Plans for setting up a charitable trust to manage Wythall Library are continuing to make progress. A steering group comprising Sue Baxter, Stephen Peters and Christine Turner have taken the first steps towards setting up the charity by securing paid professional support from the “Changing Futures Fund” organised by Worcestershire County Council. The strategic objectives and organisational goals have been set.
It has been decided that the best structure for the trust will be a new format known as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) which will be registered with the Charity Commission. It will have a constitution which will enable it to own or lease property, have employees if desired and powers to enter into legal contracts and to operate other community ventures if the need arises. There will be a mechanism for new trustees to be appointed in due course. The initial setting-up costs will be funded by a Divisional Fund grant arranged by County Cllr Stephen Peters.
The main priority has been to get the new business structure in place by 1st April 2014 or soon thereafter. Once the charity is up and running it will apply to Wythall Parish Council for a grant to cover the Year 1 running costs of the library building and the Parish Council has already indicated that the funds can be found without having to increase the Council Tax precept this year. Other grant sources will also be explored and there will be an opportunity for well-wishers to donate money if so desired.
A business plan and projected budget have been prepared based on the known costs from the previous year when the County Council operated the library building. The charity will benefit from 80% business rates relief and we shall be asking our local District Council colleagues to support a request for a further 20% discretionary relief.
The library building will be leased to the charity by the County Council (for a peppercorn rent) and the trust will be responsible for the internal maintenance and upkeep of the building and for keeping the external areas tidy. The County Council will continue to provide the full library service and staff as existing. We shall be seeking other partners to rent some of the internal office area to give us an income stream to assist with funding. The existing room hire and other events will continue and it is hoped that volunteer involvement will enable longer opening hours and greater use of the internal space. There will be plenty of opportunities for helpers to contribute their time and expertise including assisting in the library, internal cleaning and maintenance as well as clerical and administrative work.
Further progress reports will be given over the next few weeks to keep users and local residents acquainted with latest developments. The trust will make its plans and accounts publicly available in recognition of the financial help and tremendous support and goodwill that it has received from within the community to retain the library as an asset to be used and enjoyed by everyone in Wythall.
If you would like more information or wish to help out as a volunteer or prospective trustee please contact Cllr Mrs Sue Baxter on 01564 824920 or email email@example.com
Published by the Library Trust steering group
4 March 2014
Bleakhouse Farm Housing Development, Station Road, Wythall
The S.106 agreement is on the public access website.
The 60 page legal document contains details of various obligations and payments that Gallagher Estates have agreed to honour in order to obtain the Planning Consent:
- A sum of £250,000 to be paid to Centro as revenue support (a subsidy) for the S3 bus service to Solihull.
- An Off-Site Public Open Space contribution not quantified but believed to be in excess of £300,000 for sports pitches, floodlights, car park and changing rooms at Woodrush RFC; new fitness suites, astro turf pitch, dance studio, changing rooms and pitch improvements at Woodrush High School Academy; improvements to the footpath and fencing in Beaudesert Natural open space; and new outdoor gym equipment at Wythall Park.
- Contribute £30,000 or carry out designated alterations and improvement works to the Village Hall toilet facilities.
- A sum of £40,000 for improvements to Wythall Station (provision of CCTV)
- 40% minimum provision of affordable housing
- An education contribution based on a County Council formula for additional facilities at Wythall Green primary school.
- Contribute £20,000 for cycle route linkage provision
- £20,000 for bus stop improvements (2 new shelters in Station Road)
- £10,500 for footway improvements along a 200m length of Station Road together with an uncontrolled pedestrian crossing point.
In addition, Gallaghers will have to pay commuted sums or arrange for the management of the On-Site public open space, on-site area of play for youngsters and the sustainable drainage provision and balancing ponds serving the development.
The precise figures for some of the obligations are subject to complex district council formulae. Some of the contributions are dependent on Gallaghers not making similar contributions in relation to the Lowbrook Farm development if that should proceed.
The sums are to be paid at agreed stages of house completion.
Thanks to Councillor Stephen Peters for providing this information.
If any of our other of our local councillors would like to contribute to the content on this web site and keep residents informed of what’s going on or being planned for Wythall and Holywood, you are more than welcome. We can even give you a publishing login and show you how to use the site personally or as a group if you prefer.
Keeping in touch with residents doesn’t only have to happen at election time and a community site like this provides you with the most relevant and local platform you could wish for.
You may have noticed that Wythall.org is growing in popularity and features well in the search engine results for anything that concerns Wythall – so this is a great platform that is only going to get better.
Here’s an email received today from Peter Rowbottom from Hagley Residents Action Group – a group of concerned residents in Hagley who face the same plight as we do, following the appalling decisions made by the the district council.
