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October Parliamentary Newsletter

In Birmingham Northfield

North Worcestershire Golf Course (NWGC) Inquiry

Earlier this month there was a public inquiry to look into Bloor Homes’ appeal against Birmingham City Council’s rejection of their planning application to build 800 houses on the NWGC. Together with Councillor Olly Armstrong and a number of local residents, I argued that the area will not be able to cope with a development of that size, particularly with the amount of extra traffic that it would generate.

The Planning Inspector who heard the appeal will now submit a report to the Government and we now await this decision. Whichever way this goes, though, it will still be important for local people to have a say in what happens from here. If the development does go ahead, there will still be a lot of detail to consider about it. If it doesn’t go ahead, something still needs to happen to the golf course site. It cannot continue to be left to deteriorate. Either way, what happens to the site will have an impact on people who live in the area. It is time for the focus to shift from what should not happen there to what can and should.

You can read my full submission to the Inquiry here.

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World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day – a day dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues and mobilising efforts in support of mental health.

Around one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and it can affect anyone of us.

Since the first World Mental Health Day in 1992, great strides have been made in challenging stigma around mental health and discussing mental health more openly. As the stigma around mental health has been challenged, more people are open and willing to talk to people about their mental health.

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North Worcestershire Golf Course – Public Inquiry

On Thursday this week, I gave my evidence to the Public Inquiry which is taking place into Bloor Homes’ appeal against Birmingham City Council’s rejection of their planning application to build 800 houses on the North Worcestershire Golf Course site. I am opposing the appeal. My full statement to the Inquiry is here –

Richard Burden statement at NWGC Inquiry

 

September Newsletter

In Birmingham Northfield

New Engineering Centre at Bournville College

I was privileged to recently open the new Engineering Centre at Bournville College.  With state of the art equipment to teach the practical, hands-on skills that employers are always looking for, the centre will initially offer students the opportunity to acquire qualifications from Level 1 to level 3 with potential for university-partnered courses up to level 5 being available – probably as early as next year.

Engineering is in the DNA of Longbridge. Its name has been synonymous with motor manufacturing for over one hundred years. The new centre at Bournville College both celebrates that heritage and demonstrates how world-class engineering can be as much a part of the area’s future as its past. The UK urgently needs more engineers at all levels. They are more important than ever to find solutions to the huge technical challenges that the future holds – in automotive and in the entire spectrum of industries and sectors that drive a modern economy.

Developed in its new role as part of South and City College, Bournville’s Engineering Centre at Longbridge provides the opportunity for local young people to be at the heart of this innovation, opening up opportunities to embark on great careers in modern engineering and manufacturing. It is also great to see the emphasis that the College is putting on demonstrating that those opportunities are every bit relevant to young women as they are to young men. You can see more from Bournville College’s short video of the launch here.

Congratulations to everyone who has made the opening of the Centre a reality and best of luck to all the students who will be starting in September. You can find out more about the range of courses that are on offer here.

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Statement on US ending UNRWA funding

Richard Burden MP, Chair of the Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group, has responded to the decision of the US administration to to end funding to UNWRA.

Mr Burden said today:

“The action taken by the US administration to end funding to UNRWA is appalling and threatens the security of millions of Palestinian refugees. Many of the refugees living in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are dependent on UNRWA assistance to access primary health care, education and relief services. Due to President Trump’s reckless decision, this vital humanitarian work is now in jeopardy. The UK has a responsibility not to look the other way. It is imperative that the UK Government not only condemns this action, but also works with international partners to fill the funding gap left by the US administration to ensure that vital front-line services are not adversely impacted by this withdrawal of support.

This is the latest in a string in of provocative actions by President Trump which take us further away from peace and undermines the ability of the US to credibly broker talks between Israel and Palestine. A just solution for Palestinian refugees based on human rights and international law will be essential to achieving the durable peace in the Middle East which can provide a secure future that all Israelis and Palestinians deserve. I intend to table an Early Day Motion on the US Administration’s announcement when Parliament returns from the summer recess tomorrow.”