News and views

Cllr Mary Locke’s response to bin strike being suspended

Three Birmingham City Council wheelie bins in a row

On Wednesday (16 August), the conciliation service Acas announced the bin strike had been suspended and Birmingham City Council were in negotiations to bring the seven-week dispute to an end. Here is Cllr Mary Locke’s response to the news.

Continue reading Cllr Mary Locke’s response to bin strike being suspended

Have your say on the future of bus services in South Birmingham

National Express West Midlands is currently consulting on possible changes to bus services in South Birmingham and there are real concerns bus services, including the 27, could be reduced or cancelled altogether.

Continue reading Have your say on the future of bus services in South Birmingham

Bournville Labour Party donates over £1,000 of food to B30 Foodbank

On Sunday , Cllr Mary Locke, Cllr Karen McCarthy and a team of volunteers from Bournville Labour Party bought just over £1,000 pounds worth of food from Stirchley Co-op and donated it to B30 foodbank.

Continue reading Bournville Labour Party donates over £1,000 of food to B30 Foodbank

20mph speed limits could be coming to Stirchley, Bournville, and Cotteridge

Birmingham City Council launched a consultation on implementing a 20mph speed limit on many roads in our area

During the last consultation, Stirchley and Bournville and Cotteridge wards had some of the highest levels of support for limits of 20mph on most roads. This new consultation contains specific road-by-road proposals.

You can read full details of the report, including official statements, maps and a Frequently Asked Questions section here.

The proposal contains several exceptions. For example, some roads will remain at the 30mph and 40mph limits. You can read about this in the link above. However, they promise this rollout of a 20mph speed limit won’t shorten journey times. They aim to reduce noise, accidents, and a number of other issues, printing to other cities where this has been tested.

Bournville Labour has worked with Cllr Mary Locke for the past year on traffic and congestion issues, particularly in Cotteridge. In our weekly conversations with residents across the ward, we often hear that major changes are needed. Many of you supported implementing a speed limit to make the Cotteridge double roundabout safer when asked.

If you want your views heard, there’s a form to fill in here by 21 August.

Birmingham City Council commits to retro-fitting sprinklers in high-rise properties

Last week, we provided an update on what Cllr Mary Locke and the council have been doing in response to the Grenfell Tower fire to keep local people safe. Earlier this week (Tuesday 27 June), the Cabinet met to take stock of the actions that have already been taken and to decide what will happen. Here’s an update on what actions have been taken, what future work is planned and what Mary is doing to reassure local people living in high rises.

Actions taken so far

Following the fire in London, Birmingham City Council has taken the following actions:

  • Central government cladding checks. The council has sent details of all different types of cladding used in council properties to central government. Where central government has had concerns over safety concerns, councils have been asked to send cladding off for testing. So far, Birmingham has not been asked to send off any samples.
  • Local council cladding checks. The council has decided to go beyond the requirements set by central government and run tests in Birmingham on cladding. So far, the tests have found no concerns but testing is ongoing.
  • Fire Safety checks. The council has carried out a review of all risk assessment papers to ensure assessment are up-to-date. All towers have an up-to-date risk assessment.
  • Physical checks on blocks. Daily inspections of all high-rise blocks were already being carried out before the Grenfell Tower fire and these have continued.  
  • Refurbishment checks. Where refurbishment work has been undertaken, a review of all specifications on the materials used has been carried out. The council is confident that the materials used in Birmingham properties are not the same as those used in London. 

Future investment in safety measures

  • Sprinklers should be retro-fitted. The council has reviewed the safety of Birmingham’s tower blocks and identified that water sprinkler systems would assist us in ensuring that residents living in tower blocks have the best protection in the event of fire.
  • Central government need to help Birmingham meet the cost of fitting sprinklers. The Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr John Clancy, has written to the leaders of other major cities in England, asking for their support to lobby central government for help paying the estimated £31 million it will cost to retro-fit sprinklers.
  • Birmingham City Council is determined to improve safety. Regardless of whether it receives financial support from central government, the council will be developing a rolling programme of sprinkler installation and fire prevention measures. These improvements will be paid for out of the council’s Capital receipts.
  • Birmingham City Council will implement any recommendations that come out from the enquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire.

A positive start but no room for complacency

The results of the safety checks carried out so far indicate Birmingham City Council has taken its Fire Safety responsibilities  seriously. The Leader of the council and the Cabinet have also made a clear commitment to build on the safety measures that already exist through a rolling programme of sprinkler installation.

Cllr Mary Locke will be writing to residents living in high-rise towers on the Masefield Estate to inform them about what is being done to keep them safe.  Over the coming weeks and months, Mary will keep a close eye on the situation, to ensure that the council makes good on the commitments it has given to local people.

Update on Birmingham City Council’s response to the Grenfell Tower fire

Since the Grenfell Tower fire Cllr Mary Locke has been working hard to ensure local residents living in high rises in Birmingham can feel confident their homes are adequately protected when it comes to fire safety. Here’s a quick update on the latest developments.

Continue reading Update on Birmingham City Council’s response to the Grenfell Tower fire

Cllr Mary Locke’s response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy

Like all of us, Cllr Mary Locke has been horrified by the blaze at Grenfell Tower in London and is anxious for the safety of all residents and tenants living in tower blocks in Birmingham. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives and those who have been injured and lost their homes.

Please find below a summary of the steps Mary has taken so far in response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy and important information about what action the council, in working with West Midlands Fire Service, will take to make sure local people can be confident about the safety of their own homes.

Continue reading Cllr Mary Locke’s response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy

Ways you can support candidate Liz Clement’s Hall Green by-election campaign

Liz Clements (centre), Bournville Labour Party member and Labour Cadidate for the May 2017 Hall Green By-Election

Just over a week ago, Bournville Labour Party member and dedicated local campaigner Liz Clements was selected as the Labour Party candidate in the forthcoming Hall Green by-election, which will take place on 4 May (the same day as the West Midlands Mayoral election. If you can spare the time, please consider supporting Liz’s campaign.

Continue reading Ways you can support candidate Liz Clement’s Hall Green by-election campaign

Local Labour In Your Community newspaper out now

The latest edition of Local Labour In Your Community newspaper is going out to residents in Bournville, Cotteridge, Masefield, Pineapple and Stirchley. In it, you’ll find the latest news about what’s going on in your area and what Steve McCabe MP and Cllr Mary Locke have been up to on your behalf.

Continue reading Local Labour In Your Community newspaper out now

Birmingham City Council rescinds Lidl’s planning application

Cllr Mary Locke (furthest right), Steve McCabe MP, campaigner Liz Clements supporting local residents at the Lidl protest outside Fitness First on 11 February. Photo: Francis Clarke

Birmingham City Council rescinded Lidl’s planning application for the FitnessFirst / PSL Bowling site. This was due to the Judicial Review request, which was submitted on behalf of residents by the Environmental Law Foundation. People in Stirchley objected on the grounds that the new Lidl development would deprive the community of leisure facilities.

Continue reading Birmingham City Council rescinds Lidl’s planning application