Closure of the Solihull Road:

It was unfortunate that the Parish Council only received formal notification of the intended closure of Solihull Road on the afternoon of 14th June 2021, having been given prior verbal notice on the evening of 10th June, as this left little time to establish the reasons for such a long closure and to notify residents in reasonable time. The approval for the M42 Junction 6 Improvement Scheme was by way of a Development Consent Order (DCO) which is the means of obtaining permission for developments categorised as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects and which includes energy, transport, water and waste projects. A DCO bypasses the normal planning process and whilst some local consultation did take place the effect of the Order is to give extensive powers to Highways England and its contactor, Skanska UK, to operate as they see fit within the boundaries designated in the DCO. Solihull Road is within the designated boundary as both the new Junction 5a and new road bridge are included in the work to take place.

Undertakings have been given that the diversion route will be regularly monitored to identify and rectify any issues and there is an expectation that construction work can be expedited and the road re-opened earlier than planned.

Anyone experiencing problems with the road closure or the diversion route is asked to contact Parish Clerk Julie Barnes. Up to date information on this matter will be provided on our website and our Facebook page.

Remembrance Sunday – 14th November 2021:

An early reminder that this year’s Remembrance Day service and procession will be on Sunday 14th November (subject to any Covid restrictions that may still be in place at that time). As with previous events the High Street will be closed to through traffic between 10.30am and 12.00 noon to allow the procession from the church to the War Memorial to proceed safely.

Marshalls will be deployed to control traffic. If any residents would like to volunteer to be a marshall on the day then please contact the Parish Clerk

Community Speed Watch:

Speed watch sessions continue to take place as often as police resources allow. The target is to hold two sessions a month. At the session held on Meriden Road on 7th July a total of 18 motorists were “clocked” at speeds of over 35mph in a three-quarter hour period.

Neighbourhood Watch:

The voluntary position of Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator remains vacant and consequently this valuable contribution to community security and safety is not able to operate effectively at present. Anyone willing to help out is asked to contact Parish Clerk Julie Barnes.

Community Street Watch:

The Street Watch Co-ordinator has recently stood down and whilst incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour has reduced of late, Street Watch is, unfortunately, not operating at present. Again anyone willing to help is asked to contact Julie Barnes.

Motorway Service Area at Catherine de Barnes:

Developers for both Motorway Service Areas have submitted appeals against the decision of Solihull MBC to refuse both applications. Extra MSA will appeal the proposed area off Solihull Road at Catherine-de-Barnes and Applegreen on land off the M42 at Junction 4. The appeals will be heard by way of a Public Inquiry scheduled to begin on 12th October and lasting for up to 16 days. A decision as to whether the inquiry will be held virtually or in person has yet to be made. The Parish Council, together with the Hampton Society and Catherine-de-Barnes Residents Association, has always strongly opposed the Solihull Road application and will continue to support Solihull MBC during the appeal process.

Community Policing:

PCSO Aaron Murdoch has, to all intents and purposes, been our “local bobby” for the past 5 years. Aaron has announced that he will be leaving the local team at the end of this month to move to Solihull CID. We wish him well. Aaron’s place will be taken by PCSO Emma Harkin who has been working alongside Aaron for the past few months. Emma explained that her “patch” is Hampton, Catherine-de-Barnes, Bickenhill, Berkswell and Balsall Common. She will also take over from Aaron as Farm Watch Officer. The strength of the policing team for our area should be 4 x PCSO`s but currently Emma is the only one and it understood that recruitment is in progress.

Covid-19 restrictions have continued to affect the monthly Police Surgery usually held at Sandwiches@No.6 and, currently, there is no date for it to restart.

Footpath Officer:

The Parish Council is pleased to announce that a new Councillor, Roger Waring, has undertaken responsibility for monitoring the status of Footpaths and Rights of Way within the Parish. Roger is a keen rambler and regularly walks all of the footpaths around Hampton and Catherine-de-Barnes.

If you have any concerns or specific problems with local paths or Rights of Way, then Roger will be pleased to assist. Simply contact our Clerk, Julie, by email (clerk@hamptoninarden.org.uk) with the details so that Roger can investigate the issue in more detail on your behalf.