young people

BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL TO GIVE MARION WAY SOME TLC

The long awaited plans to upgrade Marion Way Play Area began yesterday and we have written to all residents living near to the park to let them know what is happening!

The park at Marion Way has been neglected and under used for a long time and has over the last five years fallen into a real state of disrepair. This has been extremely bad news for youngsters in the area as it is presently the ONLY park in Hall Green providing play equipment for children and young people.

Monies have now been released to be specifically used for this project and as the long awaited signs of Spring finally arrive, the refurbishment could not be more timely, and it is hoped that children in Hall Green will soon be able to use these new facilities and enjoy themselves in a safe fit-for-purpose park.

Despite the refurbishment, Cllrs Sam Burden and Barry Bowles are fully aware that Marion Way offers a limited facility, and as the number of children and young people in Hall Green grows, so does the need for additional facilities. As your elected representatives, they continue to pursue the establishment of additional facilities and resources and continue to move forward to locate another playspace for children and young people at the Newey Goodman Open Space, which is located on the Stratford Road, near to the Robin Hood Island. If successful, this can only spell good news for all in Hall Green.

When asked about the planned refurbishment, Councillor Sam Burden said “I am extremely pleased to see the park refurbished. We need to ensure we have safe areas for our children and young people and the upgrading of the park with new equipment is much needed in a Ward where our children have so few places to have fun and enjoy themselves.”

Councillor Barry Bowles said “Play and playgrounds foster communality and free expression. A child who plays regularly learns to respect the environment and the world around him or her. Children of school age, who have been able to play regularly, have been shown to possess a higher level of co-ordinated skills that equip them for life and make them confident. By providing a specific area where they are welcome and where they can be valued and cherished, children and young people learn that the world they live in respects them.”

We believe this new upgrade is great news and we are sure that all parents will be pleased that Birmingham City Council will be overseeing this vital work for future generations. We will also continue to drive forward plans to ensure the children and young people of Hall Green are afforded the facilities and resources they deserve.

Please be sure to let us know your thoughts once the refurbishment of this lovely little park is complete and of course of any other issues that concern the Hall Green community.

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Petition against new play facilities?

Hall Green’s Lib Dem Cllr Paula Smith presented a petition to full council yesterday that appeared to exclude any mention to the fact that the proposals being opposed are for the installation of play facilities to be enjoyed by the children and young people, families and communities across the Ward.

The actual wording of the petition presented:

I the undersigned wish to keep the open green space known as Newey Goodman Estate the way it is presently and use it as a village green which it has always been intended for and has always been the case. We object to any change proposed by the council to place equipment upon our open green space. Save our village green.

There is no doubt that whoever may have signed this petition did so in good faith but who might, in retrospect, and given the real detail of the proposed play area, actually agree that the retention of green open space and the installation of a play area are not at odds. Other references referring to the space as being a ‘village green’ are also very misleading.

Please watch the webcast and let us know if you hear any words that refer to children, young people and play facilities….you will have to skip right through to 04:39:51

Hall Green BLP, alongside the Labour councillors,  will continue to campaign for additional services and provision for children and young people across the Ward.

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A community playground for Hall Green?

In November last year, local councillors from all parties, youth workers, community groups, educational representatives of South and City College and constituency officers met at the District Convention to discuss the needs of children and young people in the wider district and in each of the Hall Green Wards. There were a series of talks from Youth and Education officers from Birmingham City Council together with input from the assistant principal of the College, the Chair of Governors from Joseph Chamberlain College and Councillor Tony Kennedy.

All councillors representing the Hall Green Ward and representatives from local community groups and youth service providers discussed how best we could engage children and young people in Hall Green and a clear consensus was reached on the need to ensure that Hall Green had adequate provision and services to meet the needs of the 7,000 children and young people across the Ward, and the need to identify more spaces and places for young people to meet.

Unfortunately, this consensus seems to have been abandoned at this months Ward meeting at which residents from a local housing estate were in attendance solely to oppose the proposals for the installation of much needed playground equipment at Newey Goodman.

The case put forward in opposition was that any installation would result in an increase of anti social behaviour and criminal activity. This is not borne out by research undertaken by the local police neighbourhood team and could not be quantified.

Despite the Liberal Democrat Councillor not adopting a position of opposition at a previous meeting at which these plans were introduced, it now appears that she has decided not to support this proposal for additional provision of services for children and young people in Hall Green.

Consultation that has been undertaken by Hall Green BLP has found real support for these proposals which would give Hall Green a brand new playground with facilities catering for both children and young people.

Currently there is only one small park in Hall Green at Marion Way and despite plans to renovate the park next month, this existing provision is far from  adequate and in comparison to surrounding Wards, it is clear that the children and young people in Hall Green Ward are being short changed and let down in terms of the services and provision available to them.

It is seemingly a natural reaction to oppose change in the first instance but the current opposition to the playground proposals for Newey Goodman appears to be based on little more than ‘nimbyism’ on the one hand and the hope of some political point scoring on the other.

As we face impending reductions in council funded provision of non statutory services across Birmingham this adds up to a very real problem for the children and young people growing up in Hall Green.

The recent launch of the mobile play service was a real step in the right direction, alongside the youth project running at Highfield Hall but these are temporary solutions and do not make up for a lack of permanent playground facilities.

We need to welcome proposals that would result in an increase in services for our children and young people. How can we sit back and refuse our children and young people such provision?

Wherever any new such provision is proposed, it is always going to be in someone’s back yard, and is always going to be opposed by a minority. We need to stand together as a community and see the bigger picture and how we ensure the very best deal for our children and young people. We have the chance of doing this now with a real opportunity to have a  ‘community playground’ in Hall Green, but in order to realise this, we need first to become a real community.

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