Kings Heath Forum Networking Day 7th Oct 10 – 4pm

Kings Heath Forum Networking Day 10-2pm 7th October at All Saints Centre.
The purpose of the day is to give local residents the chance to meet a variety of organisations that provide advice, help and support, whether that’s a social activity that also benefits the community as a whole or advice specific to an individual.

Chair of Brandwood Forum , Karen Osborne  will be there so come and say hello!



Where are the Brandwood Forum Community Noticeboards?

Please let your neighbours know about our meetings and look at our local noticeboards and website for other community  information and news.
Our Brandwood Forum Community noticeboards are at the following sites
1) Vicarage Road(opposite the Post Office)
2) Druids Heath Library (to the right of the main entrance)
3) Yarningale Road Costcutters ( on the grass)
4) Alcester Road Tescos ( residents say its been installed the wrong way round… I might be able to change this at some point)
5) Board Lane Shops ( opposite the Chippy)
Subject to funding…we will be installing two more noticeboards- Allenscroft Road and at Marsham shops( If you know of anywhere else which may be better- please let me, Chair Karen Osborne  know) email

Biblical bulb planting experience with Brandwood Forum and Brandwood Housing!

Earlier today as we were planting the last of the 1600 daffodil bulbs I suggested that Simon open up a random  page of the small green New Testament& Psalms book which we’d found at the bustop.

It was quite amazing …he flicked through pages and stopped randomly -he’d stopped at Luke 8.. which is called the Parable of the Sower!! What are the odds of that happening- we were all amazed and a bit spooked.

For those of you who are interested its the farmer who sows the seed in different areas: rocky areas, paths and thorn including good areas

To read more see photo.  My thanks go to local Brandwood Forum residents  and the Brandwood Housing team for all their help planting the daffs- looking forward to seeing them in the spring!!  Brandwood Chair, Karen Osborne

Luke 8 parable of the sower

Have your Say at Brandwood Forum Meeting 17th September Monyhull Church 7- 8.30pm

Come and have  your Say at Brandwood Forum Meeting 17th September Monyhull Church 7- 8.30pm

Local Councillors will be there to answer your questions about any local issues.

On the agenda-

The Environment

Police & Community Safety

Planning Applications

Local news & Events

Everyone who lives in the Brandwood Ward is very welcome

The pros and cons of Colmore Schools becoming academies?

Colmore parent Bethan Drew has posted the following on the Ask Colmore Parents Facebook group: “With regard to one point on the letter that sports and music will get “pushed out” because of the new curriculum. I am music coordinator at a school with excellent music, we have over 150 children learn instruments, we have choirs, ukulele clubs and children all learn the recorder. And we are teaching the new curriculum. Feel free to quote me.”

No democratic accountability
Academies are not democratically or locally accountable. They operate outside local authority control so they are not accountable to our locally elected representatives. IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG PARENTS HAVE NOBODY TO TURN TO. In addition the governing body of an Academy is appointed rather than elected and can include as few as 2 parent governors (a local authority school has elected governors, a third of whom must be parents). Coupled with enormous freedoms, this lack of accountability is a dangerous mix.
No legal rights for parents or pupils
Pupils and parents in maintained schools are protected by education law, but the vast majority of these safeguards do not apply in academies. This is because an academy is a company which operates under a contract with the government. The only people who have legal rights are those who are party to the contract (known as the funding agreement), ie. the Academy Trust and the Secretary of State for Education. PARENTS AND PUPILS DO NOT HAVE ANY LEGAL RIGHTS UNDER THE FUNDING AGREEMENT.
No demonstrated educational benefits
Despite the DfE’s propaganda machine churning out miracle success stories about individual Academies and claims that Academies improve attainment, in fact the government’s own commissioned report by the National Audit Office found that there is no evidence of any educational benefit in becoming an Academy. There is evidence however, that…
Academies widen the gap between the most and least advantaged pupils

There is also a lot evidence that Academies change their intake to reduce the number of pupils on their rolls who receive free school meals or who have special educational needs. How will this help Brandwood?
The academies programme is privatisation.
When a school becomes an academy the ownership of the publicly funded property (land, buildings & equipment) is transferred to the private sector – and these assets are given away for free! The government wants all schools to become Academies either by force or choice. The Academies programme is part of the government’s agenda of creating a new education marketplace. Michael Gove does not object to schools themselves being run for profit and a leaked memo last year showed that he is considering this. Edu-businesses including for-profit companies from the US and Sweden are here in the UK now ready to make a profit out of our schools. This will mean the end of education as a public good. The prime concern of these schools will be competing in the marketplace, when it should be the education and wellbeing of our children.

