Save Birmingham campaign launches to protect the city’s community places amid council ‘bankruptcy’

Campaigners from Save Birmingham are asking Brummies to nominate community places for protection from ‘fire sales’ as government commissioners take over the city council
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A campaign has been launched to save Birmingham’s treasured community places from ‘fire sales’ as government commissioners take over the city council following its effective bankruptcy.

Save Birmingham is asking locals to nominate places in the city that they want to protect and to show support for Brummie gems.

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Six government commissioners are now running Birmingham City Council along with two political advisors following its Section 114 notice issued, on September 5, as its equal pay bill rose to £760m and an £80m overspend on an IT project called Oracle.

The Save Birmingham campaign says dozens of community places have been nominated for protection since it launched last week, including Birmingham Town Hall which has been declared an “asset of community value” to block or delay potential sales and force the council to consider community-based solutions instead.

A spokesperson for Save Birmingham said: “Save Birmingham is a positive campaign bringing together a range of national and local partners to provide practical solutions that will both help council finances and improve spaces and services for communities.”

Birmingham Town HallBirmingham Town Hall
Birmingham Town Hall

Who set up Save Birmingham and how will they protect community places?

The group has been set up by Co-operatives West Midlands which is bringing together a range of partner organisations to give residents the ability and resources to protect the community spaces and services they care about.

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They are planning to protect Birmingham’s community places by designating a building, venue, park or other facility that is owned by the council as an “asset of community value”. This would give local residents a “right to buy” when the council considers selling the asset – delaying the sale by around six months. If the community raises enough funds and is successful, this could lead to residents take responsibility for owning and running the asset.

A Save Birmingham spokesperson explained: “We’re working through the details, but we think this process would help to show the strength of feeling that local residents have about council-owned assets in their local community, either preventing a sale in the first place or leading to community ownership.

“Longer term, we want to develop community and co-operative solutions for council-owned or run spaces and services, learning from good practice elsewhere in the country to ultimately make things better for Birmingham’s residents and communities.”

How do I nominate a community place in Birmingham that I want to save?

It’s easy to support the Save Birmingham campaign. All you need to do is go the website and nominate the place you want to. You can do that here: Save Birmingham - nominate a community place

The group are also looking for volunteers and donations. You can find more details about that on their website too, which is here: Save Birmingham

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