Redevelopment is rolling on in Wolverhampton – but will the negative views of locals change? At West Wulf, we’ve seen some interesting things in the last two weeks that highlight both the best and the worst of people in our city.
Before we go any further, a quick note. Having travelled around the country, Wolverhampton is no better or worse than comparable sized cities. Throw out all the internet polls, all the negative stereotyping. We do have issues in Wolverhampton, with crime, drugs, homelessness. The recent BBC3 ‘Drugs Map of Britain’ programme, ‘Wolverhampton: Getting Off Mamba’ (click the link to watch if you missed it) was an eye opener to many, but simply went on to reinforce the negative stereotypes of those quick to put the city down.
The truth is simple. If Wolverhampton is to improve, it will take Wulfrunians all pulling together and making the most of the city to do it. No over reliance on the government, the council, the police. It will take a big slice of the 249,000 of us here to change perceptions and it starts with talking our city up.
Unfortunately, we’ll start with a recent negative.
What can we say about this image? Lots of police. A car was just feet away from running into door staff at the Billy Wright pub on Princess Street. If it wasn’t for a lamp post, the car would have ploughed right into the front of the pub – which was reasonably busy (as you’d expect early on a Friday evening). Word on the street at the time was that the driver intentionally aimed for the pub. Whether this is true or just talk is unknown and will no doubt be revealed further down the line.
So, a sign of trouble in Wolverhampton.
And now, on the following Friday, the opposite. People coming together to protest, alongside Wolverhampton’s homeless community, in an effort to raise the profile of the plight of homeless people.
#MarchWithTheHomeless, organised by local man, Ben Aldred, provided a platform for people to show solidarity with homeless people.
Just two very different events a week apart in Wolverhampton that serve to highlight the fluid comings and goings of a modern city in England – both good and bad.