May 5 Local Elections: How would Acocks Green Candidates Care for Acocks Green?

April 21st, 2011

Acocks Green Focus Group is concerned with the fixed features of Acocks Green, roads, buildings, trees, green spaces. We aim to help protect that which is good and change the not so good. We are asking the five Acocks Green Ward candidates for the 2011 May 5 Council elections for their answers to some questions about their own policies; how would they help protect and enhance the future appearance of Acocks Green? The questions are below. We will publish answers verbatim, without comment, only adjusting appearance for uniformity where necessary. We hope that before May 5 we will have a set of answers in order to help Acocks Green residents, who care about their suburb, to decide which candidate’s name to put their ‘X’ by when they drop their bit of paper into one of those black boxes. Although we will not be commenting, our ‘post’ comments section will be open as usual and it will be possible for readers to comment on answers if they wish, or, indeed for candidates to comment on each other’s answers.

The Acocks Green Ward candidates are (in alphabetical order) Amanda Baker (Green Party) John Butler (UKIP) Joe Edginton (Conservative Party) Stewart Stacey (Labour Party) Penny Wagg (Lib Dem).

Questions for Candidates:

Are you concerned that the new Tesco development at Yardley could cause the decline of the shopping centre in Acocks Green village?

If so, and if elected, what measures would you encourage Birmingham City Council to adopt in order to ensure that Acocks Green centre remains economically healthy and vibrant?

Do you support the Birmingham City Council/Solihull MBC/Centro scheme for a Smart Route on the Warwick Road from Stratford Road to Lode Lane? (A Smart Route is a red route with special facilities for buses. If you are unfamiliar with this scheme there is a report on a meeting between Birmingham City Council Transportation Department staff and Acocks Green delegates below here.)


If you are elected, and if you support this scheme (funding is still to be arranged) will you support, as the first major part of it, the implementation of a single carriageway through part of Acocks Green centre, to replace part of the present dual carriageway there? (See post for more details.)

If elected, will you actively also support ‘de-cluttering’ (removal of excess street furniture) as part of the implementation of this scheme?

There are presently plans under discussion for Acocks Green people to propose their own Conservation Area, working towards presenting their own proposed boundary and an appraisal of the area, with some guidance from BCC officers. If elected, would you support such a scheme, in principle, and support it in the process of your work as a councillor, e.g. speaking and voting in favour where possible. If the answer is ‘this depends’ please elaborate.

There is currently concern in the community about a scheme under discussion to demolish The Glynn Edwards Baptist Hall (corner of Yardley Road and Alexander Road, Acocks Green.) The Hall would be replaced with a new, plate glass design. The owners of the Hall claim that the scheme would enable them to finance proper maintenance for the two statutorily listed buildings on either side. They say they would be able to let small rooms in the new building. See our main Glynn Edwards Hall posting here . (A subsequent post on the building reproduces a letter from the owners.)


If elected, would you support or oppose this scheme, in its present form. Please give at least one reason in your answer.

2 Responses to “May 5 Local Elections: How would Acocks Green Candidates Care for Acocks Green?”

  1. Treats says:

    I heard that Labour candidate Stewart Stacey is on your group, but you wouldn’t let Penny Wagg on because you wanted to be politically neutral. Two questions. Did Stewart help put these questions together? Wouldn’t it be more honest and waste a lot less time if you didn’t pretend to be neutral?

    • Julia says:


      Whoever told you that Penny Wagg is not allowed to join has badly misinformed you. Penny Wagg is free to join Acocks Green Focus Group if she wishes; check out our Constitution which is available for downloading on the right hand side of this website (See under ‘Join us’.) The qualifications for joining the group are (1) Living in Acocks Green (2) Working in Acocks Green or (3) Carrying on a business in Acocks Green. Penny Wagg fulfills the first two qualifications, so she is more than qualified to join.

      We are proud of the ‘broad church’ nature of our group, which we have always felt to be one of its strengths, because this way we can pool expertise in the interests of Acocks Green and we are not fighting each other. The cooperative way in which people from different political backgrounds work together in Acocks Green was a point which Cllr Timothy Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Transportation and Regeneration, was also interested to hear about when he visited Acocks Green to discuss future policies with a group of local representatives not long ago. Perhaps you are not aware that other Focus Group members also include the current Green Party candidate and the the secretary of Acocks Green Conservative Party. We are in regular contact with the local Acocks Green Ward councillors (All Lib- Dem) who are frequently invited to meeetings, including meetings to discuss policy on various issues, and to events which we organise – and they do attend. We have also, several times, discussed ideas with the local MP John Hemming (Lib-Dem) who has expressed support for some of our ideas.

      In answer to your other point: Stewart Stacey did not write the questions. They were written by Julia Larden, who is Chair of Acocks Green Focus Group, whose idea the questions also were. In fact Stewart went so far as to decline to have anything to do with either the content or the wording of the questions, as did the Conservative Party secretary. (The Green Party candidate was not asked.)

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