Reading through the palliative and end of life care strategy, I suddenly realised the size of the task I’d offered to help with. We’d been asked by the two Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Birmingham South Central and Birmingham Cross City, who were working in partnership, to create a summary of the strategy. This would form the opening pages of the consultation document that would tell people about the proposed changes, and offer them an opportunity to have their say.
One Sunday morning, ten years ago, I witnessed a high-rise tower block near to where I live fall to the ground amid a huge welter of dust, dynamited by its owners, Birmingham City Council.
The reason? No one wanted to live there any more. Yet less than 50 years before, consensus among the leading architects of the day was that vertical streets were the ideal way to meet people’s housing needs.
The major flaw in this approach was that they neglected to consult the people who were going to live in the apartments.