Dear Editor, The election of a Labour administration has had limited effects in terms of producing new ideas for regenerating the city-region.
Labour was probably unlikely to be able to provide a new agenda, and there is a worrying lack of forums for debate.
There is much uncertainty. The BBC and ITV have abandoned the city, the new library is the last substantial inward investment, and it is worrying that the new JLR plant went to South Staffordshire – though congratulations should go to Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire councils for getting the deal.
All Birmingham has to look forward to is a possible high speed link with London, which if it ever happens will make the city a suburb of Finchley. Where is the debate on the future and the recent past? Why did the city lose the City of Cuture bid to Derry? Why has it lost every such bid to the cities of the North over the past 20 years? Does it have no friends at court?
Most worryingly, the Prime Minister has threatened that if the city did not vote for an elected mayor, it would be cut out of government deliberations. It is time the city called Mr Cameron’s bluff.
Birmingham is too big to be neglected in a fit of government pique. If the council cannot initiate a debate on the future and the recent past, then the non political civic elite must initiate a long overdue examination of the prospects.