Birmingham news and blogs Tuesday 15 March 2016
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Birch Water 

14 Mar

Silver Birch Trees Photo: Word In Veg Ways Silver birch trees have been depicted in Ukrainian/Polish/Slavic artwork for centuries.

Congratulations to Shirley Brookes, our New County Commissioner 

9 Mar

Shirley Brooks has been officially appointed as our new County Commissioner today by Gilwell.

AGM Dates Change – Tuesday 24th May 2016 

8 Mar

Due to circumstances beyond our control and the impending E.

International Women’s Day 

8 Mar

It’s International Women’s Day! Women are extraordinary – oppressed and discriminated against throughout history but always fighting for a better world, despite continually being devalued, objectified and forgotten.

Review: The Star & Garter Leamington Spa 

5 Mar

Photo: c/o The Star Garter Lunch with my Mother is always a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon and that is exactly what we did recently at The Star Garter in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.

Americans believe only in America 

5 Mar

Intelligent comment from Giles Fraser in The Guardian on American Christianity.

Culinary Captures – February 

27 Feb

A frosty February has seen us swoon over Valentine's Day, toss those pancakes high on Shrove Tuesday and for some, they are still coming to terms with the news that James Martin is leaving the BBC's Saturday Kitchen show.

Warwickshire are looking for a new county commissioner  

27 Feb

With Solihull being days away from choosing a new County Commissioner, it’s time to help our friends in Warwickshire ​Can you help shape the delivery of the scouting provision in WarwickshireCould you guide and inspire adults working within ...

Borderfields #isBetter Challenge & Pesto Recipe 

20 Feb

I love those April/May days when driving through rural lanes and you see a vista of bright yellow rapeseed crops in the fields all around you, I find it quite mesmerizing to be honest.

Launch of new Smith’s Wood Scout Group and mass investiture at the Thinktank 

18 Feb

Solihull Scout County is celebrating the launch of the 2nd Smith’s Wood scout group, with 22 young people invested at the Thinktank.

Review: The Fuzzy Duck – Nuneaton 

15 Feb

Other than taking my mother for a day out to Arbury Hall many moons ago, I’ve never visited Nuneaton otherwise, so when offered the opportunity of sampling some of the fayre at one of the town’s newly(ish) re-launched gastro pubs – The Fuzzy ...

Chief Scout Bronze Award Presentation 

7 Feb

The Mayor of Solihull has kindly agreed to present Chief Scout’s Bronze Award certificates in Solihull Methodist Church at 6.45 for 7.00pm on Friday 6 May 2016.

Review: Yutaka Soybeans With Pods 

6 Feb

I’ve made reference to Edamame soy beans in previous blogposts and as a little legume that I enjoy eating from time to time, it was great to have the opportunity to try Yutaka’s latest offering of Edamame Soy BeansWith Pods .

Chief Scout Silver Award Presentation 

4 Feb

The Mayor of Solihull has kindly agreed to present Chief Scout’s Silver Award certificates in Solihull School Chapel at 6.45 for 7.00pm on Friday 22 April 2016.

Night Hike Results 

1 Feb

Congratulations to Intrepid Explorers ‘A’ and 2nd Ballsall Common Scouts ‘A’ on winning the Walking stick and boot tropes respectively.

Culinary Captures – January 

30 Jan

It is really the end of January already? I can’t believe how fast time has flown, Christmas only seems like 5 minutes ago! Nevertheless, the foodie world is busying itself for the year ahead with lots of new promotions and restaurants opening, it...

Dr Sketchy’s 2015 Round-up 

27 Jan

Well, it’s been more than a year since my last Dr Sketchy’s update  ( part 2 – part 3 ), and you may be forgiven for thinking that I’d not been in the last twelve months.

Review of Ferment Your Vegetables Book 

24 Jan

I felt a lot of synergy between myself and author Amanda Feifer when reading through her recipe notes in her latest book Ferment Your Vegetables published by Fair Winds Press .

1st Knowle Scout group fund raise their way to a new mini bus 

19 Jan

MUCH-NEEDED funding for a borough Scout group has helped provide a replacement minibus.

Gratitute for Modern Day Vegetarianism Article in Express & Star 

18 Jan

At times, I’m sure most vegetarians like me think “things could be better/easier/more convenient” when shopping or dining out.

Valentine’s Sunday Roast Lunch 

13 Jan

Sunday Roast Lunch Valentine’s Menu £39.95 pp   Canapés on arrival * Amuse Bouche   Starters   Parsnip White Onion Soup, Bacon Sage Dumplings   Terrine of Smoked Fish, Saffron Potato Salad, Baby Caper Dressing   Crispy Goats Cheese, ...

Ukrainian Community in Birmingham 

9 Jan

This post I know isn't food connected but with it having strong links with many of the food posts I write relating to my Ukrainian heritage, I thought it may be of interest toyou.

When Solihull Explorers went to Japan 

4 Jan

In the summer of 2015, 9 Explorers from Solihull attended the World Scout Jamboree in Japan and they invite you to a presentation evening to share their experiences.

County Night Hike – Saturday 30th January 2016 

4 Jan

Solihull Scout County Night Hike 2016 – Saturday 30th January Venue – Solihull Riding Club Please refer to the links below to enter your scouts / explorers along with all the relevant night hike info.

Emergency Dentist Near Me 

2 Jan

Our practice is located in the easily accessible location of Dorridge, which is next to Solihull, in the West Midlands.

