Stirchley Neighbourhood ForumMinutes of the meeting held on 14th April 2014
, Stirchley Community Church
Present: 33: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Members of the Forum’s management committee, Paul Edwards (AMEY), Tom Holness (BikeRight!), Jake Woodall (Health Exchange), Cllr Huxtable, Cllr Sealey and Cllr Walkling.
Peter Walker took the chair and welcomed everyone to the meeting. The minutes of the meeting held on 10th March 2014 were circulated and following 2 corrections were agreed as a true record.
Matters arising from the minutes
Forum’s position on the conversion of houses into flats: the debate continued after the last meeting, with some residents concerned that any new policy could unbalance the successful mix of young professionals and families living in the area. PW stated that the Forum is only opposed to the conversion of houses into HMOs/bedsits.
Paul Edwards, AMEY
Paul Edwards updated the Forum on the flood alleviation works being carried out by Severn Trent in Stirchley. Work started at the end of January, and is progressing very well; in the coming months there will be a number of road closures to enable the upsizing of sewers:
Ripple Rd: May – July
Twyning Rd: July – August
Cartland Rd: July – early September
Newlands Rd: end May – August, starting at the Cartland Road end.
ST will be knocking on doors, and the customer bus will visit the area to inform people of road closures: it will be in Ripple Rd on May 6th and Newlands Rd on May 7th, between 16.30 and 19.30. ST will issue press releases with relevant information for local businesses including those on the Pershore Rd that park on Ripple Rd.
A resident of Newlands Rd questioned how their waste would be collected: PE (AMEY) explained that they were working with refuse services and that only a 30m section of the road would be closed at any one time; access will be maintained for residents.
A local resident expressed their concerns about contractors’ vehicles causing an obstruction on Pershore Rd; PE assured them that ST would move any offending vehicles.
In response to a question about the workings of the scheme, PE explained that the tank on the Pershore Rd will hold the overflow until levels within the sewage system subside and it can be pumped back in. The upsizing of sewers and the installation of a surface water pumping station on Ripple Rd will further reduce the risk of flooding in the area.
Tom Holness, BikeRight!
Tom Holness presented the work of BikeRIght!, which has been commissioned to deliver the cycling element of the Smart Network Smarter Choices scheme. BikeRight! offers cycle training to encourage people to get back into cycling; the scheme is open to anyone aged 16 and over who lives or works in Stirchley.
A local resident asked whether the scheme would teach people to ride on the road and not the pavement; TH explained that it was the fear of busy traffic that caused them to use the pavement and that the training would give them the skills and confidence to ride on the road.
Cllr Sealey suggested that car drivers should also be trained in how to share the road safely with cyclists; TH stated that BikeRight! are working with driving instructors to develop a training module.
Another resident questioned the law about cycle bells as these were essential to alert pedestrians on shared routes such as along the River Rea; TH explained that bells were not a legal requirement, and that the River Rea cycle path did have signs reminding cyclists to “share with care”. Another resident suggested that cyclists should be required to wear high visibility vests; TH replied that these did not increase visibility during the day, but that they were used for training sessions.
A local resident proposed that the best way to increase cycling would be the creation of separate lanes, although they acknowledged that this was very costly. They also questioned the focus of the scheme on the over 16s, as they felt the bikeability training available through primary schools was insufficient, and would not enthuse young people. TH explained that the funding for the scheme was aimed at adults and particularly targeted at commuters.
In response to the suggestion that all cyclists should carry insurance, TH explained that 70% of cyclists had public liability insurance through their specialist bike insurance or home insurance; the fact that this was offered free with home insurance suggested that cyclists caused very little damage.
Jake Woodall, Health Exchange
Jake Woodall invited local people to join Health Exchange’s walking programme: in addition to led walks, they can also help with route planning and training for walk leaders.
Quad bikes: a number of residents reported quad bike riders in Elm Tree Rd and Wickes’ carpark.
Ashbrook Rd: a blue Ford Focus was spotted driving dangerously fast; the registration number will be passed on to WMP
River Rea: two cars have been dumped in the River Rea by Hazelwell Park in recent weeks; the recovery truck has churned up the grass on the river banks.
