When you pay your Council Tax, a small part (a little less than £1 a week for each household) is given to the Town Council to commission and provide certain local services.
This means that decisions which affect you are being made at a very local level and can be shaped and delivered in response to local needs. Here are some of our projects and activities to date:
Just over 41,000 households in the town
precept to fund projects and initiatives in Sutton Coldfield only
Town Centre revitalisation
Measures to revitalise the town centre are an important part of realising our vision. With major announcements about the Sutton Coldfield HS2 Gateway Project involving £19 million of Government funding for a new transport hub in the town centre recently, means major changes for the town centre. The Town Council aims to be part of the planning for this and helping make sure that the people of the town are consulted at every stage.
We are partly funding the development of a new transport model for the town, identifying issues of movement in and around the town, which will help with the long term planning of the town.
The Town Council has a legal right to be consulted on all planning applications submitted to the City Council. This gives us the opportunity to seek to influence those decisions and reflect local people’s views. This is carried out at the Planning Committee by our local Councillors and comments reported back to the city council.
Creating community plans
We are encouraging local communities to prepare plans identifying social, economic and environmental issues which are important to the area and possible solutions. We will provide advice and funding to help local people develop their own plans.
Working to save the library
£230,000 has been allocated to keep open Sutton Coldfield Town Centre Library whilst a strategy is being developed to make it commercially viable.
Improving communications with free public wifi
We’re looking into investing in free public WiFi in our key centres as part of a package of measures designed to support and promote the wide range of business and services which are already on offer in our town centre.
Improving our play areas
Local residents are being asked for their views on the planned improvements at three local play areas. A total of £75,000 worth of improvements are proposed including new play equipment and safety surface at Calder Drive playing fields, a new toddler multi-play unit at Princess Alice public space and new equipment at Withy Hill recreation ground.
Improving our parks
We have supported a request from the Friends of Rectory Park for funding improvements to the park facilities. £30,000 has been allocated to improve the area around the entrance which also serves Sutton Coldfield Cricket Club and Sutton Coldfield Hockey Club. A budget of £150,000 has been agreed for Park Enhancements during the current financial year as part of making our town healthier and happier.
Eco Grants for Schools
Twenty-three Sutton Coldfield schools have been given a £650 grant as part of the Mayor’s Eco Challenge 2017/18. All primary schools were invited to apply for the grant to enable pupils to get involved in an environmental project.
Colourful Planting Schemes
Sutton Coldfield will be full of colour come Spring as we’ve just funded the planting of 40,000 bulbs! At six gateway locations around the town, visitors will be greeted by a wonderful display of early flowering bulbs from March to June. During the summer months our hanging baskets and planters will brighten our local centres.
Join in Britain in Bloom
Everyone should be proud of how Sutton Coldfield looks and we’re aiming to get our efforts officially recognised. Our bulb planting has kicked off a range of projects planned as part of our entry into next year’s Heart of England in Bloom competition. It will be the first time the town has entered the regional heats of Britain in Bloom, the UK’s largest voluntary environmental campaign.
We’ve joined forces with Birmingham City Council and our Civic Society to inspire our businesses, schools and residents to help clean up our town and improve our public and green spaces. Now we need you to get behind our bid. Could you arrange a litter pick, plant up a hanging basket for your house or create a display outside your premises? It will all help to impress the judges and promote Sutton Coldfield as a welcoming and inviting town.
We’ve invested £68,700 in new lighting features for the local centres this Christmas, with a co-ordinated scheme of green, gold and white lights throughout the town.
New lights will be on display in New Oscott and Beeches Walk for the first time. Christmas trees have also been funded in Mere Green, Walmley and Falcon Lodge also.
Concerts in the Park
More than 10,000 people attended our first Concerts in the Park event in July when the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) led a sell-out weekend of music and family fun. Plans are already underway for next year’s event.
Disability Strategy Created
Working with local groups and services, we’re creating a plan for how we can raise awareness of, and help to alleviate, some of the issues which local people with a physical or mental disability face in their everyday life. This may include getting a job or education, travelling between home and work, going for a drink or to the cinema with friends. We want to see how Sutton Coldfield can be enhanced to provide better facilities to meet the needs of all its residents and visitors.
Five new potentially life saving defibrillators for the community are being funded by the Town Council in conjunction with the Community Heartbeat Trust.
New Autism Support Service
Our funding has led to the launch of a new autism support group service run by Autism West Midlands. The new service opened in September and offers one-to-one advice sessions in the community for parents and carers. Visit www.autismwestmidlands.org.uk for details.
Alongside civic events like the remembrance parade and civic service, the Town Council recognises the work of volunteers around the town at a reception event and also organises the Community Awards to recognise our unsung heroes from the business community, schools and young person.
Community Groups Funded
Local community groups, charities and voluntary organisations have all benefited from £100,000 The Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council Community Fund. Groups who have already received funding include Falcon Lodge, Boldmere Futures Partnership, Sutton Coldfield Choirs, Sutton Coldfield Special Olympics and Sutton Coldfield Adventure Unit.
Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council funded School Keep Clear activity boxes for all primary schools in Sutton Coldfield in 2017 in a bid to encourage them to reach bronze, silver or gold accreditation for Modeshift stars.
Modeshift Stars is a free national awards scheme which encourages schools to join in a major effort to increase levels of sustainable and active travel in order to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people.