Getting Al-Desko with Perk!er 

1 Jan

Doesn't seem to happen at the weekends, but when at work, I get an awful attack of the munchies about 10:30am and again at 3:00pm.

Merry Christmas! 

23 Dec

Goodness me, it isthat time of year again! Where has 2015 gone? But nevertheless, as the year draws to a close I've enjoyed reflecting on my blogging adventures this year: everything from my first food festival demo at Asparafest to singing with ...

Homity Pie at My Cranks Supperclub 

13 Dec

‘Tis the season to eat comfort food.

Six Summits Challenge 2016 (April 30-May 2nd) 

13 Dec

The Six Summits Challenge is a walking based, 36 mile expedition, held across the Shropshire hills for Scouts and Explorers.

Food Roots Interview – Ainsley Harriott 

5 Dec

Photo: c/o Jeremy Hicks Associates You only have to say the name ‘Ainsley’ and instantly, everyone knows you’re referring to Ainsley Harriott , such is his kudos.

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10 Mar

This winter has seen severe rainfall throughout the UK and many parts of Solihull have been affected with flooding.


29 Feb

Please find posted the February monthly newsletter for the Meriden area; includes all wards within the Meriden Constituency: Newsletter February 2016 final version Filed under: Blythe , Cheswick Green , Dickens Heath , Monkspath , Neighbourhood ...

Snowshill Drive, Cheswick Green 

17 Feb

Post to allow residents of Snowshill Drive to comment on parking in that location following letter delivered to each residence: Residents of Snowshill Drive Filed under: Blythe , Cheswick Green , Solihull...


15 Feb

It is widely recognised there are problems with parking cars on or near to Main Street, Dickens Heath.


8 Feb

The resurfacing of pavements in Monkspath has been widely welcomed as the former hopscotch effect (as a result of utility works) have been covered over by the technique known as ‘slurry surfacing’.


7 Feb

The nature reserve is within the boundaries of three Solihull wards; Blythe, St Alphege and Shirley South.

The Chalice new chef 

6 Feb

The Chalice warmly welcomes Mark head chef formerly of Mortons.

Parking issues behind Morton’s – tell the council your views 

5 Feb

A meeting held between Solihull planners and the D.


3 Feb

I met today with two officers from Centro at their offices in Birmingham.


3 Feb

The developments in Blythe ward, especially in and near Cheswick Green and Dickens Heath quite naturally cause concern about the numbers of school spaces, especially by parents of school aged children or soon to be school aged.


1 Feb

A busy week ahead, starting today with the meeting of the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel (which I am Vice Chair).

Powergen and Parkgate update 

27 Jan

Solihull Conservatives are pleased to say that after 21 years, a detailed planning application for the former Powergen site has been submitted to Sol The Powergen site is finally to be transformed and Parkgate is fully let.


26 Jan

Please find attached the Health Profile for Blythe Ward.


25 Jan

The first newsletter of 2016 is posted, with news of operations from all partners with the Meriden Constituency area, not just Blythe Ward.


23 Jan

Residents will be aware through leaflets delivered through doors of the consultation relating to the potential development on Blythe Valley Park.

MOUNT DAIRY FARM, Cheswick Green 

21 Jan

I had a meeting with Kim Allen (Head of Planning and Development SMBC) today.

Clean for the Queen! 

21 Jan

Get involved with this national campaign for Queen and community….


20 Jan

Many residents will be aware of the state of the bungalows on Creynolds Lane and this post is to update a post I made on this website on 28 Feb 2014:   http://cllrkenhawkins.

ARC for ASD- Proposals to create Additionally Resourced Centres to cater for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder 

19 Jan

Solihull Council has launched a consultation document looking at: Proposals to create Additionally Resourced Centres to cater for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and A pilot Social Emotional Mental Heath Assessment Unit incorporating an ...


12 Jan

Many residents and shoppers will have noticed the barriers on Notcutts end of Tesco’s car park.


12 Jan

“Winter is a difficult time for our vulnerable and elderly citizens, especially when temperatures fluctuate or there is a sustained cold period with both daytime and night time temperatures dropping below freezing.


6 Jan

A resident of Monkspath encouraged me to sign up for membership of the trust and I now receive regular emails and leaflets informing me of important events and seminars.


4 Jan

The New Year has started off in fine style at Shelly Farm Community Centre, Monkspath, with the centre receiving a donation of £500 from Shirley Ladies Circle.

Welcome to Castle Bromwich Community Website 

31 Dec

Want to know what's happening? Check out the Calendar Castle Bromwich Community Website is the number one online resource for Castle Bromwich residents.


23 Dec

The final Monthly Neighbourhood Report (covering the whole of the Rural Sector, not just Blythe Ward) for December 2015 is posted here: Newsletter December 2015 Filed under: Blythe , Cheswick Green , Dickens Heath , Monkspath , Neighbourhood ...


23 Dec

Some great work done by so many people in the last few weeks, but  most praise goes to Kerry Grandison, form SMBC’s Neighbourhood Services team.


23 Dec

Residents who use this road hardly need to be reminded by these photographs but there are obviously issues here.


1 Dec

Some great coverage of the issue by Cathrina Hulse, reporter for Solihull News and Birmingham Mail.

Christmas in Dickens Heath 

1 Dec

December is filling up fast with events for the whole family in Dickens Heath.

TIDBURY GREEN – Lowbrook Farm 

1 Dec

A quick update from my post (dated 29 October) about planning appeals in Tidbury Green (see link: http://cllrkenhawkins.

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