Weekly News Friday 04 May 2012

kewbirmingham.co.uk Weekly News

A round-up of miscellany from the past week

Submitted by Geoff Caine

Featured this week:

• Local Election Results

• New Concierge Starts Today

• Morrisons to Open Another City Store

• New Street Station – Birmingham Gateway Progress

• The Tallest Tower – Building the Shard

• Events of the Weekend


• Local Election Results

The turnout overall in Birmingham was 28.35%.

Birmingham Says NO to an Elected Mayor
The results are out, and 57.8% voted No and hence 42.2% voted Yes.
Votes No=120,611 Yes=88,085 Unmarked=4,757 Both boxes marked= 627.
So, Birmingham will continue to be governed by a political Leader and his Cabinet (See below).

My opinion: I think this is a sad day for Birmingham. Liverpool and Bristol will flourish where we will struggle for funds and Government support. We need a Boris!

Council Seat Results
The results are:

Labour 77 (+20)
Conservative 28 (-11)
Lib Dem 15 (-9)

So Labour gained overall control of Birmingham City Council from Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition. Share of the vote: (51% Labour, 24% Conservative, 14% Liberal Democrat)
Kath Hartley, in this poll the only Ladywood Labour Councillor seeking re-election, was successful.
The others continuing as Ladywood Councillors are Sir Albert Bore (Leader of the Labour Group of Birmingham City Council) and Carl Rice.

We have a new Leader of the Council – Sir Albert Bore returns as leader!
One of our three elected Ladywood Councillors, Sir Albert has returned as Leader of Birmingham City Council, a position he held from 1999 to 2004.
He has had a distinguished career to date in public life and was once a lecturer in Nuclear Physics at Aston University.
See Wikipedia for more of his history.

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• New Concierge Starts Today

Kenneth Duru starts his role as a KEW Concierge today.

Kenneth DuruHe will normally be based in Phase 2 Reception but as with Kate will cover alternate Sundays in Phase 1 Reception.

Kenneth joined Mainstay in January 2011 and was promoted to the position of concierge at the Orion Building in Birmingham in April 2011.
He has been undergoing training in KEW Operations recently and starts as a full time Concierge today 4 May.


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• Morrisons to Open Another City Store

Morrisons hell bent on catching up with new stores!

Morrisons New Street

The old Habitat shop at the top end of New Street is being converted into a Morrisons Local Store. This should do well being just 10 yards from the major footfall traffic between the Brindley Place offices and New Street station.
Morrisons has jumped on the bandwagon and has announced plans to roll-out its M Local stores to compete with Tesco’s Metro (2000 stores), Sainsbury’s Local (435) and Little Waitrose (29) are doing so well with. Morrisons is planning to add 20 such stores nationwide in 2012 2012 – it currently has just 3.
The speed at which the premises are being fitted out is awesome just like, on a different scale completely of course, the speed at which the Five Ways store is growing. There must be a dynamic management – a policy of a catch-up I reckon.

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• New Street Station – Birmingham Gateway Progress

Car Park Closing – Construction Work now Visible!

First some car park news.

The NCP car park above The Pallasades shopping centre will close at 7pm on Friday 18 May with the new car park set to open in 2014.
Network Rail says “We apologise for any inconvenience the closure will cause but the existing car park has seen better days so demolishing it and starting again is the only viable alternative to allow us to deliver an improved, modern facility for the city.”

Now we can see some progress.

Framework for external cladding

The major part of the demolition of the interior has been completed, having been carried out largely unseen by the public.

So, work is now starting on the outside. The framework for the external cladding at the city centre end of the station, in Navigation Street, is being bolted onto the existing structure.

A new ancillary building has been unveiled.

Drivers' MessThis is literally what has happened, as hithereto it was shrouded in covers whilst being constructed. I thought this was to be a new signal box, but no! I am reliably informed by a workman on site that the new building shown here is a “mess for drivers and guards”. A mess it isn’t because I think it’s a very smart building. It’s also a bit of a busman’s holiday resort because the large windows overlook the tracks running to the West and North! and very little else. No doubt the Ds and Cs wanted this?

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• The Tallest Tower – Building the Shard

This you must watch!

The Shard at duskAs a follow-up to my article in the Weekly News 20 Apr 12, I would encourage you to watch a program by Channel 4 on the building of the Shard. Shown on Channel 4 on 2 May, those who missed it can watch it on 4oD player.

It is a must, believe me! There’s only 27 days left for you watch before the program is removed from 4oD player.
The speed at which the construction has taken place is incredible and I believe due to the mega-millionaire property entrepreneur, Irvine Sellar, who initiated the whole thing and thinks the day after tomorrow is procrastination and just not good enough!
By the way entry to the Observation Gallery will start in February next year. There’ll be a queue for tickets. So you’d better register pretty quickly for notification of when these will be issued.

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• Events of the Weekend

Saturday 5 May 12:00 to 18:00 Blakesley Hall – Vintage & Craft Fayre
Sunday 6 May 12:00 to 16:00 Sarehole Mill – Meet the Miller – Free entry
All BMAG Houses have free entry this Sunday:
Aston Hall, Blakesley Hall, Sarehole Mill and Soho House

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Submitted by Geoff Caine

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