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Welcome to Weoley Community. A group where you can make a difference to the community you live in.

If you need advice or support then please contact us and we will help as much as we can or try to signpost you to someone who can help.

There will also be lots of interaction and chances for you to get involved.

 

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The Future of The Square Club

The Square Club, once a popular youth club in Weoley Castle, stood empty and derelict for a number of years but was recently sold at auction. So, what’s next for the site?
I recently met with two representatives from the church to see what the plans were for the building and the land and to discuss the recent damage to the building.

The land and what’s left of the building was bought at auction for £282,000 by Assembly of the Brethren in Christ Church (abccchurch.com). A Christian church attended primarily by Eritrean families living in Birmingham they are currently based in Newtown, Birmingham where they have been leasing a building for the past 10 years, they have raised the money from their congregation to finally secure their own building that they can mould and develop for the future. 

“We had a good look at the building and area before we decided to bid for it at auction, we liked the look of the area and knew that this is a place we could be happy and our Church could grow. We have rented a property for 10 years but due to this we are restricted on what we can do with the building so are unable to fully make it our own. With our own building we can make the changes needed to support our congregation and grow.” Simon

A service can see up to 200 people attend from the Eritrean community where Christ is celebrated with speeches, songs and music. Families and children are supported with positive values focusing around the importance of family, Education and support.

Unfortunately, a few weeks after the purchase vandals conducted a series of targeted and malicious attacks on the building causing extensive damage. 

“We were shocked and scared by the extent of the damage and the effort to cause the damage. This was more than just mindless damage by children, I feel it was an attempt to prevent us from ever using the building. Some of the members of the Church who first saw the damage were fearful of returning and we did consider whether this really was the right place for us as the feeling of terror was similar to what many of us had experienced in our own country and the reason why we moved to the UK. Fortunately, the support we received in the following weeks from other members of the community and the local police team meant that a lot of our faith was restored and made us more determined to continue and showed us that this is not what the majority of the community felt towards us. We do not want to be an isolated building, we want to be a part of the community” Simon

There is an invite for the community to attend once the Church is up and running and they are happy for the buildings to be used for any community activities which fit in with their principles of the Gospel and ‘love your neighbour’ There is also hope that some of the sports facilities will be refurbished, again meaning more facilities for the community to take advantage of in the future. 

PC Richard Barber from Weoley neighbourhood team is currently in the process of arranging a community clean up at the Church to show support for the Church and its members, more details will follow. 

For further information please contact myself at weoleycommunity@gmail.com and for regular local updates follow our group http://www.facebook.com/groups/weoley

Stirchley Baths

On Sunday I went to the first Stirchley Baths heritage tour with Liane, Amy and chloe. It is the first time I have ever been to Stirchley Baths but have followed the restoration and events online over recent years. The staff were all very friendly and helpful and the tour went really well, even keeping Amy and Chloe amused (ages 12 and 6). Children have to be 6 or over to go into the tunnels due to the steep ladder at the start but with staff on hand Chloe managed it with no problems and she only has little legs!

Lots of useful information and a great insight into what the baths were and what they have now become. These days of course the baths are no longer but it is an exciting community hub, full of events and groups and a cafe, all brilliantly restored from a building that a few years ago looked more likely to be demolished, or collapse!

There will be a heritage tour every month and is well worth a visit. To see what else is on go to the website

 

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Weoley Ward Forum meeting 25/2

On Saturday morning I attended the Weoley Ward Forum meeting at St Gabriel’s Church, chaired by the local Councillors and attended by a number of residents.

Below is a summary of some of the issues discussed.

Square Club

Was sold at auction for around £282,000, Councillors are hoping to update further at the next meeting as there is some uncertainty as to whether the community will receive 7% or between £6-9,000 from the sale and of course what to do with the money.

Police

PC Barber from Weoley NHT explained the emphasis on neighbourhood policing and how to contact the local police team via the website. A number of questions in relation to parking around Swarthmore Road and local schools. News that the alcohol restricted zones seen across most of Birmingham are to be phased out over the next year with new legislation coming in.

