The Greenhill Way area of Shirley came to the attention of the Safer Solihull Partnership due to levels of anti-social behaviour and reports of drug dealing. Greenhill Way has again been identified as a priority area within the West Locality.
In Autumn 2018 SMBC’s Neighbourhood Management Team helped the Greenhill Way (Street) Association to secure Active Citizen Funding of £9,250. The Association are using the money to buy home security equipment for the most vulnerable residents and high visibility clothing and litter picking equipment for community use. Plans also include using the day centre on Green Hill Way as a meeting hub where they will also be providing training for the local community, for example in First Aid, Food Hygiene and Mental Health Awareness.
The Neighbourhood team have also received funding from the Community Safety Partnership to replace fencing to help control access to the area.
Working with Cllr Karen Grinsell (Shirley East Ward Councillor and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health) and the Greenhill Way Association, an information day for residents was held on Saturday 19 January. The aim was to increase the numbers of volunteers, reduce social isolation and encourage residents to engage. Free crime reduction equipment was made available and other equipment demonstrated.
The team are now delivering a makeover of Green Hill Way/Astley Walk garden landscaping to reduce the amount of dark overgrowing vegetation. The plan includes the replacement of some of the shrubs with suitable trees. Residents have been engaged through illustrations of the proposed changes. The team have worked with Community Housing (SCH), Police, Cllrs and Street Association to consult with the residents. Work begins on the area shortly.
SCH has worked alongside throughout and have improved the apartment blocks by painting the outside, improving the landscaping around the high rises and replacing doors. They also propose to demolish derelict outbuildings which detract from the appearance of the area.
The residents of Greenhill Way are becoming more engaged in the custodianship and social cohesion of their area. Friendships are forming and there are more opportunities for social interaction. Residents involved in the Street Association and open day are developing organisational and marketing skills.
Cllr Grinsell said: “The community event showed that just by talking and listening to people and helping with those issues that really matter to them really makes a difference. “
“We now need to tackle some of the bigger issues in the area such as drug use/dealing and physical inactivity but as a group we have lots of other ideas to help the life chances of young residents in this area.
“The event we created could be the template for future events across our three localities.”