Archive for February, 2009

CRICKET GROUND PLANS REVEALED

Posted on February 22, 2009. Filed under: Housing News |

Warwickshire CCC have submitted an outline planning application to Birmingham City Council to develop Edgbaston Cricket Ground. This application will be considered by the Planning Committee and a decision made in due course…

If there is significant local interest or objection the size of the development will mean the application (If approved by the Council) will be “called in” and a full planning enquiry will be held and the Secretary of State will then make a final decision.

We are not against the development of the Cricket Ground and it’s facilities, Birmingham needs excellent sporting facilities and needs the investment into the City a major sporting venue will bring. However part of the proposal is to borrow £20 Million of taxpayers money from Birmingham City Council.

Birmingham Council have a massive borrowing rate themselves, we reported alongside the Birmingham Post last week that the Council are set to hit £3 Billion of borrowing.  If they have a spare £20 Million they can build more Council Homes!

The proposals will include the demolition of many large homes along the Pershore Road, and will see 250 Flats and Houses build  Will any of these be for Social Rent ? The density of that many homes is a serious concern, we support more homes but at what cost to the people who live there if the place is crammed full!

Local Residents do not want the Ground floodlit for night matches, no additional parking facilities are planned yet there will be (Its planned) a hotel, 4000 more spectators, and offices where will they all park? Warwickshire CCC and Birmingham City Council must listen to local people before approving this scheme.

We have to agree with and support the 3 Local Councillors James Hutchings, Deirdre Alden and Fergus Robinson, Conservative Edgbaston, who have raised these any other valid concerns.

Email your views or concerns to us so we can notify the planning department of local residents views. In the meantime we have contacted Warwickshire CCC with a view to occupying their void properties with an agreement to move when or if they are demolished. We are currently squatting the houses with 6 homeless people and expect this number to increase as we make more rooms available for sleeping.

Updates will appear as we know them.

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JNC take 4th Squat.

Posted on February 21, 2009. Filed under: Housing News |

We have now taken 318 Pershore Road our 4th Squat of the day. We will be opening a social centre and bedrooms for a number of homeless people we know are in need of accommodation.

We have had no response from Warwickshire Cricket Club who we believe own the houses. 

 The press have been down to look at our new homes we will update our diary of activities as soon as details are finalised…

Please pop down and show your support we are in need of any donations you may be able to make bedding food etc Join us for a cup of tea and a chat you will be made very welcome.

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NEW SOCIAL JUSTICE CENTRE AND CAMPAIGN OFFICE OPENS

Posted on February 20, 2009. Filed under: Housing News |

Justice not Crisis are continuing to hold the Firebird Social Centre whilst launching an appeal against the Eviction order of yesterday more details to follow …

318pershoreroad

We have also secured 3 derelict houses at 310 – 314 Pershore Road Edgbaston and have commenced setting up a new social centre and home for 6 homeless people. We gained entry via an open door and window today at 11am in the presence of the press. The owner has been notified and we have had our first visit from West Midlands Police. The Police initially had a concern of an alleged criminal damage but were satisfied there had been no forced entry and left shortly after.

These houses 3 large semi detached period houses lie on the Pershore Road just before the Priory Road (Out of City Side) and have been empty for many years. They are controversially scheduled to be demolished for an extended Car Park for the Edgbaston County Cricket Ground. This development supported by Birmingham City Council will see the demolition of several houses to expand Car Parks etc for the Cricket ground and has been opposed vigorously by local residents who have already supported our action.

It is totally wrong to demolish residential properties when we have as many homeless people and 30,000 on waiting lists in this City. We will support local residents in their battle and remain here while negotiations take place. We have further sites to look including Council sites as our campaign gathers momentum and support.

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FIREBIRD EVICTION CRISIS NOT JUSTICE!

Posted on February 19, 2009. Filed under: Housing News |

JUSTICE NOT CRISIS appeared in Court this morning. We hadn’t been served court papers with any time or date on them and weren’t aware that we were in court. When we attended court to ask when the hearing was to be heard we were told that it was in 45 minutes. Needless to say we weren’t prepared and a lot of the defendants weren’t present in court. The court itself couldn’t find which court we were in and the usher said that he had only been told 3 minutes before the hearing was due to start.

Despite the papers being served incorrectly the judge continued with the hearing and found in favour of the owner of the Firebird.

He then awarded costs against 3 named defendants to the tune of £3,928.22 and stated that the money must be paid within 14 days.

The only reason that they had the name and address of Lee Moore and Steve Austin was due to the fact that they had been asked to represent the campaigners in the first hearing and had given the information to the court.

Sadly it appears that if you are defending anyone you become liable for ALL the costs if you loose. What happened to the right of a fair trial and the right to be represented by a person of your choice?

