24 June 2022 – Message from Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council


Your Future Solihull, launched this week, is all about creating a vision for a prosperous low carbon future and how together we can make this vision a reality.

As I mentioned last week, I want to see greater focus on the benefits that tackling climate change will bring to how we live and work in the future; - residents, business and communities will all play a part.

 Your Future Solihull (YFS) is how we will talk about climate change and the new web pages are where we bring together all our initiatives, policies and successes related to climate change and sustainability.  You can expect to see the YFS logo more often in the future, both on our existing and any new initiatives supporting our climate change work. 

We have been commended by the independent organisation Climate Emergency UK about how well we have been communicating on climate change, but we know we can improve. I want the Council to be the best at informing you and being transparent about what we are doing when it comes to the climate crisis. To keep up to date sign up to receive regular bulletins here.

With the Commonwealth Games getting so close, it was great to get along to the only new facility being built specifically for the Games. I went with Deputy Leader Cllr Karen Grinsell, who has been actively leading the Council’s Games preparations, for a behind the scenes tour of the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre.

Both of us were incredibly impressed; as the photo shows, it’s an awe-inspiring centre and the facilities are second to none.  It is a great addition to the region’s sporting venues and hopefully once the Commonwealth Games have finished, it will attract many more national and international swimming meets and events, boosting both Sandwell’s and the region’s economy.  

Speaking of the Games, do get your applications in for the free tickets to the musical and entertainment extravaganza on Tuesday July 26 in Jubilee Gardens (on the Homer Road side of Touchwood in Solihull town centre).

As part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival, this event includes a specially commissioned new musical called On Yer Bike. There will also be a performance by the Band of the Grenadier Guards who will arrive at the stage, having escorted the Queen’s Baton relay through Solihull town centre, as part of the Baton’s visit to the borough.

Unfortunately, we have had to restrict the numbers, so if you want to enjoy the event you need to apply for the free tickets by filling in this short application form.  You can also apply in person at The Core in Solihull town centre during box office opening hours.

Looking after the children in our care falls mainly to our foster carers and we need more people to provide a safe and supportive home for children across the borough. 

If you are interested in fostering, there’s a great opportunity to hear first-hand experience from some of our local foster carers at the Solihull Faiths Forum annual general meeting (AGM) this coming Tuesday 28 June at 6.30pm.

Following some brief AGM business, a presentation from the fostering team will highlight the need for more foster carers in Solihull and you will be able to chat to some of our foster carers at the end. The meeting is taking place at the Civic Suite, rear of Solihull Council House, Manor Square, Solihull, B91 3QB.  Light refreshments will be available from 6pm.

Please register your attendance on Eventbrite.

If you have not yet applied for your energy bill rebate, please get on and apply before Sunday 31 July.  That way we can guarantee a payment directly into your bank account.

So far 89% of eligible households have received their energy bill rebates from the Council.

Any details needed to complete the online form can be found within the letter that was sent to you at the end of April/beginning of May. If you need a copy of your letter, you can request one by emailing energybillrebate@solihull.gov.uk quoting your full name and address or by calling 0121 704 8066. 

Finally, on Saturday it is Armed Forces Day. This special day celebrates and honours those who gave their lives for their country and those who serve today.

The Mayor raised the Armed Forces Day flag at the War Memorial in Shirley Park on Monday 20 June, and a short service commemorated those who fight or have fought for their country to show our support and appreciation.

The ongoing war in Ukraine shows just how devastating war can be for those caught up in conflict.  It underlines the need for us to show our respect and appreciation for those men and women serving in the Armed Forces dedicated to keeping us safe today.

As Ken Russell, Branch Chairman of Shirley Royal British Legion, said Armed Forces Day is just a small token of our appreciation for the men and women who put their lives on the line for their country”. Find out more about Armed Forces Day at: https://www.armedforcesday.org.uk/

Take care,

Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council