Mayor opens new café to support dementia carers

The Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Glenis Slater, opened Café Tempo on Wednesday 24 February. The café, at St Mary’s Church in Hobs Moat, offers support to those who care for someone living with dementia.

The café is open on the last Wednesday of every month from 10am until 1pm. It is an opportunity for those voluntarily caring for someone with dementia to seek advice and support in a friendly and open environment.

People living with dementia are welcome to come along and will be looked after by the volunteers who run the café. It gives the carers, often partners or relatives, a chance to relax and share experiences with others in a similar situation.

Café Tempo is run by the Act on Dementia Community Interest Company (CIC). Act on Dementia offers training for those caring for people with dementia, as well as health and wellbeing advice for the carers themselves.

The Mayor said “It can be an immensely difficult job to provide care for a loved one who is living with dementia. Carers often find themselves alone coping with a difficult situation and opportunities like this can make a real difference. It gives much-needed advice and support to carers and helps them to manage their own lives as well.”

Christine Logan, Director of Act on Dementia CIC, said: “Carers play a vital role in our community by providing dedicated support to family members living with dementia. But carers need support too, and opportunities like Café Tempo mean that carers can come together and recharge their batteries.”

For more information contact Christine Logan at or call 07720880109.

Cafés will soon be opening at following locations –

The Art Space, Kingshurst; 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month at 12.30-4.30pm.

Olton Library (2nd floor); twice a month on a Friday starting Friday 18 March at 10am – 1pm.

Three Trees community centre; every other week starting Monday 14 March at 1-4pm.

Temporary traffic signals on Stratford Road, Hockley Heath

The Parish Council have been advised that Western Power Distribution are working on Stratford Road to maintain, repair or replace and link box/link box lid.  The work started on 25th February and is scheduled to be complete before 2nd March 2016.  Should you require more details, please go to the following website: and this will give you live updates.

In the past West Power Distribution have been ahead of schedule with repairs so we are hopeful that the temporary lights will be down before the 2nd March.

In the meantime, there is likely to be disruption to traffic particularly mornings and evening rush hour so please add a little more time to your journeys.

SMBC to debate West Midlands Combined Authority – Tuesday 1st March

At Solihull’s full council meeting on Tuesday 1 March, members will debate whether to commit Solihull to joining the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

A survey into the proposed WMCA was requested by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). A report summarising the results has now been published and will inform the debate. The report can be viewed at

Between 60% and 72% of people agreed or strongly agreed that:

• by working together local authorities in the West Midlands would deliver improvements in economic development, regeneration and transport
• better coordination of these areas would mean more effective and convenient local government and services
• the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) would ensure businesses have a strong voice moving forward, and
• neighbouring local authorities should be invited to participate in the WMCA
Preparing for Council on 1 March, Councillor Bob Sleigh, Leader of Solihull Council, said:

“DCLG required us to undertake the survey and the responses received show there is general support for a combined authority.

“Some comments show there are still worries about Solihull being ‘taken over’ by other councils, becoming part of a ‘super council’ or being responsible for the debts or problems of other councils. Concerns were also expressed that Solihull joining a combined authority would mean losing what makes our borough such a special place to live.

“This is absolutely not the case.

“I can reassure people that if Solihull Council joins a WMCA it will still be the Solihull Council they know. We will continue to serve the local area in the same way as we always have. We will still be emptying bins, dealing with local planning applications and cleaning Solihull’s streets.

“The combined authority proposal is about working together with our neighbours on matters that cross council boundaries, for example roads, trains and buses. I am confident working closer together in a combined authority will allow us to deliver a better connected West Midlands and improved public transport services.

“Initially I had to be convinced about the benefits of a combined authority for Solihull. However, having scrutinised the figures it is clear that it presents a huge opportunity for the borough. It will bring significant investment into Solihull projects, delivering these projects faster than if the borough went it alone.

“I have talked directly, to local businesses, parish councils, voluntary and community sector, MPs, councillors, council employees and once I have explained what a combined authority means for Solihull, there has been overwhelming support for the proposals.

“If a combined authority is formed, we could benefit from £636 million of direct investment into Solihull over the next 30 years. We could see Junction 6 (M42) improvements, HS2 Interchange funding, alongside other transport investment.

