Posts Tagged ‘ Birmingham City Council

New Neighbourhood Watch Signs for Digbeth

One of the new Neighbourhood Watch signs in Digbeth

There has been something slightly different about Digbeth this past week… We have installed new Neighbourhood Watch signage across the locality!

Last Sunday, after gaining permission from Birmingham City Council’s planning and highways departments, Digbeth Residents Association erected a total of six new signs, stretching from Allison Street to Moseley Road.

Although these are not totally permanent signs, we hope that they will be upgraded and the number increased in future.

DRA’s Neighbourhood Watch would like to thank the Digbeth Local Policing Team for supplying the signs. Thanks also go to Birmingham City Council for their support, and to The Spotted Dog, for lending us a ladder to help with installation!

We hope this activity will continue to promote Digbeth as a safe area to live, by reassuring residents and hopefully deterring wannabe criminals. It also shows how residents can work with local authorities and businesses to bring about change – which also happens to be DRA’s mission.

Here’s to an ever safer Digbeth!

Birmingham Connectivity Voucher Scheme

When: Thursday 10th April 2014, 10:30-15:00
Where: The Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB
Free event – lunch and refreshments provided

The Connectivity Voucher Scheme aims to help businesses, charities, social enterprises and other not-for-profit organisations to take advantage of faster broadband connections. It is funded by the Government’s Urban Broadband Fund and the European Regional Development Fund.

Digital Birmingham will cover up to £3,000 of the connection costs for eligible organisations (usually enough to pay for all the work), and as it’s a grant not a loan, you don’t have to pay it back.

Full details of the grant process and the benefits of the connection scheme will be explained at the launch, which features key presenters, case studies and an exhibition. Suppliers and experts will be on hand to provide advice and discuss your specific requirements.

Clearly, the Digital Economy is an important part of Digbeth’s development. We therefore welcome this event, and encourage all local organisations who are able to attend to do so.

To register your attendance at this free event, please click here.

Council Meeting – Shisha Lounges

When: Thursday 20th March 2014, 18:00
Where: Stanhope Hall Community Centre, Emily Street, Highgate, B12 0XG

The next Nechells Ward Meeting will take place at 6pm on Thursday at Stanhope Hall Community Centre.

Digbeth Residents Association are encouraging all residents and businesses who care about Digbeth to attend this meeting, as shisha lounges will be discussed. As many of our readers are aware, the Christmas Day 2013 fire at the Diamond Shisha Lounge on Digbeth High Street was most recent and fourth shisha-related fire to occur in Digbeth.

Thankfully, no one was seriously injured in the fire, but DRA believe that it is just a matter of time until lives are prematurely claimed due to the safety concerns surrounding shisha lounges.

On a related matter, the shisha lounge opposite the White Swan on Bradford Street has applied to extend its opening hours to 3am. For more information, please visit the Birmingham City Council Licensing website and search for “Laylas Lounge” under premises. If you would like to object, please email with your contact details and objection today as the deadline for objections is 18th March 2014.

Additionally, an application to open yet another shisha lounge on Gooch Street has been submitted. Please click here to visit the planning website and register your objection; it takes just a couple of minutes and we’ve provided an example statement below:

  1. Please click this link, then click on the “Add Comments Here” link
  2. Enter your details, which will remain private and confidential and are used to prevent ‘spam’ objections being made
  3. Use the following text to register your objection: “From experience, shisha lounges cause anti-social behaviour such as noise pollution, ‘boy racers’, and public disorder. These are not desirable by-products of a new local business. In addition, four separate incidents of serious fires at shisha lounges in Digbeth raises alarm bells for public safety. I must therefore strongly urge Birmingham City Council to reject this application, and any subsequent applications, to open more shisha lounges in Birmingham.”

Please find documents for Thurday’s meeting below; if you are unable to attend but would like a question or point to be raised during the meeting, please email with details as soon as possible.

Birmingham Curzon HS2 Draft Masterplan

On Thursday 27th February, Birmingham City Council (BCC) unveiled the Birmingham Curzon HS2 Draft Masterplan.

The Masterplan shows how Birmingham hopes to integrate HS2 into the fabric of the city, by creating infrastructure for HS2 around Digbeth before the new terminus is built.

The Shed vs The Slug

Although on the whole it is a positive document, Digbeth Residents Association has a few concerns:

1. The proposed tram route connecting HS2 with the Coach Station via Digbeth High Street seems to have been changed beyond recognition in the new document. DRA would encourage the final Masterplan to revert to the original and preferred route through New Canal Street and Digbeth High Street.

2. Phil Burrows, Manager of the Birmingham FOE Warehouse explains our next concern in a blog entitled Can BCC Stop HS2 From Choking off Digbeth?:

The station proposed by HS2 is monolithic and is in stark contrast to the organic curves put forward by BCC and its ‘shingled slug’. The Shed feels impenetrable, forgetting to compensate for closing Park St and Fazeley St, by squeezing visitors to Digbeth through Paternoster Row. On the other hand, BCC have ensured that the Slug is a gateway to Digbeth with its open gentle steps and enticing public space.

This is why I’ll be signing up to the Curzon St masterplan and petitioning HS2 as it goes through parliament. I implore the rest of Digbeth to do the same. We need to make sure that we don’t rebuild the concrete collar.

