All the news!

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.

The booking page has also been updated to include further information including FAQs:

Census 2021

Please see briefing note below from Gary Archer, Solihull Libraries who is leading on the Census support offer in the Borough of Solihull.

For Solihull, the library service is working in partnership with ONS and the Good Things Foundation, a national charity for digital inclusion, to offer support for residents to complete their Census form if they do not have computer access.

This service will run from March 1st to May 4th (the official Census date is 21 March) and will be a phone line/email address where residents can leave a message and staff will contact them within one working day.

The service will include general advice on questions but we can also complete the Census form over the phone with residents supplying the information. In addition we can provide contact details for further support.

All staff working on this have signed confidentiality agreements and undergone training and all contacts will be from council premises using secure equipment.

More information is at:

Spotting The Signs of County Lines

Please see below – Information provided by WM Now – West Midlands Police

Have you heard of County Lines? County Lines are the phone lines that drug dealers use to sell drugs around the country. Young people can get exploited into selling drugs where they live and in towns outside their area.

Drug gangs are exploiting kids in Solihull.
The signs of child exploitation can be hard to spot as it usually happens gradually over time.

Signs a child is involved in County Lines

  • Involved in crime such as robbery, theft, burglary
  • Away from school
  • Away from home – this can be overnight or days at a time
  • Friends with a new group, often older
  • Friends driving them around
  • Carrying a knife or weapon
  • New gifts – clothes, bike, phone, trainers, money
  • Storing money or drugs
  • Always on the phone
  • Leaving home suddenly
  • Engaging in sexual activity

How do these drug gangs exploit children?
They try to gain the child’s trust by:

  • Glamourising their lifestyle
  • Giving them money, gifts, clothes, drugs, alcohol
  • Offer them somewhere to stay
  • Find out more about them so they can ‘help them out’ with a problem they might have
  • Force them to do something in return for the gifts or ‘protection’ they’ve given them

This can happen face-to-face or online.
If you are in a situation where you need help or you’re worried about someone, visit our website to find help and support.

The St Giles Trust  can help you find a path out of gang life. Support is available for all the family too.

You can give information anonymously at Crimestoppers online or call 0800 555 111.

Visit NSPCC for help and advice.

Useful advice if you are thinking of changing your ISP in 2021 & Mobile operators agree deal to improve UK’s rural coverage

Please see below information provided by CSW Broadband

Useful advice if you are thinking of changing your ISP in 2021

Consumers in the UK face a confusing choice of different broadband providers and networks, which is getting worse as a growing number of new entrants enter the market. In fact, trying to find a new ISP can sometimes feel like walking through a minefield.

If you are looking for a new ISP but find the myriad of options available to you a little bit confusing, the ISP Review’s new ‘UK Best Broadband ISPs for Homes – 2021’ guide may be able to help by offering a simplified overview of the top options.

The guide puts together the editor’s pick of top ISP options in terms of quality and affordability. The ISPs featured in the guide are picked based on a mixture of criteria, including reader feedback, Ofcom quality / complaint scores, third party awards and reviews from multiple sites, to name but a few.

As well as categorising ISPs by price and quality, a third category – Commendations – also highlights alternative network ISPs that also deserve praise – based on the above criteria.

Consumer champions Which? have also recently published their ‘Best and worst broadband providers 2021’ report.

They note that while the best broadband companies offer a great service at a great price, provide a fast connection that you can rely on, and are on hand to help in the rare instance that something goes wrong, many broadband providers still don’t deliver on those fronts.

While you have to pay to download the whole report, it is worth noting that this survey is based on the real-life experiences of thousands of customers across the UK and may prove to be money well spent if you are thinking of changing broadband provider and would like further information on choosing your next ISP.

Mobile operators agree deal to improve UK’s rural coverage

A number of publications, including Computer Weekly have recently reported that three of the UK’s leading mobile operators have agreed a deal to build and share infrastructure to boost 4G coverage and improve mobile connectivity in hard-to-reach places.


In the first stage of the UK government’s Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme, which aims to support the deployment of 5G and extend 4G mobile coverage to hitherto badly served rural areas, O2, Three and Vodafone are joining forces to build and share 222 new mobile masts to boost rural coverage across the country.

The £1.3bn SRN programme was first proposed in October 2019 and has been made possible through a partnership of the UK’s four major telecoms operators – EE, O2, Three and Vodafone who will work to close almost all partial “not spots” – areas where there is only coverage from at least one but not all operators.

