Interested in Standing as a Parish Councillor and Making a DIFFERENCE in your Community?

What do Councillors do?

Councillors have three main components to their work.


1. Decision making – Through meetings and attending committees with other elected members, councillors decide which activities to support, where money should be spent, what services should be delivered and what policies should be implemented.


2. Monitoring – Councillors make sure that their decisions lead to efficient and effective services by keeping an eye on how well things are working.


3. Getting involved locally – As local representatives, councillors have responsibilities towards their constituents and local organisations. These responsibilities and duties often depend on what the councillor wants to achieve and how much time is available, and may include:
• Going to meetings of local organisations such as tenants’ associations.

• Going to meetings of bodies affecting the wider community.

• Taking up issues on behalf of members of the public.

• Running a surgery for residents to bring up issues.

• Meeting with individual residents in their own homes.


Contact the Clerk at hhpc2009@hotmail.com to find out more about the role of a Councillor at Hockley Heath Parish Council. WALC also has a brief guide on the Parish Council elections and the role of Councillors as follows: https://www.walc.org.uk/information/become-a-councillor


The Parish Council of Hockley Heath has been able to take decisions to improve the village, here are just a few of the actions taken:
– extra security at the recreation ground- resurfacing areas of the park car park

– purchasing new play equipment for children and teenagers – planting daffodils in the recreation ground

– working with SMBC to obtain speed monitoring cameras- providing grants to community groups

– making repairs and internal decorations to the Pavilion- obtaining grants to purchase a defibrillator

– approving the installation of broadband in the Pavilion- working with SMBC to improve the local environment

– working with the Gardening Club, Residents’ Association and the Hockley Heath Social Club to enhance the village through tree planting and Christmas lighting


Local Parish Councillors are needed to continue making decisions on how the precept is spent within Hockley Heath to improve the village for all residents. All training will be provided for elected Councillors. Prospective candidates must submit nomination papers to SMBC between 26th March and 3 April 2019.

Parish Council Elections – 2nd May 2019

The Parish Council elections are fast approaching. There are 5 Councillor seats on Hockley Heath Parish Council; all will be available for interested candidates. If 5 candidates or less stand then there will be an uncontested election with all candidates being automatically elected without a vote. If 6 candidates or more stand then there will be an election on 2nd May 2019.

CAN YOU STAND FOR ELECTION?

To be eligible to stand as a candidate at a Parish Council election in England you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • be a British citizen, Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of any member state of the European Union
  • be at least one of the following four qualifications
    • you are, and will continue to be, registered as a local government elector in the parish in which in which you wish to stand
    • you have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the parish area during the last 12 months
    • your main or only place of work during the last 12 months is in the parish area in which you would like to stand.
    • you have lived in the parish, or within three miles of it, during the whole of the previous 12 months

To view the rules of qualification and disqualification of candidature please click on the link below:

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/141798/Part-1-Can-you-stand-for-election-P-and-C.pdf

If you would like to stand as a Councillor for Hockley Heath Parish Council you will need to submit nomination papers to SMBC. All candidates must be proposed and seconded by 2 residents within the Parish, listed on the Electoral Register for Hockley Heath. The proposer and seconder will need to insert their elector number and polling district on the candidate’s nomination papers. Elector numbers and polling district numbers can be obtained from the Clerk to Hockley Heath Parish Council, or by visiting the library at The Core, Solihull, where the Register of Electors can be viewed.

Prospective candidates can obtain nomination forms from the Council House in Solihull or by using the link below (the forms can be printed):

http://www.solihull.gov.uk/Portals/0/ElectionsAndVoting/Parish-Nomination-pack.pdf

The important dates to to remember are:

Notice of election – 25th March 2019

Submission of nomination papers – 26th March – 3 April 2019

Closing date for nomination papers – Wednesday 3rd April 2019, 4 pm. Nomination papers received after 4 pm on 3rd April 2019 will be rejected.

