by Councillor Claire Spencer
In my previous post, I referenced that the remaining travellers who are currently living in a corner of Highbury Park had said they would be moving on on Monday. This did not occur, so I just want to fill you in on what will happen next.
Regulatory Services served a Common Law Notice to the people in question yesterday – you can read about what that is and how it works on page 9 of this document. As the travellers came onto Council land peacefully, the Council must make a request for them to leave, which occurred on Monday 27th April. This means that if they do not leave by Thursday 30th April, the police will evict them from the park.
In the meantime, my advice remains the same: I don’t think there is anything to worry about, but in the event that there is any disorder, please call 101 to report it. If you live nearby and would like to speak with someone from Regulatory Services personally, Senior Enforcement Officer Bill Pegg has said I can pass his number on – so drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will give that to you (I feel I should spare him having his number harvested by internet marketing types).
by Councillor Claire Spencer
A few residents from around Highbury Park have been in touch over the course of this weekend regarding a temporary encampment of travellers close to the Dad’s Lane entrance. As such, I thought I would put together a quick post to let everyone know what is going on:
- The police are in regular contact: disruption is not an inevitable consequence of travellers staying in the area, and the local Moseley & Kings Heath police team met with them shortly after they arrived on Saturday morning, and have been in regular contact since. Some of the people who arrived have already moved on, and the others have said that they intend to move by Monday. This is obviously something that they are keeping an eye on, but they report that there have not been any reports of disorder or signs of flytipping so far.
- The Council are following the legal process: both the Parks and Regulatory departments of the Council are aware of the encampment. A Senior Enforcement Officer will be attending in the morning – so if the remaining people have not already moved on, the process for serving a notice can commence. This includes investigating the welfare of the people in question, ensuring compliance with the Human Rights Act 1998, and producing evidence that the Council owns the part of Highbury Park that they are on. Of course, this will not be necessary if the people leave on Monday as suggested;
We’ll keep you updated, but there is no need to be concerned at this stage – I went and had a look on both Saturday and Sunday, and everything seemed calm and orderly. In the event that there is any disorder, you should report it as you would any other non-emergency incident by dialing 101.
If you are interested in the discussions surrounding the possible re-purposing of the Sorrento Play Park space on Oak Leaf Drive, Moseley then further details about the public meeting can be found here https://friendsofsorrentopark.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/one-week-to-go-come-and-have-your-say-at-the-public-meeting-on-april-28th/
Forthcoming Social Media Surgeries are happening at
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If you’re involved in a community group or a charity and would like some help with social media, you’re very welcome to come to any of our surgeries. They are free, friendly events every month where you can sit with someone who will be able to help you with any aspect of internet communication, Facebook, Twitter, blogging or accessing data. It’s relaxed and informal, we focus on the help you need at the pace that suits you. You don’t necessarily need to book in advance but it can help us to know how many people to expect, and you can always let us know in advance if there’s anything in particular you want help with.
As well as helping you get your head around how social media can further your cause or voluntary work, we can also help you use data better or even use open government data. For a little more on help with data come along and talk to us or take a quick look here.
by Councillor Claire Spencer
Shortly after publishing an update a few days ago, I spoke to someone from Highways at Birmingham City Council, who made it clear that Amey’s haste to schedule the works to align with the resurfacing of the adjacent part Alcester Road may have led to the (unplanned) delays we have experienced locally. I appreciate that trying to align works in order to minimise disruption was a commendable aim, but the poor execution of both the works and the communication around those works has led to a lot of confusion and frustration for people who live in, visit or travel through Moseley.
The latest update, received on Friday, notes that the latest delay is due to the old tram lines:
The ground was previously home to tram tracks which has meant and incredibly thick concrete (c2 foot thick) was used, hence our crews are excavating at a rate of 3 linear metres, with a depth of 300ml on each day shift. This falls far below what we would expect crews to be able to dig in any normal shift.
This is something that could have been addressed with a more robust planning phase to the works, and we will need to be assured that lessons are learned and applied from this experience.
The new completion date is now April 20th – and I very much hope that I will not be writing another blog then to explain a further delay.
In better news, this time is being used to consider whether we can extend the crossing phase of these lights – a long-mooted suggestion – without causing delays, and I hope that we will have some good news on how that might be implemented after the election.
Given that we are now in a position where two deadlines provided by Amey regarding the repairs and amendments to the Moseley crossroads have not been met (mid-March and end of March), we have sought a further update from them on what has caused the delay. This is what they said:
I am conscious that it has been some time since we issued an update with regards to the failure of the temporary traffic lights in Moseley village and am now in a position to share the findings of our investigation. Traffix (our sub-contractors responsible for maintaining the temporary lights and marshalling the pedestrian system have shared the below findings with us in relation to the failure:
Reason/root cause failure
An unavoidable and unforeseen mechanical fault that blew a fuse in one of the heads. This is not uncommon but because of the excessive number of heads involved it took considerably longer to find and rectify the fault.
The light heads were being subjected to a maintenance check which involves changing the batteries in all heads which is 28 batteries in total. During this check the light defaulted to ‘all red’ and the internal indicator was registering an internal error, this could be a number of faults so each head needed to be checked to see what was causing the continued failure. It was discovered that one of the heads had a fuse blown which meant it needed to be changed so the ‘all red’ status could be removed and the pedestrian system reset.
The fuse was replaced, the heads were reset and the pedestrian system was back up and working. The rest of the heads were given another check once up and running and there were no further issues reported or indicated on the Master Light Head.
Following this information and the subsequent checks carried out by Traffix on all of the systems we are confident that no further faults are likely to arise. This case and has been dealt with following our ‘Non-conformance’ procedure and hopefully provides some assurances that everything has been done to ensure no further issues arise.
We are now seeking a revised completion date – quite aside from the concerns around the safety and predictability of the crossroads for people, it is important that citizens are able to rely on the quality of information they receive from the Council or any other body that is delivering local services.
For those of you who need to drive in the city centre for work or other commitments, here is an update from the Birmingham Connected team at the City Council on the road changes around the development of Paradise:
Phase two of the infrastructure works at Paradise is due to start on 10th May and last until November. There will be traffic access changes affecting the Paradise Circus gyratory, Sandpits/Parade, Broad Street and Summer Row with new diversionary routes signed and in-place. These changes will mean that there will no longer be a circular road system around Paradise as the northern link will be closed.
Bus services 82, 83, 87, 89 and 126 will be subject to diversionary routes.
Pedestrian and cycling access through Paradise will be maintained, although the route through Paradise Forum will be changed this Summer.
The A38 tunnels will operate as normal.
Full details and diagrams of the changes are included in the leaflet attached to this email.
Our advice to the travelling public is to:
- Use public transport, walk or cycle whenever possible. The city centre is well served by rail, bus and metro services. More information is available at http://www.networkwestmidlands.com
- Plan your journey. If you have to travel by car, avoid the area if possible by choosing alternative routes. If this area is your destination allow more time as your journey may be subject to delays.
Should you require any more information, please contact us by return email to email@example.com.