Friday, 20 July 2018

"Shotgun brandished" in broad daylight

ARMED police swooped on a Chelmsley Wood street following reports a man threatened to blast through a front door with a firearm.
The response team were called by a panicked resident in Waterson Croft yesterday morning (Wednesday), following reports of a disturbance at a tower block.
A sawn-off shotgun was recovered at the scene and sent for forensic tests. A 19-year-old man was arrested after being pursued into fields near the M6 motorway.
Checks of CCTV images led officers to another high rise in nearby Woodlands Way, where a 21-year-old man was also detained. The force helicopter and dog units also attended the scene, which was promptly sealed off.
Both men are being questioned on suspicion of possessing a short-barrelled shotgun.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Green Flag Awards for three of our open spaces

THREE sites in North Solihull have once again clinched a Green Flag Award.
The status is awarded to those parks and green spaces which are deemed to have achieved a certain standard in a number of key criteria.
Locally, Babbs Mill Local Nature Reserve, Meriden Park and Woodlands Cemetery were all judged to have made the grade when the full list was published on Monday.
All three locations retain their place, having previously featured in the 2017 list. Across the borough as a whole, 15 sites were handed the coveted Award.
Nationwide, an unprecedented 1,883 Green Flags were awarded this year, which was nearly 100 more than 12 months ago.
Paul Todd, International Green Flag Award scheme manager, said: "It has been a record-breaking year for Green Flag Awards, and it’s fantastic to see such a diverse range of locations have been recognised. 
"We are proud to have so many wonderful green spaces in the UK for people to experience, and encourage the public to head outdoors, explore their local area and find even more unexpected green spaces they can enjoy."
In order for a site to secure a Green Flag it must demonstrate its commitment to public safety, helping the environment and cleanliness.
Projects to nurture nature, promote community involvement and ensure that local people feel welcome are also taken into consideration by the scheme's judges.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Police investigate attempted theft from sparrowhawk nest.

POLICE are investigating an attempted theft from a Sparrowhawk nest in Chelmsley Wood.
It is understood that the would-be thief had targeted the bird-of-prey’s nest in a nearby wooded area.
The incident. understood to have taken place on the weekend of June 23-34, is being investigated by Solihull’s wildlife crime officer PC Andy Timmins.
Under the Protection of Birds Act 1954 it is illegal to take a wild bird’s eggs, with an unlimited fine or even a prison sentence awaiting those convicted.
If you have any information about the incident call Solihull Police on 101.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Enquiries into Babbs Mill attack continue

POLICE continue to investigate the attempted rape of a 11-year-old at Babbs Mill Park and have advised worried locals to consider carrying personal alarms.
The daytime assault on the schoolgirl, which caused shock and concern in Kingshurst and neighbouring areas, took place on June 29.
The victim had been knocked to the ground and suffered cuts to her neck in the terrifying attack, which happened at just before 3pm. She was subsequently discharged from hospital after receiving treatment.
In a statement last week, officers said they had interviewed several people as part of their investigations and that they were looking to "eliminate potential suspects and identify the offender."
As enquiries continue, neighbourhood teams are continuing to carry out high-visibility patrols in the vicinity of the park, which has been the scene of a number of other offences in recent months.
Residents who have concerns are encouraged to read advice compiled by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust - a public safety charity.
Anyone who has any information about last month's attack should call detectives on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Upgrade for leisure centre's fitness suite

INVESTMENT: Coun Joe Tildesley, cabinet member for leisure, tourism
and sport, and Jon Senior, regional director at Everyone Active.

THE fitness suite at North Solihull Sports Centre is set to be upgraded on the back of a recent deal done in relation to the facility.
Leisure operator Everyone Active is to invest £1million into the Chelmsley Wood site and Tudor Grange, near Solihull town centre.
The replacement of existing fitness equipment and the installation of new machinery is scheduled for later this month.
Earlier this year, Solihull Council announced that it had bought out a previous agreement with Parkwood Leisure – who had run the centres for over a decade.
A new deal was signed with Everyone Active, which the local authority argued would save money.
While most of the Sports Centre will remain open during the improvement work, the fitness suite itself will be shut from July 16-20.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Playground pays tribute to community spirit

MERIDEN Adventure Playground has celebrated its 10th anniversary and is now about to embark on an exciting new project.
The popular facility organised a fun day last month to mark the milestone, which some volunteers feared they would never see.
As previously reported by OSOS, the playground was plunged into uncertainty last year with the news that the council was withdrawing funding.
In the months that followed, the team worked tirelessly to apply for grants which would safeguard the site’s future.
What’s more, the playground has recently announced a partnership with other organisations to support local young people.
The facility put together a joint bid for funding, alongside Gro-Organic, Solihull Life Opportunities (SoLO) and Urban Heard.
The move was a response to the fact that many youth facilities in the area had closed and there is far less choice for older children and teenagers.
The application to the Youth Investment Fund means that the playground has secured salaries for most of its staff for the next three years.
Posting on Facebook, the Meriden Adventure Playground Association (MAPA) said: “Who’d have thought a year ago we would be in this position?
“It’s amazing what we can all do when the community and community-rooted organisations work together – congratulations North Solihull!”

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Warning to "name and shame" litter louts in Solihull

LITTER louts have been warned that they face being named and shamed for failing to pick up rubbish or clear up dog mess.
Solihull Council has signalled it intends to take a tougher approach to those who ignore the law and is enlisting a new team of wardens to deal with the problem.
The pilot scheme, which will see the council enter into a deal with a private enforcement agency, will focus patrols in notorious hotspots.
Those caught littering or failing to clear up after their pet face being slapped with £75 fines (cut to £50 if they cough up within seven days).
Those who refuse to pay the penalty risk being hauled before the courts.
Coun Alison Rolf, cabinet member for stronger communities and partnerships, agreed to the two-year trial last month.
She suggested they could “blaze” the case of someone who had been caught across the media, to make clear to others that the behaviour wasn’t acceptable.
“How many times do you drive behind someone and they’re chucking stuff out of the window of their car?
“I do think we need to be seen to be more into the enforcement side of it as well as educating people that this isn’t the way to behave.
“It’s those people who are blatantly understanding what they are doing and still doing it.”
She said that she had often challenged those she had seen drop something on the ground, even when a bin was just a few feet away.
While Solihull Council said that clearing up after people incurs a considerable cost, it has admitted that its own enforcement officers haven’t previously treated it as a priority.
With limited resources available to tackle the problem, it decided to draw up plans to strike a deal with NSL (the firm which currently issues parking tickets).
Wardens will be equipped with body-cams to gather evidence, although the law will not allow them to operate covertly.
Caroline Naven, head of neighbourhood and regulatory services, insisted the scheme was designed to change behaviour as opposed to making money.
Smith’s Wood councillor Mark Wilson (Green) said that environmental crime was a major problem in his ward and neighbouring Castle Bromwich.
“Close to Lanchester Park there are little green pockets where there has been a lot of littering [and flytipping],” he said.
“In fact I found office furniture in one street - swivel chairs and what have you. It was bizarre.”
He suggested, however, that the council might have to be careful about the cases it publicised.
Superintendent Simon Inglis, from Solihull Police, said that officers would work closely alongside the council to promote the scheme.