, fly tipping , potholes and lack of youth services. There was a very positive response on the doorstep.
We must take action to make our roads safer for everyone 👍🔶

Could you recognise Cuckooing?

Cuckooing is where someone takes advantage of a vulnerable person and turns their home into a drugs den.
Izzy, as a retired police officer has seen first hand the harm this type of activity can cause both to a vulnerable person and the community around them. If you have any concerns for an individual in Moseley call 101, use West Midlands Police live chat or report to Crime stoppers. Or let us know. We can report for you in confidence

Tackling fly tipping in Sandford Road

Earlier this year Izzy wrote to the owner of this land in Sandford Road which had become a dumping ground for furniture and other rubbish. The council will not collect fly tipping from private land. After further contact with the owner last month we are pleased to say the land has been cleared and the fence repaired which should prevent further dumping.

Izzy & Radley lobby for more Moseley roads to be included on the councils resurfacing programme.

The Council has published its proposed list of roads and footways for resurfacing treatments in the 2021/22 Highway Maintenance Works Programme.

The list has a total of 183 carriageway and footway schemes across the City, but disappointingly Moseley only gets three of them. The roads to be done are School Road, Stoney Lane and Yew Tree Road. While we very much welcome the inclusion of these three roads, with around 150 roads in total in Moseley, having just three resurfaced and no footways done, is not good for our area. Last year only one road in the ward, Belle Walk was re-surfaced so at this rate it would take over 50 years to reach the whole ward without even thinking of footpath resurfacing.


Izzy and Radley have submitted petitions signed by local residents to Kevin Hicks, the Assistant Director of Highways and Infrastructure at Birmingham City Council for both Chantry Road and Anderton Park Road to be added to this years list. Chantry Road is a cycle route and school street with a very poor and dangerous surface. Anderton Park Road is similarly also full of potholes, especially the section between Stoney Lane and Woodstock Road and is also a street used by school pupils. Pot holes and splits in the tarmac are not only dangerous for cyclists and motor cyclists they also cause damage to vehicles so increasing pollution in our atmosphere.

You can sign the petitions here:

Chantry Road Anderton Park Road

The Council are asking for feedback on the programme, so there is still a chance to change it – please let us know if there are other roads you would like us to lobby to be added to the programme and we will push hard for them to be done, if not this year then included in the next round of investment .
The Council anticipate that this years programme will commence towards the end of August 2021, but timing is still to be confirmed.

Alcohol Restricted Zone no longer valid in Moseley

Last week Izzy wrote to Sergeant Tom O’Keeffe asking for increased patrols in Moseley Village and for enforcement of the Alcohol Restricted Zone (ARZ) . This was following a number of reported incidents of damage to, and theft from businesses, rowdy and drunken behaviour on the village green and fighting, which she witnessed, in the churchyard. Businesses have reported that customers are put off from visiting them due to the anti social behaviour of a group, which includes some new faces. They are loud, intimidating and sometimes aggressive. They dominate the benches and the bus stop and are now regularly causing issues in the church yard. They are drinking alcohol in the street, steadily from morning until night time.

Since Izzy’s email there have been more patrols by the PCSO’s and visits to the businesses mostly affected, which is welcome but is not addressing the real problem.

What is concerning is Sgt O’Keeffe also confirmed that officers were not enforcing the ARZ as he has been advised by his licensing officer that it had been superseded by the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) introduced in 2017 and is no longer valid .

The PSPO itself expired in October 2020 and was not renewed by Birmingham City Council, despite calls from the local Police and community groups such as Moseley Forum and Moseley Society. A scrutiny report issued in October 2020 explains the council wished to introduce a new process for implementing PSPO’s which would be introduced ‘in the coming year’.
The local police have this month submitted an evidenced report to Birmingham City Council for consideration of renewal of the Moseley & Kings Heath PSPO. A decision is not expected until at least the autumn.

Izzy has written to the council licensing department to clarify the situation with regard to the Alcohol Restricted Zone, originally introduced in 2003, which is still listed on the council website and advertised with signage in the village and beyond.

