Thursday 18 December 2014

So why are we here?

I was making willow stars with girls from Swanshurst Girls School at their 'Winter Celebration' event when a friend saw me, and asked, 'So why are you here?'

A fair question, as I have no children at the school.  I was at the event representing Swan Corner Community group, and over the past month or so, we (Swan Corner community Group) have been working with girls from the school, planting apple trees, dancing, gardening generally, and creating a fabulous Swan sculpture sitting on our roundabout.

Swan Corner Community Group was started nearly a year ago to address local issues, in particular the risk to lives and the number of accidents caused by cars.

As you can see from this map, we've had nine accidents with casualties reported in the past five years all around the roundabout (to see accidents near you, check out for a very useful map of info).

We've not had any fatalities outside Swanshurst yet, as happens annually on Kings Heath High Street, but there is no doubt it could happen.  A much harder question for Swan Corner Community Group is how can we make our local area safer?

We have regular meetings.  We were involved in 'Playing Out' on 6th August, encouraging children to play outdoors, worked with Swanshurst for a number of events, all developing closer community.  Again with Swanshurst School, we have made improvements, including our rather fabulous Swan sculpture, noticeboard and Apple trees - many were sceptical saying it would be vandalised and destroyed, but a year on, there's been no real damage - willow and apple trees continue to grow.  It's tough though, coming back to that key issue of safety, knowing there will be at least a couple of serious injuries every year we fail to make things better on the road.

We haven't made the roundabout safer, but the reason I was at the school, and the reason we will continue acting and campaigning to improve the area, is because it is our home and all our neighbours mean a lot to us.

Thanks everyone who has helped - it's been a good first year!

See here for more about Swan Corner Community Group 

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