I will lead The Great West Midlands Clean Up campaign, to clean up the region ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
After joining a community clean up of the Lapal Canal in Weoley Castle in Birmingham, where local volunteers were removing rubbish and taking it to the tip.
I noticed that there are still far too many parts of the region, particularly in Birmingham, where litter, fly-tipping, and rubbish are strewn all over our streets, in canals, on grass verges and in hedgerows. It is a disgrace, and we need to do something about it.
The eyes of the world will on us next year with the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, and we’re going to need a huge effort to clean up so that we can be proud to host athletes and visitors from around the world.
Local councils are in charge of collecting our bins and keeping our public spaces clean and tidy rather than the Mayor. But, given that the Commonwealth Games are so important to the reputation of the West Midlands, it is right that we all work together to support our councils in the run-up to the Games.
The Great West Midlands Clean Up campaign will run from Summer 2021 to July 2022 when the Commonwealth Games begin, and will include:
- Bringing together community, faith and local neighbourhood groups to run an enormous volunteer litter-picking and clean-up programme ahead of the Games in July 2022.
- Appointing lead organisations in local areas to coordinate efforts, for example, World Against Single-Use Plastic in Walsall.
- Supporting new efforts by local businesses and associations like the Business Improvement Districts to smarten up their surroundings, for example repainting shop fronts, removing graffiti, and exploring corporate sponsorship of roads and verges during and after the Games.
- Working with councils and West Midlands Police to crack down on littering, graffiti and fly-tipping.
- Encouraging West Midlands councils to work together to make sure street cleaning and waste collection is world-class ahead of the Games, exploring if neighbouring councils could provide support if needed.
- Cleaning up our parks, canals and other green spaces as well as our urban spaces, so that we all have pleasant spaces for leisure.
The Great West Midlands Clean Up will take place right across the region, including:
- The area around the Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr which will host the athletics, including Perry Park.
- Sutton Park which will host the triathlon, and West Park, Wolverhampton which will host the Road Cycling.
- Birmingham City Centre which will host basketball, beach volleyball and gymnastics.
- The verges and surroundings of key routes between venues, for example, the A34 Walsall Road, A38 Bristol Road and the A45 Coventry Road.
- Local tourist attractions such as Cadbury World, the Balti Triangle, Digbeth and the canals across the West Midlands.
- Local parks and high streets which will be used by residents, even if they are not being used for the Commonwealth Games.
The campaign is similar to the successful “Capital Clean Up” and “Big Waterways Clean Up 2012” which was run by Mayor Boris Johnson ahead of the London Olympics in 2012, and was sponsored by Proctor & Gamble (which sells Ariel, Bold, Fairy and Daz cleaning products).