OPINION: A message from Paulette Hamilton, MP for Erdington

Pics supplied by Paulette Hamilton

I hope everyone has been enjoying the lovely summer break, whether it be going on holiday or just spending some valuable time with your family. Parliament has shut down for the summer and I’m delighted to be able to spend more time getting out and about in our community, where the work to make Erdington an even better place to live never stops.

Our High Street should be a destination that showcases the best of Erdington. We all want it to provide a great variety of shops and food options, and I’ll always champion more investment that will help us to achieve this. But instead, I recently found myself leading a campaign to oppose a planning application for yet another betting shop on Erdington High Street.

Our High Street already has seven bookies. This very high concentration of betting shops in such a small space has exacerbated anti-social behaviour on the High Street, and the last thing we needed was another one.

After months of cross-party campaigning alongside local residents, Councillors and community groups, the planning committee finally decided to reject the application. This was the right decision and it shows the strength of our community. When we work together, we can win!

I want our High Street to thrive by attracting new businesses, providing jobs and becoming a destination for everyone. To kickstart this vision, I have been working with Birmingham City Council to submit an application for more than £11million to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

If Ministers back our proposals, the funding will create jobs and support local businesses to develop and grow. It will help tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in the area and provide a much-needed community space for local people to enjoy. The investment will also better connect Erdington train station to the High Street and once again make it a vibrant place for people to shop, eat and socialise.

This is a real opportunity to breathe life back into our High Street after years of decline that have been aggravated by Government austerity.

This will be the second time we have applied for funding, after Ministers let us down in 2021. If the Government is serious about levelling up, then they should back Erdington!

For more on Paulette Hamilton MP for Erdington visit www.paulettehamilton.org

For more on Paulette Hamilton MP for Erdington visit www.paulettehamilton.org

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