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Sainsbury’s is to close its Acocks Green store - which will then reopen as a Morrisons. The supermarket switch is taking place at the retail site on Warwick Road. Morrisons owns the site and is now moving in after Sainsbury’s chose not to renew its lease. Sainsbury’s will close at the end of April and builders will then spend ten weeks transforming and remodelling the interior before a grand reopening. Most of the current Sainsbury’s staff will remain with Morrisons. The new-look store will feature Morrisons signature Market Street counters with butchers making fresh burgers, bakers baking bread from scratch and fishmongers filleting to order. Customers will also be able to enjoy a barista coffee bar and a new ‘Free From’ area specialising in gluten, wheat and dairy free products for those with specific food intolerance and allergies. Morrisons Senior Asset Manager Michael Lambert said: “We hope customers and colleagues will welcome ours plans to invest in the store and to give it a fresh new look. “We want to create a store that serves customers well with fresh food made by our talented foodmakers. “We look forward to getting started in a few months time.” Acocks Green Councillor John O’Shea said he was delighted by the news of the supermarket opening and job savings. Coun O’Shea (Lab) said: “This is the only Morrisons store opening in the country this year and it just shows the importance of Acocks Green as a local shopping centre. “I’m delighted to see Morrisons making this commitment to Acocks Green. “I’m really pleased that they have also secured the jobs of most of the current staff.” Headquartered in Bradford since 1899, Morrisons is a one of the UK’s largest food retailers with more than 120,000 staff in 491 stores serving over 11 million customers every week.

Extra week to nominate for Solihull Together Awards. Organisers of the Solihull Together Awards 2018 have extended the closing date and are encouraging people who live and work in Solihull to keep the nominations rolling in until Monday 5th February. The Solihull Together Awards 2018 celebrate inspiring and innovative work going on across Solihull to support the borough’s vulnerable and frail adults. They are a chance to say thank you and recognise outstanding care and support from people working in a variety of health and care roles in Solihull - this includes local residents, voluntary and community organisations, Solihull Council, the NHS and private companies. There are nine award categories including the Local Hero award. This category celebrates Solihull’s unsung heroes – people who are going out of their way to support our vulnerable and frail adults - the 2018 Local Hero could be someone caring for a friend or family member, a good neighbour or a volunteer with a local community group. Who could you nominate? To find out more about the award categories listed below and to submit a nomination, go to: The nine award categories are: • Care Professional of the Year • Care Team of the Year • Health Professional of the Year • Inspiring leader • Local Hero • Outstanding collaborative working • Outstanding community project • Outstanding customer care • Primary Care Service of the Year The shortlisted finalists will be announced by the beginning of March and the awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 22nd March at the Renewal Conference Centre, Lode Lane, Solihull.

New figures have revealed crime across the West Midlands soared by a shocking 14 per cent last year. The troubling figures released on Thursday by the Office for National Statistics show crime is on the rise nationally - following sharp increases in knife and gun offences. Forces in England and Wales logged a total of 5.3 million crimes in the year ending September 2017- a 14 per cent increase compared with the previous 12 months. Locally, West Midlands Police reported a rise of 14 per cent, while neighbouring West Mercia and Staffordshire forces both had a 13 per cent increase. Shockingly, Warwickshire Police recorded a 23 per cent rise. Now David Jamieson, Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, has revealed he is considering increasing the council tax precept for policing by £12 a year, in a bid to raise funds to reduce crime. He said: “The rise in crime in the West Midlands and across the country is disappointing and a big concern. “These figures highlight the short-sighted approach of the government in continuing to apply real-terms cuts to police forces’ funding at a time when the pressures on policing are increasing. Just to standstill, West Midlands Police requires an extra £22 million a year. “As the funding West Midlands Police receives from the government is going down in real-terms, I have been left with no other option than to consider increasing the council tax precept for policing by £12 a year for a Band D property. “Money raised by council tax will go directly on protecting officer numbers and investing in neighbourhood policing to reduce crime. “Officers at the force work around the clock to prevent and catch those who decide to commit crimes and they are facing ever greater demands from an increasing threat of terror, levels of cyber-crime and a rise in the number of reported sex offences. “West Midlands Police has lost £145 million from central government since 2010. Despite being a highly efficient force, we have still lost 2,000 officers since 2010, meaning we are having to do more with fewer resources. “Despite the challenges faced, we are determined to get on with the job of keeping the people of the West Midlands safe.”

