Minutes of the May meeting of Brierley Hill Civic Society

Minutes of the meeting of Brierley Hill Civic Society held on Monday 18th May 2015 at St Michael’s Church commencing at 6pm.


Joy Cooper, Stephen Dunn, John James, Betsy Lafferty, Tim Lee, Lorna Morrison, Maggie Norton, Jenny Sunter, Tim Sunter, Dennis Whittaker, Norma Whittaker.


Pat Cobern, Rachel Harris, Zafar Islam, John Martin

Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting had been circulated and were agreed as a true record.


JS gave informed the meeting of the correspondence received:
* NCVO general election briefing on the impact of the recent election on voluntary organisations
* Civic Voice weekly newsletter including details of the work on war memorials
* Information on the Community Rights pilot
* Details of NCVO workshops for volunteers

SD asked about whether Civic Voice had a website that he and other members could refer to. JS confirmed that this was the case.

Treasurer’s Report

DW gave the treasurer’s report:
* Cash in hand £53.46
* Bank account £1323.97
* Less money held on behalf of SNOW -£985.75
* Total £391.68

Organisation Sub

It had been agreed at the last meeting that an ‘organisation sub’ should meet to plan the future direction and activities of the Society. SD, TL, LM, TS, and DW had subsequently met at the Bull & Bladder (venue purely to support local industry).

Key points from the meeting were:

  • Need to have a balance in the Society’s activites between celebrating the past, action in the present and influencing the future.
  • Potential speakers with a historic perspective could be on the topics of Round Oak, Marsh & Baxter, the history of brickmaking in the area. To determine what actions the Society could take to improve Brierley Hill engagement with Dudley MBC cabinet members would be a positive step.
  • Partnership working with the public, private and voluntary/community sectors has the potential to achieve shared goals in the town.

Key actions to follow up were:
* To extend the Brierley Hill in Bloom meeting on 3rd June to involve the organisation sub and Christmas Festival team would be a good forum to start to pull partners together.
* Brierley Hill Civic Society to consider its priorities for action at its next meeting (i.e. tonight)
* Establish relationship with BHCF as there did seem to be overlapping objectives
* The chase Dudley Archives re a visit to the new facility with a chance to view materials in the Brierley Hill collection.
* To establish a programme of speakers.
* To consider whether the Society can offer any help to make the council’s forums more effective.

TS reported that following this meeting he had made contact with the archives. The Society’s meeting on Monday 20th July would now take place at the archives and we would receive a tour and then the opportunity to look at Brierley Hill materials. There would be a pass through charge from the archives of £4 and a minimum total charge of £40. It was agreed that this should be publicised as far and wide as possible to ensure maximum attendance.

Future activities

Following on from the organisation sub meeting the Society had been asked to bring ideas for future activities for the Society. The following ideas were suggested:
* Continued engagement with NHR and DMBC to try and get some regeneration activity moving in the area.
* Presentation of a replica of the Gibbons/Jordan painting for display in the town centre. Andy Gray of DCVS had indicated an interest for it to be hung in the Civic Centre.
* Restoration of the Brierley Hill war memorials
* Resolution of the difficulties with access to and use of Lawyers Field (Friends of Marsh Park are leading on this). There was talk of whether the plaque commemorating the opening was still in the park.
* Litter picking events together with anti-graffitti activities. Questions arose about the best way to go about this and advice from DMBC should be sought. The litter strewn state of canals in the area was also highlighted.
* The introduction of weight limits on roads which are being used inappropriately by heavy vehicles, North Street for example.
* Replacement trees for those that once flourished in the High Street
* The renaming of Venture Way to something more appropriately reflecting the history of the town
* A ‘blue plaque’ scheme celebrating some of the achiements of the town
* A cultural regeneration programme to attract more visitors to the town centre. A brass band playing in Marsh Park was one suggestion put forward.
* Getting the publicly visible clocks in the town working – St Michael’s and The Moor Centre were mentioned.
It was suggested that the organisation sub on 3rd June could pick up some of these ideas and put meat on the bones (thought: is there a vegetarian equivalent for this phrase?)

