Two of Birmingham’s most notorious districts are to have their names changed in a bid to rid them of their poor reputation, if proposals are given the go ahead at the Council’s cabinet meeting later this month.
The rebranding is a desperate last resort by senior councillors who are fed up of newspaper and television reports that label Aston and Castle Vale as crime-ridden areas despite the huge sums of public money that have been spent on regenerating them.
Aston is to be renamed as Trinity Park, while Castle Vale will be known as Little Bromwich, if the proposals get the go-ahead.
Council Leader Mike Whitby said: “Birmingham is a global City with a local heart, but some of its heart needs bypass surgery, and we intend to sharpen our scalpels and operate very quickly. Even though crime has come down and living conditions are as good as any middle-class area, Castle Vale is still talked about as though it is a crime hotspot and full of good-for-nothing layabouts. Aston is seen as a place full of drugs and gun crime. Whenever a local television report refers to crime, it goes straight to Aston or to Castle Vale and interviews residents there, and quite frankly we have had enough of the damage that this does to Birmingham’s growing reputation as a tourist attraction. Foreign tourists are being put off spending time and money in Birmingham’s vibrant city because they keep seeing negative reports about some of its suburbs.
“We have tried everything to improve the reputation of both these places, but nothing has worked. We feel that a name change is now the only remaining option.”
“Castle Vale is a relatively new name. The old railway station there was known as Castle Bromwich. So we think that renaming the area Little Bromwich will help to give the area a fresh start. Aston is an older name, but we think that the word ‘park’ has positive connotations, and the word ‘trinity’ suggests a good, church-going culture, and that is a true reflection of the residents of Aston.”
Council workers have already started taking down ‘Castle Vale’ signs, and hope to have them replaced by Little Bromwich alternatives by the end of the month. Residents will be consulted about the background colour of the signs, though black is the only colour available for the lettering.
Castle Vale was originally named by Olaf Prilo, the Council’s Head of Transport in the 1960s. Having read a number of local police reports about the area, he decided to use letters from the phrase ‘steal a vehicle’ to come up with a suitable name.
A spokesperson for Aston Villa football club has said that they have no intention of changing the club’s name to Trinity Park Villa.
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