Monthly Archives: September 2009

Cadets’ guard of honour at Blitz Memorial

Vale Air Cadets Guard of Honour for Lord Mayor Councillor Michael Wilkes and the Lady Mayoress

Vale Air Cadets Guard of Honour for Lord Mayor Councillor Michael Wilkes and the Lady Mayoress

Castle Vale Air Cadets formed a guard of Honour at the weekend for the Lord Mayor and Mayoress at St Martin’s Church in the Bullring for the annual ceremony to remember those killed in the bombings in Birmingham during the Second World War.
The memorial statue outside the church lists the 2,241 names of Brummies who lost their lives during the Luftwaffe raids between 1940 and 1943.
The Birmingham Blitz memorial with St Martins in the background - photo: Clive Edwards

The Birmingham Blitz memorial with St Martins in the background - photo: Clive Edwards


Treasure pleasure

The queue outside the Birmingham Museum on Sunday lunchtime just before the doors opened to the public

The queue outside the Birmingham Museum on Sunday lunchtime just before the doors opened to the public - photo Clive Edwards

Over 10,000 people have so far visited the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery during the past three days to see the ‘Staffordshire Hoard’ – a collection of gold and silver treasures dating back to Anglo Saxon times, found by a man with a metal detector in a farmer’s field this summer. The treasures stay at BMAG until 13th October.

Choosing a secondary school place for 2010

Parents who want to apply online for a Birmingham secondary school place for their child in September 2010 are strongly advised to do so by 2nd October, the City Council says. Parents can select six schools, in order of preference. The website address is:
The final deadline for applications is 6th November.

Andrews tonic for Vale

Castle Vale FC drew 1-1 at Pilkington in the league today. Vale went ahead with a goal on the stroke of half time, scored by Andrews, but fifth placed Pilkington grabbed an equaliser midway through the second half.
JKS have no fixture today, as five of their side are selected for the League Representative team playing against the Isle of Man at the Tally Ho Stadium, home of West Midlands Police, in the National League System Cup tonight, kick off 7.30pm..

Pype Hayes bonfire: “an annual event for the foreseeable future”

A top city councillor has tonight issued a statement attacking the false claims made in a locally distributed leaflet about Pype Hayes bonfire on 5th November.
Councillor Martin Mullaney, Cabinet member for Leisure, Sport and Culture says that that a leaflet has been distributed in the local area making false claims that this year’s bonfire event is under threat because of council cuts. The leaflet urges people to sign a petition to save the event.
Councillor Mullaney says: “The claims in this leaflet couldn’t be further from the truth. There has been no talk of cancelling this year’s event. Infact, I’ve been busy for the last month trying to secure funding from the Council’s corporate centre to ensure that this popular event will take place every year for the foreseeable future. At the moment, we don’t know from one year to the next, if we will have the funding available. I am therefore happy to announce that I have been successful in securing funding for the future of Pype Hayes Park bonfire. This now secures it as an annual event for the forseeable future.”

‘Jag at Castle Brom must stay open’ – Councillor

Job protection should be the priority for Tata when the Indian- based owners decide which of the two Birmingham Jaguar factories they will close, according to Cllr Robert Alden, who hopes to be Erdington’s MP after the next general election. They have indicated that either the Solihull or the Castle Bromwich factory will be closed down in the next few years.
Robert Alden said: “I would like them to keep open the Castle Bromwich plant. It is the one that everyone knows. But when it comes down to the final choice, they should keep open the one that is most economically viable, and will protect people’s jobs.
“It shouldn’t have come down to this. The government should have supported both plants financially. I am deeply concerned that it has come to this situation in Erdington Constituency, where unemployment is already critical. According to the latest Government figures released on 16th September the claimant rate is 13.5%, while unemployment has increased by 38.2% since 1997. Clearly this is bad for any area to have to cope with. However now the very real risk that further jobs will be lost either at one of the plants or in the supply chain will only exasperate this situation locally.”

Manage your own stadium, Vale will be urged

Martin Mullaney, Birmingham's Cabinet Leader for Leisure, Sports and Culture

Martin Mullaney

Martin Mullaney, Birmingham’s cabinet leader for leisure, sports and culture, is urging Castle Vale Stadium users to set up a trust and manage their own stadium.
This will be one of the ideas to be put to a private, closed meeting of representatives of stadium users on 8th October. Two representatives from each of the football clubs that use the stadium will be invited to the meeting, along with Chris Baker, Erdington’s senior constituency manager, at which they will discuss the future of the stadium following the collapse of the ‘soccer village’ plans.
Some time later, Chris Baker intends to report to a meeting of the 2005 Group at the CVCHA offices.
The Council’s proposed partnership with a private company from the north east of England finally hit the dust when the City’s legal team called time on a deal that has been stuttering for four years.
Local residents will be keen to know what has happened to the £600,000 that they believed the Housing Action Trust had left for the development of the stadium. They will be disappointed.
A large part of the money has already been spent on development of the paddock and playing fields. Martin Mullaney says that the original pot of money was made up from three separate sources. The HAT’s contribution amounted to £160,000. A further £280,000 was money promised by a private developer, with the Council adding an additional £220,000. In total, the sum raised was £660,000 but, according to Mr Mullaney £288,000 has been spent on the new paddock. He says: “We are expecting to spend between £90,000 to £100,000 this winter laying out the new football pitches. That would leave about £220,000 for connecting the toilets to the main sewer – at the moment it goes to a cess pit – and hopefully new changing rooms.”
He is certain that Castle Vale residents could do a good job of managing their own stadium. He said: “If the idea of a Trust goes ahead, the City Council will continue to own the site, but the Trust, which would have a group of elected directors, could manage it. They would be working in an official capacity, holding an annual general meeting, and managing and maintaining the stadium. The Trust would pay a peppercorn rent to the council for the stadium. Castle Vale is passionate about its stadium, and they could do an excellent job.”
Another option that will be put to the user group meeting will be to invite other private companies to bid to develop the stadium. In view of the experience of the last four years, and in the current financial downturn, this option may get short shrift. Some stadium users have expressed concern about the current state of the building and will want urgent action.
Councillor Mullaney agrees that money needs to be spent to repair broken plumbing and on various refurbishments.
He has also indicated that the judo enthusiasts from Hardy Spicer Judo Club who had hoped to have a section of the ‘soccer village’ allocated to them, are now looking for another site in Castle Vale: “We are presently working with the club, Sport England and the British Judo Association to find a new home somewhere closer to the old Hardy Spicer works.”