JUSTICE NOT CRISIS are now preparing appeal papers to challenge the ruling of the District Judge, we are also considering action in the European Court of Human Rights as ,in our opinion, we were denied the right to a fair trial.

The next step is normally for the owner to instruct bailiffs to carry out the eviction, the Police or other agencies are not lawfully entitled to carry out the eviction. JNC will decide in the next few days wether to resist this eviction or to leave quietly. There are other issues that are being considered against the owner and his agents and a further update will appear on this website shortly.

For more information please email justice.not.crisis@googlemail.com

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BBC’S POLITICS SHOW RETURN VISIT.

Posted on February 16, 2009. Filed under: Housing News |

The BBC’S Politics show made a welcome return to update on our Campaign yesterday 15th February 2009, filming us at the Firebird Social Centre.

Click here to see the programme. The JNC article is towards the end of the programme. (in 2 parts. The BBC had a technical hitch on the first live link)

We are glad that the issue is being reported and Brummies know that we are working for a better future and a safer today for the people wondering were they will sleep tonight.  Birmingham City Council’s Housing Cabinet Member Cllr John Lines (Conservative Bartley Green) was invited to appear and not surprisingly declined. Instead a statement was made to the BBC  stating that the Council had built 22 homes last year and were talking about building 500 this year.  In case  this doesn’t happen they got their excuse in early “The Credit Crunch will see more people homeless and make housebuilding uncertain”.

There are no firm commitments from the Council to build 500 homes in Birmingham, we feel this is a promise that needs to be kept as there are still 30,000 people on the waiting list and if they continue building at the current rate it will be nearly 1364 years before they are housed.The people of Birmingham need shelter, we have so many derelict buildings in Birmingham and land at our disposal.

500 new Council Homes is welcomed by all of us but is not yet confirmed and concerns that it is not enough and not fast enough.

John, Build Council homes by all means, we have been asking  you to do that since October 2008, however  you don’t have the money or resources to build on all the land you have available to you at the same time. Birmingham City Council’s borrowing is set to hit £3Billion next year, land values have fallen, how are you going to pay that back John ??  Council Tax Rises ?? Rent Rises ??  Why are we not cutting back on your pay instead off rising the rent of average tenant  living on £60 .50 a week.

Sell some of the City’s land to Social Landlord’s who can build homes at the same time (If you had sold some earlier there would be homes on the way and your borrowing would be lower).

Your Housing Report to Council on 3rd February 2009 identified 4 homeless people on the streets of Birmingham COME ON JOHN EVEN YOU CAN’T BELIEVE THAT !!

There are 6 rough sleepers at the Firebird (2 new ones’ joined us from the streets on Thursday last week)  we spoke to another 30 on the streets and identified at least 30 “Cardboard beds” in locations within a 2 minute walk of the Council House. Look at you figures again and tell the people of Birmingham the truth, walk round the City Centre and count the  homeless or join us when we go out to assist them!

Our campaign will not go away or falter until the issues of 30,000 on waiting lists and homeless on the streets are addressed by The Council and Central Government. Crossing your fingers won’t work John be bold and take action!

The people of Birmingham Deserve no less.

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HOMELESS UPDATE

Posted on February 13, 2009. Filed under: Housing News |

Justice not Crisis were present at the Full Council meeting last week when Cllr John Lines presented his housing report to the City Council.  He has finally admitted in his report that there are 30,000 people on housing waiting lists Told you John!  He then proudly boasted that in response, last year Birmingham City Council built 22 Council Homes! (That figure is correct 22 – amazing ,John Lines thinks that is great news!! ) It a start but hardly great  news.

It gets better tho the report went on to state there are homeless people sleeping rough in Birmingham, Cllr Lines has found them at last the official figure ??  4 yes 4!! We don’t know what planet John is on but when we find out we will let you know. 

We thought we would test the figure, considering 3 rough sleepers were in the Public Gallery with us when the figure of 4 was revealed. 

Last night (12th Feb 2009) members of JNC walked parts of the City Centre to look for ourselves. We found many rough sleepers including Steve a 60 yr old man who lost his home when his friend passed away in  a Council Flat recently, he lived with his friend and was evicted by the council.He has had no benefits for 3 weeks and has slept rough because the Salvation Army hostel wont take 60 year olds!  more stories will follow ….

Five additional rough sleepers( Making 8 ) have now moved from the dale end car park and are living at the Firebird Social Centre where they can get a hot meal and a drink. John Lines you should be ashamed of yourself!

 We will continue to document evidence of just how many homeless people are sleeping rough in our City. We have already established it is considerably more than 4!!

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