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All Churches Alliance – Plunckett Foundation

All Churches Alliance are funding Plunkett to deliver business, advisory and grant support to community groups who are thinking of setting up a community owned business and may consider co-locating it in an active local church. This might be a community owned shop or café, for example, or a community owned farmers market once a week.

Through the Community Businesses in Places of Worship programme, Plunkett can offer step by step support with an adviser as well as grant funds to take forward a community owned business idea. Some of the costs a grant could help with may include: surveying or consulting a community to assess level of support for the idea, funding a valuation of a building or site, setting up a legal structure or paying for additional support from a professional consultant.

Community-owned and run businesses are already operating in a number of churches across the country. Grindleford Community Shop, for example, operates from the old vestry of St Helens Church in the small rural Peak District of Grindleford. Like many rural villages, over the years Grindleford lost its grocery store and then its Post Office. The new shop now stocks a wide range of convenience goods and provides teas, coffee, cake and a friendly welcome too! Outwardly the church remained unchanged, the areas used for worship were unaffected but the vestry restored the heart of the village and although small it works hard to connect all members of the community.

Plunkett is trying to reach communities who may have lost public facilities and places to chat who want to set something up as a community  – see more on their webpage here.

Residents invited to comment on parliamentary constituency boundaries

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Solihull Council is encouraging residents to comment on the proposed parliamentary constituency boundaries that have been proposed by the Boundary Commission for England (BCE), as part of an eight-week consultation.

The BCE is required to ensure that the number of electors in each constituency is more equal and in doing so, the number of constituencies in England will increase from 533 to 543. The Commission is undertaking an independent review and will present their final recommendations to Parliament by July 2023.

The West Midlands has been allocated 57 constituencies – a reduction of two from the current number. The proposals leave nine of the 59 existing constituencies wholly unchanged, and 12 unchanged except to realign constituency boundaries with new local government ward boundaries.

The two existing constituencies in the Borough of Solihull – Meriden and Solihull – both exceed the permitted electorate range. The BCE proposes to extend the Birmingham Hodge Hill constituency to take in the Solihull borough wards of Castle Bromwich and Smith’s Wood. And to also move the existing Solihull constituency wards Elmdon and Silhill into the Meriden constituency. It is also proposed that Blythe ward, which is currently in the Meriden constituency, will be moved to the Solihull constituency.

These proposals relate only to the Parliamentary constituency boundaries. There are no plans for any changes to be made to the Borough Council boundaries and this process has no implications for the services provided by Solihull Council.

People can visit www.bcereviews.org.uk to view maps showing the proposed new boundaries and provide feedback before the consultation closes on 2 August 2021. Comments can be made on anything from where the proposed new boundary lines are, to the names of the constituencies.

There will be a further two rounds of consultation in 2022. Following the conclusion of all three consultation periods, the Commission will look at all the evidence received before forming its final recommendations.

Your New Police and Crime Plan – Let the New Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, know what you think are the priorities for policing in the West Midlands.

The newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, Simon Foster, is calling for members of the public and organisations to let him know what their priorities are for policing in the West Midlands.

This will form part of the new Police and Crime Plan which has to be published within a year of a Police and Crime Commissioner taking office.

The PCC is calling for views and evidence on the main themes he set out in his manifesto:

 

Building stronger communities

  • Fair funding
  • Community policing
  • Protecting victims of crime
  • Mental health and policing
  • Neighbourhood crime
  • Prevent children and young people becoming victims or offenders
  • The strategic policing requirement

Tackling violent crime

  • Combat violence against women and girls and domestic abuse
  • Honour based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation
  • Reduce violent crime including knife crime
  • Tackling drug dealing, supply and use
  • Hate crime

Delivering a safe economy

  • Modern slavery
  • Business crime
  • Fraud
  • Roads policing
  • Exempt accommodation and houses in multiple occupation

A more equal police service

  • Equality and human rights
  • Equality and diversity
  • LGBT+ policing
  • Criminal Justice System
  • Stop and Search
  • A police service representative of the communities it serves
  • Supporting public events

Better policing for all

  • A green police force
  • Valuing the whole police team
  • Multi-agency and partnership
  • Police stations
  • The policing service
  • Social responsibility

For a more accountable police and crime commissioner

  • A democratically elected police and crime commissioner
  • Accountability of the Chief Constable
  • Accountability, democracy and participation

You provide your views by completing the electronic form, which is available via the website link below:-

 https://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/your-new-police-and-crime-plan/?mc_cid=7ea78ae7a5&mc_eid=320414991b

 

Your New Police and Crime Plan

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

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:

https://www.solihull.gov.uk/news/working-together-deliver-successful-census-2021

https://www.solihull.gov.uk/About-Solihull/Census-2021

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.
https://www.west-midlands.police.uk/campaigns/gangs

The St Giles Trust https://www.stgilestrust.org.uk/  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.
https://crimestoppers-uk.org/

Visit NSPCC for help and advice.
https://www.nspcc.org.uk/

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