In the meantime though that signage is not worth the metal it is written on. No one is taking any notice of it and the police are not enforcing it. That is not good news for the businesses or the residents of Moseley over this coming summer.

Smashed window at Onkar Eye Society

Tree Preservation Order for Church Road

Earlier in June we wrote about a case where Izzy helped some tenants whose new landlord had turned their home into a building site. See the post here

Shortly after that post Izzy was alerted by nearby residents that a beautiful and established copper beech tree had been felled at the front of the same premises. Izzy went to speak to the contractors, but was unable to prevent it being removed. The road is not in a conservation area and the tree was not protected with a TPO.

The lovely copper beech tree couldn’t be saved


A year ago Izzy had written to the council tree officer asking for that particular tree to be preserved by a TPO , however sadly that hadn’t happened.

The recent decision to refuse the planning application for the building had even mentioned three trees at the property, including the lost copper beech, being of public amenity value. The lack of a specific arboricultural method statement and tree protection plan had contributed to the decision for refusal.

After the tree was felled Izzy immediately contacted the tree officer again and arranged a site visit. As a result a TPO has now been authorised to protect the two remaining lime and copper beech trees.

The tree before it was felled

A star for Steve

Izzy and Radley have been helping a local resident from Moseley, Jim the Hat and his friends, put together a petition to get a star on Broad St for Brummie rock legend Steve Gibbons. Jim is a big fan and has wanted to do this for a long time. We’ve talked to the Westside BID manager and we’ll make a case and Jim can present the petition, probably at the end of July.
Steve was born in Harborne in 1941, and in July will celebrate his 80th birthday. He still lives in Birmingham and has devoted his many talents to the city, including years of fund raising for causes such as Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Sign the petition

Broad Street is currently undergoing a transformation, with the addition of a tram service which will bring more people to enjoy this special part of our city. What better time could there be to celebrate the re-opening of the area with a new star  recognising the life and works of an iconic local Brummie in his 80th year

Five years on ….

Five years on from that referendum and Vote Leave’s broken promises, it is the people who didn’t have a vote who are the most affected. We have upped our campaign to find EU nationals who have not yet applied or are having difficulty with Settled Status. In the past eighteen months Izzy & Radley have written letters to EU/EEA/Swiss national’s across Hall Green constituency informing them of the deadline to apply on 30th June, asking them to spread the word and offering assistance with applications.

Recently they contacted the Business Improvement Districts across Birmingham asking them to advertise the scheme, especially to the hospitality industry. Mike Olley of Westside BID responded by offering to contact every EU national employed in his BID area. His efforts and blog post were reported by Birmingham Live here

Several people have replied to the letters, one of whom was Gabriella Muller of Kings Heath. She agreed to be interviewed by Birmingham Live to help appeal to other EU nationals across Birmingham.
Gabriella said in her interview: “Izzy had sent me a letter six month ago and I thought I would keep it.”But even then I still didn’t fully appreciate what I had to do and it was only when my friend went to the embassy that I realised I really did have to apply – and before June 30.”I thought ‘That can’t be right. I live here. I’ve got my house here. My kids are here. My grandchildren are here!’
You can read the full interview here

We believe it suits the Conservative government to disenfranchise sections of the population and the local Labour administration talk but don’t act. Liberal Democrats consistently stand up for EU citizens rights and will continue to do so as long as it takes. We support the campaigns of The Three Million for a physical proof of status, and for unilateral rights to vote and the campaign of the European Movement on citizens rights

Just one person falling victim to a future Windrush type scandal is a failure of the whole scheme and betrayal of the millions of people who have made their home here and to whom the Leave campaign promised would retain ‘the exact same benefits’.

