Balsall Heath

Balsall Heath is an inner city neighbourhood of up to 15,000 inhabitants. It lies on both sides of the A435 , one mile south of Birmingham City Centre. Postally, it is mostly within B12. Map of Balsall Heath

The neighbourhood has recently been divided between Balsall Heath West Ward and Sparkbook and Balsall Heath East. It is is one of the most ethnically diverse areas in England. The statistics show that we have persistent problems of low income and worklessness.

The housing is mostly pre-1919 terraces, with 9 inch solid brick walls and single glazed windows which allow much heat to escape. Many people suffer from fuel poverty i.e. more than 10% of their income goes on energy bills.

There is quite low car ownership, but the main roads bring in noise, pollution and severance from commuter traffic.

We have strong community and faith organisations, who have been major players in providing services and turning around the appearance and reputation of the area, which used to be afflicted by crime, prostitution and unsightly dumps of rubbish. There is a successful Carnival that has been running 40 years and brings everyone together for a day of family fun.

In 2005, the Birmingham Tornado devastated parts of the neighbourhood, making us aware that climate warming brings more extreme and desctructive weather events. Local organisations have their own aims to reduce their carbon emissions, and they have come together to support Balsall Heath Is Our Planet.

In 2007/08, we held a Community Conference and workshop process that produced an Action Plan for reducing the environmental footprint of the area,  – see page Projects for details of these. This was the start of Balsall Heath Is Our Planet. Much of our approach has been included in the Balsall Heath Neighbourhood Plan

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