A resource for alcohol rehab and treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic

Boris is a community outreach partner with Rehab 4 Addiction,; he has been in touch to say their website serves as a global resource to help people affected by substance abuse. It’s a sad fact that millions of people will have drunk far too much alcohol during the lockdown, and also suffered mental health consequences.

Their content team has compiled a resource to help people who are struggling with mental health and alcohol abuse during the lockdown.

The objective of this resource is to offer these people advice about stopping drinking and improving mental health.

You can find this resource here https://www.rehab4addiction.co.uk/alcohol-withdrawal-symptoms.



Solihull tip – booking system in September

Solihull Council has announced plans for an online booking system for trips to Bickenhill Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) which will go live next month.

Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Highways, Cllr Ken Hawkins, said: “We recognise that social distancing will be with us for a long time to come and that implementing this at our tip has contributed to quite lengthy queues for some time now.

“While we would still encourage residents to explore all other options – such as donations of useable items to charity shops or booking a hassle free bulky waste collection – we are working towards an online booking system for Solihull residents which should help considerably.

“We will have the new system in place in September and will give residents more information about how to book online once we have completed the necessary testing.”

For more information about household waste and recycling see – https://www.solihull.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling

Message from Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council

13 August – Message from Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council

“Let’s do the right thing for Solihull”

News about the Covid-19 virus never ceases to surprise.  New Zealand, lauded for being virus-free, has had to respond to the first locally transmitted Covid-19 cases in more than 100 days, and impose a lockdown in Auckland.  Breaches of social distancing rules have led to Scottish premiership games being cancelled. In Solihull, our watch words need to be – social distancing, hand hygiene, face coverings and testing. I am very, very concerned that a serious spike could set us back.

We welcome the recent announcement that NHS Test and Trace want to make testing and contact tracing as locally accessible as possible and through our Beacon with Coventry and Warwickshire will be reviewing what benefits this could bring to strengthen our local arrangements. We will keep you posted as this develops and you can keep any eye on the local data and how our Beacon programme is progressing here.  

We continue to work with local businesses to make sure they are staying Covid-19 safe, following national guidance to protect their customers and staff and making sure they take down customer details for Test and Trace. We are writing to all our pubs, bars and restaurants – and also other business such as barbers and hairdressers which have very close contact with customers – to make sure they are clear on what they need to do and our teams are also responding to any concerns raised by members of the public. This will all help to get businesses back on track and reduce the risk of a local lockdown.

A welcome part of the plans is the new streamlined service for premises such as bars, cafes and restaurants to apply to use pavements as areas to provide food and drinks. This approach minimises the risks of transmitting the virus (as long as social distancing is maintained) as the areas are outdoors. It might even add a little continental flavour to our centres.  You can find out more about pavement licensing applications here.

This Saturday, 15 August, is the 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan (VJ) Day. HRH The Prince of Wales will lead the UK in a national moment of remembrance and thanksgiving for all those who served in the Far East.  There will be a two minute silence at 11am at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire as part of a special televised service. Here are some tips on how you can get involved. For more information about VJ 75 Day follow this link here.

Finally, I want to mention our students who are getting their A level and BTEC National results today.  It will be a very different experience for them this year and we’re unlikely to get to see those lovely photos we’ve become used to, of sixth formers in their schools and colleges collecting their results.  I hope everyone gets the results they need and are able to celebrate, safely of course.  For those who are perhaps disappointed in their outcome, our education settings are experts at helping students to cope and find other options where appropriate – so take advantage of the support!

Please, keep social distancing, wash hands frequently, wear face coverings in enclosed spaces and at the first sign of Covid-19 get a test! If we all follow these routines we stand a chance of controlling the situation in Solihull.

Take care!

Cyber crime message

Good Afternoon, we hope you are all well.

Today I have created a short video around CyberAware check it out using the link provided to find some great advice to help protect you from the majority of Cyber Crime.

Following on from this short Video I will be going live on Thursday 13th August 2020 from 19.30hrs whereby I will go into more detail on how to stay safe around Cyber Crime and how to protect you your families and your loved ones.

