SOLIHULL Council is set to agree to helping meet Birmingham's overspill housing needs and the possible 'review' of the Greenbelt - The Observer can exclusively reveal.
The Council is set to formally 'adopt' its Local Plan - the principal planning document which sets out how and where the borough should develop in the future - tomorrow night (Tuesday).
But ahead of the meeting The Observer uncovered the shocking revelation in the Secretary of State's report on the Local Plan following a detailed review.
In his report the inspector insisted on the inclusion of the following paragraphs in the Local Plan before the Council could adopt it:
"Following discussions falling under the Duty to Cooperate Solihull Council recognise that evidence is emerging to indicate that Birmingham will not be able to accommodate the whole of its new housing requirement for 2011-31 within its administrative boundary and that some provision will need to be made in adjoining areas to help meet Birmingham’s needs.
"Solihull Council will work collaboratively with Birmingham and other relevant neighbouring local authorities and with the GBSLEP to establish objectively the level of long term growth through jointly commissioning a Strategic Housing Needs Study, and work to establish the scale and distribution of any emerging housing shortfall.
"This may require a review of the Green Belt in relevant locations.
"It is anticipated that a Strategic Housing Needs Study will be commissioned and prepared during 2013 as evidence to inform the development of a GBSLEP strategy (Strategic Spatial Framework).
"This would provide a high level context for reviewing the Solihull Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) during 2014.
"In the event that the work identifies that further provision is needed in Solihull, a review of the Solihull Local Plan will be brought forward to address this."
Cabinet Member for Economic Development Ian Courts declined to comment ahead of Tuesday's meeting where he was set to present and discuss the plan to fellow councillors.
But the council did provide us with the following comment from a spokesperson: "In line with the statutory Duty to Co-operate, the Council will continue to work closely with adjoining local planning authorities and through the Local Enterprise Partnership.
"This work will help to inform any future review of the plan that would be subject to the usual consultation processes.
"In the meantime, as it stands, the Plan will provide certainty for local residents and developers with a clear five-year housing land supply to meet the needs of the borough."
Details of an already-planned 11,018 new homes for Solihull up to 2028 are already included in the Local Plan - any extra homes to cater for Birmingham overspill would be additional to this.

Read more: Solihull facing Birmingham housing overspill and Greenbelt review | Solihull Observer 

Earlswood Wildlife Partnership
Contact us at: or on 07528 595444       Newsletter 14

It has been quite a while since the last newsletter and the summer may now be over but we did have had a decent summer this year and it seems there were quite a few butterflies around particularly the whites and Small Tortoiseshell – hopefully this will show up in our Butterfly survey.

Moth Night – 13th July
An excellent evening of moth trapping in Clowes Wood with 64 species recorded including Northern Spinach, Beautiful Snout and Sharp-angled Carpet which particularly pleased county recorder David Brown.
(If you would like a complete list of the species caught, please let me know)

Our bat walks continue to be very popular with 50 people attending the latest one! Once again the bats did not let us down and the following were recorded:-
Soprano Pipistrelle     =    108 files recorded (first bat appeared at 8.28pm)
Common Pipistrelle   =    43 files recorded   (first bat appeared at 9.05pm)
Daubenton’s bat         =    2 files recorded    (first bat appeared at 8.45pm)
Noctule                        =    5 files recorded   (first bat appeared at 8.37pm)
Brown Long-eared bat   =    2 files recorded  (first bat appeared at 8.58pm)
Thanks again to Paul for his excellent and informative commentary.

As part of a research project run by Phil Brown of Bristol University, two harp  traps were set up in Clowes Wood. In all eight bats were caught representing five different species:-
3 Noctule                                        
2 Brown long-eared
1 Soprano Pipistrelle
1 Daubenton’s
1 Natterer’s                                                                 

Birding for Beginners
Our first “Birding for Beginners” course was organised and run by Tony Philp. The course, which was fully booked, included basic information about equipment and field craft and was followed by a walk showing the various habitats around the Lakes. The course was well received by those who attended. Many thanks to Tony and Matt for their time and expertise.
Evening Chorus walk
As an easy alternative to a dawn chorus walk, this year we ran an evening chorus walk in Clowes Wood and were rewarded with a good sighting of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker!
We know this species has bred in the wood this year and there have also been recent sightings of Spotted Flycatcher and Black Tern in the area. You can always keep up to date with local bird sightings by following Matt’s blog at:-                          
More than 40 people attended the AGM in June and were treated to an excellent talk given by Paul Wilkinson on the wildlife of the West Midlands canals.

