Minutes of NHW meetings

We began the meeting with a summary of the points to be covered and referencing the information sheets that were going to be used throughout.

The first point made by PR related to policing of our area and the crime figures relating to it. Generally, our three roads have little recorded crime albeit there are serious incidents that can be evidenced from the graphs showing on the website drawn from www.police.uk. These will continue to be produced each year for comparison. 

Within the past three months or so, there were three incidents reported - a burglary and a public order offence - along Warwards Lane and a vehicle crime in Darris Road. Darris Rod does seem to generate a disproportionate amount of incidents and we suspect these may be recorded incorrectly.

It would be appreciated if the NHW members from Darris Road contact us and indicate whether these figures for the past few years are in fact accurate. Compared to the overall ward figures for the same period, there were twenty-three anti-social behaviour incidents, forty-four violent and sexual offences and twenty theft based events. 

There is a problem with a resident in Park Corner who drives cars that are un-taxed and uninsured which has been reported to police and the DVLA. Progress on resolving this has proven slow. We will remind everyone to only keep items in cars within a locked boot where absolutely necessary and never overnight or for long periods.

Policing of the West Midlands, after all the hype a few years ago, will be put back onto a traditional ward basis which means we should see more beat officers. We have been approached by Selly Oak police inspector; Andrew Hodgetts with a view to re-establishing contacts between neighbourhoods and the police which we will be writing to him about soon.

GS then went on  to speak about the level of new people - particularly families - moving into the street which we will be looking to recruit over the next few months before subscriptions become due on 1st July. We need to continue to improve our activity as an NHW group around planning applications, speeding  and cleanliness of the streets. 

Tied into both these two points is the recent arrival of a large group of 'Travellers' encamped on the park behind St. Mary's Hospice at the junction with Raddlebarn Road. The City Council promised they would be issuing speedier injunctions preventing lengthy stays of this sort where crime and untidiness soon follow but yet nothing appears to have been done.

Planning applications have been reported extensively by your NHW group alongside of other agencies including the scrap yard/MOT testing station, the Lidl store on the site of Fitness First and an enforcement notice on the HMO at 119, Warwards Lane. The first of these has been approved with subjectivities and can be viewed on-line at the Council link. 

The Lidl application, having been approved, over-turned, re-approved and now finally rejected. This has been reported in the Birmingham Mail, following protests by local residents, and essentially comes down to them not following their own procedures. This fact has become a matter of public record although it does not prevent re-application by Lidl who will incurr additional expenses.

The City Council might therefore find themselves being sued in accordance with the fear for approving this application before.  Homes of Multiple Occupancy have become something of a major issue around the country as 'rogue' landlords seek to sub-divide larger houses into small flats to obtain more money from their (students primarily) tenants.

They have applied an enforcement notice against te property at 119, Warwards Lane which was sold by the owner to Britannia Property Services even though they themselves had suffered with the same developer converting the house at 121 next door. The date for completion of the removal of the extensions and conversions is 2nd September this year.

The next litter pick will be Saturday 8th April, starting at 10.00am outside Park Autos, and we would ask for as many people as possible to help for no more than an hour. We are still awaiting on the embankment grass to be weeded and cut back although someone has attempted to burn it back! Sale boards are being removed more regularly now than before.

The meeting then ended.

Paul and Garry.