Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ward committee in Witton

Perry Barr ward committee meets on Monday at 7pm at the Methodist Church, Wyrley Road, Witton.

The main topic is the proposed Aston and Lozells Action plan. It proposes a new zoning arrangement for Witton, between industrial and domestic housing. We had some concerns about the plans we saw as they did not include Deykin Avenue School. We have been assured this will be corrected.

A second major issue is the fate of the Serpentine Site, which used to be a supermarket and is now a parking area for Villa and includes the Villa Leisure Centre. It was previously intended it would be for housing and leisure - it is now being zoned for industry and commerce.

Whatever happens, it needs cleaning up. However we are concerned it will leave the Yew Tree estate isolated and also that earlier plans to replace or develop the Villa Leisure Centre should not be abandoned.

Art exhibition

Jill Barnard with proofs of calendar
A terrific art exhibition by the Perry Beeches Art Group at St Paul's Church Hall, Great Barr, today, demonstrating some hidden talent in Perry Barr and Great Barr.

This group started just six years ago in the Trehurst Community Centre. They have had a little bit of community chest to help them along.

There were pictures to see - but the group has also produced its own calendar for next year.

Many Perry Beeches art group calendarof the artists had never believed they could paint before they joined the group. Yet all produced a range of excellent and interesting pictures in a range of styles. We understand that one of our Christmas cards inspired an intriguing painting of the old Perry Mill Farm, which stood roughly where One-Stop is at Perry Barr.

The photos here show secretary Jill Barnard with proofs of the calendar. It costs just £5 and can be obtained by calling Jill on 358 0781.

There's another opportunity to take up art on Wednesday nights, we hear. Classes are held at Great Barr School at 6.30pm. The contact is Mrs H Davies at the school.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Speedway Hopes and Trees

Two developments on Wednesday which offer hope of a rapid solution to keeping Speedway at Perry Barr.

Firstly during the evening the Speedway tested out the new reduced noise exhaust systems on Wednesday night. The aim is to reduce noise levels by about 10 decibels.

Jon and Karen listened at various locations and were pleased to note the way it reduced the volume of noise across Perry Barr. If you live in the area of the track we'd value your feedback (please email with your address ) on the success of this.

Earlier in the day Karen, Ray and Jon visited the track and met promoter Graham Drury to discuss further environmental measures.

This was an exciting and productive meeting. Graham is suggesting planting about 100 metres of fast-growing high conifer trees along the line of the bank of the River Tame. We've expressed concerns that the river is acting as an echo chamber - you can see in the picture behind Ray Hassall, there's a chain-link fence and then the river, which is flanked by factory walls. Once fully grown, this line of trees would help prevent sound reaching the river and screen the track from both the Nash Square and Cliveden/Teddington neighbourhoods of Perry Barr.

It would also have a big environmental impact. It would hugely improve the appearance of Perry Barr as you approach it from the Birchfield flyover and would provide a green, leafy backdrop to the stadium.

Ray said: "As everybody knows, I've made it my mission in recent years to get trees back into Birmingham. This proposal from the Speedway would make a big contribution as well as helping to ensure the noise from racing does not give residents cause to complain in future years.

"I shall be doing what I can to provide advice and support to Speedway to make this happen and have begun talks with our experts in the parks department."

He added: "During the three years I was cabinet member for the leisure department we increased the rate of tree planting from 1,000 trees a year to 3,000 trees."