Neil Connor asked delegates at the Birmingham Conference if they believed the event would help the city achieve its 20-year vision

They had spent the day discussing Birmingham's challenges and opportunities. They left with mixed reactions about what the event would achieve.

Concerns were raised to The Birmingham Post over the inclusion of young people in the debate, and whether the wider benefits of proposed regeneration would benefit dis-engaged communities.

Questions were also aired about whether any substance was contained in the new masterplan, which aims to deliver growth and prosperity to Birmingham.

However, most of the delegates at the ICC agreed that bringing city council and business sector representatives and other major stakeholders together could only boost opportunities to raise the city's profile. Gurjeet Bains, chairwoman of the Institute of Asian Business, called for more dialogue with ethnic minority communities.

She said: "We need to have forums where we are constantly talking about their future."

When asked about the new prospectus, Ms Bains added: "I do not think anyone really knows what the city will look like once they have made the proposed changes."

Martin Field, chairman of the Urban Land Institute, said all parties should get behind the city council leadership to make the prospectus a reality. He said: "I understand that it is not always the case that people do work together.

"But if the leadership of the council can deliver on New Street Station and the airport, then that will not be a bad legacy."

Jerry Blackett, chief executive of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, said decision makers had to determine the best way to push forward the new agenda.

He said: "There is a lot of goodwill but I think we need to have simple clarity around what are the things we want to set out to achieve.

"Strategy is about choices. We cannot achieve everything."

Mike Loftus, manager of Locate in Birmingham, said the city should be proud of what was achieved with the previous wave of regeneration in the 1990s.

However, he added: "Where do we go from here? How do we make the city distinguished and distinctive over the next 25 years?"

Glyn Pitchford, vice-chairman of Birmingham Civic Society, wanted more clarity on the objectives which came out of the conference. He said: "There should be a marketing plan which spells out what the Birmingham brand is. What the heck is the vision? It is not clear in this document." Ken Hardeman (Con Brandwood), the city council's cabinet member for regeneration, disagreed.

He said the prospectus could help define a future direction for the city. He said: "It does help us all know what direction the consensus is going in.

"There are some major projects that will be going on around the market area and Eastside, so it is important for us all to know that we are together in bringing these forward." West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Anil Patani called for more youth empowerment.

He said: "We have a large untapped, pool of talent, and we need to move on from a middle-aged, middle-class strategy."

Aliyah Akram, a member of the young people's focus group, said: "It is all very good talking about involving young people in things like this conference.

"Skateboarding parks and schools are obviously things we care about. But we also care about other things, and the fact that there are very few young people here today says how much people care for our views."

Joy Warmington, chief executive of Birmingham Race Action Partnership b:RAP, said: "It is great that we can be prosperous, but we need everybody to have a slice of that prosperity, otherwise we will be like the US where they have these rich cities but ethnic minorities are eight times more likely to be unemployed."

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