This Sunday in West Bromwich.
The BBC website has picked up on the Bubbles massage parlour story today, with the story of the temporary closure by planning officials from Sandwell Council. Here's a link to their story… Bubbles massage parlour in Smethwick forced to close
Interestingly, the Beeb had succeeded in capturing an image from the Bubbles Facebook page before it was hastily taken down following the visit by the planning officers.
The current closure is only a temporary 'stop order' and the matter will still have to be considered by the full planning committee. Anyone wanting to make representations can do so via firstname.lastname@example.org
10 years ago the police raided Cuddles, a 'private massage parlour' on the Hagley Road opposite the Kings Head. You can read the lurid details here and you will see that it wasn't really a massage parlour at all, but a sordid operation involving prostitution and people trafficking of young women from Eastern Europe.
As a result of the raid the owner was jailed for a number of offences, including the possession of firearms.
Fast forward four years, and what do we find in the adjoining property, with a near identical sign, but another 'private massage club' but this one called Bunnys Club and tastelessly advertising itself as 'Birmingham's Hottest Massage Parlour'. As you can see from their marketing, the 'massage' on offer appears to be designed to appeal to a very specific clientele. Eventually the council was able to close the place down because it hadn't got the appropriate planning permission.
Well, guess what? On the site of the original Cuddles we now find, with a remarkably similar signage, a planning application for… a private massage and beauty parlour! This one is called Bubbles, and although their website and Twitter feed appear to have been hastily taken down, it was not before we managed to get a screenshot which illustrated just exactly the sort of gentlemen's relaxation they had in mind in their advertising.
Well, is this the sort of establishment you think will enhance Bearwood? Or do you think that a 'private massage club' which advertises and markets it's services in this blatant manner, just yards away from two secondary schools, is wholly inappropriate and likely to encourage potential criminal behaviour in our neighbourhood?
If you think the latter you can raise your objection to the planning application by writing to Sandwell Council's Planning Officer, Dean Leadon, via email@example.com quoting reference number: DC/15/57809
For those of you who were unable to get the the presentation last week on the final plans for the Lightwoods Park and House project, (or even for those that were and who want to study them in detail) Cherie has saved them as a PDF file that you can save and open on your computer, however, be warned, it is a large and quite detailed file and some of the detailed drawings may be difficult to see. Click here to download.
…are planning a little “Open Day” for their café on the 24th January. Dave Williams from Bearwood Chapel said, “We will open up the café so people can have a look in between 10am and 1pm. It’s not an ‘opening day’ there’s still a little way to go but we are almost there. The project has taken longer than we would have originally liked/anticipated but as a local church we believe that God is in control of timing and sometimes it’s best to take a little longer and learn patience.
“At the same time, we’ve been encouraged by the support and interest shown by other local people and we want people to have a chance to see where we’ve got to. The café now has machinery installed, tables and chairs set up and just needs a few finishing touches to the décor. We’ve got sign off from the Building Inspector and are now getting volunteers trained up.
“On the 24th we’ll be serving teas, coffees and biscuits. No charge but donations welcome. Feel free to drop in.”
If you are interested in the future of Lightwoods Park and House, then at the meeting on Wednesday the managing director, contract manager and community engagement officer from Fairhurst Ward Abbotts (appointed conservation contractor) are attending, doing a presentation and would like to introduce themselves to as many people as possible. Meeting details are as follows:
Wednesday 14th January 2015
7.00pm – 8.30pm
Bearwood Baptist Church,
Rawlings Road, Bearwood