Saturday, 31 December 2016

Marston Green councillor awarded an OBE

A MARSTON Green man - who is currently serving as the Leader of Solihull Council - has been named in the New Year's Honours.
Councillor Bob Sleigh, who was first elected to represent the Bickenhill ward in 2000, will receive an OBE for services to local government.
Prior to taking the top job, the 67-year-old had held a number of positions within the borough's Conservative group and had served as deputy to the previous Leader, Ken Meeson.
When Coun Meeson announced he would be standing down in 2014, it was confirmed that Coun Sleigh would be taking on the role.
Last year he was also named as the chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority, which has been set up to lay the ground for greater collaboration between the region's different councils.
Coun Sleigh is now the fourth councillor currently serving on the local authority to have been recognised by the Honours system. Ted Richards OBE, who represents Castle Bromwich, is the other member from North Solihull.
Among the other Silhillians named in today's List are the entertainer Malcolm Stent, England women's international Karen Carney and Stephen Maddock - the chief executive of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO).

Friday, 30 December 2016

Bus fares to rise for local passengers


TICKET prices are set to rise on many of the area's busiest bus routes from next week.
National Express this week confirmed that the cost of an adult single ticket would be increased to £2.40 (up 10p from the current price.)
The operator, which runs services including the 71, 94 and 966, also announced that day tickets would increase from £4.40 to £4.60.
There will also be a hike for certain children's fares and for every type of adult travel card.
Overall, 19 out of the 32 of the charges advertised will be rising from January 2. Twelve will be frozen at their current level and just one, the off-peak short hop, will be reduced.
The Campaign for Better Transport has said the latest increases are "disappointing", since cheaper fares encourage more people to use the bus network.
A Transport for West Midlands spokesman said that the organisation wanted to see the lowest prices possible, but it also understood the pressures facing bus companies.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Review of the Year: Part 1

Other Side of Solihull looks back over the major news stories from the local area over the course of the past 12 months...

January: There was a sad start to 2016, with the news that a teenager from Chelmsley Wood had died during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Birmingham.
An inquest later found that 18-year-old Dylan Booth had died after taking an ecstasy tablet during a party in Digbeth.
There were also concerns about the news that a far-right group had announced it would be staging a demonstration near Marston Green.
From stirring up trouble, to cooking up a storm - local chef Glynn Purnell returned to his old school, Bishop Wilson, to support a healthy eating campaign.
Police were left puzzled after a speed limit sign was moved around a mile down the road, possibly by a rather desperate driver who was trying to escape a speeding ticket.
As the month neared its end, there were a number of high-profile visitors, including Housing Minister Brandon Lewis, here to find out more about the North Solihull Regeneration, and Team GB gymnast Mimi Cesar - who was asked to open the School Games in Chelmsley.

February: Former Iraq war veteran Richard Storer, who grew up in Kingshurst, revealed that he was being forced to sleep in his car following wrangles over housing.
Also coming up against obstacles were members of the local travelling community, whose invasion of land in Marston Green had led to a number of new barriers being installed.
Elsewhere in the village, residents were asked to have their say over plans to tighten up parking restrictions near the railway station, where commuters were continuing to clog up nearby roads.
And a short distance away, a separate consultation was launched about what should be done with the old bowling green in Meriden Park. It has since been transformed into a brand-new community space.
Debate also raged about levels of local policing, with Kingshurst & Fordbridge councillor Flo Nash making an impassioned plea for more officers on the beat.
She told Full Council that despite suggestions that crime was falling, many residents missed the reassurance of seeing PCs on patrol in local neighbourhoods.

