Our Garden of Balsall Heath

16/08/2022 at 2:34 pm | Posted in Gardens, Green Spaces, Trees | Leave a comment
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With the 2022 Commonwealth Games came an arts project called Our Garden and this has produced some great videos about people appreciating green spaces and trees in our neighbourhood. With the heat wave people have really appropriated the shade of all the trees planted over the last 40 years in the greening of Balsall Heath.

Watch the videos

Action at the Pocket Park

20/06/2022 at 4:29 pm | Posted in Green Spaces, Streets | Leave a comment
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A team assembled to replace planter at Balsall Heath Pocket Park. We learned that a vehicle had smashed into it and driven off, but we were able to put in a new and more robust one. Passers by said they really appreciate this space for walking, cycling and sitting down in the busy centre of our neighbourhood.

Thanks go to Hywel and the Countrymen group from BH City Farm, as in the pictures.

A Council of Balsall Heath – more time to have your say

27/04/2022 at 3:30 pm | Posted in uncategorised | Leave a comment
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Sunday 15th May is the extended deadline, for people to say if they favour an elected body, with the powers of a parish council. The City Council’s survey is quite brief and is at BeHeard.

If you can introduce this as a discussion for a group that you know, then, please contact me for help with that. John Newson bhiop[at]jericho.org.uk

Backing for a Council of Balsall Heath

10/03/2022 at 5:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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An exciting proposal to have our own Neighbourhood Council, has been supported by BHIOP’s Steering Group. It will be elected by residents and have a mission to improve the area.

The City Council’s consultation is open to anyone who lives or works in the neighbourhood. If it has enough backing, then the proposal will go to a public vote of all electors later in 2022. This would give a permanent legal form and structure, which is, sadly lacking, since the end of The Balsall Heath Forum. The Council will have its own income, and paid staff.

The new council would have early warning of plans against the interests of the area,. More positively, it could be a catalyst for people of goodwill, from a variety of backgrounds, to work together for a cleaner, greener, safer and happier Balsall Heath.

The new council should be additional, and not a cheap replacement for statutory City Council services. Our council could be creative, using local knowledge and the strength of community , to try to solve problems and not just demand services which are never adequate. We know that the Climate Crisis requires changes to scale up, for a rapid transition to an eco-neighbourhood.  The Neighbourhood Council will be able to build into the area the good environmental principles in the Neighbourhood Development Plan 2015.

People have until 24th April to discuss and to get behind the proposal, which may not come back if we miss this opportunity. Much more detail and the Survey Form are at Birmingham BeHeard. Questions about why this would be good for the neighbourhood can be sent to bhnc2022@gmail.com There are 10,000 small local councils in England NALC website

Save Energy to Save Money

08/02/2022 at 2:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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People in Balsall Heath are worried about the rising price of gas and electricity in 2022. The one sure way to reduce bills is to use less energy, Slimming your bills and reducing emissions, while being less dependent on imported fuels; they all point in the same direction, so it is good to see The Energy Saving Trust offering online advice about how to reduce heat loss and control your heating system. There is also a lot of impartial information if you area considering changes such as solar panels, heat pumps, and water saving devices. EST “is an independent organisation – working to address the climate emergency” See Energy Saving Trust

Citizens Advice can help with problems of paying and controlling your energy bills Citizens Advice

3 is fine

Improvements for pedestrians and cyclists

10/12/2021 at 10:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Moseley Road through Balsall Heath is seeing measures to improve the pedestrian environment, put in by Birmingham City Council. These have been allowed by the cancellation of the scheme to widen Moseley Road and narrow its footways. As 2021 ends, we see 3 new cherry trees, 2 new areas of planting which the council will maintain, 2 new benches and 6 cycle stands. The money has come from the Lidl redevelopment and the details were proposed by Balsall Heath Is Our Planet and the Baths Coalition. This is another phase in the Town Square, as envisaged in the Balsall Heath Neighbourhood Plan.

