This is the Heading
Here is the text I have typed in.
Here is the text I have typed in.
The neighbourhood forum has now been running for seven years and we believe it has been a success in its objective of bringing together residents in our area. We have throughout that time held regular public meetings at which we have obtained speakers to come to address us on matters of relevance to our area. Also City Councillors for the Quinton Ward are normally in attendance and this enables the residents to bring problem matters to the attention of our councillors.
Public meeting this year have covered a number of subjects. At our AGM in March last year we had Susan East of Amey, the contractors responsible for maintaining the highways in the city. At our June meeting we held an Open Forum at which many residents expressed views on matters of concern to them and our councillors took away many items for investigation. In September we saw Kathryn James of the City’s Property Services Division who spoke to us about the Martineau Centre. Policing matters are always a major concern to residents and in December we welcomed Jim Nichol who is chairman of the Quinton police Consultative Committee. We have not booked a speaker for our AGM this year as I would like to take time to reflect and give residents an opportunity to express their views on how they thing that we should carry the neighbourhood forum forward in the future.
Birmingham Association of Neighbourhood Forums (BANF)
I have written before about the problems faced by our umbrella organisation BANF since a change in the method of Government grants a few years ago meant the loss of funding. The organisation has struggled on until last year when it was finally wound up. This lost us a cheap source of printing but fortunately we have been able to come to a satisfactory arrangement with the Church of St Faith and St Laurence who now provide us with printing facilities. However we have to regret the passing of BANF as they were the organisation which provided us with the facilities to set up this neighbourhood forum eight years ago. We wonder how there will be an opportunity for new neighbourhood forums to be set up in the future.
The Localism Act is now in force and it does make provision for neighbourhood forums to take responsibility for planning matters in their own area. We were interested in this. However on reading through the provisions of the act, it is unlikely that many existing neighbourhood forums will take advantage of this provision as it requires the employment of qualified property professionals with no indication as to how this can be funded.
Does Birmingham need a Directly Elected Mayor?
In May, at the same time as the city council elections there will be a referendum on whether or not Birmingham should have a directly elected mayor. This is a contentious issue and is not a party political matter. We have therefore decided to hold a public debate on the issue and have organised a public meeting for Thursday 12th April 2012 at 7.30pm at the Quinborne Community Centre. The guest speakers will be Gisele Stuart MP (our local MP) and James Hutchings (an Edgbaston Councillor). Please come along to hear the arguments for and against this issue, ask questions and express your views.
The future of the Martineau centre has been a matter of contention with local residents for a number of years. The matter has come up for discussion as many of our meetings including the September meeting which was devoted entirely to the matter. On 22nd March, the day of our AGM, the City Council’s Planning Committee is due to hear an application for outline planning permission for the building of 133 houses on the centre, including 6 apartments in the original building on the campus. Any updated information will be given at the meeting.
I would like to thank all the members of the management committee for their help given during the past year. Roger Cobley, one of the founder members of the committee, has decided to step down at the AGM. Roger has
represented us at police meetings and in the early years took on the role of checking planning applications.
Also standing down will be Bronwyn Jones whose increased work commitments mean that she can no longer devote the time to the committee. We thank her for the work she has done as our Secretary this year.
Meet friends old and new at the Ramada hotel on the Friday evening.
Send yourself to Coventry and experience the best on Saturday 3 November 2012.
On Sunday perhaps go to the Airbase ‘live air’ Museum on Sunday for lunch to have lunch on a DC-6 airliner.
Welcome to this site for Beeches Lane Neighbourhood Forum, that has been created to help the Forum learn how to set up wordpress websites.