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Commonwealth Games Survey

With only 18 months to go the Commonwealth Games is moving another step closer and to help with preparations we’re inviting residents, businesses, schools and organisations across the Borough to start sharing your ideas, priorities and expectations for the Games.  The responses received from this survey will help inform the council’s planning and investment over 2021 and 2022 – particularly ensuring that the opportunities the Games creates are relevant and accessible to everyone.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (28 July to 8 August) is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase the West Midlands on the global stage. The most dedicated, highly trained and determined athletes from across 71 nations will come together in a momentous celebration of sport, competition and community. Solihull Council is one of the host authorities, with 6 events (Badminton, Weightlifting & Para Powerlifting, Boxing, Table Tennis and Netball) taking place at the NEC.  The Council is researching what activities and events might be delivered in association with the Commonwealth Games.  This short survey will contribute to that research and inform the types of activities, events opportunities the Council can consider providing for the Borough.

The survey should take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete.  There are two versions, one specifically for children and young people, as well as one for all residents and stakeholders living and working in the Borough.  The survey will close at 12pm on 17th February so please participate and share before then.

In addition to the survey, we can also arrange to speak to groups and meetings to talk about the Games and to start collecting people’s ideas, comments and contributions.  If you have a meeting taking place during February, or would like to arrange one for your group to talk about the Games, then please get in touch with rebecca.johnston@solihull.gov.uk to arrange for a council representative to attend and participate.

All Concessionary Pass Holders From 1st February Travel to your vaccination appointments for free before 09:30 on buses and trams

Dear Concessionary pass holder,

We are pleased to inform you that from Monday 1 February, concessionary pass holders will be able to travel for free before 9.30 am on all buses and trams in the West Midlands to get to their vaccination appointments. 

  • You will need to show proof of a written appointment confirmation letter, e-mail or text to the driver
  • You will be able to travel up to 90 minutes before your appointment

Please contact our customer service team if you have any queries.


Census 2021

Census2021 will provide a snapshot of modern society

Households will soon be asked to take part in the census. This is held once every 10 years with the next one taking place in March.

Census day is 21st March 2021.

The national poll is a snapshot of the country on one day giving detailed information about society which is then used to make decisions about vital services in the community – such as doctors’ surgeries, new schools, bus routes, care provision for the vulnerable and elderly.

In late February, all households will receive a letter explaining the census and then households will receive a unique access code allowing you to complete the questionnaire online on computers, tablets or smartphones. Paper questionnaires are available on request.

Census helplines will be able to offer support throughout March.

The census will include questions about household size, your age, work, health, education, and ethnicity. For the first time it will ask people whether they have served in the UK Armed Forces – including doing National Service – and there will be voluntary questions on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Every household will be required by law to fill out a Census form.

The Office for National Statistics runs the census. It is independent from the government. All details are protected by law and information published is always anonymous.  Data will be published in 2022, but all personal details which would identify an individual are locked away for 100 years and kept safe for future generations and family historians.

The census has been carried out every ten years since 1801 with the exception of 1941 due to the Second World War.

For more information about Census2021 visit www.census.gov.uk

A Message From West Midlands Police

If it’s not 999, go online
It’s really important we keep our emergency 999 phone lines free to help those most in need.
We find that many of the calls we receive can be resolved online. So for all non-emergencies please try visiting our website first https://west-midlands.police.uk/
If home doesn’t feel like the safest place to be, you can contact us on Live Chat  https://west-midlands.police.uk/ where specially trained officers can provide support and help keep you safe. Remember, in an emergency always call 999.

Thanks for doing your bit to help us at this difficult time.

Dickens Heath Heroes

Dickens Heath Heroes The Parish Council would like to say a huge thank you to some of our Dickens Heath Heroes who have been making a difference to the village by litter picking.  To the couple who live near the Village Green and litter pick most days, and to the young man who is volunteering as a litter picker for his Duke of Edinburgh award – you are very much appreciated

Age UK

Age UK Solihull is the first point of call for any concerns or needs of older people.  We can provide advice, information and refer on to support from our own services or from other local organisations, including Adult Social Care. 

Phone number 0121 7047840 or email info@ageuksolihull.org.uk, during office hours

We’re also happy to talk to relatives, carers, friends or neighbours to give advice. 

