Monthly Archives: July 2009

Brum’s grim jobless stats


The employment rate for people of working age (males aged 16 to 64 and females aged 16 to 59) for the UK was 74% for the 12 months ending December 2008 according to figures released today by the National Statistics Office.
Birmingham was amongst the lowest, at 61.5%.
1.8 million people in the UK, aged 16 and over, were unemployed in the 12 months ending December 2008. This was 5.7 per cent of the economically active population. Birmingham (10.9) was one of six areas with a rate of over 10%.
These statistics lag behind the current situation, which has worsened in recent months following a number of closures of local industries and retailers.
People who are not available for work and/or not actively seeking work are labelled as ‘economically inactive’. Birmingham has one of the highest rates of ‘economic inactivity’ in the UK, at 30.6 %. The national average is 21.4%.
The proportion of claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) as a percentage of the resident working age population was 2.4% for the United Kingdom for January 2008 to December 2008. The areas with the highest proportion of people on JSA were Birmingham and Liverpool, both at 5.5%.

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Best kept street competition


Erdington constituency is running a ‘best kept street competition’ for the streets or roads in each of the four wards (Stockland Green, Kingstanding, Tyburn and Erdington) in the area that have the best street and gardens and properties. Each of the four wards will have a winner (Castle Vale is part of the Tyburn ward).
For more details and an application form please contact the Erdington Constituency Office on 0121 303 9299, or by e-mail from erdington@birmingham.gov.uk
Closing date is 28th August; winners will be presented with a plaque on 19th September.

MP candidate leaves Vale Mail


Robert Alden has resigned form the Board of Headline Media, the organisation that owns Vale Mail.
Directors of Headline Media, the charity that owns Vale Mail and Switch Radio, met last week to discuss Mr Alden’s position following his selection as Conservative candidate for Erdington at the next general election. The Board unanimously agreed that Vale Mail’s political independence would be compromised by Mr Alden’s new role.
Robert Alden, who is a local councillor for Erdington said: ““It’s vitally important that Vale Mail is seen by the public to be both independent and free of political influence. Therefore it is with great sadness and regret that since being selected to run as the Conservative candidate in the Erdington constituency in next year’s General Election, my continued involvement on the board of trustees could compromise public confidence in the political independence of Vale Mail, especially in its reporting of the election campaign.”
Neil Hollins, boss of Headline Media said: “‘Over the past two years Robert has made an outstanding contribution to the charity, providing fantastic support to staff during a period of real growth for Vale Mail. His energy, talent and commitment will be sorely missed by staff and trustees alike.”

Council calls for increase in free school meals


Birmingham’s head of children’s services Cllr Les Lawrence has called on the Government to allow more children to qualify for free school meals. A statement from the City Council says that Birmingham has been particularly hard hit by the economic downturn with the closure of a number of companies including LDV and widespread redundancies across its auto, manufacturing, property, construction, retail and business services sectors. The city already has an above average proportion of pupils on free school meals – more than 33 per cent currently compared to a national average of 14 per cent for 2007/08. Currently, says the Council, 33.4 per cent of Birmingham’s 157,035 schoolchildren of all ages qualify for free school meals.

Asda and Sainsbury’s battle it out for cheapest fuel


Diesel has dropped below the pound mark (99.9p per litre) at Sainsbury’s in Castle Vale. Diesel at Asda in Minworth has been leading the way in the local fuel price war for the past few weeks. Both supermarkets are now selling fuel at the same price.

TRA prize winners


Stephen Strong and daughter Stephanie  receive a £10 gift token from Chris (TRA Board Member)  for winning the TRA's prize draw.  They won a survey asking Vale residents how much they knew the extent of the services the TRA offered.

Stephen Strong and daughter Stephanie receive a £10 gift token from Chris (TRA Board Member) for winning the TRA's prize draw. They won a survey asking Vale residents how much they knew the extent of the services the TRA offered.


Pat Brittain (left) receives a TRA gift voucher for winning the TRA balloon race at the carnival earlier this month. Pat's balloon, the furthest traveller, ended up in York.

Pat Brittain (left) receives a TRA gift voucher for winning the TRA balloon race at the carnival earlier this month. Pat's balloon, the furthest traveller, ended up in York.

Hazel launches ‘hospice tree appeal’ in memory of Eric


Hazel Shaw (right) with daughter Sue,  Mike Sharpe (above left) and Mike Overton.

Hazel Shaw (right) with daughter Sue, Mike Sharpe (above left) and Mike Overton.

A local Hospice has launched a ‘Living Memory Tree’ Appeal to raise funds.
The appeal was launched by Hazel Shaw and her daughter Sue of Farnborough Road on behalf of the League of Friends of Birmingham’s John Taylor Hospice. Hazel’s husband Eric was well known on the Vale and died at the Hospice earlier this year.
She was joined at the launch by local Councillor Mike Sharpe and by Mike Overton Chair of the League of Friends in the garden that was Eric and Hazel’s pride and joy. Hazel said, “The staff and volunteers were wonderful to Eric and we wanted to give something back. We thought that the Living Memory Tree Appeal was a great idea and we already have a tree in memory of Eric.”
The trees cost £10 each and come complete with an addressed tag containing the name of a loved one. They can be planted in a pot or in a large garden.Order forms are available by ringing Freephone: 0800 781 1898. They can also be ordered from the charity in Sainsburys foyer on the Vale.