Residents' Update Sunday 23rd December 2012
I hope you are well and looking forward to some time off this week.
As Santa is busy packing his sleigh and the children are performing their nativity plays there has been a lot going on in our area with some big issues being discussed and decided upon. It was also great to see so many children enjoying themselves at the Christmas Party arranged by the local Policing team on Friday night. This week's update from Hazel and I is below with stories on the following: Split Vote at Warwick On Coventry Gateway, Another ASDA Application, Pavements On Path To Improvement, Council Parks Parking Bay Request, Refuse Collection Arrangements, What do YOU Think on Station Bus Link, Can You Help Keep Someone Warm this Winter?, Watch Out There is A Thief About, and finally….A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Split Vote at Warwick DC On Coventry Gateway,
Following the vote by members of Coventry City Council's Planning Committee to support the Coventry Gateway scheme on Wednesday 19th December Warwick District Councillors met to discuss their decision on the application.
Unsurprisingly their focus was on the issue of whether the development genuinely had "very special circumstances" that would justify planning permission in the greenbelt. Hazel attended the meeting to hear the debate and a number of objectors spoke. It was obvious from a number of points made that several Councillors had real concerns about whether this development really did count as special. In a lengthy contribution the Chair of the meeting emphasised that creating a large number of jobs was not in itself a justification as this could be argued for any commercial proposal to be built on greenbelt, thus making its designation worthless.
After a five hour session the Planning Committee of Warwick District voted 5-5 to defer a decision for more information, in effect the Committee was divided on whether to give it Planning Permission. The matter will return to the Committee in January and we will keep everyone updated about the outcome.
Another ASDA Application,
The future of the Cheylesmore Pub site has again been in the news after it was revealed in the Coventry Telegraph that a Judicial Review brought by traders against the City Council has succeeded. Those who have followed this issue for a while will recall that earlier this year ASDA was granted planning permission for its proposed store on the casting vote of the Planning Committee Chairman Cllr Kevin Maton. It is safe to say this decision was controversial and the behaviour of some Planning Committee members who supported the scheme left a lot to be desired.
In light of this news Kevin was contacted by the press to be told that ASDA have indicated they will submit a new application in the early part of 2013. There are no further details at the moment, but we will keep everyone updated once more information is available.
Pavements On Path To Improvement,
If you have been in Black Prince Avenue this week you will have seen the start of works to improve a pavement that has been a subject of concern for some time. We have had a number of residents raise with us the condition of the pavement along the route leading from Quinton Park Baptist Church to Eric Inott House and are pleased to say that more permanent repair work is now underway. The work will consist of stripping the footway surfacing, adjusting utility covers and finally resurfacing the footway with tarmac.
Due to the Christmas period, works will close down from 24 December till 7 January and there is an expected finish date of 8th February 2013. The exact date will be displayed on information boards at each end of the road, however this date is subject to change due to operational and/or adverse weather, any changes will be amended on the information boards.
If you live within the section of road affected by the work you will not be able to park outside your property whilst work is in progress. Finally, the Council does not undertake un-scheduled work for individual property owners. If you are approached by anyone claiming to be part of the Council or one of its contractors please contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 for help and advice.
In addition to the works on Black Prince Avenue earlier this week Kevin arranged a site visit to look at problems with the pavement on Daventry Road, between its junctions with Daintree Croft and Benedictine Road. Two residents who had raised this issue accompanied him and the Highways Engineer who attended sent the following e-mail confirming what would be done as a result of the points raised:
From: Alcock, Rebecca
Sent: 19 December 2012 15:51
To: Foster, Kevin (Cllr)
Subject: Mr & Mrs Knowles, Daventry Road
Dear Councillor Foster
Further to our joint site meeting yesterday I can confirm the following:
• I have raised a Highway condition form for one of the Technical Engineers to consider the small section of footway (Daintree Croft to Benedictine Road) for a possible scheme on the forward planning programme. Please note that this is in no way a cast iron guarantee. The condition of the footway will be considered and prioritised along with many other footways throughout the City.
• I have raised a job (531421) to take up and tarmac a number of the paving slabs that were presenting a trip hazard during our walkabout.
• I have emailed Severn Trent Water with a Section 81 notice about the raised stop valve cover outside no. 49 - I have no influence on their priorities therefore it will be entirely at their discretion as to how soon they attend site and undertake any work.
If there is anything that I have missed please just let me know.
Senior Street Inspector
Highways, Whitley Depot
City Services & Development
Coventry City Council
Council Parks Parking Bay Request,
Some of you may recall that earlier this year a petition was gathered calling for parking bays to be installed outside the shops on Quinton Park, opposite the Cheylesmore Social Club. We both indicated our support for this request and at the time the coverage in the Coventry Telegraph included a quote that indicated the work could be under way after 6 months. Sadly fairly shortly after the Cabinet Member meeting it became clear that being "added to a list of requests" was not a sign work was imminent.