Young people in Solihull to benefit from free counselling service. 11-25 year olds in Solihull can now log on to Kooth for free anonymous mental health support. Solihull Council has commissioned XenZone’s Kooth service, giving local 11-25 year olds access to online counselling and emotional well-being support. The service, commissioned with funds from Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Local Transformation Funding, will run for an initial 18-month pilot. Kooth is an early intervention mental health service, with no waiting lists. Self-help materials, mood tracking and goal-setting tools are available on the site at any time via any connected device. Counsellors are available from 12noon until 10pm on weekdays and from 6pm until 10pm at weekends. Kooth will work in partnership with a number of providers, including children and young people’s mental health services (Solar), adult mental health services, social care and voluntary sector providers. Solar is provided by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust in partnership with Barnardo’s and Autism West Midlands. Councillor Ken Meeson, Chair of the Solihull Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “We know there is growing concern nationally that more and more children need help with their mental and emotional health. “Kooth will be a valuable addition that will complement existing services and I am delighted that it will provide an important and accessible resource to which Solihull’s young people will be able to turn to when they need support.” As part of the commission, XenZone will run assemblies and workshops at local schools. These could focus on specific problems pupils are struggling with or on recurring issues, such as emotional resilience, bullying or exam stress. Dr Angela Brady, a GP and Solihull CCG’s Mental Health Lead, said: “We are delighted that young people in Solihull will now be able to access this invaluable service and get mental health support when they need it most, in a way which is convenient to them.” Elaine Bousfield, chair and founder of XenZone, added: “Self-referral services like Kooth are easily accessible as well as helping to remove the stigma that some young people face in getting mental health support. “We look forward to working in Solihull and making a positive impact to the lives of local children and young people.” The Kooth counselling service can be accessed at Read more:

Plastic bottles: Free water refill points rolled out to cut waste. Shops, cafes and businesses will offer free water refill points in every major city and town in England by 2021. Industry body Water UK says its scheme could cut disposable plastic bottle use by tens of millions a year. The move comes amid growing concern about the effect of plastic waste on the environment. Whitbread, which owns Costa Coffee and Premier Inn, is the first to sign up to the initiative and will provide water in all of its branches from March 2018. Refill stations and public fountains will be able to be found via an app or window signs pointing people in the direction of the nearest one. The new scheme has been set up on the back of a previous initiative, the Refill campaign, which currently has more than 1,600 refill stations across the UK and operates in 13 towns and cities in England. Water companies already taking part in local schemes under Refill include Anglian Water in Norwich, Northumbrian Water in Durham, South West Water in Cornwall and Bristol Water in Bristol. In 2015, Bristol adopted the campaign and the city now has more than 200 points. It is estimated that if every city resident in Bristol refilled one bottle once a week, the city could cut the use of disposable bottles by 22.3 million a year. In December, London mayor Sadiq Khan pledged to create 20 new fountains and other bottle-refill points in the city. Water UK's chief executive, Michael Roberts, said the industry wants to tackle the problems caused by plastic bottle and "help turn this harmful tide of plastic waste". "This country has some of the best drinking water in the world and we want everyone to benefit from it. "This scheme will do that by making it easier for people to refill their bottles wherever they work, rest, shop or play." The issue of plastic waste has also been highlighted by the BBC's Blue Planet II. Read more:

Good Morning #Solihull There will be a dry, bright and chilly start to the day. Becoming cloudy with blustery showers during the afternoon. Highs of 7°C & Lows of 3°C

Weather Update: It will be a cold and windy night with outbreaks of rain. Highs of 6°C & Lows of 3°C

APPEAL: Recognise these men?

