August 6, 2020

The Kings Heath Business Improvement District (BID) have now had the chance to study the recent LTN Proposals and timeline issued by Birmingham City Council (BCC) in some detail.  

Minded not to make a knee-jerk response we also have made further enquiries of both the local Councillors and Birmingham City Council to deliver a more informed response. 

Apologies to those of you who were expecting a more immediate statement, but the BID board Is made up of volunteers, regular Kings Heath business owners who have their own operations to manage and homes to go to. They do this in their spare time, and it takes a lot of this for them to do this work on your behalf.  

There has been a mixed response so far from the BID members (and other local businesses) with opinions ranging from being passionately in favour of the LTN to very strongly against it, with many others either somewhere in between or “don’t knows” who really need more information (which we all do!). 

It must also be noted that a lot of these initial opinions are in relation to the permanent implementation of the LTN measures, rather than the concept of the trial itself.  

A number of members are demanding that the board take a stance on the LTN, either for or against, but given the amount of differently informed views within the membership, we can’t reasonably take the binary for or against position that some businesses would like us to.   

There is a similar spread of opinion regarding the LTN proposals within the BID board itself, but what we do all agree on is that the trial will, in all likelihood, be proceeding along the published timelines. Also, that whether you are initially minded to be for or against the LTN proposals, the best way to further inform yourself and subsequently make your opinion count is to participate in the consultation process. You might find that some or all your concerns have already been mitigated, or will be – just keep an open mind. 

The outcome of the trial will, of course, be a determining factor in, not only whether or not the proposals will be implemented permanently, but also in the nature of any such implementation. It is important, therefore, that you don’t miss the opportunity to make your opinion heard at the right time and in the right way. 

It is not in anybody’s interest to implement any form of LTN if it does not command support from the affected communities.  

We will send out more detailed information in due course regarding timetables and the consultation process. 

In the meantime, can I ask that you refrain from giving the Directors (and the Town Centre Manager) a hard time. The Directors have a thankless task in trying to manage all the opposing demands and views they receive, not only from BID members, but also from the press, BCC and the Kings Heath Residents. They are neither the architects of these proposals, and nor will they be the implementors. They have had no input into the LTN proposals, and neither were they asked to. Please have some respect for the fact that they are just volunteers who run businesses in your community. 

The board, as always, would welcome new directors, and any help that any of you can give us as we try and manage not only these LTN proposals, but also the ongoing COVID-19 recovery planning.