March 2011

Black bags will be delivered to the Soho Ward week commencing 4th April 2011, if by the end of April you have still not received yours contact Refuse Collections on 0121 303 1112 providing your Post Code for location purposes.

Due to Government cut backs Colin Hanno our Neighbourhood Manager is losing his job.

We held our CommunityRecognition Awards on Tuesday 15th March 2011 and here in Colin’s words and photo’s is how the evening went.

from Soho Neighbourhood by Colin Hanno

I really enjoyed the Soho Finger Forum “Community Recognition Awards” last night , the event was an extension of the forum bi- monthly meeting and was well attended by local residents, Ward Cllrs, Police, constituency staff and other key partners and stakeholders.

Guest speakers included representatives for the 2011 Census Birmingham Team who provided residents with invaluable information on the significance of completing the 2011 census form and the type of help available .  Additionally, a representative fromDigital Uk gave a presentation on the big switchover from analogue to digital TV informing residents of the processes and benefits.

Residents at meeting

The highlight of the night was the Community Awards which commended residents , key stakeholders and staff for their commitment and hard  work in making Soho a safer, cleaner , healthier and greener place to live.  

recognising acheivements

The awards ceremony was also a celebration of the Soho Finger Forum  achievements and successes over the past 3 years the chair mentioned that this “was an opportunity to show residents and key stakeholders appreciation for their hard work, and we hope to make this an annual event for the people of Soho Finger and the wider soho ward”

Recognising  commitment and acheivements
Forum Secretary receiving award from Cllr Lal

 I was really touch at receiving 2 very prestigious accolades for work carried out as Neighbourhood Manager in the Soho Finger and Gib Heath locality. Soho is a place close to my heart, having spent my formative years in and around Soho and Handsworth ward it was always  my ambition to work with the people of the area and with my post coming to an end in April , I will look at volunteering my services where possible in the future.

Soho Finger awardsNeighbourhood Manager receiving awards from ward councillors

 The past 18 months has been very challenging but rewarding period , I really enjoyed working with Residents, Cllrs and key stakeholders in delivering activities against key strategic objectives such as environmental, crime related and worklessness issues in making Soho a cleaner, safer , greener  and prosperous place to live.

Soho Awards
Soho Finger Forum Chair receiving award from Ward Councillors
Local organisations such as the Matthew Boulton Forum and Soho Finger Forum have developed their organisational capacity and now in a position to play an integral role in Soho.



Come along to our Residents meeting including special Recognition Awards  and buffet.



Tuesday 15th March 2011 

Soho Community Hall, Chapel Street Handsworth

Birmingham B21-0PA

6:30pm – 9:30pm




1.      6:30   Welcome -by Chair


2.       6:35   Apologies – Kiran Sahota, Dervan Seville


3.       6:40   Approve last Minutes


4.       6:45   Matters Arising


5        6:50   BBC One Presentation


6.       7:05    Census Presentations


7.                    BUFFET


8.       7:40   Soho Neighbourhood Police Update


9.       7:50   Street Champion Update


10.     7:55   Neighbourhood Management Update – Collin Hanno


11.     8:05   Environmental Warden Update – Dervan Seville


12.     8:15   Forum upcoming Events


13.     8:20   Residents concerns


14.     8:30    AOB


15.     8:35    Recognition Awards Ceremony


Date of next meeting Tuesday 17th May 2011 at 7pm

Soho Finger Neighbourhood Forum

Soho Community Centre, Chapel Street, Handsworth

Minutes from Residents Meeting

Tuesday 18th January 2010

Attendance: Councilor Lal, Councilor Spence, PC Burton, PCSO Carrington, Committee Members and Residents (16)

Chair welcomed and wished everyone a Happy New Year.

Apologies: Raj, Dervan, Paul Pearce (email), Judy Thomas (email)

Minutes from previous meeting were amended (see matters arising).

Councilor Lal apologised about having another meeting to go to but before he left he spoke about the huge complaints about problems with the Refuse not being collected and unfortunately it is still unresolved.. 

Matters Arising

Management Update Item 7 is the building not the land.  Petition still needed but Chair asked Residents to let him know if there were any other buildings that could be used as an office for the Forum.

Residents Concerns item 3 it was explained where the land was.

Environmental Update item 1 Dervan does work in Soho but he is based in Kings Norton and rotates areas.

Councilor Spence said there were unfinished items but she would deal with them another time.

Morrison’s Update

Store is opening on 31st January.

Selected members are attending the opening.

Councilor Spence has contacted Morrison’s and asked to involve Residents at Grand Opening.

Chair’s feedback from Residents about the Morrison’s Recruitment is disappointing.

Residents not happy with Pertemps and want them to attend a meeting from both Newtown and Soho offices.

Statistics wanted for jobs actually allocated to Soho Residents.

Councilor Spence was also disappointed with Pertemp’s.

Chair doesn’t want the Forum to get blamed for Morrison’s shortfall and promised that Morrison’s will be at our next meeting.

Morrison’s allocated £100,000 for a Town Centre Manager and it was suggested to combine the role with Neighbourhood Manager.

Chair said it was time Morrison’s supported the Forum.

In answer to Resident asking who was invited to Morrison’s Opening Day Colin stated that a mix of about 20-30 people from Soho, Ladywood and Perry Barr and Councilors.

