Tag: Community Stakeholder meeting

Notes from the stakeholder meeting on 12th November 2013

These are just rough notes taken at the stakeholder meeting held on 12th November 2013 at the Stirchley Community centre.

Karen Cheney (Head of Selly Oak District ) introduced some key people

  • John Lucas and James  Morris from Mansell Construction
  • Mohammed Irfan – District community and play manager.
  • Lesley Steele-  is the person who manages the programme on behalf of the council – she’s the client.
  • Mark Sloane – Acivico Architect who designed Hub  , Gio Picariello – Acivico Project Manager for this scheme

Karen  explained that the project still had to be finally approved   at the council cabinet – the cabinet meets on Monday 18th –  this will also approve the contract for the work.   that means that by Friday of following week we should be able to place orders with the contractors and we’re looking at starting on site in the New Year – starting before will mean paying for nothing to happen.

Someone asked – you do mean 2014!  Yes.

Acivico ( Gio and Mark) are a company wholly owned by Birmingham City Council and they deliver the capital works for the council – they deliver schemes and return profit back to the council.

James  Morris from Mansell (part of Balfour Beatty) explained they have done a number of conservation projects before and work in partnership with the council.  He;’s currently working on Chamberlain House in Moseley – another listed building.  They have been involved with the project for almost 2 years – which means they can plan thoroughly before it starts.  We used experienced people for conservation from wherever they find them.

John Lucas  says he used to work with Sapcotes and was the site Manager for the Back to Backs in Birmingham and has done the Bournville Lane Baths for Cadbury – including work on Black Countyr Museum and the Bethesda Chappel in Stoke.

Mark is the architect (plans available here) – the plans have been shown a number of times and have planning approval.  There have been negotiations with the Coop around a plan to provide better access around the Friends Meeting house – if that happens another planning application will go in but will run in conjunction with the build.

qWhat is the cost going to be and could it go up.

A – the target cost is fixed and will be fully public from Monday.

q How much has the plan shifted from the first scheme

A The one that got approved had a shift to flexible/multi- functional  community spaces.  Following talking to people in Stirchley – the message was more space for groups to use the building and that the building is flexible.  there will be a telephone kiosk connecting to council advice services.

Q  Will it be used for council offices in the future?

A There may be flexible services there on some days – but not envisaged that  permanent council offices.

Q  Any plans to connect ot to the library so it becomes a larger site.

A there was an early plan to do that but cost meant not.  There will work together – and this building can also provide space for larger exhibitions – there could be self service book return etc in the hub.

Q  Will it be possible for the CAB to have an office –
A We are actively pursuing all voluntary organisations who may wish to provide services from within the hub. The building is there for what the local community would like to be there.

Q Re accesibility and ease of access –

A – If we are able to work things through with the coop it will help to separate cars and pedestrians a little more. Tesco has planning approval so some road improvements will happen and a pavement widening will helps with pedestrian safety.

Heritage officer

Once all is approved a commission will go out for a part time heritage officer for 3 years – including the first year of building work. There are also heritage activity and interpretation plan. The commission will probably appear on Find it in Birmingham – hoping to get someone ready to get started in the new year.

Social reporting –

Offer made to learn to use the kit and add stories to Stirchley baths site.

Q asked that if equipment ends up being damaged can it be replaced through free cycle.

Steering group

Do you want to be a part – not exclusive.  What would be expected… Not everyone goes to every meeting but it has had consistency and input in terms of improving and developing  ideas for usage etc.  We don’t pretend to be representative – but we are from several areas and interests.  Another said – it has been interesting – especially given the connection with the current Community centre.

From the council’s perspective this is your building.  There will be more opportunities/ space than the current community centre may offer.  For example the  theatre/cinema potential.  The council is also keen in being challenged to get it right.  J

Point from the floor Stirchley Urban Resource Network – appeared at first like a virtual community centre. This is an example of how the “spirit of Stirchley” should be captured – heritage can remind us that we have a vibrant community here and have had it for a century.

Many people from outside Stirchley are still interested in what happens at the Bath’s.

The switch over from existing community centre to the new one.

Tesco  have vacant possession of the current community centre from March 2014.

You can find the plan for the Tesco development on the planning portal.   Cllr Rob Seeley explained that  Tesco still have to submit a detailed plan –  but have outline planning approval.  An update about business response can be found on the Lifford Lane Business Associaiton site.

Mohammed explains what is likely to happen to community groups

There are currently approx. 20000 users come through the doors for sessions at the community centre.

