It was with great pleasure that Pam our Chair opened our first meeting of 2014. It started with the news that we had won several 2013 Northfield District Excellence awards. The Housing Liaison Board won ‘Best Cohesion Project’ for the great work we do with the @Catch22B38 Youth Project.
This was followed with the news that 2 members of the HLB Board had also won awards.
Carl for ‘Best Community Supportive Individual’
And Arron for ‘Best Social Networking Individual’ .
Several matters concerning the last meeting in November were brought forward, mainly the status on Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for HLB members. If the Birmingham City Council ‘Army of Volunteers’ is to gain momentum, we need to make sure that both the public and ourselves are legally protected. We are awaiting news of this progress from the City Housing Liaison Board and the Chamberlain Forum that is currently putting together a revised HLB Guide.
The regeneration of the Kings Norton 3 Estates was the hot topic of the evening. In November Russell Knight, Project Manager, gave the news that the supermarket site contract with Frontier Development had been terminated. The tender is now back out for new bids.
It was raised by members that the number of homes being demolished was not going to be replaced with the same amount. However it’s confirmed that around 900 homes are in the progress of being demolished. These are being replaced with over 1,000 ‘mixed tenure’ properties. Some of these will be for sale, and some under housing associations, and other Council properties.
A representative from Willmott Dixon was there to give an update regarding community activities that had taken place over the Christmas period. Residents and members thanked Willmott Dixon for the improvement in Service that has been seen recently across the Estate. A question was asked about houses that were showing signs of repair. For example – broken drains and guttering that was having a bad effect on the outside of homes. Jobs such as these could be raised via the Local Housing team to be passed on to Willmott Dixon for investigation and if needed repair.
Apologies from the Police were noted, however the recent rise in vehicle damage and attacks on local bus services was talked about at length. We have had an update from the Safer Travel Police and local officers, that 5 individuals have admitted to over 20 offences. (Great work !!) .
The last remaining Community Projects were agreed. This included work to improve Seals Green and Aldebourne Way, Melrose Close, the installation of a path near Thistle Green. Projects for Improvement in Ivy House Road were also voted for to go ahead. Several projects from the Wychall Lane estate are to be revisited, following a site visit in time for the new Budget year.We had a small amount of the budget left and it was agreed that this should pay for one of the projects for Kings Norton in the Northfield District Community Improvement Budget.
The Local Housing Manager gave us an update regarding the injunctions that have been successfully granted to protect several Kings Norton residents. When the better weather finally comes, enforcement of tenancy with things such as the maintenance of gardens will start again.
The new Estate Assessment areas have been agreed for this coming year. All assessments will take place at 10:00 AM. This is an opportunity for HLB members and members of the public to join the estate and housing team on a walkabout of the Kings Norton ward. The HLB have their own Walkabouts where members put forward areas of local immediate concern, to pick on issues to be dealt with promptly.
On this occasion we have agreed to do both together for the first area to visit.
This will take place Wednesday 5th February 10.00am on the corner of Shortlands Close/Wharf Road.
The Following Estate Assessments for February up until our next meeting are –
Wednesday 12th February : Meeting Corner of Greaves Square/Hillmeads Road 10:00AM
Wednesday 19th February : Meeting Corner of Meadowsweet Avenue/Shannon Road 10:00AM
Wednesday 26th February : Meeting at Hawkesley Square 10:00am.
Further News and updates and contact details can be found on our Twitter account @KingsNortonHLB