Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Digbeth Residents Association 07.02.11

Last night I went to my first Digbeth Residents Association (DRA) meeting. I started at Birmingham FoE as Outreach Officer last month and am working on creating links with residents groups, as well as organising events (such as our HS2 debate) and finding opportunities for us to go out and talk to people.

I was asked if I would like to attend after sending a few e-mails to Val and Pam about the possibility of establishing a grow site in Digbeth. We have been involved in others, so it would be good to do one here where we're based.

Upon arriving at the Alcester suite of the Paragon hotel I was welcomed in by friendly faces. These included residents of Digbeth, a police officer from the area and people interested in the Digbeth area.

After all the introductions were out the way the DRA spoke passionately about Digbeth's future. They feel strongly that the Digbeth area needs more greenery. They have been given 20 Birch trees by the Eastside Projects, with the idea that they will be planted in Highgate park, although the DRA are hoping to set a few a side to be distributed around the area. Another idea was to use the abandoned Victorian rail viaduct as allotment space. We also touched on the subject of grow-sites in Digbeth; which is something I've been looking into myself. Everyone there seemed enthusiastic about the idea and I think it will be a great success... that is when the pain-stakingly long process of finding land we can use is done!

Other issues raised concern the section 106 improvements to Bradford Street, St Patrick's day parade, film nights in the spotted dog, police presence at the meetings and the Digbeth summit.

Overall it was a great insight into all the planning and hard work that goes into making Digbeth the exciting and creative place that it is today!

Rosie Cervelli

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