We have 20 loyal good groups here ranging  from parent and toddlers to senior citizens. They are all volunteer led and they have many skills within the groups.
Alternative venues being explored include:

Stirchley Church
St Andrews Church

Christchurch, Selly park
Birmingham city council facilities – Masefield community centre (currently closed on Saturday and Sunday)

The Library
We might also approach the Police Tally Ho centreWill arrange open days for these venues and there will still be staff to support their use by groups.

Q How will the hub be staffed

A  Current staff at the community centre will be transferred – but the longer aim is that building will be a community asset transfer –  leased to a community group.

A question was raised – had a local cllr bought the building at sometime – A was the baths have always been in council hands

Q Once it is community asset transferred the site will have to sustain itself – pay for staff that are needed.

A  There wont be an asset transfer unless the community group can sustain this.  In terms of  external funding there are also many more funds that can be applied for from a community group rather than BCC

Q Would the asset transfer go to an outside group or a larger group from elsewhere or could it be a newly formed group.

A – It could be either – a new group could be an umbrella for many active organisations. They will have to maintain the Spirit of Stirchley.  At this stage the asset transfer is an idea – a proposal.

Q How long are the leases

A Because of EU constraints the lease can be 25 years at most.

Q How many CAT’s are prowling ( no idea what this word is !!):

A  It has developed consistency in the last 5 years – open, fair and transparent.  The aim it to transfer to a viable community based  organisation that has a local community focus.  There are about a dozen current  active CATs  in Birmingham varying from organisations with one building to neighbourhood assets.  The organisation has to demonstrate and programme  inclusive use.  They also have to be a not for profit organisation. There will also be conditions from Heritage Lottery Fund for their grant.

Q Has there been any more information as regard the Jewish bath that was there.A It could be an area that needs more exploration.

The walkthrough on the 30th.  – The steering group have a development half day on the 30th November and will going into more depth on Community Asset Transfer, the building plans and social media.


Paula Aubrey: Why I’m involved in the Stirchley Baths project

Paula Aubrey joined Stirchley Community Group over 20 years ago to get involved in the village’s community centre and she’s been hoping to see Stirchley Baths brought back into use for the community for quite some time. Paula is a member of the Stirchley Baths community stakeholder group. Here she explains why…

Community Stakeholder Meeting Notes – part 1

Where:  Stirchley Community Centre.

When: 6.30pm – Feb 13th 2013.

Part one was general update before part two – an exercise for the activity plan.   These are rough notes from the first part of the meeting:

The group introduced themselves – some key facts reported by Karen Cheney

Planning application for the bath’s development will go to the Birmingham City Council planning ctte on 7th March

Next for the Heritage Lottery Fund is the second stage bid – which will also require an activity plan, covering activity which will support the heritage side of the work during the build and afterwards.  Suzanne Carter from Birmingham Conservation Trust will work with Chris Rice from Birmingham Museums Trust to create the plan.

It was reported that the stage two bid needs item to be as strong as possible – so currently aiming for June to submit the bid.

Suzanne Carter explained:

Activity plan is a report which covers all the activity that the Heritage Lottery Fund which isn’t building work.  It’s the work that involves people in history and heritage.  Suzanne will be talking to lots of people in the community to help her create the planning and is focused on what people can learn about the history of the baths – how to bring it alive.  It can also involve plans to train people in conservation skills and hands on experience of heritage work.  this will also focus on how people get involved in making decisions about heritage in the area.

3 important roles for the plan

  • to demonstrate that local people love the building and want it back in some form of use
  • demonstrates that people are interested
  • demonstrate that there is an interest in developing the heritage plan.

Nick Booth outlined the use of this new website to capture news of the project,  stories from the baths and the community centre and how people are getting involved with the activity plan.

Chris Rice said  that the reason the project got a stage one HLF bid was because of local people’s enthusiasm and ‘agitation’.  A successful stage two bid is not a given – so the work and enthusiasm from here on in really helps the bid for the money for construction.

A discussion about timing – including frustration/argument about delays.  A further point made about how long the preparation for the project has gone on –  and how important that stage two of HLF bid will provide the money to get the work started.  When was it actually closed: 5th March 1988 –  so 25 years since it was closed, with 12 years of planning to get something to this stage.

A query about finding archives from the central library on the history of the baths – might that be found in Birmingham Central Library or  Cadbury Archives or Worcester?

7.15 pm onto Part two, Suzanne Carter led on ideas for the activity plan… (see separate notes)