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Mayoral events – take your pick

Mayoral events – take your pick

🕔10.Apr 2012

Perhaps unsurprisingly in the run-up to May 3, there’s a range of events for pro-, anti- and undecided voters to attend to chew the fat over the question of an elected mayor for Birmingham.

Here’s a couple worth mentioning, and we’ll highlight a few more over the next couple of weeks as they crop up (send your details to and we’ll publish them in our calendar).

The first is pulled together by business lobby group Birmingham Forward, and of interest because on the panel are members of the Warwick Commission on Elected Mayors, whose academic and international investigation of mayors is published on April 16.

The Birmingham Forward event comes just three days after the launch of the Warwick report, so there should be plenty of new material for the yes and no camps to get their their teeth into. The venue’s good, too – the Chamber in Birmingham Council House. It takes place on Thursday April 19 at 6pm, and is chaired by the BBC’s Patrick Burns. More details here.

Before that, however, another great Brummie venue is being pressed into action by another event. Organised by the Yes to Birmingham Mayor campaign, led by the redoubtable Julia Higginbottom, the ‘Big Brum Debate’ on April 15 aims to fill Birmingham Town Hall with ‘ordinary voters’ all eager on a Sunday afternoon to find out how a mayor can make their lives better.

Julia says: “This debate is all about answering the fundamental questions at the heart of the elected mayor issue: will a mayor deliver better buses and roads, better schooling for our children, and most of all, more jobs for Brummies? Many people feel the elected mayor arguments so far have been bogged down in chatter about structures and roles, but what ordinary people want to know is whether – and how – the change can make living in Birmingham better.

“Birmingham Town Hall has been the venue for some of the biggest political events in Britain’s history, with major figures such as Lloyd George, Chamberlain and Margaret Thatcher all making major speeches there. We think it’s  the perfect setting for the people of Birmingham to make their voices heard at this crucial time in our city’s history.”

Confirmed speakers include Jerry Blackett, Sion Simon, Liam Byrne, Desmond Jaddoo, Albert Bore and Mirza Ahmad. More details on this free event here.

While you’re marking up your diary, don’t miss tonight’s Newsnight (April 10). A little bird tells me the row over Labour’s mayoral selection process in Brum and elsewhere has attracted the attention of Paxo’s team.

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