A well attended residents meeting met on Monday 1 November to discuss progress in Bordesley and Highgate.

Highgate, Deritend and Digbeth

Residents in Hodnet Grove and Charlbury Tower have made progress with collective efforts to address issues with vermin, and a collective letter and petition was discussed and a sub-committee formed for seeing to it that residents are organised to sign it and it shall be sent to the Director for Housing. The letter will demand that the city council treat the mass infestation of cockroaches in the tower as a single issue, rather than on a flat by flat basis. Dealing with the pest on a flat by flat basis only pushes the roaches around the building as they vacate one treated flat to reside next door and so on. Efforts to bring the mice and vermin around the Grove under control are ongoing, and residents noted that the lights are now operational for those coming back from work in the dark. Small wins were welcomed by everybody present as an improvement and a sign that we were not powerless to improve the area.

Similar collective letters are planned with delegates from Brinklow and Studley Tower who share issues with vermin, and the resident with three teenage children sharing a one bedroom flat with himself and his wife will also have his issues raised with the Director by our Housing officer.

The meeting also heard had a new copy of the Birmingham Worker freesheet distributed which included a report from residents who were active in the campaign for Free Bus Travel for children, a demand first put forward by the Workers Party local branch. More than 250 additional signatories had been collected over the last couple of months and the issue is picking up traction amongst working class people struggling to cover the cost of bus fares. A Campaigns Team will be tasked with identifying new areas of the town to seek out support, with a door-to-door campaign and a schools drive in the Spring.

Supporters can sign up either with the Workers Party or Change.org:

https://www.change.org/p/transport-for-west-midlands-free-bus-travel-for-children-in-the-west-midlands

Keep Bordesley Clean

After surveying more than 200 homes a complaint was made to Birmingham City Council over a rats nest along Cherrywood Road. Rubbish which was crawling with rats was raised for collection with the council and a short video put on social media to demonstrate the scale of the problem. The meeting praised the efforts of local volunteers who every day undertake litter picking, and it was suggested that the efforts of some were worthy of nomination for recognition from civic authorities.

St Andrews Road and Gray Street residents have arranged a volunteer litter picking for Saturday 27 November 11am with support from Highgate and Bordesley Community Forum activists. Details will be circulated by local newsletter. The Highgate and Bordesley Residents Forum is to request bags from the city council.

Committee elected

Before closing the meeting a number of residents were elected to the committee by a show of hands and a date set in early December for the first Committee meeting. The residents come from all parts of the area and include NHS workers, retired workers and local businesses and council workers.

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