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Crisis in Gaza – Debate on the Middle East

On 17 July 2014 there was a backbench debate on the current situation in the Middle East in the House of Commons. Given the number of constituents who have written to me about what is is going on in Gaza I wanted to share the speech I gave that afternoon.

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Leisure Facilities in our Area: Northfield Deserves Better than Second Best

Northfield deserves a quality leisure centre in which local people, young and old can swim, take part in sports and keep fit. People have been telling me this for years. The issue has always been where such a leisure centre should be, how accessible it is and how it can be funded.

Unfortunately the story for the past decade has been of short term thinking by Birmingham Council, following by no thinking at all for eight years, followed by attempts to face up to issues that have become urgent because they were not faced up to before.

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Longbridge Connectivity Announcement Shows What Can be Done if Governments Listen to Local Voices

Today’s announcement of an £8m+ package to improve transport links in and around Longbridge is great news for the entire South Birmingham area. Longbridge rail station will be upgraded. There will be better passenger information, an improved interchange for bus passengers, and a better environment for cyclists and pedestrians too. The existing park and ride facility is also due for extension and road infrastructure work will help improve traffic movement more generally.

Longbridge is an internationally significant investment site in our region and this will help give it the gateway it deserves.  Read more

Kings Norton’s Mahfil Restaurant Wins Place in National ‘Tiffin Cup’ Final!

I am delighted that the Mahfil Restaurant in Kings Norton  has been chosen as one of the 13 national finalists in the prestigious Tiffin Cup competition. I nominated Mahfil after visiting the restaurant earlier in the year, so it is brilliant that they have now made it into the final.

The Tiffin Cup is awarded every year by the Tiffin Club of MPs, formed in 2006. The aim is not only to recognise and celebrate the quality of South Asian food in Britain, but also to raise much needed money for charity. The Grand Final of the Tiffin Cup 2014 will be held in the House of Commons on Wednesday 8th July, and this year will be raising money for World Vision.

Whoever wins the Cup this year will have beaten off competition from 94 restaurants that have been nominated by local MPs. This is really prestigious award and I will certainly be there on 8th July to cheer on Mahfil.

I am sure everyone in Birmingham Northfield will join me in rooting for our restaurant to be crowned the 2014 champion.



Pressure to end disruption on Northfield High Street

Over the past few weeks prolonged works to repair water mains in Northfield has been severely disrupting the high street, and trade for local businesses on it.

Severn Trent Water opened up a hole at the junction of Bell Lane and Bristol Road South on the 14th June, after it was found that four leaks in the trunk main supplying water to Birmingham have slowly been eroding the ground underneath Northfield town centre. But despite opening up the hole, action to fix the problem has been slow. Many local business owners, who began to see footfall on the high street decrease, were understandably concerned and frustrated about the lack of updates and urgency from Severn Trent.

Along with local traders and the Northfield Business Improvement District (BID), I have been putting pressure on Severn Trent, the City Council and Amey to get the work finished as soon as possible. Local businesses should not have had to put up with all this disruption for so long.

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