Tackling rogue landlords

Izzy has written to Birmingham City Council calling for notice to be served on the owners of 65, Church Road, Moseley for building work to be immediately halted due to safety concerns.
The new owners purchased the property earlier this year with six sitting tenants. Three of them are still living in the property and have a legal right to stay until at least 13th August . Despite that the new owners have sent the builders in and completely gutted the vacated parts of the property and the communal areas.
Journalists from Birmingham Live reported the appalling conditions the tenants have been left in and approached the owners NSH Properties for comment. You can read their report here together with interviews with Izzy and the tenants.
Izzy is supporting the tenants who have been incredibly brave in speaking out. The landlords are clearly only concerned in furthering their business interests, and have demonstrated a total disregard for the responsibilities taken on as a purchaser of a property with sitting tenants. Their uncaring attitude makes them unfit to be landlords, in our view.
The statement made to the reporter that the property is to be converted back to a family home has no credibility when you consider recent planning applications to extend upwards and outwards and add more flats have been refused by Birmingham City Council.

EU Settlement Scheme Deadline is 30th June – Can you EUaskFive today?

Last month on 9th May we celebrated Europe Day, you may have seen the banner and bunting on Moseley Village Green. Moseley is the home of hundreds of EU/EEA & Swiss citizens, who enrich our community, and help make Birmingham the diverse and vibrant place we know and love. 

But there is a deadline looming, which we all need to know about. 

 30th June 2021 is the cut off period for applying to the EU settlement scheme. Many thousands of EU citizens across Birmingham have successfully obtained Settled Status, but there are still people out there who are yet to apply. They could be elderly and lived here for many years, married to a UK citizen and not aware the scheme applies to them, students who arrived before the end of the transition period or children who even though born here are not automatically eligible for UK citizenship.

It is imperative that EU citizens and non EU/UK family members who came to live in the UK before 1st January 2021  apply to the Settlement Scheme to secure  the right to remain here after 1st July. Failure to do so will leave people as undocumented migrants and could lead to loss of rights to work, study, rent or buy property and access free healthcare.

Izzy volunteers with the independent charity ‘Settled’ https://settled.org.uk/en/  to help EU/EEA & Swiss citizens and their families obtain settled status.

We are asking everyone to promote EUask5. 


Ask 5 EU/EEA or Swiss citizens if they have applied to the settlement scheme. Then ask them and all your friends and neighbours to do the same.

If you need help to apply or more information on Settled Status or EU citizens rights post Brexit you can contact me through this website, email izzy@moseleylibdems.com or call 07784 155208.

People with dual UK/other citizenship, Irish citizens and people with documented Indefinite Leave to Remain (eg a stamp or sticker in their passport ,letter from the Home Office, biometric residence permit), do not need to apply. However Irish citizens and those with Indefinite Leave to Remain can apply if they wish , and it is worth checking the Government website for why they might want to.

You can apply on line for Settled Status via the Government website

Birmingham City Council has published a list of local organisations that offer advice or help with applying.

EUask5 today

Art not tags

Izzy recently sent a dossier of photo evidence to Birmingham Police following the identification of a person graffiti tagging in the city centre. The evidence showed the tag ‘ORB’ was prolific across Moseley and Kings Heath. The person has today admitted the tagging and as part of a community resolution has agreed to be party to a Community Protection Warning (CPW), which gives him strict conditions not to carry any item which may cause any sort of graffiti damage, across the whole of Birmingham. He will be writing a letter of apology to businesses whose premises were tagged and taking part in a local graffiti clean up. He states that he will not be tagging across Bham again. These are a few of the tags, many have since been removed by businesses, the council or the community group Moseley Litterbusters. Carefully designed street art in appropriate places is a wonderful way to enhance public areas, but indiscriminate prolific thoughtless ‘tagging’ costs businesses and the public purse tens of thousands of pounds a year to remove, it impacts on the local economy and environment and increases the fear of crime and social isolation.

Statement from Bham City Council regarding Low Traffic Neighbourhoods- not before time!

Birmingham City Council have issued a statement saying they are ‘committed to work with residents and businesses to adapt and improve Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) schemes in Moseley and Kings Heath and use local feedback to shape changes’.

