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Equality Small Grants Scheme 2021-22

Bromsgrove District Council Equality Small Grants Scheme 2021-22 is OPEN!

Bromsgrove District Council, in partnership with the Bromsgrove Engagement and Equalities Forum, have launched their Equality Small Grants Scheme today!

The aim of the Bromsgrove District Council Equality Small Grants Scheme is to enable smaller voluntary, charitable or community organisation/group that operate in Bromsgrove District to deliver an achievable project that would benefit the community and challenges inequality, advances equality and/or celebrates diversity. It is a small grants scheme and is specifically for smaller voluntary, charitable or community organisations/groups who would find it hard to meet the criteria of bigger grants.

It is open for one round only and will support projects or activities being delivered between 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022. The max limit for year is £750 per funding request, although please do only apply for the amount needed. The £750 limit applies if you are submitting a joint bid with another organisation unless you are bidding for different projects under a shared theme.

The closing date for applications is Wednesday 9th June 2021 at Midday.

Applications received after this date and time will not be accepted.

For Grant Application Form and Guidance visit www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/grants

Key dates/information

Opens: Thursday 13 May 2021

Closes: Wednesday 9 June 2021 at Midday

Max limit per application: £750

Delivery timescale: Projects/activities must be delivered between 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022

Please do read the guidance as there have been some small changes. We are more than happy to talk over any ideas, read applications prior to submission and provide any additional guidance if required. Please spread the word about this opportunity and if you have any queries or questions, please do contact me.

In addition to this small grant scheme, there is another opportunity for 2021-22 to apply for a larger grant. If you are a larger voluntary, charitable or community organisation/group or your project requires more than £750 to be delivered, please consider applying for the Community Grants Scheme 2021/22 instead. The Community Grants Scheme replaces the New Home Bonus Community Grants Scheme but will follow the principles of that original scheme and applications will be limited to a maximum of £5,000 per project. There is £80,000 available and more information can be found here.

All the best and we look forward to receiving your application.

Emily Payne

Engagement & Equalities Advisor

My working pattern is Tue to Fri 9.30-2.30

Tel: 01527 64252 ext. 2409 or Direct Dial 01527 548284

Email: equalities@bromsgroveandredditch.gov.uk

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Another Collision on Sandy Lane

Sandy Lane was closed Wednesday 12th May following a collision at the junction of Money Lane.

A spokesperson from West Mercia Police said: “The road is currently closed and will be for sometime.

“Officers are currently dealing with a collision on Money Lane.”

A spokesperson from West Midlands Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 3:11pm to reports of a two car RTC at the junction of Sandy Lane and the B4551.

“We currently have one ambulance at the scene assessing two patients. “

Make a Difference with a Community Grant

Bromsgrove District Council’s Community Grant Scheme opened last Tuesday (deadline for applications 5pm on Fri 18 June) and is for projects up to £5000. It is following similar principles to previous years’ New Homes Bonus scheme.

The Community Grants is open to any organisation/group in Bromsgrove district.  Applicants will need the support of their ward councillor and the details for these can also be found on the Council’s website. 

If anyone has any queries, please feel free to contact Amanda Scarce at a.scarce@bromsgroveandredditch.gov.uk and she will be happy to help.

For more information and to download an application form visit:

https://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/business/tax,-funding-finance/grants-funding/community-grants-scheme.aspx

NOTE:  This is a separate grant scheme to the Equality Small Grant Scheme. More information about the small grant scheme will be coming very soon.

Pepper Wood Extension: View Site and Public Consultation

The Woodland Trust have organised a public consultation event planned on 19th May regarding their proposed plans to extend Pepper Wood.  The provisional design for the new woodland is ready to be viewed and the Woodland Trust would like to share these plans with you and invite your opinion.

The event itself will be quite informal.  Paul Jarczewski (Woodland Trust Central England Site Manager) and a design consultant will lead 2 short walks over the new land, one leaving at 2 pm and another at 6 pm.  Maps and layouts of the design will be available for people to view.

To join the walk and/or view the design, meet Paul in the Swan Inn car park.  Each will last about an hour.

For more information regarding the Pepper Wood Appeal and to make a donation visit http://fvca.org.uk/directory/pepper-wood/

Village Spring Clean 2021

This year’s Village Spring Clean will take place on Saturday 12th June. 

Please donate an hour to help clear the grot from our community and to wash street signs.  Meet outside the Village Hall at 10.00 am, wear suitable clothing & footwear, litter picking equipment will be provided.   

If you would like to help wash the street signs, please bring a bucket, sponge and some mild detergent.  If you have step ladders, they will come in very hand.

Community Association Seeks New Chairman/lady

Interested? Email chair@fvca.org.uk

Message from the current FVCA Chair:

As you all know I have previously said that I will be stepping down as Chair at the AGM. In addition to having served as Chair for over 5 years, I do have some personal & family matters that require my full attention.
I am sure that there are people in the community who would be willing to take on the role and the nudge they need to step forward is knowing that the position is vacant.
Therefore, so as to help focus minds, I have decided, after much thought, that I will step down as Chair by 31st August or at the A.G.M, whichever is earlier. Ideally I would like it to be sooner, rather than the later date.
In the meantime, I will continue – when time permits – with existing lobbying/work. I will not be taking on any new work. I may have to ask for assistance to respond to any communications that we receive.
It would be helpful if someone could volunteer to be a media administrator, along with me. In my view the person would have to take a strict approach. Please ask people that you feel will be able to help deliver our current service standard or better.

