Birmingham doesn’t have any of those picturesque wind turbines, but we bet a certain class back in Tolkien’s day would have been collecting to buy and close down Sarehole’s water mill and move it to Hall Green. You see, the people of Cambridge Road, B13, are revolting.
The Council have told them that, as with the rest of the city, they need new street lights. Not so bad you’d think, it’s nice to get anything new in these days of cuts. The good burghers of Cambridge Road do not agree. Aghast at what the modern lamp looks like, they’ve cried out “not in my backyard” and taken out a crowdfunding appeal to buy themselves some prettier street lighting, more in keeping with their road’s vintage aesthetic.
In truth it’s not a terrible idea: the council offer a baseline service, the service users talk to the council about how much it would cost to do something they’d prefer, and then if they raise the cash they get what they want. It might set a precedent though for “nice” neighbourhoods to go private and enhance more things. We’ve heard of at least seven groups around the city who are keeping a close eye on things, and getting ready to go to Kickstarter with their own demands.
Put gates on Sutton
Ahead of the formation of a parish council for Sutton Coldfield, a group of residents in Walmley is planning to raise £150,000 to erect a series of gates around the Royal Town.
Rewards Available: £1 gets your name on a “thank you” embroidery being knitted at Trinity Church, whilst £100 gives you the right to let Andrew Mitchell out of the gate one evening (adults only — expect bad language).
Redirect HS2 away from my house
Not a Birmingham one this, but an important one for B-town. Hugh Jarse of Warwickshire is looking to raise enough money to push the HS2 off the bottom of his family pile. He prefers a route straight through Coleshill, or even better Castle Bromwich.
Rewards Available: £1000 gets you an afternoon hunting on the land, £2000 hunting and shooting, or £3000 for hunting, shooting and fishing.
No more concerts at the NIA
Jess Preston-Hendry recently moved here from London to a canalside apartment in town. She would like to buy the NIA so that she isn’t disturbed by pop concerts when laughing and eating salad on her terrace. You can help her make this a reality.
Rewards Available: £1 gets you a thank you on her video blog, £50 gets you a nice quiet salad at her flat, £250 gets you the salad and a chat about your social media strategy, £500 you get the salad and she’ll pass your idea for a novel to her pal who works at Bloomsbury.
A bigger better Tory conference
In the past the council blew over a million quid of events budget on making Broad Street a chin-free zone for the Tory conference, but now they can only afford a small one, even if they cut services, so let’s dig deep…
Rewards Available: For a tenner you get a signed copy of the Tory manifesto, £50 makes sure you are ahead of Dave in the queue for the hog roast at Legs 11, while for £200 you can take charge of one of the bomb scanning machines at the entrance.
A hub for people who are needed to create hubs
Starting your own hub can be really hard. We envision a new Birmingham that can rise up against its stereotypes to create a hub where any young people can come together in a collective to create hubs.
Rewards Available: £5 gives you more social capital, for £10 get a bowl of Birmingham Soup, and for £50 you get the soup and a chance to deliver a Pecha Kucha to a man who cooks a vegan barbecue once a month
Prettier, period wheelie bins
The new wheelie bins have proven controversial but residents in Augustus Road, Harborne have decided to come together to lobby for a new wheelie bin, much more in keeping with the Edwardian charm of their street. The council’s middle class liaison officer, Albert Bourgeois, has said that they can have a different bin so long as they can raise the extra costs this would involve. These include the bins themselves, a special “working class cheeky scamp” training camp for the bin men, and any legal costs incurred when they discriminate to only allow white people who are getting married in the morning on the crew. As a stretch goal the bin wagon will be horse drawn.
Rewards Available: £10 gets you tea with the vicar, £50 a year’s supply of WI jam, £100 will guarantee you to place in the annual marrow growing competition and wife-swapping party.
A travellers’ site in Rubery
This crowdfunder has its roots in the social capital of the Bearwood Facebook page. They want to help those close to home as well as those ‘picky’ migrants. Essentially they want everyone to be safe, respected and given their full human rights. Just not in Bearwood. That’s why they want a traveller’s site placed a few junctions downwind of them on the M5, Frankley. Don’t want any more of those silent comedians round here.
Rewards Available: £1 lucky heather, £5 clothes pegs, £50 your drive Tarmaced, £200 a your prejudices confirmed by Evening Mail Facebook commenters, so you feel alright.