Their initial investment of £532m will then be supplemented by more than £500m of government funding to eliminate total not spots – hard to reach areas where there is currently no coverage from any operator.

The exact location of the masts – most of which will be built in rural areas – are not being disclosed until planning permission has been approved. Construction will start this year and is set to be completed by 2024 in line with the agreement reached with the Government and Ofcom.

The three mobile operators will now engage with local stakeholders and other key parties to ensure what the UK government calls a “timely and efficient” roll-out that delivers 4G connectivity in rural communities, offering customers in very remote areas increased choice and fuller value from their contracts where they live, work or travel.

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

Kerbside waste and recycling collections, deliveries and bulky waste collections

Please see below the information provided by Solihull MBC:-

Kerbside waste and recycling collections, deliveries and bulky waste collections will resume tomorrow, Wednesday 27 January.

If your collection was Monday 25 January:

  • Rubbish – we will take additional side waste on your next scheduled collection on Monday 1 February
  • Recycling – we are unable to return until your next scheduled recycling collection on Monday 8 February

If your collection was Tuesday 26 January:

  • Rubbish – we will take additional side waste on your next scheduled collection on Tuesday 2 February
  • Recycling – we are unable to return until your next scheduled recycling collection day on Tuesday 9 February

If your collection is Wednesday 27 January:

Kerbside collections will be carried out as scheduled. Please note collection times may be different to normal so please ensure that your bins/containers are out by 7.00am.

Winter offer for families and vulnerable households – Winter Warmer Vouchers, Winter Warmth Campaign (expansion) and Jubilee Children’s Storehouse

Please see the attached information provided by Solihull MBC :-

Following the provision of Winter Grant Scheme funding from the government, new and additional activity has been supported to help ensure that families and vulnerable households have access to help to keep them and their homes warm during the winter.

Please find details, by visiting the website:-

Also please see the “Help with food and fuel” Link below

Solihull MBC are also promoting the Jubilee Children’s Storehouse and its clothing offer for children and young people through helping to increase their stock of winter clothing and shoes. Details of the the Jubilee Children’s Storehouse can be found here

Flood mitigation schemes update

Solihull MBC have provided the following information:-

Following recent announcements regarding the flood protection schemes within the borough, we have been made aware that some companies are taking this opportunity to reach out to residents offering products and services. Please be advised that these companies are not acting on behalf of Solihull MBC and may charge residents for this service.

Residents are advised that the information on the council led schemes will always come from the Solihull MBC drainage team and on council branded materials. Should you have any queries or concerns in this regard please reach out to the council directly on

Tidbury Green – Parish Councillor Vacancy – Make A Difference Become A Councillor

Tidbury Green have a vacancy for one Parish Councillor.

  •  Do you have a few hours’ to spare a month?
  •  Do you want to get involved in your community?
  •  Do you want to have an Influence on building and planning and help protect the greenbelt and other  aspects of our beautiful Village?
  •  Do you want to work with us and our partners including the Council, the police and local Housing Associations to help address issues of concern, including fly tipping, poor road conditions and anti-social behaviors?
  •  Do you want to help decide how local money is spent to improve your community?
  •  Do you want to help build a community where we feel safe, happy and proud to live?

If Yes, then apply to become a Parish Councillor

 Tidbury Green Parish Council have a vacancy available, which can now be filled by co-option. To qualify, a person must be a British citizen, an eligible Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of any other member state of the European Union, be at least 18 years old, must not be disqualified from holding office as Councillor and must meet at least one of the following criteria:-

  •   Be a Local Government elector in the Parish (i.e. on the electoral roll)
  •   Owned or rented land within the Parish for the last 12 months
  •   Lived in the Parrish or within 3 miles of it, for the last 12 months
  •   Worked in the Parish for the last 12 months.

This is a great opportunity to meet new people and to help achieve a community and area that we are happy and proud to be part of.  It also offers opportunities to develop new skills and knowledge, which may be useful for your own personal career development and progression.

We are a friendly group of four Councillors and one Clerk. We would welcome and support any successful candidate who shares our aims of improving and protecting Tidbury Green. If you would like to apply, please complete and return the form below, as per the instructions included. The closing date for completed forms to be returned is 10th January 2021.

If you require any further information, please contact our Clerk Charlotte Kirby –(:07832925080, E-mail:

Application Form