3. Last, but not least, DRA welcomes the inclusion of a ‘Skypark’ through the Duddeston Viaduct in Digbeth. This idea has been proposed in various forms over the years and over numerous Masterplans for Digbeth and Eastside. With the transformative effect HS2 will have on the city, and the loss of green space, we strongly encourage BCC to petition HS2 to support this project in its entirety so that the Duddeston Viaduct will finally be given a new lease of life the structure and Digbeth so badly deserve.

An artist's impression of the view from Duddeston Viaduct Skypark looking towards Warwick Bar, from the Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan

More information on the Birmingham Curzon HS2 Draft Masterplan and how to respond to the consultation is available on the BCC website.

The Masterplan is also available to download in full at the following links:
(Please note that these are large files so we would suggest not clicking on them if you are using a mobile device.)

Sustainability Spring Fair

When: Saturday 8th March, 10:30-17:00
Where: The Old Library and the Dome, The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, B9 4AA
Free Entry

Birmingham is celebrating Climate Week 2014 by staging the popular Sustainability Spring Fair, which promotes sustainable lifestyles and climate change issues in a fun, educational way.

Attractions include:

  • The popular indoor fair-trade and ethical market selling locally sourced produce and crafts from around the world
  • Fair-trade tea, coffee and refreshments for sale
  • Love Food Hate Waste food tasting
  • A stage show featuring a magic act and local bands, with headline act the amazing Electric Swing Circus, all performing on a solar powered stage
  • Environmental Artists offering art interventions and making toys from rubbish workshops
  • Have a go at learning basic circus skills like uni-cycling, juggling and stilt walking
  • Healthy smoothies produced by your own pedal power!

For more information, visit the Birmingham City Council website here.

St Patrick’s Parade 2014 – Road Closures

When: Sunday 16 March 2014 – Parade starts at 12:00
Where: Digbeth High Street

With just under a month to go until Digbeth is painted green with the St Patrick’s Parade 2014, Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Police have announced which roads will be closed to allow the parade to pass through Digbeth safely. Please see the map below.

This year’s theme is ‘Myths and Legends’, and if you’d like to be more than just a bystander in this year’s parade, we would love to hear from you! Email us at if you’d like to join our walking group on Sunday 16th March.

Nechells Ward Committee – January 2014

When: Thursday 30 January 2014, 18:00
Where: Nechells Green Community Centre, Melvina Road, Birmingham, B7 4QU

Nechells Ward Committee meetings are an informal way to meet your local Councillors, to raise issues important to you, and to hear reports from officers on general City Council services and local issues including:

  • Environment
  • Policing

The next meeting takes place at Nechells Green Community Centre on Thursday, so if you have something important to say, make sure you go along!

You can find an agenda for this meeting and minutes from the previous one at the links below:
Minutes 28.11.13
Agenda 30.01.14

HS2 and China

Birmingham City Council leader, Sir Albert Bore, has been sent a HS2 investment proposal from the China Railway Group.

Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, is offering to invest £280m to build connections from the proposed HS2 interchange at Curzon Street to Birmingham Airport and beyond. Paul Kehoe, Chief Executive of Birmingham Airport, has reportedly also been approached by the firm.

A tramline taking passengers from Curzon Street to the airport via Digbeth High Street has been mooted by the council, and is backed by Digbeth Residents Association. However, it has also been rumoured that the 7.3-mile Stonebridge Railway (closed in the 1930s) may be reinstated as part of the project.

Rest assured that DRA will keep our members informed of any future developments.

Update: Wholesale Markets Move

Image: Birmingham Mail

Birmingham City Council has been planning to relocate Digbeth’s historic Wholesale Markets since 2012. Although the Wholesale Market Traders would prefer to remain in the centre, the council’s long-term plans are to develop the land to extend the city core outwards.

The two suggested sites for a new facility at Witton and Washwood Heath have recently been joined by a third location at Signal Point Industrial Park in Tyseley.

The council’s cabinet plans to select the final site for a new Wholesale Market facility this month and begin construction and relocation over the next two years.

The Birmingham Wholesale Fresh Produce Association (BWFPA), which represents the views of traders, is pleased that the Council is actively engaging with the retail markets to mitigate the impact of the move of the wholesale markets. Deputy Council Leader, Councillor Ian Ward, has pledged to invest in the retail markets which will stay next to the Bullring.

The BWFPA hope that the move will result in:

  1. A modern, purpose-built wholesale market, with a design that has the support and approval of traders through detailed consultation;
  2. Affordable rents and service charges;
  3. Support with the costs and impact of a move to ensure that all traders who wish to move are able to do so;
  4. Effective management of the new site, including consultation with the BWFPA in how the site is managed;
  5. Membership of the BWFPA to be a condition of any approved lease.

We aim to keep our members updated as to progress with the Wholesale Markets move.

Digbeth – The Social Enterprise Quarter

When: Thursday 12th December 2013, 10:30–15:00
Where: iSE, Avoca Court, 23 Moseley Road, Digbeth, B12 0HJ

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, will be officially launching Digbeth’s Social Enterprise Quarter at iSE next week.

Along with a Christmas Social Enterprise Market selling locally-made products, there will also be street food on offer including mulled non-alcoholic drinks, soup, shortbread, mince pies, cupcakes, stollen, curry, smoothies and much more, so make sure to bring your friends for lunch!

There will also be three social enterprise walks, for which booking is essential, focusing on:

  • Health & Wellbeing social enterprises
  • Social enterprise start-ups
  • Creative social enterprises

If you plan on attending the launch or any of the walks please register online here, or email Dawn Griffiths.