Anyone For Ski-ing?

Today I visited two Household Recycling Centres, and The ReUsers shop in Sutton Coldfield, as part of Birmingham Council’s Scrutiny report into HRCs.

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The ReUsers shop, situated immediately outside the HRC and supported by Jericho, gives people the opportunity to donate usable items instead of throwing them away at the tip. The items are then sold on. They employ a number of staff including a large per centage of apprentices.

The amount of goods on sale at very reasonable prices was amazing! Skis, golf clubs, vintage items, toys, baby equipment, china, tiles, furniture….the list goes on. And shortly they will be opening a Christmas department as well. A great place to visit if you’re looking for a bargain and like a rummage!

It was interesting to contrast the two HRCs we visited. One which was modernised only a few years ago and is all on one level, and one which is yet to be modernised and has steps etc.

All in all, a fascinating afternoon, and thanks to Veolia for arranging it.

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PACT Meeting In Edgbaston

I had several meetings in Edgbaston today including a school governors’ meeting, a residents meeting at Edgwood Court and finally the ward PACT meeting this evening.

There were a number of subjects on the police PACT meeting agenda including parking issues, a potential planning application, and the building on Waterworks Rd (pictured) which recently had it’s change of use planning application turned down.

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Unveiling A New Gate In Wyndham Road

A new gate has been installed on a drive leading to a garage area in Wyndham Road, Edgbaston. The area has been continually used for anti social behaviour,

Following complaints raised at a recent PACT meeting, the local Police Sergeant obtained money from the Proceeds Of Crime Fund in order to gate off the drive.

This afternoon Cllr James Hutchings and I joined the police and local residents at the scene, to see the new gate. Hopefully it will make a real difference to the security of the area.

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Congratulations!

Congratulations to former Councillor Jane James who was chosen tonight as the Conservative candidate for Harborne Ward at the 2015 local elections. An experienced candidate and a very hard worker. Well done!

Harborne's Conservative Team

Harborne’s Conservative Team

 

Labour Belatedly Get The Message

After being inundated by complaints and bad publicity about the filthy state of the city, Labour have finally done a U-turn and axed their cuts to the Street Cleansing budget.

They apparently never realised that charging for green waste and large bulky items would lead to some people dumping these things on the streets (what planet were they on?) – even though the opposition Councillors told them endlessly that flying tipping would be bound to rise once charges were introduced.

They also argued that once people had wheelie bins – the streets would be cleaner because there would be no black bags to rip open. That was hopelessly naive too! Because as these pictures from two different parts of Harborne (which has had wheelie bins for over a year now) show only too clearly – just because people have wheelie bins doesn’t mean some people don’t still dump black bags on the streets (even though we all know it’s not allowed).

It’s about time Labour buckled down and started working out ways to deal with the city as it is, not in the dream world they’d like it to be – where everyone composts and takes their unwanted goods to recycling projects. Of course we all know that is ideal. Of course we know that some people already do it, and that more people can be persuaded to. But Labour need to realise that some people will not – ever – and they must have the resources in place to deal this situation, otherwise the rest of us – the law abiding majority – suffer because the place looks a tip. (Those who dumped it in the first place presumably don’t care if it does.)

So as well as keeping street cleaning at acceptable levels, the Labour Council needs to do more bag searches to catch fly tippers. But they also need to accept that there isn’t going to be any evidence of who left out a dumped bag of green waste, and therefore fining someone is more or less impossible (unless you actually catch them in the act which isn’t very likely) so they also need to scrap their hated garden tax if they want to make our city clean again.

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Meeting The Challenge In Edgbaston!

It was great to meet up with young people from The Challenge UK this morning who joined local residents on the Waterworks Estate for a massive clear up.

Weeds, dead shrubs, litter, rubbish – all was cleaned up and put into a huge pile ready for collection by Edgbaston’s Hit Squad on Monday.

Cllr James Hutchings, Matt Bennett, Amil Khan and I joined the working party all morning – helping to make the Waterworks Estate look clean and tidy once again.

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PCC Election Result

Labour won the Police and Crime Commissioner by election in the West Midland – hardly surprising when you look at the make up of the Councils in the region. However in Edgbaston Ward, the Conservatives won convincingly which was very heartening.

Comiserations to Les Jones who ran a really good campaign.  For my own part, after voting first thing I spent the rest of the day and Friday in Yorkshire. It seemed really strange not to be around on Polling Day!