They have promised a ‘series of ‘quick fix’ measures to improve traffic flow in congested locations including better signage and changes to traffic signal timings’

A dedicated project board will be created to oversee any future phases, including the continued development of travel plans to encourage walking and cycling to school and full public consultation on new designs.
The council goes on to say: ‘ But we must work with communities to get this right. We now have an action plan to build on the successful aspects of the schemes and improve on what is already in place’
You can see the full statement issued here:

We welcome the statement but feel it is very late in the day to commit with working with residents and businesses when this should have been right at the heart of the project at its launch 12 months ago. From even before the scheme was first announced Izzy has been calling for a holistic, community led traffic management plan across Moseley to address the many different issues we experience including speeding and anti social driving, congested and polluted roads, reducing through traffic, enabling walking and cycling and dealing with collision hot spots.

Since the Tranche1 measures of the People for Places scheme were announced back in July 2020 Izzy has worked hard to ensure all voices have been heard in this programme, including engaging with residents through the Better Streets for Moseley group and Moseley Forum, helping with traffic counts, securing funding for hand held speed monitors for use by residents groups, making representations to councillors and officers on behalf of local businesses and residents. Izzy recently wrote on behalf of businesses in York Road who feel disenfranchised about the measures put in place and concern about lack of access for deliveries, to point out the councils own technical review into the scheme recommends some type of one way system and how this could be a compromise that would allow restricted vehicular access whilst still enabling hospitality businesses to benefit from a pedestrianised scheme which would also provide a welcome safe family area off the High Street. The review and technical review of the scheme are below

In March this year it was agreed that the design consultants, Jacobs would take part in a walking tour of the revised area for the proposed LTN to engage with residents and stakeholders. Disappointingly this still hasn’t happened. We are hoping with the release of this statement and appointment of a dedicated project board (although details of the make up or remit of this are not yet known) to see a huge improvement in the level of meaningful engagement and full consultation before further measures are implemented.

Izzy and Radley will continue to scrutinise the scheme, including the proposed action plan, to obtain feedback from residents and try to ensure all voices are heard.

St Agnes Conservation Area to expand

Consultation on boundary changes to the St Agnes Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan (CAAMP) is underway. Survey and photographic work has been carried out by St Agnes Residents’ Association. Even if you do not live in the St Agnes area, the photographs are worth looking at.
The consultation ends on Friday 4th June

Details of how to respond to the consultation can be found here: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/…/birminghams…/3

The draft document can be downloaded here: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/…/st_agnes_moseley…

Ladypool Road Cycle Lane to become segregated

Consultation has opened to create a permanent segregated cycle path on Ladypool Road between Church Road and Brighton / Taunton Road. The pedestrian crossing at Alder Lane will also be upgraded.
We welcome the move to segregate the cycle lane, which is currently not fit for purpose, as it is constantly blocked by parked cars. We hope to see it extended in future as a route in and out of the city centre through this popular and vibrant shopping area, which is in itself a destination worth a visit.
The cycle lane is proposed to be implemented in Summer 2021
The consultation closes on 11th June 2021. You can comment here https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/economy/ladypoolrd2/

Citizens Rights affect us all.

On Sunday we celebrated Europe Day.
This week the Guardian and Italian newspaper La Republica have reported about the treatment some Europeans have received after travelling to the UK: having their possessions taken off them, imprisoned, forbidden from making calls. It genuinely makes us feel angry and ashamed of what our government is allowing, what our government is doing, what our government is showing not just to Europe but the rest of the world. The government’s behaviour in this regard could have baleful consequences for UK citizens travelling to the EU in future and could further sour our already damaged relationships with EU member states. The outcry, and the amazing scenes in Glasgow, where an attempted deportation on the day of Eid al-Fitr was stopped by a passionate, welcoming crowd, illustrates that, more than ever, citizens’ rights need to be defended for everyone. As part of the Stories of Brexit campaign led by the European Movement, EU in Brum is proud to host its first ever webinar on Citizens’ Rights in the UK and the EU.
They have four great speakers:
Luke Piper, Head of Policy for the 3million
Fiona Godfrey, co-chair of British in Europe
Pawel Koloziej, Midlands area Service Coordinator for the charity Settled
Lord Andrew Adonis, Chair of the European Movement.
The webinar will begin at 7 pm on Friday 21st May.
You can register to join the evening here:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/…/citizens-rights-after…

Tories to cut £3,786,250 from Pupil Premium in Birmingham

Tories to cut £3,786,250 from Pupil Premium in Birmingham

Schools in Birmingham are set to lose £3,786,250 in funding for the most disadvantaged pupils in the country following the government’s decision to alter the method of calculating Pupil Premium funding.

