Correction: In the story about school funding below there was an error, which has now been corrected (13th Nov 2017). We would like to apologise to Blossomfield Infant and Nursery School, which did not lose any teaching posts in the last year.
Local Planning Decision Time
In the coming weeks Solihull Council will confirm its review of its Local Plan, which describes where new housing should be built across the borough.
There are development sites earmarked at:
- The former TRW site
- Whitlocks End Farm, and other areas of Tidbury Green
- Dog Kennel Lane, and other areas of Dickens Heath and Cheswick Green
- Land at the former rugby club / Arden Club on Sharmans Cross Road
- Shirley Golf Club
There has been opposition to the proposed housing between Shirley and Dickens Heath, including two petitions and changes to the Local Plan have been made as a result.
We need new housing, but believe it is important to improve already stretched local services as well. Schools, roads, parking, GPs and pharmacies are already at breaking point in places.
Affordable Housing Please
Too many developments within the borough feature homes that are way out of reach of young people, presumably because developers make more profit from larger, luxury homes. We believe some sites should be reserved for affordable homes or social housing. Some say we need even more specialist housing for the elderly – care homes or assisted living – for our increasingly ageing population.
Tell us what you think.
You can view the Local Plan here.
Violent Crime on the Rise in Shirley
You may not realise it but several times recently in Solihull parks, people have been approach by strangers asking the time. They have then been punched and their phones grabbed by the assailant, who then runs off.
Only one in ten Shirley crimes are successfully prosecuted, according to latest figures. Incidents of violent and sexual crime have nearly doubled in a year. But the Police are having to do more, with less!
The Chief Constable of the West Midlands, Dave Thompson, said in Westminster 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 workloads’.
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 and set correctly (or consider fitting them front and rear)
- Put garden furniture/bins where they cannot be climbed on. In some Solihull burglaries thieves 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
School Funding – Tories in Denial
Our schools lose funding as local Tories congratulate their MPs for their great work!
Most teachers will tell you their schools are struggling. Many local schools face budget cuts, with teaching posts disappearing to make ends meet. In Shirley alone, by 2020:
- Streetsbrook Infant and Early Years Academy is due to lose over £50,000 (it lost two qualified teachers in the last year)
- Tudor Grange Primary Academy St James is set to lose over £130,000
- Blossomfield Infant and Nursery School will lose over £100,000
- Langley Primary School will lose just over £100,000
That’s equivalent to losing another 7 teachers across those 4 schools alone. This is a threat to our children’s education.
It’s staggering that, faced with real cuts to schools budgets across the borough between now and 2020, the Council chooses not to appeal to our MPs.
Solihull Council recently debated the National Funding Formula. Councillors were asked to request Julian Knight (MP) to acknowledge that the current plans are unsustainable and to lobby the Government to protect per-pupil funding for Solihull schools. The Conservative majority voted against this, and instead said that everyone should congratulate the work of our MPs on schools’ funding!
We appeal to Government to restore proper funding to our schools.
Bus Route Changes on the Way
We've heard that major changes are being considered to some bus routes and timetables in Shirley.
We don't have details yet but we'll keep you posted in future Focus newsletters and Facebook.
Join Us - Help Return a Liberal Democrat Councillor!
The alternative is years more of Tory domination in Solihull
This ward is represented by three Councillors. They’re all Tories. We’d like to change that.
In the last two years we’ve seen a surge in party membership. But you don’t have to join the party as a paid up member to help us beat the Tories!
We’re looking for volunteers to join our local team. Tell us what you might be able to do for us in Shirley, using this form (without obligation)
Are there any issues that need dealing with in Shirley? Both the things that make life difficult or inconvenient, and the changes you’d like to see.
Take our residents survey and let us know.