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Statement on Proposed Police Station Closures

West Midlands Police have announced a plan to close 28 police stations across the region. In and around the Northfield area, Kings Norton, Longbridge, Warstock and Bartley Green are scheduled to close.

Although nearby Bournville Lane will continue to be the Police headquarters for the area, these proposals mean that there will be no police stations in Northfield constituency itself by the end of 2017.

In the recent debate I held in Parliament on 8 September, I and other Labour MPs warned about the consequences of Governments cuts to Police funding. We are now seeing the reality of those warnings

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Want to join my team?

Richard is looking for an addition to his busy team in the Westminster office. This is a part-time, paid and fixed position lasting until the Christmas recess.

You will learn first-hand about the work that MPs do representing their constituents in Parliament, as well as gaining insight into the role of a Shadow Transport Minister.

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Superfast Broadband UPDATE: Superfast Summit

Last Friday (18 September) I hosted a ‘Superfast Summit’ in Kings Norton, where I met with senior officials from Virgin Media, BT, Digital Birmingham and alternative providers, to discuss the problem of superfast broadband not-spots in the constituency.

Many of you will be aware – or have even got in touch with me – about my campaign on poor broadband coverage. I have estimated around 1500 homes or 6% of the constituency does not have access to superfast speeds. Quick access is not just about putting an end to iPlayer buffering, it has been found to affect house prices, and unfairly disrupts people working from home.

My summit sought answers from the big providers about their perceived inaction and to urge progress

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The Labour Leadership

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece about the Labour leadership election and about the future direction of our Party. It set out the reasons why I believe the qualities that Yvette Cooper would have brought to the position of Leader made her the candidate for me to support. The scale of Jeremy Corbyn’s victory was, however, overwhelming and it must be respected. I don’t say that grudgingly. Hundreds of thousands of people have signed up to Labour and there has been an energy around his campaign which has touched people who have been turned off from involvement in conventional parties in recent years. As I also said in the piece I wrote in August, that presents a real opportunity for Labour.

Seizing that opportunity presents two big challenges for Labour. First, to face up to the kind of charges in policy and political direction that can apply our principles to world that we face over the next twenty years, not those of either the last twenty years or the twenty before that. Second, it is to change the style and character of our politics so it can reach out in ways that which both Jeremy’s campaign and a range of movements beyond conventional parties have given us a glimpse.

A word too about my friend and West Midlands colleague, Tom Watson. His victory in the Deputy Leadership contest was also overwhelming. He is a tireless campaigner who has shown he is up to facing the challenges above. Tom has made clear he will be a loyal Deputy in an inclusive and forward-looking Party. Both Jeremy and Tom have my support in that.

Assisted Dying Bill

Hundreds of you have got in touch with me about the Assisted Dying Bill. The Bill comes up for debate in the House of Commons this Friday (11th September).

Over the past weeks and months I have sent individual replies to as many people as possible. However, the sheer quantity of e-mails I have received – both for and against the Bill – means that I have not been able to get back to everybody before it comes up for debate.

In order to reach as many local people ahead of the debate as possible, you can see a copy of my initial response below, which outlines my views as well as links to more information about the Bill.

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