Due to the make up of the neighbourhood, its houses, it residents, its high street and the presence of the neighbouring University of Birmingham and QE Hospital, Selly Oak is one of the most unique areas in the City. As well as being home to a number of families and older people it also has one of the most concentrated student populations anywhere in the country. There are lots of positives to be had from this, particularly to the local economy but there are also a number of pressures, which having 8,000-10,000 adults concentrated in 2,000 houses puts on the area and the City as a whole.
Scratch beneath the hustle and bustle of term time Selly Oak and there is a wealth of activity going on being delivered by Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Police, Guild of Students and University of Birmingham. This includes everything across schools, road repairs and maintenance, planning and building regulations, rubbish and recycling, crime and anti-social behaviour, alcohol licensing, environmental health, pest control, housing regulations, fire safety and community events, to name a few.
If you look out of your window in Selly Oak though, you may sometimes see the roads littered with rubbish, skips and an overwhelming number of parked cars. If you look at the local crime stats you may also see that burglaries can be higher here than most places in the City. And if you look at the front gardens of the local houses you may also see the odd rat scooting through a hedge. There is only so much that local services can do and provide and some of the negatives you can sometimes see and experience around Selly Oak can be put down to a lack of individual responsibility from students, landlords, letting agents and building contractors. This can sometimes collectively build up into a neighbourhood wide rubbish and pest problem, high levels of burglary and other crime and general blight to the area.
This is where students, local residents, landlords and letting agents can get more involved. There are plenty of examples of some great work by local services, from clearing over a hundred tonnes of rubbish from the streets at the end of each student year to putting in place and maintaining a gating scheme to prevent burglary across the whole neighbourhood. The rest is down to the people who live in and provide housing in the area.All it comes down to is doing a few relatively easy things either on a daily or weekly basis. Putting your rubbish or recycling out on the right day and in the right places, making sure that rubbish does not accumulate in your gardens, locking your windows, doors, gates, as well as car doors, removing items from display, getting to know your neighbour and of course not being afraid to report something or complain where you can see yourself that something is wrong or needs fixing.
Help us to help you and help make Selly Oak a better, brighter place!