Andrew Mitchell was joined by Councillors Guy Roberts and David Barrie together with Sally Jones from the ‘Walmley Is Full’ action group and New Hall Council candidate Ken Wood at the final Public Meeting on opposition to Birmingham City Council plans to build on Sutton’s Green Belt before the public consultation period ends.
Andrew Mitchell spoke passionately on his opposition to the plans, urging the Council to re-think its proposals to build on the protected Green Belt and to think creatively about alternatives. Echoing his sentiments Councillor Guy Roberts expressed disappointment with the lack of ease to objecting to the plans. This was followed by Councillor David Barrie urgently calling on attendees to write to the Council with their objections before the consultation deadline of 3 March.
The meeting at St. John’s Church in Walmley was attended by over 350 Sutton residents keen to make their voices heard. Before and after the meeting residents were able to ask the panellists questions and express their own views on the plans including the need to engage young people on the issue of protecting the Green Belt. Suzanne Webb of Projects Fields, a community campaign group against the plans to build homes on the Green Belt, spoke out strongly on the complicated objection process and offered a work shop to those who wanted to object but had problems filling out the Council’s forms at the church which went ahead on Tuesday.
Andrew Mitchell urged the attendees to stay optimistic and maintained that “If we continue to fight in the engaged, polite manner we are, we should travel in hope and believe that the power of community expressed in Sutton will be heard”.
Speaking after the meeting Sutton’s MP said “Almost 400 residents have come here tonight to make their voices heard and I will continue to lead the fight in opposition to Birmingham City Council’s Plan. Whether young or old we need everyone to write to the Council making our objections to these unnecessary proposals known. We have a proud history of local activism on Sutton and we need to defeat the plans to build on our Green Belt”.