Birmingham 2026

It’s not a distopian sci-fi flick, it’s a long-term community strategy shaping Birmingham’s future“. The consultation process was started in December and lasts until the 1st of March this year, and they want your views.

The quickest way to have your say is an online survey on the confusingly named Be Birmingham* website. The idea (stop me if I’m wrong please) being to pick which if the statements Birmingham should strive to become “one of the best big cities for”. That bit I get, the bit about picking what your family and friends think I kind of get – picking what Birmingham thinks Birmingham should strive for frankly throws me.

Anyhoo, go, give of your views.

*Be Birmingham, it turns out, is the new name for what was the Birmingham Strategic Partnership – which is a group of organisations – from the private, public, community, voluntary and faith sectors – who try to work together to improve Brum.

6 comments for “Birmingham 2026

  1. 8 January 2008 at 11:34 pm

    I tried to respond top this a few days before Christmas but in the end sent them a message saying this was a meaningless and confused exercise. It appears to be aligned to how they want to describe/categorise the world (against the local area agreement) – rather than the way we live. Sigh!

  2. dp
    9 January 2008 at 12:08 am

    The important thing about this is that it is supposed to reflect our priorities for a set number of ‘targets’ taken from a list they’ve chosen for us. The targets are chosen from a longer list of some 120 items that isn’t set out anywhere. That longer list includes things like parks and open spaces that don’t rank highly enough in the Council’s scheme of priorities to warrant inclusion.

    So the appropriate thing to do is think carefully about *your own priorities* and then select the targets which directly or indirectly reflect them. Never mind the me/my family/Birmingham distinctions. They are meaningless. Instead, think of it like the People’s Lottery where you had six chances to vote for your favourite scheme. And still lose.

    For example, if you think music and boho culture are what Birmingham should strive for, find the categories that most closely relate to that and choose them. Then get on yer blog and write about the difference, so that the public record begins to reflect the disjunction between what the vision strategists want us to think and what we want to think. Maybe they’ll eventually figure out a better mode of ‘consultation’.

  3. Samantha Tinsley-Hunt
    9 January 2008 at 11:59 am

    Wow, nice to see that details of the consultation are reaching far and wide (as in the communication mechanisms)!

    Be Birmingham has been pushing the consultation, which ends March 1st.

    The online and hard copy survey, has been condensed from a 40 page consultation draft which can be found http://www.bebirmingham.org.uk/?mod=page&p_id=163

    As you can image it would be difficult and unlikely that many individuals would want to respond, hence the short survey being produced. The larger document provides more information about the detailed approach and long term aspirations for Birmingham as a whole.

  4. dp
    9 January 2008 at 6:19 pm

    I agree: some individuals would want to respond. Some individuals are passionate about their city and want to see the things they care about reflected in official discourse. People who contribute their time as community-minded volunteers are generally recognised as role models that a vibrant city needs. Those people would almost certainly want something with a greater depth than the tick-box survey supplied. They would expect a greater degree of input when asked to ‘have your say on the future of our city’.

    Perhaps the ‘Have we missed anything? Please let us know’ box is meant to accommodate those of us with more to say. I would prefer to see a longer version of the survey for those who do have more to say.

  5. Samantha Tinsley-Hunt
    24 January 2008 at 10:33 am

    Sorry for the delay, been up to my ears in it. The longer version can be found on Be Birmingham’s home page http://www.bebirmingham.org.uk/

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

  6. Samantha Tinsley-Hunt
    26 February 2008 at 11:39 am

    Due to the number of responses received (950 and still coming in) the consultation will now close 31st March.

    So if you have not taken part yet you still have time.

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