Floral Fairfield 2021

Let’s create ribbons of colour throughout our community this July.
Floral Fairfield is usually a is a bit of competitive fun, with many residents winning a Bronze, Silver or Gold certificate. This year there will be no judging or certificates, it is just going to be fun and we are asking residents and businesses to help create fantastic colourful floral displays that can be seen and enjoyed by people passing by, whether it a basket, tub or a front garden arrangement.

Meet Your Local Policing Team

Bromsgrove North Safer Neighbourhood Team will be in Fairfield (outside the Cafe) Thursday 22nd April from 6pm for 1hr. Please come and say hello. Share any concerns or seek advice that is needed.
A representative from FVCA, your local Neighbourhood Watch Group, will also be present.

Be kind and thoughtful this St. Mark’s Day and Eve

Our village church was named to honour St. Mark the Evangelist, whose feast day is on 25th April.

Mark was an Evangelist—one of the four men who wrote the Gospels found in the New Testament.

It was tradition in many English villages between the 17th and late 19th Centuries for people to sit in the church porch on the night of St Mark’s Eve and stay silent between the bell tolling at 11pm until the bell struck 1am. During this time, the ghosts of those who were to die in the year ahead would be observed entering the church.

In our community we don’t want ghosts, and on this St. Mark’s Eve (Saturday 24th April), we invite you to light a candle, pause and think of those people suffering in body, mind or spirit and ask that they receive strength and healing.

And, on St. Mark’s Day (Sunday 25th April) let’s show our loving, caring nature with a Random Act of Kindness with someone else who also lives in our community.

Share your candlelight photos and tell us about your Random Act of Kindness (whether what you have done or what you have received) by emailing admin@fvca.org.uk or message our Facebook page.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Funeral

The Duke of Edinburgh’s ceremonial royal funeral will take place at St George’s Chapel on Saturday 17th April. The procession and service will be televised. Details tbc. After the service, the duke’s coffin will be lowered into the royal vault below the quire. A national minute’s silence will be observed as the service begins at 3pm.

The Duke of Edinburgh 1921 – 2021

The death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has been announced, the Union Flag in front of the Village Hall has been lowered to half-mast. Many residents have expressed deep sorrow at this news, and wish the Queen and the Royal Family strength at this very sad time.

Revised Countryside Code

For 70 years the Countryside Code has been guiding us on how to protect our outdoor spaces, and it’s still as important as ever.


Read the updated Countryside Code: CLICK HERE

School Easter Trail

The school PTFA have created an Easter Trail around the village that will run throughout the Easter holidays.

Along the trail, attached to benches, there will be some clues that children can use to find a winning word. If you see these clues, please do not remove.

The PTFA have asked that people participating in the Easter Trail follow clear rules:

1) Adhere to social distancing and all of the current government COVID guidelines, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

2) Dogs are kept on leads and any dog mess to be picked up.

3) All litter is taken home and/or disposed of correctly.

4) Vehicles parked with consideration to village residents.

If you have any questions please contact the PTFA at the following email address fairfieldfirstschool@gmail.com

Hedgerow Fire

A Fire & Rescue crew from Bromsgrove attended a fire in the open involving 25m of hedgerow today (Tuesday 30th March), Middle Road, Wildmoor.

Ultrafast Broadband Has Arrived

If your property is connected to the Mount Road OpenReach junction box, you can now upgrade your internet connection to FULL FIBRE.
Contact your internet service provider to upgrade your package – see what deals they are offering.
Your Internet Service Provider will arrange for an engineer to visit your property to install the fibre connection.

Pepper Wood Appeal Update

Philip Shipway, Appeals Manager at the Woodland Trust, has provide FVCA with a Pepper Wood appeal update.

In his email, Philip said how pleased the Woodland Trust are to have the support of residents and Fairfield Village Community Association and that it is wonderful that local residents have been contributing to the appeal.  

Public support for the appeal has been phenomenal, and with money from other funding sources the Woodland Trust are confident they will raise the money needed to acquire the extension which will allow them to double the size of the wonderful Pepper Wood. However, they do still need donations to take them over the line, so please keep spreading the word.

For further information about the appeal and to make a donation CLICK HERE

Frequently Asked Questions

Philip has provided some answers to some frequently asked questions, plus an aerial photograph from which you will be able to see the area of land we are hoping to purchase to extend the existing Pepper Wood.

“We aim to establish a lot of the new trees on the extension via natural regeneration but there will still be a need to prepare the ground, and protect areas from deer etc so any young trees can flourish.   We will carry out some tree planting and this will give us the opportunity to run several low-key tree planting events with, for example, local schools. This is very much a conservation-driven project.  We are not necessarily aiming to attract lots of new visitors to the site and put extra pressure on the already limited parking facilities at Pepper Wood.  There will be a footpath network across the new land linking to Pepper Wood but on the whole facilities and any public events will be relatively low-key.“ 

Tracing the family of Reginald Farmer

We have received the following from Angelique Cremer in the Netherlands:

“For the English War Cemetery in Brunssum the Netherlands I am (still) looking for relatives of Reginald Farmer. Mr Farmer died during WW2 and is buried in the Cemetery. He was with the Worcestershire Regiment, 1st bn. His date of birth should be around 1915.

The only thing we know about him is that he mentioned his ‘Auntie Ada Hancox’ in his soldier’s Will. I realise she doesn’t have to be his actual aunt. Ada Hancox was living at 1 Woodlane Fairfield Bromsgrove in the 1940’s.”

Angelique would like to inform Reginald’s family that his grave is well looked after and that he will never be forgotten by the Dutch people.

To help trace the family of Reginald Farmer, we are trying to trace the family of Ada Hancox to see if Reginald was a family member.

The Community Association have been doing some research and have found the below leads.  Do you know anyone who is mentioned, perhaps they or any memories that you may have may shed some light on our enquiries.