Brierley Hill in Bloom

TS reported than the planters were now fixed on Venture Way; lamp post baskets were suggested for along the High Street and it was aimed to have these in place for the winter planting; the plants for the summer had been grown and it was planned to put them out early in June.

Brierley Hill Christmas Festival

TS had met with AG from DCVS. AG was keen to get involved as it was a potential project for the Civic Hall. He would be attending the meeting on 3rd June.

DMBC review of criteria for locally listed buildings

A spokesperson from the planning department had now agreed to come to the next meeting to talk through the implications of this. There were some concerns that the changing of the criteria might weaken the ability to protect historic buildings in the town.

Regeneration update including planning matters

DW updated the meeting on progress.
A date for further engagement with NHR and DMBC was awaited. At the previous meeting priorities of making a pedestrian link between the High Street and Merry Hill together with environmental improvements in the High Street had been identified. Indications had been given that funding may be available for the link but it was doubtful whether funds might be there for the High Street.
Intu were interested in development of the Daniels Land site for residential purposes whilst Rachel Harris had put forward the idea for a white water centre.
DW was also creating a planning database to keep track of proposed developments in the town. He gave an exhaustive list of live applications:
* Two applications for residential and offices adjacent to Red Peppers including the former Doug Holmes Taylors.
* The Dock and Iron in Delph Road was saved following objections to its demolition by the council as the building is on the Heritage Assetts Register. Instead the proposal has been amended to keep the pub and to use the car park as a van hire centre.
* 81 Church Street – the former Radio Shack building – application to demolish and build one dwelling.
* Housing proposals for the former RDF site. The environment agency has no objections subject to safeguards being put in place. They had also expressed they concern with respect to the site being suitable for a waste site.
* ASDA car park for a self service filling station. Members expressed their concern that this ran counter to the AAP for the area, would undermine the pedestrian link to the area and would not be appropriate to front on to the proposed public square.
* Arc Alloys building on Moor Street adjacent to Foxdale drive. Two applications had been submitted for residential but problems remained about access to the site due to the hump backed bridge.
* The Plough has a residential planning permission and was sold at auction for £57,000. Work is presently taking place on the site.
* The former Alma Pub has an application for five flats upstairs, three on the first floor and two on the second floor.
* The Cottage Spring in Mill Street has had an application to turn it into a vets passed.
* The former Black Country Stoves shop on High Street has been approved for a launderette.
* HVC supplies in Bull Street has had an application for five homes agreed. An earlier application for six homes had been rejected because of lack of parking facilities.
* The former Round Oak Pub had been approved for a home improvements store on the ground floor and one flat upstairs.
* Harts Hill bus station – adjacent to hazardous chemical plants had had an application for a supermakret withdrawn as well and an application for 45 homes withdrawn.

DW is creating a 3 year database of applications to enable further close monitoring.

Any Other Urgent Business

There was no other urgent business.

The meeting closed at 7.30pm.

Brierley Hill in Bloom – thank you to our sponsors


Well, two and a half months on, despite dire predictions, the Brierley Hill in Bloom flowers are still brightening up the High Street.

We have plans to replant this October, and, dependent on achieving some grants, extend the scheme further throughout the town.

So a fine time to thank those who have sponsored us – and it would be really great if they got some business and support as a result of investing in our town.