“The WMCA would also unlock an overall £8 billion investment package for skills, infrastructure and businesses across the region. It will enable us to create a workforce and economy that will benefit our children and young people for years to come.

“I would not be doing this if it wasn’t right for Solihull. We have worked hard, and will continue in our endeavours, to ensure there is a clear benefit for Solihull being part of the proposed WMCA.

“I can reassure people that no one council will have more power than another. Each authority will be an equal player in the proposed WMCA. We will all have one vote.

“My aim is to make sure this collaboration works for Solihull, for our partners and the region as a whole.

“I look forward to discussing these matters at Council on 1 March, and promise that should we decide to join a WMCA, I will continue to be open and transparent, keeping residents, businesses and all our other partners informed of progress.”

The public consultation was carried out from 18 January to 8 February.

It was undertaken to help the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government make a decision regarding the establishment of a Combined Authority in the West Midlands.

There were five key questions relating to the proposed Combined Authority’s role and functions and, specifically, about the Scheme document that was submitted to government in December.

Work to start at Blossomfield Roundabout

Solihull Council is due to start work on a new scheme to improve a major route into Solihull town centre by installing traffic lights at the busy Blossomfield Road/Dingle Lane/Danford Lane junction.

The scheme is expected to significantly improve traffic capacity on the B4102 Blossomfield Road corridor. This is a heavily congested route into Solihull town centre particularly during the morning and afternoon peak periods; accommodating 95 bus services.

The Blossomfield Road junction itself handles 23,000 vehicles during an average day and currently comprises a roundabout with pelican crossings on either side of the Blossomfield Road arms. Due to the roundabout’s compact nature its two circulatory lanes are currently seldom used.

The junction is located in close proximity to three secondary schools, a technical college and a primary school meaning that there is very high demand for the pelican crossings during school start and finish times.

As part of the scheme and in order to create a more efficient operation of the junction, the current roundabout will be removed and replaced with traffic signals. This will mean that each arm of the junction will have a dedicated green light at each traffic cycle. This is in contrast to the current uncontrolled roundabout where the high usage of the pedestrian crossings slows the movement of vehicles through the junction and leads to queuing.

The scheme will also install a new controlled crossing point on Dingle Lane, improving road safety for those who walk to the local schools in the area. It will also provide a cycle priority lane on the Blossomfield Road at both approaches to the junction.

The work, which will be undertaken by the Council’s highways-partnering contractors, Balfour Beatty – Living Places and Siemens, is expected to take 12 weeks to complete.

There will be no road closures during the work but traffic restrictions will be in place at various points, which may lead to some disruption.

The initial work expected to be undertaken on commencement of the scheme will be the physical removal of the roundabout.

SMBC Rights of Way Improvement Plan – consultation ends 25th March 2016

As you may be aware Solihull Council has been undertaking a review of its Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP), with a view to publishing a revised document later this year. An assessment of the Authority’s progress in achieving the aims and objectives of the first ROWIP has been undertaken in consultation with various stakeholders. This has been undertaken alongside consideration of service priorities, and resource implications. This has led to the production of a draft second edition of the ROWIP. Before we seek approval of a final document we are required to carry out a further consultation exercise, and take into account any responses received.

To this end a copy of the new draft ROWIP is available via the following link:

Any comments and submissions with regard to this document should be made in writing and sent by email to:

Or by letter to: Public Rights of Way, Highway Services, Places Directorate, Solihull MBC, The Council House, Manor Square, Solihull, B91 3QT

Please ensure that any feedback is received no later than 25th March 2016.

West Midlands Combined Authority consultation coming to a close.

Dear stakeholder,  The consultation on the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) finishes next Monday 8 February.

It’s really important that businesses and key stakeholders within Solihull make their voices heard.

The ‘Scheme’ could unlock nearly £636 million of investment into Solihull over the next 30 years, as part of an overall £8 billion investment package for the WMCA area.

This is a tremendous opportunity to move powers from Whitehall to the West Midlands, and will allow us to work closely together on the issues that really matter to you; growth, jobs, skills, transport and homes.

It’s your last chance to have your say, so please do take a few minutes to complete the short survey, available on the WMCA website.

