St Mary’s Hospice Christmas Poster

Spread festive cheer in your workplace 


Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice’s Christmas Poster is back and it’s the perfect way for you to spread festive cheer this Christmas! 

Simply pop the poster up in your office, in your classroom, in your community hub or wherever you like and in return for a small donation, you can share a Christmas message with colleagues and friends.

Last year, your generous Christmas Poster donations raised over £5,000, helping to make beds available for people needing expert care at the Hospice over the festive season.

Click here to order your poster today. It’s a great way to get your workplace and community into the festive spirit, whilst supporting local families who are living with life-limiting illness this Christmas.


Jenny Chin


Direct Dial 0121 752 8770

Switchboard 0121 752 8779

Mobile 07900 730 403

176 Raddlebarn Road, Selly Park, Birmingham B29 7DA @brumshospice



B26 supporting St Mary’s Hospice by publishing their appeal

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Garretts Green Ward Forum meeting

At the last local elections there were some changes made to the ward boundaries. the Sheldon Ward now finishes at Brays Rd and the Radleys. That NW side of those roads has now moved into the Garretts Green Ward. I have been asked by Beverly Edmead, Community Governance Manager if B26 would put their ward meeting poster on our website. Please see the poster below.

Support your local Ward Forum meetings




B26 updating the local community

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West Midlands Police news update for 15th November

On Tuesday 13th November Project Servator moved into Birmingham city centre just in time for Christmas.

(click on the link above to see how it operated at Birmingham Airport)

The rollout comes after the success of the project at Birmingham Airport following its launch earlier this year.

The expansion into the city centre will see officers adopting new specialist tactics aimed at tackling a range of criminal activity, including terrorism. The first roll-out will be in and around the Bullring.

The tactics – named Project Servator – have also been adopted in specific locations across the country, including key transport hubs and more widely across the UK, including in London, Essex and North Yorkshire. They are designed to deter, detect and disrupt a range of crime, whilst reassuring members of the public.

The highly visible deployments can take place at any time and at key locations in the city centre and will be used at events over the Christmas period – eventually Project Servator will be rolled out across the rest of the city.

Uniformed and plain clothed police officers are trained to identify the tell-tale signs that someone is intent on committing crime and are supported by specialist police resources such as search dogs and armed officers. CCTV, vehicle checkpoints and covert officers will also be used to keep people safe and secure.

Birmingham Police Superintendent Ian Green said: “The safety of everyone visiting and working in the city centre is our priority and these tactics will continue to help us to further combat crime.

“One of the key elements of Project Servator is unpredictability, so don’t be surprised if you see a visible police presence pop up at any time.

“Our officers are here to keep people safe and I need people to speak to us if they have any concerns. You can play an important role by being vigilant and reporting anything that doesn’t feel right, either to an officer or by calling 101. In an emergency of course people need to dial 999.

“Officers will also be talking to the public, including businesses, wherever they go to raise awareness of Project Servator and encourage people to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious.”

Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This is about safety and reassurance. Every year we welcome millions of visitors to Birmingham and we want everyone who lives, works or visits the city to feel safe.

“Working with partners, including West Midlands Police and the BIDs, our top priority is to ensure that people are reassured and continue to enjoy all that the city centre has to offer all year round.”

West Midlands Police is also encouraging everyone to follow national ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) guidance. More information on what to look out for and how to contact police can be found at


New 20mph area rollout on city’s residential streets aims to save lives

Motorists in Birmingham are being warned to abide by new 20mph areas introduced in south Birmingham this week − the latest phase of a lower speed limit roll-out across the city designed to cut casualties in residential areas.

The Birmingham City Council scheme sees 325 roads predominantly in Bournbrook and Selly Park − plus parts of Edgbaston, Harborne, Bournville, Cotteridge and Stirchley − covered by the new speed restriction from 12 November.

It’s the fourth and final stage of a pilot that has seen limits cut by a third in residential streets across the city centre, Bordesley, Small Heath, Sparkbrook, Moseley, Kings Heath and Balsall Heath.

