Local campaigners in Erdington and Sutton Coldfield have condemned the decision of Birmingham's new Labour council to move the venue of District Committee meetings from locations in our area to the Council House in central Birmingham. Under the proposals it also seems that local residents won't be allowed to speak or ask questions of their councillors or council officers.
Speaking to local residents in Tyburn Ward, former councillor Ann Holtom said: "Moving these meetings to central Birmingham and no longer holding them at venues in the districts makes it harder for the residents who will be affected by the decisions being made by councillors to attend and find out what is being done in their name. The whole idea of District and Ward committees is to move decision-making closer to local residents, to give people a chance to participate and influence the decisions that affect their lives. Removing them miles away to the centre of town does just the opposite. It is also likely that the District meetings will be moved from an evening slot as before and held during the daytime at the Council House making it very difficult for working people to attend."
"In their manifesto for the local elections, Labour promised that devolution and localisation would be at the heart of their vision for Birmingham, yet the first thing they do is to move the local councillors, who should know their patches away from their areas into the council house and reduce residents' ability to influence what happens in their neighbourhoods."