According to the 1911 census, a family by the name of George Ernest Hancox (28, born about 1883), Ada Selina Hancox (24, born about 1887) and Lizzie Hancox (48, born about 1863) lived in Fairfield. George Hancox is recorded as a Glassworker and Ada as Charwoman, but this has been crossed out.

In the first quarter of 1910, George Ernest Hancox married Ada Selina Evans, in the Bromsgrove registration District.

Ada Evans, according to the 1901 census, lived with parents and siblings, at Bournheath Glassworks, which would have been on Parish Hill.  The family at the time consisted of: Thomas R Evans (40), Mary Evans (35), Ada Evans (14), Lilly Evans (11), Esther Evans (7), Albert Evans (5) and Ralph Evans (6 months).

It could be that after her husband’s death in 1940 (see below), Ada moved back to Fairfield to be nearer to her family, possibly living in one of the Wood Lane Alms Houses.

Unfortunately census records for 1921 are not yet online.

In the 1891 census, a family by the name Hancocks is recorded living in Belbroughton: Abratha Hancocks (68), Rose Hancocks (68), Elizabeth Hancocks (28) – Who we are assuming is Lizzie – John Hancocks (26), Earnest Hancocks (8) – we are assuming is George Ernest – Ellen Hancocks (4) and John Hancocks (2).  It is quite possible that the enumerator spelt the family name incorrectly.

A further search (1939 War Register), we have found that a George E Hancox (56) and Ada S Hancox (53) – date of birth being about correct – lived in Brierly Hill, Staffordshire, George Hancox was an Agricultural Heavy Worker.  The 1941 Probate Register records that a George Ernest Hancox (17 Queen Street, Wordsley, Staffordshire) died 20th December 1940, leaving £421 5s to his widow, Ada Selina Hancox.

Traffic Calming – Message from FVCA Chairman

Residents may wish to see the notice that has been placed on the FVCA website today (10th March 2021) detailing the proposed revised 40 mph plan, please do have your say and inform WCC if the revised plan is acceptable, http://fvca.org.uk/notices/tro-update-revised-proposed-plans/.

FVCA have pushed for a 40 mph buffer to the planter from Stoneybridge Island, and so welcome this more sensible proposal.

Of course, more needs to be done to reduce the speed of vehicles entering and driving through the community.

The Parish Council are considering the proposal to replace the VAS with one that displays the vehicle speeds. If installed it will use the current VAS site and electricity supply.

It has been suggested that we should adopt a gated entrance, and funding has been offered to part support the purchase of the gates – an offer that been made previously from our County Councillor’s Divisional Fund. To date, both FVCA and the Parish Council have been reluctant to spend any additional money on what studies have said may be ineffective.  Studies have shown that gated entrances can reduce speeds by up to 6% should certain other road conditions be met and if sited in the correct position. The entrances of our village do not meet the required conditions.   And, with the speed that some vehicles enter the village at (in excess of 50 & 60 mph), any speed reduction needs to be greatly more than 6%.  Another factor to consider is that regular drivers through a community get so used to seeing the gates that they take no notice, driving on “autopilot”, and most driver found speeding through our village are regular users of Stourbridge Road.

FVCA strongly believes that meaningful traffic calming should be adopted that will actually slow down all vehicles, preferring Road Speed Tables that have the support of the emergency services and other groups.   The Road Speed Tables just before the village, near the planters, will reduce vehicle speeds entering the village and will slow down vehicles exiting the village, making the road safer for residential properties nearby.  Road Speed Tables could also be installed at other strategic locations, but with regard to properties and minimising any unintended consequences.  Should Speed Tables, or any traffic calming measures, be considered by Worcestershire County Council, FVCA believes that residents should be consulted.

Residents may wish to read https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/traffic-calming-ltn-107  which gives the Department of Transport pros and cons for various traffic calming measures. Hopefully by reading this document you will understand why we have not pushed for some other traffic calming measures.

It is worth noting that when discussions have taken place with County Cllr Shirley Webb and Richard Clewer (Worcestershire Highways), they have both refused any traffic calming works (except gates).  FVCA and the Parish Council’s Traffic Calming working group have even turn round and said if they will not fund Speed Tables, what will they fund and install, so far the answer is zilch.

In the past 5 years, not one traffic calming measure, including visits by the Police Speed Enforcement Unit, has been supported.  FVCA battled for the speed enforcement visits to take place.  Until nearly 5 years ago, even though 30 mph signs were displayed at both ends of the village, the police would only stop and give you a verbal warning if driving above the speed limit, they could not fine a motorist as the TRO was non-compliant.  Thankfully FVCA lobbied for the TRO to be compliant, MR. Clewer arranged for the installation of the appropriate signs in the correct locations and now motorists are fined, etc if found exceeding the speed limit. 

County Council election will take place on 6th May.  Candidates/existing Councillors need your votes, perhaps saying what you want to hear.  Something that you could do is ask the candidates for a written/email commitment that they will not oppose and will fight for meaningful traffic calming engineering works in Fairfield Village.   If they agree and provide the statement then do not honour their written commitment that can be held against them, perhaps at a future election.

TRO Update – Revised Proposed Plans

Fairfield Village Community Association have now received sight of the original and draft revised plans to create a 40 mph buffer between Stoneybridge Island and Fairfield village along the Stourbridge Road.

The initial proposal, as detailed below, was to have a 40 mph buffer to Orchard Farm. As previously reported the Community Association, Worcestershire Highways have admitted that there was a procedural error with the original consultation.