Our youtube channel here WM Regional Cyber Crime Unit will be the platform used to listen to my advice on Thursday look out for the video titled Cyber Crime Awareness and Slido will be the platform used to ask any questions throughout the presentation to give you the chance to engage with ourselves. Please use #CyberCrime on Slido if you don’t use the link provided or have any issues.

I look forward to to presenting live on Thursday and please use Slido to engage with me on the night, your feedback is valuable as we now need to adapt to new ways of working.

Thank you

Stay safe

Digital PCSO Sean Long

Message Sent By
Sean Long (Police, Digital PCSO, West Midlands)

Applications open for Pavement Licensing

Solihull Council is now taking online applications for pavement licences from premises such as bars, restaurants and cafes – and applications can also be viewed online with the option to make a comment.


The new pavement licence process follows the passing of The Business and Planning Act 2020 last month which aims to promote economic recovery and growth in response to the economic impacts of Covid-19.


The Act includes provisions which are designed to make it easier for premises in England to serve food and drink to customers outdoors – while social distancing measures remain in place – through temporary changes to planning procedures and alcohol licensing.


In response to the Act the Council has adopted a policy on pavement licensing and is accepting applications for the new pavement licences online.


For further information about pavement licences – including information about the policy, how to apply for a licence and how to view and make comments on applications – see: https://www.solihull.gov.uk/Business/Licences/Pavement-licence

“Let’s do the right thing for Solihull”

Message from Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, 11 August 2020

Several things to mention this time, but first the Covid-19 update.  Our centres are busier and people have been making the most of the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme. Most people are wearing face coverings when they should. For me, this is important, not just to protect others, but because it is also a sign of understanding that we are still in a crisis and that social distancing still needs to be observed.

The data is telling us that there is an increase in the number of cases within our communities, but nothing as yet tied to any particular venue or activity. We are keeping a careful watch on the situation, but let us hope that by following the current simple rules, we can control the virus, without having to impose further restrictions, or be forced to use our new powers.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has inevitably dominated attention over the past months, we have also been looking to the future, to put in place the plans and policies that will ensure Solihull continues to build on its reputation for jobs and investment; help the local economy recover and seize the opportunities for Solihull that may present themselves despite the uncertainties of the present crisis

Today we are launching plans for the potential redevelopment of the current Council House site on the corner of Homer Road and Church Hill Road, adjacent to the High Street.  Called ‘Eastgate’ the 5.66 acre site could be the business and commercial quarter within the town. Its size and good location, as well as being connected to the retail core of the town, makes Eastgate a unique investment opportunity for the area.

This announcement is basically about attracting a development and investment partner to help us deliver the opportunity, embracing new homes, business space, public squares and accommodation. Any design will need to incorporate the highest environmental standards and sustainability, as we must put climate challenge at the heart of everything we do as a Council.

Eastgate is about starting to shape the future of Solihull, keeping it as a key centre in the region, and is about our future prosperity.

On a different matter, how impressive was it to see the way that new bridge over the M42 was installed, in double-quick time?  This is part of the work to connect the road network around the new HS2 interchange station, a key element in the borough’s future prosperity.

You will have realised that our woodlands and trees are close to my heart, so I am pleased to announce that we have agreed a long-term partnership with the Woodland Trust to provide 11,886 trees in the first year as a contribution towards our Planting Our Future project.

Planting Our Future is about encouraging Solihull residents to get involved in tree planting projects, as well as any other green projects across the borough, such as offering support to private land owners who wish to plant trees.

We have committed to planting at least 250,000 trees over the next 10 years as part of our wider commitment towards the climate change agenda.   But we cannot do this work alone hence working with the Woodland Trust and others. For example, Solihull Council just does not have enough land – we have to ask everyone to help identify the land needed for the 250,000 target.

I also want to remind businesses in Solihull that the Small Business Grants Fund is closing soon.

To date more than £27million of government grants has been paid to over 2,000 businesses across the borough through the Small Business Grants and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund and the Discretionary Grant scheme. We have awarded a grant to 96% of those businesses identified as eligible.

