Parking in Moseley: steering group’s first meeting

by Catherine Rock, representing King Edward Road on the Moseley Parking Strategy Steering Group

On 11 April 2016 a steering group met to discuss parking in Moseley. It was the first time we had all got together although we had been in touch by email over the past 12 months.

Councillor Claire Spencer has kindly agreed to chair the group, which currently has residents’ representatives from Church Avenue, King Edward Road, and Tudor/Leighton/Farquhar Road. A representative for Moseley businesses would be welcome.

The remit of the group is to develop a strategy to create more parking space in Moseley village, especially for residents. The reason we are focusing on Moseley village, or central Moseley, is that this area is where businesses are clustered amidst residential streets. Over the past few years the impact of the changes in central Moseley has put pressure on parking, especially street parking, that was already squeezed. And before anyone says “If you are so concerned about parking, then move”, the residents on the group are not anti-business! We recognise that Moseley is a popular place for nightlife, and has a Farmers’ Market that draws in visitors and traders, all of which makes Moseley a vibrant place to live. But for those of us who do not have off-street parking, finding a parking space can be very stressful on a daily basis, especially in the evening and at weekends.

Some of the aims of the strategy are longer-term and fit with wider transport planning, such as the possibility of Moseley train station reopening. Also we have started thinking about space that is ‘spare’ outside of working hours or surplus, where local employers or landowners might be willing to come to an arrangement.

One of the first priorities is to look at a ‘controlled parking zone’ for the centre of Moseley. This would set aside roads that lead off from the A435 as a controlled parking zone, with permits for those residents who need to park on the public highway. Having residents’ parking is already operating in various places across Birmingham.

If you would like to know more about the plans of the steering group, or wish to recommend people to join, please contact Councillor Spencer at claire.spencer@birmingham.gov.uk.

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Doorstep fraud – looking after people home alone

by Councillor Claire Spencer

The incident described below was reported to the three councillors late last night, as well as to the police. I have anonymised it to protect the people involved, but want to be sure that people in Moseley and Kings Heath are aware of some of the tactics being used by doorstep fraudsters to gain people’s trust, so please share widely, look out for one another, and report anything like this to the police.

My mother had some visitors at about 6pm. When they knocked on the door she looked through the window and saw a couple, she thinks probably aged around 40, who were carrying a pack of four cakes.

She opened the door and they said they wanted to get to know her, had bought her some cakes, and could they come in for a cup of tea. She asked if they were the couple from a few doors away, and they said yes.

My mother then invited them in, and made some tea.
While they were drinking the tea my mother did notice that the couple had pulled their sleeves down over their hands, and weren’t actually touching anything.
She did take one bite out of a cake, but she later said it tasted strange, so she didn’t eat any more.

 

After a while the male asked if he could use the toilet, and went upstairs. He seemed to be a long time, and when my mother asked the female where her companion was she went into the hall, and then they both returned to the lounge. My mother later said that while the male was upstairs she hadn’t hear the toilet flush.

 

The female spoke quietly to the male, who then patted his back pocket.

They then said they had to go to a dancing lesson. They hadn’t eaten any of the cakes, but took two with them, leaving my mother with the one she had tasted, and one other.

After they had gone, my mother went upstairs and in her bedroom found that her handbag was open, and almost £300 had been taken.

Obviously the couple do not live close to my mother and just said that they did to gain her confidence.

I am concerned that these people could do this again to other elderly people in the area, and perhaps with more serious consequences.

Second update: travellers in Highbury Park

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 claire.spencer@birmingham.gov.uk, and I will give that to you (I feel I should spare him having his number harvested by internet marketing types).

 

Quick update: travellers in Highbury Park

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

What’s going on at the Moseley crossroads? A briefing from Amey

by Councillor Claire Spencer

The councillors and some concerned citizens went to Amey a few weeks ago when concerned were raised about the removal of the pedestrian refuges at the pelican crossings at Moseley crossroads. Amey have been in contact since then, and have created a briefing that we can circulate.

Essentially, the refuges are being replaced, but the works have been more extensive than originally thought, so this has taken longer to resolve. We have been told that this should be completed this week, and will be going back to Amey for a further update if that proves to not be the case.

