OK so a slightly dramatic headline as you can see from the smiling photo. This programme is one of those occasional episodes when we manage to bring an active citizen together with the politician who’s thwarted their efforts (you might like to listen to Albert Bore and Natalie Brade).
For four years Simon Baddeley (the tall one) has campaigned with other Friends of Black Patch Park to protect this urban green space which is in Sandwell but sits just on the boundary with Birmingham. Sandwell Council had zoned some of the land for industrial development. The friends campaigned widely – including making their own media on youtube and using Flickr and Wikipedia to keep tabs on facts and images – until finally something moved. Earlier this year Councillor Bob Badham (cabinet member for Transport and Regeneration) said the council would review those plans, with the aim to preserve the park as a park.
This podcast is the first time the politician and the campaigner have had a chance to really talk, and I have to say that is part of what we try and do from time to time, create a space where relationships can grow a little.
We also mention a event coming up to explore neighbourhood policing in Birmingham. The Chamberlain Forum is hosting the Chief Constable of the West Midlands and Bishop of Birmingham to explore how policing is responding to what communities want. You are welcome to come to the free event in Digbeth on the morning of June 13th. Details of how to book can be found here.
Other relevant links are:
Neighbourhood Policing (PDF)