Words by Afzal Hussain – Chief Officer of Witton Lodge Community Association
Following the decision by Birmingham City Council to file a Section 114 notice in September, attention has quickly turned to the possibility of the council selling off assets to generate vital funds during this financial crisis.
With a review of BCC owned assets to be undertaken by government commissioners, the probability of an “assets disposal programme” will be high on the agenda, and whilst the usual suspects of Birmingham Airport, BMAG and Library of Birmingham make the headlines, what about the much-loved spaces and assets within our communities?
A new campaign ‘Save Birmingham’ has been set up by Co-operatives West Midlands, in response to the Section 114 to help protect community places. The campaign gives Birmingham residents the important opportunity to have their say in protecting places and spaces that matter to them.
Residents can show support on the website for the list of places identified or nominate a community space that they want to protect. This will highlight the importance of these assets to local communities, hopefully leading them to be preserved or transferred into community ownership.
The foundations of Witton Lodge Community Association are rooted in people and places with our busy hubs providing vital community support services across the Erdington constituency.
Our main office Perry Common Community Hall was the city’s first asset transfer, and we transformed Witton Lakes Eco Hub from a derelict building and rubbish dump into a much loved and needed community facility, proving the power of community-focused decision making.
We are also progressing the multi-million-pound regeneration of the former swimming baths on Mason Road, Erdington to help breath life back into Erdington High Street and providing a vital space for the local community.
If there is a local asset that you feel should be saved and preserved for now and future generations then do, make your voice heard.
You can of course raise this with your local councillors and MP, and also add details to the website – www.savebirmingham.org/community-places
For more on Witton Lodge Community Association, visit www.wittonlodge.org.uk
Witton Lodge Community Association is a key partner in the Erdington Local COMMUNITY ANCHORS programme, supporting independent local and community journalism.