ALCESTER ROAD / ST. MARY’S ROW TRAFFIC SIGNAL REPAIR WORK

1 BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW

1.1 Following a road traffic collision (RTC) on 03 February 2015 the traffic signals at Alcester Road/St Mary’s Row in Moseley needed extensive emergency remedial works to the struck pole and damaged underground cable network. Works began immediately on the morning of 3rd February 2015 when the damage was reported. Inspection of the damage at the initial attendance showed that substantial re-cabling and installation of new cable ducts would be required to complete a full repair.
1.2 Because the reactive repairs were going to require significant works on the site, the reactive maintenance team also took the opportunity to deliver recommended safety improvements addressing long standing safety issues at the location, which had been identified due to an earlier RTC which resulted in a fatality. This included adjusting the position of the crossing facilities and pedestrian refuges to ensure the highway conformed to current Department for Transport (DfT) standards.
1.3 A programmed carriageway surfacing scheme was planned on Edgbaston Road East to Salisbury Road and also the slip road at St Marys Row to commence on 23 February 2015 for five days.
1.4 Therefore it became clear that duct installations must be completed prior to the laying of surface courses and so the reactive signal repair works were coordinated with the surfacing work to ensure minimum occupation of highway and maximum benefit from the works.
1.5 Works notifications for the surfacing works including letters to affected residents and businesses and emails to elected members were sent before the RTC occurred and therefore did not include details of the any reactive signal repairs. ‘No Waiting’ signs and ‘Advance Warning’ signs were also placed on the streets one month in advance of the resurfacing works.
1.6 The works were discussed on a City Council / Amey Customer Interface call on Monday 23rd February 2015 when misunderstandings about the nature of the works began to become apparent.

2 ISSUES IDENTIFIED AND REMEDIAL ACTIONS

2.1 Lack of Communication with Relevant Groups / Parties
2.1.1 Amey accept that communication to affected parties on this work should have been better. It is accepted that the intention to deliver a fully repaired and potentially safer junction arrangement has to be the right thing to do.
2.1.2 However, once it was clear that the work was going to take substantially longer that a straight forward traffic signal replacement, Amey should have carried out a comprehensive communication strategy to avoid confusion and unnecessary concern as expressed by residents and Ward Councillors.
2.1.3 In order to rectify this Amey have sent out communication to Ward Members and affected frontagers explaining the situation and timescale for repair.
2.2 Confusion over temporary removal of pedestrian refuges
2.2.1 Amey accept that by removing these refuges they set off a chain of concern that has caused unnecessary stress to all parties. The actions being undertaken on site are intended to deliver a safer and more easily maintained signal junction whilst maintaining all existing signals and refuges.
2.2.2 These have NOT been permanently removed and will be going back in albeit in a very slightly amended position to conform to DfT standards. The reason for them being temporarily removed is simply due to efficient coordination of works and to allow surfacing work to be completed more expediently.
2.2.3 It is hoped that by sending out an appropriately worded communication to affected parties this will then remove any confusion.
2.3 Potential Impact on Farmer’s Market
2.3.1 Amey put actions were put in place to ensure that the Farmer’s market was able to take place successfully on 01 March 2015 with Amey having ensured that surfacing work was complete beforehand and providing traffic control supervision over the weekend. Verbal reports indicate that the event took place successfully and was not unduly disrupted by the works.
2.4 Coordination with an upcoming Birmingham Cycle Revolution scheme
2.4.1 Amey will contact the City Council’s Transportation Projects team to see if there is any opportunity to coordinate this depending on the nature and timing of the works.

 

M&KH Cleaner, Greener, Safer Group Visit Tyseley Incinerator

Have you always wondered what the inside of an incinerator looked like?  Wonder no more!  Helen and Oz the Moseley and Kings Heath Neighbourhood Wardens joined the Moseley and Kings Heath Cleaner, Greener, Safer Environment Group on a field trip last week.  Pictures available on their blog here:

https://mkhnwblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/field-trip-to-tyseley-incinerator/