Safe, clean & green

New dates for Hands on Handsworth Resident Network

Posted on 8th March 2011 by

Hands on Handsworth Resident Network

Please see the dates for the rest of the year for the resident network – all welcome

New fencing is up in Albert Rd Alleyways

Posted on 4th March 2011 by

I have just popped down to the albert rd alleyway to have a look at the completed clearence and new fencing for a project that I have been working on with local residents and partners such as Midland Heart & Groundwork. It was lovely as it is so sunny today and this part of the alleyway looks so much better – much lighter.

Part of the work that has been done inculdes a new gate for residents on Herbert Rd who back on to a small section of the alleyway. Here is the new gate.


We have also helped the owner of one of the properties that run along the side of the alleyway put up a new wooden fence this looked dreadful before.

We have also helped Midland Heart clean up their garden that runs along the other side of the alleyway. This area was regulary used by young people for drinking, had high level of dumped rubbish & litter, overgrown shubs. The difficulty is that many of the gardens in Handsworth are very large, this makes it hard for tennants to manage. This type of partnership working with residents provides a really good opportunity to clean up the area by working together.  We are really grateful to staff at Midland Heart who have heldped us take this project forward.

Below is two photos I took a few weeks ago and then the cleaned up photo from today.

Groundwork have come up with some designs to help improve the actaul public footpath of the alleyway after talking to residents ; this will inculde creation of 6 mosaic tiles, painting the lamp posts and and some laser cut panels that could be fitted to metal fence. Children from Wilkes Green school will be helping design and create the floor tiles.

This part of the project will hopefully help people feel it is a nice clean space where people feel safe walking through. You can view the Groundwork design by clicking here

Consultation on Green Spaces in Handsworth

Posted on 15th February 2011 by

Earlier this year Groundwork was successful in gaining funding to deliver a project within Handsworth that aims to empower local residents to improve their local area. The focus has been on four key areas;

  • Oaklands Youth Centre – outdoor space
  • New Inns – communal garden area
  • Centenary Drive
  • Albert Rd to Herbert Rd Alleyways

Over the last few months Stephen Cook from Groundwork has enaged with local residents to work up some intial designs for improvements at these sites. I am attaching the designs below which are just a first attempt and will develop following more conversations with residents.

It is wonderful to start seeing these designs and that residents are shaping  the projects. It would be great to see some of the projects now taken forward to actual improvements on the ground. A big thank you to all have been involved so far particulary Midland Heart, Groundwork, Wilkes Green Resident Association, Beverlie Weston, Lincoln Moses and Oaklands Youth Centre.

Oaklands Design

Design for Alleyway

Centenary Drive – Initial Design

New Inns – Initial Design

If you would like to comment on these designs or get involved contact Stephen Cook  from Groundwork on 0121 430 5500 or my self on 0121 303 3401.

Rookery Rd Street Operation #RRAD in #Handsworth today with #WMPolice

Posted on 2nd February 2011 by

Today is the first time West Midlands Police, Handsworth Wood Neighbourhood Police Team in partnership with local agencies and residents have carried out an operation on Rookery Rd. Over the last few months agancies have received a high numbers of complaints from local residents on a range of issues e.g. speeding, litter. The operation started at 10 and will continue today until 3pm.

The aim of the operation is to provide a high visablity operation in the area to respond proactively to local issues and promoted partnership working.

Thorugh neighbourhood management the focus today has been on cleaning up the area of land at the top of Rookery Rd by Trafalgar Rd.

Fleet & Waste Management, local environmental wardens Deb Parsons & Arfan Khan and future jobs fund trainees got involved today in cleaning up the area.

Just to make sure everyone was doing there job for the local area local resident & street champion Sonia Hyman also got involved with the litter pick and walk down Rookery Rd to spot any other problem areas.

For more information on the progress of the day looking at the WM Police West & Central teams news page or follow them on twitter

Hands on Handsworth Resident Network Next mtg 14th Feb

Posted on 27th January 2011 by

Last Monday residents from across Handsworth came along to a regular monthly meeting held by the network. Back in November the group who have met for the last 12 months decided that when the neighbourhood management programme ends on the 31st March in Handsworth they are keen to continue to still meet.

