Today marked the official opening of the brand new Edgbaston Community Centre in Woodview Drive and I was delighted to be invited to cut the ribbon and officially declare the centre open.
The new Community Centre is the result of partnership working between the Council and Optima and Rev Derrick Dunkley from the Woodview Community Forum . It’s the final piece in the jigsaw of the redevelopment of the Woodview Estate which has seen hundreds of new homes built, big changes to the school, the installation of a pocket park, and finally today the opening of the new Community Centre – which incorporates a hall, cafe and smaller meeting rooms for hire.
It was a wonderful morning, and many many thanks to all the people who have worked so hard over the years to make the dream of a new community centre on the Woodview Estate finally become a reality.
This evening Cllr Robinson and I joined some reindeer and hundreds of Edgbaston residents for the Edgbaston Christmas Lights switch on!
The Christmas lights are positioned around the Highfield Road/Calthorpe Road area, with the switch on taking place beside St George’s Church in Westbourne Crescent.
Everyone looked very Christmassy and the weather was seasonally cold too!
As blogged previously, the Boundary Commission will shortly be devising new ward boundaries for the City of Birmingham. The number of Councillors will be reduced to around 100. Prior to their announcement, the Boundary Commission invited submissions from any interested parties such as Residents’ Groups and Political Parties, so that they could see what local people thought before devising their final plan.
Now that these submissions have been made public, I am shocked to see Labour wish to axe the historic name of Edgbaston (which dates back to Domesday and earlier) and rename the ward University.
Both political parties agree that the ward should be a little smaller and represented by just two Councillors in future (instead of the current three). (The alternative was to make it a lot smaller and represented by just one Councillor – however the area which considers itself to be Edgbaston is really too big to do that).
The Conservative proposal is to take the boundary down the Hagley Road and make a new Edgbaston Reservoir Ward north of that. The rest of the ward would remain exactly the same and would of course be called Edgbaston.
Labour’s proposals also take the northern boundary down the Hagley Road, but they also move the eastern boundary to the Bristol Rd (from the Pershore Rd) meaning the Benmore and Priory Estates and the Edgbaston County Cricket Ground would all move into Balsall Heath. To make up for this shortfall of people, they then propose taking a large chunk of residential Harborne and putting it in Edgbaston, and renaming the ward University.
I emphasise that it is up to Boundary Commission to decide what the final boundaries and ward names should be. Nevertheless I suspect a large number of Edgbaston residents will be horrified at Labour’s suggestion to axe the historic name of the area and call the ward University instead – especially when the vast majority of the residents in Labour’s proposed new ward would neither be students nor have any connection to the University.
The Boundary Commission are proposing new boundaries for the Council Wards in Birmingham coupled with a reduction in the number of Councillors from the present 120 to around 100.
All political parties, and anyone else, can draw up their suggestions and submit them to the Boundary Commission for consideration. Plans must of course fit certain guidelines in terms of size of electorate, total number of Councillors, etc. It is the Boundary Commission who make the final decision and not any individual political party.
Conservatives across Birmingham have been consulting on our group’s proposals for some weeks, and today we were in Harborne High Street where I’m pleased to say our proposals received a lot of support.
Cllr Matt Bennett and I were hard at work at the big summer clean up on the Waterworks Estate in Edgbaston this morning – helping to keep our ward clean and tidy.