March: As the month began, there was heartbreak for residents who had fought a long-running battle to stop the development of Babbs Mill Local Nature Reserve.
Despite their campaign against proposals, Solihull Council’s planning committee voted in favour of a new housing development, which would mean the loss of part of the wildlife habitat.
In fact politicians were proving less than popular locally, with a Conservative MP also attracting criticism after he referred to Chelmsley Wood as a “brutalist horror” in a House of Commons debate.
From low blows to a knock out performance. Former professional boxer Simon Ford smashed a World Record to raise more than £500 for Sports Relief.
Friends and family of Christopher Clarke paid their respects after the motorcyclist died in a high-speed collision on the Collector Road.
There was also a fresh flurry of tributes for Marston Green teacher Anne Dunkley, who had been stabbed to death the previous summer. Her nephew, Gareth Emery, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
And firefighters announced plans to relocate an engine to Chelmsley’s Asda supermarket, amid concerns that it was taking too long to respond to incidents in the north of the borough.

April: A group of local residents spoke of their anger and frustration over proposals to pull down bungalows in Lambeth Close, a decision which they claimed would destroy a “close-knit community.”
Solihull Council also came in for criticism for cuts in local services, with Chelmsley Wood councillor James Burn saying it was time for the local authority to be honest about the impact.
After many months of complaints about the problems caused by off-road bikes, police swooped in Smith’s Wood to seize a number of the vehicles.
Only a few weeks before, officers had faced criticism for not doing enough to respond to residents’ concerns. Castle Bromwich councillor Ted Richard vowed to take action to address another long-standing problem - the gridlock on local roads during the school run.
A Marston Green couple had a lucky escape after a cannabis factory in the property next door led to a blaze which threatened to engulf their home as well.

May: North Solihull headed to the polls for the local elections, with Labour mounting a successful defence of their last-remaining council seat in Solihull.
In Smith’s Wood Mike Sheridan, the man who had been the Greens’ first councillor locally, only to leave the party last year, was roundly defeated by his former colleagues.
Over in Castle Bromwich, quite a crowd turned out to see an original Spitfire complete a fly-past.
If the sight of the famous fighter plane set hearts racing, things were moving rather more slowly on local roads, with renewed criticism about the standard of the area’s public transport.
There was also concern about the fact that North Solihull continued to lag behind the rest of the borough when it came to getting young people into university.
Solihull’s education chief, Joe Tildesley, admitted more work needed to be done to encourage school leavers to go on to study for degrees.
In Chelmsley Wood, local residents rallied round to help after yet another arson attack at the Meriden Park Adventure Playground caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.

June: Plans to reintroduce speed cameras in Castle Bromwich continued to gather momentum, only a couple of years after the plug was pulled on the devices.
If the return of the road safety measures divided opinion, there was a unanimous welcome for the news that Chelmsley Wood clergyman Neil Roberts had been awarded an BEM.
The Grace Academy was in full song after a group of stars from London’s West End arrived to perform alongside school pupils.
A report raised concerns about alcohol consumption in the borough, with suggestions that more than 40,000 people were drinking more than they should.
Ironically enough, the month concluded with an event which was almost certain to leave many people reaching for a glass in celebration - or despair.
After a bruising campaign, which divided opinions both locally and nationwide, the UK voted to leave the European Union.
Across the borough, more than half backed Brexit, with Meriden MP Caroline Spelman - who had campaigned for Remain - issuing a call for the country to come together.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Castle Bromwich man dies after Boxing Day crash

POLICE have appealed for witnesses after a Castle Bromwich man died following a road crash yesterday (Monday).
The motorcyclist, who has been named locally as 39-year-old Wajid Fazil, was killed after apparently colliding with a barrier on Fort Parkway, near to the Fort Dunlop building.
Following the incident, at around 12noon, the road had been closed in both directions to allow an air ambulance to land at the scene.
The biker was airlifted to hospital, but despite the best efforts of medical staff, he died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.
Officers have said that family liaison officers are supporting the man's loved ones following the tragedy.
PC Karl Davies, from West Midlands Police's collision investigation unit, urged anyone who saw what happened to contact police on 101.

