Merry Christmas & Happy New Year


Northfield and North Pole. They both start with ‘North’. You would think that is about the limit of the similarity between my constituency and Santa’s home.

Not this year. For two days just before Christmas, Northfield High Street was dominated by a giant inflatable snowman. Across the square, complete with snow machine creating a not-too-cold blizzard, were two Christmas scenes. One even broke new ground by apparently replacing the Three Wise Men with three silver, and presumably equally wise, peacocks.

Turn around and you were likely to meet Rudolph and be shepherded into two marquees by green and red clad elves. Inside an assortment of tasks could earn you your very own Northfield Elf passport.

Ok, it wasn’t all Santa’s doing. Northfield Wonderland was the brainchild of the Northfield Town Centre Partnership, made possible by its new Business Improvement District status. And it would not have happened without the time and effort of the volunteers and staff.

In tough economic times Northfield, like other shopping centres, faces big challenges. Local people are going through tough times too. There are different political analyses about why that is and what can be done about it. But none will work without a sense of community.

So thanks to Northfield Wonderland for helping to foster that locally.

Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year.

Recent Posts

Richard Burden

Avatar photo

I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Get in touch

You can reach me by email at or use the form on the Contact page to send me a message.