October 2011

Details of Community Forum meetings have been announced.

Anyone interested in having their say on the proposals, launched last week, is invited to attend any of the sessions detailed below.

Saturday 22nd October (10am-12noon)
The Council House
Victoria Square
B1 1BB
Committee Rooms 3&4
All bus and train routes into City Centre
No on-site parking, please use public car parks

Thursday 27th October (6.30-8.30pm)
Alexander Stadium
Walsall Road
Perry Barr
B42 2LR
Buses – 51, x51, 424, 952
Free on-site parking

Wednesday 2nd November (6.30-8.30pm)
Sutton Coldfield United Reformed Church
1 Brassington Avenue
Sutton Coldfield,
B73 6AA 
Buses: All buses into Sutton Coldfield Town Centre
Train: 2 minutes walk from Sutton Coldfield station

Thursday 3rd November (6.30-8.30pm)
Newtown Community Centre
57 Newtown Shopping Centre 
Buses: 7, 8, 51, 107, 52, 33, 934, 56
On site car parking available

Monday 7th November ( 6.30-8.30pm)
Bournville College – new campus
1 Longbridge Lane
B31 2AJ
Buses: 45, 49, 63, X62, 143, 144
Grosvenor buses: BV1, BV2, BV3
Train: 2 minutes walk from Longbridge station
Free car parking available on Bristol Rd opposite the college

Wednesday 9th November (6.30-8.30pm)
Kings Heath Community Centre
8 Heathfield Rd
Kings Heath
Buses: 11, 50, 50A, x50, 35
Free on site parking

from birminghamnewsroom.comby geoffc


WEST Midlands Police is listening to the concerns of the public and advising people on how to feel safer during Halloween.

Halloween can be an intimidating time, especially for anyone who is elderly or vulnerable. Many youngsters consider 31 October to be an opportunity to play harmless jokes, not realising the distress that their actions can cause.

The force is reminding young people to show consideration and respect to others, particularly the vulnerable and elderly, and is working with schools across the region to offer tips on how to trick or treat responsibly.

Superintendent Sue Southern said: “We want young people to have an enjoyable and safe Halloween, and to remember that some people may feel intimidated by trick or treaters at their door – no matter how harmless young people think their actions might be.

“Halloween can be a frightening time of year for some elderly citizens and we are committed to making this group feel safer. We have a number of activities taking place across the West Midlands during this seasonal period to ensure all our communities feel safe.”

Police would like to reassure elderly and vulnerable people by providing the following advice:

During Halloween, if you are worried about problems caused by ‘trick or treaters’ try to arrange to visit a friend or relative or invite someone to sit with you so you are not alone.

If you are very worried, or have experienced problems before and will be home alone during Halloween, you can call West Midlands Police on their non-emergency number (0345 113 5000) before the night. You are welcome to ask if your local neighbourhood officers can pay particular attention to your street while on patrol.

If you are home alone and do not have anyone who can sit with you, consider the following advice:

1. Always put the chain on the door before opening it
2. Ask all callers at the door for identification
3. If you’re unsure about the caller, call a neighbour and ask them to come round to help you
4. Do not let the caller into your house while you’re checking their identity – if they’re genuine they will wait
5. If you’re still unsure or feel uncomfortable in any way, don’t answer the door
6. If a caller is threatening in any way call the police immediately

Police have already provided many elderly and vulnerable residents with ‘no trick or treat cards’ which respectfully request that trick or treaters do not knock at the door during Halloween.

The ‘no trick or treat’ cards can be downloaded and printed from www.west-midlands.police.uk or from its facebook page by searching for ‘West Midlands Police’. These luminous cards can be displayed on front windows and doors to advise trick or treaters they are not welcome to knock the door.


Birmingham City Council and local residents can now work more closely together to discuss issues and identify trends in the community through a brand new web tool.

The ‘Birmingham Civic Dashboard’ (http://civicdashboard.org.uk) allows residents to see local issues reported to the council –  such as housing repairs and anti-social behaviour – on an online interactive map.

Every day, the application takes live data from the city’s Customer First contact database and shows trends on the map, allowing both the council and residents to identify ‘hotspot’ areas where issues are common or recurring.

In turn residents can comment on the trends that emerge over time, giving an on-the-ground perspective on particular issues.  This is the first time that a UK council has put its service request data online in this way.

The pilot website is part of ‘Make it Local’, a pioneering project run by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA).  The Birmingham Civic Dashboard was developed on behalf of the council by Digital Birmingham and digital production company Mudlark, who together make up one of four teams across the country taking part in the programme.

from birminghamnewsroom.com by geoffc

PATIENTS angry over controversial changes to their GP service have lost their fight after redundancy notices were handed to surgery staff.

People living in Handsworth were outraged they weren’t consulted over a shake-up at St James Medical Centre and set up a campaign group – Keep Our Practice (KOP) to oppose plans.

But despite hundreds of patients raising concerns and staff at the surgery opposing plans, the PCT said the lease, currently handled by national provider The Practice PLC, expires in December and there were no funds to assist with further rent or the refurbishment of new premises.

Its responsibilities are set to be picked up by a partnership of doctors called Vitality, which is also based at the venue.

Redundancy notices have been issued to Practice PLC staff, including nurses and administrators.

Rev Linda Isiorho, from St James’ Vicarage, claimed: “KOP felt hopeful that their beloved medical team could be saved. What we uncovered was a mass of profit-motivated actions that was quite shocking and a disregard by the PCT to follow due process.

“I am dismayed at the lack of transparency in the process and the cavalier disregard for the proper measures of consultation that should have been in place before final decisions were made.”

Hundreds of patients turned up to voice their concerns and frustrations at previous meetings. During one heated debate, health chiefs apologised after complaints about a lack of consultation by the Trust.

Rev Isiorho said, although KOP had been disbanded, patients were continuing to seek legal action.

“The campaign is over but the consequences will continue,” she added.

Read More http://www.birminghammail.net/news/top-stories/2011/10/12/patients-lose-fight-as-redundancy-notices-issued-at-handsworth-gp-surgery-97319-29578550/#ixzz1akm58Kc5

England and Wales Cricket Board, Rounders England and Birmingham City Council are working in partnership to provide communities access to free activities in parks and open spaces.

FREE access to cricket and rounders equipment is now available at a variety of parks and open spaces across Birmingham.

If you live in the vicinity of Handsworth, cricket  and rounders equipment can be borrowed for FREE for up to one hour. Equipment can be borrowed by anyone aged 16 or over using a valid leisure card as a deposit.  Some sites may also require a fully refundable cash deposit.

Collect at Handsworth Leisure Centre, Holly Road, Handsworth, B20 2BY         Tel: 0121 464 6336

for use in Handsworth Park