Notice of temporary road closure on Grange Road, Dorridge

Highways Maintenance – Grange Road, Dorridge
Notice of Temporary Road Closure
The Council gives notice under Sections 14 and 15 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act
1984 (as amended by the Road Traffic (Temporary Restrictions) Act 1991), being
satisfied that traffic should be restricted or prohibited by reason of ensuring the tactile
examination of a railway bridge can be undertaken in safety.
The works will require Grange Road, Dorridge, to be closed from 0700hrs to 1500hrs on
Sunday 21st February 2016 and from 0700hrs to 1500hrs on Sunday 28th February 2016.
Informatory warning signs will be deployed, not less than seven days before any
particular road will be closed. Access for emergency services will be maintained at all
times. Pedestrian access to all properties within the restriction will be maintained along
defined routes throughout the period of the closure.
Local Traffic Diversion routes will be provided as follows:
Grange Road, Dorridge – Alternative routes for traffic will be signed via Grange Road,
Earlswood Road, Four Ashes Road, Widney Road and Station Road, and reverse for the
opposite direction.
For further information contact L Pape, Network Rail – 01132775360.

Click on this link to see a plan of the proposed alternative traffic route:

100 new jobs at Waitrose, Solihull

Solihull Council are working in partnership with Waitrose to help local people secure the 100+ jobs that will be created when their new store opens in May 2016.

The store, on Homer Road, will offer positions covering a range of tasks in the following areas: Customer Café/Service Counters and Checkouts/Replenishment. If you have a passion for good food and delivering exceptional service, you could be the person Waitrose is looking for.

A jointly hosted information event will be held at the Ramada Hotel, New Road, Solihull on Friday 12 February 2016, 5.30 – 6.30pm. This will be a great opportunity to find out more about the roles available, the recruitment process and what it is like to be a Waitrose Partner. Solihull Council will also be there to talk about the employment support that they can offer to local residents.

Councillor Joe Tildesley, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture said: “We are delighted to welcome Waitrose to Solihull. This new store opening will significantly enhance the town’s retail offer, as well as benefiting the local community with the new jobs this development will bring.”

Speaking of their current nationwide programme of new store openings, Waitrose director of development, Nigel Keen, said: “At a time when many retailers’ estates are contracting, we are delighted to be opening new shops around the country and giving people the opportunity to become Partners in our business. These new shops will go beyond the traditional supermarket, delivering exciting modern shopping experiences.”

To find out more about the information event on 12 February and to book a place, please call 0121 704 8192/8076.

Notice of road works on B4101 between Balsall Common and Knowle

Kenilworth Road and Balsall Street to close for resurfacing works

From Saturday 13 February to Wednesday 17 February, the B4101 Kenilworth Road, running through Knowle, and the B4101 Balsall Street, Balsall Common, will be closed to through traffic to allow works to be carried out to keep the road in a safe condition.

A complete closure of B4101 between Balsall Common and Knowle villages is required. To minimise disruption along this busy route, the work will be carried out during the school half-term holiday week with works commencing on Saturday 13 February 2016. A diversion route via Hampton in Arden will be clearly signed.

In order to complete the improvement works, the road will be restricted between 9.00am and 3.30pm each day – the route will be open to traffic at all other times. Access to local businesses and properties along the roads will be maintained during the works.

The road surface on the B4101 has now reached the end of its useful life and needs to be resurfaced. Whilst this will cause disruption to road users during the works, it will result in a new surface that should remain maintenance-free for around 15 years, meaning less inconvenience in the future.

This scheme is being funded as a result of the Council’s successful bid to the Department for Transport’s –“Challenge Fund”. This additional money is awarded to Councils who demonstrate they are delivering value for money in carrying out cost effective maintenance solutions.

This is part of the Council’s three-year highway maintenance programme to ensure the roads across the borough do not deteriorate and become hazardous. Solihull Council apologises to all road users for any inconvenience caused as a result of these essential works.

Road Name – B4101 Kenilworth Road, Knowle & B4101 Balsall Street, Balsall Common

Section – From High Street, Knowle to Station Road, Balsall Common

Date – Saturday 13 February 2016 for 5 Days.

Times – 09.00am to 3.30pm