Minutes of NHW meetings
The meeting opened with a thank you from GS to everyone attending including NHW
members and Councillor Brigid Jones.
The PCSO’s for our ward were unable to attend again due to operational
commitments but had been asked to provide the previous three months crime
statistics for our three streets which GS proceeded to do -:
Darris Road - No reported crime
Park Corner - Theft item in taxi that has not been returned to the service user
Warwards Lane – Burglaries (2), hate crime (alleged racist comment), theft of
property from a communal area, theft from motor vehicle ( a wing mirror and several
other items including a Sat Nag), theft of motor vehicles (2), pedal cycle theft and a
robbery from home.
The police information has also, for the first time, included service calls (police being
contacted by residents) with none for Darris Road and Park Corner and thirty for
Warwards Lane residents. The crime figures and service calls relate to the period 1 st
May – 3 rd July 2019. We will look to specific 1 st of month to nearest month end in
future although the website crime block graphs give a more accurate picture over the
whole year.
We continue to enjoy relatively low levels of reported crime along our three streets
but we should report all incidents, no matter how unlikely the resolution, given
resourcing is done on the basis of recorded crimes. If we do not report crimes,
resources may be less than necessary to improve the number of incidents, making
the street potentially more vulnerable.
The same advice from the police, backed up by the recorded crime instances, for all
residents to remove theft attractive items from their vehicle, or at the very least, put
them into a locked car boot out of sight. Many of the thefts from vehicles are
opportunist in nature, rather than as a consequence of specific targeting, so adopting
this policy reduces crime in our area. Identity theft can be lucrative with unshredded bills
left accessible! 
Wing mirrors are a favourite target of drunken individuals smashing these on the way
back from the pub. Please fold these back to minimise the likelihood of this
happening. Warmer weather means we should be maintaining vigilance against
leaving doors and/or windows open allowing opportunist thieves to take our stuff.
Door to door and on-line scams continue to target the vulnerable so ignore opening
e-mails if you are uncertain of its provenance.
GS then went onto address a number of outstanding issued previously raised with
the City Council that Councillor Brigid Jones was asked for an update on. Two of
these, the poor street lighting along Warwards Lane (particularly at the Pershore
Road end on the left hand side) and the ‘ponding’ outside the corner of Ribblesdale
Road remain an issue (*), and it would seem will not be the concern of Amey, who have
been removed as the City Council provider of such services due to failure to perform
against the agreed targets.
The City Council will take over temporary responsibility for these matters and similar
ones across the area until a new provider has been appointed. The ongoing
enforcement notice in respect of 119/121, Warwards Lane was reminded on as was
the matter of the planning application for the Dogpool Hotel. These appear to have
‘stalled’ for the time being. The ongoing Lidl saga on the former site of the bowling
alley may be resolved if they transfer their site to the former Tesco site along
Hazlewell Street which will also have a few other amenities located there as well.
An update on the progress of these applications will follow. There is an 'All Out Day'
on 17th July 2019 where various organisations including some councillors, police,
HM Customs and other housing enforcement officers inspect houses and properties
that they have reason to believe are behaving illegally. These are effectively unannounced
visits, generally in the vicinity of Bournbrook, as HMO's and rogue landlords are the
prime target of these events. They are reasonably successful in this regard. The injunctions
across three local parks againsts persons attempting to camp illegally upon it were renewed
on 1st July 2019 for a further two years. Consideration is being given to extending the parks
affected going forward. 
PR then confirmed that the NHW group will be continuing to pursue increasing the
membership beginning with a series of recruitment visits on 15th July 2019 and
beyond as a fair number of people have moved into the streets. We do encounter
reluctance in some quarters but do what we can to promote the benefits of co-
operation and mutual support. In a similar vein, the importance and relevance of
Street Watch was revisited on the basis that it is the local community maintaining a
presence around the locality to improve the overall level of safety.
There are a number of groups around the general area of Selly Oak, co-ordinated by
PCSO Sarah Savage, although serval local roads have only one known person
involved, and given two people minimum are needed on each patrol, most of these
have not actually undertaken a patrol! Hence the police have suggested forming
smaller groups to cover smaller areas, but some feel working with the University
remains the best option. This is on the understanding that both residents and
students patrol the areas in which both live which seems equitable albeit the
students do not return until September time.
GS then returned to his favourite topic – talking rubbish – to mention that although
the NHW does provide all properties, whether members or not, with an updated
collections calendar, there are still too many houses where they either fail to put the
various bins/bags/boxes out on the right day, or overload them because cardboard
is not broken down, meaning too much space is taken up. More often than not, these
bins are not emptied, and so the rats in the area have a field day. Admittedly, some
scoundrels do put rubbish in other bins/bags/boxes, but not regularly enough to
explain the frequency of non-collection.
Councillor Brigid Jones admitted this has become a problem, as broaching non-
compliance is a sensitive matter that some do not take kindly to, but it does require
action. Squashing plastic bottle as well as cardboard does mean wheelie bins are
less full and more likely to be collected which benefits the environment of the street
for these households and everyone else. There are problems sometimes with rounds
being abandoned despite compliance, and we need everyone to report these, as has
been the case on several occasions in the past. Generally, these are resolved, albeit
it may take a week or so to achieve this!
PR then concluded with the penultimate topic concerning our most recent Big Clean
Up that took place on Saturday 29 th June 2019 where we were assisted by Rob
Netherway, the student warden co-ordinator from Birmingham University as well as
several residents. There was actually quite a bit less litter collected generally which
was pleasing given that this was the weekend the University students move out and
landlords begin cleaning and/or renovation. Everybody benefits from this activity, but
sadly, very few actually undertake this activity on a regular basis. Had we not started
these events, some properties would have been almost inaccessible, essentially
because so much rubbish has been created!
There were no other items of business and so the meeting closed.
(*) We have now been provided with contact details to address this issue, it is hoped,
     and will advise the outcome once a response has been received