350 new homes for North Solihull

LATEST PROPOSALS: 100 homes would form part of the Kingshurst
Parade redevelopment

PLANS have been announced to build 350 additional homes across the north of the borough.
Solihull Council has outlined proposals to develop four sites over the course of the next 12 years, as part of ongoing efforts to tackle the local housing shortage.
In the three “Regeneration” wards, homes have been allocated as follows: Chester Road/Moorend Avenue (100), Kingshurst Village Centre (100), Jensen House/Auckland Drive (100) and Arran Way (50).
Across the borough as a whole, the new version of the council’s Draft Local Plan sets out plans to build 6,150 additional dwellings.
In some respects, North Solihull has a relatively small quota – just over one in 20 of the properties have been assigned to this part of the borough.
Interestingly, no further development sites have been identified in Castle Bromwich or Marston Green (which is likely to be a particular relief to the latter, given the pressure that recent expansion has placed on local services.)
While it is villages such as Dickens Heath and Knowle which have been allocated a greater number of homes in the latest set of figures, concerns are likely to be raised about the decision to review the Local Plan only three years after the original document was finalised.
Solihull Council has identified three main reasons for why it has had to once again reopen the debate about housing.
First and foremost, a legal challenge has found fault with the original plan and the local authority has been forced to reconsider its arrangements.
Then there is the fact that Birmingham City Council is struggling to meet its own housing targets, with the suggestion that areas such as Solihull will have to help their larger neighbour meet the shortfall.
Finally, the high-speed rail plans and in particular the interchange station being built near the NEC will require alterations to the plan previously agreed in 2013.
A council spokesman said: “We are continuing to work closely with...communities to ensure they are aware of the revision of the Local Plan and we will continue to support this bottom-up community approach to planning.”
The revised proposals, available to view here, will be out for consultation until January 30.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Solihull receives £700k to help prevent homelessness


SOLIHULL Council has secured a £700,000 grant to help young people at risk of homelessness.
The local authority is one of 28 around the country to receive extra funding to tackle a problem which is on the rise around the country.
Research earlier this year suggested that the number of people sleeping rough has doubled in five years and the Government has come under criticism for cutting money to support services.
In Solihull, a recent review suggested that homelessness was increasing at a faster rate in the borough than the average for both the region and the country as a whole.
After pressure mounted on ministers to get a handle on the situation, the Prime Minister Theresa May announced that councils around the country would receive additional money to fund projects to support those at risk of losing their home.
Mrs May said: "I’m pleased to congratulate Birmingham and Solihull on being selected as one of our trailblazing areas.
"I welcome how they are working towards a single system to address the complexities of homelessness, their new teams to support vulnerable people and how they will provide early advice to those at risk of losing their home."

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Organisers "gobsmacked" by success of North Solihull's Christmas appeal

FANTASTIC RESPONSE: A few of the
hampers donated by local people
THESE are just some of more than 200 food parcels which were put together for this year’s North Solihull Christmas hamper appeal.
The hampers, which included a selection of food, have been delivered to elderly and vulnerable members of the community.
They were prepared by schools (including pupils at Coleshill Heath and Fordbridge), businesses and community organisations, following an appeal which was widely shared on social media.
Police officers and local fire crews were among those who helped to make the special deliveries.
The North Solihull Neighbourhood Team had co-ordinated a similar project last year, but this time the response was even greater.
“We are so overwhelmed at the generosity and kindness of everyone that helped us achieve this,” said the group.
It is hoped that some of the recipients will keep in touch with the person/people who prepared their hamper in the year to come.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Campaign to protect Smith's Wood playing field gathers pace

HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition calling for the council to abandon plans to build on Bosworth Wood playing field.
Under current plans the land has been earmarked for up to 100 homes, but some residents have argued that the scheme “isn’t in the interests” of the local community.
Other Side of Solihull recently reported on the concerns raised by former Smith’s Wood councillor Graham Craig, who believes it would be shortsighted to develop a site which may one day need to be returned to educational use.
His fear is that Solihull Council has underestimated the likely rise in demand for school places, with more young families expected to move onto the estate in future.
From the residents’ point of view, trying to crowd more houses onto the land would put further strain on local services and lead to the loss of a valued open space.
The field, off Auckland Drive, is one of the largest sites of its kind in the area and is regularly used by local sports teams and to host events including a monthly car boot sale.
The petition was started online by Aimee Mallinson, a community development worker for the area. Summarising the concerns, her petition said: “This area is already densely populated with 1,500 properties and since the closure of Bosworth Wood Primary School, local children are having to go out of the area as Smith’s Wood Primary Academy is full. Bringing in another 100 families to the area is only going to increase this issue.”
Within days of the campaign being launched, hundreds of people had put their name to it.
Joanne Poyner wrote: “We desperately need to stop building on every bit of grass. There’s too little green space as it is.”
Another backer, Victoria Kesterton, said: “It’s important to keep green playing fields for all because they’re the only place our children and families will have to get fresh air into [their] lungs.” Councillor Ian Courts, the Deputy Leader of Solihull Council, has promised a full consultation before any plans to release the playing field for development are agreed.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Fresh appeal 20 years after boys vanish in Chelmsley Wood

