It may just be that by August we shall see work starting on the sports pavilion on the old Victoria Jubilee Allotments site off Hamstead Road. On Tuesday morning I was at a meeting on Parklands Avenue with - left to right in my photo - Cllr Mahmood Hussain, residents who I've not met yet, Cllr Kim Brom, Alan Orr our Constituency Planning Officer, my good friend Liz England from the Handsworth Park Association and Basil Hylton, Chairman of Handsworth Cricket Club (hope I've got that right) and Frank James, Basil's representative on the park committee. Alan said he'd met the representative of Charles Church, the developer of the housing on the site, and that he had agreed with Alan that the 'trigger' point for implementing the terms of the Section 106 Agreement on the VJA site had been arrived at. In other words we are now about to get the 80 new allotments, cricket pitch, two soccer pitches, sports pavilion and children's play areas. I will be sceptical up to the moment I see the work beginning but it was a good meeting.
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I'm just about to board my Quantas flight to Sydney, sitting in a coffee shop at Heathrow, having got up at 5.00 this morning, taken a taxi to Digbeth Coach Station and caught a National Express Coach direct to the airport - impossible by train, and far cheaper, e.g. £18.50 return as opposed to £75 by rail. The news splashed over the papers is that oil prices are unprecedently high and will remain so for the decade. Not unexpected.