As further consultation is required, Worcestershire Highways are taking the opportunity to consider a revised proposal, having taken account of concerns expressed by some local residents. The revised proposal is for the 40 mph buffer from Stoneybridge Island to the (north) village planter, where the current 30 mph zone commences, see image below.

A formal consultation is required, and we await the public notice that should details the Traffic Regulation Order, which will include the exact legal start and finish of the new 40 mph zone. 

Residents may wish to comment on the draft plans. Any objection/representations you may have must be sent in writing to Thomas Pollock, Head of Commercial Law, Legal and Governance at County Hall, or email roadtrafficregs@worcestershire.gov.uk

TRO Update

We have been notified that Worcestershire Highways have acknowledged that there has been a procedural error regarding the B4091 speed change between Stoneybridge Island and village entrance, a new consultation will take place.
Please keep an eye on the County Council’s Public Notices page, CLICK HEREResidents are encouraged to respond.
It is understood that Worcestershire Highways are now prepared to consider keeping the start of the 30 mph zone at the planter, rather than move the start to the entrance of Orchard Farm, should it be the wish of the community. It is very important that you have your say.
Fairfield Village Community Association would like to thank all those residents that emailed the Legal and Governance department at County Hall, your actions have helped focus the minds of the people behind the TRO amendment.

Fairfield 200 Club Update

Provided that there is no change in the roadmap out of lockdown, the monthly 200 Club draws will resume in May 2021.

Subscriptions already received have been brought forward.

The details of the time and location of the draw will be announced on the village community website (www.fvca.org.uk) nearer the time.


Linda Garvin, 200 Club Administrator (01527 834935)

Gully Update

Reported blocked gullies in Third Road have been cleared.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Swan Lane; a couple have been cleared, one has had the mud cleared from the top of the grid yet there is still mud just below the grid, a couple have been partially “wiped over” and there are still hidden grids that are beneath the mud that has slid from the roadside.  The broken gully grid has still not been replaced and the gully by the gas pipeline is still blocked.

Whether another return return visit is being scheduled, who knows? 

There is still no news regarding repairs to the Swan Lane pot holes and road erosion.

Fibre Rollout Update

Fibre optic cables have been laid underground to nearly all the telegraphs poles that are connected to the Mount Road junction box in the south of the village.

Work is expected to commence in the next two weeks laying fibre optic cables underground to those telegraph poles in the north of the village that are connected to the Mount Road junction box.

Once underground fibre optic cables have been laid and connected, properties will be contacted to arrange the final Fibre To The Property journey. 

Swan Lane, Third Road & Wood Lane Repairs and Improvements Update

See below email that received on 4th March in response to the Community Association’s email 7th February.

From: Clewer, Richard
Sent: 04 March 2021 08:06
To: chair@fvca.org.uk
Cc: Benson, Rachael
Subject: FW: Outstanding Repairs & Improvements to Swan Lane & Wood Lane, Fairfield

Dear Mr Palmer

I am sure you will appreciate that covid restriction together with the recent floods and bad weather have both severely restricted and pressurised our operational ability.

An inspector has visited site this week and new orders have been raised to jet the blocked gullies reported in both Swan Lane and Third Road together with the repair of the damaged covers. Whilst I have yet to receive firm dates for this I would hope that it will be done within the next 28 days.

As previously explained we are unable to dictate to road users directions they wish to take to access the commercial units however signs have been ordered to indicate to drivers leaving the commercial units the direction of the M5 via Wildmoor Lane. I will follow up with the traffic management team as to where we are with these.

Changes to local speed limits require the support of the local member you may wish to discuss with Cllr Webb the speed limit in Swan Lane. However although Swan Lane is derestricted drivers are expected to drive to the conditions of the road. Swan Lane is a typical rural county lane with little development of it and therefore will fit the current speed limits according to the Dept for Transport guidance.

As previously reported, we are aware of the signs directing traffic away from Wildmoor Mill and that Third Road has been assessed.

Mr. Clewer’s email does not mention the blocked Wood Lane gully.  It is not clear whether the jetting of the gullies on Swan Lane will include the unblocking of grids, replacing a broken grid, clearing the blocked gully near the gas pipeline, reconstructing the parts of Swan Lane that have eroded away, filling in pot holes and preventing further mother slide on to the road.

The response to the Swan Lane speed limit is poor; the speed of traffic driving along Swan Lane and the need for a reduced speed limit has been mentioned to County Councillor Shirley Webb previously and the Department of Transport guidance Setting local speed limits paragraph 127 states:

127) Table 2 sets out recommended speed limits for roads with a predominant motor traffic flow function. If walking, cycling, horse riding, community or environmental factors are particularly important on any road section, consideration should be given to using the lower limit.

Table 2 Speed limits for single carriageway roads [footnote 8] with a predominant motor traffic flow function

Speed limit (mph)Where limit should apply:
60Recommended for most high quality strategic A and B roads with few bends, junctions or accesses.
50Should be considered for lower quality A and B roads that may have a relatively high number of bends, junctions or accesses. Can also be considered where mean speeds are below 50 mph, so lower limit does not interfere with traffic flow.
40Should be considered where there are many bends, junctions or accesses, substantial development, a strong environmental or landscape reason, or where there are considerable numbers of vulnerable road users.

The Department of Transport guidance suggests that Swan Lane can be considered for a 40 mph speed limit, due to, and not exclusively to, the bends, landscaping (that provide low light) and vulnerable road users – due to the nature of the road the speed limit could be lowered even further, Swan Lane between the “Devil’s Steps” and Mill Lane forms part of the Monarch’s Way and is used by walkers, including older people walking their dogs, and Swan Lane is often used by horse riders.

Residents may wish to lobby County Councillor Webb and Worcestershire County Council requesting the required repairs and improvements.

