Councillor Ernie Hendricks - Moseley and Kings Heath Ward - My News
I have served on the West Midlands Police Authority for just over 2 years. It’s a role I had wanted for a number of years and I have found it to be as rewarding as I have challenging. I sit on two committees, Protective Services and Personnel, two very different committees but I find both of them extremely engaging. I also sit on the newly constituted Social Cohesion and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee where I hope the knowledge I have learnt around policing will be put to good use.
I am still keen to support the youth workers locally and ensure that the ward receives its fair share of provision. To that end, I have just started two after school clubs, one for boxing and the other dancing. I am working on a number of other funding bids that will help drive some well needed finance into the ward and will spark a number of other interesting projects. I remain a governor at Queensbridge School and vice chairman of Friendship Care and Housing.
The tree planting we started back in 2007, is beginning to make a real difference with the first saplings starting to become established. I would hope to plant more trees, but this will depend upon the new administration and their priorities, but suffice to say my commitment to retaining the trees in our ward remains as strong as ever. Please feel free to contact me if you think of an area that would be suitable for planting.
I also remain a committed supporter of Moseley in Bloom and the Kings Heath Floral Trail and at ward committee try to ensure that these community initiatives received funding. I also support the future funding for our two Street Wardens whose remit in part is to assist with the reporting of dumped rubbish and untidy areas. They work hand in hand with our environmental warden who plays a key role in educating the public regarding environmental issues. The environmental wardens also have powers of enforcement to tackle, where necessary, residents who dump habitually.
According to the police statistics, crime has reduced across the ward. More could be done, though, but at least we are moving in the right direction. I am a regular attendee of the neighbourhood police tasking meetings where the Neighbourhood Policing agenda is set for the following month and I work hand in hand with the police to ensure that our streets and homes are safe. We must not forget the funding we supported for the burglary reduction scheme some time ago which had a significant impact on the reduction of burglaries and also the provision of electronic slow down signs which are now in situ on Russell and Wake Green Road. More recently I have been key in attracting £90,000 from an Alcohol Fund, to tackle the street drinking problems that are reported to me on a regular basis across the ward.
You may already be aware of the plans to reopen the rail line into Birmingham and for a station to be provided in Kings Heath and possibly Moseley. We have always said that the campaign will require the Government to provide substantial funds to provide a new rail service starting at Moor Street. While this money has not been ring-fenced, we have at least put the idea firmly on the agenda. A train service will cut the journey time into Birmingham, ease congestion on local roads and cut CO2 emissions. You may already be aware, that it was my colleague, former Councillor Martin Mullaney, who started the push for the Camp Hill Line to be re-opened, and of course, this still remains one of the key aims during my term in office.
Housing is a key issue, not only across the City, but within the ward too. I am committed to ensuring that new homes are provided especially low cost properties, shared ownership and social homes. By providing a mix of housing types, ownerships and tenures we can ensure that housing is made available for all. I have fought hard to ensure that developments in the ward include affordable housing with some notable successes when I sat on the city’s planning committee.
I will always support the community campaign to keep Moseley Road Baths open. Like a few of the older buildings in the ward, they have been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair and need to be refurbished. Work had started on rejuvenation of Kings Heath Library roof before the last election and a significant amount of money was found for Moseley¹s historic baths to be improved. But there is still much more to be done and I am hoping that the new administration will feel as passionate about the baths as I do. It does not need to be said that I am firmly of the opinion that the Baths need to be saved, not only as a valuable local resource, but also as a tribute of a bygone era for our children of the future.
0121 303 4204