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From Total Place to Total Neighbourhood: the Resident-led Renewal of Balsall Heath in Birmingham


Some of those residents who could not afford to move – often because nobody would buy their house – resolved to try to make a difference and improve the quality of their lives. At first, just a few, then more and more residents joined in. Their objectives were to:

  •  Form a Forum to represent the area and to be a voice for the ‘village’.
  •  Build capacity and confidence, to create a social capital and join people and streets together.
  • To deliver some services to improve the look, feel and safety of the area
  • To join together the existing, one-size-fits all, services of the area and tailor-make them to suit the local needs. That is, a key objective became to change the way the neighbourhood was managed, disentangling services from remote head offices and devolving as much as possible to the neighbourhood itself.

These four objectives were not all devised at once. They evolved and grew over a ten year period.

About this case study
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Dick Atkinson

Balsall Heath Forum

0121 446 6183

Dick Atkinson provided Governance International with this case study on 15th May 2010.

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