Bournville Green phone boxes get a long overdue lick of paint

Bournville Conservatives are concerned that much of our heritage furniture around the village, railings, phone boxes and post boxes, are sorely in need of maintenance and a lick of paint. We have made repeated representation to both the Bourvnille Village Trust and BT requesting that they become more proactive in the maintenance of these valued items.

We were very pleased, therefore, to see that the pair of grade II listed phone boxes on the Bournville Green are in the process of being repainted.

The phone boxes are grade II listed being K6 Telephone Kiosks designed by the renowned Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1935.
We understand that the work is being undertaken by BVT although it will be re billed back to BT who actually own the boxes.

Your Conservative team : trying to keep graffiti at bay

The street cleaning budget at the city council has been cut year after year by the Labour Council. The result is that we are beginning to see the return of graffiti and dirty streets.

For 7 years, between 2004 and 2012, while the Conservatives controlled the city we increased the street cleaning budget and the result was that Birmingham was consistently voted 'cleanest' city in the UK' That is all now all gone. Under Labour the streets are getting dirtier, litter is increasing and graffiti has returned to our neighbourhoods.

However, your local Conservative councillors and their team are determined to make a difference by organising graffiti removing squads.

The photo shows Nigel Dawkins cleaning off the 'welcome' sign on the Linden Road.

'I was just so angry that the first thing visitors saw, as they reached Bournville, was a welcome sign covered in graffiti'. .

We want Bournville to be a World Heritage Site

Like so many residents we believe that Bournville is one of the most unique places in the world.

We believe this uniqueness should be recognised by attempting to have Bournville nominated as a World Heritage Site.

World Heritage Sites are those sites felt by the United Nations UNESCO organisation to be sites in the world of outstanding cultural value.

The Pyramids in Egypt and the Taj Mahal in India are known to us all. However, what is less well known is that in the UK we already have 27 World Heritage sites such as the Derwent Valley Mills, Iron Bridge, Saltaire and of course Stonehenge.

We are convinced that Bournville's unique cultural and industrial history and outstanding architecture makes it an ideal candidate to become another UK based World Heritage Site.

It will not be easy and it will not be quick. It could take many years trying to overcome the various hurdles and even then we could fail. However, the prize would allow Bournville to join a unique world club of heritage sites. The enhanced status would also give greater protection to Bournville, dramatically enhance its reputation and lead to greater investment in the area.

What do you think? We are very interested to know at this stage what residents feel about this proposal.

Stirchley High Street: we need a plan

Stirchley is a wonderful place to live. Great housing, good transport links and wonderful parks. However parts of the High Street are still in decline particularly the north end where Tesco is intending to build a supermarket in 2017.

Many shop premises are closed and large tracts of the High Street are closed off and being prepared for demolition.

This look of decline is discouraging new investment and new jobs in Stirchley.

  • We need to persuade Tesco to bring forward their move to Stirchley.

    Tesco have told us they despite their own financial problems they still intend to come to Stirchley in 2017.

    We need to convince Tesco to bring forward their plans and come to Stirchley now! We have already waited 15 years. Too much in Stirchley is now dependant on Tesco.

    Councillors, retailers and the Council need to work together to persuade Tesco.

  • We need to encourage the retailers in Stirchley to cooperate together and to do more for the high street. The retailers can make a huge difference if they cooperate together. Helping with the removal of graffiti and litter and the maintenance of shop fronts could all make a difference to the look and feel of the High Street. They could also help fund hanging flower baskets. For the first time in 8 years there were no hanging flower baskets along the High street, Most other shopping high streets in Birmingham had hanging baskets this summer.

  • The Labour City Council needs to stop ignoring Stirchley and step in to help support the High Street through development grants to help improve the look of the High Street. The council could also help to develop certain sites on the high street as shopper car parks, such as the old Kwiksave site.

Why we oppose wheelie bins

The new Labour run City Council has announced that they will be introducing 3 wheelie bins (one for residual waste, one for green waste and one for dry recycling) per house across the whole of Birmingham at a cost of nearly £30 million. However residents will not be given a say as to whether they want them or not.

