Park Management

  • Community,  Events,  Nature,  Park Management

    Kings Heath Festival, Wildflower Meadow

    Ellen & I spent part of of a gusty Saturday afternoon at Kings Heath Festival in Kings Heath Park with friends from Kings Heath Floral Trail (above) and Kings Heath Forum (below). The weather was lovely in its way, but not suitable for setting out documents. Even so, we managed to talk to people about the Highbury portion of the floral trail (meadow grasses north of Shutlock Lane entrance) and the Highbury Trust proposal. We haven’t posted anything about the meadow grasses before, so  bit of explanation is in order. Early this year, as part of our tree trail project, we talked with the floral trail people about their route through the park, and suggested…

  • Highbury Trust

    Highbury Trust concept document online

    A lightly revised version of the concept document for a reformed Highbury Trust is now set out as a web page, along with a PDF version for download. The concept is our response to council efforts to sell Highbury Trust land and assets. We believe that there are far better ways of addressing issues pertaining to property maintenance and conflicts of interest, and we are developing a plan and a network that would see the existing estate brought into a much more inclusive and sustainable set of uses than it has been for some decades. The broad idea is that Highbury combines health, history, agriculture and wildlife in ways that…

  • Feature Pages,  Highbury Trust

    Highbury Trust – A Vibrant Future for a Historic Resource

    A PDF of this document can be downloaded from this page. Highbury Hall and Grounds Concept Plan A vibrant future for a historic resource! – Produced by a consortium of local groupsincluding Highbury Park Friends,The Moseley Society,Moseley Community Development Trust,Britannic Park Residents’ Associationand Heathfield Road Residents Contents 1. Vision Summary We have a vision of: 2. Introduction Highbury Hall [1] and Grounds lies 7 km to the south of Birmingham City Centre. It was once the estate of Joseph Chamberlain, one of the greatest municipal leaders of Birmingham. The Victorian mansion was built in 1879, designed by J. H. Chamberlain and the grounds were landscaped by Edward Milner, one of…

  • Highbury Trust,  Meeting

    Ward Meeting Report

    Tonight’s Ward Committee Meeting was surprising in a couple of ways. Firstly in that it was sparsely attended. Maybe 12 people in the audience, 6 people at the table, including Cllr. John Alden and Rajesh Parmar of the Charities and Trusts Subcommittee. Secondly in that Cllr Alden said – in paraphase – that he was less concerned about the reformation of Highbury Trust and more concerned about getting £2.5 million in back rent from the council for the 22 years they’ve been using Highbury Hall, Chamberlain House and grounds. He said at one point, though I cannot quote exactly, that he refuses to adopt the proposed changes to the Trust…

  • Events,  Highbury Trust

    Highbury Trust / Ward Committee Meeting – Tonight

    Tonight’s Moseley and Kings Heath Ward Committee meeting will include a discussion of the proposed changes to Highbury Trust. It will be based on the reports provided by the Council Trusts & Charities Subcommittee (minutes, correspondence, draft proposal). Representatives of various community groups will be there to comment, ask questions, and raise concerns. One of the questions will be about what else (in addition to this meeting) the Council will do to promote discussion and seek public input about the proposal. The discussion has so far been closed to the general public, decisions have been taken, and historic, environmental qualities are at risk. At what point will the Trustees start…

  • Highbury Trust,  Meeting,  Park Management

    Another Step Toward Sale of Highbury Land & Buildings

    It looks as though the Charity Commission supports sale of Chamberlain House & the four gardener’s/caretaker’s cottages. This is quoted from a letter dated 6 August 2007 written by Kate Waring of the Charity Commission to Rajesh Parmar, legal officer for Birmingham City Council and presented as part of a report to the Trusts & Charities Sub-Committee on 21 November. • The Commission acknowledges that the sub-committee is exploring options other than the disposal of Chamberlain House to fund repairs to Highbury Hall. However, we consider that based on the information provided this is still an option it may need to pursue to ensure the future financial viability of the…

  • News,  Park Management

    Good News! Historic Survey Action

    Just before Christmas we got word that the long-awaited historic survey is in its beginning stages. Fantastic news! We have been chasing this for several years, mainly in an effort to get the necessary funds allocated, and then to get the Council to hire a consultant to carry out the survey. A few months ago we found that it had been scheduled for action but understaffed departments or under-resourced officers had effectively left it in a logjam of unfinished business. Several phone calls and emails helped to clarify the situation and help from supportive people in the right places cleared the way for the Landscape Practice Group to set out…

  • Highbury Trust,  History,  Park Management

    Trust Money

    One of the Highbury Trust issues has to do with money that could have been collected from the Council for its use of Highbury properties, and which could have gone into upkeep and restoration projects. The response to this point has been that the Council have also been paying for the upkeep of the Hall. The Council Business Management Committee says as much in the statements below, taken from the minutes of a 23/03/2004 meeting. First, the claim that the Council have subsidised the Trust: 4.2 (Legal, Financial and Management Implications) If information comes to light which leads the Charity Commission to believe that the Council has benefited from its…