Minutes of NHW meetings
The meeting began at 7.00pm at our usual venue with Councillor Karen McCarthy, PC Rob Clark, PCSO Thomas O'Dell and a student warden from Birmingham University in attendance to contribute towards the agenda.
GS began by outlining the recorded crime statistics we request for the intervening three months since our last meeting on 4th July 2019 which are supplemented by the NHW alerts distributed through e-mail and recorded on the website year on year. There has been an increase in the number of burglaries and cars being broken into across the ward although less than a handful of these within our three streets but no less important for that. There have been some repeat instances of late night breakage of wing mirrors from cars which is most likely due to drunken behaviour from 'pedestrian through traffic' between Pershore Road and Raddlebarn Road. There was also brief reminders on removing valuable items in plain view from cars (either to the boot) or into the house as sat nav systems are easy prey. The same is true for pedal cycles left outside and valuable electrical equipment kept within sheds which are often of very flimsy construction! The reporting of all crime is essential as this is the methodology by which the police's resources are allocated and the statistics for action in this way showed a greater number of service calls to police from within our three roads in recent months.  
PR then went through an overview of the recent activity undertaken by the NHW on the members' behalf including continued requests for updates from the City Council on the poor street lighting along the right hand side of Warwards Lane heading up towards Raddlebarn Road, and even where illumination is present, the ambient level we feel is not great and this contributes to people's perception of the uncertainty of walking along our three streets in the darker evenings. This is anecdotal of course but comments are regularly made to indicate there is credence to it. The blocked drain in front of B and B Electrical Limited was cleared of its 'ponding' predisposition during heavy rainfall. The embankment hedge on the Warwards Lane side of the Park Corner development has been completed and both these issues were pursued on your behalf by your NHW. The ongoing lack of activity regarding the work relating to the hole dug at the Pershore Road end of Warwards Lane was referenced and has been discussed by telephone with Severn Trent who advised that the water supply to house in our road were failing and action was being taken bearing in mind this matter has been ongoing since 14th October 2019! (It was dealt with, ironically, on the following day of our meeting!). We also undertook our normal visits to students living in Warwards Lane by 25th October 2019.
GS communicated information relating to the enforcement noticed served on 119/121, Warwards Lane, a property managed by our old friends; Britannia Properties, and based on a telephone conversation and visit from Kevin Harrison from the City Council on 30th August this year, it has been established that the roof dormer has been reduced in size and the rear extension length, likewise, with a gap created between the house and the extension and the number of rooms reverted to an acceptable compliant number. With regard to 119, Warwards Lane, the owners have stopped using the the rooms as self-contained flats and the kitchenettes have been removed entirely, and in so far as 121, Warwards Lane is concerned, the number of rooms in the property have been reduced from eight to six. Consequently, this means that there has been full compliance with the enforcement notice BUT if they demolished both houses and rebuilt them again, they could do so to the composition that they were before the enforcement notice was served without any planning permission. Go figure....These are the sort of matters where registering concerns have shown, with continued pressure, to obtain a reversal of failing to comply with planning permission accepting the caveat noted above. The Dogpool hotel/pub development and the Lidl development linger on and will be pursued. 
PR undertook a discussion regarding the voluntary work carried out by Streetwatch which again features in the most recent NHW newsletter as there are now several groups in the Bournville, Selly Oak and Selly Park wards although there are currently only two residents from our three streets who participate in these. The idea is very straightforward wherein after a brief police driven training session, volunteers offer up around three hours a month of their time to undertaking foot patrols in pairs at various times of the day as reassurance to those from both the University and the residential streets (including ours), Bournebrook Road, Cherrington Road, Grisethorpe Road and Raddlebarn Road reporting on disturbances caused by rowdy behaviour, fly-tipping and other anti-social activities contributing towards making the area better. There are at least a dozen student volunteers this year and we have obtained a commitment from the University that they will patrol across our residential streets as well as Bournbrook itself. We also heard from the student warden attending; Ashmal about the work the student wardens undertake in relation to involving their peers who live locally about living in the community and how to foster better relations. We would certainly expect residents to behave in a co-operative way with the students to the same degree, and if any issues arise, please report them to us and the University immediately as action is taken where necessary.   
GS then covered off the continued growth of NHW members in spite of a couple of longer-term members moving onto pastures new in the way of things. The refuse collections remain an ongoing topic of discussion as there are still occasional lapses in collection duties which need to be reported to the City Council whenever this happens and to us for information as these NHW meetings do allow you to directly access our councillors on such matters! Some residents continue to leave wheelie bins out on the pavement the day after collection which creates an obstruction to the pavement, and with the Xmas period imminent, everyone is reminded to NOT leave obvious cardboard packaging outside and to recycle this correctly. That does mean removing large staples (safely) with pliers and placing these into the metals portion and the broken down cardboard into thew hopper. If there is too much, either retain this until next time, or take it to the Lifford Lane recycling plant as rats tend to be attracted to this sodden material if left for prolonged periods of time outside in the rain. And it is unsightly and does not reflect on the appearance and cleanliness of the properties who fail to do this. The recycling and waste collection dates for next year are still awaited from the City Council. There will be NO collection on Xmas day - a Wednesday this year - so even more crucial to ensure packaging is dealt with ahead of 25th December. 
AOB was mercifully brief. Speedwatch activity is going to be undertaken again, so anyone who is interested in offering up an hour or so of their time, please let us know and we can put you in touch with PCSO Tom O'Dell and his colleagues who will assist in this. The development of the car sales and MOT testing site at 1135 - 37, Pershore Road has been visited by City Council representatives who have confirmed to the owner that the ungrounded wooden structure does not have planning consent and is potentially dangerous as this matter was drawn to our attention by a local resident where the aforementioned structure has been bolted onto the fence line of several properties in Warwards Lane. This has been communicated to the City Council. The communal street cleaning barrow is available for use within the community as it is equipped with some heavier duty equipment but needs to be collected and returned (and presumably signed out for) so any interest should come though us. It will not be required for the next Big Clean Up on Saturday 14th December 2019 on which subject a separate e-mail was sent out earlier today. 
The meeting then closed and the lights went off.