Ladywood residents react after being turned away from council meeting about area’s future

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Ladywood residents expressed frustration about being turned away from first public meeting hosted by Birmingham City Council regarding Ladywood regeneration plan

Several hundreds of Ladywood residents were turned away from a Birmingham City Council meeting regarding the neighbourhood’s future.

At the first public meeting regarding a controversial plan for regenerating Ladywood, which would see large parts of it demolished, hundreds of people said they were not able to enter the Ladywood Health and Community Centre. The concerned residents wanted to raise questions about the £2.2 billion project in which many may be affected by to compulsary purchase orders around their homes.

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So far, Birmingham City Council - which recommended St Joseph Homes Ltd to be its development partner - said the regeneration will take place on the 60 hectares Ladywood Estate. It will be a 20-year project that includes around 7,000 new sustainable homes, new schools, over 14 hectares of urban green open space with two new public parks & public realm, improved public transport, business incubator space and community facilities.

Residents expressed their frustration on social media about not being able to enter the community centre. One person wrote: “Birmingham Councils meeting for residents of Ladywood to find out the future of the area is full and they are turning the residents away!”

Another added: “Good to see the massive fuss from Ladywood residents. When are council elections?”

A community organisation called Ladywood Unite tweeted to Birmingham Labour Party saying: “Where were you today when we needed you? Labour has abandoned us.”

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They added: “They did not misread, they knew it would be too full and did not care. They told us beforehand they knew it would be full and joked we would need the ICC. They underestimated our anger though.”

Another resident added: “I was at this meeting it was poorly organised knowing how big ladywood is why hold 1st meeting in a small venue? Myself and others were making valid points none of our questioned weren’t answered why was that because we were exposing them.”

However, residents aren’t the only ones who responded to how the meeting was handled by Birmingham City Council. Meanwhile, Cllr Ewan Mackey (Con, Sutton Roughley), Deputy Leader of Birmingham Local Conservatives, said: “It’s shocking really, that the Council gave so little thought to this meeting. Of course, there was going to be a significantly larger crowd than usual – these people have just heard that their neighbourhood is going to undergo major changes in the near future!

“For the Council to not factor this in, the residents have clearly not been a priority. The people of Birmingham must be sick to the back teeth of the disrespect Labour treat them with, in this city. Quite frankly, it’s appalling.”

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What Birmingham City Council said

A Birmingham City Council spokesperson told BirminghamWorld: “Birmingham City Council is sorry for the way last night’s (20 July) meeting on the future of the Ladywood Estate was organised, in particular, that so many residents were not able to access the hall. Lessons have been learnt from the way the meeting was organised - we remain fully committed to including, and listening, to all residents and business views on the proposed plan as we move forward.

“A full programme of consultation events for the coming months will be published in due course, as we will organise a calendar of meetings as part of the wider consultation with the local community over these plans, which will take place as soon as possible so that everyone will have an opportunity to make their views heard. We want to ensure the residents of Ladywood are heard and we help with their concerns as much as we can.”

Residents and businesses can also submit any questions directly by emailing [email protected]

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