Kevin recently raised a further query about when work might be expected. The response he received is copied below:
Dear Cllr Foster,
Lorraine has forwarded this email to me for a reply.
As you have highlighted, this request was considered at the August meeting of Cabinet Member (City Services). The decision was that the Cabinet Member approved that the request for a layby be added to the list of verge parking schemes for consideration in a future year when funding was available.
At the moment, there is no further update that I can give you except that we have noted this decision and will be drawing up a prioritised programme of verge parking schemes in the new year ready for consideration in the Transportation and Maintenance Capital Programme report which will be submitted to Cabinet in March.
Team Manager (Traffic and Road Safety)
City Services and Development, Coventry City Council
Much Park Street
Refuse Collection Arrangements,
The next scheduled bin collection will take place across our area on Wednesday 2nd January 2013, the change in that week to the usual collection day is due to the Bank Holiday on Tuesday 1st January 2013. Only the green lidded residual bin will be collected that day.
If like us you find your blue lidded recycling bin is normally full with paper, cans and bottles after Christmas then this will be collected on Tuesday 8th January 2013, any excess can be placed next to your bin in the clear sacks delivered by the council before Christmas.
If you have a lot to get rid of the London Road Waste Disposal Site will be open every day, with the exception of Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. Opening times are 8am till 4:45pm Monday to Saturday and 9am till 4:45pm on Sundays.
What do YOU Think on Station Bus Link,
Kevin has been keeping in contact with National Express Coventry on a regular basis about the loss of the link between the majority of our area and the Railway Station. Recently he has been asked for his view on how this could be addressed by the Managing Director of National Express Coventry, Mark Kipling. As always there are some pros and cons to every suggestion about how this could be done, but helpfully he has indicated he would like feedback from those who receive these updates about them.
His e-mail is copied below and do lets us have any thoughts you have on this subject so we can pass them on:
To: Foster, Kevin (Cllr)
Subject: 2/3/3A - serving Coventry Station
I hope you're well. As you've previously asked about this I thought I'd share with you one of the challenges we're facing when we've been looking at it to see what you think. The major problem I think we will face is that getting the 2 or 3 to the station will result in a deterioration in the frequency along the Quinton Road as we send one of the buses across (by some means) to Stoney Road. The increase in frequency along Quinton Park has been very popular and I'm weary of diluting that. The other challenge is that I think a diversion into the station for customers who are used to getting into town quickly via the existing route is also going to be unpopular. Ultimately there will be a compromise required somewhere!
Interested to hear yours or other interested parties thoughts.
All the best
National Express Coventry
2 Ford Street
Can you help keep Someone Warm this Winter?,
We know that a number of people who receive this letter will be concerned about the cost of their heating this winter, yet there will also be those who may wish to use a Winter Fuel Allowance that they feel is not personally needed to help someone who is struggling with their bills. Last year over 30 elderly people died as a direct result of cold weather conditions in Coventry and it is very likely that figure could be higher this year.
This is the generation that survived the Coventry Blitz and the Heart of England Community Foundation has launched it's Surviving Winter Appeal to try and make a difference this winter.
If you are in receipt of the Winter Fuel Allowance but are lucky enough not to need it, or if you don't receive it but are prepared to donate: please give what you can. You can help an older person to survive this winter.
There are two easy ways to give
Donating is easy and you can send a cheque payable to The Heart of England Community Foundation, c/o PSA Peugeot Citroen, P O Box 126, Torrington Avenue, Tile Hill, Coventry. CV4 0UX (pledge form is attached to this email). Please claim gift aid on your donation (where eligible) as this will add 25% with no extra cost to you. For further information please contact Sue on 02476883267 or email email@example.com
Watch Out There is A Thief About,
Whilst this is the season of goodwill sadly there are those who see it as a great opportunity to steal items that have been received as gifts or take advantage of homes left empty by those visiting relatives. A few residents have recently received a surprise visit from the local Police team who walked into their home via an open or unlocked door. Yet this surprise was nothing compared to the shock of a number of residents who have recently been burgled by those who did the same.
Do keep things secure and if going out for the evening leave a light on so it is not obvious your property is empty. It is also worth thinking carefully about how you dispose of packing from new purchases. It is best to fold cardboard boxes down to go in your blue lidded bin then leave them outside as an advert to any thief of what has recently been bought.
and finally….A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Like many others we will be taking some time off this week to spend with our families. This means there will not be an update next Sunday 30th December 2012. That said if there is an urgent query you can still e-mail me as I will be checking this account periodically over the festive period. It is of course worth bearing in mind that there will be many in the council and public services more widely working throughout Christmas. These include Firefighters, The Council's Emergency Services Team, Police and NHS staff.
We would like to thank the many residents who have e-mailed us about the updates and thanking us for them. The support (as well as feedback) we receive means a lot and allows us to speak with confidence on the issues that matter to local people. Last year this update system reached nearly 400 addresses, it now goes to over 640 each week.
All that remains is for us to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (An e-card is attached to this e-mail).