Birmingham Leader makes commitment to Big Society

By on 03/10/2011 in News

Birmingham city council leader Mike Whitby will today commit the nation's second largest city to working with the Government on its vision for a Big Society.

Launching his “prospectus for the Big Society” at the Conservative Party Conference, Cllr Whitby will say:

“We believe that Birmingham is the birthplace of the original Big Society, a philosophy which resonates throughout our city's history and culture.

“In fact it's in our blood: we know the Big Society is about much more than re-invigorating social and community relationships.  As Chamberlain showed it's also about creating a more dynamic and enterprising economy.”

Phillip Blond, adviser to David Cameron and often called the inventor of the Big Society, has been working with the city on the issue.  He said:

“British civil society is something to be proud of.  The City of Birmingham encapsulates this tradition.  I recently had the pleasure of witnessing first hand, visiting centres of civic activism and social renewal across the city.  The joyful enthusiasm I experienced was positively overwhelming and indeed deeply encouraging for a supporter of the Big Society.  The wealth of social capital has already made its mark in Birmingham, accomplishing much for residents and local neighbourhoods.”

Notes to editors

The document “Big City, Big Society: Birmingham's Prospectus for the Big Society” will be available on 3 October: Big City Big Society

The Prospectus says that Birmingham's wide diversity of community and voluntary organisations is the basis for its contribution to the Big Society.  Some of the organisations highlighted in the booklet are:

Witton Lodge Community Association

  • Ward End and Pelham Time Bank
  • The Sweet Project -  a recent winner of the Prime Minister's Big Society Award
  • Balsall Heath Forum
  • The Nishkam Primary School - the city's first Free School
  • SCAWDI -  a Highgate based project which helps people start their own business
  1. Phillip Blond visited several community organisations in the city as part of his work advising city leaders on these issues.  They included Hutton Hall, on the Hutton Estate and St George's Community Hub in Newtown, Aston.

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