The latest Acocks Green Ward Committee took place this week. Attendance by the public was low, though those who were there had much to contribute!
The key issues discussed were:
1) Access to Fox Hollies Leisure Centre from Fox Hollies Road. This has finally been resolved and the new pathway is scheduled to open on 1st May. Very welcome news for those residents who will soon have a much shorter walk to the Leisure Centre. This work was funded by the Ward’s Community Chest allocation and shows the value in a local pot of money, that can be directed to where it is needed to sort out local problems, without extensive negotiations with the centre.
2) Community Chest. The main allocations for the year were made. Sadly the budget was cut in half by the Labour administration this year, so only £50k of revenue funding is available. The projects funded were:
* Easter Play Scheme: Fox Hollies Community Association – £1,500
* After School Activities: House of Play & Education – £3,000
* Blue Ink Saturday School: Blue Ink Trust – £1,040
* Acocks Green Carnival: Acocks Green Carnival Committee – £5,000
* Activity Equipment: 232nd Scouts Group – £1,851
* Window Alarms: West Midlands Police – £1,019
* Bus Plus: BCC Youth Service & West Midlands Police – £700
* Stockfield Estate Youth Programme: Sports4Life – £1,020
* Burglary Lock Fitting Project: West Midlands Police – £2,000
* Youth4Em: West Midlands Police – £1,000
* Gating Scheme: BCC Yardley District – £1,600
* Acocks Green Gardening Scheme: BCC Yardley District – £3,000
* Gospel Oak Project Worker & Youth Group: Gospel Oak Community Centre – £10,000
3) Consultation on the introduction of Wheelie Bins. A report was given on the current consultation exercise about the introduction of wheelie bins. The consultation exercise does not include whether wheelie bins should be introduced. This is because it is a fait accompli, wheelie bins are coming, despite strong opposition from many residents. As that debate has been had at length elsewhere, the meeting focussed on the details of how it should happen. Councillor Bowen sensibly suggested that a smaller (120 litre) residual waste bin should be available for those that want it (currently it is proposed that only 180 litre and 240 litre bins should be available). Smaller bins make sense for many residents, especially for those living on their own, they take up less space are less obtrusive and would be easier for the elderly to handle. Councillor Stacey seemed concerned that having a smaller bin might cost more (yes, this seemed odd to me too!) but hopefully it will happen.
4) The proposed plans for the Glynn Edwards Hall. The previous plans to demolish and rebuild the Glynn Edwards Hall have been withdrawn, following widespread local criticism. Two new plans, both of which also involve demolishing and rebuilding the Hall, have been developed and we are told (by the applicants) that both meet the informal approval of the Council’s planners. There was a strong feeling, from several residents at the Committee meeting, that the best option is renovation of the existing building. My view is that this should be the default option and the case why needs to be made very clearly, if it isn’t adopted. The applicants seem determined to rule renovation out, without a detailed explanation, which I find very disappointing. It was agreed that the applicants should be asked to attend the next meeting of the Committee to allow further discussion.
5) Future Meetings: All are at 7pm on Wednesday evenings.
29 May 2013 at the Scout Hut, 254 Spring Road (behind Scanlon’s)
Further meetings were proposed for:
19th June 2013 (this may be cancelled – to be confirmed)
4th September 2013
23rd October 2013
4th December 2013
26th February 2014
2nd April 2014