Baths in the Future

28/07/2010 at 11:11 am | Posted in Water | Leave a comment

The glorious old swimming baths on Moseley Road has many friends. The Friends of Moseley Road Baths want to keep them in use for the future, while restoring the 100-year old architecture.
Balsall Heath Is Our Planet adds that there are great opportunities for 21st century technology to make the baths much more energy and water efficient, so keeping future running costs low and helping to justify the capital cost of their restoration.
A ‘Combined heat and power’ (CHP) plant would uses the waste heat from electricity generation – and public baths require hot water all year round. There is also a borehole under the baths that could be re-opened, so we won’t need to pay for drinking water from the mains to swim in.
For a paper on this request from John Newson
For Friends of Moseley Road Baths and photos see their website


Water Savers

28/07/2010 at 10:33 am | Posted in Gardens, Water | Leave a comment

It has been seriously dry, with grass turning brown and our newly planted trees struggling. Good news from Balsall Heath Forum – they have a grant to put in ‘Water Savers kits’ from Birmingham’s Climate Adaptation Partnership. The project will include rain butts and pipes to divert from gutters on buildings. Togther they will add up to a reservoir. We won’t have to use drinking water from the tap to keep gardens alive in future summers. The Forum are now looking for sites on public spaces and public buildings. Any suggestions are welcome, I am sure to the neighbourhood manager, Pat Wing at Balsall Heath Forum

Solar roofs multiplying

20/07/2010 at 11:39 am | Posted in Solar power | Leave a comment

The government is saying that around 100,000 homes and organisations have installed technologies such as solar or wind for producing their own green electricity. Since April 2010 hoseholders have been guaranteed cash payments through the ‘feed-in tariff’, as well as payment for exporting it to the grid.

I was pleased to visit Jenny and Ian in Balsall Heath, recently, who have been inspired by talking to ‘resident experts’ and visiting an open day in November at the Zero Carbon House, to put in their own solar electric panels . Like them, many people may have put them on the back of the house, so they are not visible from the street.

A part of our electricity supply in the neighbourhood is now coming from the sun, thanks to our ‘solar pioneers’. Hopefully, the cost of the technology will come down further and it be made affordable for more of us. For a free Information sheet on ‘Using Solar Power at Home’ ask

Safe Route into Town?

20/07/2010 at 11:18 am | Posted in Cycling | Leave a comment

The crossing for cyclists and pedestrians across the Middleway by Percy Shurmer school is really frightening. Cars cross and turn, despite the signs forbidding it. I saw pedestrians nearly hit and cyclists lookng very anxious. Serious accidents have happened. Balsall Heath Is Our Planet has produced a report about this situation and made some suggestions as to how the junction could be made safer. This is national cycle route number 5 and there is a steady flow of people using it, as well as residents walking to the shops or school. Surely one place where motorists have to be restrained ?
Your ideas and coments are very welcome. A copy of the report is available on request from

Can we keep our gardens?

20/07/2010 at 10:42 am | Posted in Gardens | Leave a comment

A new article in the ‘Balsall Heathan magazine’ this month asks if we can keep our gardens instead of slabbing them over.
Gardens keep the air cool and moist and they slow down the flow of rain after storms. If we add too much to the hard surfaces around our homes, drains will flood and cars and homes become too hot. We may get another tornado. The street also looks really boring. Anyway you are supposed to have planning permsion from Birmingham City Council for more than 5 square meters of hard surface.
For more details see the new Information Sheet which you can request from

Second Time Around

20/07/2010 at 10:23 am | Posted in Recycling | Leave a comment

A new shop has opened on Edward Road that accepts gifts of unwanted clothes, household goods and furniture. Instead of throwing things ‘away’ (which means the Council’s incinerator), just take them to 204 Edward Rd and other residents can buy them. Value stays in the area and we all help each other.

Proceeds go to the Jericho Foundation, a local charity that helps people off unemployment and back to work. They get work experience helping in the shop and later move onto other retail jobs.

The shop looks really fresh and new. Well done Jericho!

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