Community News

Police & Crime Plan Consultation

The West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) has launched a consultation to inform his Police and Crime Plan which is currently being developed.  The link to the website below contains a link to the survey and additional information.  https://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/police-and-crime-plan-consultation-2021/

The PCC wants to hear what people’s priorities are, what crimes they are most concerned about and their views on the way the police is funded.

The consultation will run until 10am on 14th September 2021.

Want to volunteer at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games?

Please see the information below, provided by Solihull MBC:-

Want to volunteer at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games? ‘Call Paul’ for help with your application

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is a fantastic sporting event for the region. It’s also a great opportunity for people to get some once-in-a-lifetime experience working as a volunteer. Around 13,000 volunteers will be needed before and during the Games and applications ‘go live’ on Tuesday 1 June. If that sounds daunting, there are a number of ways to get support with making those all-important applications if you live in Solihull.

  • The council’s Contact Centre can help you find someone to support you with your application. Email Connectcc@solihull.gov.uk
  •   or call 0121 704 8001 from Tuesday 1 June.
  • The council’s Community Development Team can give you advice and information about your application. Call 07493 864 780 or email cdt@solihull.gov.uk
  • from Tuesday 1 June.
  • If you are unemployed or looking at volunteering as a route into employment, the Council’s Employment and Skills Team* can help you with your application and prepare for interview. Call 0121 704 8076 or email employmentteam@solihull.gov.uk
  • from Thursday 3 June. (You might even speak to Paul!)
  • Solihull College is offering basic IT guidance and computer sessions 10am – 2pm on Thursday 3 June, Monday 7 June or Monday 14 June at the Woodlands Campus. Call 0121 678 7024 or email  community@solihull.ac.uk to book a session.
  • If you live in North Solihull, are unemployed, need access to a computer or help with your application, The Colebridge Trust can also help. Email volunteer@colebridge.org
  • or call 0121 448 0720 (option 1) to speak to the employment and skills team from Tuesday 1 June.

Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Tourism and Sport, Cllr Joe Tildesley, said:

“Top athletes from 72 countries around the world will compete in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games next summer. This is obviously great news for sports fans but it doesn’t stop there. It’s also a great opportunity for local residents and businesses to benefit from tourism to the region, the cultural programme that supports the Games and of course the thousands of volunteer roles that need to be created. The NEC is one of the venues so this really is on our doorstep.”

Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities, Cllr Alison Rolf, added:

“Volunteering is always a good way to boost your skills and experience whether you’re just starting out on your career, looking to change career or you’ve been out of work for a while. Volunteering at Birmingham 2022 will not be like any other volunteering and I really want to make sure that as many people from Solihull as possible can benefit from this unique opportunity. If this is something you’re not sure about or you’re a bit rusty, please ‘call Paul’ or any of the teams that can help. This could be the boost to your career that you need – it will also be a lot of fun!”

Around 13,000 volunteers will be needed before and during the games. To volunteer you’ll need to:

  • be age 18+ from 1 Jan 2022
  • volunteer from 28 July to 8 August, committing to at least eight shifts
  • be able to communicate in English or British Sign Language
  • be eligible to volunteer in UK and participate in a security risk assessment so you will need ID such as a birth certificate, driving licence, in-date passport or UK Citizen Card
  • accept the role and venue offered
  • be able to attend required training

To sign up to the B2022 Commonwealth Games mailing list register at –

https://www.birmingham2022.com/register-your-interest/?volunteering=1

 

*The Employment and Skills Team is part-funded by the European Social Fund

Commonwealth Games volunteering

Between June and July this year the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee will be inviting applications from people interested in volunteering at the Games.  In total they are aiming to recruit over 14,000 volunteers, covering 315 different roles across venues, live sites, the athlete’s villages, for instance.

This will be the only opportunity people interested in volunteering at the Games have to apply and applications are welcome from anyone with an interest in the Games.  Applications are particularly welcome from the following groups:

  • Young people under the age of 30yrs
  • People with disabilities
  • People aged over 50yrs
  • Women
  • People living in areas of deprivation
  • People from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic communities
  • People from LGBTQ+ communities

Solihull Council will be working with the Organising Committee to provide Solihull residents with access to information, advice and support to complete their applications.  This is to try and ensure that as many local residents as possible are able to apply.

As well as the communication channels listed below, people can also register their interest in volunteering at the Games via https://www.birmingham2022.com/get-involved/volunteering to receive news and updates as they are released.