Community Notice Board wanted at Morrison’s.

Neighbourhood Management Update

After 15 months in the Council a lot of work has been done and tasks accomplished in partnership with Police and Residents.

Neighbourhood Management coming to an end.

Care and Repair project for over 60 year olds , only 7 properties received attention – Criteria is over 60 in Soho area, forms left at Community Hall.

Only local suppliers and Registered local Business’s used in the project.

George Street site cleared of rubbish and Centro agreed to clear bushes in alley in 2 months time – has been promised on previous occasions and not done

Earlsmead Road alleyway overhanging tree blocking out light Environmental Officer to be contacted.

Light in Booth Street Park has been reported.

Work with Morrison’s – School designed artwork and now displayed in the Main Entrance.

Soho Oscar’s – First for Soho Ward, a very nice evening, a learning process but overall a success.

Resident asked for explanation on the loss of Neighbourhood Managers and was told that there were 26 Neighbourhood Managers with fixed contracts and if no alternative posts were available they would be out of a job

Residents hope our Neighbourhood Manager will have a job after March.

Environmental Update

Dervan sent his apologies, hopefully we will see him at next meeting.

Neighbourhood Police Update

PC Burton and PCSO Carrington attended and apologized that they had nothing prepared as they didn’t know about the meeting until a few hours previously.

Police staff with over 30 years service will lose jobs, 800 losses in total.  PCSO’s would not be losing jobs.

Resident not happy about how racist attack in shop on Holyhead Road was handled by Police, Colin took details after meeting and would Report to Neighbourhood Tasking Group.

Councilor Spence said losing so many Police will affect the area.

There was a Restructure last year but officers chose to move area.  There will be a Restructure from April.

It wasn’t known if there would be the same amount of officers after April.

Residents need to petition to get Police back.

Wattville School still has parking on zig zags and concern as lollipop man off sick and there is not replacement.

Forum Upcoming Events

Chair was pleased with last years Resident Involvement Day.

Raj to take lead on Street Champions – anyone interested was asked to leave details.

Local Recognition meeting in March.

Recycle Boxes to be handed out at next meeting.

Develop Youth Forum.

Bright Kids doing well and getting involved in the Community Allotment.

Ideas for fenced area in Park – Chair and Andrew looking at area on Thursday 20th January.

Fundraising ideas needed, will be on March’s meeting Agenda.

Newsletter shown to Residents and it was suggested to include Activities for young people.

It was suggested that young people should be asked what they want in terms of the topics at meetings and that previous topics were not what they wanted. After previous efforts of a Football team, Princes Trust etc we need to find a way of getting young people more involved.

Residents Concerns

Residents are very unhappy that they are losing their Neighbourhood Manager and a petition was suggested or contacting the Director of Ladywood and write to our Cabinet Member.

Colin thanked everyone for their support.

A mailing list was suggested for meetings as funding for leaflets etc may not be available for much longer, forms were available after meeting

Paving slabs on Woodlands Road still loose Resident told to get log number and name.

Fencing at approx 10 properties in Junction Road work to commence in February.

  Date of next meeting Tuesday 15th March 2011 at 6.30pm – 8.30pm.

Handsworth’s heritage gives all the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of founders of the industrial revolution thanks to the Handsworth Heritage Trail launching this Friday 11th March, 2pm at Soho House.

The trail showcases the historic buildings across Handsworth and provides an ideal opportunity to promote Handsworth to local people and attract new visitors to the area

The idea to create the trail emerged several months ago when Handsworth Neighbourhood Manager Tracey Thorne discovered that many local people haven’t visited local heritage sites such as Soho House and Museum.

Tracey brought together a number of local residents to walk round the area taking photos of places of historic interest.  A steering group was then formed, including representatives from Handsworth Historical Society, English Heritage, Soho House, St Mary’s Church and local residents.

For the full story click on link

A BIRMINGHAM school choir has become an internet sensation after nearly 150,000 people tuned in for their cover of a heavy metal classic.

Wattville Primary School in Handsworth has become a real-life School of Rock after pupils recorded a video version of the Iron Maiden hit Flight of Icarus. Year 5 pupils swapped their school uniforms for leather jackets and air guitars to film their cover of the classic, which has been watched by more than 137,000 people in just one week after the video was posted on YouTube.

The children’s cover, which started out as part of a school project on Ancient Greece, has even had the seal of approval from Iron Maiden themselves, after the band put the video on their official Facebook site.

Wattville teacher and self-confessed heavy metal fan Ellie Yucel taught the children the song with fellow teacher Theresa Footes.

Ellie said: “We can’t believe how successful the video has been.

“We usually sing hymns and folk songs, but we wanted to do something different with the kids for our project on ancient Greece, so Flight of Icarus, about the Greek myth of Icarus, was perfect.

“We played the song to the pupils and after they’d heard it once or twice they began to hum and sing along.
Read More

Click on link below to watch on You Tube

Binmen in Birmingham have voted to accept the latest offer from the city council resolving a lengthy contract and pay dispute, the GMB union said.

Discussions about the deal had been taking place on Thursday in the dispute which started about nine months ago.

Binmen held a strike on 20 December and had been working to rule for several weeks over a pay row which unions said would see them lose £4,000 per year.

The council said it was “delighted” issue had been resolved.

For the full story click on link below.

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