Published on 04/06/20

Debate programme launched to discuss Birmingham’s Covid-19 recovery plan

As high streets prepare to re-open from June 15 as part of the government’s plans to ease the country out of lockdown, Colmore BID has launched a programme of debates discussing key topics influencing Birmingham’s Covid-19 recovery plan.

The programme builds upon the success of an initial debate held in May which discussed what the ‘new normal’ would look like for businesses when they return to the city. Following feedback from delegates, business improvement district, Colmore BID has launched a programme of three further events with experts discussing key topics that build into the city’s recovery plan.

The programme kick starts on June 16 with a discussion on leadership, hosted by Kevin Johnson, Managing Director of Urban Communications. The traditional working environment will undoubtedly have changed for all, with more businesses adopting remote working and flexible working hours than ever before. But, as a leader, how do you engage and motivate a team that isn’t in the same room anymore? Has lockdown changed the idea of leadership for good? Speakers for this panel include Immy Kaur, Co-founder of Impact Hub, Louise Teboul, Operations Director at Common Purpose and Yetunde Dania, Partner at Trowers and Hamlins LLP.

The debates continue on June 23 with a discussion about homelessness, hosted by Marc Reeves, Editor-in-Chief at Reach Midlands Media. Despite the government stating that the Covid-19 crisis could be a chance to end rough sleeping and offer long-term help, many homelessness charities and support organisations have been forced to shut down front line services. So, is there a real opportunity to end rough sleeping and how can this be done? This panel will consist of Carly Jones, CEO of SIFA Fireside, Cllr Sharon Thompson, Cabinet Member of Homes and Neighbourhoods, Jean Templeton, CEO of St Basil’s and Mike Best, Chair of Colmore BID’s Safe and Sound working group.

The final event in the series will see experts debate the city’s transport network on June 30 and will be hosted by Kevin Johnson, Managing Director of Urban Communications. As the government sets out its plans to return life to as normal as possible, transport providers are urging passengers to only use public transport for essential journeys. But as more people look to return to the city centre, what can and should be done to protect those travelling? Are new traffic regulations required and should public walkways be widened to enable social distancing? Joining the panel will be Fay Easton, Head of Stakeholder & Community for West Midlands Railway, Cllr Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment and Mike Mounfield, Projects Manager at Colmore BID.

“When we talk about recovery, the conversation often revolves around money and funding, however it should entail far more than this,” said Michele Wilby, CEO of Colmore BID. “As we speak to businesses within our district, we have found that they are concerned about so many more issues, some of which we are attempting to address in our new debate series.

“We have survived through crisis and now we enter perhaps the most important time for the city, pre-recovery, where plans must be put in place to ensure a resilient future for Birmingham. These debates will not only provide insight on the city’s plans for transport and homelessness, but also show businesses and the general public what they can do to ensure a safe return to the city.”

Birmingham’s Covid-19 Recovery Plan: Leadership debate takes place on Tuesday 16 June at 11am and will be hosted on Zoom. To register for free visit https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GuSDPYN_RyizJ4cClkLJJQ

Birmingham’s Covid-19 Recovery Plan: Homelessness debate takes place on Tuesday 23 June at 11am and will be hosted on Zoom. To register for free visit https://colmorebusinessdistrict.com/event/birminghams-covid-19-recovery-plan-homelessness-debate/

Birmingham’s Covid-19 Recovery Plan: Transport debate takes place on Tuesday 30 June at 2pm and will be hosted on Zoom. To register for free visit https://colmorebusinessdistrict.com/event/birminghams-covid-19-recovery-plan-transport-debate/