Posts Tagged ‘ Birmingham City Council

‘Breathalysed-on-entry’ Police Scheme

Selected Digbeth venues have signed up a to the Breathalysed-on-entry scheme recently launched by West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council.

The scheme arms door staff with Alco-Blow detectors which can measure alcohol when breathed into from a few inches. The detectors can also help determine if revellers are disguising alcohol in a soft drink bottle.

Central Birmingham Police Sergeant Dave Francis, said: “In recent years we’ve seen an explosion in pre-loading culture when people come into the city centre already drunk. Obviously, heavily drunk people are a danger to themselves and more likely to get involved in alcohol-related crime and disorder.”

Door staff will collect age and gender information when using the Alco-Blow detectors to provide a clearer picture of the types of people drinking to excess. It is hoped this data will inform new policing strategies to reduce alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and crime.

For more information, please visit the West Midlands Police website.

Comment is free…

The ever irreverent Spotted Dog landlord John Tighe recently sent us his solution to the struggles currently facing the new Library of Birmingham…

Birmingham City Council already has its own tried and trusted template for dealing with problems such as those threatening the new library.

Look no further than the solution they came up with to deal with the cost of running one of the top Science Museums in Europe.

They closed it and stored all the exhibits in a warehouse that is open to the public for two days a year. Great idea. They even stacked the exhibits randomly on shelves up to the ceiling so that most were out of sight (also a great idea since it discourages visitors). But, the full-time staff savings! – only needs two microbiologists to stop bugs eating the exhibits.

Now, I’m not proposing that they should close the library (unless one of their favourite developers wants the site), but have they not considered storing the books in another warehouse in Nechells? Think of the benefits: Run the library as the world’s largest coffee bar (International publicity, Guinness Book of Records); Fewer and cheaper staff (no qualifications needed to serve coffee); Massive profits (have you seen what idiots pay for espresso?). The only downside, of course, is that they would have to employ at least two more microbiologists.

Having worked for the NHS for over thirty years and my wife having worked as a teacher for the same length of time we simultaneously formed the theory that both professions would work swimmingly if we could get rid of the patients and the kids. How refreshing to find that our theories have been proved empirically.

I still smile when I remember that Birmingham once competed to be City of Culture.

Save St Pats

When: Sunday 15th March 2015, 12:00-14:00
Where: Digbeth High Street

Planning for the next St Patrick’s day parade is underway in earnest, despite recent announcements from Birmingham City Council to cut funding for public events across the city. The Birmingham St Patrick’s Festival Committee have launched a crowd funding project to make up the deficit and save the parade.

The effect of the celebration is felt throughout the city with iconic buildings such as Selfridges and the Library of Birmingham lighting up green in a show of support. After a record-breaking 90,000 attendees at the 2014 parade, it is now classed as the second largest Irish parade in the world!

It is important to remember is the parade is organised by volunteers from the Birmingham Irish community, who are not paid for their tireless hard work in the months before and after each event. The parade means so much to so many which is why the organisers are calling on supporters to help in any way they can to keep the parade alive.

The Show Must Go On is aiming to raise £20,000, although the parade itself costs more than £70,000 to stage, including the cost of essential requirements such as road closures, safety barriers, street cleaning, toilets, bins, first aid provision and security.

Anyone wishing to support the St Patrick’s Day Parade can do so by:

See the St Patrick’s Birmingham website to learn more, and remember to share the funding campaign with everyone you know so that together we can save the parade!

December Events at Stanhope Hall

Where: Stanhope Hall Community Centre, Ketley Croft, Highgate, B12 OXG

Being a good neighbour doesn’t just mean looking out for those those in your immediate vicinity, but supporting the areas neighbouring Digbeth too. Highgate’s Stanhope Hall is a fantastic and well-used community centre, offering a much needed service as well as some fun events too!

Monica Lee who looks after Stanhope Hall would like to extend an invitation to anyone wishing to attend the events at the community centre in December:

Elders Christmas Lunch
When: Thursday 11th December, 12:00-13:00

This free lunch is open to anyone wanting to come along to enjoy good food and good company.

Theatre Performance
When: Monday 15th December, 14:30-15:30

Women & Theatre welcome you to a free performance of The Christmas Box featuring seasonal songs, storytelling, laughter and good cheer!

