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Negative perceptions drag down Birmingham; viewpoint.

Dear Editor, It is bad news that the Black Country and Birmingham are potentially divided over the new enterprise body.

This is a region which needs to work together. Birmingham has a bad public image, as a recent survey of 3,000 people across Europe placed the city bottom of the league as a major tourist spot.

The defensive comment by a local politician that there wasn't a problem - Birmingham has three restaurants with a Michelin star missed the point.

Try getting a decent meal after a concert in Symphony Hall or the Town Hall. However the rest of the region has an equally bad reputation.

Wolverhampton was recently described by an international tourist group as one of the worst five cities in the world. Ludicrous, but hard to argue against. What successful events bringing attention to the city have there been? As recent letters on the removal of BBC production facilities showed, the decision makers see this as an area for conscious neglect.

A recent Mac weekend on Pebble Mill showed it as a hotbed of creativity 30 years ago. Likewise, a determined internet campaign against Shakespeare is systematically undermining the man from Stratford on the basis he was an uneducated yokel who could not have been a genius. No effective counter has been forthcoming. This is a region where negative propaganda sticks.

Perhaps it is up to the civic societies to produce a regional response if the politicians cannot do so.

Trevor Fisher Stafford
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 5, 2010
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