STILL MISSING: Patrick Warren and David Spencer were last seen at a
Chelmsley Wood petrol station 20 years ago this month.

A MAN whose older brother disappeared during the Christmas holidays 20 years ago has made an impassioned plea for information so that his sibling can be "laid to rest."
David Spencer, then 13, and his friend Patrick Warren, 11, were last seen late on Boxing Day 1996 and despite extensive police investigations, attempts to find out what happened to the two schoolboys have been unsuccessful.
Today David's younger brother, Lee O'Toole , has spoken about how events have affected the family and made a public appeal for anyone who can help solve the case to come forward.
He was just nine-years-old at the time of the disappearance and revealed that he spent evening after evening walking around local streets trying to find the pair.
Now 29, Lee said he still suffers nightmares about the events of the mid-1990s and will not be able to rest until he finds out what happened.
"I’ve come to terms with the fact David is dead, but I wake every night wondering what happened to him and how he died," he said.
"This time of year is very hard, December 14 was David’s birthday, he would have been 33, and then Christmas just brings back memories of him vanishing.
"After all these years I just want to know where David is. If something terrible has happened, if I know about it at least I can grieve. I’m in limbo at the moment not knowing what happened.
"I would like to give him a proper funeral and have a special place that I can visit."
On December 26 1996, the two boys had told David’s family that they were staying at Patrick’s brother’s house.
APPEAL: Lee O'Toole
The last sighting of them was at the Shell petrol station, in Chelmsley Wood, at just after midnight, where they were given a packet of biscuits by an assistant working at the forecourt.
The boys were reported missing in the early hours of the next day and a full-scale search was launched.
Later, Patrick’s Christmas present, a red Apollo bicycle, was discovered at the back of the petrol station. It had been hidden in an area used for storing commercial bins.
In the years since there have been numerous public appeals for information and the case was featured on BBC's Crimewatch a decade ago.
DCI Caroline Marsh, the senior investigating officer, said that detectives continued to pursue old lines of inquiry, as well as seeking new information.
As the 20th anniversary approaches, she said that the force had no intention of closing the case while the boys' whereabouts remained unknown.
"Anyone, with any piece of information, however small they might consider it to be, should contact the police," she said. "That piece of information could ultimately lead to us finding out what has happened to Patrick and David and bring some peace to their families."

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Council pressed on future plans for Babbs Mill

Councillor Ian Courts
A COUNCILLOR has demanded assurances that there will be no further development of Babbs Mill Park.
Councillor Debbie Evans (UKIP, Kingshurst & Fordbridge) raised the question at this month’s meeting of Full Council.
It comes amid concern from residents that the decision earlier this year to allow housing to be built on part of the Local Nature Reserve will set a dangerous precedent.
Councillor Ian Courts, cabinet member for managed growth, said: “No changes to the green belt are proposed in or around Babbs Mill Park and Nature Reserve.
“I can say it is not the council’s policy to allow residential development on the remainder of the park or nature reserve.”
When asked how long this commitment would be respected, Coun Courts said that it would be for the duration of the Local Development Plan – which continues until the early 2030s.