Do you like movies? Help us deliver the Fairfield Flicks experience

To help take Fairfield Flicks forward, Fairfield Village Community Association (FVCA) are seeking someone to join the team as Fairfield Flicks coordinator, to help deliver our cinema programme that brings people together and helps reduce loneliness and social isolation.

Fairfield Flicks started in September 2019, at Fairfield Village Hall, and our audience feedback has been extremely positive, with many comments about the high-definition imagery and welcoming atmosphere.  One complaint – which was very complementary – was that the one film screening was too loud, it is what they would have expected at the cinema but not at a village hall.  Fairfield Flicks offers a cinematic experience.

The Fairfield Flicks programme includes Hollywood blockbusters, subtitled films for the elderly and for people with hearing impairments, children’s and autism friendly screenings and funding has been secured to start delivering golden oldie movies.

Supported by the FVCA Committee, the Fairfield Flicks co-ordinator will help schedule films and volunteer teams, keep up to date with film society news, develop our cinematic programme & market and help source grant funding. 

Our amazing team of volunteers set up the Hall for movie screenings, deliver front of house services and sell refreshments.  A licence has been obtained that will allow Fairfield Flicks to serve alcohol, which will enhance our audience experience. 

Would you like to help take Fairfield Flicks forward or do you know a movie enthusiast that would like to help deliver cinematic arts in the community?  To take on this role you do not have to live in Fairfield.

Like all members of FVCA and Fairfield Flicks team, the coordinator will be a volunteer with a love of community togetherness.

Website:  http://fairfieldflicks.org.uk

Interested in helping us, please email admin@fvca.org.uk

Thank You From Our “Church Mouse”

Earlier this year, copies of “Expedition to the Mountains of the Scottish Highlands” were sold for a donation. Our generous community donated £83.00, and our “Church Mouse” has asked that we convey his thanks to you, he is very touched by your kindness.

Those of you who know Ian will know that he has not had an easy life and is often marginalised from society. Ian has recently returned to Bromsgrove from trekking and cycling around mid Wales, and will soon be off on another “adventure”, which is helping to improve his physical and mental well-being.

Village Hall Unlock Update

Subject to their being no change to the Government’s Unlock Road Map, our own local assessment and full compliance with advice that is being issued, the trustees will resume the phased reopening of the Village Hall from 17th May, with Zumba & Taekwondo as part of Phase One (same as before).
Other regular hirers (e.g. Line Dancing) can be considered as part of our Stage Two phased reopening, which is expected to take place from 1st July, subject to their being a minimum of 1 hour between each Hall user to enable any overrun arising from Hall users cleaning the Hall.
With regard ad-hoc hires (Stage Three), provisional bookings will be accepted for non-Private parties and events/activities for no more than 40 people from the 1st August, with the caveat that bookings may be cancelled.
Trustees will regularly review the Village Hall unlock, and when it feels safe the Phase Four unlock will allow full use of the Hall. The requirement for a Covid Safe Risk Assessment remains unchanged, and strict adherence of Village Hall’s Covid Safe Protocols.

Sleeping Beauty 2021

Following on from our highly successful 40th Anniversary production of ‘Cinderella’ back in 2019 the Fairbourne Dodders are proud and excited to be spinning into Christmas 2021 with ‘Sleeping Beauty’.


Fairbourne Dodders are looking for people to be involved both on and off stage, so if you would like more information please join their Facebook page or send them a message.


Just a reminder that the ‘Fairbourne Dodders’ represents Fairfield, Bourneheath and Dodford so it would be great if any new or old residents would like to get involved

Community Litter Pick Update

If all goes to plan with the Government’s Roadmap it may be possible for Community Group Litter Picks to resume from 12th April, subject to compliance with Government Advice and our local assessment, therefore if it possible our first Community Litter Pick will take place on Saturday 8th May, meet outside Village Hall 10.00 am, wear suitable clothing & footwear, litter picking equipment will be provided. 

Of courses, individual households can carry out their own litter picks before this date as part of their daily exercise.

Keep Britain Tidy have announced that this year’s (rearranged) Great British Spring Clean (GBSC) will take place between 28th May and 13th June, i.e. subject to their being no change or delays to the Government Roadmap it may be possible that our Community GBSC will be on Saturday 10th May.

Parish Council’s Decision Recreation Ground and Pepper Wood

According to minutes, at the February meeting of the Parish Council, Councillors agreed to:

Recreation Ground

1. Sorting the footpath drainage issues.

2. Redevelop corner area garden with input from the school /orchard soil investigation / planting a wild, sensory or ‘wet’ garden. (All are possibly grant fundable).

3. Carparking, while approval in principle by the Council for an extension this is ‘on hold’ due to high cost of quotes received and there will be a reassessment of best use of funds.

Fairfield Village Community Association (FVCA) welcomes 1 & 2, however, it is disappointing that the car park extension is being put on hold, even though the Council had previously agreed in principle to spend £15K and the balance of the project, which we are informed would cost £28K, could be secured from grants, which FVCA have offered to help bid for.

It is understandably frustrating for residents and other users of our community to see that 5 years on from our lobbying and the Council agreeing in principle for a car park extension at their meeting on 3rd October 2016, we still do not have the additional parking spaces in the village to accommodate the vehicles arising from the increased number of spectators supporting Fairfield Villa football matches, the growing Fairfield First School population and community facilities that are enjoyed by many visitors.

Pepper Wood

With regard the Pepper Wood expansion the Parish Council have “deferred decisions on both promoting the appeal for funding by the Woodland Trust, and considering a donation”.  According to the February minutes, the Council “wished to consider the plans the Woodland Trust had for the site including any additional parking facilities.”  The expanded woodland will not be open to the public for many years, as the area is being allowed to rewild itself through natural tree growth. 