Withdrawal of nomination – Wednesday 3rd April, 4 pm.

All nomination papers must be hand-delivered to Electoral Services, Council House, Manor Square, Solihull, B91 3QB.

For more information on Parish Council elections please visit SMBC’s website:

http://www.solihull.gov.uk/About-the-Council/Voting/parishelection


Hockley Heath Spring Clean – 22nd March 2019

Thank you to all the volunteers who took park in the March village spring clean, in conjunction with SMBC’s Love Solihull campaign. Litter and fly tipped items were collected on 22 March 2019 by an army of local residents. The village is looking much tidier.

Thank you to the Miller and Carter for providing refreshments and the Wharf Tavern for providing sandwiches and refreshments to all volunteers.

HOCKLEY HEATH PARISH COUNCIL’S RESPONSE TO SMBC’S DRAFT LOCAL PLAN CONSULTATION (JANUARY 2019)

The Parish Council met on 21st February 2019 and agreed the following response to the consultation:


Q19. Do you agree with the infrastructure requirements identified for Hockley Heath, if not why not, or do you believe there are any other matters that should be included?


The infrastructure within Hockley Heath is not sufficiently capable of supporting a development of this size; 100 homes is a 12% increase (approximately).


Paragraph 189 (p37) refers to regular bus services connecting Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham. This is not the case, the X20 service terminates at Shirley and does not serve Birmingham. TfWM, following a consultation, has changed the bus service route and as such the service from Hockley Heath to Solihull and Dorridge station is effectively reduced to an hourly service due to timetabling, irrespective of this being a circular route. Access to rail services is limited; over 2 miles away.


Hockley Heath does not have a large range of shops and there are no medical facilities (Doctors or Pharmacy) within the Village.
The local primary school does not have the capacity to accommodate the potential numbers of children from 100-150 properties (should sites 49 and 328 also be released from the green belt).


The NP survey, published in June 2018, had 87% of respondents indicating it was very important for highway changes to School Road to prevent excessive vehicle use arising from additional Blythe Valley Park development (it was accepted that this will be used as a short-cut). This finding was in advance of any consultation associated with the release of green belt land on School Road. The A3400 is used as a diversion for both the M40 and M42 and as such Hockley Heath experiences frequent congestion along the A3400 and connecting routes, with School Road being used to bypass congestion on the A3400.


Hockley Heath, and specifically the A3400, suffers from regular ponding following even moderate sustained rainfall. HHPC is engaging with Severn Trent Water and SMBC Highways to identify improvement works across the entire system (from storm drains to river outlet) but there is clear evidence that the drainage infrastructure in the Village is struggling.


There are pockets of Hockley Heath which still do not have access to “super fast” broadband and there have been reports from residents of poor water pressure in areas of the Village.


Q20. Do you believe that Site 25 land south of School Road should be included as an allocated site, if not why not? Do you have any comments on the draft concept masterplan for the site?

Hockley Heath Parish Council do not believe that Site 25 should be included as an allocated site.


School Road is a minor road and experiences congestion around the school. Local residents frequently inform the Parish Council of excessive speeding and safety concerns. In respect of suggestions that any future development could improve Hockley Heath Academy drop off and collections, we would point out that the development is on the other side of the busy School Road and we do not accept that the risks associated with additional children crossing the road offset the negative aspects of the release of the land. The existing volume and speed of traffic will be further impacted by BVP. School Road is also prone to flooding which has not been addressed within the draft consultation documentation. The road also lacks a footpath at the location of the proposed site 25 development.


