Words by Afzal Hussain – Chief Officer of Witton Lodge Community Association
Birmingham City Council is experiencing severe financial difficulties, and this is a worrying time for all of us that have a stake in this city, and even more so for vulnerable residents and groups that rely on council services, funding, or support.
The Council leadership declared that it “will prioritise core services that our residents rely on, in line with our values of supporting the most vulnerable”. In all honesty it is difficult to imagine how this will be achieved, given the Councils’ parlous financial state and the inevitable cuts to services and further loss of staff.
Over recent years, we have lost many of the essential support services that communities rely on – youth work, neighbourhood advice services and Sure Start, to name but a few. The pandemic, followed by a cost-of-living crisis, is already putting unbearable pressure on many.
That said, I’m certain that even against this tough backdrop our local community, voluntary and faith groups will rally to do what they can. In Erdington, we have a good track record of doing this, and this will be needed now, more than ever.
Of course, Birmingham City Council is a vital institution, however, it is important to remember that there are also many other important stakeholders, and the collective leadership challenge, is to come together to protect and support our vulnerable and rebuild.
In the meantime, at Witton Lodge Community Association we have offered our support to the Council to help pull together a credible plan, making the case for protecting services in Erdington, and doing things differently.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us or pop along to one of our Advice Surgeries.
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.