Hello, I’m Councillor John Cotton I’m Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities.
I was born and brought up in Birmingham, so I suppose my first memory of a green space goes back to those early days growing up in the north of the city. With these amazing spaces on my doorstep, places like Perry Barr Park, Perry Hall Park and Red House Park.
So, my earliest memories are of hanging out with my mates in those parks, you know, building dens playing games just tremendously happy memories that have lived with me to this day.
And it does make me reflect on just how fortunate we are in Birmingham to have so many green spaces. Whether is parks, whether it’s recreation grounds whether it’s bits of woodland in neighbourhoods right across our city they are a real asset, I think, to our communities.
And when we think about what that means for cohesion and tackling inequalities in our city those green assets are absolutely vital. These are the places where communities come together, where we share in activities, where we build friendships, where we build those relationships that are so important to building a cohesive city like Birmingham.
And certainly, what we’ve seen over the last year having gone through this terrible covid pandemic the vital importance of those green spaces to helping people tackle those issues of isolation, getting some respite from what’s been a really difficult period for us all. We’ve seen at first-hand how important those spaces are and how valued they are by people right across our city.
My hope is that we continue to cherish those spaces and that we work together as a community as a council to make those spaces even better and even more valued and more enjoyed by many more people across our city. And that I really hope will be our legacy for the next generation of Birmingham young people who will take on stewardship of those parks and those green spaces.
So that’s why we want you to help us to plan the future of our parks and our green spaces in this city and you can start today by sharing your Earth Story too.