Newlands Rd: there have been a number of attempted break-ins.
A local resident commented on the infrequency of police patrols and questioned how easy it is to contact them, pointing out that Bournville Lane police station is some distance away.
2014/02160/PA: reserved matters application covering the appearance, scale and landscaping for the proposed Tesco superstore on Pershore Rd/Hazelwell Lane. Forum Planning Officer Sandra Cooper requested that residents take a look at the plans and give feedback via the online forum on www.stirchley.co.uk
. SC reported that Tesco now own TASCOS and will take vacant possession of the remaining properties facing onto Pershore Rd on August 31st 2014. Construction is expected to start in 2015 with the store opening in the summer of 2016. PW announced that Simon Petar of Tesco will be the guest at the November AGM.
In response to a question about the TASCOS club, Cllr Sealey stated that the planning consent was for refurbishment rather than demolition and replacement.
Cllr Huxtable explained that the development of the additional buildings on the site, such as the office block and new retail units, would be the subject of a further reserved matters application. The exact design would depend on whether displaced businesses wish to be relocated within the site boundary.
Friends Meeting House: a local resident requested an update on the proposal to convert the building into flats: Cllr Huxtable stated that no planning application had been submitted.
Kwiksave: activity in the car park was noted. It was explained that it is being used as a site compound by contractors working on Stirchley Baths. Cllr Huxtable suggested that the AGM would be a good opportunity to question Tesco about their plans for Kwiksave.
Any other business
Lifford Lane: a local resident reported council waste collection vehicles driving down the wrong side of the road to avoid the queues outside the household recycling site. A number of people stated their opposition to the £35 fee for green waste collections, including Cllrs Huxtable and Sealey. One resident suggested more people were now having bonfires making it impossible for their neighbours to hang out washing; providing compost bins to all households was proposed as a more environmentally friendly solution.
Fireworks shop: this remains a dangerous eyesore, and although BCC have taken some steps to make the building safe they will not secure the site. Cllr Huxtable will continue to pressure BCC to take action. The building is owned by a private landowner based in London.
Lifford House: office workers are parking inconsiderately on Fordhouse Lane; Cllr Huxtable will speak to the site manager.
Ten Acres wetland: Wendy Pearson invited local residents interested in this biodiversity project to join her at a meeting with the Environment Agency on Thursday at 1.30pm.
Dogpool Lane: delivery lorries are using the Park by the chip shop to turn round, this is ruining the grass, especially when the lorries get stuck and need to be towed away. A local resident would like to see bollards installed. Cllr Huxtable suggested trip rails; he has also requested that the service road be resurfaced.
Police tasking meeting: 15th April at Masefield, 14th May at Stirchley Community Church
River Rea Cycle Egg Hunt: 19th – 21st April
Hazelwell Park Easter Event: 26th April, with biking activity and face painter.
Cannon Hill Spring into Summer: community event from 24th May – 1st June
Date of the next meeting
Monday 12th May, 7.30 pm in Stirchley Community Church.
Disclaimer notice on behalf of the Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum Management Committee
1. The Management Committee does not normally have prior knowledge of items which will be raised as Any Other Business, but the Management Committee will help facilitate such items where it does have prior knowledge and which are in the interests of Stirchley.
2. The Forum is not aligned to any political party or one group and hence will hold a neutral stance in all political items which are raised at the meetings; the Forum may take a stance (positive/negative) on planning applications discussed at the meeting or on changes to community/neighbourhood services which affect the Forum area
3. The Forum’s Management Committee will not allow a person or organisation to use the Forum’s meeting as a means to any political end.
4. All residents and businesses within the Forum’s area have the right to attend and speak at the meeting. Business owners, not resident within the forum area, have a right to attend and speak at SNF meetings, but they cannot make up quorum.
5. The Forum or its Management Committee will not be held responsible for leaflets or other media which is handed out by third parties either at or following the Forum’s meeting. The views of any such leaflets or other communication are those of the distributor/publisher and not necessarily those of the Neighbourhood Forum.