Minutes of NHW meetings

The meeting opened with PR and GS welcoming everyone who attended including Councillor Karen McCarthy as there were no other guest attendees. The police provided their usual crime figures for our area which were presented to the assembled NHW members.

PCSO Sarah Savage provided these up to 9th March 2019 which seemed unreflective of what local knowledge indicated and there was some discussion around the practice of marking incidents as ‘on or near to’ given the relative seriousness of some of these.

By way of example, for the two and a half month period up to the 9th March, there was an incident of actual bodily harm to a taxi driver who was assaulted by youths harassing him on their bikes, two broken wing mirrors (criminal damage), a stolen sat nav from a car, a theft of item from an eBay seller and an undisclosed burglary.

All of these happened on Warwards Lane. Or near to it! There was also a malicious wounding based on a domestic dispute which took place within the home and a jet washer that was stolen from a shed (burglary) in Darris Road. There were no recorded crimes for Park Corner.

We are advised that there are often other calls for service in which no crime is actually recorded, ranging from false and malicious calls to reports of suspicious behaviour where there has not been sufficient evidence to confirm a crime has taken place.

Examples of these included an alleged assault, four calls about mental health, suspicious behaviour in the park and a cardiac arrest. The key point however is that we should all be confirming concerns to the police as the level of response is relative to recorded crimes for our area.

This won’t ever change, so unless it is reported, it never happened. Several calls have been received for domestic violence which have not been included in the information due to their sensitive nature. There are websites available for the selling of items on-line safely and what to do if knives are found in a public place.

These will be added to the website along with several other planned updates. PR also identified some planned roadworks at the junction of Harborne Road and the Bristol Road South which are likely to cause build ups of traffic for the duration of the contract that may take many weeks.

There is also a Midland Velo cycling event taking place on 12th May 2019 so anyone travelling on that day needs to ascertain where their journeys may be interrupted as there are likely to be thousands of participants. The website to check the route map is; https://www.velobirmingham.com/the-route/route-map/

GS then took up some ongoing points that remain outstanding such as the feedback from Amey regarding the lower level of ambient street lighting along Warwards Lane compared to other nearby streets which Karen McCarthy agreed to look into. The saga of 119/121, Warwards Lane continues.

These are both converted HMO’s where enforcement notices have been served, but are now undergoing the appeal process and this may take many more months. We will continue to pursue for updates. The ‘ponding’ outside of B&B Electrical Limited has been re-submitted as existing street drainage has not coped in heavier downpours.

A photograph from the day of the Marathon was provided for reference. Nothing has been heard on the Dogpool Hotel or the Aldi (former Stirchley Bowl) planning applications, but again, KMcC is to investigate and report back. There was some discussion regarding the definitions of HMO’s and what the City Council was able to do regarding them.

PR then continued with an overview of the NHW membership numbers, which currently stand at around eighty households, and to confirm that we will be undertaking some more recruitment very shortly. The next subscription date will be 1st July 2019 and this will be collected either through BACS or at the meeting or in person!

PR then provided those attending the meeting with a report on the Street Watch patrols carried out by himself, Karen McCarthy and students and staff from the University of Birmingham over the past four months or so. The concept is that volunteers patrol their local streets in order to provide additional reassurance to members of the public.

The most recent newsletter carried a feature on this activity so anyone interested can let us know and we can pass on the details to PCSO Sam O’Dell who carries out the training. This can be a very rewarding activity and can be carried out at any time of day or night, once trained, and does require both a minimum involvement of two hours a month.

GS covered off the ongoing problems regarding the preparation of waste recycling amongst some households along the three streets where bags are left out on the street without being tied and/or the wrong day and the recycling pods are not always filled economically by breaking down cardboard packaging. GS likes to talk rubbish!

The next litter pick takes place on Saturday 6th April, beginning at 10.00am outside Park Autos, and will take no more than an hour of your time. Gloves, bags and pickers provided. The meeting was adjourned dramatically, and once more, there was no post meeting visit to a local hostelry. A bad precedent has been set, it would seem.