Ideas from the Community
A voluntary initiative supporting community engagement in local policy making

Ideas from the Community

Next informal meeting:  Station Cafe Bar, Dorridge: Date to be confirmed

SMBC (Places Directorate), DDRA and DROVS are all backing the Community Ideas Initiative:

In their recent Newsletter, DDRA say'....we see it as a positive way to start the new year and an excellent way of enabling everyone with an interest in local matters to have their views noted, stored and, where possible, acted upon'

Sainsburys (Dorridge):  The required 'Travel Plan' is to be put to Solihull Planning Committee on Wednesday 14th March for their approval.  You may wish to compare the Travel Plan with the Community Ideas List to observe the extent to which Sainsburys and SMBC have responded to this initiative - and to your Ideas

In effect this is a set of commitments that Sainsburys propose are sufficient to ensure their development will satisfy the requirements of the planning committee regarding traffic management, monitoring and any necessary remedial action. There has been no formal public consultation but, of course, we should expect Sainsburys and SMBC to have taken into consideration all practical options before coming to a decision.  Sainsburys, Councillors, SMBC officials are all aware of this Community Ideas list, so please take a moment to check that your own ideas (more yellow lines, more parking, speed limits etc etc) are here. 

This is a new, voluntary community initiative - a place to share our ideas for how to make where we live a better, more pleasant and sustainable place to be, focussing initially on Dorridge, Knowle and the surrounding areas but open to anyone.

There's no committee, no membership, no blogging, opinion polling nor voting - in fact there's no need to agree anything at all.

There's just us, a place to put our Community Ideas, simply, in one place, together with other 'things to consider' - the pros and cons, so we can make up our own minds.

And, if we want, we can form open Community Interest Groups to meet, to discuss and refine the Ideas and to explore how they might be put into practice.

 We will:  

  • Invite all members of our communities - residents, business, voluntary organisations, officials and independent experts, to send in and share their Ideas for how to make Dorridge, Knowle and the surrounding district a better, more pleasant and sustainable place to be 

  • Publish, impartially, in an accessible, structured format, all of the issues, constructive ideas, summary arguments for and against, with references to supporting evidence where available, encouraging further input.

  • Promulgate the Community Ideas List to our local authorities, to businesses and to other organisations with the power to act, inviting their response and active participation in this initiative.

    Encourage the development of open Community Interest Groups to discuss and refine published Ideas, to explore how these Ideas might be put into practice and, where appropriate, to take direct voluntary action.

We hope this will help stimulate discussion and inform local planning processes, encourage community workshops ... in-depth analysis in the blogasphere, arguments in schools, on the streets and in the cafes and pubs - and that the cat comes in for it too.

As a result, we hope we'll get better decisions on matters which affect us all and that we'll help develop greater sense of community in the process.

What can you do?

Send in your own Ideas, including ideas for how we can make this initiative better.  If you know anyone without access to the Internet, please help them to join in. Be neighbourly!

Take a look at the Ideas which are already flowing in. See if your own idea has 'grown'. and add 'Things to Consider' if there's something missing.

Help! - If you would like to help out on the editorial team, if you are a web designer yourself, or know how to work all the gadgets and gizmos - or, even better, if you are a young person and want some unpaid work experience (of course you do!) - helping get this community scheme off the ground is an ideal opportunity to put something nice on your CV. Seriously, it would be great to have more people involved in running this. You'd be very welcome.
Any teachers, schools or colleges listening? What about encouraging and posting childrens' ideas for making Dorridge, Knowle and Bentley Heath nicer, greener, more sustainable?


  1. Sainsburys TRAVEL PLAN - There are already some interesting Ideas including making the whole of central Dorridge pedestrian priority.  We need more creative ideas, for example, for where will visitors to the surgery park when the Sainsburys' car park is full? An opportunity to feed in to the thinking, prior to final sign-off by our SMBC Planning Committee.
  2. PARKING:  How do we solve the wider problems of parking in Dorridge and Knowle?  More car parks, more yellow lines? park-and-ride schemes, buses, cycling, walking, sponsored wheeled shopping bags? - look at the Ideas that others have sent in and come up with your own.
  3. THE SCHOOL RUN, traffic calming:  Ideas posted include starting a sponsored Walking Bus from Sainsburys car park (when it's built), managed parking and more pelican crossings along Station Road - use Community buses? a blanket Twenty Plenty 20mph speed limit, make new footpaths, away from the roads? Install more safety railings along the length of Station Rd; stop HGVs during school run hours. What do you think?
  4. 'GREEN' ideas? do we want more flowers, more trees? introduce wild boar to the woods? would you like to see the stars again rather than the orange glow from poorly designed street lighting? What about encouraging cycling, walking, electric vehicles?
  5. SOCIAL Ideas:?  We already have some great community groups - unsung heros, keeping the station looking nice and doing other things behind the scenes that benefit us all.  What about new Ideas for finding out what's going on, for seeing each other and meeting more often - a big community notice board? A mass action 'Tidy The Village Day', perhaps? or a Spring Clean day when we all put out all our unwanted clutter on the drives for free or to sell; or offer our surplus fruit and veg to passers by; ideas for how to help the elderly and other non-internet users keep in touch, switch their electricity suppliers etc.?

Feedback Form
Your name  *
E-mail address  *
Where do you live - Dorridge? Knowle?
Ideas!  *
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Note: all Ideas and other contributions are published anonymously; 'Responses' are attributed as appropriate. We will keep copies of correspondence for our records and we might respond by email if there is something we'd like to clarify with you. But we will not pass on your names or email addresses to anyone else nor will we bombard you with unsolicited mail.

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