Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Getting It Done

Local residents raised a few issues at the recent Quinton Ward Committee meeting - here is a progress update:

1. The two large bags of soil have now been removed from Quinton Road West, opposite Four Dwellings School.

2. Litter reported at the side of Tesco in Ridgeacre Lane. The Council has made two site inspections; however, nothing unusual has been identified as yet. The Ward cleaning crew have been directed to monitor this area and carry out additional cleansing as appropriate.

3. Knotweed reported at a particular address. This has been passed to the Housing and Parks Departments who are investigating, and obtaining a quote for dealing with it.

4. Alleged litter spillage and recycling crew throwing boxes around Lower White Road. The Ward Manager has interviewed the crew about their behaviour and reminded them of their obligations. The Council is performing additional performance monitoring.

5. Bin bags out too early in Hollybush Grove. The whole of the Grove was delivered a leaflet detailing their collection days and asking people to comply. If this doesn't work, the Council may need to involve the wardens and look at enforcement action. The Council also delivered similar leaflets to Four Acres, Six Acres and parts of Quinton Lane.

6. The missing litter bin on Quinton Lane has now been replaced.

7. Missed bulky waste collection at a particular address. The items were cleared on the Saturday following the meeting, and only counted as one of the occupier's three free collections.

8. Access to containers blocked by parked cars on Simmons Drive. This was passed to Housing, as they are responsible for the land where the nuisance parking is happening. Housing has written a newletter to the block's residents about the inappropriate parking. The Estates Services team will be monitoring the parking outside the block and placing notices. Ultimately, we may liaise with the local Police to find out who owns any problem cars.

Anything else, let me know!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Today's Health and Adults Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Today saw the monthly meeting of the Health and Adults Overview and Scrutiny Committee. I haven't blogged about this for a while but I thought it was time that I did again...

We spent quite a lot of time talking about 'Delayed Transfers of Care', commonly known as 'bed blocking'. Something that seemed to interest everyone was the level of 'reimbursement for delayed discharges', commonly known as 'fines', that may have been levied on the Council for not being ready to accept discharges (for whatever reason). We should have some definite numbers for the next meeting.

I was interested to know what the actual consequences of bed blocking are: if someone needs a bed, does this mean that they might not get one? It seems that this happens rarely and the main consequences are that more beds are provisioned than need to be, and there's sometimes quite a lot of work involved in finding someone a bed. So the consequences are serious but apparently more financial than clinical.

We also had quite a long discussion on the white paper published by the Department of Health called 'Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS'. This proposes massive changes to the way that the NHS is organised, many of which I've blogged about before. The response must be in by 11th October, so we need to get our skates on.

We received a short presentation on mental health services for older people. This was interesting and clarified in my mind why older people need specific mental health services, and the point of a separate Foundation Trust for mental health in the first place.

But in my view, the most important comments were made by Jim McManus, Joint Director of Public Health for the Birmingham Health and Wellbeing Partnership during his presentation. According to Mr McManus, in Birmingham:

1. Last winter, there were 48 preventable deaths.
2. Primary care is one of the major contributors to avoidable deaths.
3. We do prevention very badly.

In the world of scrutiny, bad news is often couched in fluffy sentences and I was taken by the directness and seriousness of these comments. Through the Chairman, I have asked Mr McManus to furnish the Committee with further information; if we have enough time to look at joint commissioning strategies, needs assessments and the like, we definitely should make time to investigate these comments further.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Planned Mobile Phone Mast Outside Toby Carvery (aka The Hollybush), Hagley Road West

I have recently been informed that Vodafone plans to install a 48-foot-high mobile phone mast outside Toby Carvery (aka The Hollybush), Hagley Road West.

I went down there today to investigate; the mast would be located between the phone box and the bus shelter on the left hand side of this photo.

The mast would be located at the following distances from local schools and nurseries.

1. Happy Days Nursery: 0.2 miles
2. Woodhouse School: 0.5 miles
3. World’s End Primary School: 0.6 miles
4. Four Dwellings Primary and Secondary Schools: 0.7 miles
5. Our Lady of Fatima School: 0.8 miles
6. Grasshoppers Nursery: 0.8 miles
7. Welsh House Farm Primary School: 1 mile

If you would like to object to these plans, please complete the petition at

Alternatively, return a paper version of the petition at No stamp is required.