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Merry Christmas... a festive message from the Birmingham Post Editor

Birmingham Post Editor Stacey Barnfield reflects on a busy year for Birmingham.

Christmas celebrations in Centenary Square, as seen from the Library of Birmingham

So here it is, Merry Christmas, everybody’s hav... well, you know the rest by now.

If you’re reading this early on Christmas Day it could be because you’re the proud owner of a freshly-opened tablet or other sleek digital device delivered overnight by the chap with the beard.

If that’s the case, I’m delighted you’ve managed to navigate your way to the Birmingham Post website so soon.

What a year it’s been in our neck of the woods, the highlight being the grand opening of the Library of Birmingham.

The £188 million building was designed by Dutch architecture practice Mecanoo and officially opened on by Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old schoolgirl who made Birmingham her home after being shot in the head for daring to campaign for girls’ education in her native Pakistan.

I can’t think of a more appropriate person to cut the red tape with her powerful declaration that ‘pens and books are the weapons that defeat terrorism’.

The Library of Birmingham
 

The library’s radical exterior divides opinion but there are few critics of the world-beating services on offer inside, from the latest digital connections to archive collections of global importance.

In TV and entertainment who would have thought a gang of little-known ne’er-do-wells from Small Heath called the Peaky Blinders would have given Birmingham a dose of small-screen cool, inspiring walking tours of industrial Digbeth, touristy photographs of the Garrison Pub and the return of the flat cap.

Cillian Murphy (centre) during filming for Peaky Blinders at the Black Country Living Museum (Photo: Robert Viglasky)
 

In the business world the city’s export figures continue to go from strength to strength thanks largely to the juggernaut that is Jaguar Land Rover and, providing the region can continue to keep up with the company’s search for the right skills, this shows no sign of slowing in 2014.

In politics city leader Sir Albert Bore continues to warn about the council’s massive cost-saving requirements with a further £87 million of cuts and 1,000 job losses announced recently, followed closely by a stark message that in two years' time further cuts will signal the end of local government as we know it.

Also in the political sphere the Post was delighted to support the first ever Birmingham Day at Westminster with a special supplement in October.

Packed room at Birmingham Day 2013
 

The day saw a merry band of West Midlands organisations march on London to sell the city and all the fantastic things currently going on and I’m proud to say we did it with a smile.

Never before have so many Brummie accents been heard in the hallowed halls of Westminster.

We must do it again, bab.

Before I leave you to get to know your new tablet thingy (Angry Birds is in the app store), spare a thought for all the emergency services and NHS workers keeping a watchful eye over us this Christmas and New Year, particularly those working today.

Many thanks for reading the Birmingham Post and however you celebrate, have a very merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous new year.

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