Minutes of NHW meetings

The most recent Neighbourhood Watch meeting for Darris Road and Warwards Lane was held, once again, at the Selly Park Baptist church, and in attendance was Councillor Brigid Jones.

Those NHW members who attended, were welcomed, and introductions made for the benefit of those who had not attended previous ones, as there were new residents recently moved to the street. PR confirmed that the police had been invited to attend, in good time and had agreed to do so, but were then unable to come due to operational reasons. We feel that this is unacceptable as they have failed to attend at all, in the last twelve months, when we know they go to see other focus groups.


We will be writing to the relevant sergeant, at Bournville police station to make our disquiet known. The police, did however, provide us with the recoreded criminal incidents along our two streets from 1st April - 26th June (the date it was sent to us) and during this period, there were six vehicles that suffred criminal damage, one robbery and one theft from a vehicle. We believe there was a theft of items from a garden shed as well. Overall, the numbers are not high, and many of these we suspect, arise from persons using warwards Lane as a thoroughfare to the Bristol and Pershore Roads.


PR went onto provide some information around the NHW area for Langleys Road, in Selly Oak, such as the selling odf alcohol to underage persons, drinking in an alcohol-free zone, problems with the customers at the 'Bear and Staff' pub, parents dropping children at St. Mary's School in no parking zones, thieves operating in Sainbury's car park (Selly Oak branch), discovering a 'bike theft centre' in Exeter Road, shed thefts on local allotments and local youths stealing mobile phones and returning them for a fee. This is a strong contrast to the numbers and nature of incidents ariound here.


GS then reiterated the message about the importance of securing prioperty, particulalrly during the brighter evenings. Opportunist thieves will take discarded items from cars or back gardens. Crimes, not involving potential threat to life, should be reported to the police using '101'. The newsletter has been amended now to shoe the various telephone numbers, with a fuller definition being elsewhere on this website, so please refresh your memories. Always take the full name of the officer to whom you report such incidents, so that it is recorded, and will count towards the resources allocated to our streets, as it may be your property that is targetted next time, and you would want neighbours to do this for you. 


PR then went onto to indicate that with four NHW members having moved to a new home, we would be lookin to recruit new NHW members to replace them, as we currently have eighty or sio households out of the two streets, representing around 35% of the homes. We are endeavouring to update the website more regulalrly, but with a few recent exceptions, the number of articles from members themselves, is very low. The Twitter feed we have set up; WarwwardsLaneB29, will continue to be used to provide instant messages, as well as following relevant feeds from other organisations. The rat infestation at the electricity sub-station in Darris Road has been confirmed to Western Power and they are to clear away the brambles (nesting).


GS outlined the impact of local road closures that are likely to affect residents, including the overnight closure of the Queensway Tunnels between 3rd and 19th July (and then daily until early September this year), as well as Cartland Road (on a daily basis apart from frontages) between 21st July and 9th September. The Tunnels require additional improvement work and Cartland Road is having work undertaken by Severn Trent. Parkside Wine Store was up for auction on 3rd July. Park Corner, the new name for the old Woodside care home, has now been opened for residents aged fifty years or older, who are keen to be part of our NHW group. BJ outlined the details.


PR covered the changes in the collection of the green waste, as indicated in previous newsletter and website articles, and whilst the take-up appears low, the queues at the Lifford Lane recycling centre have reduced somewhat, now there is an express lane for green waste only. The Cabinet minister responsible for recycling matters has confirmed there will be no changes to this system but suggestions for improvement will eb considered. There were several mentioned to BJ including the purchase of green waste bags from newsagents and recycling deals with local allotments. Your NHW has already started this process. Please keep overhanging shrubbery in check! Long live the secatur vigilantes....


GS covered the latest progress of the Article 4 legislation on Homes of Multiple Occupancy, of which there are two in Warwards Lane; 119 and 121, and BJ was asked to clarify whether these were included on the City Council 'hit list' of properties being investigated for building regulation breaches. Having seen the sites in person, there is no doubt this has occurred, but the Article 4 legislation will only work for existing and future breeches, not for those already completed. The Cabinet will consider its introduction on 27th July, and if accepted, will become law on 30th November 2014. Please make your view heard. Don't leave this to others....


GS also asked for more support from NHW members around the delivery of newsletters and involvement in NHW activiteis. The speed watches were really only ever conducted by PR and GS, for the most part, and yet we still receive concerns about this, so if it is an issue, then please make the effort to participate. Cleaning up the streets, on a quarterly basis, for an hour or so, is again, an opportunity to be neighbourly, and do something to make our streets a little more pleasant to live in. It tends to be the same people volunteering each time, and yet, it is this activity which gets the interest of most residents as they as they see it being done!


The meeting drew to a close around a reminder for the payment of this years NHW membership fee - £5.00 for each household - which became due on 1st July 2014. Fifteen people, of the eighty households we have registered with us, had paid by 3rd July, and we would expect our members to make the effort to pay the monies directly to us, by posting a numbered envelope through either letterboxes of numbers 10 and 99, so as to avoid chasing people into October, as we have done most years. It is the subscriptions that help pay for ink and paper for the printer producing the information to keep you informed of what we are trying to achieve for everyone. 


We received a request for a recycling calendar that will reflect the green waste collections only apply to those households paying the £35.00 annual collection fee. BJ to update us with matters arising on Article 4 and green waste collection suggestions. There were no AOB items arising. Your NHW co-ordinators thanked everyone for attending.


The meeting then closed.