For more information about either event, please contact Monica at Stanhope Hall on 0121 446 5389 or

Nechells Ward Committee – November 2014

When: Thursday 20 November, 18:00
Where: Small Heath Baptist Church, 14 Jenkins Street, Small Heath, B10 0QH

This quarter’s Nechells Ward Committee meeting takes place next Thursday in Small Heath.

These meetings are an opportunity to meet your local Councillors, to raise local items and to hear reports on general City Council services and local issues.

Please see more information on the poster below, and put the next meeting on 22 January 2015 at Nechells Green Community Centre in your diaries now – we believe that the Digbeth tram will be discussed at the January meeting so would like to encourage as many residents and supporters of Digbeth to attend!

Bradford Street Environmental Improvements

Please see below for a letter sent from Birmingham City Council to residents of Digbeth earlier this week. The original letter can be found here.

As a part of its strategic objectives for the city core and its wider programme for the development for the City Centre, Birmingham City Council is proposing to improve the quality of the public realm along Bradford Street.

We are seeking to implement the following works early 2015:

  • Installation of new Street Lighting
  • Footway re-surfacing with blue brick pavers and replacement of tactile paving where required
  • Construct all vehicular footway crossings with pink setts
  • Installation of new pink Granite/Conservation Kerbs

The Council would like to hear your views on these proposals; we would be grateful if you could give us your feedback no later than 31st October 2014. Your response can be sent to or via

Plans for Digbeth

Birmingham City Council has made some important decisions regarding the future of Digbeth recently, with development plans for currently unused buildings being approved.

Harrison Drape

An application for the refurbishment, conversion and extension of the former Harrison Drape building on Bradford Street has been accepted. The new development will include a total of 313 residential dwellings, along with a retail opportunity.

If built, the developers will contribute £252,956 towards public realm improvements in Digbeth, such as improved street lighting, way finding and landscaping of public space. For more information about the development, click here to see the planning application, or here to see the plans for the site.

Ladbrooke House

Developers has initially hoped to turn Ladbrooke House on the corner of Bordesley Street and Meriden Street into a hotel. However, a new application now includes a banqueting suite in the basement, along with a four-storey, 51-bedroom hotel with a swimming pool, gym, spa and 25 parking spaces.

Click here to see the the planning application in full.

I for one hope that these projects do go ahead, as the redevelopment of fallow buildings (providing it is done sympathetically) can only benefit Digbeth. As far as we’re aware, plans have not yet been submitted for the recently cleared Connaught Sqaure site, but we will keep readers up to date with any changes.

Award Winning DRA!

John Gordon with our award

Earlier this year, Digbeth Residents Association were – completely unexpectedly – recognised by Birmingham City Council.

Chairperson John Gordon attended the Ladywood District event to represent DRA, and was presented with the pictured placard by Councillor Yvonne Mosquito as part of the Proud People Proud Places awards. It’s safe to say we remain fiercely proud of Digbeth!

We would like to extend our thanks to Birmingham City Council and Councillor Yvonne Mosquito for their recognition of Digbeth Residents Association, and assure all our members and supporters that we will continue to work towards our mission of bringing the community together while building a vibrant place to live in Digbeth.

Thank you!

20 is Plenty

Residents of Digbeth should have recently received a postcard outlining proposals to cut speed limits on most of our streets from 2016. This is the latest stage in the council’s consultation on the 20 is Plenty plans to make roads more pedestrian friendly and reduce accidents.

The consultation is open from now until 17 October, after which plans will be finalised. More information is available on the Birmingham City Council website, but if you’d like to see the plans in person, who can do so at the following places/times in and around Digbeth:

  • The Irish Centre
    14-20 High Street Deritend, Digbeth, B12 0LN
    During normal opening hours until Friday 17 October
  • Stanhope Hall Community Centre
    Emily Street, Highgate, B12 0XJ
    Thursday 25 September, 15:00-19:00
  • Birmingham Council House
    Victoria Square, B1 1BB
    Saturday 11 October, 11:00-15:00

Transforming Place – Neighbourhood Strategy in Birmingham

Birmingham City Council released its new neighbourhood strategy, entitled Transforming Place: Working together for better neighbourhoods, in spring 2014.

The strategy has been included below, and you can download it in full at this link.

Chamberlain Forum have created a website to discuss this new neighbourhood strategy, along with its background and previous approaches; click here to visit their Transforming Place website.