Solihull ‘Switch and Save’ initiative can save residents £100’s on fuel bills

Solihull Council is launching a second round of Solihull Switch ‘n’ Save, a scheme aimed at finding residents cheaper gas and electricity bills.

Residents who signed up to the first round of the scheme in October were offered average savings on their energy bills of £265, leading to total savings of £65,435 for households in the borough. The highest average saving was for those who registered online and have a monthly direct debit dual-fuel paper billing. These customers saved £375 on average.

The registration period for the next round begins on 22 March 2016. All residents need to do is have a recent energy bill to hand and visit to register before the deadline of 22 May 2016.

A reverse auction will then be held where energy suppliers will bid for the opportunity to offer participants a cheaper deal. At no point are any personal details released to utility companies.

Residents who have registered will then receive an email or letter containing details of the new energy offer and the estimated annual savings available. It’s then up to the participant whether to switch and save. There are no obligations and it’s completely free.

This type of scheme is known as collective switching, which uses the collective bargaining power of groups of people to secure better prices from energy suppliers. Although it’s designed to save money for residents, the scheme is open to everyone in the UK to participate.

Councillor Karen Grinsell, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities and Partnerships, said: “It’s fantastic that this scheme has been successful as it really is a force for good in offering a simpler way for our residents to make sure they’re not overpaying on their energy bills.

“This scheme means you won’t need to negotiate the often confusing world of energy suppliers and tariffs; instead the Council will do the hard work for you. You’ve got nothing to lose by registering your details and you may end up having some extra cash in your pocket at the end of it.”

For more information call 0121 704 6000 or visit a Solihull Connect walk-in centre where one-to-one support in registering for the scheme is available.

Healthy Living Pharmacies are coming to Solihull inc Cheswick Green and Dickens Heath

Would you like some advice with that?

People in Solihull can expect to walk away with more than just their prescription when they visit their local pharmacy in the future.

Eleven pharmacies in the borough are to become new ‘Healthy Living Pharmacies’ (HLP) offering people more advice and support to lead healthier lifestyles.

Each pharmacy will have at least two accredited ‘Health Champions’ who have been trained to give customers health and wellbeing advice as well as information about services in the community that can help them to improve their health in areas such as weight management, alcohol consumption and help to quit smoking.

By shifting the focus from treatment to prevention, the aim is that people will benefit from living well for longer and the burden on other services including GPs and hospitals is decreased.

Solihull Public Health has been working closely with participating pharmacies, overseeing the project and providing the necessary staff training with the overall aim that the remainder of Solihull’s community pharmacies will also work towards gaining HLP status. Accredited pharmacies are awarded with the HLP quality mark so that they are identifiable within the community.

Councillor Ken Meeson, Chair of Solihull’s Health and Wellbeing Board said: “Pharmacies are an integral part of their communities, dispensing prescriptions and giving advice that can often save a trip to the GP or local hospital. Many are open when Doctors’ surgeries are closed and serve a range of people from those who only pop in for basic remedies to those with more long term health concerns. Trusted and easily accessible without an appointment they have great potential to improve the health of local people, including those who may not go to their GPs. They also have an important role in supporting people to adopt better lifestyles that not only help them to live longer and healthier lives but can also reduce the pressure on other over-stretched health services.”

The eleven pharmacies in Solihull currently working towards HLP status should receive their accreditations by November this year. The pharmacies are:

Lloyds Pharmacy, Shirley

Tesco Pharmacy, Shirley

Dudley Taylor, Cheswick Green

Craig Croft, Chelmsley Wood

Dalton Pharmacy, Dickens Heath

MR Pharmacy, Monkspath

Browns Pharmacy, Warwick Rd

Browns Pharmacy, Kingshurst

Boots Pharmacy, Hatchford Brook

St Marys Pharmacy, Hampton in Arden

Lloyds Pharmacy, Castle Bromwich

Carol McNidder, Pharmacy Manager at Dudley Taylor in Cheswick Green said: “We are thrilled to be taking part in this initiative which will really utilise the skills of the pharmacy team in improving and increasing the services we provide for the benefit of the health and well being of our patients.”

