HMIC Consultation

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has launched a consultation in relation to its new approach to assessing police force performance in England and Wales.

This new programme of inspections, or PEEL (police efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy) assessments, will assess how well each of the 43 forces in England and Wales:

  • provides value for money (efficiency);
  • cuts crime (effectiveness); and
  • provides a service that is fair and treats people properly (legitimacy).

Each force will be assessed against these three themes, and given one of four ratings for each theme.

HMIC will publish the results of these assessments in a user-friendly format, making it easy for the public to tell at a glance how well their local force is performing and, over time, whether it is improving or deteriorating. This consultation gives the public the opportunity to have their say on the approach used to make these assessments, as well as the way they will be presented. The consultation period will run until Friday 29 August 2014 so everyone with an interest in policing – including the public and the service – will have an opportunity to have their say.

Please click here to participate in the consultation.

DotMoth Studio

DotMoth Studio is a design company founded by Annie Jenkins and Angela Tomlinson. They design and produce a range of Birmingham-inspired merchandise including tea towels, postcards and prints, many of which are available at Provide in the Custard Factory.

Annie is a graphic designer, animation designer, painter and printmaker, currently participating in the print exchange Sketchbook Project in New York. Before DotMoth she spent many years as a graphic designer for the BBC, exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Show, and was a member of the team winning Best Animation at the Annecy International Animation Festival (Gorillaz came second).

Angela is a painter and illustrator, who lived in Tokyo before returning to study at Bournville College of Art and Newcastle Polytechnic. She came back to Birmingham to teach, an activity she thoroughly enjoys.

The postcard and tea towel range is aimed at locals and tourists alike and features images of the Birmingham skyline taken from Digbeth, the contrasting architecture on Digbeth High Street, along with an image of the instantly-recognisable Old Crown pub.

To learn more about DotMoth Studio, click here to visit the website, call 07896 931 012, or email

Upcoming events at Grand Union

Points of View

When: Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 July 2014
Where: Centrala, Unit 4, Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5RS

Polish Expats Association (PEA) has moved to a new space called Centrala at Minerva Works. To celebrate, they will be holding a weekend-long screening of artists’ videos, originally showed at the Points of View Video Festival in Łódź, Poland.

The Festival is a platform for the presentation of current video works made by students and recent graduates from fine art academies in Poland, as well as artists from Łódź’s partner cities: Vilnius and Berlin. The Birmingham presentation comprises a selection of videos shown in Łódź between 2011 and 2013, and a selection from Vilnius and Berlin. The weekend includes a special screening featuring works by internationally-acclaimed Polish artist Artur Żmijewski.

The screening programme is available below, with more information on the Centrala website:

Saturday 26 July
16:00 – Videos from the UK & Poland
17:00 – Videos by Artur Żmijewski
18:00 – Talk from Jakub Majmurek, an expert on Artur Żmijewski
19:00 – Videos from Lithuania & Germany

Sunday 27 July
16:00 – Performance by Home for Waifs and Strays
17:00 – Videos from Poland
18:00 – Videos from Lithuania
19:00 – Videos from Germany

The event coincides with the Warwick Bar Summer Fete, and PEA will be hosting a family picnic/drop-in session from 13:00.

Digbeth Community Garden Launch Party

When: Saturday 26 July, 12:00-19:00
Where: Digbeth Community Garden, Shaw’s Passage, Digbeth, B5 5TH

You are invited to the formal opening of the Digbeth Community Garden this weekend, where the honours will be performed by none other than Councillor Yvonne Mosquito.

Birmingham Friends of the Earth volunteers have been hard at work transforming a patch of land next to the Warehouse building into a community garden space, and this launch has been designed to celebrate all their hard work!

The event will include demonstrations, talks, live music, good food, as well as bringing people and the community together to celebrate the garden. There will also be opportunities to find out how you can get involved in the garden and help safeguard its future.

Make sure you head down on Saturday to the Digbeth Community Garden on Shaw’s Passage (behind The Warehouse)!

More information is available on the Facebook event, and the garden page.

Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival

When: Saturday 26 July, 10:00-15:30
Where: Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, B9 4AA

This Saturday is proving to be a busy one, with the Custard Factory playing host to the Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival.

The VIP vinyl record fair returns to the Dome, and by the lake, along with Alfie Bird’s infamous jerk BBQ, from 14:00 ska tribute act Rudie and the Revolvers will play a free gig.

Recently voted the No.1 Ska and Soul tribute band in the UK, the band have headlined at the Cavern in Liverpool, and supported loads of top movers and shakers. Rudie will be joined later by Irish folk singer Rich McMahon.

Be there or be a square.

