Project Update: Phase 2 - Weoley Castle, Birmingham, UK
Updated: Jan 28, 2019
Professor Andy Cramp, Cultural Mapping Lead – England, presents early insights from data gathered during Phase 2 of the Austerity project working with local residents of Woeley Castle in Birmingham.
Participants in this research unanimously recalled Weoley Castle as a friendly and supportive neighbourhood in the past, with plenty of green, public spaces and places for children to safely explore.
However, currently, our participants express passionately that they do not feel safe accessing the open spaces still available on their doorsteps. They blame austerity cuts in the police for the fear, uncertainty, and doubt they now feel.
Naturally protective of their young children, they hold the impression that the sanctuary once offered by the neighbourhood has been undercut and fractured by austerity. The fears they have are well summed up by this comment:
"I picked my son up on Wednesday and I was waiting on Weoley Castle Square* and some lad was shooting across the island on a moped. That’s so sad, there are children around and it’s a nice space and he is ruining it, the next thing you know there’s an unmarked police car. Someone jumps on him, in front of my son who was like ‘why are they doing that Mum?’ – that’s a Wednesday afternoon…"
*the Square is actually a large grassed traffic island