The pupil premium, which aims to close the attainment gap by providing extra money to pupils eligible for free school meals, was a flagship reform introduced by the Liberal Democrats in government in 2011.

Freedom of information requests by Schools Week suggest that schools in Birmingham are set to lose £3,786,250 following the decision to base the funding on a school’s pupil numbers in October rather than January as previously calculated. 

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson Izzy Knowles for Birmingham Hall Green constituency said:

“This cut shows the Conservatives are more focussed on penny-pinching than on giving children the best possible education. When the attainment gap is widening and children from disadvantaged backgrounds have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, it is shameful that the Tories would seek to cut pupil premium money.

“Liberal Democrats introduced the pupil premium and have had to fight the Tories to keep it properly funded. Given the financial pressure that families are under, this change has real potential to cause harm and will have a direct impact on the quality of education schools can provide for those who are in desperate need of more, not less, support.

“This is a bad move at the worst possible time. The Government must listen to teachers about the reality on the ground, not pull support when it is most needed.”

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Education and Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper said: 

“Once again, disadvantaged school pupils are set to lose out as the Tories prioritise penny pinching over proper support. By moving the goalposts on the entitlement criteria for the “Pupil Premium”, thousands of children whose parents have become unemployed in the last three months will not get the crucial support they need.

“Liberal Democrats introduced the Pupil Premium because we know how vital it is to target support to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers.

“The Conservative Government must urgently rethink this decision or they run the risk of more disadvantaged children falling behind.”

  1. FOI data: https://schoolsweek.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Pupil-Premium-changes-3.xlsx
  2. Analysis from Schools Week: https://schoolsweek.co.uk/revealed-how-much-your-area-will-lose-from-pupil-premium-funding-change/ 

320,000 EU citizens waiting for Settled Status ahead of cliff-edge- does our current Mayor care? It seems not.

At the Moseley Forum hustings for the Mayoral election all the candidates were asked to support the campaign by The 3 million to promote the EU settlement scheme, support EU /EEA/Swiss citizens up to and beyond the deadline of 30th June and to advocate for continued local voting rights.

It was hugely disappointing to hear Andy Street state that voting rights had to be a reciprocal arrangement with each separate EU country. By not lobbying his own party for unilateral voting rights to be given to every EU/EEA/Swiss citizen with settled status he is effectively condoning the removal of the only chance millions of people have of a democratic say in the governance of the city, town or region some will have called their homes for decades. It is a terrible thing to do to thousands of people who have already been disenfranchised by the EU referendum, another vote they were unable to take part in.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for all EU citizens in the UK to be given the automatic right to stay, as new figures reveal that 323,800 are still waiting for the Home Office to process their applications. The party is warning that those who aren’t given ‘Settled Status’ by the 30th June deadline could “become the victims of another Windrush-style scandal”.

Responding to the figures, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said: “The Conservatives must guarantee the rights of EU citizens who’ve made their lives here, and contribute enormously to our economy, our public services and our society. They must not become the victims of a new Windrush-style scandal. “Over 320,000 of our friends and neighbours are facing the cruel anxiety of hoping the Home Office will grant their applications before the cliff-edge at the end of June.“There is a serious risk that hundreds of thousands of people will be left effectively undocumented and exposed to the Conservatives’ Hostile Environment. We can’t afford the Government to ignore these warnings any longer.“EU citizens in the UK have been living under a cloud of uncertainty for far too long and the buck stops with Boris Johnson who promised them the automatic right to stay. He must deliver on his promise.”