Earlswood Fete
Once again we had a stall at the Earlswood fete in June which attracted many people and the aquarium, with wildlife taken from the lakes, was very popular. Thanks to the fete committee for their donation towards specialist nest boxes which we intend to install around the lakes. Special thanks to Brenda, Paul, Ron, Cathy, Izumi and Len for helping out on the day.

Dates for your Diary
Bat Survey – Saturday 21st September 10am meet at Malthouse Lane car park

Bob Roberts (Membership Secretary)
CLARIFICATION has been sought after comments from the Government’s planning chief appeared to cast doubt on a policy to build thousands of Redditch homes over the border in Bromsgrove.
Councillors in Bromsgrove are set to vote on Wednesday (September 25) about whether to allow 3,400 homes to be sited in Foxlydiate but confusion has arisen after Nick Boles, Minister for Planning and Development, appeared to suggest councils did not need to take other authorities’ houses if they were planned for green belt areas.
If confirmed, it could affect both Bromsgrove’s Local Plan - which sets out where housing should be built in 2030 and has been influenced by their duty to accommodate neighbouring Redditch’s housing need - and the plan for Redditch, which relies on cross-border growth to meet the forecast need for 6,400 extra homes in the next two decades and has already been given the green light by borough councillors.
Malcolm Glainger, chair of the Bentley Area Action Group, called for the Bromsgrove decision next week to be halted to allow senior officers time to meet with Mr Boles and clarify whether they were obliged to take on Redditch homes in light of the comments, which were then seemingly contradicted by a blog post on the Conservative home website, which suggested conserving the green belt was not a good enough excuse to stop new homes being built.
Mr Glainger said: “Perhaps if members are more fully informed at the Bromsgrove District Council meeting, they themselves will have serious questions of their own and may arrive at a different conclusion.
“The people of Bromsgrove are being sleepwalked into the building of a new town of perhaps 10,000 people. It’s time to wake up.”
He added if Redditch councillors had been aware of the potential issue when they had voted through their own Local Plan the outcome may have been different.
Coun Roger Hollingworth, leader of Bromsgrove District Council, said officers were clear in their view the Bromsgrove plan, including the Redditch growth aspect, met the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework including the green belt policy.
“However comments attributed to planning minister Nick Boles had created some mixed messages around the issues and so I asked the government to clarify the position. A meeting has been organised in London next month and I have instructed senior officers to attend so they can hear what is said first hand.
“Meanwhile the council will vote next week on whether to approve the plan to the next representation period, which would provide the opportunity for anyone who thinks the plan is unsound for any reason to raise their issues. Ultimately it will be the Planning Inspectorate that decides whether the plan is sound.”

Read more: Doubts about green belt policy after minister comments | Redditch Standard 
I would like to say well done Earlswood and Forshaw Heath Residents Association. It is great to see you have social media share buttons on your website now. It makes things so much more easier for folk like myself who would like to share some of your news. A great step forward.  Take a peek and those who are local why not share some of the great work the EFH RA do.

Thank You :-)

Stratford-on-Avon District Core Strategy

19 hectares = Green Belt for Employment needs of a neighbour. Page 9

The District Council is currently finalising its Proposed Submission Core Strategy, the plan which once adopted will manage development in the District up to 2028.

Before the remaining formal stages of the Core Strategy process can be undertaken, the District Council has decided to carry out a period of consultation on a small number of specific but important matters which have not featured in previous drafts of the plan. These are:

1.   A Canal Quarter Regeneration Zone in Stratford-upon-Avon, together with two employment areas on the edge of town, south of Alcester Road and east of Birmingham Road.
2.   A new settlement comprising about 4,800 dwellings in the Gaydon/Lighthorne Heath area.

The consultation document can be viewed on the District Council’s website It can also be viewed at the District Council offices (Elizabeth House, Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon) and at all public libraries in the District.

Responses can be made on-line using the link above, by email to or posted to Stratford-on-Avon District Council, FREEPOST CV2468, Chief Executive's Unit, Elizabeth House, Church Street, STRATFORD-UPON-AVON CV37 6BR.

