Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Scrap the Garden Tax - top manifesto pledge

Karen Hamilton inspects some of the green waste left uncollected by the road side because it's in the wrong bags
 Here's our Liberal Democrat  manifesto for Birmingham.

Top of the list is to get rid of the so-called "garden tax", the £35 charge for collecting garden waste.

Its shambolic introduction has seen barely 10% of households signing up, queues for the waste depots and the streets littered with green bags. But even if it had ben managed well, it would lead to big cuts in recycling and large amounts of dumping.

There's a lot more here to do with jobs, education, housing, transport and how the public voice can better be heard in the council. There are new ideas for dealing with private landlords and scrap metal dealers.

Cleaner streets and refuse collection
Devolution and neighbourhood working
Sport and leisure
A public voice
Public protection - landlords, pay day loans, scrap metal dealers
Regeneration, planning and transport
Jobs and education

Music Festival update

There's a public meeting about the music festival in Perry Park on Friday night (May 9th) at 7pm. It's in the Alexander Stadium in the Dennis Howell Suite.

The meeting is being held by the organisers of the event to talk through arrangements for managing the traffic with local residents. As in the past with major events there will be extensive "exclusion zones" and residents will get passes - but visitors will not be able to park in these exclusion zones or get into them.

The event is being held over three days from July 4th to July 6th by Livenation and features major names from the world of pop and dance including Bruno Mars, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams.

One of the problems we've had in the past with major events is stewarding and enforcement. The organisers say they are going to do this better - and bring experience from other cities.

Although the event is three days, each day has its own tickets and there will be no camping in the park.

The organisers have pledged to make substantial contributions to the community in return for inconveniencing us. One community group, directly affected by the event, has already had a £1,000 donation. We're looking at ideas such as new play facilities or doing some work to clean up the lake in Perry Park

As the photo shows, we've been letting residents know. More than 4,000 households will be affected and all have heard from us in the last week.