Take a look at how Hagley are planning to fight back. Anyone in Wythall prepared to take up the challenge? Could be fun!
Dear Wythall Residents Asociation
You may have seen in today’s press that 2 Conservative District Councillors have quit the party and gone Independent.
Their reasons are given in this week’s Bromsgrove Standard.
That makes 4 independents when taking into account the 2 from Wythall Residents Association.
We as Hagley Residents Action Group think this is the time to campaign and get in Independents across the whole district in the 2015 elections!
One of our members Rachel Jenkins stood as an Independent in 2013 at County and, despite being new to the whole process, she overturned the largest Tory majority in the whole county to win by over 500 votes herself!
This sent shockwaves across the Tory leadership, both at County Hall and at Bromsgrove District level.
It also showed that any individual who is community-spirited and determined to represent their local community, as long as their campaign is well organised, can get elected!
We believe the leadership and associated other Conservatives at Bromsgrove Council are arrogant, do not listen to local people and treat their views with contempt! Leader Hollingworth has set agendas which are bull-dozed through with the direct support of Deputy Leader Sherrey and the rest of the cabinet.
If between 4 and 6 Tories lose their seats in 2015 they will lose their overall majority and the more Independents who gain seats the more can get onto planning committees etc. and influence e.g.greenbelt reviews.
We as HRAG are organising that 2 independents stand in the 2 Hagley wards in 2015.
We are also looking at organising 2 independents in the Clent/Belbroughton/Romsley ward.
It would be great if community-spirited individuals could come forward in Catshill, Barnt Green, Alvechurch, Hopwood etc, as they have previously in Wythall, in areas again where the feelings of local people seem to have been ignored!
In terms of Wythall, I note that in 2015 there will be 4 councillors, with 1 each in 4 wards.
Hopefully the current WRA councillors will stand again and be voted in; are there 2 other community-spirited individuals who could stand as WRA?
Please contact me with your thoughts, and any potential candidates you may know of; and let’s turn Bromsgrove Council Independent in 2015 so local communities are truely represented instead of decisions being taken purely on political grounds or due to party whips/orders!
Yes, the day has finally arrived and the development at Bleakhouse Farm, Wythall has now been given planning permission by Bromsgrove District Council.
One of the conditions of the permission is that development must start within 18 months, so make the most of the open views while they last.
The development comes with a list of other conditions, that will do nothing to prevent over-development of the site.
Ever since this site was built, we have predicted this outcome because at every step, it seems that Bromsgrove wanted to thwart our efforts to stop the development, just as they did with the one in Seldon Close.
What happens next will probably follow this agenda:
- The land will be sold to the highest bidder with development rights (probably already happened)
- A plan to extend the site will be submitted (Remember, Gallgher’s have been advertising land for 750 homes in Wythall)
- Around 750 homes will eventually be built, just like we said months ago
And why? Was it because when it came down to it, too few people could actually be bothered to do anything about it?
It’s true that many people weren’t that bothered at the time, but maybe that was because they knew from the moment the plan was first discussed, it was a foregone conclusion that the development would be given the go-ahead, because quite simply, Bromsgrove District Council wanted it, just as they did the one in Hagley. It keeps the builders off their own doorstep.
There is no point in whining and complaining, because the time to do that has passed, so we have to look to the future…
.. and so now perhaps is the time to keep your eye on who the developer is and very quickly grab a plot off-plan, because by the time the development is built, the prices will have rocketed.
Might as well profit from the misery of a facsimile development that’s going to be forced upon the village, if certain individuals in the know haven’t already.
You really can’t lose. Bagsy a south facing plot!
Thanks to Councillor Stephen Peters for providing a copy of the decision letter.
Warwickshire County Council proposes to make a Temporary Traffic Order closing D5002 Forshaw Heath Lane, Portway, from the A435 for approximately 500 metres, to vehicular traffic.
The closure is required for structural patching of carriageway.
The Order will commence on 3 March 2014 and will last for a period of 18 months, or until the works are completed, whichever is the earlier. However, it is anticipated that the works will be completed by 8 March 2014.
Pedestrian access to and egress from properties and land situated adjacent to the length of road to be closed will be maintained at all times. Vehicular access will be maintained where possible.
An alternative route will be signed and is available via: Poolhead Lane, Broad Lane, Penn Lane and in reverse order.
The Contractor dealing with this matter is Pete Wills for Balfour Beatty (Tel: 07837 319322).
The Council regrets any inconvenience that may be caused. The person dealing with this matter at Warwickshire County Council is Michael Rogers, County Highways (Tel: 01926 412515).