What a week for news

One way or another it’s been a very bad weeks for news. We have had the major problems with the nerve agent given to the Russian double agent Sergei  Skripal and his daughter Yulia, plus Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey who got contaminated when he went to assist them.

However, Theresa May got a better press this week than Jeremy Corbyn on her handling of the crisis by expelling 23 Diplomats, she also indicating that Russia was probably involved. This  has now resulted in Russia today, (Saturday 17th March)  also expelling 23 of our Diplomats. This could result in a possible return of the “Cold War” between Russia and the west. There is already talk of getting FIFA to take this year’s World Cup away from the Russian Federation.

We have also seen this week, three deaths of some very popular and famous people. First there was Jim Bowen a popular comedian who did “Bullseye” on Sunday afternoon on ITV. His famous saying was “smashing! lovely! now let us see what you could have won.” Jim Bowen had suffered some bad health of late after suffering several strokes.

It was also very sad to hear this week of the death of the  brilliant  Professor Stephen Hawkins. He had a outstanding brain even though he suffered from Motor Neuron Disease. He was an expert on “Black Holes” in our universe. He lectured on it and wrote a bestselling book about it that sold worldwide. I must be honest, it’s all Chinese to me. The most amazing thing about this brilliant man was, they told him after he was diagnosed MND, he would die within two years, but he went on to live into his 70’s.

I would like to round off this week of sad news, by saying that we have just lost a brilliant entertainer and comedian, Ken Dodd. He was brilliant in a very different way, he would put on shows that lasted over four hours. He never told dirty jokes, they may have had innuendos in them that a lot of modern comedians would call old hat, but they never offended anyone. I was watching the other night a tribute to him on BBC TV. He was being interviewed by Michael Parkinson, however, after Parky had asked Ken Dodd a question, by the time Doddy had finished replying, Parky was in such fits of laughter, he threw his script away. Very very funny.                                                                                                                         I will leave you with just a few jokes he told, which might put a smile on your face.





Lol Thurstan. Editor & Publisher of B26

Posted in B26 Community | Leave a comment

West Midlands Police news round up for the 17th March 2018

Three firearms seized in 24 hours as WMP promises no let-up on gangs

Three illegal firearms − including a loaded handgun − have been recovered by West Midlands Police in the last 24 hours as the force promises no let-up in its pursuit of people linked to gangs.

Officers from the Birmingham Organised Crime & Gangs Team executed a dawn raid today at a house in Bellevue, Edgbaston, where a pistol and bullet-loaded magazine was found.

A 35-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of storing the firearm and is currently in police custody for questioning.

It follows another, unrelated warrant by the same police unit at an address in Hillmeads Road, Kings Norton, yesterday afternoon where a sawn-off shotgun and shotgun cartridges were uncovered during a search.

A 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm and ammunition − and is also being quizzed over a burglary at a farm near Wellesbourne in Warwickshire on 14 January where a shotgun was stolen.

West Midlands Police Chief Inspector Nick Dale, from the Organised Crime & Gangs Team, said that both firearm seizures were on the back of intelligence provided by concerned members of the local community.

He said: “These are two excellent results… two lethal weapons, ones undoubtedly intended to be used in serious criminality, have been taken off the streets.

“The members of the public who provided the information can rightly feel very proud: what they’ve done has potentially saved lives.

“Illegal firearms are very difficult to come by in the West Midlands − but if anyone has any suspicions someone in their community is in possession of a gun, or is perhaps storing one for someone else, then please get in touch so we can take action.

“Information can be passed in confidence, we don’t need names, we just want information so we can act and keep communities safe.”

A firearm was also seized by West Midlands Police after officers were called to Colebrook Road, Shirley, at 1.30am today by a taxi driver who reported being threatened by a passenger who ran off without paying.

It’s understood the driver grabbed the firearm − a sawn-off single-barrelled rifle − and the suspect fled to a nearby address.

Armed police contained a property and quickly arrested a 28-year-old man on suspicion of possessing an illegal firearm and making off without paying. He remains in police custody.

Anyone with information on crime or firearms in their community is urged to call West Midlands Police in confidence on 101 or alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


Chief Constable speaks on Solihull and Sutton Coldfield police station closures

Chief Constable Dave Thompson has addressed recent media coverage following the decision to close Solihull and Sutton Coldfield police stations:

“I take my responsibilities for keeping policing impartial from politics very seriously.

“I am conscious that the recent engagement over police estate has generated considerable political attention. It is important to state that the proposals on the shape of West Midlands Police estate have been made by myself to the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). They are based upon the operational and financial context of West Midlands Police and seek to provide a suitable and sustainable set of buildings for the public and our staff. There are absolutely no political factors that have influenced these proposals. The proposals set out by the PCC are exactly those recommended by me.

