Spring Blossom in Acocks Green

Are you a tree-lover who would like to receive a free blossom tree courtesy of National Trust, for your local community space, front garden or school around Acocks Green? Those of you who visited the city centre in recent months may have noticed the blossom trees in containers brightening up the city streets. The National Trust is working with local communities and tree-lovers around Birmingham and the country to bring more blossom trees to urban areas with their Blossom Together programme. The trees that were in containers around the city and at the Commonwealth Smithfield Festival Site installation will live on when their roots are planted in gardens and community spaces around our city.

photo courtesy of National Trust

Birmingham was once surrounded by orchards and small gardens and referred to as ‘a town ringed by blossom’. In recognition of this botanical history they are aiming to create a new, symbolic ring of blossom around the city by giving away more than 600 blossoming trees to people based near the number 11 bus route, which circles Birmingham.

If you live, or are part of a school or community group within a 25 minute walk of the number 11 bus route around Birmingham and would like to plant and care for a blossom tree, please email National Trust to register your interest. Trees will be allocated during September ahead of planting in early 2023.

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Summer Reading Challenge – The Gadgeteers

Acocks Green Library welcomes children to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge – challenging children to read 6 books during the school holidays. For each book they write a little review and receive rewards along the way. Each year there is theme and 6 Summer Reading Characters – this year it’s the Gadgeteers. There is an online version or an IRL version. Call into your local library to sign up and find out more.

The library is also having craft sessions on Wednesdays in August – you can book your place when you go in. Also if you haven’t already, then pick up the Question Sheet for the trail everyone is talking about – Find the Flags around Acocks Green Village – 54 Commonwealth flags to find in the shops/businesses. (closing date 6 August). So visit the library very soon!

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New Trees need Water!

If you are lucky enough to have a young tree in your neighbourhood then in this extreme weather they need some help. Look out for the pipe at the base of the tree that takes water down to the roots. You could save the tree’s life if you give it water during this hot, dry weather.

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Acocks Green Library Celebrates 90 Years!

On 14th June 1932 Acocks Green Library opened to the public. You can read all about this auspicious day on the Acocks Green History Society Page

Crowds at the Opening in 1932

How exciting it must have been to see this new library being opened for the community! And 90 years on it is great to see the library busy again after the pandemic, with regular activities. To celebrate the library’s birthday people are invited to come along to the regular Thursday Coffee Morning on 16th June (10am – 12 noon), for a piece of special home made birthday cake. Also the library staff have an interesting visitors book from the early days of the library to show people.

If you haven’t joined the library you just need to bring one recent piece of name and address ID to get yourself a library card which you can use in all the libraries around Birmingham.

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Saturday 4th June – Jubilee Celebrations

Two weeks today, come along to the celebrations in Acocks Green Village and support Acocks Green Village in Bloom! There will be live music from Canoe – playing popular tunes from across the decades, a string quartet from Kimichi School and more. So dress up and come and enjoy the event!

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Planning Applications – Keep Informed and Be Heard

Following the Acocks Green Neighbourhood Forum Public Meeting on Tuesday 10th May, there was much discussion about recent planning applications. Many in attendance shared concerns about the high level of Homes of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) in our area and what can be done to curb their growth and make sure they are managed properly.

It is expected that larger homes, such as some of the older Victorian and Edwardian houses, may be sensibly and appropriately made into well managed HMOs. These have to be regulated and licensed and there are many of these in our area. The greater concerns from the Public have come from a growth in Supported Exempt Accommodation which are HMOs that are offering some sort of social support to the residents, because of specific needs. These are often not well-regulated, do not have to be licensed and do not have to have planning permission. There has been high-level criticism of some of these properties in recent times and campaigns to get them properly regulated.

In a suburb such as ours there are always changes and developments, but it is important to remember that, as local residents, we can give our views directly to the council and these have to be considered. Local people’s views can stop or change proposed developments.

If you disagree with a Change of Use of a dwelling or a business and wish to object to that change, it is important that you submit your views. The more responses to a Planning Application (PA) the better chance that the PA will be reconsidered by the council. It is understandable that people get annoyed and upset by some of the changes that have taken place, but the best thing to do is act in a positive way by submitting your views officially, each view will have to be considered and ‘People Power’ has changed the course of development many times in our area.

Close to the site of the Planning Application the council has to display details of the application, this will often be tied to a lampost and posted to nearby properties. This notice will show the PA number and an outline of the proposal.

If you go to the Planning Online page you can type in the PA number which will take you to the full details of the application and you can read and look at the plans.

As well as this route to view applications, the council produces a weekly list of Planning Applications that you can download each week – Weekly Lists . Handily they are produced in alphabetical order and so Acocks Green appears at the top of the list. If you want to read more about a particular PA then copy and paste the application number into the Planning Online Application Number Search, and on this page you can submit your views. There is normally a closing date for comments, so try to get your views in on time, although if you do miss the closing date, you can still submit your views up to the decision date and they will generally be considered. Discuss it with your neighbours and others who may be interested, encourage them to also submit their views. Another way is to search under Applications Awaiting Decision and you can search by ward by typing in Acocks Green and see all the outstanding applications

The Council have key practical criteria they use to judge each application. It is important that your views make reference to at least some of the criteria. Parking, access, type of development, local impact, room sizes and garden space are some of the criteria considered, so it is worth mentioning these.

The most important thing is to make your views heard and if enough people share your views and also submit them to the council, then there is a greater chance of having a real impact. If an application receives 20 objections/comments then the decision has to go to a committee where it will be discussed and considered more fully.

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Come to our Public Meeting – Back Together

Our first Real Life Public Meeting for over 2 years.. come along and find out what is happening in the Neighbourhood.

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Library Coffee Morning Restarts

Great news! Before Covid 19 the popular coffee mornings at Acocks Green Library were a friendly drop-in for local people. It is great to hear that this relaxed social morning starts again this week (14th April). Everyone is welcome to drop in for a cuppa and a chat.

While there its a great opportunity to find something to read from the vast array of reading matter the library has to offer. If you haven’t joined the library then just bring recent name and address ID to get a library card.

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Free Computer Course at Acocks Green Library

If you feel a little left behind by the digital age then this free course might be right up your street. In the friendly surroundings of your local library. Starting soon, so get in touch today. Call in or phone Acocks Green Library on 0121 464 1738.

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Jubilee Tree Planting and Tidy Up at Westley Vale

On Sunday 6th March the Trustees of Westley Vale Millennium Green organised a Springtime tidy up at at the site. Thirty-three volunteers turned out to help and our councillors had the honour of planting a special tree to mark the 70 year reign of our monarch Elizabeth II.

Many might remember the beautiful Copper Beech tree which grew in the central reservation on Warwick Road, near Holy Souls church. The tree had to be felled when they created the Smart route around 5 years ago. Jacqui, a local tree-lover, saved a self-seeded sapling from the tree. She has nurtured it and grown it on and recently offered it to the trustees of the Millennium Green to plant, where hopefully it will have the space to grow into a magnificent tree, as was it’s parent on Warwick Road.

As you can see, our Councillors Roger Harmer and John O’Shea officially planted it, and we have to thank Mick from the Village in Bloom team for transporting it to the site in his trailer. Also thanks to Mike and Robert Turner who dug the hole. May it have a long and happy life.

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