Posts Tagged ‘ Birmingham City Council

Birmingham Smithfield

Birmingham Smithfield is the name of the new development planned for the Wholesale Markets site once it is relocated to Witton. Covering 14 hectares, this is a huge part of the city centre; Birmingham City Council hopes to retain the retail markets as part of the development.

Smithfield was the original name for the area, which has been the home of a market since medieval times. Choosing this name follows the precedent of the Beorma Quarter.

Birmingham City Council released a visioning document – embedded below – for public consultation on Thursday 19th March. The consultation hopes to start a conversation and elicit the views of Birmingham residents, and will offer people a number of chances to share their thoughts.

Check the council website for further information. The public consultation closes on Thursday 14th May 2015.

Digbeth gets a tram!

This morning it was announced that the Midland Metro tram route through Digbeth will go down the High Street. The new tram will serve Digbeth High Street, the coach station and The Custard Factory.

Centro and Birmingham City Council decided to opt for the High Street route over the previously-favoured Fazeley Street route following a public consultation where almost 75% of people voted for the High Street. Digbeth Residents Association has been instrumental in the inclusion of the High Street route option, and its supporters made a huge impact on the final decision.

The tram route will start at the new HS2 station, and run along New Canal Street and Meriden Street before turning left on to High Street Deritend. It will then travel along the centre of the carriageway, replacing the existing footpath. There will be a stop close to the junction of Milk Street to serve Digbeth Coach Station and the Custard Factory; the tram will then continue along the High Street before turning left into Adderley Street where a terminus is proposed.

Chair of Digbeth Residents Association, John Gordon, said: “We are delighted with the decision for the Midland Metro to serve Digbeth High Street. This will create a connected transport system which integrates the coach station to the rail network via a tram, all within Digbeth. This triumph of common sense coupled with the voice of our supporters will meet the needs of Birmingham residents and property developers, rather than just the latter, creating an inclusive service to where people live now and where more will live in the future.

“The tram will serve the local businesses, providing a stimulus for much-needed economic growth in the area, maximising the benefit of the investment in HS2. £132 million will be ploughed into Digbeth, supporting long-overdue works to improve the public realm along the High Street. The Metro will also support the night time economy, defining our neighbourhood as a vibrant young linear urban community.

“One of the aims of Digbeth Residents Association is to promote Digbeth as a destination within Birmingham, as opposed to an area to pass through as quickly as possible. In future we would love to see full pedestrianisation of the High Street to create a boulevard akin to Las Ramblas, and the tram extended to serve the Birmingham City Football ground.”

Thank you to all our supporters who participated in the consultation – your voice has been heard and you’ve made a real difference to the development of Digbeth and the city as a whole!

Nechells Ward Meeting – March 2015

When: Thursday 19th March 2015, 18:00
Where: Stanhope Hall Community Centre, Emily Street, Highgate, B12 0XG

The next Nechells Ward Meeting will take place on Thursday 19th March 2015 at 6pm at Stanhope Hall. This meeting was due to take place in January but was postponed.

Digbeth Residents Association would like to encourage as many people as possible to attend this meeting, as it offers an opportunity to ask local Councillors questions and hold them to account.

For more information, please visit Birmingham City Council’s democracy pages.

What do you think of local democracy?

Birmingham City Council wants to know what you think of local democracy – how it is, and how it should be – and what you think about the public services provided in Digbeth.

The Council has published three initial consultation papers, including one on community governance. These will be followed by further papers later in the year, covering communities, active citizenship and local services.

This is your opportunity to let the Council know what you think. Everyone who lives or works in Birmingham – communities, individuals, organisations and councillors – has the opportunity to help shape how Birmingham is governed over the next ten years.

What to do next?

If you’d like your voice heard but would prefer to remain anonymous, send your thoughts to Digbeth Residents Association via email to, who will include your views as part of their wider submission.

‘Breathalysed-on-entry’ Police Scheme

Selected Digbeth venues have signed up a to the Breathalysed-on-entry scheme recently launched by West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council.

The scheme arms door staff with Alco-Blow detectors which can measure alcohol when breathed into from a few inches. The detectors can also help determine if revellers are disguising alcohol in a soft drink bottle.

Central Birmingham Police Sergeant Dave Francis, said: “In recent years we’ve seen an explosion in pre-loading culture when people come into the city centre already drunk. Obviously, heavily drunk people are a danger to themselves and more likely to get involved in alcohol-related crime and disorder.”

Door staff will collect age and gender information when using the Alco-Blow detectors to provide a clearer picture of the types of people drinking to excess. It is hoped this data will inform new policing strategies to reduce alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and crime.

For more information, please visit the West Midlands Police website.

