One of the first things I went to after being elected as a Councillor for Edgbaston in 1999, was an event in May or June of that year to launch the stock transfer of a number of homes in Ladywood and Edgbaston wards to a registered social landlord called Optima. Last night I was invited to Optima’s ten year anniversary celebrations.
After drinks and chat, the event began with a look back at some photographs from the past ten years. Back in 1998, Bill Clinton came to the city, and the residents of Lee Bank and the Benmore estate decided to shame the then Labour Council by putting up banners declaring themselves Birmingham’s slum quarter. Starting with pictures of those banners, we then saw a number of pictures showing the demolition and rebuilding work which has taken place since on the Woodview and Benmore estates in Edgbaston and on Lee Bank in Ladywood.
After the photos, came the awards. Optima have been running a gardening competition this year, and the winning gardeners were given prizes. The photographs of some of the gardens were on display and they were fantastic. There also some star awards for people who had made a real difference to the area.
It was a great evening and lovely to celebrate such a positive improvement in the Attwood Green part of Ladywood and Edgbaston.