Minutes of NHW meetings

The last NHW meeting for 2015 began with PR and GS welcoming everyone who had turned out and relaying apologies from our local councillors and police for being unable to attend due to prior engagements.


GS then went on to outline the details of recorded crime for our two streets provided by PCSO Ade Richardson that comprised of a theft from an insecure motor vehicle, a person cautioned for carrying cannabis and two assaults during the past three months or so.


We reiterated the need to continue reporting all incidents either directly on '101' if non-emergency or indirectly (and anonymously) through the Crimestoppers number; 0800 555111 making sure to get the name of any officer you speak to.


Fraud continues to be a major problem across the UK, worth millions of pounds in the West Midlands alone each year, and includes bogus concert tickets, Council Tax and HMRC enquiries, normally through phishing on-line so please be aware.


Local 'tradesmen' cold call with other 'door step' style scams caliming roofs needing additional repairs, then damaging slates whilst they investigate, and then claiming additional work needs doing, usually demanded in cash!


PR then went onto confirm the news of major changes in the way that our locality and the surrounding areas will be policed. Policing operations will now be done on a constituency basis rather than a ward one that means there will be fewer officers.


PCSO Ade Richardson confirmed in an e-mail to us that the numbers of PCSO's will be cut from three hundred and twenty to one hundred and nineteen over the next twelve months. That puts the NHW groups more centre stage for information.


Whenever we see anything suspicious, it is important it is reported straight away, and not left to someone else to do. If there is a genuine reason for the activity, this can be verified easily enough, and no one or property has been affected.


GS highlighted that we continue to recruit for new members as there have been several new families coming into the street, and doing so is essential, as we need a strong voice about matters on environment and security affecting us.


On the negative side, we could not focus on recruitment as much as we liked because there were still some NHW members who had not paid for nearly three months after the payment deadline of 1st July that necessitated repeat vsists.


PR then provided a summary of the recent activity that the NHW has become involved with around the uneven footpath at the top end of Warwards Lane near to the park area behind the hospice. Amey, the contractor, said there was no need to replace.


We have continued to engae with the City Council through our councillors around improvingthe appearance of the embankment adjacent to Park Corner, including ne member's suggestion for self-polinating wild flowers blooming in Spring.


There is a possibility of applying for a £12,000 grant through the charity; Groundwork UK, for precisely this kind of activity although the contractor bares some responsibility, even if contractually, this is unclear as to what this may entail. Watch this space.


PR then summarised the recent arrival of the wheelie bins and identified the basis of the information supplied and the starting dates and revised collection day now being Wednesday. The complete details are elsewhere on this website.


Any old recycling crates that are left out for collection by the City Council before 6.00am on either 27th or 28th February next year will be removed. Alternatively, like many people are doing, these can be taken straight to Lifford Lane waste tip.


The telephone number to contact the City Council for reassessment of wheelie bins for your property is 0121 303 1112. GS and PR did submit details of house numbers we thought could not manouevere and/or store these and some were taken back.


PR and a few other residents from Warwards Lane did attend the Protection of Family Homes Bill being introduced by our MP; Steve McCabe, into Parliament on 24th November 2015 for which he is asking for our support to provide evidence of poor practices.


We will be summarising this information on the website, but in essence, what this Bill is trying to achieve is cleare guidance to local government and providing an independent body to appeal against non-enforcement of breaches of current legislation.


In addition, the Bill will require robust building regulation both before and after work has been completed, with specific safety checks, and new powers to fine developers breaching the existing planning laws. A questionnaire has been sent out locally.


Some concerns were raised about the impact of ever more student accommodation being demanded in roads like Heeley's Road and Hubert Road that could 'ghettoise' parts of Selly Oak even more if the percentage of accommodation types is not better administered.


We all need to take responsibility for identifying potential development of property where conversion is taking place, normally into a HMO, and the manner by which the work is carried out in a very unsafe manner. Steve McCabe wants to hear about these issues.


There was some general discussion about recent development of the locality, such as the MOT testing station and vehicle dismantling area on the Pershore Road. We need to protest these developments across the entire street and not leave it to the few.


WP raised the point about incorporating the activities of the NHW groups into an umbrella organisation that would address the issues created by Article 4, HMO's and permitted development. These are all terms taht are being mentioned regularly now.


The date of the enxt Big Clean Up will be Saturday 19th Decmber 2015 starting at 10.00am outside Park Autos at the junction with Raddlebarn Road. Pickers, gloves and bags will be provided. It would be good to see more of the residents making the effort to help please.


The meeting then closed.