I am delighted that they will carry on meeting as it is important that there are opportunties for resident led groups to come together…sometimes there is power in numbers. There is no doubt that these members are commited, some of them have already been involved in Handsworth for over 20 years.

The network is keen to get more people involved and also has an opportunity for someone to be secretary on a voluntary basis. If you’re interested contact me on 0121 303 3401 or email

If you’re interested in coming along the next meeting is on:

Monday 14th February at 7pm @ Handsworth Community Fire Station

Some of the things that the network are interesting in doing during 2011 are:

  • More street Action Days and Community Litter Picks

  • Get local grot spots cleaned up

  • Look at how residents or local groups can get ownership or adopt local green spaces

The garden below has been developed in 2010 by Seven up and is a great example of how community groups have worked with local services to make better use of green space. The green space below is being developed into a sensor garden for children with disabilities based in the grounds of Rookery Primary School next to the children centre.

  •  Act as an action group to champion the developement of grot spots and sites that are casuing a problem locally

  • Try and influence local delivery of services e.g. litter collection, enforcement, trees

This is just a few of the issues the group are interested in so if you want to find out more or also get involved come along on the 14th Feb.


Albert Rd Alleyways

Posted on 19th January 2011 by

Great news work has started today to clean up and put up new fencing in the Albert Rd to Herbert alleyways. This will will take about two weeks.

Notice to residents Re: Albert Rd Alleyways clean up

We have just found out that the Albert Rd project has been selected as one of five Local Government Challenges  that will take place in Birmingham during February. The challenge is a bit like the apprentice where executives split into teams across the country and get involved in local challenges. Watch this space for more information!

Resident Network Meetings for 2011

Posted on 20th December 2010 by

Throughout last year many residents have got together each month to form a local resident network looking at local issues within the neighbourhood. The group has agreed to continue next year and will in 2011 focus on environmental issues.

The resident network is chaired by Selwyn Clarke and open to all Handsworth residents. If you’re interested in getting imvolved and would like to see further environmental improvements than please come along.

The next meetings will be:

  • Monday 24th January at 7pm @ Handsworth Community Fire Station
  •  Monday 21st February at 7pm @ Handsworth Community Fire Station
  •  Monday 21st March at 7pm @ Handsworth Community Fire Station

Albert Rd alleyways getting a much needed clean up

Posted on 17th December 2010 by

It has taken months of planning but finally  we have now got in place a clean up of the Albert Rd  to Herbert Rd Alleyway. In January work will start to clear all the rubbish on the gardens that run either side as well as the small section that runs behind 3 houses on Herbert Rd.

Then new fencing and gates will be fitted to parts of the area where they have either been removed or need replacing. Hopefully this will help local residents feel a lot safer walking along the alleyway and improve how they look?

I would welcome your thoughts about what else we can do to improve this part of Handsworth?

Paint the Park in #Handsworth Park

Posted on 10th December 2010 by

Local resident Andrew Burchell has recently written a review on a great project in Handsworth park on the Soho Times website called Paint the Park.

I really like the idea of this project and hope we can see more exmaples of this type of arts projects in green spaces. They provide a new and interesting way to see and use these spaces.

Photos kindly supplied by Andrew Burchell

Garden Waste Collection Stopping

Posted on 4th December 2010 by

Did you know that the garden waste collection service in Birmingham is stopping during the winter?

Green Waste collections have stopped between 26th November to 7th February. For more information visit the Birmingham City Council recyling pages.

Many people may still have to clear the autumn waste or continue to have active gardens through the winter months.

Why not turn this waste into a nutrient rich soil improver by composting at home?

Don’t let your garden waste mount up over winter when you can start the basis of a successful compost. While temperatures are lower the process will be slower, but will give you a fantastic head start when it comes to spring time.

Evengreener have a special offer in conjuction with your council for composting bins from £14.99.