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Solihull Council has launched a new scheme to help find residents a better deal on their energy bills.
The Solihull Switch ‘n’ Save scheme will take the hassle out of searching for a cheaper gas and electricity provider. This type of scheme is known as collective switching, which uses the collective bargaining power of residents to secure better prices from energy suppliers.
The Department of Energy & Climate Change are promoting collective switching schemes across the UK as a way of empowering consumers to get better deals and save them from having to shop around and compare tariffs themselves. All residents need to do is have a recent energy bill to hand click here to register before the deadline of 12 October 2015. The Council will use the information provided to build up a picture of their current energy use and preferences in order to negotiate on their behalf.
An auction will then be held where energy companies will bid for the opportunity to offer registrants a cheaper contract. At no point are any personal details released to utility companies.
The new energy price offer will then be sent to residents via email or post and it will be up to them to decide whether to switch and save – there are no obligations to switch and the entire process is completely free.
Shirley is one of the largest areas within the Solihull Borough and consists of most of the wards of Shirley South, Shirley East, Shirley West and some of Cheswick Green and Monkspath from the Blythe ward. So slightly more than this web site covers. It lies along the Stratford Road just 3 miles from Solihull town centre and just off Junction 4 of the M42, which links Birmingham and Stratford. It also borders the counties of Worcestershire and Warwickshire.
Prior to 1843 when Shirley became its own parish, Shirley was part of the parish of Solihull and prior to that was part of the Manor of Ulverlei (now Olton). The earliest habitation in Shirley is thought to be at Berry Mound in Solihull Lodge, which was the site of an Iron Age Hill Fort dating back to the first century BC and which covered approximately 12 acres.
According to Woodall and Varley the name Shirley was "First recorded circa 1240 as Syrley… the name means 'bright clearing'". Shirley like many areas during the period developed around a main street, in Shirley's case this was Shirley Street "first recorded in 1322 as Schirleystret, is that part of the Stratford Road through Shirley where, in the past, most of the houses and inns (Red Lion and Saracens Head) were situated".
During the 18th century Shirley Street became increasingly busy when the Stratford Road became a turnpike road from 1725-1872. Unfortunately, this ease of travel along the Stratford Road and its relative remote locality meant that Shirley became a popular location for people to travel in from Birmingham to participate in prohibited activities such as bull-baiting and prize fighting.
These activities, in addition to the fact that Shirley residents had to travel to Solihull to attend church, prompted a petition to Rev. Archer Clive, Rector of Solihull, and he instigated the building of a St. James' Church, a chapel-of-ease in 1832. Shirley then became its own independent parish in 1843 and its first vicar was the Rev. Nash Stephenson. Other developments followed, including included the building of a school in 1833.
The population of Shirley grew rapidly between the late 19th century and early 20th century, as people moved out of Birmingham into the area. Another major development for Shirley was the advent of the railway in 1908. From the mid-nineteenth century until 1953, Shirley also had its own racecourse, where Shirley Golf Club is situated today,
Shirley developed rapidly throughout the 1920s and 30s, with more houses, schools and shops accommodating a growing population. 1934-1937 saw the opening of a Roman Catholic Church, Odeon Cinema, public lido and a new public library.
After the Second World War much of the residential area in Shirley that we know now began to grow. Notable developments included the Shakespeare self-build housing scheme and Cranmore Housing estate. Commercial properties also increased, large companies came to the area, in particular, Lucas, who opened a large site in Dog Kennel Lane in 1965.
In March 1954, when Solihull became a municipal borough, H.R.H. Princess Margaret presented the borough's charter and the ceremony was held at Shirley's Odeon Cinema.
The population of Shirley has risen drastically in the last century from around 7,000 in the early Nineteen Thirties to nearly 50,000 today.
The Solihull motto is “URBS IN RURE” but today there is little RURE left in Shirley apart from the parks we have to fight passionately to keep developers from building on. The RURE is predominately located in other parts of the Borough of Solihull to the south of the M42.