Earlier this month, I helped to launch Birmingham Energy Savers, a new programme designed to help residents save money on their fuel bills.
The official statistics show that more than one in four Birmingham households are classed as being in fuel poverty. These numbers are certainly borne out by my own experience of trying to help residents who are struggling to meet the costs of heating their homes, often in the face of rising costs.
Birmingham Energy Savers will help residents by carrying out a home audit to identify energy efficiency measures and recommending a “Green Deal Plan” of improvements. Crucially, the scheme allows residents to pay for some or all of the improvements by instalments through their electricity bill. Repayments will cost no more than a typical household should save through energy costs.
The programme should reduce residents’ energy bills by up to £300 a year, which would take up to 40,000 Brummies out of fuel poverty by 2015. It will also help to create more jobs for Birmingham residents, providing a direct investment in skills and opportunities for local people.
To find out more, please visit the Birmingham Energy Savers website.
Finding a reputable and reliable tradesperson to do those odd jobs around the home can often be a worry, especially for elderly people or those with specialist needs.
I often get calls from residents asking for advice on these issues, so I was pleased to hear that Age Concern Birmingham have just relaunched their Firstcall Tradesperson service. Firstcall Tradesperson puts people in touch with a qualified and carefully vetted tradesperson who will provide a free, no obligation quote for the work required.
You can find out more about the service by clicking here to download the information leaflet.
I’ve just received the latest newsletter from the Friends Of Kingfisher Country Park, who are doing a sterling job looking after the fantastic green space at the heart of Shard End Ward.
I’ve reproduced the letter below. I know that the Friends are always eager to welcome new recruits, so if you’re interested in getting involved, they’d be delighted to hear from you!
C/o Sheldon Country Park Ranger Service
Old Rectory Farm
0121 303 6023
1st February 2013
At last we have some very good news! Extensive work started last week to address the long-standing problem which has led to the water channel running alongside Yorks Wood and into Babbs Mill Lake being known as ‘the smelly brook’.
This is a community-led project seeking to restore the water quality of Babbs Mill Lake and the River Cole while enhancing the habitat and amenity value of the site.
During the past year the Committee, with Sheldon and Solihull Rangers, have aimed to raise awareness of Kingfisher Country Park and its environmental and recreational value by being present at various events. These have included the Big Bird Watch (Meriden Park), Sheldon Countryside Festival, Chelmund’s Day in Chelmsley Wood, a variety of community activity days in Shard End, Yorks Wood, Tile Cross, and Lea Village. We took part in Oaks and Shires week in Meriden Park and a Mini-Olympics Fun Day in the park, organised by local PCSOs.
More good news! In November we heard that the woodland and lake in Meriden Park had been designated a Chelmsley Wood Local Nature Reserve.
Now that we have an up-to-date mailing list and a clearer picture of the future of the Friends’ Group we hope to be able to give you advance information about events.
Future events include:-
A mid-week Meander starting from the Pavilion at 10:30, towards Cole Hall Lane.
Tree planting at Glebe Farm, details from the Rangers at Sheldon.
A ‘Safer Shard End’ community day in and around the Pavilion.
Thank you for your continued interest and support.