 

Follow the Games via:

 

Community testing centres to open to anyone without COVID symptoms

Solihull MBC have advised that the following  press release was released, regarding the expansion of Solihull Council’s community testing programme from Monday 8 March 2021.

  https://www.solihull.gov.uk/news/community-testing-centres-open-anyone-without-covid-symptoms

The booking page has also been updated to include further information including FAQs: https://www.solihull.gov.uk/COVID-19/covidtesting

New Fuel Voucher and Support Scheme

Attached and below is information about the fuel voucher and support scheme launched in Solihull to help vulnerable families and households who are struggling to pay their fuel bills due to loss of income or increased fuel use.

Solihull Council have provided funding in recognition of the additional burden the COVID-19 outbreak is having on vulnerable families and households who are struggling to pay their fuel bills due to loss of income or increased fuel use. The scheme supports people in the following ways:

  • Debt write off (up to £250) to those who are unable to pay their fuel bill and have been in debt with their energy supplier for the last six months and are unable to set up a debt payment plan with their supplier.
  • Energy Bill Support. Provision of funds to help with payment of energy bills of £49 for households, maximum of 3 applications. Further details can be found on the attached flyer.
  • Additional support in the form of energy advice such as tariff advice, Priority Service Registration with Western Power, accessing Warm Homes Discount, if applicable and onward referrals e.g. income maximisation, access to other funding for energy efficiency measures e.g. heating and/or insulation. 
  • Boiler servicing and chimney sweeping to ensure householders have a safe and warm home.
  • Boiler repairs to ensure no family is left in a no heat situation.
  • Boiler replacement if repairs cannot be undertaken and no other source of funding is available.

More Details can be found in the 2 documents below

Solihull Warner Winter Flyer

Warmer Winter Fuel Vouchers

Guidance for Halloween –

Please find below guidance, which has been provided by Solihull MBC, on how to have a safe Halloween this year for cascading through your networks.

Enjoy Halloween safely this year

Halloween is a time when people often gather together and this poses a risk for COVID-19 transmission.  

The current lockdown restrictions in Solihull prevent gatherings of more than 6 taking place in private gardens outside, with no one is permitted to come inside your home unless they have a valid exemption.

Below are ideas and guidance to help you plan a safe Halloween this year:   

Make sure you help to reduce the spread of the virus by avoiding:

Knocking on doors – this increases transmission potential and would expose our many as residents who are vulnerable and should be protected, as well as those who are isolating.

Traditional trick or treating – where treats are handed to children who go door to door or children take sweets from a shared bucket.

 

Organising or attending crowded costume parties held indoors, outdoors or at your own home.

Instead of the traditional door to door trick or treating where the virus can be spread by touch, why not try:

·         Carve or decorate pumpkins and display in your household

·         Organise a Halloween treasure hunt at home

·         Host a virtual party with themed games and music

·         Watch a scary movie with the familyincluding spooky treats

·         Have a virtual Halloween costume contest

By following this guidance you can enjoy a safe and fun Halloween, whilst also protecting your neighbours, friends and family!

Great British September Clean September 11th – 27th

As many of you are aware the Great British Spring Clean (GBSC) was one of the many events across the country which had to be postponed due to the coronavirus.

Well now Solihull MBC have advised that, it’s back, and the Love Solihull team are encouraging residents to grab their litter pickers and give the borough a Great British September Clean. 

They have kindley provided the information below:-

The GBSC is a fantastic incentive to get people talking about the importance of keeping our communities clean, green and safe by taking action to dispose of litter in the right way.

Litter picking has an immediately positive impact on our neighbourhoods and means we can continue to take pride in our neighbourhoods. However, in these very different times, we must remember to put safety first and follow the guidance around social distancing so that we don’t jeopardise our health and that of those around us.

As the Love Solihull teams first priority is to make sure everyone stays safe and well, we have attached our Community Litter Picking Guidelines, Community Litter Picking Risk Assessment and Covid-19 Guidance.

It is also important to remember that large group clean-ups aren’t possible at the moment, but we can offer support to individuals signed up to the Love Solihull Community Litter Picking Initiative who may go out in groups of up to 6 people.

If you haven’t already got your own equipment but would like to take part in the Great British September Clean either as an individual or as a small group, just sign up to the Love Solihull Community Litter Picking Initiative by completing and returning the attached Community Litter Picking Registration Form to lovesolihull@solihull.gov.uk we can then arrange delivery of your litter picking equipment.

When planning your GBSP remember:-

Small groups are key

So while we cannot support large community clean-ups at this time a litter-pick can be just as effective alone or in pairs. For those taking part in groups, this should involve a maximum of six people if from different households. Please do make yourselves familiar with our Covid-19 Guidance.

Make space – stay at least a metre away from people not in your household

Please do not promote the time and place you intend to undertake any activities to avoid the risk of large social gatherings. Also, if you’re litter picking in a public place like a park or a playground, think about when it’s likely to be quieter, and plan your clean-up for then.

