Stories from the Olton Focus Newsletters in early 2016
Elect Jo Fairburn
Caring and Hard-working
Jo Fairburn is an active campaigner in Olton. She has pushed for more local mental health services, better parking, pavement repairs and car crime reductions.
Her focus is on building strong and caring communities, and looking after those who need support. No concern of yours is too small or trivial for Jo.
Message from Jo Fairburn
We’re lucky to live in Solihull, but pleasant surroundings don’t guarantee health and happiness.
We also need a strong community - looking out for each other and supported by Council services and community groups when we need them.
I meet lots of people on the doorstep who tell me about the elderly neighbour they look out for, or the couple they fetch bits of shopping for.
I’m sure we all offer help when there’s someone close by who needs us, and there are many organisations and charities standing by to assist too.
I want to encourage such good neighbourliness in Olton, connecting people with the help they need.
Those of us with relatives suffering with dementia can find support and share experiences at Café Tempo, held twice a month at Olton Library.
Council budgets are being squeezed but the demand from an ageing population for social care is growing relentlessly.
We Lib Dems have long campaigned for Health and Social Care to be combined and joined up, to get people out of hospital and into more appropriate accommodation or better still, their own homes.
If elected, I’ll push hard for proper funding for the elderly, adequate intermediate care beds and increased in-home support to allow people to stay in their own homes for longer.
Leading Lib Dem MP, Norman Lamb, is chairing the new West Midlands Commission on Mental Health and I will support his efforts to improve the mental health and well-being of people in Solihull and across our region.
I also want to ensure mental health gets the same priority as physical health. Mental health patients can end up in the hands of the Police, when they’d be better off in a specialist facility. Better coordination is the answer.
The Mental Health Trust has been re-organising its beds and therapy centres. I will monitor closely the quality of their service for local people, especially in light of the closure of the mental heath ward at Solihull hospital.
Olton Parking - An Update
Lots of you replied to our survey. Your overall preference is for more parking at Olton Station, and stricter enforcement of parking rules on all Olton streets.
It’s shameful one small road in central Solihull had more parking tickets issued than the whole of Olton Ward!
Some roads near Olton Station have finally made their way to the top of the Council's priorities and will see new parking restrictions in the coming year. However, yellow lines don’t solve the main problem: there’s not enough parking.
We’ll keep making your views heard - pressing the authorities to make train travel easier and to encourage more considerate parking.
Preventing Car Crime
It’s in our hands
When someone breaks into your car, the Police won’t have much to go on and they often struggle to catch the culprit.
In Olton they only succeed with 1 in 20 crimes. So it’s down to us car owners to prevent car crime in the first place.
See our car crime campaign page for tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.
What is the planned West Midlands Combined Authority?
It’s not a replacement for Solihull Council. We haven’t agreed to become Greater Birmingham!
Solihull will still be responsible for a great deal, as you can see in the diagram below.
By agreeing to join with other West Midlands councils, extra powers and funding will be devolved down from Whitehall so that decisions can be made regionally rather than in London.
Jo Fairburn's News in Brief
Noisy Off-road Bikes and Quad Bikes
We've heard lots of complaints in Olton about noisy motorbikes and quad bikes. We recommend that you ring the hotline on 0121 717 1500 or email [email protected], whenever you’re concerned.
Police in your Neighbourhood
With budgets squeezed, hard choices will be made. You may not see officers on your street very often. They’ll go where crime is highest, while using the latest technology to keep them out of the station and on the streets. So they need your help - please report anything suspicious.
Speeding - Is Twenty Plenty?
Would you favour a 20mph limit on residential streets? There's a UK campaign to introduce such limits "20sPlenty". Tell us what you think of this (and speed bumps). What should the Council do?
Some Solihull residents have helped set up their own speed-check groups. Get in touch with us if you’d like to know more.
Did you know?
Our libraries provide eBooks & eMagazines