The Government has now announced 28 August as the end date for the business grant scheme. If you think you are eligible, please make your application before Friday 14 August so that we can process any applications before the 28 August end date. Further information on the eligibility criteria for the cash grant can be found here.  (If you have any questions please contact Jo Robinson (Head of Income and Awards) 0121 704 8119 or email joanne.robinson@solihull.gov.uk )

This Saturday (15 August) is Victory in Japan Day. The Government has announced revised plans to mark this 75th anniversary, in a manner consistent with the current measures we have in place to contain the spread of coronavirus.   A document has been produced, which outlines how people can celebrate safely and what the Government is doing to mark the day. The full announcement is here.

Please, keep social distancing, wash hands frequently, wear face coverings in enclosed spaces and at the first sign of Covid-19 get a test! If we all follow these routines we stand a chance of controlling the situation in Solihull.

Take care!

Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, 11 August 2020

M6: J4 – J5 technology repairs and resurfacing

Highways England have issued notification they are to carry out improvement road works to northbound M6 between junctions 4 and 5 between 17th August and 4th September 2020.

The northbound M6 motorway and the link roads between M6 and M42 northbound will be closed for the work, but only between 10pm and 6am the next day. Signed diversions will be in place.

The work will take place on 17/18 August, 21st August, 24/27 August and 01/04 September.

M6 southbound will not be affected.  Read Highways England notification letter here.


No room for complacency

West Midlands councils today warned there is no room for complacency as public health teams continue their efforts to prevent further COVID-19 lockdowns across the region.

The number of cases per 100,000 population for the seven metropolitan authorities dropped from 13.1 in the seven days up to and including 27 July to 11.5 for the seven days up to and including 1 August. Those figures are significantly lower than the rates that have prompted new lockdowns across parts of northern England and Aberdeen in the last week.

Even so, the leaders of Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton councils insist businesses and individuals must continue to play their part in reducing the risk of a further significant spike.

Speaking after the weekly meeting of West Midlands council leaders, the Leader of Solihull Council, Cllr Ian Courts, said: “We’ve seen how quickly things can change in Leicester, parts of northern England and now Aberdeen, so we can’t afford to take our eye off the ball.

“That’s why we’re working closely across the region, sharing data and intelligence, to help tackle this. But we will only succeed if every person, every community, business and organisation plays a part. For example, we need pubs and restaurants to properly maintain records of staff, customers and visitors for NHS Test and Trace in the event of an outbreak.

“We need businesses to contact public health the moment a case is identified. This reduces the risk to staff and customers and often means the case can be managed quickly and without significant impact on the business. Some are doing this, but sadly not all and that could have devastating consequences.”

The seven councils are now:

  • Supporting employers to be COVID-safe and working with them to rapidly engage with public health teams once a case is identified.
  • Targeting work encouraging young people to stay COVID-alert, especially when socialising with friends and family.
  • Focussing on specific business sectors, especially pubs and banqueting suites, taxis and supermarkets to ensure these businesses are doing everything possible to protect customers and staff.
  • Piloting additional testing approaches in different areas to increase the uptake of testing and better understand the pattern of the disease in our communities.
  • Working with community partners and local media partners to ensure key messages on keeping COVID-safe are accessible in multiple languages and formats.

Cllr Courts added: “We must all continue to do everything we can to protect our families, friends, neighbours and colleagues right across Birmingham and the wider West Midlands. Our public health teams are working hard to minimise the risk of further lockdowns and every single one of us needs to help them.”

Proposed parking restrictions in Castle Bromwich

The Highways Authority, Solihull Council, has consulted the Parish Council on proposals to impose parking restrictions. At their meeting on 29th July the Parish Council agreed to submit an objection to the proposals to install double yellow lines at the junction of Kingsleigh Drive and Chester Road, outside St Mary and St Margaret’s church. Their reasons are:

  • the church is well used but parking restrictions outside would curtail events and fund-raising, not just for the Church but for the Hall Gardens as well.
  • Imposition of waiting restrictions would impact worse than now, in that events held at the Church, the Hotel and the Hall Gardens would result in further traffic disruption over a wider distance.