At a recent City Council meeting, the Labour Council were asked by local Conservative councillors if they will ask residents outright, yes or no, if they want wheelie bins in their area and listen to their answers. Sadly, they confirmed they will not be consulting on this. Instead they will only ask residents how big a wheelie bin they want for each type of rubbish/recycling.

Councillor Huxtable said, "Throughout Bournville Ward, there are a large number of properties where there is poor, difficult or no access to the rear of the property; this combined with small or non-existent front gardens for storage would result in those properties having to keep 3 wheelie bins on the footpath making every day look like bin day and causing an obstruction on the highway. This will inevitably lead to theft or vandalism of the bins and as has been seen across the country, instances where wheelie bins are set on fire". The local Conservative councillors have already received a large number of objections to the introduction of wheelie bins for a variety of reasons. wheelie bin on fire

Some of the myths about wheelie bins:

"Wheelie bins will speed up collection rates"

WRONG! Collecting wheelie bins takes longer than collecting bags. Currently, fleet and waste management operatives stack black bags into piles  along the roadside so that the vehicle has to make fewer stops along the road which improves collection speed and helps with the flow of traffic on the roads. This means that fewer wheelie bins can be collected during the working day with a knock on effect that either some roads may be missed, or staff will have to work longer hours and be paid overtime for doing so - increased costs are likely to be funded by increasing the amount of Council Tax that you pay.

"Wheelie bins will improve recycling rates"

WRONG! Currently, the refuse collectors will collect as much recycling and green waste as you put out. With wheelie bins, the council will only collect what you can fit in the wheelie bin with the lid closed. This begs the question, what do you do with the remainder of your recycling? Residents will be expected to take any additional recycling to their nearest household recycling centre. For a large number of people within Bournville Ward, who due to a variety of reasons do not drive, this will create a massive issue and could potentially lead to an increase in fly tipping. Labour run Birmingham City Council has also announced plans in it's 2013 budget to charge residents an additional £35 per year for collection of grass cuttings - effectively a council tax performer5 coupon code rise for people with gardens.

"Wheelie bins will allow me to recycle more paper and cardboard"

WRONG! The new wheelie bin for dry recyclate will have a compartment inside for your paper and cardboard, and it will be no bigger than your current blue box. At present, residents can put as much paper and cardboard out for collection. In future, residents may only be able to put out what can be fitted in the compartment of the wheelie bin.

Some of the concerns that residents have already raised with us:

"People with little or no access to the rear of their property will have no alternative other than to leave three wheelie bins outside their house every day of the week" "I have 9 large steps from the pavement down to my house, how am I expected to get three wheelie bins up to the road" "I'm afraid that burglars may use the wheelie bins to stand on in order to gain access to the windows at the back of my house" "What happens if someone over-fills my wheelie bin up with their extra rubbish" - It won't be collected (Ed) "We live in terraced properties where the front door leads straight out on to the pavement, there are twelve houses with one small alley, where are we supposed to keep 36 wheelie bins?" "What happens if the wheelie bin gets broken? "What happens if my wheelie bin is stolen?"- We believe that residents will have to pay to replace broken or stolen wheelie bins at a cost of up to £50 each. There is also great concern that the council could use the cost replacement wheelie bins as a stealth tax by charging more than double the cost for replacement bins(Ed) "We pride ourselves on the amount we recycle. We are a large family and currently we put out at least four blue and green boxes each time they are due to be collected. That much recycling won't fit into a wheelie bin so what are we supposed to do with the rest" - Other cities have seen dramatic increases in fly tipping as a result of wheelie bin introduction. (Ed) "I'm nearly 80 years old, I live on my own and would not be able to move these wheelie bins. I only put one bag out each week, and that's normally about half full" "We live on a hill and I'm concerned that the wheelie bins will all end up at the bottom of the hill or all strewn over the pavement when the wind catches them after they've been emptied" "What's to stop anyone putting any old rubbish in the bottom of their recycling wheelie bin if it won't fit in their general waste bin, and then covering it with the appropriate recycling?" - Another reason why recycling rates may fall as contaminated load of recycling will result in the whole batch being rejected and burnt at an incinerator. (Ed) Three wheelie bins per property will make the Conservation Area look less attractive

The clear choice this May

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