Many objective observers see the need for radical change to address the city’s acres of dereliction, unemployment blackspots and poor levels of health and childcare, all contrasting strongly with the expenditure lavished on the city centre.

northfield manor fire

As one valued landmark after another is neglected, destroyed or scheduled for destruction, the burning of Manor Farm – renamed The Manor House by Birmingham University, who bought it in 1953 – has prompted this question.

Below is a map showing the levels of unemployment in the city’s ward. Though dated 2010 it is substantially correct. By comparing the undecipherable names on this full-sized version with the clearly named boundaries on the council’s map of ethnic distribution we can see that the worst affected are Washwood Heath, Nechells, Sparkbrook, Lozells, Handsworth, Soho, Aston and Hodge Hill.

city unemployment by ward 2010 map

 A dream team to address the city’s problems? 

Combine Dr Dick Atkinson’s early concept of returning the city’s administration to its ten original villages with Localise West Midlands’ data in their full Mainstreaming Community Economic Development report, and enlist the highly experienced and successful Bournville Village Trust to oversee and guide the setting up of ten such village trusts with appropriate capital and income – not just a Neighbourhood Community Budget – leaving a reduced council staff to co-ordinate services such as refuse collection and transport.

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