Monday, 19 December 2016

School chef from Marston Green scoops top award

TWO COURSE TREAT: Jose Davies
Kochakkadan with his winning meal
THERE’S no sign of lumpy custard or limp lettuce leaves at one local school...
And it helps that the man designing the menu at Marston Green Infant Academy has just won the title of West Midlands School Chef of the Year.
Jose Davies Kochakkadan had to call on all his culinary skills to triumph against two other school cooks in a fiercely-contested final.
With just £1.30 to spend on their two-course menu, the three finalists had 90 minutes to rustle up a main course and dessert which were both tasty and nutritious.
Jose impressed the panel of chefs and catering professionals with an Indian-inspired main, which he followed with mango frangipane.
He now goes on to face nine other kitchen wizards in the national final, which will take place at Stratford-Upon-Avon College on March 2 next year.
Should he triumph he will take the title as the UK’s undisputed School Chef of the Year.
Jose said: “Looking forward for the national final, I will definitely put my heart and soul into competing against the other finalists to achieve one of my goals.”
Councillor Ken Meeson, Solihull Council’s cabinet member for children, education and skills, said: “Solihull’s Catering Service has a strong track record of providing high quality meals for children in Solihull and further afield, so we are very proud to have one of our team members shortlisted for this prestigious industry award.”
Organised by the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA), the annual contest aims to prove that school meals now are a far cry from those that the parents of today’s pupils may remember.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Parking ban to take effect outside Marston Green school

TOUGH new parking restrictions are to be introduced at Marston Green Infant Academy in response to concerns about congestion during the school run.
The “traffic exclusion zone”, which will come into force next September, aims to address problems caused by parents picking up and dropping off pupils.
As part of proposals, which will also include a 20mph speed limit, vehicles are expected to be banned between 8am-9am and 2.30pm- 3.30pm every weekday.
Only those with special permits, such as local residents and the disabled, will be exempt.
Solihull Council has admitted that previous campaigns to deter mums and dads from clogging up surrounding streets had often fallen on deaf ears.
They have now drawn up plans for the new pilot scheme, which will be trialled at Marston Green and two other schools (Oak Cottage Primary, near Olton, and Haslucks Green School, in Shirley). Depending on the success of the scheme at these three sites, similar restrictions could be put in place at other schools around the borough.
The plans were approved by Councillor Ted Richards, cabinet member for transport and highways, who has spoken in the past about the deluge of complaints the council receives about driveways being blocked and cars churning up grass verges.
Paul Tovey, the council’s head of highway services, said: “We started this process off following a successful trial in Edinburgh [in response to] a similar type of problem.
“School gate parking has been on the agenda for a number of years now and we have been trying to make inroads into changing people’s behaviour.
“It’s worth pointing out that this tool is only suitable in certain locations, you can’t put it outside every school.”
A total of 11 schools registered an interest in taking part in the pilot and interestingly six of them were in North Solihull (Marston Green Infants, Castle Bromwich Juniors, Yorkswood Primary, Smith’s Wood Primary, Fordbridge Primary and Smith’s Wood Sports College).
Marston Green was chosen as one of the most suitable sites because of the local road layout and the fact that 60 per cent of children lived within a mile.
Councillor Stephen Holt (Green, Smith’s Wood) said he was “very pleased” that the scheme had been brought forward but asked what would be done to consult local residents.
“I think this is rather different from what most people are used to,” he said.
• What do you think? Leave us a comment on Facebook or email theothersideofsolihull@gmail.com

Saturday, 17 December 2016

New edition of Other Side of Solihull is out now.


THE latest edition of Other Side of Solihull's digital newspaper is now available on Issuu.
Don't forget to send us your stories for the next issue.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Mayor of Solihull's Christmas message

