Local Schools Facing Budget Squeeze
Tory Councillors in Denial - Claiming MPs should be Congratulated!
Most teachers will tell you their schools are struggling. Many Olton schools face budget cuts, with teaching posts disappearing to make ends meet.
Locally by 2020, in total, these schools will lose out:
- Langley School - almost £130,000
- Langley Primary - over £100,000 (it lost a teaching assistant in the last year)
- St Margaret's - over £70,000 (lost two teachers last year)
- Ulverley School - over £60,000
- Kineton Green Primary - almost £80,000 (lost a teacher last year)
- Our Lady of Compassion - over £90,000 (lost a teacher last year)
- Oak Cottage will lose over £40,000
That's probably 11 more teachers across those schools alone. Faced with real cuts to schools between now and 2020, it's staggering that the Council refuses to petition our MPs.
Solihull Council recently debated a proposal to ask Julian Knight MP to acknowledge that current plans are unsustainable, and to lobby the Government to protect per-pupil funding for our schools.
The Conservatives voted against this, and instead said that everyone should congratulate the work our MPs have done on school funding!
Now the Council is looking at replacing many school crossing patrols (including St Bernards Rd at Monastery Drive) with pelican crossings. They’ve said that Schools can pay for patrols themselves if they want…
Your Lib Dem Councillors say Solihull’s Conservative MPs must work harder to secure decent funding for state schools
We’ve heard from a number of residents complaining about cars parked on pavements.
You can be fined for blocking a pavement. Even being only a short way onto the pavement is an offence, technically.
You may think parking on the pavement is helpful to other drivers, but what about pedestrians? Think of the parents with buggies, and people who have wheelchairs, mobility scooters or guide dogs.
If someone walks around your car and into the road they could get into a serious accident. None of us would want that on our conscience.
So - even if you decide to risk a fine - please leave at least 1 metre of clear pavement.
Crime Up - Police Stretched
Only one in ten crimes are successfully prosecuted in this area. Local Government Association figures show that Solihull is the 7th worst council for robbery, out of 36 metropolitan boroughs.
But our Police are having to do more, with less!
West Midlands Chief Constable , Dave Thompson, said recently that his resources are stretched, with less devoted to 'acquisitive crime' now.
"Our ability to be preventative has been curtailed this year", he said, explaining that neighbourhood teams are spending more time on 'reactive work'.
What Can You Do To Secure Your Home?
- Update your external door locks to anti-snap locks (TS007 3* Approved)
- Check security lights are working correctly, or consider fitting them front & rear
- Put garden furniture and bins where they cannot be climbed on. In some Solihull burglaries thieves have climbed through upstairs windows
- Consider installing an alarm, and activate it - even if away only briefly
- Set a light timer to come on if you are returning after dark or going away
- Keep valuables and vehicle keys out of sight, away from windows and doors
Childcare Issues – Are you affected?
Solihull Council’s payments for the new funded 30 hours of childcare aren’t enough for many childminders and nurseries.
Solihull pays £3.90 an hour to childminders and nurseries under England’s new 30 hour funding contract (Bristol pays £4.87). This rate is not expected to rise with inflation either.
Some childminders, who need more than £3.90 an hour to survive, have opted not to offer these funded places. Others are restricting the times of day that parents can use their funded hours.
Councillor John Windmill said “Solihull Council has a duty to ensure there are enough places for 3-4 year olds. But we fear the funding offered isn’t enough to ensure this.”
The Government ultimately funds the scheme, but they seem to want ‘Champagne Nurseries on Lemonade Funding’ (as childminders argue).
Are you a childminder, struggling to make ends meet, or a parent having trouble finding a place for your child? Please get in touch.
Good News for Residents on Masons Way & Masons Close
Your Lib Dem Councillors recently alerted local people to an application from The Crown Members Club to be allowed to sell alcohol from 8am.
We can report that the owners then revised their application. The hours for entertainment and the sale of alcohol have not been extended.
The Crown will be permitted to sell hot food and non-alcoholic drinks in the mornings – which we hope is a compromise that suits everyone.
Brookvale Site, Warwick Road
Further to our story in October’s Focus - a decision on what’s to be built at the site of the old Brookvale Care Home is now not expected until the New Year.
Olton Pharmacy, Warwick Road
This well-loved Pharmacy in Olton changed hands on November 1st. We wish them well.
Breast Cancer Haven opens on St Bernards Rd
October saw the official opening of the new ‘Breast Cancer Haven, West Midlands’, on St Bernards Rd, near the Warwick Rd. The centre offers emotional, physical and practical support to anyone affected by breast cancer in our region.
Why not join the Liberal Democrats yourself? We get things done in Olton, and have great social events too. Use the online application form.
However, you don't have to join the party to help us in Olton. You can sign up to volunteer for various occasional tasks.