Comment is free…

The ever irreverent Spotted Dog landlord John Tighe recently sent us his solution to the struggles currently facing the new Library of Birmingham…

Birmingham City Council already has its own tried and trusted template for dealing with problems such as those threatening the new library.

Look no further than the solution they came up with to deal with the cost of running one of the top Science Museums in Europe.

They closed it and stored all the exhibits in a warehouse that is open to the public for two days a year. Great idea. They even stacked the exhibits randomly on shelves up to the ceiling so that most were out of sight (also a great idea since it discourages visitors). But, the full-time staff savings! – only needs two microbiologists to stop bugs eating the exhibits.

Now, I’m not proposing that they should close the library (unless one of their favourite developers wants the site), but have they not considered storing the books in another warehouse in Nechells? Think of the benefits: Run the library as the world’s largest coffee bar (International publicity, Guinness Book of Records); Fewer and cheaper staff (no qualifications needed to serve coffee); Massive profits (have you seen what idiots pay for espresso?). The only downside, of course, is that they would have to employ at least two more microbiologists.

Having worked for the NHS for over thirty years and my wife having worked as a teacher for the same length of time we simultaneously formed the theory that both professions would work swimmingly if we could get rid of the patients and the kids. How refreshing to find that our theories have been proved empirically.

I still smile when I remember that Birmingham once competed to be City of Culture.

Save St Pats

When: Sunday 15th March 2015, 12:00-14:00
Where: Digbeth High Street

Planning for the next St Patrick’s day parade is underway in earnest, despite recent announcements from Birmingham City Council to cut funding for public events across the city. The Birmingham St Patrick’s Festival Committee have launched a crowd funding project to make up the deficit and save the parade.

The effect of the celebration is felt throughout the city with iconic buildings such as Selfridges and the Library of Birmingham lighting up green in a show of support. After a record-breaking 90,000 attendees at the 2014 parade, it is now classed as the second largest Irish parade in the world!

It is important to remember is the parade is organised by volunteers from the Birmingham Irish community, who are not paid for their tireless hard work in the months before and after each event. The parade means so much to so many which is why the organisers are calling on supporters to help in any way they can to keep the parade alive.

The Show Must Go On is aiming to raise £20,000, although the parade itself costs more than £70,000 to stage, including the cost of essential requirements such as road closures, safety barriers, street cleaning, toilets, bins, first aid provision and security.

Anyone wishing to support the St Patrick’s Day Parade can do so by:

See the St Patrick’s Birmingham website to learn more, and remember to share the funding campaign with everyone you know so that together we can save the parade!

December Events at Stanhope Hall

Where: Stanhope Hall Community Centre, Ketley Croft, Highgate, B12 OXG

Being a good neighbour doesn’t just mean looking out for those those in your immediate vicinity, but supporting the areas neighbouring Digbeth too. Highgate’s Stanhope Hall is a fantastic and well-used community centre, offering a much needed service as well as some fun events too!

Monica Lee who looks after Stanhope Hall would like to extend an invitation to anyone wishing to attend the events at the community centre in December:

Elders Christmas Lunch
When: Thursday 11th December, 12:00-13:00

This free lunch is open to anyone wanting to come along to enjoy good food and good company.

Theatre Performance
When: Monday 15th December, 14:30-15:30

Women & Theatre welcome you to a free performance of The Christmas Box featuring seasonal songs, storytelling, laughter and good cheer!

For more information about either event, please contact Monica at Stanhope Hall on 0121 446 5389 or

Nechells Ward Committee – November 2014

When: Thursday 20 November, 18:00
Where: Small Heath Baptist Church, 14 Jenkins Street, Small Heath, B10 0QH

This quarter’s Nechells Ward Committee meeting takes place next Thursday in Small Heath.

These meetings are an opportunity to meet your local Councillors, to raise local items and to hear reports on general City Council services and local issues.

Please see more information on the poster below, and put the next meeting on 22 January 2015 at Nechells Green Community Centre in your diaries now – we believe that the Digbeth tram will be discussed at the January meeting so would like to encourage as many residents and supporters of Digbeth to attend!

Bradford Street Environmental Improvements

Please see below for a letter sent from Birmingham City Council to residents of Digbeth earlier this week. The original letter can be found here.

As a part of its strategic objectives for the city core and its wider programme for the development for the City Centre, Birmingham City Council is proposing to improve the quality of the public realm along Bradford Street.

We are seeking to implement the following works early 2015:

  • Installation of new Street Lighting
  • Footway re-surfacing with blue brick pavers and replacement of tactile paving where required
  • Construct all vehicular footway crossings with pink setts
  • Installation of new pink Granite/Conservation Kerbs

The Council would like to hear your views on these proposals; we would be grateful if you could give us your feedback no later than 31st October 2014. Your response can be sent to or via