Christmas already, it can’t possibly be - I’m only just getting over the last one!  Ring any bells?  I think it’s fair to say we’ve all thought that at one time or another.  I’ve noticed as I get older, time like sand slips through your fingers so easily, one moment it’s there and then it’s gone.
When you think about it, time is a strange concept, we have loads of it, it’s free but there’s never enough.  Not that modern living helps, the internet, emails, Twitter and Facebook all compete for our attention.  So now I have less time rather than more!
As Christmas is a season of reflection and a time to reevaluate what’s really important I think this year I'm not going to text or email those that mean so much to me. I am going to, at the very least, give them a call or better still, go and see them. Because that’s the real value of Christmas, making the time to share with others.
It’s been seven months since Jenny and I became Mayor and Mayoress of Solihull and it’s been a roller coaster of a journey from the very first day.  I’ve always believed we live in an extraordinary place and becoming Mayor has simply confirmed that as a fact.
People make places extraordinary and it’s people that make great communities.  Solihull is blessed; we have some really great communities spread across the borough.  I am truly honoured to be your Mayor - thank you Silhillians.  We wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Councillor Mike Robinson
Mayor of Solihull 

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Knitted Christmas tree unveiled in Marston Green.

TOWERING ACHIEVEMENT:
The St Leonard's knitted tree
TWELVE months of work have gone into the hand-knitted Christmas tree which has taken pride of place at St Leonard's Church, in Marston Green.
The 23ft tree itself and the hundreds of decorations adorning its branches are all made from wool.
The Knit, Stitch and Natter group - which meet at the village library - and members of the local community had helped create the formidable "fir".
A total of 248 hand-knitted decorations were collected from the library a few weeks ago.
A church spokesman said: "So much time, effort and wool have been put in and it's a sight to see.
"We are opening the church next Saturday for anyone to drop by and admire the decorations! A big thank you to everyone involved."
A photo of the tree (right) was posted earlier this week and has attracted a lot of positive comments on social media.
Gemma Sale wrote on Facebook: "I will definitely be coming next week to see what my Gramps has been busy helping with!"
The project follows the success of a "knitted nativity" two years ago, for which child-sized woollen characters were created by members of the congregation and installed in a traditional stable scene.
The tree will be on show on Saturday (December 17) between 1.00-4.00pm.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Bus services diverted

SOME of the main bus routes through North Solihull are being diverted this week due to resurfacing works out towards Spitfire Island.
The No 71 and the No 966, which run through the north of the borough, will be affected early in the morning and during the evening while the work on Newport Road is completed.
Buses will be diverted around the back of Castle Bromwich after 7pm and some morning services will also be affected, as the overnight roadworks will not finish until 6am.
The resurfacing work is due to be completed on Friday (December 16).

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Chelmsley Wood councillor criticises plan for new grammars.

GRAMMAR PLAN: Theresa May
A CHELMSLEY Wood councillor has said that government plans to increase the number of grammar schools could lead to a greater divide in standards of education locally.
Coun James Burn (Green) said this week that he had concerns about Theresa May's much-publicised policy to allow the first new grammars to open for 50 years.
Urging Solihull Council to oppose the proposals, Coun Burn said there was clear evidence that the changes would be bad news for an already "polarised" borough.
Addressing Full Council on Tuesday, he said: "Grammar schools have, yes, worked for one or two people and we all know anecdotes of people who will say 'well I went to a grammar school, it worked fine for me'.
"But we have to rely as councillors on evidence not just anecdotes. On balance, a grammar school benefits children from advantaged backgrounds far more than it benefits children from disadvantaged backgrounds."
Coun Alison Rolf (Con, Bickenhill) said her son had gone to a grammar school outside the borough after passing his eleven plus and was "thriving".
She said: "I'm sorry but I can't support the motion because as a parent I want to have a choice. I want to make the best choice for my child."
Coun Burn's motion was ultimately defeated when put to the vote.

Grammar dilemma:
Grammars select children on the basis of academic ability and were once a key part of Britain's education system. In the mid 1960s, reforms by the then Labour government started a process which saw many grammars either convert to comprehensives or become independent schools. Today there are fewer than 200 state grammars remaining nationwide. Solihull, in common with many councils around the country, has none remaining.
During the summer, it emerged that the new Prime Minister was drawing up plans which would allow the creation of new grammar schools for the first time in decades. Supporters argue the policy will increase social mobility, while critics suggest it will actually lead to greater inequality.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Bright idea to raise money for popular playground

