The Bishop of Birmingham has called on councils and transport authorities to offer free travel to children and young people as part of a bid to combat inequalities.
The proposal is one of dozens in the Giving Hope Changing Lives report designed to make Birmingham an inclusive city by raising communities out of poverty, ending isolation, developing skills and jobs and make the most of community assets.
The Rt Rev David Urquhart said: “Against the backdrop of difficult economic times, globally, nationally and locally, we have to examine what our priorities are, how we use the resources we have and put the difficulties facing the most vulnerable people in our city at the forefront of decision-making.
“Changes are inevitable, but should be made with care and I am very concerned that we keep focusing on the most vulnerable in our communities.
“Giving Hope Changing Lives is about gaining a better understanding of the causes and effects of social exclusion and what works in tackling these issues, so that we are able to provide the support and services that are needed to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged individuals and families in our city.”
Other proposals include lower cost travel for families, exchanges between school, youth and community groups in different parts of Birmingham, and opening up public owned schools, colleges and offices at weekends for community use.
In other measures aimed at fostering community spirit include encouraging residents to create allotments on unused open spaces and allowing streets to close roads on occasions so children can play and hold street parties.
The report also talks about developing skills, with Birmingham’s workforce way behind the national average, and supports initiatives like increasing use of digital technology, the living wage, apprenticeships, the Birmingham Jobs Fund and the encouragement of entrepreneurship and social enterprises.
Cllr John Cotton, cabinet member for social inclusion and equalities, Birmingham City Council, added: “The city council’s Cabinet has approved the final recommendations from the process and the work of turning the recommendations into action has begun.
“But as a city council, we can’t do this on our own.
"We will only deliver a fairer city and tackle deeply rooted inequalities by working in partnership – with the public sector, with business, with voluntary organisations, faith networks and most importantly, with communities themselves.”