FVCA – Searching for a New Chair

The current Chair of Fairfield Village Community Association writes:

“When our AGM finally take places, having served as Chair of the Community Association for 5 years, it is my wish that I am not nominated to serve another year as Chair.  It has been a honour to serve our community and to be a part of the Association’s many achievements, supported by some fantastic residents and committee members.  Please cast the net, or give consideration yourself, for a replacement Chair, who will have a different style and can work to continue making a positive difference for Fairfield, Wildmoor & Stoneybridge.  I will, of courses, continue to support the Community Association, so whoever is Chair will not be required to do everything that I have been doing, they can delegate.”

FVCA Response to Amending TRO from Stoneybridge Island

Fairfield Village Community Association have become aware of a report given by our County Council to the Parish Council at a meeting of the Parish Council that was held on Monday 1st February, the minutes state:

“C.Cllr. Webb advised that the Traffic Regulation Order (Speed limit reduction from National Speed Limit to 40m.p.h.) for the Stourbridge Road from the Stoneybridge island to the circa the Fairfield village boundary had finished its consultation process, with no objections recorded. She will advise when the signage is to be erected.”

Is “circa the Fairfield village boundary” the planter or as previously suggested moving the 30 mph sign to the entrance of Orchard Farm?

Fairfield Village Community Association have today (1st March 2021) sent an email to Legal Services at County Hall, the contents of our email are below.

If you wish to question that a fit and proper consultation has not taken place, email legalservices@worcestershire.gov.uk (if you could keep us in the loop, it would be appreciated).


Thomas Pollock

Head of Commercial Law, Legal and Governance

Worcestershire County Council

Dear Mr. Pollock,

On Friday 26th February 2021, we became aware of the draft Belbroughton and Fairfield Parish Council minutes of 1st February 2020 that records during the item “County and District Councillors reports” the following:

“C.Cllr. Webb advised that the Traffic Regulation Order (Speed limit reduction from National Speed Limit to 40m.p.h.) for the Stourbridge Road from the Stoneybridge island to the circa the Fairfield village boundary had finished its consultation process, with no objections recorded. She will advise when the signage is to be erected.”

Fairfield Village Community Association and residents that we have spoken to over the past few day are unaware of any formal consultation taking place.  Please tell us:

  • What was formally being proposed and has been allegedly agreed?
  • What consultation took place, including dates of consultation and who was approached?
  • What public media was used to promote the consultation and how were members of the public notified of the plans to amend the TRO?

Fairfield Village Community Association had wind of a possible amendment of the TRO in 2019, voicing our concern at a Parish Council working group meeting.

The Association mentioned the possible amendment of the TRO in our email to Mr. J. Hobbs, Director of Economy and Infrastructure, Worcestershire County Council, dated 9th February 2020:

“We are informed that there are plans to reduce the speed limit on the approach to the village from Stoneybridge Island.  This proposed reduction to 40mph is welcomed, however, we strongly object to moving the 30mph marker closer to the village, to the entrance to Orchard Farm, which is at the brow of the road.”

On 5th May 2020, we received a copy of a report that County Councillor Shirley Webb sent the Parish Council (email below, report attached) in which Cllr. Webb writes:

“TRO from Stoneybridge Island, consultation has started to reduce speed from 60 to 40 mph up to nearby Orchard farm when the speed will then change to 30MPH.  Relining of the road will also take place to give the impression the lane is not as wide.  New painted road signs will also be done at the same time.”

On the 15th May 2020 we sent Cllr. Webb a response to her report, which includes our comment regarding amending the TRO:

“You state that a consultation has started. As yet the community have not received official notification of what is being proposed. We look forward to receiving and circulating the consultation document. From briefings received to date, we have strong reservations regarding increasing the speed limit from 30mph to 40mph on that stretch of Stourbridge Road between the north planter and Orchard Farm, a point on Stourbridge Road that is a blind spot with brow in the road and nearby access points from residential properties, a farm and a pub.”

According to the Parish Council minutes of 7th December 2020, Cllr. Webb advised:

“The Traffic Regulation Order to reduce the speed limit on the entrance to Fairfield from the Stoneybridge island was due to start its six week consultation process. Provided there were no objections this should come into force by the end of January 2021.”

Fairfield Village Community Association regular view the County Council’s Public Notices webpage https://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/directory/34/public_notices_directory/category/105   where other TRO consultation notices are listed, we have not seen any notice regarding amending the TRO on Stourbridge Road.

As regulations require consultation with ‘such other organisations (if any) representing persons likely to be affected by any provision in the order’, any decision that has been made is must be considered null and void, and an appropriate consultation should take place that includes a full risk assessment due to hazardous nature of what is being proposed.

We look forward to your timely reply.

Yours sincerely,

Conrad

Conrad Palmer

Chairman

Fairfield Village Community Association & Neighbourhood Watch Group

Coronavirus Testing

There are now more places to get a free rapid asymptomatic Covid-19 test in Worcestershire for those who DO NOT have any symptoms of Covid-19.  Around one in three who are infected with Covid-19 have no symptoms so could be spreading the disease without knowing it.  These rapid (lateral flow) tests, which provide results within the hour, will help break the chains of transmission.  Further information can be found here, including local participating pharmacies offering this test and mass testing sites including Redditch Town Hall.  The Ryland Centre in Bromsgrove will be another site added shortly.  Information on all testing available, including how to book a test if you DO have symptoms, can be found here

Littering Is No Pooh Joke

Please share, verbally and through social media, and ask your friends to share this message far and wide to all dog walkers:

“If you Bag It, Bin It, Don’t leave It”.