Warwick Bar Summer Fete 2014 – Reminder

When: Saturday 26th July, 12:00-18:00
Where: Warwick Bar, Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5RS

Just a reminder not to forget that the Warwick Bar Summer Fete takes place this weekend, and there’s more than a spattering of activity to keep young and old entertained all day, including:

  • Bicycle Basket Bazaar | Pod Projects | 12-6pm
    A unique array of retailers will sell their wares from bike-baskets and pannier-racks, while acoustic musicians play songs of good cheer.
  • Introduction to Gardening Workshop | 2-4pm
    Free but booking required (sign up sheet at the Welcome Table at Minerva Works entrance).
  • Pick Your Own Mojito | 12-6pm
    Mojitos made with homegrown mint varieties including chocolate, apple, lime, spear, and eau de cologne mint. Lavender flavoured gins also available.
  • Vivid Projects | Unit 11, Minerva Works | 12-5pm
    Join Vivid Projects as they take over Unit 11 with a peloton of artists and filmmakers who explore the creative possibilities of pedal power.
  • Family Film Workshop with Holly Antrum | Grand Union | Unit 19, Minerva Works | 1-3pm
    Artist Holly Antrum will lead a drop-in family workshop using various film making methods in amongst her exhibition. The workshop free and suitable for all ages.
  • PEA / Centrala | Unit 4, Minerva Works | 1-9pm
    Polish Expats Association will be holding a drop-in family workshop from 1-3pm, followed by video screenings from the Points of View Film Festival at 4-9pm.
  • In The Air | RoguePlay Theatre | Minerva Works | 1pm & 5pm
    RoguePlay will perform 15 minute demonstrations of aerial and ground-based circus acts using trapeze, hoop, lifts and acrobalance.
  • Digbeth Dining Club | Car Park | 12-6pm
    The award-winning DDC will provide sustenance from Savanna Grill, Deli at Edgebaston and Scarlet Pimpernel.

In memoriam Bob Jones

By now, many of our members will have heard about the unexpected death of Bob Jones, who was the Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands.

John Gordon, Chair of Digbeth Residents Association, and colleague of Bob, had this to say:

I found out about Bob’s passing while on my way to a funeral. Again, we are reminded of the fragility of those things we view as being truly reliable.

When Bob came over for tea with Digbeth Residents Association in 2012, I recognised an honesty of purpose, that when combined with compassion and experience, amounted to someone who I knew would make a difference to the lives of others who needed someone on their side.

It is odd to think that Bob, Yvonne Mosquito and myself were talking together just before his untimely death. I really liked him as a person, as a politician and as a believer in, and practitioner of, public service. He was one of the good ones and there aren’t that many.

I’m sure that many will feel his loss.

Bob was a supporter of Digbeth Residents Association, both before his election and during his service at PCC. He invited DRA to Lloyd House to exhibit at the PCC Open Day, as an example of good practice of the community working together with the police to tackle local problems.

Clearly, our condolences are with Bob’s family at this time.

There will be a public question time of new candidates for the Police and Crime Commissioner role on Friday 15 August at the Drum. Please see further details below:

When: Friday 15 August 2014, 18:00-21:00
Where: The Drum, 144 Potters Lane, Aston, Birmingham, B6 4UU

All candidates for PCC will be present and available for questioning at this public event:

  • David Jamieson (Labour)
  • Les Jones (Conservatives)
  • Ayoub Khan (Liberal Democrats)
  • Keith Rowe (UKIP)

Please visit eventbrite to book your place at this event.


Where: Muthers Studio, 14 Rea Street South, Digbeth, B5 6LB

Located within Muthers Studio in Digbeth, B_Drum is Birmingham’s only dedicated drum shop.

Founded by Damon, a young drummer himself, B_Drum aims to offer a complete service for drummers by stocking drum accessories as well as kits, servicing and repairs, independent advice, and drum clinics too.

Ultimately, Damon wants to create a community in which drummers can thrive, and to provide a much needed service to sustain drummers.

For more information, visit the B_Drum website, visit their Facebook page, or follow @BDrum_ on Twitter.

City of Colours

When: Saturday 6th September
Where: Venues and streets all across Digbeth

The City of Colours festival comes to Digbeth on Saturday the 6th September. Bringing together over 100 artists who will transform Digbeth into one of the UK’s largest outdoor art galleries, this is an event not to be missed!

Led by Street Art Birmingham, the festival involves a partnership of over 20 expert organisations including Digbeth’s The Bench 504, Digbeth Dining Club, The Custard Factory,, and The Rainbow Venues.

The artists from across the UK and beyond confirmed for the festival include: Inkie, Phlegm, JimmyC, Mr Cenz, Philth, Otto Shade, 3-Dom, Darren John, Cujo Cussler, G-Anders, Snub, Gent 48, Dale Grimshaw, Ziner, DANK, Dreph, Soker, Andy Council, Pref, N4T4, Dscreet, Golden Boy, Vibes, Color, Inkfetish, Newso, Mila K, Colour Doomed, Kemefinc, Ragoe, SPZero76, Liskbot, Si Mitchell, Tank Petrol, Captain Kris, Epok, Vibes, Miss Wah, Just Soap, Boswell, Lovepusher, and Obit.

As well as being an opportunity to see the above established and well-known street artists painting live, City of Colours will also serve as a platform to promote Birmingham’s emerging talent. Featuring a whole host of fringe activities, such as live music stages, street dancers, beat box battles, and cinema screenings, the festival promises to be a thoroughly engaging day out.

For more information visit the City of Colours website or Facebook page. Alternatively, Street Art Birmingham will be presenting further information about the festival at the Digbeth Residents Association meeting to be held on 11th August at 6pm in the Old Crown. Keep an eye on Digbeth is Good for more details in the coming weeks.