Please note that comments on other aspects of the Core Strategy are not sought at this time.

Comments must be received by the District Council by 5pm on Friday 13 September 2013.

Today I have received the following from the EFHRA  and can't quite believe it

We are losing our PCSO. I am not a happy chappy and feeling pretty let down. I don't have any further details.

They have cut our provision from 4 to 2 PCSO's.  This is a blow and we will be making lots of noise re this.  Feel free to complain to everybody in the meantime
Here we go again

Another development for consultation.  

How can you make your views known?

You are invited to visit an exhibition which will be held at 
Cheswick Green Village Hall, 
Cheswick Way, Cheswick Green, 
B90 4JA 
Thursday 27th June 2013 
2.00pm and 8.00pm.

On reviewing the blog and the posts that have been read, I find it quite interesting to see what is popular and what is not. 

I could for the last 3 years say other than the Olympic torch the regular Police updates were by far the most popular, however I don't receive them any more for some reason so can't post them which is a shame but never mind. 

The blog has been struggling with a theme for 2013 and it has gone slightly green and local with very little personal scribbling or thoughts. 

What has totally surprised me is that one of my very few personal scribbles has attracted nearly 200 reads, not a lot in the grand scheme of things but quite a few for a little Hyper Local Blog. It was just one of those adhoc ramblings 

Then in the absence of the Police reports Earlswood Wildlife Partnership and their newsletters are gaining in popularity which is great, as the work these people do is invaluable to our local community and its well being and judging by the attendance at the recent EWP AGM appears more popular than the Parish Council AGM. 

Which is a shame because the people that work on PC have an extremely important job to do when it comes to moulding and shaping our community for the future. Mind you they don't help themselves and I have noticed the PC website is falling behind again which doesn't help. As of today 23rd June 2013 it last appeared to be updated in February 2013. 

On a positive note it is great to see both Residents Association's Earlswood & Forshaw Heath RA and Tanworth In Arden RA websites being updated on a regular basis and this is perhaps one of the reasons I don't scribble away very much any more. I have noticed more and more people exiting my blog and making their way to the RA Websites which is exactly how it should be. So perhaps the blog has turned into a sign posting service.

I notice Twitter is ticking along quite nicely once again I don't Tweet as much as I used to but I have noticed there are a few of us Tweeting and not by design because we don't know each other or if we do we don't know we do Tweet in tandem about local events or local issues that affect us.

The thorn in my side is Facebook however much I dislike it and I really do! I understand there are people out there that do like it. The best I have been able to do is get my tweets to show on Facebook and my blog posts. TBH I doubt very few people know it is even there due to my lack of enthusiasm at even trying to promote it. 

My software or Web application find of the year so far is Tockify what a great tool to incorporate in a blog. I have been trying for 3 years to find  a simple calendar, easy to look at and follow, without readers having to sign up to read. Personally I think it would be great to have a community Calendar of all groups in the local area posting their events in one place. 

Regards to all


And here I was thinking it would be getting better by now. Then again I have changed  ISP daft mistake so now I am worse off.

I still can't quite believe Facebook still presents me with dramas. I have spent 3 and a half years trying to get to grips with it. 

I often wondered why organisations have a facebook account and a twitter account. 

The penny has eventually dropped, some people prefer Twitter and some people prefer Facebook.

I really find it clever that if I post on Twitter the Facebook account updates automatically. I suppose it can do it the other way around as well post on Facebook and update Twitter. I haven't tried that yet but have the feeling if I do things will just go around and around in circles.

So after several failed attempts at Facebook I think I now almost have it sussed and the Facebook link now works. Anyway another attempt at Facebook 

Click on photo to enlarge
When you look at the map and the proposed developments you can see just how close everything is. The map is taken from the interactive greenbelt map sourced by the telegraph and shows the openness of the countryside, when looking at this photograph appearing to be eroded getting closer and closer to the Greenbelt and practically in it.

