I promised when I was elected in 2012 that I would give an annual report on my activities as your Councillor. So I am happy to present my second such annual report for 2014.
It has been a busy year with many challenges. By 2017 the Tory-Lib Dem Government will have slashed £825 million from the Council Budget. Such drastic cuts are bound to affect the services we provide, but as a Labour Council we are working to minimise the impact of Government cuts on the most vulnerable in our community.
KEY ASPECTS OF THE YEAR
- I have been working over the year as Chair of the Scrutiny Committee for Birmingham Economy and Jobs, examining job creation and the promotion of business in the city.
- I have worked to help set up resident’s organisations in Hay Mills and Greet.
- We have held a consultation event on road safety on the A45 Coventry road.
- Throughout the year I have helped residents with many concerns, like obtaining school places, helping with council tax queries, housing repairs, dumped rubbish, and benefits issues. I have been available at my office every Friday evening from 5 to 7pm in – addition to my other advice surgeries at the Vibe and the Elim Christian Centre.
- I continue to work with local friends groups. I have helped the Friends of Small Heath Park to make improvements to the park and worked with the Oaklands Strategy Group on the considerable improvements to the Oaklands Recreation Ground by the Swan Yardley.
In response to residents’ concerns about rubbish I have taken part in street and road clean-ups and have allocated funding to clean-up projects in the ward.
- Working with Labour’s campaign team for South Yardley, we have been visiting residents in their homes to see what their key concerns are – and what we can do to solve them.
- With my councillor colleagues in South Yardley I have lobbied successfully for repairs to the roof of Yardley Library and campaigned for longer opening hours.
- I have held meetings with the Head teacher of Bierton Road School, which has reopened under the control of Starbank School. The old sports hall and community centre will be demolished, helping to provide room for 420 much needed Primary School Places for local children.
- I have been working with the Localities Special Educational Needs (SEN) Group for a better educational experience for children with special needs, and better support for their parents. In April I helped organise a councillor and school governor briefing session on the new SEND reforms.
- I continue to work with local statutory agencies such as the Fire Service, Environment Warden, Housing and Police, I have attended local tasking meetings to deal with issues that affect the ward and the quality of resident’s lives in South Yardley. As a result, we now have 4by4 quick response vehicles at Hay Mills Fire Station, to deal with minor incidents.