Time for a little look back on the B31 Voices year….. it involves a considerable amount of RAIN!!

Happy New Year all!


Following an active campaign by parents, Charles House, in West Heath, won a reprieve from proposed closure. The Save Charles House campaign was backed by B31 Voices and Birmingham Against the Cuts. B31 Voices readers contributed to the 2600+ signature petition collected by the campaigners. The essential facility provides first class respite care for children with severe learning disabilities and autism, and is invaluable to the families it serves.

“Art Attack Man” Neil Buchanan launched his new paintings at Jamie Leigh Fine Art in Rubery and residents had trouble with their rubbish!


Walk at Lickey Hills in spring ->; obligatory bluebells photo


More than ten thousand local homes were left without water when a main supply pipe burst and the residents of Northfield were on the lookout for a missing domesticated barn owl!

Reader Luke Dolan reminisced on his childhood in the Lickey Hills



Northfield Arts Forum held their first Northfield Arts Trail and motorists faced huge queues and petrol shortages at local filling stations as worries of a national tanker driver strike took hold.



Readers Mike and Traci O’Shaughnessy successfully used B31 Voices and social media to reunite a dog they found in Cofton Park with his owner!

Residents prepared to take to the polls to decide on who should sit on our city council ,as well as whether Birmingham would like an elected mayor. B31 Voices won the title of Best Hyperlocal Blog at the national Talk About Local Unawards!

And the 7th Pride of Longbridge rally in Cofton Park was the biggest yet!



Kings Norton locals campaigned to save The Navigation pub from demolition – and won!

Northfield parents started campaigning against government plans to force some primary schools to become academies.

Ex-Rover workers finally lost their High Court battle to win more compensation from the Pheonix Four – being left with a compensation pay out of just £3 each.

Elderly couple stranded



A Frankley community worker was jailed for child sex offences

The area suffered flash flooding during a severe storm – a huge amount of rain fell in just over an hour – schools were closed due to lightening strikes and flooding, and motorists were left stranded in unexpectedly deep flood waters.

Campaigners lost their battle to save the old Longbridge Parcel Office as it was demolished to make way for the Longbridge redevelopment.



Northfield became a seaside town and grew its own beach, managing to snag some rare good weather!

Other events, such as Northfield Carnival, Cofton Park Race For Life and August’s Frankley Carnival had to be postponed due to heavy rain.

Longbridge Councillor Andy Cartwright arranged for local primary schools to visit the museum at the MG Factory

Police launched a murder investigation following the death of local gym owner and tattoo artist Dave Hickman.



Residents had the chance to view plans for the redevelopment of Northfield Manor House

The community was shocked by the tragic death of a local mother of three in a stabbing incident in a taxi in Northfield.



This month saw more traffic chaos due to severe wet weather and Longbridge Lane residents were relieved as officials finally took notice of their concerns about the number of accidents and arranged for the emergency resurfacing of the hotspot

Sadly, B31 Voices had to highlight the increased incidence of anti-freeze poisoning of local cats.

A suspected burglar held police in a 7 hour stand off, as he climbed a house roof and refused to come down! He had to give in eventually, and was promptly arrested by waiting officers!



Local residents of the Hollymoor Estate enjoyed Halloween family fun at the Hollymoor Centre.

The stunning new youth facility in Longbridge, The Factory, held it’s official opening event.

The local community was shaken by two isolated stabbing incidents, one in Senneleys Park and one at Bournville College.




A busy month, with locals enjoying bonfires and firework displays, such as those at Weoley Hill and Kings Norton Rugby Club!

Following the college stabbing incident, local police and partners carried out a successful campaign to reassure the public that Longbridge is a safe place to be.

Birmingham City Councils began their public consultation on spending cuts and local older people benefited from an advice day in Longbridge.

Northfield District Convention became the first in the city to make use of social media and live blogging, bringing the commentary and conversation at the event to a wider audience. With a little help from you know who ;)

Oh and we were all, of course, out looking for the elusive runaway dog, #runningcollie !




This month, of course, saw Christmas Fayres, acts of charity and the fantastic Northfield Wonderland and Longbridge Christmas events. (We’re not going to mention that nasty Norovirus!)

Hundreds of you joined our live webchat with our local police inspector, in partnership with West Midlands Police.

It also saw lots of festive spirit and goodwill from you – our amazing readers!

As always, you all tried so hard to find missing Smudge and get him home for Christmas – he made it for Boxing Day so there was still a little turkey left for him, we’re sure…!

And the honest and open kindness and generosity of Emma and her mom made everyone feel festive and warm inside…! They used B31 Voices to try to find the person who had lost an expensive Christmas gift in Northfield on Christmas Eve.

You are all amazing and we look forward to enjoying 2013 with you!


Sas & Marty x


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