For other interested in finding out what NASWT has to say about the pros and cons…

The Tunnel Consultation by Brandwood and Stirchely Forums

Both Brandwood Forum and Stirchley Forums carried out a community consultation  to ask local residents and users of the Tunnel about what they think would help improve the tunnel. Currently it is in a pitiful state , dirty, dark and scruffy.

Local residents mainly  use this tunnel during the day light hours as it attracts gangs who congregate here after dark and are especially noisy and in greater number during the summer months. We spoke to two residents who also experience problems with young people gathering inside their small arch ie on their property! I have asked the City Council to gate this area if possible?

As well as the consultation  Network rail, Brandwood Housing team and caretakers met with Brandwood Forum on site to discuss ideas and issues.

Network Rail confirmed that they will  instruct a team to cut down brambles..but they could not afford to repaint  the 44m long ceiling . They might work with local youth group to help clean up the tagging- but this is still to be confirmed

Brandwood Housing team sent out a team that week to paint over the swear words and also sent out a letter stating intolerance of ASB form to local residents. The Police have agreed to monitor the tunnel on a regular basis- I stressed the emphasis on after dark not day time!!

BCC is looking into the repair of the lights and Waste services have agreed to clean the tunnel on a weekly basis. There may be funds to do a small art project with local primary schools but this is to be confirmed.

If you have an opinion or any comment to make please get in touch! Have your say.


Brandwood Forum Meeting : Anti Social Behaviour ? Thursday 11th April 7- 8.30

Brandwood Forum meeting this month is focussing on Anti Social Behaviour: What is regarded as ASB  and if we are experiencing it ,  where can we get help and support?

We are delighted to welcome Councillor Jess Phillips who has created the Victim Support Survey, the Housing Manager for Brandwood , Natalie Potter and Laksmi Kerrisson , BCC Environmental Noise Officer .

As well as our special guests ,  Residents are invited to raise concerns to local Councillors  about the Environment, Community Safety and Planning applications.

7- 8.30pm Grove Road Social Club, in between Brandwood House & Cocksmore House , next to red Lion.

ASB Brandwood Poster 11th April 2013

Brandwood chosen to pilot wheelie bins!

This is an interesting development  from our Brandwood Forum Environmental focussed meeting ( January 10th)  to which I invited  Cabinet member James MacKay to talk to residents about wheelie bins . I received this email notification earlier today – I’m delighted that Brandwood has been chosen because Brandwood Forum will enable  residents to feed back issues and praise when appropriate.

“Brandwood and Harborne have been announced as the wards that will pilot Birmingham City Council’s new wheelie bin refuse collection scheme later this year.

The two areas have been selected following a detailed assessment programme, which looked at which of the council’s 40 wards would give the council the best feedback for shaping the wider project.

Factors such as the location of refuse depots, current recycling rates and the type of housing stock in every area was considered. The pilot is due to begin in late spring, and the council will work with residents to get the best possible solution for everyone.

Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City, said: “The current system of black bags and small recycling boxes is costing us money we can no longer afford.  Recycling rates have flat-lined, so the city is left picking up a huge bill for disposing of waste and paying landfill taxes.  In these austere times, we can’t just carry on burning money.

“The naming of Brandwood and Harborne as the pilot wards is a major milestone on our journey fixing that problem.

“The pilot will help us refine and shape the plan to roll out wheelie bins across Birmingham in the coming years, delivering a better deal for taxpayers, along with cleaner streets for us all, as bags will no longer get ripped open by vermin.”

The council’s plan to introduce wheelie bins was made possible by a £29million grant, awarded to the city by the Government last year as part of a scheme to protect weekly refuse collections.

Birmingham’s new scheme will see the current system of sacks and recycling boxes replaced by two wheelie bins per household, plus an optional bin for green waste, with exemptions where wheelie bins are not appropriate.”


Online Web Chat with BSP Inspector Cate Webb-Jones 20th November 2012

Birmingham South Partnerships Inspector Cate Webb-Jones – Online Chat 2 – 3.30 November 20th

Birmingham South Partnerships Inspector Cate Webb-Jones conducted a LIVE webchat on Tuesday 20 November   Please follow this link  .

Inspector Webb-Jones is responsible for the Partnerships Team in south Birmingham. This team works with Birmingham City Council, schools, universities, anti-social behaviour teams and Housing Associations to ensure a joined up approach when tackling local concerns.

The full webchat is saved for later viewing on this link…

You can also follow Birmingham South Police online at:


Brandwood Forum Wheelie bin debate 10th January 2013

We are delighted to welcome Cabinet member James MacKay  to Brandwood Forum Meeting 10th January to answer questions about the introduction of wheelie bins, discuss ideas to deter irresponsible dog owners and talk about the general street cleaning around Brandwood ward.

This meeting is a chance to have your say ! Grove Road Social Club 7-8.30 10th January( Next to the Red Lion, Grove Road in between the two Tower blocks, next to Sids Off License)