“No police building currently open to the public will close without first being replaced by a more efficient one nearby. 

“I look forward to listening to the views of the public on the proposals.”



The website that informs the community, it’s got to be B26


Posted in B26 Community | Leave a comment

‘Senseless’ street racers narrowly avoid jail for breaching Car Cruising ban

Two “senseless” street racers who tore along a Birmingham road at more than twice the speed limit in torrential rain have narrowly avoided jail after admitting breaching the city-wide Car Cruising Injunction.

Skoda Fabia driver Zulfikar Ahmed-Baig and Christopher Hudson, who was behind the wheel of a VW Golf, were spotted by West Midlands Police traffic cops jostling for position and racing on the A47 Heartlands Parkway on Sunday night (11 March).

At one point the pair reached speeds of almost 90mph in the 40-zone despite standing water across much of the carriageway and limited visibility from spray thrown up by vehicles.

Ahmed-Baig (25), from Malthouse Gardens in Lozells, and 26-year-old Hudson, from Station Road, Marston Green, were both pulled over and charged with breaching the injunction which bans racing, unauthorised vehicle rallies and anti-social motoring.

They both spent a night in police custody and appeared at Birmingham County Court yesterday where they were handed six-month suspended jail sentences.

The High Court order spans all of Birmingham and covers wider anti-social motoring like riding in convoy, performing stunts, or revving engines, blaring horns and playing loud music at vehicle gatherings.

There are similar injunctions in place across Solihull and the whole of the Black Country.

Birmingham Police Sergeant Martin Williams said anyone who flouts the injunction by racing on the city’s streets runs the risk of being jailed.

He said: “We run regular operations into the night to enforce the Car Cruising Injunction and look out for anyone breaching the conditions.  

“Street racing is extremely dangerous with offenders putting their own lives in danger plus those of other road users.

“The actions of Ahmed-Baig and Hudson were totally senseless: they were driving at high speed, far in excess of the limit, despite the awful driving conditions and standing water.

“Both were aware of the injunction, they knew what they were doing was illegal, and both now have criminal records as a result.”

Another man − 25-year-old Darren Bourne from Shipley Grove, Selly Oak − was also arrested on Sunday night on suspicion of breaching the injunction.

It’s alleged he drove a Ford Fiesta at 83mph in a 40-zone along the A47 Fort Parkway and is set to appear before the county judge in Birmingham later this month.

Superintendent Dean Hatton, Head of Force Traffic, added: “Signs have been put up at the roadside on hotspot routes, including the A47 Fort Parkway, A38, A45 and city centre ‘Middleways’, warning drivers about the Injunction. There are no excuses.

“We’ve taken a really firm stance on street racers in recent years and taken scores of offenders to court… there will be no let-up in our efforts to take dangerous road users off the streets.”



B26 the website that keeps the community updated.

Posted in B26 Community | Leave a comment

STAG group update for 12th March 2018

S.T.A.G./Sheldon Traffic Action Group



In 2014 when Speed Watch first started we were using a small hand-held device supplied by the Police and PCSO Steve McGrath.


We in STAG were concerned about the accuracy of the data we collected as it all had to be written down by the Speed Watch team. So in 2016 we raised funds from Birmingham Safety Partnership and Birmingham Airport to buy a Sentinel II Laser Speed Camera to replace this unit. (See image below)

(click on above images to see more detail)

Since we started using this unit in March 2016, we have to date (February 2018) sent details of some 650 vehicles to the Sheldon Police for Warning letters to be sent, and in some instance for these speeders to be visited by police and the appropriate actions taken. (See some images above)

Our actions are now being further supported by the Sheldon Police who are now undertaking Pro-Laser Speed Camera events in and around Sheldon.

These are expected to continue throughout 2018 and any vehicle stopped can expect, where applicable, to be subject to court action, fines and other penalties. We really are stepping up the pressure on speeding motorists through Sheldon.

We need your help. Pass this news to all your neighbours and friends to make sure that we make SHELDON a safe place for all residents.

Do you have real concerns about speeding in SHELDON?

Tell your MP – Jess Phillips (jess.phillips.mp@parliament.uk) or write to her Constituency Office:

Jess Phillips MP

64 Yardley Road,

Acocks Green,

B27 6LG



B26 supporting the work that these volunteers do for the Sheldon community.

Posted in B26 Community | Leave a comment

Lord Mayor to commence Commonwealth Day celebrations

This year’s Commonwealth Day celebrations in Birmingham will have particular significance in light of the city being selected as the host city for the XXII Commonwealth Games in 2022.