The proposals put forward by Solihull MBC can be seen here: Proposed Total Prohibition of Waiting at Any Time

Beechcroft Road (both sides) – from a point 15 metres north east of its junction with Chester Road, in a northerly direction, to a point 35 metres north of that junction.

Chester Road (both sides) – from a point 15 metres west of its junction with Kingsleigh Drive, in a westerly direction, to a point 42 metres west of that junction.

Kingsleigh Drive (both sides) – from a point 15 metres north east of its junction with Chester Road, in a north easterly direction, to a point 30 metres north east of that junction.

At the same meeting the parish councillors agreed to support the proposals for parking restrictions in the bus stop area near the junction of Beechcroft Road with Chester Road, as the proposals were put forward on road safety grounds.

To support or object to the above Order, please write to Mr L Stevenson, Resources Directorate, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Manor Square, Solihull, B91 3QB or via email to tro@solihull.gov.uk stating the reasons by no later than 6 August 2020



Residents and businesses across the West Midlands urged to get tested for Covid-19

West Midlands councils today stressed that testing will be key to preventing further Covid-19 lockdowns across the region, and urged residents and businesses to play their part.

As large parts of northern England woke to new local lockdown rules this morning, council leaders and public health bosses have made it clear that widespread testing is now more important than ever to reduce the prospect of similar action in the West Midlands.

Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton councils are urging people who have COVID-19 symptoms or who have come into contact with anyone who has tested positive to get tested.

The seven local authorities also reiterated the importance of businesses contacting Public Health England as a case is identified – either confirmed or suspected – in a staff or customer.

Cllr Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, said: “As we’ve seen with Leicester and now the north of England, this pandemic is far from over and there’s no room for complacency. Testing is absolutely essential if we’re going to limit the spread of the virus across the West Midlands and save lives. Every single one of us can play a part.

“Rates of testing have dropped over the last week in the West Midlands and it is essential that anyone with symptoms, however mild, rings 119 or goes on the NHS website to book a test. We are working with the Department of Health to expand the number of testing sites across the region and increase opportunities for walk-through testing as well. By testing you get the reassurance of knowing if you have Covid-19 or not and you get the right advice to keep you and your family safe.

“We are also seeing across the region that workplaces are becoming sources of outbreaks and spread, but if Public Health are contacted quickly when managers find out about the first suspected or confirmed case, then the right advice can be given and we can control things quickly.

“In most cases this also means the business doesn’t need to close and things can be controlled. Staying silent means the virus spreads, putting staff and customers at risk, and where businesses haven’t stepped up and reached out for help quickly there have been outbreaks that have grown and impacted on the wider community.”

People can help to fight the virus in the following ways:

  • If you develop symptoms, you must continue to follow the rules to self-isolate with other members of your household and order a test to find out if you have coronavirus.
  • If you test positive for coronavirus, you must share information promptly about your recent contacts through the NHS test and trace service to help us alert other people who may need to self-isolate.
  • If you have had close recent contact with someone who has coronavirus, you must self-isolate if the NHS test and trace service advises you to do so.
  • Tests are now available to all adults and most children with a fever, a new continuous cough or a loss of smell or taste.
  • Tests are free, results are issued within 48 hours and NHS contact tracing is a confidential service.
  • You can apply for a swab test for yourself, or for anyone in your household, if you or they have symptoms
  • You can travel to a drive-through testing site, visit a mobile testing unit or get a home testing kit delivered.

Businesses should:

  • Contact Public Health England as soon as a case is identified – either confirmed or suspected – in a staff or customer.
  • This should be reported to Public Health England as soon as possible by ringing 0344 225 3560 and pressing 0 then option 2.
  • Reporting a suspected or confirmed case as a business as soon as possible means that Public Health can support your firm to contain and avoid spread.

Cllr Courts added: “This is in everyone’s interests and it’s not just about diagnosing individual cases, it’s about understanding how widely the virus has spread. We can identify hotspots and act to contain and control the virus.

“Individuals and businesses can all play a vital role and it’s essential that we all follow Public Health England’s advice on reporting cases promptly.”

For more information contact the press office on press@solihull.gov.uk or 0121 704 6136.