Minutes of NHW meetings

The meeting opened with GS and PR welcoming everyone who had attended, including two of our local councillors; Brigid Jones and Karen McCarthy, who always try to support your NHW group, so it is important for everyone to come along to at least some of the meetings as they are able to take questions and provide answers to ongoing matters.

(PR) Crime is an important concern of all residents, and it is at this time of year that the number of burglaries rises because of opportunism from doors and windows being left insecure, even if only for a short period of time. During October, in Warwards Lane and some surrounding streets, several incidents were reported being undertaken in these kinds of circumstances.

Although a group of youths have been arrested quite recently, admitting to over forty separate crimes of this kind, this is only one example, and nobody wants to become a crime statistic. During the three month period since our last meeting, there were no incidents reported in Darris Road, one motor vehicle was stolen from Park Corner, but sadly there were several incidents along Warwards Lane.

These included a grievous bodily harm assault in July, two separate burglaries and another assault in August, and two burglaries, a stolen motor vehicle and criminal damage, all being caused in September. Earlier in November, a local tradesman had their tools stolen from the back of their van, which will be worrying to everyone whose work schedule is affected whilst replacements are sought.

Our message has to be to make sure we all secure our belongings, and remove attractive items from car seats where they are easily seen, and to make sure we do not leave essential items overnight in any vehicle. All crime information is available on www.police.uk from which we draw our street crime information for the bar graphs we produce at the end of each calendar year.

The police can be contacted on ‘101’, the free phone service number for reporting anything suspicious, as ‘999’ should only be used in circumstances where there is a potential or imminent threat to life, but reporting incidents and suspicions is everyone’s responsibility. Garden sheds are particularly vulnerable as the door locks are almost certainly the strongest part of the fabric!

Crimes can also be reported by e-mail on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as this will be recorded electronically as having been sent as several NHW members have reported intermittent problems with trying to telephone concerns direct to police on ‘101’. Police resources are being sorely tested at present but we all deserve their protection from the criminal element and we need to ensure we push for this.   

(GS) PR and GS have been to see the police at Bournville to discuss local concerns, many of which mirror the points raise at local tasking meetings, where local people can request certain areas are addressed. A local one along Warwards Lane has to be the degree of speeding we regularly observe, as well as cars driving down the wrong side of the road, at the bottom end of Warwards Lane, to turn into Ribblesdale Road.

The councillors did mention that one local group had successfully tendered for funds to procure a speed monitoring device for use by local interest group although this does require willingness for these same groups to volunteer and this has not always been the case in our experience. Those families with young children may be particularly concerned about the risk of injury or even death by speeding and are happy to discuss concerns and how to address this problem.   

(PR) We recently sent out a leaflet to all houses along our three streets about the way in which some people park inconsiderately, and returned to the subject in our most recent newsletter, and certainly there has been some improvement. This obviously needs to be maintained particularly as there will be more visitors wishing to park throughout the Christmas and New Year’s holidays so please continue to bear this in mind over this period of the next few weeks.

(GS) We were able to report that the NHW annual membership subscriptions were collected more quickly this year requiring only a few hours doing so. From next year, we will be posting the details of the NHW bank account number and sort code in advance of 1st July 2018, so that people can pay this on-line or by telephone banking at any time, reducing the need for PR and GS to go out collecting on the doorstep. This information has been diarised on our calendar for six weeks before this date.

There has been quite a lot of people moving into and out of the street over the past eighteen months or so which necessitates us maintaining numbers to ensure our level of representation is strong. PR and GS re looking at ways to encourage more participation from within the NHW group, not only around leaflet delivery and litter picks, but also visiting members to discuss issues as two people cannot speak for all of the three roads on every occasion.

(PR) There have been regular attempts to push local estate agents to remove advertising hoardings when these are no longer necessary and to take responsibility for clearing refuse from properties when tenants move out. We generally get good responses and at least one of these local businesses is also a member of the NHW group! There are two presently on the books and one of our objectives next year is to expand upon this as we are seeking to engage with the community more positively.

(GS) Hedge lines have generally been kept tidy although there are still some that overhang the public footpath by up to eighteen inches which severely restricts the full width of the walkway. Community Safety have strengthened the fence panels along the footpath that runs between Grisethorpe Road and Warwards lane near to the old wine store as this was allowing access to the rear of several properties that may have allowed burglaries to made easier.

City Council waste collections have returned to normal, pending the result of the court case in November, but what the outcome may be is unclear. There is however a continuing tendency for some residents to leave one or more of their general waste or recycling bins out on the footpath for one or more days after collection. No one is too busy to take these in, and when people are away, they can always ask their neighbours to return it to the front of the property. New collection calendars will be posted to assist in this. 

Some people continue to wonder why we do litter picks, although the absence of regular collections in recent weeks may have demonstrated why any support here is important, and yet the level of rubbish collected by those who participate hasn’t reduced very much, although the number of volunteers has reduced significantly. Our two councillors have participated, despite them not being resident in our street, and we have had NHW member’s children helping out. We need your support please. The next one is 16th December 2017.

We set up the NHW group website to be a useful tool to all of our members as it contains large amounts of useful information on both the environment and security of our street. We are fortunate that an ex-NHW member continues to work on this updating the security and so on even though they have left the street. Please make sure you check the useful information it has around contact names and telephone numbers contained there.         

(PR) Our two councillors were able to provide some up to date information on several projects that have been begun or are ongoing. The enforcement notice applied against Britannia Properties who converted 119, Warwards Lane have subsequently been visited by the Council and it appears that the use as self-contained flats has ceased. Some demolition and alterations have been carried out to the property and a legal view is currently being sought regarding the position under planning legislation.

Lidl have completed the demolishment of the former Fitness First building, and we were advised made provision for the continued operation of the electricity sub-station that helps serve our area. We understand that Lidl must submit a report on the viability of the vacant Tesco site on Hazlewell Street before any final decision is made. We asked for our NHW members to write personally to Kevan Harrison and this response arose from this approach so it would be interesting to hear how many others did so. If we cannot stop its completion, we must as a minimum, influence the road layout. 

We cannot have more parking or an increase of traffic in our three streets which is always a possibility unless we make every effort to voice our concerns as some have done. The MOT testing station at 1135 – 37, Pershore Road appears completed with one part used to sell motor cars with the other still incomplete and generally rubbish laden. We need to keep the City Council aware of concerns if this is not cleared and information from those living adjacent to it is welcome.

There was no AOB and the meeting closed so PR and GS could head off to the snooker club for a ‘snifter’. Our thanks continue to go to Selly Park Baptist church for allowing us to use their premises to hold these meetings now that the Dogpool Hotel seems a ‘dead duck’.

 

Thanks.

 

 

Paul and Garry.