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Freeze out car thieves

this winter Tell tale signs winter is here: the monumental decision is taken to switch the heating on; out comes the 13.5-tog duvet; and it’s impossible to read newspaper articles on a pending cold snap without reading the phrase “mercury plummeted”. Unfortunately in recent years it’s also been

marked by some Solihull motorists leaving their vehicles unattended in the mornings to defrost – and gifting car thieves an early Christmas present. No-one likes to start their working day with numb fingertips caused by windscreen scraping or to sit in an icy-cold driver’s seat. The temptation will always be to nip inside the

house to collect a bag or drink that last sip of coffee whilst the car’s heater clears the screen and makes the interior toasty warm.

‘Last winter season 16 vehicles were stolen across Solihull’

But that’s all the time a car thief needs to jump in and drive away. Last winter 16 vehicles were stolen across Solihull by opportunist thieves taking advantage of drivers leaving their cars unattended to defrost outside their home. Solihull Police officers carry out ‘frosty morning patrols’ whenever the forecast indicates overnight temperatures could dip below zero. They’ll be primed to hit the streets from 6am,

warning drivers about the danger of leaving vehicles unattended to thaw, whilst looking-out for suspicious individuals hoping to drive off in cars left standing with keys in the ignition. But motorists can freeze out car thieves by

simply staying with their vehicle as it defrosts. Target vehicles tend to be high value; the types difficult to steal, thanks to advanced security technology, without the keys. Motorists should also be mindful that car

insurance policies are often invalid when cars are stolen in this way as the owner is deemed to have been responsible for the theft. – so people could also be left out of pocket as well as without a car.


From left: Panel members, Paul Watson, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council; Councillor Ian Courts, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council; Jerry Blackett, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group; Ian Williamson, Williamson & Soden Solicitors; and Mark Smith, Arup

town’s future. Jerry Blackett, chief executive of Birmingham and Solihull Chamber, was speaking at a debate into the government’s controversial Localism Bill. The debate was organised by the Chamber, and local law firm Williamson & Soden, and was attended by business and council leaders, property developers and community representatives. The debate heard that the proposed Bill

would give greater powers to the local community to decide what kind of town Solihull should become. Mr Blackett said that the business

community had an important role to play in

New service at Feed My Fish

Solihull company Feed My Fish which offers an emergency domestic call-out service, has launched a new care in the community service. Owner and managing director Dawn

Wainwright said: “Within the community we have a significant elderly population who choose to live independently and we want to help them to maintain their independence for as long as is feasibly possible. “We will take individuals to and from their hospital appointments and wait with them until they are seen. We will also do the shopping or take individuals on shopping trips. With Christmas approaching they may like some help with their Christmas shopping or even just a trip out to the local garden centre to see the Christmas decorations. We are also happy to exercise their four legged friends if this has become too much for them.” Business partner Hazel Parker said: “We also offer respite cover for individuals who act as full

Localism Bill debated B

irmingham and Solihull Chamber has called for businesses to play a greater role in shaping the

Solihull Chamber of Commerce Wellington House, Starley Way, Birmingham Int. Park, Solihull B37 7HE T: 0121 781 7384 • F: 0121 781 7385 E: W:

this, but added: “I welcome the Bill but I would have liked more of a role for businesses themselves.” The national debate about the Localism Bill has been dominated by a fierce row over the intention to relax planning laws in favour of ‘sustainable development’, which some have viewed as a threat to the green belt. The Solihull debate featured a number of

questions from the floor on this subject, but Paul Watson, the council official in charge of regeneration, pointed out that much of the borough’s recent economic success was based on overcoming opposition to development. He said that Touchwood Shopping Centre,

had faced a lot of opposition before it was built, as had the Blythe Valley Business Park, which was built on green belt land.

Dawn and Hazel of Feed My Fish take come clients for a walk

time carers to a loved one, giving them a couple of hours break to either meet up with friends for a coffee or enjoy a couple of hours shopping.” The ladies are on call from 8am until 6pm

Monday to Friday but will work out of hours by prior arrangement. A fee of £25 buys two hours of their time plus 10 miles travel.

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