Commonwealth Day, which is on Monday 12 March, is an opportunity to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of Commonwealth organisations, which aim to improve people’s lives.

The celebrations will begin at 9.30am with the Commonwealth Flag being raised in Victoria Square by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Anne Underwood. As first citizen, she will also be receiving the Commonwealth Games Federation flag on behalf of Birmingham at the handover ceremony at the conclusion of this year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast on 15 April.

Following Monday’s Commonwealth Day flag-raising ceremony, the Lord Mayor will then welcome Birmingham Commonwealth Association chairman Keith Stokes-Smith ahead of a special citizenship ceremony at Birmingham Register Office, in Holliday Street, at 11am.

During the ceremony the Lord Mayor will present citizenship certificates to 18 of the city’s newest British citizens from seven different Commonwealth nations, who will also receive certificates from the Birmingham Commonwealth Association.

Among those preparing to receive British citizenship are the McAtears, a young family from Australia – where the Gold Coast 2018 games will be hosted next month – plus people from Bangladesh, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.

The Lord Mayor said: “It will give me great pleasure to officially raise the Commonwealth Flag and meet some of Birmingham’s newest British citizens who have come from a number of different Commonwealth countries to live here.

“As the first citizen of Birmingham, a truly international city with more than 187 different nationalities represented, I am very much looking forward to marking this important occasion.”

On the same day, the Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Shafique Shah, will attend a service celebrating Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey, while later in the evening, the Lord Mayor will attend a dinner organised by the Birmingham Commonwealth Association at University College Birmingham, where the city’s relationship with its Commonwealth partners will be celebrated.

Also in attendance will be Cllr Peter Griffiths, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homes, who represented Wales in the 1970 Commonwealth Games, and Dr Beverly Lindsay OBE OD, Vice Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands.

Keith Stokes-Smith, chairman of Birmingham Commonwealth Association, said: “Commonwealth Day is always the second Monday in March and is celebrated around all the 53 Commonwealth nations in various ways. It has become tradition for Birmingham Commonwealth Association to conclude the day with a celebratory dinner.

“This year, we are pleased to welcome the Lord Mayor of Bham, Councillor Anne Underwood; Cllr Peter Griffiths, who will tell us more about the city’s plans for the 2022 Commonwealth Games; Paul Faulkner CBE, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, and and Dr Beverly Lindsay OBE, Vice Lord Lieutenant. It’s a sell-out event and one which we know will become more popular as 2022 approaches and the people of Birmingham learn more about the Commonwealth and, from a trade point of view, its great potential.”

B26 is at the forefront at bringing our local community all the latest information.

Posted in B26 Community | Leave a comment

West Midlands Police news update

Almost 30 suspects now charged over illegal ’Ride Out’

West Midlands Police has charged 10 more men over a lawless ‘Ride Out’ event that saw off-road bikers run amok on the region’s roads.

The group − aged between 20- and 33-years-old − have all been charged with causing public nuisance in June 2016 and will appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court today (8 March).

It brings the total number charged over the gathering to 29 as the force takes a tough stance against bikers accused of taking over public roads, riding recklessly, pulling stunts and intimidating other road users.

The men charged are:
• Brothers Geordie (27) and Keanu West (21) from Frankley Beeches Road, Northfield
• Jermaine Saa, a 27-year-old from Marksbury Close, Wolverhampton
• Robert Roye, a 25-year-old from Livingstone Road, Handsworth
• Jordan Harris, a 20-year-old Rilstone Road, Quinton
• Ethan Nerwall, a 20-year-old from Beauchamp Ave, Handsworth
• Ryan Pointon, a 26-year-old from Oak Road, Oldbury
• Ryan Wilson, a 24-year-old from Uttoxeter
• Matthew Sidwell, a 29-year-old formerly of Redfern Close Chelmsley
• … and 33-year-old John Murphy from Beechdene Grove in Erdington
It’s alleged the men were among a large group of lout bikers who took part in an illegal bike rally through Solihull and across Birmingham during a five-hour rampage on 26 June 2016.

They have all been charged with causing public nuisance − an offence which can carry a significant prison sentence.

A total of 53 people, including those charged, have been arrested by West Midlands Police on suspicion of being involved in illegal Ride Out events. The rest remain on police bail awaiting a charging decision from the CPS.

Anyone with information on illegal, anti-social off-road biking − or who has photos or video of offenders in the street or in public spaces − is asked to call West Midlands Police on 101 so officers can take action.



Supporting West Midlands Police in trying to make our streets safe for the public.

Posted in B26 Community | Leave a comment

St Giles Church information for your diary

B26 will be publishing further information on Easter services at the church and other events shortly. 



B26 keeping the community updated with information that may be of interest to you.

Posted in B26 Community | Leave a comment