  • Selsdon Close Wythall is now almost finished approx 80 houses
  • Bleakhouse farm Wythall has planning permission 170 houses
  • Lowbrook farm Tidbury Green has been take to appeal by the developers 200 houses It was in the first instance turned down.
  • Fulford Hall Road Tidbury Green planning permission sought for 185 houses
Wythall is in Bromsgrove area
Tidbury Green is in the Solihull area
Earlswood & Forshaw Heath in the Stratford area

I really hope these three councils talk to each other because the affect these developments may have on the unsuitable infrastructure and surrounding areas and communities could be devastating.

All this in approx 1 and a half to 2 miles of each other and without the proposed plans in the Core Strategies. 

Unfinished and thinking some more !

We have seen the following

Little Flowers I don't know the name of

Cow Parsley


Butterfly/ Moth

Woodpecker Home

I am not normally one to get involved in politics and I try really hard to forget about it, when voting locally. 

The person I think will do the best for our area will get my vote no matter what colour flag they fly. Irrelevant of my party politics when it comes to a general election.

As I studied the results of the County Council elections in particular the Henley division I can't help but think those that make comment on the results  have missed a quite important point. 

In the Henley Division approx 31% (2121) of the people turned out to vote. It really would be interesting to hear and see what the other 69% approx (4721) thought. Mind you the fact that they didn't vote says a lot.

If 100% = 6842 votes approx available
     31% = 2121 votes actual
     69% = 4721 voters approx didn't vote

2121/6842*100= 31%

So I suppose my question is how can people be jumping up and down for joy when in actual fact  our elected representative only represents approx 17% of the voting population of the Henley division. It hardly representative of the population is it! 

To those that don't think it is important to vote  or say It won't make any difference if I vote the simple fact is you are 1 of 4721 people really can make a difference and I ponder on if there was 100% turnout would the results have been the same

Mike Perry holds the Conservative seat

County Council Elections

The elections for Warwickshire County Council will be held Today
Tanworth is in the Henley division.  There are five candidates:
Gareth DAVIES  (Green Party)
Andrew Henderson (Labour)
Brett Parsons (UKIP)
Mike PERRY (Conservative)  
Diane WALDEN (Liberal Democrat)
The polling station in Tanworth Village Hall will be open from 7am to 10pm
The polling station in Earlswood Village Hall will be open from 7am to 10pm
On my walk today i found

In this day and age of instant communication. I really do have to ask myself 4 weeks after quite a dangerous incident on Forshaw Heath Road that Closed the road Left us without electricity Caused chaos  for  a few hours Police were in attendance from which Police Force I don’t know The red cross arrived as it was so cold providing hot drinks.

The incident was a crane that somehow ended up in a ditch. The attempts at trying to move it caused it to topple and catch the electricity pole which is why we ended up without electricity. The side of the road and the ditch were badly damaged leaving quite a deep hole at the side of the road. For 4 weeks it has been surrounded by bright orange barriers which wrongly we presumed were put there by the highways department.

Anyway one of the neighbors called Warwickshire County Highways to find out when the hazard hole would be fixed. Surprise Surprise they knew nothing about it.
Now call me silly shouldn’t the police whichever force they came from have reported this road traffic incident  to the highways department so as

They have an accurate record of traffic incidents
When the locals campaign for lower speed limits they can rely on the fact that WCC make decisions on accurate information and not spurious
Although we now have a new 50 mph limit this stretch of road it should be 30 mph and it was so frustrating to be told last year that WCC Highways had very few if any recorded incidents when in fact residents could reel them off.

We now have an incident number for this road traffic incident. I am now just wondering if the WCC Highways has a record of the crash 4 weeks ago that happened within the same 100 yards of road.

Makes you wonder really doesn’t it !!!!

Here you Go 4 Weeks Later Click Here

Earlswood Wildlife Partnership

Contact us at: or on 07528 595444      

Newsletter 13

The exceptionally cold March seems to have put spring on hold but at least the early days of April have given us more sunshine (albeit with a biting wind!).
The EWP has now bought an IR digital movement camera that is activated when motion is detected. It is able to record still photos and video footage both day and night which will be very useful in monitoring wildlife in the area. As funding permits, we are looking into the feasibility of a kingfisher nest bank, repairing the artificial islands in Terry’s and Engine pools and repairing the otter halt. In conjunction with the parish council we would like to create a wildflower area along the side of Engine pool – so lots to do!
Please come along to our AGM on Tuesday 11th June to find out more.