And it means that more than 1,500 streets in built-up areas of Birmingham are now covered by a 20 miles per hour speed limit.

A full evaluation will be carried out after three years but early analysis of roads in the first pilot stage has shown a more rapid decrease in the number of people killed or seriously hurt in collisions than in roads with existing 30 limits.

Officers from West Midlands Police’s Road Harm Reduction Unit joined council transport officers and the fire service on Tuesday (13 Nov) in Cartland Road, Raddlebarn Road, Edgbaston Park Road and St James Road − streets flagged by residents as a speeding concern − to raise awareness of the 20mph expansion.

PC Mark Hodson from the unit said: “The 20mph scheme is all about reducing the number of pedestrians, children and cyclists being injured in collisions on residential streets.

“New signage has been put up along these roads to make drivers aware of the change so there can be no excuses for speeding.

“Studies from across the UK and Europe have shown that 20mph zones significantly decrease the risk of being killed or seriously hurt in a collision at 20mph compared to 30mph. Our work is always about reducing the number of collisions and saving lives.

“Our awareness and enforcement day was very well received by local residents with many coming approaching us to say thanks for enforcing the 20mph limits.”

More than 50 drivers were pulled over and spoken to during Tuesday’s awareness day with 48 offered a roadside educational input on why the lower limits were being introduced.

They were also shown a short video, made by Birmingham school children, in which pupils ask drivers to think about the potentially fatal consequences speeding.

However, eight drivers were prosecuted for excessive speed, including two caught driving at 43mph. One of those drivers was caught overtaking a motorist who was abiding by the limit − and found to have three children inside none of whom were wearing seatbelts.

And a black cab driver was prosecuted for speeding and for his taxi being in a dangerous condition after officers found its speedometer not working.

Cllr Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, said: “The introduction of 20mph is about making our roads safer for all who use them, young and old, and regardless of whether they are pedestrians, cyclists or motorists.

“As far as I am concerned, safety is paramount and we already know that the consequences of being hit by a car driving at 30mph are significantly worse than they would be if the car was driving at 20mph.

“These are residential roads where families live, children play and people are walking to school and work, so I hope that all motorists using these roads will show proper consideration and keep within the limit because if they choose to speed then the consequences could be far, far worse than a fine and penalty points.”

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is a strong advocate for 20mph zones in residential areas.

They point to a recent study that suggests pedestrians struck by a car travelling at 20mph has just a 1.5 per cent chance of suffering fatal injuries − but that jumps to 8.5 per cent in 30mph collisions.

For more information on the 20mph rollout visit



B26 working with and supporting West Midlands Police.


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Sheldon Neighbourhood Team in action in Sheldon, (November 2018)


Sheldon PCSO’s are completing a evening pedal cycle patrol within the ward. A productive patrol is currently taking place with, suspected fly tipping disrupted, suspect drugs activity Intel gathered, a VRM plate recovered, & suspicious vehicles noted.




Sheldon NHT with the help of OSU_WMP & WMPDogs executed a double search warrant within the ward in the early hours of the morning. A quantity of class A & B drugs were seized. x3 persons detained in custody. WMNOW BCC Nodrugs Drugsnozone WMP


PCSO’s have conducted WMNOW sign ups at the retail area within Sheldon Coventry Rd. Officers communicated the police messaging service to residents along with advice on anti car theft devices Halfords_uk Coventry Rd. WMnow WMP CommunityPolicing



During  ASB patrolS PCSO’S  discovered a suspicious looking garage. Within the garage was a chop shop with a stolen vehicle and stolen VRM plates. Vehicle and materials have been recovered off for forensics. Community patrols result in crime detections.





Stolen vehicle recovered from Sheldon, stolen from a car key burglary November 9th offforforensics




B26 supporting Sheldon Neighbourhood Team under difficult circumstances 


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B26 interviews the new Sheldon Town Manager

Of the many articles I write for B26, I was please to pen an article in September saying that Sheldon was to have a new Sheldon Town Manager, this was announced at the Sheldon Ward meeting. Mr John Coyle started in his new post on the 22nd October 2018, he has a two year contract.


