Knowle Ward Strategy submission

Solihull Council sets out an overview of its strategy and plans on a regular basis. The Knowle Society has submitted its priorities to the Council’s Neighbourhood Management team for 2008/2009.

The Neighbourhood Management team (responsible for Transport, Highways & the Environment Community Services Directorate), has requested an input on the Knowle Ward from The Knowle Society for 2008/2009.

The Community Services sub-committee of The Knowle Society has sumitted the following matters as priorities:

1. Youth involvement with positive activities in order to reduce anti-social behaviour.

2. Parking issues including green verge damage

3. Speeding

In addition the maintenance of roads and footpaths has been highlighted as a concern.

Your chance to meet our local police and raise your concerns

A Public Meeting is to be held by the Police on Thursday 15th May at 7pm in Knowle Village Hall with Council neighbourhood teams in attendance. Local Priorities will be set and Knowle Society members are encouraged to attend.

The Police hold regular public meetings in Knowle, the next one being on Thursday 15th May at the Village hall at 7.00pm. Representatives from SMBC attend and members of the public are invited to take part. Lorna Gale from the Community Services Sub-Committee of The Knowle Society will also be there. The purpose of the meeting is for the Police to give a progress report and get feedback from the meeting. The resulting discussion will enable priorities to be set for Police actions.

Doorstep collection of glass for recycling

Solihull Council has announced that it plans to commence doorstep collection in the autumn of glass for recycling.

It will be interesting to see whether all or some of the bins in various locations around Knowle will then be withdrawn. There may still be a need for a central ‘bring to’ facility but otherwise it could herald a welcome return of car parking places. On the other hand there are still several household waste materials that could be collected for recycling that are currently disposed of to landfill or incineration, these could now be collected centrally – but if collecting those items, why not continue to collect glass centrally? What is really needed is full doorstep collection of all waste materials and that will take a little longer to organise.

Response to Airport Expansion proposal

Read the letter sent to the Airport in March 2008. Subject – The Knowle Society’s response to Birmingham International Airport’s proposed Planning Application for airport expansion.

The Knowle Society is pleased that a number of concerns raised in March 2006 to the first consultation document, have been addressed. In particular the maps showing projected flight paths and noise contours will be satisfactory to the residents of Knowle. The proposal to raise the level of public transport usage to the Airport from 25% to 35% is also welcomed.

Surface Access is however, still a major concern, very little detail is available with respect to existing and projected peak and average traffic flows on the M42 up to 2012 and specific detail is required. Later years (2012 -2030) are of even greater concern as the projections are unspecified and inevitably more speculative.

As we set out in our 2006 response, the roads around Knowle already feel the impact of congestion from the M42. Significantly increased traffic and peak events will adversely affect local amenities e.g. road congestion and air quality

The Knowle Society is also of the opinion that a direct link from the M42 to the Airport is required to mitigate M42 congestion.

There is an urgent need for a powerful co-ordinating authority to ensure that all agencies involved, airport, road and rail, produce and deliver a coherent plan to meet all needs that will arise.

These concerns prevent us from endorsing the Airport’s planning application.

Finally any new motorway service station in the area will exacerbate the congestion problems and the relevant planning authorities should take this into account.

Solihull Council responds to letter from Chairman on recycling

Our April 2008 newsletter highlights recycling in Knowle and the Chairman’s letter to the Council. The Council’s reply from Cabinet Member David Bell is published here.

LETTER TO SOLIHULL COUNCIL

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The Chairman’s email to Solihull Council was reported in The Knowle Society’s newsletter, of which an edited extract follows:

I have raised some questions, on behalf of The Knowle Society, of our Council for them to consider, these include:

1. How much longer must the villagers of Knowle have to put up with the debris and untidiness in the village caused by the plethora of recycling units which are despoiling the car parks and adjoining pavements in the village centre?

2. How many more valuable car park spaces are to be lost to the huge units having to be used for collecting the recycling waste?

3. It is understood that Solihull MBC intends to arrange for kerbside collections of waste for recycling. When is this likely to be implemented and in action?

It is known that Lichfield Council has an efficient recycling operation which could well repay study.

REPLY FROM SOLIHULL COUNCIL

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The reply to Mr G Masters, Chairman, Knowle Society, from Councillor David Bell, Cabinet Member for Community Services & the Environment follows:

Dear Mr Masters,

I am responding to your email dated 22nd February addressed to Councillor Meeson.

The Council has received numerous requests to extend our recycling facilities within the Knowle area as the demand for the service has increased dramatically over the last few months. The usage that the site enjoys from residents demonstrates its value to the local community. Knowle also benefits from a full time street cleansing operative who visits the site on a regular basis to ensure the area is kept clean and tidy.

The loss of car park spaces has been kept to a minimum to accommodate the recycling containers. The use of the site has proved popular with local people who often drop off their recycling items before going shopping. It is hoped that increased emptying of the units will mean we do not need extra containers at the site. We will review this on a regular basis.

Following the recent signing of our Strategic Environment Contract we are hoping to further expend the number and type of recyclable materials collected from the kerbside. However this is dependent on the affordability of any such scheme.

As part of our ongoing commitment to protecting the environment and increasing our options for recycling we are continually comparing our services with other authorities and looking to adopt best practice methods of both collection and disposal of our waste. Indeed Solihull has an excellent record in the amount of waste we send to landfill and it currently has one of the lowest pecentage tonnage figures in the country at 18%.

Yours sincerely

Councillor David Bell