Community Service for Benefit Fraud

A Chelmsley Wood resident has been ordered to carry out community service after falsely claiming Housing and Council Tax benefits.
Ryan Ryley, 29, of Lanchester Way appeared before Solihull Magistrates Court on 7 January charged with offences occurring between 27 June 2010 and 27 November 2011.
He pleaded guilty to knowingly failing to give prompt notification of a change in his circumstances which affected his entitlement to Housing benefit and Council Tax benefit.
Mr Ryley had failed to notify Solihull Council that he was working for Enterprise Managed Services, for which he was ordered to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work.

New Local Nature Reserve

The woodland and lake area in Meriden Park has been formally designated as Chelmsely Wood Local Nature Reserve (LNR).

This meanes that, since 12 November, when the site was designated as an LNR under the provisions of the National Parks and Access to Countryside Act, the small patch of woodland, which was once part of the vast Forest of Arden, is now recognised as a natural green space, valued by the community and of importance to local wildlife.

Together with the lake, the woodland is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, including kingfishers, woodpeckers and various types of butterflies, bumblebees and dragonflies.

The site lies within Kingfisher Country Park and is the gateway to the Cole valley from Chelmsley Wood town centre, giving access to miles of natural walking routes through Solihull and Birmingham.

Councillor Mrs Diana Holl-Allen, Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, said: “It’s great news that we have yet another LNR in the borough for wildlife, as well as residents, to enjoy. The reserve will give a different slant to Solihull’s motto ‘town in the country’ as it really is a piece of the countryside within a town.”

Friends of Kingfisher Country Park were delighted when the site was put forward for designation and recently supported the Council’s Oaks and Shires event promoting the importance of this ancient woodland site.

Solihull Council has also given its endorsement to the pursuit of external funding to further enhance the landscape and biodiversity of the area and to support events and activities that can be held there.