LIF

There is £48,000 available per ward until march 2018. It is designed for new self sustaining projects that helps to deal with local issues and invites collaboration between community groups to involve more of the community. There will be a workshop specifically for this on 18th April at St Gabriels a second date and venue is to be confirmed.

There is also talk of a second pot of community funding which Weoley is 1 of 8 wards allocated this funding and there will be more emphasis and assistance on bringing funding into Weoley in the future.

Bus service

Same issues as previous meeting around the 48 route. updated from NX WM that it will remain a double decker but will be every 30 minutes which seems to contradict itself! Complaints that the 29 no longer serves Selly Oak. Councillors will try to get a representative to the next meeting to answer some of the questions raised.

Appointments

Councillor Julie Johnson has put herself forward to represent Weoley on the board for Northfield Business Improvement District as some of the shops in the scheme are actually part of Weoley. I asked why Weoley could not have it’s own Business improvement District and it was said that it was tried previously with little success as businesses were reluctant to get involved and Councillor Steve Booton conceded that he had mentioned meeting more businesses and inviting them to the meetings to get them more involved but that this had not been done and should be done for future meetings, to integrate them more into the community.

Travellers

They are currently on Shenley Academy car park but to be served notice imminently meaning they have 48 hours to leave, it is hoped they will leave sooner so school on Monday is not disrupted.

Next meeting

Issues to be discussed are LIF, buses and rubbish fly tipping.

Date to be confirmed.

 

 

If you have any questions you can contact me directly.

Alan

Good news story

One of the first visits I did when I started Weoley Community group was to a resident who had moved into his flat at the beginning of 2016. The back garden was full of bushes and twigs that had been left by the previous resident after cutting down the trees and hedges in the front garden and he was assured that they would be removed before he moved in.  Of course this never happened and due to his ill health he was unable to do the work himself. 

On my visit on the 28th December I helped him fill out the online report on the council website, making sure all the relevant detail was there and telling the council exactly what was needed.  Nothing was heard so we used the complaint form using the reference number from the previous report and he contacted the councillors to ask why he hadn’t heard anything. This was around the 20th January. 

This week I got a message to say that the council had been out and cleared the lot and had done a really good job of it.  

The resident now has a usable space ready for spring and doesn’t have to look at a mess left behind by the previous tenant. What a result!

Survey Results

A week or so ago I asked you to complete a short survey to see what people love about Weoley, what they dislike and what they think is needed to change it for the better and from the results there are some very clear patterns.

It is clear that a lot of people think that the best thing about Weoley is the green spaces and the community or friendly people, which is certainly something I would agree with.

The worst thing about Weoley is the amount of rubbish, anti-social behaviour and parking issues.

Most people see it being improved by more policing,  more action from the council in relation to grass verges and litter and for the place to be generally cleaned up.

I also asked what people would like to see more of and the majority chose litter picks, with community walks and coffee mornings/social meetings coming also popular choices.

So, what happens now? Well I’ve already arranged a community litter pick with the help of the council supplying the equipment. This is going to be held on the 28th March and more details can be found in the Facebook group If you’re not on Facebook and would like to be involved you can get more information by emailing us at weoleycommunity@gmail.com. We really need a big turn out for this, as the first proper event of the group and a great way to show what the community can do and achieve when it works together, so get sharing and inviting people to the group and the event.

I have already posted a number of community walks and informal get togethers at local coffee mornings and will continue with these and try to encourage more people to attend so they know what else is happening in the area and can discuss any local issues.

 

If you would like to know more about the running of the group and play a more active part in the group for the benefit of the community please drop me a message or email.

Newman University Sports Centre

Today, I visited Newman University on Genners Lane, Bartley Green. It has some great facilities that are open to the community from 3pm to 10pm weekdays,  10am-5pm Saturdays and 10am-3pm on Sundays.

There is a cardio and weights gym, two squash courts, a sports hall for badminton, football, netball or basketball and an outdoor pitch which is currently being upgraded.

Prices are reasonable and there are very few options for gyms around Weoley so give it a try and don’t forget to mention where you heard about it!

For full details check out the website.

 

Survey

As a way to develop the group and understand what matters most to the community I have designed a short survey. Please take a few moments to answer the questions and us know what you would like to see happen and how you can help.