One of the problems with the row of shops being empty at the Hagley Road end of Bearwood, is the impact that has on the businesses of those traders who are trying to operate up there.
One of these is Classy Rags, a women's boutique, that has been on Bearwood Road for 25 years, specialising in mother of the bride, casual, and something a little bit different from the rest of the shops in Bearwood. They also do handbags, shoes and accessories.
Helen from Classy Rags told the Bearwood Blog, “It is really difficult at the moment. There are so many empty shops staring back at us over the road, now even Tesco has gone, and the passing trade is almost disappearing. We have been proud to operate out of Bearwood for so long, and we do have our regulars who come back to us time and time again, but without a passing trade it is becoming increasingly hard to keep our heads above the water and keep the business going.”
We had a really good response on the blog and on Facebook recently when we featured the anniversary of Rutland Sheds, another long serving Bearwood business, so come on folks, let's give some support for another of our own traders, and pop in to see what Classy Rags have to offer. You can be sure of a friendly welcome.
As we wait for the Planning Inspectorate to deliver their decision on the Thimblemill Rec site, this makes interesting reading….
Incredibly, the planning inspector attacked the council because it “relied unduly on the views of local people”.
That must be what the government call 'localism'.
When we asked people about improvements on Bearwood Road last Autumn, one of the points that a number of people raised was the difficulty, particularly for the elderly, in getting across the road safely.
Since the 'green man' was removed from the crossing some years ago, pedestrians were clearly uneasy when crossing without a visible indication in front of them letting them know it was safe to cross.
Well, they're coming back!
The first one is currently being installed on the Bearwood Road crossing near St Mary's Church, and the other crossings will follow, although the lights by the Bear junction will not be included until Highways and Planning officers have finished looking at the possible reconfiguration of that junction.
The man from the Planning Inspectorate came along to Thimblemill Recreation Ground this morning to look at the site as part of the club's appeal against the council planning committee's decision to refuse permission for luxury homes to be built on the site of the woodland.
The Inspector was polite, and introduced himself to those who had turned up to protest against the development, and his willingness to hear their views was in complete contrast to the Club Secretary who refused to allow objectors to go on to the site with the Inspector. It is that sort of behaviour which I suspect has led to the Club being in the plight they are financially, leading to their latest bid to flog off an area of natural woodland.
As one of the objectors said, how long before this old man's drinking club go through the same process all over again and try to sell off the pool?
The upshot of the visit is that the Inspector will make his decision in about 3 to 4 weeks.
Don't hold your breath folks
The latest information we have is that they have not been able to do a complete repair today and have to do some further surveying and a full repair at another date.
The hole will be filled today and made safe so that the road can reopen later this afternoon.
Last night the Council's Highways Department closed a section of Wigorn Road near the ABC nursery for safety reasons after a large hole appeared in the road.
It was found to be the result of a fractured water main and highways engineers alerted South Staffs Water, who were on site with mechanical diggers within two hours. It is hoped the work can be completed today and the road re-opened, depending on the complexity of the work. Sandwell Highway engineers will remain on site until completion.
Meanwhile diversions are signposted, and buses are being re-routed along Upper St Mary's Road and Barclay Road.