Kings Heath’s Town Centre Manager, Matt, works behind the scenes to improve the area and support local businesses to ensure Kings Heath continues to be a thriving community. Here’s an update from Matt, detailing what he has been up to. This was from the week of 30th January:
Last Week Highlights
- LPDG Meeting (Local Partnership Delivery Group). This is police, council, other agencies and people like us looking at crime, asb and safety initiatives and issues.
- Next Generation Awards – part of a panel at Camp Hill Boys, along with police, a councillor and special needs school head teacher, discussing issues that we face in the community and how they might be able to create projects that address them.
- Several walkabouts with the Street Warden team.
- Dealt with overnight explosion on the high street – spoke to council’s contractors to understand what had happened, sent a communication to businesses and spoke with site team to understand timescales. Made sure that Umar reassured all businesses in the vicinity.
- Meeting with BCC (Birmingham City Council) about their vacancy rate study to understand why it differs from BID’s statistics.
- Contacted a local resident with whom I have previously spoken about delivering a high-end Joint Venture scheme for York Road.
- Met with the new owner of Pear Tree
- Updated Scrivens and Wilko’s regarding the massive hole outside their businesses.
- Published LTN page on the BID website.
- Arranged a site visit with BCC business rates team and owner of 92 High Street.
- Introduced owners of Pear Tree and Air Nation.
- Met with Plant’n’Plate to discuss the upcoming Business Networking Meeting.
- Met with the owner of Foundry Gym.
- Introduced Plant ’n’ Plate and Foundry Gym.
- Spoke to Sainsbury’s about rough sleeping issues outside their store.
- Arranged meeting with Kings Heath Primary School to discuss a walking bus for the school.
- Met with a writer from a B2B magazine called West Midlands Business Works who is interested in writing a feature on Kings Heath and some of its innovative/entrepreneurial businesses.
- Walkabout with Kier highlighting loose paving slabs, getting an update on works by Wilko, discussing a plan for tree pruning and reviewing resurfacing of area outside library, which was done due to pressure brought by the BID.
- Contacted 2x Police Sgts and BCC to try to co-ordinate removal of rough sleepers at Sainsbury’s and their detritus.
- Provided support to local business who wants to run a market on York Road.
- Liaison with BCC and a local resident who wants to use the E-Cargo Bike.
- Conversation with Unison regarding support and funding for Queen’s Heath Pride.
- Admin: Writing up notes from finance meetings. Preparing and sending Board agenda. Finalising a letter to be sent out. Clearing emails – a lot of updated contact details for the ballot.
- Last week, I visited a business with Umar. This was a business that was likely to vote no. I discovered that the business and immediate neighbours cannot access fibre broadband, which is clearly affecting their businesses (literally that business and the 2 or 3 on either side). After a couple of phone calls and emails, I had confirmation from OpenReach that this had been a clerical error on their part, now fixed, and that these businesses can upgrade to Fibre. Went to tell the businesses the good news! With this change, they have saved their annual BID levy, hoping this will lead to a Yes Vote.
- Meeting with the organiser of the new Artisan Market on York Road. Offered any and all support needed.
- Dealt with road closure for tree pruning.
- First job was contacting Kier as council contractors had closed the bus lane between Sainsbury’s and Vicarage Road whilst temporary lights were still in place at Wilko. Fortunately, all work was complete and the high street was clear of roadworks by 11am.
- Helped a neighbouring business by the office who was having an altercation with someone who had parked on her property. Someone had dumped some rubbish by his car, so I contacted someone who has CCTV covering the area and told him I’d look into it.
- Spoke to several businesses along the high street, including one who wants the BID to set up an “Independent Kings Heath” campaign.
- Contact with someone who is making a film on cycling in Birmingham and wants to come visit our area.
Next Week Highlights
- Site meeting with BCC and property owner of Kings Court to look at rateable values for the big unit at the rear of KC
- Meetings scheduled with Kings Heath Primary to discuss a couple of projects and with some local residents who are keen to support the BID.
- Board meeting Tuesday and Kings Heath Neighbourhoods Forum on Thursday.