Healthy Living Pharmacies (HLP), initially developed in Portsmouth are now being rolled out across the country. There are currently over 1000 HLPs in England with an ambition from Public Health England that will increase substantially.

Update of the Solihull Connected Transport Strategy

Over the summer of 2015 Solihull Council sought the views of residents and businesses on plans for ‘Solihull Connected’, a transport strategy to keep the borough connected for the next twenty years.

The results of this consultation, as well as the draft transport strategy are being submitted to the Council’s Economic Development & Managed Growth Scrutiny Board for consideration on Thursday 17 March.

Having taken part in the consultation or agreed to receive updates on the strategy, you may be interested in the outcomes which have indicated broad support for the Solihull Connected vision, objectives and strategic priorities.

Following consideration by the Scrutiny Board, a further report will be taken to Cabinet Member for Transport & Highways in the summer to seek approval for Solihull Connected to be formally adopted.

A delivery plan for the strategy will then follow in September setting out our investment priorities. If you have any further questions please email


Highways Implementation Notice for School Road and Shelfield Close, Hockley Heath

Please find attached details of a forthcoming Implementation Notice for School Road and Shelfield Close, Hockley Heath, which will come into effect on 18th March 2016.

If you would like to discuss any technical aspect of the Orders, please contact the Council’s Highway Services Division on 0121 704 8004. or for more information on Solihull’s permanent, temporary or experimental Traffic Regulation Orders, please visit:

Kind regards,

Joseph Bright

Democratic Services

Solihull MBC

Developer announced for new care home in Solihull

Solihull Council and the North Solihull Partnership have announced that Runwood Homes will design, build and operate a brand new residential and nursing home in Chelmsley Wood.

The construction of the 60 bed home for older people with dementia will mark the final phase of the Chelmund’s Cross Village Centre development which has seen £22m of investment so far.

The Council will commission a ten year block contract to occupy all of the beds in the new home, meaning that local people will have greater access to affordable care in the future.

Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Ken Meeson said: “As the population of older people in the borough grows, so too does the demand for high quality care and support services. The Council consistently faces the challenge of being able to find care homes and particularly nursing beds at an affordable cost and located in the borough to meet this increasing need.

“I am delighted therefore that we have been able to secure a high quality partner to provide what will be an exemplar scheme, offering local residents excellent facilities at an affordable rate.”

The new home will be located within Chelmund’s Cross Village Centre. The centre, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, includes the £10m Bishop Wilson School, a new Enterprise Centre providing office space for small and new start-up businesses, as well as a new medical centre, dental practice, pharmacy and retail units which will be under construction soon.

Cabinet Member for Environment, Housing and Regeneration, Councillor Tony Dicicco added: “The new home will be the final piece of the jigsaw to create a first class community hub for local people. Being located next to all of these fantastic new local amenities creates opportunities for the new residents of the home to really feel part of a community. As well as the future job opportunities that will come once the home is built, Runwood Homes will also be offering two apprentice posts as part of the development; one during construction and one managerial post which demonstrates that they really understand and want to get involved in the wider investment we are making in the area.”

Now that Runwood Homes has been selected as the developer, they will soon be holding a public engagement event to seek people’s views on their plans for the design and layout of the building, prior to submitting a planning application to the Council.

Gordon Sanders, Chief Executive of Runwood Homes said: “We are delighted to have been selected as the Council’s partner and look forward to working on a long term basis to provide affordable quality dementia services for the people of Solihull. This will be our first care home in the Borough although we have eight care homes established in Warwickshire. Arrangements are in hand for consultation with local stakeholders regarding our planning proposals and these will be followed by more detailed discussion during the formal planning process.”

For further information please contact:
Julie Harrison,
Tel: 0121 704 8765