Dormouse Survey
The inserts for the dormouse tubes have now been replaced and surveys will take place throughout the year. This is the 2nd year of a 3 year project.

Noticeboards have been installed at both entrances to Clowes Wood to provide information regarding our activities in the wood and forthcoming events.

Bird and Bat boxes
In February a number of bird boxes were installed in the area of Clowes Wood where we have our bat boxes. Hopefully the Blue Tits will use these rather than the bat boxes! The next phase will be to install bird boxes around the lakes some of which will be special types aimed at specific species. We are also experimenting with a different type of bat box which is specifically designed to encourage Barbastelle bats. These boxes are expensive so we are hoping to make our own in future.                                                                                                              
Earlswood Butterfly Survey
We have distributed over 400 butterfly survey sheets in the local area and are hoping more people than ever will take part this year. Last year showed an increase in the number of species recorded but fewer individuals so next year’s results will be interesting to compare. We would encourage everyone to have a go – it’s simple and fun. If you have not received a survey form and would like to take part or if you know someone who would like to give it a go, please contact us and we will make sure everyone gets a survey sheet.

Earlswood Lakes Concerns Group
We will be meeting with officials from the Canal and River Trust later this month. If you have any comments you would like passing on at the meeting, please contact us at or on 07528 595444

Dates for your diary
Bat Survey - Sat 13th April 10am meet at Malthouse Lane car park

Reptile Survey  - Sat 20th April 10am meet at Malthouse Lane car park

Evening Chorus Walk - Sat 4th May 7pm meet at Wood Lane car park (Clowes Wood) charge £2

Wildflower Walk - Sat 11th May 2.30pm meet at Wood Lane car park (Clowes Wood) charge £2

Bat Night - Fri 17th May 9pm meet at Fishermans car park Wood Lane charge £2

Birding for Beginners  - Saturday 25th May 09.00 - 12.30
A morning's practical introduction to birding for the beginner on a local 'patch'.
Led by experts Tony and Matt, the course will cover equipment, field craft and
identification on a guided walk around Earlswood Lakes and surrounds.
Stout footwear is recommended.
Binoculars would be an asset, but can be provided where required.
As numbers will be limited, advanced booking is essential.
Please contact us to reserve a place

Annual General Meeting – Tuesday 11th June at 7.30pm at Earlswood Village Hall – Includes wildlife talk by Paul Wilkinson, second hand book sale, wildlife photos plus coffee and cakes

Moth Night - Sat 13th July 8.30pm meet at Wood Lane car park (Clowes Wood)

Bob Roberts
(Membership Secretary)

Our little dog is now walking nicely on the lead and has almost given up tangling himself in the flexi lead. It been 4 long weeks of jumping, leaping lead biting but touch wood it seems to have stopped for now. 

He can sit and he will play fetch in the garden but we are no where near brave enough to let him off the lead on a walk yet as his recall is not so hot and instead of sleeping with the cats he now chases them mind you they do play him up and they still nick his bed so I take it they don't mind to much. However it has to stop and that is next on the list to tackle plus his thieving tendencies.

He is a little T leaf and will nick anything we leave lying around watches, glasses, socks, toilet rolls you name it he nicks it. Dog toys remain surplus to requirement and apparently boring.

Id forgotten what it was like to have a young dog having had so many years of a well behaved dog I must admit this has come as quite a shock to the system but i must have been through it before and come through the other side.

After almost 3 weeks of struggling with a hyper dog on a lead and having a nightmare even trying to control him on a walk, last night I had a break through. He barked at me playfully but was being a bit boisterous  so I woofed back quite loudly it even made the other half jump. It stopped him in his tracks instantly  I couldn't believe it. He settled down for the evening. BTW I am talking about the dog not the other half. The OH just laughed at me.

This morning I was dreading the daily battle of who is leading who on the walk and tried to remain calm. I had already planned to go and buy a halti collar later today. I didn't get that far

Having read all sorts of top  tips how to stop lead biting jumping and pulling. No mention of woofing. I used the tips to get him out the door quietly with an added  Carrie woof.
  • I put his harness on
  • He started leaping about
  • I woofed
  • He stopped
  • I ignored him
  • Then I clipped his lead on
  • He started leaping about
  • I woofed he stopped
  • I waited then took him is walk
  • He pulled I woofed
  • He stopped pulling jumping and biting his lead with only one incident
So if you see a mad woman woofing at a dog on your travels its me he is so good in so many other ways and has learned lots of new things but I must admit I wasn't making any headway on the lead thing and was starting to panic and getting stressed out. Lets see if it works on the next walk of the day.