In the Summer of 2018 the Parish Council ran a survey across the village in support of the Neighbourhood Plan. The survey received an excellent response rate for a survey of this type (50% of the village responded) and its findings will form a key element of the forthcoming Neighbourhood Plan. Our response to this consultation should be viewed as being informed by representative data from the village as a whole. The survey found:

a) 87% of respondents indicated it was very important for highway changes to School Road to prevent excessive vehicle use arising from additional Blythe Valley Park development. This finding was in advance of any consultation associated with the release of green belt land on School Road and potential housing.

b) the top priority in terms of the natural environment was to protect the views of green belt land and green spaces from inappropriate development (92% of residents).

c) 69% of residents felt that School Road should be protected from development (the highest response).


The draft concept masterplan for the site indicates a density of housing out of proportion to the village as whole.


Q21. Do you have any comments to make on potential changes to the Green Belt boundary north of School Road that would result in the removal of the ‘washed over’ Green Belt from this ribbon of development?


HHPC does not support the potential changes to the Green Belt boundary and would be very concerned if the release of Site 25 (circa 100 units) also led to the release of additional ‘washed over’ sites with a potential further 50 dwellings being built on School Road in the future. It would have been helpful had the consultation document detailed the existing green belt boundary and the proposed new green belt boundary.

Hockley Heath to Solihull Bus Route Change

BUS ROUTE CHANGES – S3/S3W
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has recently undergone a tendering process for bus providers and also a consultation of proposed route changes, with the intention of these taking effect from 23 February 2019. The consultation stated:

“S3 No change proposed to the existing route from Hockley Heath to Solihull within the February changes. Solihull to Wythall section – see options 2, 3 and 4 under S2”.

However, as a result of the consultation and appointing a new provider – Landflight, the route from Hockley Heath to Solihull has now changed and no longer connects to Knowle (it is now a circular route which connects to Dorridge, Bentley Heath and Solihull, or alternatively to Solihull via BVP, Cheswick Green and Shirley named A7/A8). You can view the routes here: https://www.landflight.co.uk/bus-services/

Anyone wishing to travel directly to Knowle will need to catch 2 buses, changing at Dorridge (the A3 will run from Dorridge to Knowle). The Parish Council have spoken with TfWM and raised many issues, in particular school children travelling to Arden. TfWM stated that they are currently talking to Landflight to see whether they can extend the service for school children.

The Parish Council has also raised the issue of the route change with a number of organisations and individuals. TfWM state that if you have any comments about the changes to the S3/S3W service then contact Customer Services so all comments can be logged and looked at. The email is customerservices@tfwm.org.uk

Community Speedwatch

Community Speedwatch is a community driven road safety initiative which empowers Community volunteers to address their concerns about inappropriate traffic speed around their places of work and/or residence, with the support of the police.


West Midlands Police Community Speedwatch scheme will involve trained volunteers from the community monitoring the speeds of vehicles with approved speed detection devices. Where vehicle speeds are found to be inappropriate. They are looking for volunteers to help run this scheme.


2 training Sessions at Solihull Police Station will be held on the following dates

28/2/19 – 19.00hrs

7/3/18 – 19.00hrs


If you are interested please email PCSO Mark Rice at rural@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk

Flood Update

Acting as the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) for Solihull, SMBC has completed an investigation into the unprecedented flooding on 27 May 2018 and has now published findings, as required under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.

SMBC investigated each of the affected areas to identify the causes and mechanisms of the flooding. This investigatory work has involved detailed condition surveys of watercourses, culverts and highway drainage systems. SMBC would like to thank all those who have worked with them to share their first-hand experiences of the flooding. This information has been fed back to help build a more informed picture of what happened in May 2018.

SMBC are currently exploring what action it may be possible to take to mitigate against such an event in the future. Some of these options are detailed in their action plan. SMBC will now need to see what funding can be secured, as well as consider the potential benefits of any proposed flood reduction schemes.

The following link takes you to the report compiled by SMBC:

eservices.solihull.gov.uk/mgInternet/documents/g7141/Public%20reports%20pack%2031st-Jan-2019%2018.00%20CPH%20Environment%20and%20Housing%20Decision%20Session.pdf?T=10

Serving the Local Community