I heard this was an invitation only event for resident groups and organisations that work in the Ladywood District.
However, it was an interesting morning, with a get to know each other gathering followed by workshop’s which I attended the Community Safety Workshop, which discussed issues that affect the local communities such as drugs, young peoples support, prostitution, environment, trust and confidence, which were key areas of focus from the previous year.
I did highlight from my work in the area that prostitution ids once again on the rise especially on Soho Road alongside the issue of begging that has resulted in violence with a person losing an eye when they refused to give an individual some money.
We had a few Councillors in the group and the District Housing manager for Ladywood & Parry Barr district along with Inspector Paul Dutton. The additional issues developed by street prostitution cannon t be under estimated as the past has shown the increase in drugs abuse and dealing, street robberies and violence that could possibly grip neighbourhoods. Additionally, there was a discussion surrounding Mental health, however, the main concern for me was that some were not up to date on the initiatives with the Mental Health Joint Triage Service and the recent launch of Tome to Change surrounding Mental Health, in an area which the Housing Department has pointed out, has high level of issues.
There was some great entertainment from members of the community and from all ages.
The Ladywood Workshop was enlightening, but, for me it highlighted the real divide be the people and Local Government. I met a 17year old young lady that lives in Ladywood and she pointed out that she was unaware; until the day before regarding the event and also stressed the lack of communications and no residents group in the area of Ladywood in which she lives with her mother.
A further point was made concerning the lack of Youth Facilities in her area as she has to travel to the Lighthouse in Aston. Unfortunately, I heard hear getting excuses and not understanding.
Many people did make various points, however, what I did not hear was “your point is noted and how can we work together to make it better”.
Believe it or not this only fuels the disaffection that exists within Ladywood; which clearly demonstrates the task ahead.
Finally, the petition to save Spring Hill Library was busily being circulated and signed. We must fight to save our services.
The main thought I came away with is that Elected Members need to change their ways of thinking:
1. Listen to the People and work with them.
2. Time to think outside of the box.
3. Seek solutions and not excuses.
Overall, I met some great people that live in and care about Ladywood. I look forward to us; working together to build a better and brighter Ladywood, in line with my own philosophy of “PEOPLE FIRST NOT PARTY”