It worked again this time with a quiet woof we had a great 2nd walk cant wait to show the other half.

OK Why did I woof at my Dog?

He barked at me as simple as that and we had had a battle  of wills all day on Friday and he quite simply was not taking any notice of me even for treats.It was quite simply a last resort and how would you like it.

Now having done a bit of research on the web one deep woof in Dog Language  appears to mean stop that!!

Well I wasn't expecting to woof at my dog to train him on a lead but its a darn site better than yanking pulling, leaping biting lead, battling, using a choke chain (Yuk) I hate them but will admit trying with one. 

If a woof works for my dog  and he understands woof why an earth not use it. 

  • He isn't required to be multi Lingual in Human and Dog
  • He doesn't require choke chains or other restraining devices
    • Yelling at
    • Stern commands
    • Mixed messages for what do I do for a treat
  • I get the added advantage of being able to add tomy CV
    • English
    • Spanish 
    • Dogish 

Its been a  pleasure today to put him on a harness and walk with a loose lead calmly. How long it will last I don't know it may just be a flash in the pan knowing my luck it will be.

Just call me Doctor Dolittle if it continues to work :-)

I have to say before I start this post my family nor I have ever been in the position Locally of not receiving care whilst in hospital.

My OH and I had a  very rude wake up call whilst one of us was donating bone marrow in a beautiful tall glass building in London.

a) The food was so inedible it was a quick trip to Tescos bring your own (Disgraceful)
b) The Nurse noticed the temperature going up  on the donor and was very  concerned but failed to notice until pointed from a non medical person that  a thermal blanket was still wrapped around the patient.

Please note we can't fault the well meaningness and kindness of the people involved but the very basics were missed.


As I listened to the news this morning it was almost a replay of a conversation my Father had with me last week. We happened to be chatting about the NHS which to cut a long story short led on to the “when I was a boy type story”

I couldn’t believe my ears this morning with the “new” Nurses must spend a year in basic care. Actually from listening to my father and his experience all those years ago  that is exactly what used to happen. Nurses did some form of basic training in a ward/hospital, apprenticeship whatever you would like to call it. There were certain basic standards expected,

  • Clean beds
  • Clean wards
  • Clean patients
  • Fed and watered  patients
  • Toileted
  • Cared for Patients

I have had a shock today as  a member of the general public and I am not that old but I would have thought Nurses were already adept at  basic care.

Then again I suppose if you have had to go to Uni  to be a Nurse you learn all the theory of the basics but have actually never had to spend a lot of time doing the basics  

I personally suspect the basics have been subcontracted out  personal opinion only.

Basically Nursing is the same as any other profession if the basics aren't right and a set standard and consistent nothing else will be and I still believe managers can’t manage unless they have done the job they are responsible and accountable for managing and that goes for any organisation or trade.

Police Message
Crime in Area
posted with permission
After a relative free of crime period over the past 2 months, it seems that we have had 1 or 2 uninvited guests into the area.
We have had 3 vans entered and a quantity of tooling and equipment removed from within, and had garage/shed's entered with power tooling and the thief's favourite items petrol driven garden equipment.
In nearby Studley and Henley there has been an increase in theft from motor vehicles most noticeably the sat-nav being removed from the magical hiding place called the glove box, out of sight does not seem to work if there is suction marks left on windscreen's or cradles fitted on the dash to indicate use of such equipment.
We are hoping to obtain some shed alarms in the very near future at cost price, I will give full details when I have the items in hand.
We do not get as much crime as is perceived in the area, and much of it is opportunist, I would ask everyone to review security of their property, outbuildings and vehicles, and I am happy to advise on what can be done to reduce the opportunity being available to offenders scouting the area. I am always happy to check any suspicious vehicles seen in the area, all I require is the registration plate number, and when and where it was.
If I can assist at all, please contact me on any of the methods listed
David Martin                    
Alcester North
Safer Neighbourhood Team
Warwickshire Police     
01789 444816            
Work Mobile 0792 3288641