Once again, dog pooh bags have been left on the ground in Pepper Wood; on Monday 15th February 4 bags were picked up from the bottom of the “welcome” sign at the Wood Lane entrance plus a purple bag left adjacent to the bridle path.

Some people say that they leave a bag to pick up later, the purple bag had been left for over two weeks.

It is NOT acceptable that volunteers have to clear up other peoples’ laziness.

We are fortunate that in Fairfield village you are no more than 1/2 mile from a dog waste bin. Also, if your dog does a mess in Pepper Wood off the path you can leave it, Mother Nature will work her magic and in a few days it is gone.

Severn Trent to Replace Water Pipes

Work commences Monday 15th February to replace old water pipes in the Bournheath area, which should take approximately two months to complete.

Teams will start at the junction of Doctors Hill/Rock Lane and Valley Road, work will progress along Valley Road and Cockshutt Lane before finishing at the Cockshutt Lane/Snakes Lake Lane junction by the end of February.

The team will then move and restart work on Dordale Road/Yarnold Lane junction (22nd February) and progress along Yarnold Lane until it meets Warbage Lane by early April 2021.

In order to maintain safety, traffic control or road closures will be in place, with diversion routes sign posted.

News from Pepper Wood

The fundraising campaign to double Pepper Wood is progressing well, if you would like to make a donation to the appeal CLICK HERE
Littering around our beautiful woodland remains at a low level, however, the Pepper Wood volunteers are making an appeal on two items:

1: If you are not prepared to take bags of dog waste to the bins, then please do not bag the stuff – use a stick to flick it into the undergrowth, otherwise it simply becomes a particularly unpleasant item of litter. Pepper Wood and Community volunteers are not there to clear up the mess left.

2: Please do not discard tissues. Their delicacy made persuade you that they are easily biodegradable. In fact, they remain visible for weeks, and some do not degrade at all.

The muddy state of the footpaths around the wood are worse than any of us can remember, and every time we think it cannot get worse it does. Footpath improvements will be high up the agenda when the volunteer teams get going again.

In normal times, volunteer teams work every Sunday and Wednesday from about 10 am until 1:30 pm. You are welcome to join any of the work parties, all tools are provided at work parties, and all you will need are: Clothes to protect you from the elements and rogue plants such bramble and dog rose, strong shoes or boots, something to drink, and a sense of humour.

An essential ritual of all work parties is the cake and coffee break. In colder months this is held around a brazier on which coffee is roasted and brewed.

No experience or specific skills are assumed; a lot of the work is scaled-up gardening.

Broadband Update

Preparations for the laying of fibre is complete and contractors, on behalf of Openreach, have started laying the fibre optic cables that will bring Ultrafast Broadband to properties that are connected to the Mount Road junction.

Once underground cables are laid, work will commence connecting properties. It is hoped that Fibre to the Properties will be “live” by early Spring.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Challenge

Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day as it is sometimes known, is a traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday, this year Shrove Tuesday falls on 16th February.

Lent – the 40 days leading up to Easter – was traditionally a time of fasting, and Shrove Tuesday was the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before embarking on the fast, and pancakes are the perfect way of using up these ingredients. As well as eating pancakes it is traditional to have pancake races and toss pancakes!

There will be no community pancake races due to Covid restriction, but there is still something that we can do as a community to mark the occasion:

Challenge

On a dinner plate size circular piece of paper (your pancake), create something that depicts part of our community, e.g. your pancake could have a church (St. Marks), or trees (Pepperwood) or football field (Recreation Ground) – you can use pens, crayons or craft materials.  Take a photo of your creation and email to admin@fvca.org.uk where will share on a social media streams & website.  Please state name to be quoted and, if created by a child, age. 

Lent 2021

LENT GROUP 2021

For the people of Belbroughton, Blakedown, Broome, Churchill and Fairfield

On Zoom

on The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis

Starting Wednesday 24th February 2pm, lasting till 3.15/30 pm 

For 6 sessions

The only thing you will need is a Bible.

Session 1:  Following Jesus.   Matthew 4: 18-22; 8: 18-27

Session 2:  The Path of Grace.  Mathew 5: 1-12

Session 3:  The Path of Humility. John 13: 1-17

Session 4: The Path of Suffering: Matthew 10: 1-33

Session 5: The Path of Peace. Matthew 7: 1-12

Session 6:  Following to the End.  John 11:1-44

Not everyone agrees, but the majority think that Thomas a Kempis, an Augustinian monk of the 1400’s, is the author of a book that for years was second only to the Bible in sales. The Imitation of Christ has never been out of print and copies have been in circulation since 1418.

Revered by Protestants and Catholics alike, you might like to get your own copy. You can get the Penguin Classics translation by Robert Jeffery, the Dean of Worcester Cathedral before the present one, for under £10. But you do not need to have your own copy. You might already have one!

If you indicate you want to join this Zoom Group, along with the Zoom details, each week you will get a “Handout” with some text from the Imitation and the questions we shall discuss/think about.

Do join us!   

Email   sueoliver778@gmail.com

Canon Sue

Poems for Valentine’s

Members of the community put pen to paper and shared their love poems to mark Valentine’s Day 2021.

Love Through the Ages

By Arthur Wilson

In Shakespeare’s time

Love poems would rhyme

With “hast” and “thee”

And “thou” and “me”.

As time progressed

The rhyme grew less

The words less formal

The tone more normal.

So, in love poems now

We will allow

Love to be shown

In any way known.

Just say

I

Love

You

Mum to Son:  A Silly Poem

by A Bournheath Resident

I loved you as a baby

Even when changing your nappy.