I was very keen to get to know a bit more about Mr Coyle. So with this in mind I arranged a meeting with him for Monday of this week. I was aided and abetted by Mike Smith of Hatchford Brook WatersideCare Group. Many of you will know Mike, he and his team do great work in Sheldon.


After the introductions to John Coyle at his office at the library in Acocks Green, it was down to business. I started the meeting off by letting Mike Smith explain to John some of the work that he and his team do in the Sheldon area. He explained that the group, who meet up every Tuesday morning to look after Hatchford Brook. This brook runs through Sheldon Country Park, they take responsibility from where the brook crosses the A45 by the Arden Oak pub up to the point where it  goes under the runway at Birmingham Airport. The main work is to keep the brook clear rubbish and tree branches that block the stream. They also did some excellent work with Mapledene School over a flooding problem with some funding from Birmingham Airport.

Mike also explained to John that they also try to keep the “Gateway to Birmingham” clear of rubbish and work barriers that get left after jobs are done. This is he explained, the first view that visitors have when they leave Birmingham Airport and travel into the city centre. It is also very important that traders keep their shop fronts tidy, he went on to say.

Moving on with the meeting, I was interested to know a bit more about John and how he sees his new position as Sheldon Town Manager.

John has a had a very interesting life. He was born in London but has worked in Plymouth, Scotland, South Oxfordshire and Birmingham. He started his early life by spending six years in the Royal Marines, then starting at the bottom of the ladder at Blue Circle Cement in Plymouth, where he worked for 20-years. As his career progressed  he moved up the ladder in the trade union as a representative and then a Senior Negotiator for the members. The company realised that he had certain skills in negotiating, and had seen both side of the fence, so he was appointed National Training Manager. In this position he realised that the money that the company was shelling out sending people on courses would be better spent and more productive by him training the mangers to get the employees to work smarter and be more efficient.

As John’s career in the cement business changed as happens with many industries, he had early retirement before deciding a completely different role as a Town Warden for Acocks Green, where I happened to hear some very good reports on John from people I know well. John said he enjoyed 95 percent of the job where he got to know the Acocks Green people, the other 5 percent he was chasing idiots around all the time, he then decided it was time for a much younger man. He then decided to put his application in for Sheldon Town Manager and we know the result of that. (the area highlighted is the area John will manage, click on map to see more detail)

Moving to his new role. I wanted know how he will approach the job. First of all he said there was funding for two years for him to work with. The one thing he said is that things won’t change overnight, we are all living in difficult times with 14 shops closing everyday across the UK. However, the one thing he wanted to do as it was coming up to Christmas was to have some Christmas lights on the Coventry Road, which he has funding for.                                                                                                                                        It is hoped that the lights will be switched on commencing from the 3rd December, however, he didn’t want to commit to that date in case there are some technical difficulties. John is already in process of producing a newsletter that will let the traders know what is happening on the Coventry Road.                                                                   There is also some 106 money (planning money Morrisons) to do some work to the paving area at Wells Green Shopping Centre. John intends to network with all of the traders to find out what their problems and how he perhaps can help. I wanted to know what was the area he was responsible for and did it include the Radleys Shopping Centre, his answer to that, no, this was not in his remit.

The meeting with John Coyle lasted well over an hour and we covered many areas to do with John’s new role, too many to include here. However, both Mike and I feel that John can be make a difference to Sheldon, however, he will need the cooperation of our local Councillors, the traders, officers of Birmingham City Council and perhaps a little bit of luck.

(click on the photos to see a lager image)




Lol Thurstan. Editor & publisher of B26



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B26 remembering the dead and the injured through our many conflicts

It is exactly 100-years today at just after 5.00am on the 11th November 1918 in a humble railway carriage, representatives from France and Germany signed the Armistice that ended the 1914-1918 war. At 11.00am on the 11th day of the 11th month the guns finally fell silent.


