Planning and Licensing
A lot of my time is taken up helping residents navigate the complex world of city planning regulations and licensing laws, particularly in the City Centre and Jewellery Quarter.
A number of issues have come to light where more cooperation between the two departments and a better communication system between the Council and residents could have made a big difference, preventing a lot of frustration.
Recently, local residents were unaware of an application for a late night venue license until I wrote to all of them. Official signage was insufficient. This shouldn't be the way these things happen!
The balance between vibrant city centre nightlife and city centre living is a complex one, but it's a balance that I believe can be found.
Despite some massive improvements of late, the Ladywood area still suffers from issues such as child poverty, high unemployment and some anti-social behaviour. I firmly believe that engaging all parts of the community is key to solving these problems. I involve myself in community projects wherever possible, encouraging them to seek relevant partners and advising on funding.
A terrific example of this is the Cardinal Newman Heritage Project. The project seeks to investigate and promote the impact of Cardinal Newman's work on the Ladywood community. But in addition to this, the project will promote intergenerational learning opportunities, helping to build a greater understanding across the generational gap.
I describe some of the projects I am involved in here.