First thing give credit where it is due, Councillor Ian Ward Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council sees the importance of Birmingham paying tribute to the contribution of Nelson Mandela in creating a better society and he is to be commended for this.
I really want to focus on the fact that people has embraced this debate and various suggestions have been made by privately and through the media. We have had suggestions now such as:
1. Naming the Library
2. Naming a Park.
3. Commissioning a Statue and Seating Area in Centenary Square.
4. Naming a Youth Centre
5. Naming an Education Hub in the Library.
6. Naming the Library Auditorium.
7. Naming a School.
8. Making a Folk Song.
9. Just have him in our Memories.
These are just some of the main suggestions so far. The key issue is that people are joining the debate and let's see what the new year brings regarding this important issue within our communities. It has also been noted that on the BBC WM Chatback Show last night Councillor Ward did indicate that the City would be commemorating the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 11th February 2014.
Many have also expressed the need for greater and wider consultation, in order for everyone to have that sense of belonging, which is painfully missing at times in our City that faces so many issues.
The key point has been made the legacy of Madiba was for everyone irrespective of their race, colour, wealth, sexuality, gender, wealth or ability. In any tribute made by Birmingham this has to be reflected.
The energy this campaign has developed should now continue for issues that affect our daily lives. We face Cuts to services, especially for the poor and vulnerable, increasing poverty, fuel debts, inequality including health issues, education under achievement and a failing children services department, whilst multi-nationals corporations; profiteer at our expense.
One can clearly see through this campaign, how by collectively voicing our opinions, we can hold elected representatives to account and answer your questions. It is the simple case that should you say nothing, then, there is confirmation that you approve of their actions.
As we enter the festive period, let us think of our children and ask ourselves one questions are we doing enough to create a better society for them?
No matter who you are we all have our role to play, it's about time we start do so.