The most devastating thing about the First World War was the total carnage as men fought hand to hand to gain a few yards of a trench which was occupied by the opposing German soldiers. This resulted in about 6-million allied soldiers being killed and thousands more seriously injured. 


Not only had the world not learnt and lessons in the loss of life from the 1014-18 conflict, Hitler decided to try and take over Europe by first attacking Poland, which of course brought Britain into another war. By the end of the war in 1945, 60-million people had been killed, which was about 3 percent of the 1940 world population, estimated at the time to be 20.3-billion. There was of course a great many more civilians killed in that war due to the bombing of cities.


Britain of course has been involved in many more conflicts since the Second World War where lives have been lost. There was the war in Korea, the Falklands, Afghanistan etc. It is important that we remember these people who gave their lives for their country so that people can live freely. However, it is a very high price to pay. I ask you to read the poem below that is part of the Royal British Legion.


They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old                      Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.                        At the going down of the sun and in the morning                            We shall remember them.







Lol Thurstan. Editor & Publisher of B26  

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Gold bangle scam trio jailed

Three jewellers who falsely claimed that sets of gold bangles they manufactured and sold were made from higher quality gold have today (7 November) been jailed for a total of 14 years.

Ibrar Hussain, 38, and Sabhia Shaheen, 40, of Shiza Jewellers, based at 681 Stratford Road, together with 47-year-old Mohammed Afsar, known as Malik, of Zaiver Jewellers, at 787 Stratford Road, hatched a plan to manufacture and pass off low quality gold bangles as 22 carat by infilling them with silver copper and other alloys and applying a heavy gold plate to finish. By doing this they were able to increase their profits per set of bangles by as much as £1,200.

Birmingham Trading Standards officers carried out test purchases of gold bangle sets described as 22 carat at both jewellers – but when tested by the Birmingham Assay Office, the bangles were found to be of low quality gold and in some cases could only be hallmarked at no more than 14 carat.

As a consequence, raids were carried out by Birmingham Trading Standards at both jewellers, where workshops manufacturing the bangles were found. The scam had been in operation for more than five years and it is thought that all three profited by as much as £1 million over that period.

Officers also searched two residential premises in Handsworth and Bearwood  where secret workshops had been set up to manufacture the fake gold bangles on an industrial scale. Evidence provided by Birmingham Assay Office confirmed that the workshops were being used to manufacture the bangles found during the test purchases.

Codenamed Operation Egyptian, a lengthy investigation was carried out into the scam by officers from Trading Standards which culminated in Hussain eventually being arrested after he was found hiding within an ottoman storage bed.

All three were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court, which heard that Hussain, identified as the ringleader, would travel across the country selling the fake bangles to other unsuspecting jewellers, as well as via eBay.

Additionally, Hussain was also found guilty of three counts of intimidating prosecution witnesses with threats of violence to them or their families, while Afsar was also found guilty of blackmail for coercing one of the witnesses to work for him without pay under the threat of violence to his family.

Hussain was jailed for five years for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, plus 12 months for two of the witness intimidation offences and a further 12 months for the third witness intimidation offence. The sentences will run consecutively, meaning Hussain was jailed for a total of seven years.

Shaheen was jailed for three years for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and disqualified from being a director for seven years.

Afsar was jailed for four years for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and four years for the blackmail offence, to run concurrently.

Councillor Barbara Dring, Chair of Birmingham City Council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “This was a particularly complex case with the defendants spinning a web of lies to deceive unsuspecting consumers and other retailers into thinking these bangles were much higher quality than they actually were.

“It is only through the tireless work and dedication of Trading Standards officers that we have been able to bring the culprits to justice.

“I hope these sentences will send out a strong message that such unscrupulous behaviour will not be tolerated in Birmingham, where the jewellery trade quite rightly enjoys an excellent reputation, both nationally and internationally. Where we are made aware of such illegal activities taking place, we will not hesitate to take action.”



B26 bring you the latest news from the Birmingham Newsroom

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