Our services include:

·         Telephone Befriending – Volunteers are matched with an older person who lives alone to make calls once a week or more.  We are supporting around 400 older people in this way.

·         Volunteer Shoppers – Volunteers are matched with an older person to shop for once a week, and to deliver to the doorstep. We also have volunteers available for urgent shopping needs.

·         Home Support Service – Staff members with PPE will provide services to people who need support within the home.  This has traditionally been a paid-for service, although we now have some funding to provide this to people in need. This is for people unable to take shopping from the doorstep who need help with putting away shopping, preparing food, or other tasks.

·         We can make referrals to food banks

·         We can provide emergency food parcels in some urgent circumstances, eg for people discharged from hospital 

·         Winter Warmth Advice service – We provide advice on issues such as reducing energy bills, applying for Warm Home Discount, and we can provide emergency electric heaters and electric blankets to people in need, or if their heating has broken down.  This service is available for people over 18 as well. 

·         For older people who have had a fall, we have a Postural Stability Exercise Programme.  This is currently provided with telephone support over 20 weeks, with guidance on paper by post or on YouTube.  This is free with a referral from a GP or physiotherapist. 

·         We are about to start a small pilot with volunteer Digital Champions supporting older people to learn to use a touchscreen tablet. Please contact us if someone needs this help.

  •           We may be able to help people to get to Covid vaccination appointments.   If a vulnerable person would have to cancel their vaccination appointment due to not being able to get there they can contact us and we will try our best to help.  We may have a volunteer or staff member who can give them a lift, if the vulnerable person can independently get in and out of a car.  For those not able to do that there are other options we can explore. 

·         We are also the lead partner in the Solihull Community Advice Hubs delivering Universal Information, Advice and Support to all age groups over the age of 18. This includes: benefits, debt, direct payments, care and support, health and wellbeing. The  Advice Hubs are the gateway to services in Solihull and we have over 700 referral partners. The Community Advice Hub number is 0121 7097590.

·          As well as our own services, we have links into other voluntary and statutory services –  if you don’t know where to go to find a service just give us a call. 

Vaccination Update from Solihull MBC Community Champions

Covid Vaccination Leaflet

Some positive news on the vaccine front: we are making good progress in Solihull, with the effort to vaccinate in care homes pretty much complete, and the vaccinations of over 80s likely to be complete within the next week. A few key points:

·         There is no issue with vaccine supply.

·         Vaccinations for the housebound are now starting. This is being managed centrally for Birmingham/Solihull (not through local GPs).

·         Vaccine is not being wasted. The Pfizer vaccine does have a very short life once defrosted, but missed appointments are rare and any surplus is used up for other priority patients, etc.

·         People who don’t want to go to Millennium Point can wait to get their vaccine locally.

·         Don’t ring your GP unless it’s really necessary.

·         Local vaccinations in Solihull are being managed through four distribution points (i.e. not every GP surgery). This is to manage the logistics as part of a nationwide operation (there are 600 vaccination locations across the country). It’s likely to become more localised in the future but, for now, some centralisation is better to facilitate speed.

·         Recruitment for support jobs at Millennium Point is underway. More details at https://www.wmjobs.co.uk/job/86710/Covid-19-mass-testing-support-programme/.

Highways England M40/M42 Interchange Scheme – survey works update

We’re upgrading the M40/M42 Interchange to reduce congestion and improve journey times. We’ll shortly start some overnight survey work to gather information to inform the final design of the scheme.

How will the survey work affect road users?

We’ll put the following closures in place overnight from 9pm to 6am:

M42 Northbound to M42 Northbound Link at J3a – January 5, 6, 7, 8 & 11

M42 Southbound to M42 Southbound Link at J3a – January 12, 13, 14,15 & 18

M40 Northbound to M42 Northbound Link at J3a – February 15, 16, 17, 18 &19

M42 Southbound to M40 Southbound Link at J3a – February 22, 23, 24, 25 & 26

In addition, we’ll continue our main carriageway surveys in the following locations:

·         M42 J3a – M40 J16 from mid-January for 6 weeks

·         M42 J3a – 4 from end-February for 6 weeks