crikey, apologies for the radio silence! it would be fair to say there has been a lot on of late…
(1) Birmingham Mayor
– so Sir Albert Bore has publicly declared his candidacy for the Labour ticket; both he and Sion Simon have confirmed that they will be supporting the non-partisan Yes Campaign for a Birmingham Mayor, which is great news for the City – now the campaign has to come to life and generate a debate about what Birmingham needs and wants and how we go about achieving our ambitions for our great city.
– the Centre for Cities paper on Mayors and the launch in Birmingham with Lord Adonis generated much thought and debate. How will the Mayoralty interact with the Black Country and with the wider Local Enterprise Partnership? The Metro Mayor??? Powers and funding are always key – will we get fobbed off or is this a real opportunity to take on more responsibility for delivering, leading and truly engaging as a city with ourselves, with the country and with the world?
(2) High Speed Rail (i know, but i need to mention it…)
– It was great to see the Secretary of State for Transport again in early June at the landmark One Snowhill building in the Colmore Business District to talk to Birmingham Future and Forward members about the high speed rail proposals. We then had a visit from the Yes to Jobs pro-HS2 campaign battle bus in Victoria Square a few weeks after.
It is hardly a secret that i hope people will come out and show support for investment in the West Midlands and the North by supporting a high speed rail line – imagine, boarding a train at Moor Street (right by the iconic Selfridges) and getting off less than 3 hours later at Gare du Nord in the heart of Paris!!! London is already lobbying for its Crossrail 2 and 3 projects. No HS2 and more investment goes into London’s transport infrastructure… simple really…
– believe me, if it doesn’t happen, our local and regional services are going to start being cut. We need a new railway line, there is no decent effective reasonable alternative and the only people who suggest there are have their own interests rather than those of Birmingham and the West Midlands…
(3) AFC Wimbledon
– well super number nine and club captain Danny Kedwell has left for Gillingham. Well, that is the past and we now have our first campaign back in the Football League to enjoy, we’re all focussed on that, said our goodbyes and moved on – thanks for the memories, now we’re going to make some new ones!!
(4) Birmingham Future
– it may now be fairly common knowledge that i have accepted the challenge of taking on the role of Deputy Chair of Birmingham Future this coming year, and then Chair the year after. You know me, up for a challenge! Well, i am really excited about this and am keen to really get to the heart of representing Birmingham’s young professionals and our city. I’ll keep you posted…
– Tour de France is going… hooray! v exciting!
– phone hacking… there has to come a point where we as a society realise that certain institutions have gone too far, believing they have more power than they do, that they are exempted from normal rules because they are the press for example, that somehow they can just act with impunity. but a balance must be brought to bear with a nod to setting any kind of dangerous precedent – a lot of ‘proactive journalism’ is vitally important remember!
– i turned 33 a couple of weeks ago. since then i have had 2 appalling hangovers – coincidence…?