On Friday 13th July, Arthur Terry sixth formers were fortunate to meet and pose questions to local constituent MP, The Right Honourable, Andrew Mitchell and his Conservative colleague and inaugural West Midlands Combined Authority Mayor, Andy Street.
Politics, Business & Economics and Urban Geographers alike, were gripped by the former John Lewis boss’ plans to stimulate economic growth across the ‘Midlands Engine’. Key priorities that Andy highlighted included making the most of the forthcoming HS2 project, 2000 Boris-esque bikes (with docking stations) soon coming to our city centre, a joined up approach to tackling homelessness and mental health needs and the urgent requirement for house building in particular, affordable starter homes.
Andrew Mitchell who helped arrange Andy Street’s visit agreed that tacking inter-generational unfairness demands that we build homes by the hundreds of thousands but remained resolute that these should NOT be constructed on Sutton’s Greenbelt. Rather Andrew recommended numerous brownfield sites ripe for development, post-decontamination, adding “Sutton Coldfield comes first, second and third”.
The whole year group were able to hear from these two key democratic decision makers in the hall before a select number of students were able to ask more in-depth and probing questions in the boardroom. Andy Street noted at the end of his visit that the questions were, ‘On the money’ and Andrew Mitchell added, ‘Arthur Terry students are incredibly bright and are always on the pulse of the agenda’.
Sixth formers are now looking forward to joining Andrew Mitchell again later this week at an Amnesty International Human Rights Debate taking place at Holy Trinity RC Church on Thursday evening.