At the same time, a grant has been obtained from the Leveling Up fund to clean up the outside of the Baths and Library and to make more of the inside spaces usable. A programme of events for all the family is happening every Second Saturday in Balsall Heath, including the Old Print Works and the restored Art School.

Happy Christmas one and all. See you in the New Year. John Newson, Balsall Heath Is Our Planet

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March for the Climate Saturday 6th Nov

01/11/2021 at 1:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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On Saturday, there will be a great march through Birmingham City Centre, Everyone is invited to participate, knowing that people in cities around the world will be doing the same, to support all efforts to reduce damage to the atmosphere and the climate. Scientists say that we have to transition to a low carbon way of life and this is now an Emergency. It needs action on every level from governments to cities, neighbourhoods like Balsall Heath, companies and households.

March is to assemble on Saturday at12am at Millennium Point, which is in the city centre and has the Thinktank and Eastside Park. Individuals, families, organisations will be there and you are welcome to join in. It will be a very impressive event and this is a historic opportunity to show our determination to World Leaders who are assembled in Glasgow for the COP26 summit. A November to Remember !

Low Traffic Moseley & Kings Heath

04/10/2021 at 10:52 am | Posted in Air pollution, Cycling, Streets, Walking | Leave a comment
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The City Council’s measures Phase 2 are up for public consultation in October. They are an experiment to deter traffic from cutting through residential streets in Moseley and Kings Heath, south of Balsall Heath.

Tubs of flowers have been used to cut certain roads, so residents can still get home,, but drivers cannot avoid the traffic lights on the main roads by charging through the side streets. A benefit has been a much safer environment for people to walk and cycle . The intention is to nudge people into not using cars for short journeys. It particularly helps children get to school without being driven there. Some changes to the layouts may happen, based on feedback from residents and businesses. The new plans are on view at Kings Heath Library.

BeHeard has the plans and dates of consultation events HERE. Consultation closes on Friday 5 November 2021.

Coming up are a n online presentation 5th October and give you an opportunity to ask the team any questions you have. Drop in session – York Road 12 Oct 2021 at 15:30 to 18:30 Chat with members of the team, and give us your feedback. No need to book, just turn up at any time. This will be an outdoor event.

NOT Widening the Moseley Road

21/09/2021 at 4:02 pm | Posted in Cycling, Streets, Trees, Walking | Leave a comment
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An update on the scheme to widen the Moseley Road through Balsall Heath of 2019 has finally been posted in 2021.

In the Revised scheme, the following have been removed from the scheme; the widening of Moseley Road for a fourth lane, the narrowing of the pavements and removal of street trees through Balsall Heath.

That leaves some bus lane and parking restrictions to be implemented in the next few months. Birmingham Council has other money for minor improvements to the public realm, in 2021.

This was after a lot of objections and a petition against the scheme. It shows that people power can work. Although much time and money may have been wasted in getting to this point. We shall see if the promised savings to bus times actually materialise.

The 2019 scheme is discussed in this blog . Details of the Revised Scheme are now on BeHeard

Mobile Recycling wagon coming to Calthorpe Park

17/09/2021 at 8:50 am | Posted in Recycling | Leave a comment
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Monday 20th September will see a first visit by a mobile recycling wagon to Edward Road, Balsall Heath, at Calthorpe Park . People can bring out their unwanted items and the crew will help you put them into the right compartment for recycling; cardboard, clothing, electrical goods and small furniture. Operates morning 7am to 12 .00

This is part of a drive against anti-fly-tipping by the City Council, to give people a positive way to get rid of unwanted stuff. However, a lot of it will still go into the “crusher” vehicle, and so to the incinerator. But in other towns, such as Bristol, you would have a fully separated recycling collection by a wagon like this, coming down your street every week.

Our Council is testing what the response to the new wagon is from local people, so please use it. Many people don’t have car or don’t have time to drive to the “tip”, so this is your chance.

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