Thank You

1. AgeUK Dudley
2. Asda Stores Ltd
3. Boots Brierley Hill
4. Brierley Hill Civic Society
5. Brierley Hill Market Hall
6. Brierley Hill Methodist Church
7. Brierley Hill Traders Association
8. Brockmoor Primary School (4)
9. Bruce Hodgkiss Family Butcher
10. Clyde’s Cafe
11. Cllrs Harris, Islam and Wilson
12. Dudley Council for Voluntary Service
13. Inner Wheel Club of Brierley Hill
14. Jennings, Homer and Lynch Architects
15. JMC Accountants and Tax Advisers Ltd
16. Jon Stanier Estate Agents (2)
17. Mecca Bingo
18. Pentax Developments Ltd
19. Polly’s Tea Room
20. T.H. Baker est 1888
21. The Underwear Store in the Market

Brierley Hill in Bloom plans next steps


Plans are being drawn up to extend Brierley Hill in Bloom this autumn, building on the success of this summer’s project. An informal steering group – consisting of traders representatives, the market, the Civic Society, Stoubridge College and Dudley Council met yesterday lunchtime to plan a way forward.

These are the things we’ve learnt so far:

  • That the foundation students from the college have produced some fantastic displays, and these will last until around October time. Support from the college has been exceptional.
  • Despite widespread predications of mass vandalism very little (touch wood) has occurred. In future we need to plan for around an extra 5% of flowers to be grown so we can quickly replace any plants taken out.
  • Most vandalism occurs after England football games (why?)
  • The response from traders is good. As well as helping water the plants some stores such as Polly’s tea room for example has now put up its own display.
  • Sponsorship at £15 per trough is extremely good value for money and there is a willingness to support.
  • The enthusiasm to sponsor increased when traders saw the quality of what had been produced – so this is something to build on in the future.
  • Dudley Council has contributed to the scheme by ensuring the plants get watered – at 6am three times a week. They have also taken the risk on behalf of the community in respect of any claims. This is really good partnership working.
  • Community members are happy to water the plants too – which is something to build on.

So what’s next?

We’d agreed to start small at the Five Ways and build up. So we are thinking:

  • Extend along the High Street towards the Civic Centre using hanging baskets and stacked planters (possible four of the latter, two at each end of the town as ‘gateways’)
  • Plant near to Brierley Hill Health and Social Care Centre and the College.
  • Stick to the colour scheme (which fits in well with the street furniture and railings) of red and yellow, chosen because of the predominance of those colours in Brierley Hill’s coat of arms.

We also want to keep building links with schools. So far Brockmoor Primary School has come on board, but we would love others to get involved too.

All of this is, of course, dependent on getting resources to pay for the planters and plants.

There have been some very generous offers of support which we will take up. Some other potential funding sources have been identified and we’ll be drawing up grant applications.

For me, Brierley Hill in Bloom has been a highly visible statement that people DO CARE about our town. It has shown that positive things can happen and that we shouldn’t let a tiny majority of thoughtless vandals dominate our thoughts. We need to believe in ourselves and hopefully, on a small scale, this proves that when we do, we CAN make a difference.

Brierley Hill in Bloom – still looking gorgeous as council offers back up help in watering

Brierley Hill in Bloom

There’s been some fantastic help from traders and members of the Community with Brierley Hill in Bloom – keeping an eye on the plants and helping to water them. This week there was more good news from Dudley Council.

As a back up Dudley Council will now be watering the plants three days a week using its Green Care Scarab Road Sweeper first thing in the morning.

With our ‘bloomers’ continuing to water and backup from the council this is a weight off our minds and will ensure the plants continue to grow across the summer even when people are away on holiday.

There have been a few incidents of plants being thrown into the street – particularly after the England games (makes me think: what’s the collective noun for people who toss plants into the street?). These have been replaced though – thanks to those who picked them up and put them back and to Shane for paying for some ‘infill’ plants. We’ve been in touch with the police to talk to them about how we can work together to improve security.

We’ve always acknowledged that there will inevitably be some vandalism. The thing is not to let that stop us doing things.

Many thanks to the council for its support – authentic “Community Council” stuff!

Despite all the dire predictions Brierley Hill in Bloom is still looking gorgeous!

Brierley Hill in Bloom: why we need to believe

High Street looking south


The glorious 12th…12th of June that is. The day that the Brierley Hill in Bloom flowers were planted in their containers on the High Street. The sun shone, people smiled, traders took photos, students prided in their work- quite right too.

