Monday, September 22, 2008

Speedway meeting

We're going to turn over the next Perry Barr ward committee on Monday to a discussion of the latest planning application from the Brummies Speedway at the Perry Barr stadium.

As we understand, the Speedway mainly want permission to substitute Sunday races for Wednesday ones when they are rained off - as they frequently were during the summer.

However there continue to be complaints from several neighbourhoods where residents find the noise from the Speedway intrusive. Also from Birmingham City University, which says the Speedway interferes with its lecture theatre blocks.

Our position is that the Speedway could solve these problems by putting up strategic sound barriers. There is plenty of evidence that existing sound barriers and buildings have a big effect on damping noise.

We think this could deal with the differences between residents who are bothered by the noise and the many fans of Speedway who want it to continue.

Our view was reinforced during the last planning application.

Monday's meeting is on the 29th September at 7pm at the Methodist Church on Rocky Lane, Perry Barr.

This is the details of the latest application:
Variation of condition C4 of application N/03972/07/FUL to allow
replacement Sunday races in the event of rained off Good Friday and/or
Bank Holiday Sunday races; and variation of condition C6 to allow the
holding of a press and practice day on a Wednesday in March 2009
between 12.00 and 15.00 hours; and the holding of races in 2009 between
19.30 and 22.00 hours and the warming up of speedway bikes between
19.00 and 22.00 hours.

Ref: N/04323/08/FUL

More details on how you can respond to planning applications here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jon speaks on M6

Jon Hunt spoke on the problems of the M6 at the Liberal Democrat conference. Jon called for traffic to be reduced on the M6 through Perry Barr warning that it causes "noise, pollution, ill-health and gridlock".

The context was the vexed issue of road pricing. We'd opposed and helped stop the West Midlands scheme which would have seen tolls placed on the side roads running under the motorway in this ward. Jon said he's also opposed a national scheme fearing it would be expensive, inefficient and intrusive. However, he said, he was happy with the party's latest proposals which would reduce vehicle duty and fuel duty and instead place charges for access to the motorways and the trunk roads.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Karen's plea on fuel poverty

Karen Hamilton spoke about the fuel crisis at this month's City Council meeting - and its effect on those who find it hardest to pay their bills.

She called on fuel companies to “do the decent thing” and reduce gas and electric charges for people who use pre payment metres.

Currently 5.8 million people use pre payment meters – 3.6 million for electric and 2.2 million for gas.

“A large proportion of pre payment meter users do not know the extra charge they are paying for their gas and electric which, in some cases can be as high as £225 per year”.

“Based on an average combined fuel usage Powergen customers pay an additional 15.2% of £225 per year, taking the annual fuel bill to a massive £1,700. British Gas and Npower customers pay an additional 12.6% if they use pre payment meters”.

“It is simply not acceptable that the fuel companies can get away with charging more to customers who use pre payment meters”. Pre payment meters are generally used by people on low incomes and by people who are in fuel poverty.

Karen added: “The energy companies are taking advantage off those who can least afford to pay more for their gas and electric.

“The Government should recognise this fact and insist that people who use pre payment meters should pay the same rate for their gas and electric as their customers who pay by direct debit”.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Running a half-marathon

Ray Hassall writes: "Well holiday time's over for me and I am back in full swing again.
Training for the Half Marathon did not stop while I was on holiday and at least five times a week I went out to continue the build up for the big event on the 26th October. This is the first half marathon organized by the City Council and its been my ambition since I first became the Cabinet member looking after Sport in the City. No let up in the training meant that when I landed at 4am in the morning I was out by 7.15am for an hours walk/jog training session.

Many of you will be aware that the half marathon starts at Alexander
Stadium, there is still time for you to join in this big event but we also
have a need for helpers at the start to get things moving with over 7000
runners some coming from other countries. Many will appreciate the need
for a great deal of volunteers to help in all stages ie registration
helping out to distribute water to the runners along the route.

Can you help? If so please ring 464 2012 or email

If you want to take part in the half-marathon, the hotline number to call is 0844 888 3883."