A common theme coming out of discussions in Hall Green is that while there might not be tensions between different communities in the area, people are still 'separated' on a number of different lines. For example:
Class and economics
A biggie. Many people are saying that there are no places where people from different socioeconomic backgrounds get together. Different classes use different shops, supermarkets, and pubs and spend their leisure time differently, it is claimed. So while people talk about tensions between different ethnic groups or migrants, it may be that the real dividing line is between the haves, the have-nots, and the have-loads.
We've had a great time working with local faith organisations to put on community conversations. But a couple of people have said that we can't keep relying on faith organisations to keep the conversation going. In fact, some people have said that there are real dividing lines amongst Hall Green communities based on faith. 'My son has friends from all religions at school,' one woman said, 'but in the evening they all go their separates ways: different homes, different places of worship. It's really sad'. Again, the lack of a shared space is a real concern for some.
How do we create spaces where younger and older people can chill together? A common concern - amongst both younger and older people - is that young people's voices aren't heard in public debates, so they don't get the chance to shape services or have input into how communities develop.
What do you think? Is any of this an issue for you?