Articles

Back to sunny Soho

In Birmingham, electoral register on October 22, 2011 by dadge

For the third year, I’ve been out on the streets of Soho, canvassing for the city council’s Elections Office in order to get as many people onto the electoral register as possible. The process has been made a lot quicker, easier and cheaper this year by the use of data matching, by which I guess they mean they match non-responding households up with council-tax records. So all that’s left for me and my fellow canvassers is to check on the 14% of non-responding households that they don’t have any data for. In my case the percentage is a bit higher – instead of 250 houses to visit, this year I have to go to 100.

After three years, I’m getting know the area (and some of the people) pretty well. Although it’s right on the edge of town (and a stone’s throw from the WBA ground) it seems just as much a part of Birmingham as any other. The Soho ward is a bit of an artificial creation, combining as it does three distinct communities: South Handsworth, Winson Green and an area you could call East Cape Hill or West Rotton Park or Summerfield Park or NW Edgbaston. 🙂 (It would really be better if the ward was split into 3 wards with 1 councillor for each.)

The Boundary Commission propose to tack the ward on to a new Smethwick seat (pdf) but only the Cape Hill quarter has any connections with Smethwick.

In the current boundary review, I’ve proposed that the ward should be part of a Perry Barr or Handsworth seat, with my street in Oscott at the other end of the constituency, and that seems a good plan to me. The parish and town of Handsworth stretched all the way from the Hockley Brook to Sutton Park and it’s a shame that there hasn’t been a Handsworth constituency since 1983 – currently the area is divided between the Ladywood and Perry Barr seats.

 Map from A Vision of Britain

By the way, 9th November is the 100th anniversary of the town of Handsworth leaving Staffordshire and becoming part of the city of Birmingham in the county of Warwickshire.

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One Response to “Back to sunny Soho”

  1. Ive never heard of East Cape Hill theres only one Cape Hill in Smethwick but i agree the old Staffordshire part of Soho (actually Handsworth) i can understand but Winson Green (always in Brum) i dont get! Rotton Park was always Edgbaston, Brum.

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