Your wonderful beautiful smile

Would always make me happy.

I loved you as a child

Thriving at Fairfield First School.

Your imaginative stories

Always seemed so cool.

I loved you as a teenager

When you communicated in grunts,

Even though sometimes

You barely spoke for months.

I loved you as a student

Despite the vast expense,

The late nights and the alcohol.

My love must be immense!

Now you’re living miles away

With one job, then another.

But wherever you are, my love is still there.

From your embarrassing mother.

Lasting Love

By Becky Wood

Every day

Regardless of the weather,

An elderly couple

Walks past my house.

She walks with a stick;

He walks at her pace.

Every day

They smile and chat.

Every day

They are synchronised.

Their paces match.

Their hats match.

Is this perfect love?

Infinite Love

by A Bournheath Resident

“The capacity

To love

Is infinite.”

So said

The mother

Giving birth

To her fourteenth child

And loving him

Just as much

As numbers

One to thirteen.

Love at First Sight

By Nalgar

I was young,

On my own,

Minding my own business,

When he walked in.

What would have been

Had he not been there,

Where would my life have taken me,

Had our eyes not met?

Was it love at first sight?

I do not know.

He held me in his arms,

I felt warm and secure.

At times he was commanding,

Always gentle and kind,

But I pulled the strings,

A relationship was born.

We’ve been together

Four years and more,

He lies down beside me,

And I give him a doggy yawn.

YOUR Village Hall is under THREAT

Without YOUR HELP the Hall may have to close

Welcome to Fairfield Village Hall

Opened in 1979, the current building replaced the wooden Church Hall that was built in 1926.

The Village Hall continues to serve the community as a place of recreation, education, and community gatherings. Regular activities that take place include:

  • Fairfield Flicks
  • Zumba
  • Taekwondo
  • Women’s Institute
  • Preschool
  • Fuchsia Roadshow
  • National Vegetable Society
  • Spring Lunch and Harvest Supper
  • Carols Around the Christmas Tree
  • Bingo
  • Line Dancing
  • Sequence Dancing
  • Charity Coffee Morning
  • Social Drop-ins & Interesting Speakers
  • Touring Theatre & Live Music
  • Produce & Flower Show
  • Community Gatherings
  • New Year’s Party

Managed by a team of volunteers, the Hall is in urgent need of more people to join the Committee of Management and to serve as a trustee.  Due to age or moving out the village, the current committee consist of 4 residents and 1 hirer. 

Over recent years, the Village Hall committee have overseen many projects that have enhanced our community building, including installation of HD projector & media system, replacement of the Hearing Loop, converting light fittings to LED, investment in a Heating Management system, refurbishment of the Oak Floor, resurfacing of car park entrance and installation of CCTV.

The Hall is in urgent need of volunteers to join the committee, to help manage and maintain our fantastic community asset.  Without your help the future of the Hall and its vibrancy is in doubt. Your time commitment is one meeting a month, plus whatever task you volunteer to assist with.

If you would like to help YOUR Village Hall, please email secretary.fvh@outlook.com

Valentine’s Challenge 2021

It will be soon be Valentine’s Day (14th February), an occasion when when lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts.

This year, let share the love a bit further:

Roses are Red

Violet are Blue

Write us a Poem

That says I love You.

Email your poem to admin@fvca.org.uk and we will add to our special Valentine’s webpage. Your poem could be serious or funny, it can be about a person, animal or whatever you like.

No prizes, just the satisfaction that you have shared your love.

To read the Poems for Valentine’s that we have received CLICK HERE

Ultrafast Broadband Update

Contractors have nearly completed preparatory work that will see ultrafast broadband rolled out to properties connected to Mount Road junction. Indications are that BT OpenReach will be laying fibre optic cables in early spring.

At this stage we are not aware of any timetable that will see properties in our community that are not connected to the Mount Road junction also enjoy the benefits of Fibre To The Property.

Your Photos Recording Our History

Over the past couple of days residents have sent in some fantastic images recording our village under a blanket of snow. To view the photo album CLICK HERE
Please continue to send in photographs throughout the year so that we can capture our community for our pictorial archive.

Egg New from Bumble Hole Food

Due to popular demand, our community egg stall will return this Friday (29th Jan) from 10am-2pm and all proceeds will continue to go to Parkinson’s UK. A tray of 30 Free Range eggs will still be £2.50.

Dependant on the weather, eggs will continue to be sold outside the main Bumble Hole gates (David Hewston Way, Rocky Lane, Bromsgrove, B61 9HU) or from inside the hut which is just inside the main Bumble Hole gates.

The Egg stall will only continue on a week to week basis if the demand to carry on is there.

Did you know it’s Village Halls Week 2021?

Fairfield Village Hall is managed by volunteers with activities that help enhance community cohesion and reduce loneliness & social isolation.
When restrictions are eased and it is deemed safe, we look forward to resuming user group activities and village events.
What activities and event have you missed over the past 12 months and which one community event are looking forward to?
If you would like to become a trustee and help manage our fantastic community asset email secretary.fvh@outlook.com
http://fvca.org.uk/village-hall/

Join the Lockdown Litter Pick

As the Fairfield Wombles are having to isolate and shield due to lockdown restriction, we need you to help keep our roads, ditches and open spaces clear of litter.

When out for your daily exercise please help keep your community tidy and safe for wildlife by picking up litter – take with you a pair of gloves and a bag. Only pick up with your hands items that are not sharp.

Along some of our roads and in the hedges grot can be found, please help pick this litter up before the vegetation grow back.

If you would like to borrow one of out litter pick stick do drop us a message admin@fvca.org.uk