As one admirer said:

“…it looks like someone cares…”

Yet… yet…other comments made me think…we are also a town which needs to believe in itself, as individuals and as a community.

The planting

First the good stuff.

What a gorgeous day. Foundation students at Birmingham Metroplitan College had been growing and caring for the plants for months. What a fantastic job they’ve done. How patient they’ve been, waiting for the transport to be available to bring the flowers across to Brierley Hill. How enthusiastic and positive they were whilst planting out. A big thank you for all of your work. You’ve done something special and you should be righlty proud of yourselves.

Here’s a picture of some of the students bringing the plants across:

BMet students


The support from partners has been staggering.

English Heritage started the ball rolling with the Brierleyhillness project. Suzanne Carter followed up with a feasibility report. Brierley Hill Traders Association, chaired by Shane Birch-Bastock of Pentax Developments offered to match funding from Community First Brierley Hill.

Stourbridge College (now part of Birmingham Metropolitan College offered their support and brought Lynn Glazzard head of foundation studies and her brilliant students on board. Brierley Hill Civic Society offered its support.

Jennings, Homer, Lynch, managers of Brierley Hill Market gave their support, with Julie Stepney organising sponsorship.

As I tweeted (@brierley_hill) about the project there were words of encouragement from fellow tweeters – really motivating (thank you!).

Dudley Council gave advice and helped in fixing the planters to the railings . In particular their help in carrying the risk of the project is invaluable.

Secret Coffee Club gave us a free meeting venue.

Then there were all of the sponsors who agreed to back the project – I’ll do an separate post on all of those soon.

In fact, there’s a good chance I’ve missed someone – please don’t be annoyed, all of you support is really appreciated.

That’s one of the reasons I love living and working in Brierley Hill. The strength of networks and partnership working is extraordinary. It is something we need to truly value.

Here’s Shane – who has forked out to pay for a water container to aid the watering of the plants and is having a tap fitted outside his premises for their use.

Shane Birch-Bastock

Public Reaction

Overwhelmingly the reaction from the public and traders was positive and enthusiast. They loved the flowers. The view was that the scheme is positive for the town. Some market traders even came out with their phones to photograph the planters outside their premises.

In Polly’s Tea Rooms, Mill Street, the staff were talking about how they were going to water ‘their’ planter, and made really good suggestions on how to increase involvement in the future.

What a pleasure it was to see one resident seating peacefully on the benches at the Moor Centre enjoying the sight.

Admiring the view

But there was also a negative response:

“They won’t last the weekend”

…“People coming back from the pub will wreck them”

were the type of comments we heard repeatedly. All spoken with a touch of sadness.

And here’s the point:

We need to believe

Right from the beginning of the Brierley Hill in Bloom people have highlighted the risks of vandalism and questioned the wisdom of the project.

Just like the feasibility of the 2010 Pony Trail was questioned – and that went on to be a massive success by any measure.

You know what? If the plants get vandalised we’ll deal with it. It’s one of those things that happens when a tiny minority do something stupid.

But if we allowed ourselves to be dictated to by the actions of that tiny majority we wouldn’t do anything. What a sad place Brierley Hill would be then.

We need to believe in ourselves and in each other. Look at the work our young students did to grow the plants. Look at the partnership which has come together – informally – to deliver the project.

Let’s recognise Brierley Hill as what it is.

A great place to live. A place with wonderful people who are willing to work together for the common good. A place of huge potential – in individuals, in organisations in communities.

Let’s work with that. Let’s believe in ourselves. Let’s do something postive.

Search for Brierley Hill’s Bloomers stepped up

The search for volunteers to adopt planters in Brierley Hill high Street this summer all to look after them iis being stepped up today.

The chair of Brierley Hill Traders Association will be delivering leaflets to shops in the town centre.

26 planters have been ordered, and students from Birmingham Metropolitan College have been growing the first lot of flowers ready for planting.

The colour scheme for the horticultural enterprise is red and yellow – reflecting the towns historic coat of arms.

