13 ways to solve the Birmingham Council funding crisis without flogging the NEC

If we have to take a bath, let's take a bath of beans

The day after they approved their new budget (with £86 million in cuts), Birmingham City Council have announced that they will sell off the NEC Group to help balance their books, worse for them they’ve had to cancel 18,000 bus lane driving fines. We were upset by this news, but luckily we are children of the 80s and we have watched a lot of Blue Peter. We know that when times are tough regular people can dig deep and rally to all sorts of fundraisers. When we did it in the 80s, to pay for a guide dog or a well in Africa or a lifeboat or something, the huge targets on the totalisers would always come good because it’s known that poorer people give more to charity and it’s known that none of us had any money in the 1980s. So we’ve decided to raise some money to save our city, just like we saved whales and stuff when we were kids. We’ve reached back to tea time telly for inspiration, added in some trendy modern ideas too, and are proud to present a range of fundraising options to save the city and to save the NEC. So come on! Get fundraising today and the city can continue to benefit from the profit on Robbie Williams concerts. Forward!

  1. Bring & Buy Sale.
    You bring stuff, and you buy stuff. It’s like a privatised version of Swap Shop. Quality bric a brac and tidy second hand clothes are good. Please no large out of town exhibition centres.
  2. A 24hr Telethon
    City8 TV are sure to be glad of the work and content. 
  3. Set up a Just Giving Page
    Birmingham’s Social Media Scene™ is awash with social capital so: 1. set up a Just Giving page 2. ??? 3. PROFIT!!!
  4. A Nude Calendar
    Always a favourite Christmas time money spinner, this nude calendar of local politicians also has the potential to spin off into other media properties. We’ll just need to make sure the the Council don’t sell off all the rights cheaply by mistake, missing out on long term income from screen and stage adaptations just because they couldn’t invest in ongoing development.
  5. Cheese and Wine Evening
    Residents eat cheese while the councillors whine about the deficit. Please don’t bring Pickles.
  6. Top slice the license fee
    Everyone else is asking for some so we don’t we?
  7. Close the library, knock it down and sell it off for a mixed use development
    This is robbing from our granchildren’s future. They should have the right to knock down a library themselves in 50 years.
  8. Get a payday loan
    Your town hall may be at risk if you do not keep up repayments secured on it.
  9. Red Nose Day
    All Councillors pay 50p to come in dressed as Ray Hassall.
  10. Look down the back of all the sofas in Brum
    And check the odds and sods drawer in the dresser, there’s always a few pennies in there.
  11. A charity single
    John Hemming has already done one, as has new Tory Gary Sandbrook, but we can top that by asking Bobby Alden to duet with Jamelia on a rendition of Islands in The Stream.
  12. A slave auction
    Just a bit of fun! There might be some sensitivity to this amongst councillors given that the lack of equal pay got them into this mess.
  13. Ask Capita to [redacted text] and [redacted text] at a cost of £[redacted text]
    FOI us for more information on this idea.

By Howard Wilkinson

Director of Satire, Paradise Circus.

Howard adds stability at the top, taking a strategic overview of operations whilst also stepping in from time to time in a caretaker author role.

Director of Satire, Paradise Circus.

Howard adds stability at the top, taking a strategic overview of operations whilst also stepping in from time to time in a caretaker author role.

  • Rachel Gillies

    A Beetle Drive. You forgot the Beetle Drive!

    • I’ve always wondered what one was—can you organise one so we can all find out?

  • Professor David Bailey

    And what about a “Guess the number of… (e.g. balloons in a car, sweets in a jar)” but instead guess the number of redactions in the ‘published’ Capita Service Birmingham contract? endless hours of fun…