Today, the Express & Star launches a major survey of our region, by inviting you to have Your Say on issues that matter to you.
We aim to piece together the biggest ever independent snapshot of life in the West Midlands and Staffordshire.
From pubs to pensions, trains to town centres, we want to hear from you about the state of the region and the lives you lead.
We kick off today by asking you about Your Services.
- Fill in day one of the Your Say survey - Your services
- Fill in day two of the Your Say survey - Your town
Tell us how you rate the service you get from your local council and the facilities it offers.
We want to know how you think your council should be run. Only Birmingham in our circulation area was ever given a say on an elected mayor.
Perhaps you think the idea might work in Staffordshire, the Black Country and the Wyre Forest.
At a time when councils are drawing up deep budget cuts, are there some services you would be prepared to pay for or be willing to be scrapped altogether? Campaigners have saved some libraries earmarked for closure in Wolverhampton, but at a time of austerity are they an extravagance we can afford to do without?
We would like to know your attitude to recycling and the continuing debate on whether we should have fortnightly or weekly bin collections.
Your answers to today’s questions, together with another 40 across the week, will provide an insight into your concerns, hopes and priorities.
The results will be of interest to service providers in our region.
Tomorrow we will ask your opinion on Your Towns – where you like to do your shopping, where you go for an evening out, what could be done to get you to use your local town centre and what you think of parking charges. In the age of the internet it is more important than ever for shops and town centre managers to be in touch with what their customers want. This is your chance to tell them what they should be doing.
On Wednesday we will focus on Your Transport, asking your views on issues like the M6 Toll. Perhaps you have an opinion on the cost of buses, given that the price of a single journey recently went up to £2.
Transport chiefs have been lobbying for years to get funding to extend the Midland Metro with success in Birmingham but no sign of a second line in the Black Country. We want to know if you are prepared to pay for it.
Thursday’s questions will concentrate on Your Safety. At a time when crime is said to be falling we want to know how safe you feel in the area where you live and whether or not you have been a victim. We want to know the biggest crime concerns you have and whether or not it is safe to go out at night in your area.
Your views on sentencing in courts will be brought to the attention of the authorities along with your opinions on whether or not householders should be able to use force to protect their property. And several months on from an election with a turnout of less than one in five, we want to know whether you support the idea of the new police and crime commissioners, who have the power to set force budgets and hire and fire chief constables.
Our final set of questions will be about you and Your Well-Being. We want to know how happy you consider yourself to be and whether your quality of life is better or worse now than it was 20 years ago. We will ask if you feel financially secure and question the rising pension age and your opinions on doctors and the NHS.
The survey is entirely anonymous so you can feel totally free to give your opinion.
On Saturday we will re-print all the questions in case you missed any or want to have your say all in one go.
You can take part for free on our website www.expressandstar.com, which will keep the survey online for two weeks.
Or you can fill the form from the paper and send it in for the price of a stamp.
We do not claim that this is a scientific study, but it will provide an insight into life in the West Midlands in 2013.
This is a truly independent survey with no financial backing from any public bodies.
This is your chance to tell the powers that be what you think.
It’s Your Say.