Already Brierley Hill Civic Society, Brockmoor Primary School, Dudley Council for Voluntary Service,  Brierley Hill Methodist Church,  Brierley Hill Market, Dudley Council and twitter user @sacredwench  have volunteered to support the programme.

The first set of plants will be put on display during the first week in June.

Anyone wishing to help them get in touch on the email address bloom@brierleyhill.org

All are welcome!


Read the minutes of Brierley Hill Civic Society – 17th March

Brierley Hill Civic Society
Brierley Hill Civic Society

Minutes of the meeting of Brierley Hill Civic Society held at St Michael’s Church, Bell Street South, on 17th March 2014 commencing at 5.30pm.


Shane Bastock, Beryl Biggs, Ruth Childs, Joy Cooper, Beryl Fisher, Robert Franklin, John Heathcock, John James, Betsy Lafferty, Tim Lee, Brad Jones, Andrew Mann-Ray, Lorna Morrison, Maggie Norton, Jenny Sunter, Tim Sunter, Rosemary Tomkinson, Dennis Whittaker


Judy Foster, Rachel Harris, Peter Hobbs, Zafar Islam, Ray Norton

Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting had been circulated and were agreed as a true record.

Matters Arising

Rosemary Tomkinson asked for clarification on the role of Dudley Council in the Brierley Hill in Bloom project. TS explained that it had been agreed to purchase and the punters through the council to achieve cost savings. SB enlarged on this point by explaining that the management of risk and therefore liability would remain with the local authority which afforded protection to organisers of the scheme.


JS informed the meeting of the correspondence received since February.

Membership dues to Civic Voice were now due. This amounted to £1.50 per member. So far between 10 and 15 members had renewed. The Civic Voice membership came with the benefit of free entry to a National Trust facility. It was noted that it was on the agenda for discussion later.

A leaflet had been received from Dudley Council concerning the Dudley Trail taking place on May 4th.

Civic Voice were also organising a national Civic Day on June 21. It was suggested that this might be something the Society would be interested in for future years.

Treasurer’s Report

DW reported that at the last meeting the Society has £36.71 cash in hand, and £741.22 in the bank. £65 had been paid in membership fees on 17 February, and £15 was contributed as the room collection. This brought the cash in hand to £116.71. £100 has thus been banked. This meant that the society has a total of £841.22 in its account. Two cheques totalling £110 remained to show in the accounts, meaning effectively this society has £731.22 available in the bank.

TS reported that some of the funding had been achieved as a result of the Community First grant. £200 of this was to pay towards a pull up display. The rest was to cover the cost of speakers and room hire. This money would need to be accounted for in the near future. It was agreed that TS and DW would discuss how much of the grant had been spent to date such action could be taken appropriately on any remaining funds.

Future Plans

A discussion ensued on how to cover the cost of speakers for future meetings. The society had been paying £15 for room hire and a £50 fee for each speaker. However, this had been funded through a grant from Community First. The amount of income from room collections was not, if it remains the same, cover the cost of speakers. RT said that it was important that those who attended the speakers events were aware of the expected level of donation. It was agreed:
To apply for a further grant from Community First
To ask members to pay 2 pounds and nonmembers 3 pounds for each speaking event
To explore fundraising activities to create a resource for funding speakers.

Members requested that information regarding meetings be displayed on the noticeboard at Marsh Park, in Farm Foods, and elsewhere through the town. Notices of meetings should also be sent to the local press.

BJ and TL raised the issue of how a greater awareness of cultural issues could be raised in schools. The meeting felt that this was one of the key objectives of the Civic Society. It was agreed that BJ, TL, SB and TS would liaise to explore how this could best be achieved. TS agreed to set the ball rolling by email. BJ intimated that with the correct program funding may be available directly from schools.

The offer by Civic Voice of free entry to a National Trust property was noted by the meeting. A number of members indicated that they would be interested in taking advantage of the offer as a group. It was agreed to conduct a small survey to see which property members would like to visit and when.

