Community retake centre

Birmingham city council had closed Sparkbrook’s ‘Cottage of Content’ community centre and designated it for auctioning off to developers, a local collective decided to take it back, refurbish it and return it to community use.

Sparkbrook, a largely Muslim (Asian and, increasingly, East African) area is amongst the many deprived areas of the city, ignored by the city councillors in preference for Mosley and their prestige projects in the city centre, and the white elephant of “Eastside” (aka the arse end of Digbeth). Like most areas with a mix of ethinic groups at different stages of immigration, tensions can run high and integration of communities is difficult. The recent political campaigns of the BNP and Liberal Democrats (who preyed on the fears of the non-White population in their “It’s a two horse race” campaign, claiming that only a vote for the Liberal Democrats could keep the BNP out) have not helped settle concerns or deal with tensions.

Perhaps reclaiming of a community centre will help?

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