West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and Town Council Leader in “positive and productive” talks

Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands, met with Councillor Simon Ward, Leader of Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council this week to discuss the major changes planned for the town in the coming years.

Mr Street was joined at the Town Council offices by Deborah Cadman, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority and Olive O’Sullivan Town Clerk of Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council in the wide-ranging discussions on the key opportunities for the Town.

Major issues discussed included the planned HS2 transport hub to be built in the town, plans to develop an integrated Sprint Bus Rapid Transit transport network, the planned major developments of green belt land at Langley and Peddimore and the Town Council’s proposals to regenerate the Town Centre. Reference was also made to the outline vision for Sutton Coldfield contained in the City Council’s recently published Urban Centres Framework and the need for this to be further developed to translate this into deliverable actions on the ground.

The Town Council responded to Birmingham City Council’s Sprint Bus Rapid Transit proposals in September, strongly supporting the need for major investment in improving connectivity between Sutton Coldfield and the City Centre but expressing concerns over certain key details and the impact on existing traffic congestion.

The Town Council is leading on the establishment of a new Town Centre Partnership, with key business, community and local government stakeholders to bring forward proposals to improve and regenerate the Town Centre. The Partnership will drive the creation of a long term vision for the Town Centre and map a route for its delivery.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Simon Ward said: “We had a very positive and productive meeting. Andy recognises the importance of Sutton Coldfield, as the second largest urban centre in Birmingham. It is one of the most highly skilled and productive areas of the region with strong potential for further growth and huge opportunities for investment.

“The West Midlands Combined Authority is an important partner on our newly established Town Centre Regeneration Partnership and we are pleased that we have a shared intent with them to deliver improvements in the town.

“We agreed the importance of ensuring a comprehensive approach to planning these changes if they are to be successful in transforming the town. The Town Council has a critical role to play in helping shape and influence these proposals and representing the views of residents as well as local business and community interests.

“It is our job as a Town Council to work with partners to help ensure these changes knit together and work for the town as well as the wider economic area. Above all else as the level of local government closest to residents we have a key role as advocates to improve our Royal town.”

Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands, said: “I was pleased to meet with Simon this morning, and discuss the very many strategic issues that affect the town. I am impressed with the vision and ambition that the Town Council has for Sutton Coldfield and they have my wholehearted support as they work to ensure the interests of residents and businesses are at the centre of all the planned changes. Working together in partnership I know we can significantly impact the lives of residents in the town.”

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