We will be offering all Councillors across South West Birmingham the opportunity to write a blog on B31 Voices, up to once a month.
Here’s another from Cllr Olly Armstrong, the Labour councillor for Northfield ward.
Heatwaves, exhaust pipes and a summer of fun
Well its mid summer and time for my second ever B31Voices blog as Northfield Ward cllr.
Its been a great few months representing the area, and one of my favourite things has been going to the many wonderful community events. It’s been beautiful, scorching weather,which made the annual Northfield Beach event feel more like Portugal than the west midlands; sand castles, silly hats and large cardboard sharks(made by local crafters) galore.
This stunningly hot, (painfully hot if you keep forgetting to put on sun cream as i do!) weather, although fun in the short term, does seem to point towards the type of climate shift many have predicted over the years, where, if we dont change the behaviour of our towns, cities, countries, and indeed families and individuals the world over, we will continue to feel uncomfortable changes. I hope those of us with our hands on the levers of power at Birmingham City Council and in the local community, can begin to act and serve in a way that creates a better, greener, healthier and safer future for our children and grandchildren, and I hope the idea of Clean Air City can start to grow, with step one being a Clean Air Zone. I know this is a deeply nuanced issue, with many asking us to make sure we support small bussineses who rely on vehicles, and many more of you saying (and I agree) that to get this right, we need better, safer, more connected and affordable public transport, more park and rides, and a truly safe and connected cycle network across the city. We are working on all of this on your behalf, and I personally would love to see any new ideas tested in and around Northfield. i would also love to see our area better connected for those who wish to walk; whether its to train stations, friends homes, or to get safely between our many green spaces and parks.
I hope you managed to fill out the Clean Air Zone consultation, if not you can see a summary of the proposals here: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/caz
Do get in touch with any ideas you have to make Northfield a healthy, green, future-wise place as possible. To be clear, Im not anti-car. I see cars as incredibly useful, I just hope we can begin to see and use our city as a space for all modes of transport, including 2 wheels and 2 feet, with our intent to put safety, health and well-being of people first in all situations.
Finally, last month I asked you to let me know your favourite things about the area, this month i would love to hear what you would love to see happen or exist locally. Personally I think it would be fantastic to have more pop-up markets such as food, boutique clothes and craft markets. What would spark your imagination and inspire you if it happened in Northfield?