It was agreed that the next three meetings would consist of Cllr Judy Foster and officials talking about regeneration issues in May, a talk on the conservation of the town’s buildings in June, and TS would talk of his research into Brierley Hill’s Great War in July. The Society does not need in August, but the following five meetings should consist of speakers with historic interests.

RH offered to facilitate speakers with a health interest should the Society so wish.

Brierley Hill SNOW

TL updated the meeting on the opposition to the Clean Power appeal. Over 900 letters have been delivered to the Planning Inspectorate opposing the plan. In addition to this a petition had gathered many signatures, a Facebook site and twitter account established, a website had been created and there has been extensive media coverage.

The SNOW campaign was hoping that the planning inspector would allow representation at the enquiry which is expected in mid June. If this was agreed a statement would be filed and spokespeople would be identified to put the case for local residents.

TL thanked Brierley Hill market for allowing them to have a stall for three days. The response had been overwhelmingly against Clean Power. One or two people had spoken in support of the employment opportunity, and one person had commented on whether the site would be suitable for residential development.

TS commented at how effective the campaign had been in mobilising public opinion. This was greatly to the credit of TL and his team. Following the last meeting the Society had written to the Planning Inspectorate to object to the proposals. A copy of the letter was available at the meeting for anyone who wished to read it.

Brierley Hill Christmas Festival

JS reported that the Christmas lights turn on will take place on 6th December.

Insight House was on board, the Santa Joggle was being supported by Birmingham Metropolitan College and DMBC were going to manage the lights switch onCommunity First funding may be available to support the project depending on the panel meeting due to take place on 18th March.

JS is keen to increase the participation of schools in the event. BJ and JS agreed to have a conversation on how this could best be achieved.

The meeting was appreciative of JS for her continuing work on this project.

Brierley Hill in Bloom

TS updated the meeting. £7500 of funding has been achieved through Community First, Brierley Hill Traders Association, and a legitimate anonymous donor.

The planters were on order and Birmingham Metropolitan College students were growing the plants.

It was hoped that individuals, community groups and schools would help to maintain the plants once they were in situ. This would require access to water within the town centre. The informal steering group were aware of this and working on plans accordingly.

It was agreed that the Civic Society would adopt some of the planters, and TS agreed to explore a rotor arrangements for members to look after them.

Information Exchange

SB and TS has met with New Heritage Regeneration at its request to talk about Brierley Hill. The meeting has been positive and discussions regarding ERDF funding has taken place. It was proposed to create an informal “doers” group to establish an action plan to press ahead with regeneration in Brierley Hill. SB and TS felt it was very important after this to succeed the local authority needed to view it as more than an exercise in ticking boxes.

The meeting discussed its disappointment that the momentum in the regeneration of Brierley Hill has been lost in recent years. It was hoped that the new initiative would enable some ground to be regained. It is aimed for the first “doers” meeting to take place by the end of April. Thereafter it would be possible to report back to the Society.

AMR reported on the proposed Celebrate Brierley Hill event which was taking place at Brierley Methodist Church on Tuesday, March 25. This builds on the success of last years Round Oak Memorial event. It was hoped to have speakers on Brierley Hill’s past, present and future. DW agreed to liaise with AMR regarding Brierley Hill’s past.

Any Other Urgent Business

There was no other urgent business. The meeting closed at 7pm.

Brierley Hill needs its bloomers

The map showing where the 26 planters will be located in the High Street. The colour theme will be red and yellow to reflect the town’s coat of arms.

An appeal is going out for residents, community groups, schools and business to support their town by becoming ‘bloomers’  and adopting one or more of the planters which will be brightening up Brierley Hill this summer.

The Brierley Hill in Bloom project has won support from the the High Street Traders Association and the government’s Community First initiative to purchase planters to be placed on the roadside barriers radiating out from Five Ways.

Other partners have offered their support – including Birmingham Metropolitan College, Brierley Hill Market, The Civic Society, Dudley MBC, Dudley CCG and Insight House – and a plan has been put together to deliver the scheme.