Collaborate with Love Solihull 

Leave your full Love Solihull litter bags next to SMBC litter bins (maximum 2 bags). If you need to arrange a special collection where you either have bags that you have not been able to leave next to a litter bin or where you have more than 2 bags that need collecting from one location please contact lovesolihull@solihull.gov.uk

We want to hear from you

We really want to keep a running total of all the bags collected during GBSC 2020, so please do get in touch at lovesolihull@solihull.gov.uk and let us know how your litter pick went and we will share your story. If you take any photos don’t forget to tag in @lovesolihull on Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #LoveSolihull #GreatBritishSeptemberClean

You can also show your support for the GBSC by pledging your time here:- https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/get-involved/support-our-campaigns/great-british-spring-clean

Before we go, this year’s GBSC initiative comes at a time when caring for the environment and living more sustainably has never been more important. Right now, a lot of things are uncertain, but our passion for tackling litter and our love for the environment remains unchanged.

Thank you to all the volunteers who selflessly dedicate their own time to help clean up our streets and parks therefore protecting the beautiful environment we share. 

Information provided by

Community Engagement Officers

Public Realm Team | Environmental Services | Managed Growth & Communities Directorate | Solihull MBC

0121 704 6243

www.solihull.gov.uk

Arden Tree Scheme – August 2020 – Free Trees Available

Solihull residents and local groups are invited to apply for free trees as part of a scheme to promote the planting of traditional native trees in the borough.

The Arden Free Tree scheme is run by Solihull Council in partnership with Birmingham Airport and is open to individuals or groups who would like to create hedgerows or small woodlands on their own land within Solihull.

The deadline for applications is the end of August and successful applicants will receive their free trees in time for the planting season (December – February).

The Attached Arden Free Tree Scheme Leaflet, provides further details about the scheme, including details about how you can apply for trees.

Campaign Against Cut to Opening Hours at Dickens Heath Library –

Dickens Heath Parish Council have shared the information below. Please support them in fighting against these cuts.

Big Hours Cut Proposed at Dickens Heath Library

Solihull Council have proposed the cutting of Dickens Heath Library opening hours by 26%, to just 14 hours per week, from 1st April 2020, bringing back the September 2019 plans that the Parish Council successfully opposed and were deferred at that time. The Parish Council was especially disappointed as only last April their Offices were sold, the mortgage paid off, and they co-located into the 1st Floor of the Library as a cost saving partnership for us both. This move had been long in arranging and was aimed at safeguarding the Community Library with the Parish Council now paying 45% of the building’s expensive running costs. The proposal to then reduce Library opening hours came as a huge disappointment and strong representations were made, supported by Cllr. Ken Hawkins, leading to the plans in the Library Review being further deferred by Cllr. Rolf, on 27th January, until June for further local consultation.

We now need Community Action to support our Dickens Heath Library Campaign – here’s how:

  • At the next Parish Council Meeting there are two Senior Solihull Council Officers – Kate Bunting (Libraries) and Alyson McGrory (Asst. Director) – attending to explain the proposals and hear the Parish Council/Community Views.  To “REVERSE THE PROPOSED CUT IN OPENING HOURS” – Public attendance at 7.15pm on Tuesday 11th February at the Library would greatly help. 
  • To Sign the Petition to support the Parish Council at our stand at the Food & Craft Market at the Village Hall 10.00am to 12.00noon on Saturday 8th February (note this is a new time for the Craft & Food Market this month only). A copy of the petition to Solihull Council available on Dickens Heath Parish Council’s webs (Click Here), in case any concerned residents would like to collect signatures from family or friends etc. and return to Dickens Heath Parish Council c/o Dickens Heath Library by 22nd February.

 

  • Ken Hawkins has also now set up an online petition against the proposed cuts which can be completed on line and is available by clicking HERE

 

  • Email personal representations direct to Cllr Alison Rolf, the Cabinet Post Holder, at Solihull Council at alison.rolf@solihull.gov.uk

The Proposed New Opening Hours are – Monday 2.00pm to 5.00pm (cut 1 hour) Tuesdays Closed (cut 3 hours) Wednesdays Closed (as now) Thursdays 10.00am to 1.00pm & 2.00pm to 6.00pm (1 hour increase) Saturday 10.00am to 2.00pm (cut 2 hours)

We say it makes little sense to have a costly Library building as a public asset open for just 14 hours a week, particularly given that the Parish Council is now sharing the use and costs.

Address: Dickens Heath Library, Old Dickens Heath Rd, Dickens Heath, B90 1SD

Tel:          07772 469271

Email:      dickensheathpc@hotmail.com

Website:  www.dickensheathpc.org.uk