Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Local calendar

This is the picture we have used on our councillors' Christmas Card this year. It is by Albert Watts, a member of Perry Beeches Art Group. The art group has produced a wonderful full colour calendar of local scenes by local artists (Jon helped choose the selection). You can get a calendar for £6 by calling Jill Barnard on 358 0781

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Vote for our local parks

Local people have been putting effort into turning our parks around - and we've been helping them.

Now we need everyone to take one simple step to make a big difference. Yes it's an on-line vote. You need to follow this link and vote for Perry Hall Park (called Perry Hall Playing Fields in true municipal style in the description).

This week we hope we, as local councillors, will be agreeing to renew our pioneering park ranger project. Only since August the ranger has been working in all our green spaces, encouraging volunteers, coming up with ideas for improvements and trying to make them happen.

Here are more details of the contest:

"2012 marks Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and we want to ensure that it is celebrated in fitting style. The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge, operated by Fields in Trust, is a fantastic new campaign to protect 2012 outdoor recreational spaces in communities all across the country as a permanent living legacy of this great event.

From sports pitches to woodlands, children's play areas to gardens and bicycle trails to parks, the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge will protect a diverse range of outdoor spaces ensuring that there is something to appeal to everyone.

Whether you live in a dense city or the middle of the countryside recreational spaces are the heart of any community and the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge will ensure that these outdoor spaces are guaranteed for future generations.

Securing access to grassroots sporting facilities is particularly relevant given the other milestone event taking place in the UK in 2012 – the London Olympics. What better way to mark the greatest sporting show on earth?

The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge will give communities an opportunity to vote for an outdoor space in their area to become part of the scheme and be permanently protected as a tribute to the Diamond Jubilee."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Birmingham Half Marathon

Karen will be doing the Birmingham Half Marathon on the 23rd October 2011. She will be raising money for the British Lung Foundation. Karen said "the training has been hard and I haven't done half as much as I should have as fitting it in with my work has been quite difficult but I will do my best to finish". If you would like to sponsor her see http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KarenHamilton or look out for her on the route!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Welcome to our wardens

New lake on River Tame at Perry Hall Park mid-August,
showing growth of wildlife and plants on shingle island
We now have two new officers working on the ground in our community.

* Deborah Parsons, environmental warden. Deborah's already been busy tackling problems such as: abandoned skips, dumped shopping trolleys and flytipping.

She is one of Birmingham's most experienced and effective wardens and has powers to prosecute for dog fouling and litter dropping. She's also got a reputation for helping and will be working with residents on neighbourhood clean-ups and other local issues - as well as working closely with the local cleaning team You can contact her on deborah_parsons@birmingham.gov.uk or try to leave a message on 303 9812. Or simply call or email your local councillors, councillors@perrybarr.com

* Richard Weaver, park ranger. Richard is based in Perry Hall Park and will be working with the friends group there. But his brief also includes developing activity in our other parks, especially Perry Park and Kingdsown Park. Both posts are funded from the community chest which means Deborah and Richard are totally committed to Perry Barr ward - and will be accountable to the local community at community meetings.

Councillor Ray Hassall, Perry Barr ward committee chair, said: "I'm delighted to welcome these two officers and hope local people will get to know them and help them make our area a better place to live.

"Both will be working closely with the local police on issues such as anti-social behaviour and dog problems."

Monday, October 03, 2011


Local health officials are proposing to request planning permission for a new super-surgery for GP services at 481 Walsall Road (on the corner of Perry Park Crescent). The development would include 58 assisted living dwellings for the elderly. It will also mean three of our local GP practices move on to the one site:

  •  Tower Hill Medical Centre
  •  Great Barr Surgery, Thornbridge Avenue 
  • High Trees Surgery, Walsall Road.

 We've been asking local residents what they think about this and replies have been coming back with a whole range of views.

 Here's some pros and cons:

  •  Getting there on foot: harder for many, easier for some; 
  • Getting there by car: many people will have to u-turn at Tower Hill and at Rocky Lane;
  • Car parking: may be easier than at Tower Hill, depending on spaces ;
  • Getting there by bus: about the same as Tower Hill and Hightree. The 51 and 952 stop close by. 
  •  Medical services: we're told that some out-patient clinics and other services from hospital may move there - so this may be easier for some ;
  •  Assisted living homes: this must be a plus for our community; 
  •  Improved premises. Great Barr and High Trees are said to need 'major renovation'. 

 We'll be questioning the developers aat the next Perry Barr ward committee on Thursday October 13th. It's at 7pm at Perry Hall Methodist Church, Rocky Lane and all are welcome to come and participate. We'll be looking in detail at traffic implications and what might be done about them.

Councillor Ray Hassall, chair of the ward committee, said: "This will be a massive change in local GP services, which could deliver big improvements, and until recently only a handful of residents had been consulted. There are many issues to consider, especially making traffic access safe.

"There are also a number of people, especially the elderly and disabled, who are concerned they may now find it a struggle to get to their doctor's. We want to know what will be done to help them."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Birmingham’s Play in Parks Project

During this summer children and families are invited to attend Birmingham PlayCare Network’s Play in Parks project supported by Perry Barr ward councillors through a community chest allocation.

Play in Parks is an open access project providing play opportunities aimed at children aged 5 to 13. There will be a great range of playful activities and games for local children and their families

Rebecca Coley Project Manager for Birmingham PlayCare Network says; “This will give the children the opportunity to make dens, participate in team games, arts and craft and engage in messy play. We look forward to welcoming the public, please come and join us!”

The Play in Parks project will be at the following sites:

Calshot School - 08/08/11 till 19/08/11(excluding weekends)

Perry Hall Park – 08/08/11 till 12/08/11

Other locations in Perry Barr constituency:

Sandwell Recreation Ground and Hillside Recreation Ground – 01/08/11 till 12/08/11 (excluding weekends)

If you require any further information please contact: Rebecca Coley on 0121 236 2917.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer playschemes

We're expecting the usual annual summer scheme in Perry Hall Park to begin on August 8th for one week. Full details will be posted here when we get them.

The annual scheme which has run for many years at the end of July fell foul of budget cuts - so the ward councillors have stepped into agree some community chest allocation to support a week of activity.

In Turnberry Park there is  a playscheme running on Fridays from 3pm to 6pm until the end of July - for children aged from five to 13.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Tower Hill Library Campaign

Today Jon Hunt submitted 917 signatures to the city council's budget meeting in support of Tower Hill Library.

The library has been under threat since managers came up with a plan to close it for three months in December. We stopped that - but had to concede two days of closure including Saturday.

The argument was it was the least used library in the Perry Barr constituency. The figures were dodgy (based on lunchtime closures) and in fact it is the only library in the heart of the constituency. Nobody wants libraries to close anyway.

So what are the chances? The council's leadership has declared it is not closing libraries - but today's meeting agreed massive savings from constituency budgets. The constituency committee will discuss libraries later this month - and we predict another huge tranche of signatures will be ready for that meeting!

There are several things that can be done - even in spite of the massive budget cuts the council has to make. The campaign is winnable and, as councillors, we must make sure it is won - as losing this library would rip the heart from our community. Saving money on local council management and getting the council to put in place its plan for city-wide savings on library budgets (by using more automatic machines and cutting costs, not by closing them) are among the options.

Photo: Jon and Ray begin collection of signatures outside the library.