Right, i shall make no bones about this, the time for beautifully crafted turns of phrase and pithy comment is not now.
6 weeks tomorrow, Thursday 3 May Birmingham will be voting not just in the local elections but also in a city-wide referendum on whether we want an elected mayor to lead the city. There is plenty of information on yestobirminghammayor.com and i urge you to read it.
But let us remind ourselves of some inescapable facts. Liverpool and Manchester have signed City Deals that will see investment and devolution of power and funding, a significant kickstart and range of support to get their cities going.
Birmingham has not got a City Deal sorted.
Manchester and Liverpool are part of the Northern Hub which is a significant piece of investment that will massively improve rail services across the North of England between the major cities. The Budget today gave to Manchester and Liverpool, and London in droves. Birmingham’s sole mention was to be one of 10 cities getting super fast broadband (along with Manchester and London).
At the same time, I am watching this city fall into silos again. Certain organisations and cliques have fallen back into talking to (and serving) themselves and their egos. Working together for the greater good – hmmm, not much…
I am not from Birmingham. I like Birmingham, i like a lot of people here, but i am astounded at how little people give a shit about the city and the greater good – their civic service usually involves getting involved in things that they personally benefit from along with their little groupings.
I am writing this because I would like to challenge people to get involved in this debate. If you care about this city and want to make it better then actually do something to positively make it better. If you think an Elected Mayor can drive the city forward then why aren’t you involved with the campaign – GET INVOLVED FFS! there are 6 weeks to make a difference, is that such a significant commitment??
I am always intrigued watching people come out of the woodwork to say they were involved and/or claim credit. But to be honest, as long as we get a YES in the referendum then who cares. Birmingham will hugely benefit from a directly elected leader who can really act as a figurehead and represent the city and give real strong visible leadership. This is a golden opportunity. Forget the naysayers and the cynics, humans make the great leaps forward when the dreamers and the visionaries get in league with the ambitious and the industrious to see real change and then make it happen.
To those who will vote NO, then fine feel free to do so, but don’t complain when Birmingham continues to go down as other cities reap the benefits of change. To those who just want to be cynical or troll us, then just do one quite frankly. To those who want to know more, who want to vote YES, who want to help campaign for real positive change for Birmingham – WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU.
check out yestobirminghammayor.com or come to Facebook or else tweet us @MayorforBham
Birmingham needs you!