Students on the College’s horticultural course are already growing the plants. 26 planters are on order as part of phase one of the scheme and it is hoped that the first displays will be up in time for St George’s Day on 26th April.

But now organisers are looking to extend community involvement by asking for help in maintaining the plants when they are in.

Chair of Brierley Hill Civic Society, Tim Sunter said:

“The initial partnership approach to the scheme has been really heartening.  Building on the success of the Brierley Hill Christmas Festival there is a real will to support our town.  What we need now is support from businesses, individuals, schools…anyone who wants to make a difference. We want them to become our ‘bloomers’ people willing to adopt one or more planters to make sure that they are properly watered and looked after.  It would also be terrific if we could identify bloomers who want to grow some plants to contribute to our next display this autumn.”

For anyone who would like to get involved then please email bloom@brierleyhill.org and further information can then be provided.

Brierley Hill in Bloom to take its colour theme from the town’s coat of arms

IMG_0273One of the hard decisions the ‘doers’ at Friday’s meeting (15th November) had to take is what colour scheme to adopt for the flowers to be planted for next May.

In the end it was decided to take the colours from the town’s coat of arms.

The 1959 Brierley Hill Handbook described the origin of the arms:

The Arms (which are assigned to the Council by letters patent dated 19th June, 1942) combine representations of the local industries and the Arms of King’s Swineford (Kingswinford).  The glass, iron and steel and fireclay industries are denoted by the two beacons.  The boars’ heads are the “King’s Swine” and the two circles in the centre across which run wavy lines represent the fords adjoining the ancient minor of “Suinesford” by which swine crossed from the manor to the waste lands beyond.  The rose represents the briar rose which used to abound around the hill from which the district derives its name (Brierley Hill).  The knot is, of course, the Stafford Knot.

The motto is “Sine lahore nihil floret” – without labour nothing flourishes.

Brierley Hill in Bloom – planters identified and participation starts to grow

BloomLogo1.pngPleasing news on Brierley Hill in Bloom – planters have now been identified for purchase, involvement is growing, and planting is underway.

At a meeting held at Insight House in Pearson Street on Friday of group of ‘doers’ talked about the next steps to brightening up Brierley Hill next May.

The first good news was that the council had got back to identify which planters to use.  26 double planters will be chosen.  Four liners will be purchased for each planter (see leaflet) which enables two to be farmed out for growing whilst two are on display.  Liners will be held in place in the containers with secure brackets.  The use of liners will also enable schools and other community organisations to take part by growing their own plants and then bringing them to the town and put them on display.

Although the cost of the planters exceeds the £5,000 budget kindly donated by Brierley Hill Traders Association and Community First, the Traders have agreed to make up any shortfall.

Birmingham Metropolitan College horticulture students are also involved.  As part of their community course they are already cultivating  plants which will be used to start the Bloom in May.

Lynn Glazzard (BMet College), Shane Birch-Bastock (Pentax Developments) and Julie Stepney (Brierley Hill market) planning the planting plots.
Lynn Glazzard (BMet College), Shane Birch-Bastock (Pentax Developments) and Julie Stepney (Brierley Hill market) planning the planting plots.

Encouraging comments have been made by the head of property at Birmingham Metropolitan College about planting the green area outside of the Stourbridge College Art and Design Centre in Venture Way.  Contact has been made with the health service who occupy the Brierley Hill Health and Social Care Centre to see how they can help, and an initial contact has been made with ASDA – who expressed a keenness to be involved.  So it’s all looking positive at the moment.

The strategy is to start small and grow year on year.  Subject to council agreement, it was thought that the best place to start would be at Five Ways and radiate along the High Street from there, with individual shops being asked to help.

So, with all that in hand it’s onwards and upwards!  Next meeting Friday, 10th January 2014 at Insight House, Pearson Street starting at 12.30.  You’re more than welcome to come along and get involved.

Twenty six large containers with four planters each are being ordered.
Twenty six large containers with four planters each are being ordered.