Author Archives: emdeefos

Vision for Movement – one year on

A group of city partners, Centro, Birmingham City Council, National Express West Midlands, and the city centre’s four BIDs, launched a strategic plan – the Vision for Movement – a year ago in November 2010 to generate some ‘joined up’ thinking for getting around the city centre. On Wednesday morning, Nov 9, more than 100 key figures from the city’s business community attended the ‘Vision for Movement – One Year On’ briefing to hear how the last 12 months have seen high profile transport projects forge ahead. Two of your committee members were amongst this select gathering. Continue reading

TUC Protest March – Sunday September 18

TUC is taking the opportunity of the Lib Dem Autumn conference in Birmingham to stage an organised protest through the city centre on Sunday 18. West Midlands Police have issued a statement. Click here to see it.

The police statement details the route and times of the march, which will help you either to join or avoid the event according to your preference!

David Foster

Moving Holes!

We will soon see the first signs of work on the Metro extension in Birmingham city centre. Not dramatic signs, nor even particularly visible ones, except to the late birds amongst us, since it will be overnight work.
Centro is arranging to do some trial holes in some streets to establish the underground utilities which must be moved as the extension route is built. Continue reading

On-Street car parking – continued

On behalf of city centre residents, I have written today to the Parking Section, of Birmingham City Council objecting to their proposals to limit on-street car parking. We have asked them to withdraw their proposals and engage with residents before introducing on-street car parking changes.

The essence of our objection is:- Continue reading

Changes to city centre transport that will affect you

Birmingham City Council and Centro are proposing to change how transport links operate in the City centre area. These will be major changes, happening in a couple of years. Consultation and action are starting in the course of this year and we should be prepared to respond, as necessary.

Centro are creating a dedicated website at giving lots of information about the proposals. However, as it isn’t ready yet – 22 March 2011 – I have written this provisional report using Centro’s material. Continue reading

Lap Dancing – Boujee Rooms and the aftermath!

You will have seen in the local press (for example the Birmingham Mail) that our attempt on Monday to oppose Boujee Rooms’ licence extension failed. We were not alone in opposing this application – we joined with the Broad Street BID, City Centre Partnership and virtually all of the individual businesses in the area. The committee accepted the application principally because neither the Police, nor any other of the official bodies (Child Protection, NHS, etc), opposed it.

The process demonstrated that the Council’s policy to make Broad Street a restricted area for lap dancing is a sham. This means that, while this policy remains in place, there is nothing to stop many such clubs from opening in Broad Street.

The only promising sign is that later this year the Council will be enabled, through a change in the law, to exercise much greater control over Sex establishments. With residents’ support, we will be pressuring our Council to apply these powers much more rigorously than it has up to now.

What would you like to see happen?

  1. All such establishments banned from the Broad Street BID area, or
  2. A limited number (for example, two) approved but no more, or
  3. Rely on the Council Licensing team to apply controls (effectively the status quo), or
  4. No restrictions.

Please let us know.

David Foster
(committee member – City Centre Neighbourhood Forum)

Floral Trail wins National GOLD

miniAs we reported yesterday, Birmingham city centre’s entry in the Urban Communities category of 2009 Britain in Bloom won Gold and ‘Best in Category’.

The judges’ summarised their assessment of our entry:-

“This large Urban City Centre has become a place of horticultural excellence and an area used by the many residents who now reside within the Centre. This was amply demonstrated by members of the community and school children who take part and enjoy the facilities provided.

Floral displays and features were outstanding along with excellent sustainable planting and the quality of maintenance was generally superb. Heritage plays an important part, particularly in the canal area and also in the recognition of local historical figures such as Matthew Boulton.
There were many innovative ideas and we (i.e. the judges) enjoyed a well conducted, interesting and informative tour.”

There’s was lots more detail, too, including some useful ideas for improving further. Informally, the judges also revealed that we were ‘miles ahead’ of our competition in the category (including Manchester City Centre)!

Together with the news about the Staffordshire hoard, what a couple of days for Birmingham!!

David Foster
(Chair, City Centre Neighbourhood Forum)

Threatened demonstration in City Centre

The police have alerted us to the possibility of an ‘Anti-Islamic Fundamentalist Protest’ march in the City Centre this coming Saturday, August 8.

Apparently there was something similar a few weeks ago. Two opposing groups were involved but were kept apart. The police hope to be similarly successful again but there appears to have been wider internet publicity this time so there may be more participants.

I have no information about time of day or route, though the last protest centred on Victoria Square. If I learn more, I’ll post it here.

David Foster

Chairman, City Centre Neighbourhood Forum

Swine ‘Flu – latest advice

Our local NHS primary care trusts have issued the following updated advice regarding the swine flu outbreak:


What is Swine Flu?

  • Official name is H1N1 – new strain of flu circulating on a global level.
  • Birmingham has a high number of cases with most being in Heart of Birmingham.
  • Mild illness lasting up to 5 days.

Those without underlying illness recover well.

Continue reading

after the Ward meeting . .

The meeting on March 3 gave some local residents a chance to vent their frustrations at the City planners over the vagueness of the “Big City Plan”. It also tantalised us with the prospects – yet again – for a community swimming pool in Ladywood, only to have the inevitable doubts surface, this time about transport links. And where is the money to come from?

The City Centre Neighbourhood Forum can put pressure on the City planners on both of these issues – and others, of course.

When Forum management committee members met recently with the Big City Plan team, we discovered that they aim to produce another working document later in the year. We shall be pressing them to bring forward concrete ideas rather than the vagueness that has been the hallmark of their stuff so far.

Of the big schemes, we know that the designs for “The Library of Birmingham” will be launched at an event today, April 2. If you want to see a clip showing the scheme, click here. Also we understand that the ownership of the Pallasades shopping centre has now transferred to the City Council; this is an essential precursor to the New Street station redevelopment.

The swimming pool plan is scheduled to be submitted to senior council officers and councillors before the end of the year for the next decision. It will have to be no later if they are to meet their ambitious target for completion (namely 2012).

As we hear any more, we’ll post it here.