A "NEON disco" will be taking place at Meriden Park Adventure Playground tomorrow evening (Saturday).
The sponsored event, which will see a group set out with glow sticks for a teatime tour of the surrounding area, has been organised to help raise funds for the popular facility.
People can pick up a sponsorship form from the playground or use their own. There will be free hot chocolate and marshmallows by the campfire for those who complete the route.
The event starts at 5pm and may be a good follow-on to the Christmas Market taking place in the afternoon.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Sessions in Smith's Wood for young jobseekers

COURSES which aims to help local young people into work will be running at the start of next week.
The employability sessions, open to 18-25-year-olds who are currently looking for work, will be held at Elmwood Place, Smith's Wood on Monday and Tuesday (December 12 and 13).
Sessions run from 9.45am-3pm. There will be refreshments and a £20 gift voucher for those who attend.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Santa's sleigh in Marston Green and Chelmsley

A VISIT FROM ST NICHOLAS: The sleigh
routes raise money for various good causes
ROUTES are now available for the Marston Green & District Lions sleigh routes.
Father Christmas will be touring the streets of Marston Green and Chelmsley Wood between December 12-20. The full programme is set out below.

Monday, December 12 (6.30–9pm)
Charlbury Avenue, Lambourne Grove, Hillys Croft, Leyburn Road, Buckden Close, Oxford Grove, Chichester Grove, Wavers Marston, Clarksland Grove

Tuesday, December 13 (6.30-9pm)
Perch Avenue, Grantley Drive, Pendrell Close, Conway Road, Stapleton Drive, Fencote Avenue, Elmore Close, Hadfield Way, Anstey Croft

Wednesday, December 14 (6.30–9pm)
Clopton Crescent, Newby Grove, Tyne Close, Runcorn Close, Tay Croft, Rowan Way, Box Road, Whitebeam Road

Thursday, December 15 (6.30–9pm)
Bluebell Drive, Yorkminster Drive, Lyecroft Avenue, Foxland Close, Waterson Croft, Ryeclose Croft, Hawksworth Road, Drake Croft, Hawksworth Road, Kitegreen Close, Heathgreen Close, Partridge Close

Friday, December 16 (6.30–9pm)
Pike Drive, Bream Close, Graylings Walk, Chilham Drive, Ludlow Close, Wardour Drive, Penrith Grove, Drummond Way, Keepers Gate

Saturday, December 17 (3.00–6.30pm)
Elmdon Lane, Canterbury Drive, Greenway, Newlands Lane, Digby Drive, Elmdon Road, Somerton Drive, Ashfield Lane, Moat House Lane, Wolverton Road, Rotherby Grove, Farndon Avenue, Hidcote Grove, St Leonard’s Close, Land Lane, Hall Drive, Aylesford Drive

Sunday, December 18 (3.00–6,30pm)
Bickenhill Lane, Coleshill Road, Station Road, Chelmsley Lane, Alcott Lane, The Orchard, Holly Lane, Moseley Drive, Martin Rise, Marston Croft, Elm Farm Avenue, Wayside, Bickenhill Road, The Oaklands, Mowe Croft, Brook Croft, Bickenhill Road, Lyndon Croft

Tuesday, December 20 (6.30–9pm)
Shirland Avenue, Ludworth Avenue, Holbrook Grove, Enville Close, Costock Close, Maple Leaf Drive, Byford Way, Harby Close, Radlow Crescent

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Police appeal following cash box robbery in Green Lane

A SECURITY man was injured while doing his rounds in Castle Bromwich on Friday (December 2).
The robbery happened as the G4S driver was leaving the Tesco Express store, in Green Lane, at around 4.45pm.
The offender ran up behind the driver and snatched the cash box from his hand as he approached the vehicle. The driver's shoulder was injured in the incident.
Solihull Police are investigating the incident and today appealed for any information. Call officers on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Christmas Market coming to Meriden Park


A CHRISTMAS Market is to be held at the new community space in Chelmsley Wood's Meriden Park.
The event will be taking place on the site of the former bowling green next Saturday (December 10).
There will be a variety of stalls, festive food, carol singing and a visit from Father Christmas and his elves. The market will be open from 10.30am-3.30pm.