There are 90,000 people in my immediate local area that this Government would refer to as |workless" - people who are have dropped out of our system in terms of employment. This is a huge number, one of the biggest in the country.
Add to this that within my local area there is also deep-rooted depravation. In fact my area is among the ten per cent most deprived areas in the country.
I say that as the local football club, a centre of our community, we owe it to each and every one of them to ask what exactly are ?we? going to do about it?
Well, we intend to redevelop a 55-acre derelict site, currently offering no benefit whatsoever to the people of Birmingham in its current state. There is no housing on this site, no community, no wealth creation and no job creation.
This project embraces regeneration of our area, creation of at least 3,000 jobs, and economic long-term benefits to the community of Birmingham, as well as putting Birmingham on the map.
My vision is that this project will create the job skills. By working closely with the South Birmingham Construction College we will fund the creation of learning skills at the college so the project is built by local people and the legacy this creates means that those people will then have a skill and job for their lifetime.
In addition, by working with the College of Food and Tourism we will fund courses for local people to develop their skills so that when this project has been built by local people, local people will run it.
This project is not just a casino - in fact, the casino is only two per cent of the project - and nor is it just a football stadium. It is the creation of a sporting village, home to international and local cricket, international athletics, with the potential to host the Commonwealth Games, plus fantastic community facilities to include a national kabadi centre and a 50-metre swimming pool.
It is this that will regenerate an inner city area that is currently run down and create the job opportunities for both the younger generation and those currently unemployed in a region that has the worst employment rate in the country.
In fact, such investment on this scale can only manifest itself in the form of a positive impact on the area, enhancing the standard of living.
All feedback on the project is taken into account by the parties involved to bring a world-class venue to the city of Birmingham for the people of Birmingham and their children to enjoy for generations to come - whatever their background, religion or interest.
It is therefore imperative that we respect the opinions of the 20,000 people from the wider community who have, to date, added their names to a petition in support of the campaign.
It is essential that consideration is given to the benefits this development will bring and not to base negative comment solely on the location of a casino that is only part of a wider project.
The impact of the development will be: regeneration through sport, job creation, economic gain through increased tourism that will drive business to the city, a complex that will put the city of Birmingham on the map in terms of a desirable destination, the enhancement in standard of living, and an increase in the social activities for Birmingham?s youth to take part in and much, much more. The site and area is, therefore, the most appropriate.
This is only an outline of what we will achieve for the people of Birmingham. The entire project will be presented on October 25.