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Jewellery Quarter calls for its own city council ward

Historic manufacturing district becomes the latest to put forward its own plans as fight against Local Government Boundary Commission's proposals continues

Map of the proposed Jewellery Quarter and St Marks ward

Proposals to merge the historic Jewellery Quarter and inner-city Winson Green districts into a single city council ward have been met with a rival plan from residents.

The Jewellery Quarter Neighbourhood Forum is calling for its own council ward and councillor under the proposed shake up of political boundaries in the city.

Its plans for a Jewellery Quarter and St Marks ward (see map above) will be submitted to the Local Government Boundary Commission and it is calling on fellow residents to support it.

There was much disbelief when the commission, in its draft plans released last month, proposed a large Winson Green ward with two councillors which included the Jewellery Quarter, an area famed for its manufacturing industry.

It is the latest area to challenge the commission over its draft plan - following Moseley, Hall Green, Erdington, Acocks Green and Longbridge.

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Residents are arguing that the two areas have distinct identities and interests and could easily be split.

The forum said: "The JQ is a city-centre community, inextricably linked with the city core, and is it likely we will be poorly served by a two-member ward that covers an area with such diverse needs.

"We have to ensure our representation on the council can give sufficient focus to the specific needs of the quarter, especially given the growth expected in the area in the near future.

"The residential population could reach 10,000 in the next five years or so."

The forum wants residents and businesses to write to the commission in support of its proposal. It also argues the Jewellery Quarter name should at least be used in the new ward's title.

Commenting on the proposals, resident Brian Simpson said: "There are 7,000 residents in the Jewellery Quarter, with many new residential developments planned in the next few years.

"I believe that these numbers justify the Jewellery Quarter belonging to a single member ward."

People have until February 8 to comment on the boundary commission's proposals.

Visit the LGBC website to look at detailed maps of the commission's proposals and read advice on how to make a submission during the consultation.



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