A leading Birmingham councillor will become a street warden this weekend, patrolling the city’s golden mile to experience a Broad Street party night in full swing.
Coun Waseem Zaffar, the cabinet member for Transport and Environment on Birmingham City Council, will put in a shift as a street warden for the Westside Business Improvement District (BID) on Saturday night (11 May).
Coun Zaffar wants to get a first-hand view of the challenges that the authorities face in looking after the thousands of revellers who flock to Birmingham’s top nightlife district every weekend.
As well as experiencing the sights and sounds of Broad Street from a street warden’s perspective, Coun Zaffar will also speak to local police, venue staff, support workers and the public as the area’s pubs and clubs begin to fill up for the night.
Coun Zaffar said: “I’m really looking forward to becoming a street warden for the evening with Westside BID wardens to get first-hand experience of the challenges and environment on Broad Street.
“Hopefully I’ll come across loads of Villa fans celebrating after winning the first leg of their play-off semi-final with the Baggies earlier in the day!
“But seriously, I think it’s really important for local politicians to understand the city they serve, and I’m sure I’ll be able to learn a lot from what goes on in our ‘Golden Mile’ and how the various partners keep everybody as safe as possible.”
Westside BID hopes that Coun Zaffar will be the first of many local politicians to put a shift in as a street warden on Broad Street and the surrounding areas.
Mike Olley, general manager of Westside BID, said: “I’m delighted that Council Zaffar has agreed to experience being a street warden for the evening.
“We’d welcome any other politicians to join us on other nights, as the more people who understand both the opportunities and challenges of the nighttime economy the better.
“They will be able to see how closely we work with West Midlands Police, bar and club door supervisors, taxi companies and other partners to prevent injury and crime and to reduce the fear of crime.”