Glamour & Goodness Charity Ball Saturday 29th September 2018 - 6:30pm - National Motorcycle Museum (B92 0EJ). Event organiser, Sophie McCausland, said: “All money raised will go to Cure Leukaemia in honour of a teenager from Solihull that is battling this cruel disease - and Brain Tumour Research for three Solihull residents, two who are 25 and 28 with incurable tumours and the other is a 4-year-old battling a brain tumour. “We have Moni Tivony off The Voice performing and loads of great prizes up for grabs and an auction. “The tickets are £65 each and that includes a 3 course meal and wine on the table - or a table of 10 can be purchased for £600. “We have great sponsorship opportunities including sponsoring the table wine, the programmes and much, much more. “Contact us at or 07803568833 to purchase tables or tickets - or for any sponsorship enquiries.”

Solihull pupil set to see his ‘Our Blue Planet’ design in flowers. A pupil from St Alphege C of E Junior School is set to see his design in flowers after winning the annual Love Solihull design competition. Finn, age 9, drew the winning entry on the theme of ‘Our Blue Planet’. His design will be used to transform a flower bed at Malvern Park and highlights the impact of ocean pollution. Councillor Alison Rolf, Cabinet Member for Environment and Housing, said: “We had 800 entries from schools across the borough so it was a very difficult choice. “We particularly liked Finn’s design – which has a whale spraying rubbish out of its blow hole - and clearly a lot of thought had gone into it. “I can’t wait to see the new flower bed in the summer and hope visitors enjoy it. While we wait for the sunshine to come and the flowers to grow, there will be an exhibition with some of the designs at Touchwood. “My thanks to all the school children who entered the competition. I hope you have learnt more about ocean pollution and the impact it has on our environment in the process – and that you will enter the competition again next year. You have shown your love for both Solihull and our blue planet.” The Love Solihull ‘Our Blue Planet’ display is at Touchwood from today until the end of February and can be seen by the exit next to Zara. Love Solihull is a campaign run by Solihull Council. It supports members of the local community in making a real difference to our environment and aims to make the borough cleaner, greener and safer by doing this. For more information follow Love Solihull on social media or email: to see how you can get involved.

Travel Update: Reports of traffic light failure on Warwick Road in Olton at the Ulverley Green Road/St Bernards Road and Richmond Road/St Margaret’s Road junctions. Approach with caution or AVOID.

Calling all cake bakers... It’s time to practice your baking skills and work on your cake designs ready for this year’s Solihull Fairtrade Cake Off. The free-to-enter competition takes place on Saturday 24th February at The Core Theatre, Touchwood - and there are lots of lovely prizes on offer for the winners. Adults and children can compete in a range of categories from children’s cupcakes to show stoppers – the only rule is that they must include at least two Fairtrade ingredients. There are also special prizes for entrants who produce information about Fairtrade ingredients. This can be any medium - think poster, poem or performance. Local resident Dayeeta Pal – who has won the cake off competition for the last three years – makes her debut as a Cake Off judge. Joining her on the panel will be BBC junior Bake Off champion 2015, school girl Amari Koryang - already an experienced cake judge – and Solihull’s Mayor, Cllr Stuart Davis. Dayeeta said: “I’m not a professional baker, nor do I have a catering degree. I am just a passionate home baker with a will to never stop learning. “The Fairtrade Cake Off made me realise what I had, who I am and where I want to be one day! “I would really urge Solihull home bakers to enter the Fairtrade Cake Off – you’ll enjoy it, and maybe start a journey of your own.” Amari added: “I’ve had a great time since winning the BBC’s junior Bake Off and I now volunteer with The Real Junk Food Project. “The project collects food that would be thrown away and uses it to cook some really fantastic food for local people. “Solihull Fairtrade Cake Off is another ethical way to put your cooking skills to good use - and have a lot of fun in the process.” The Solihull Fairtrade Cake Off takes place during Fairtrade Fortnight, 26th February – 11th March 2018. For full details including cake drop off times and categories: Read more:…


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