As everyone reading this will know, Brexit has dominated the political agenda in recent weeks and consequently the range of other issues covered in this this month’s newsletter is more limited than usual.
The Prime Minister has now set out the terms of her proposed Brexit deal (all 585 pages of it!) and Parliament is about to start nearly two weeks of intensive debate ahead of votes on 11th December. I recently set out my thoughts on where things stand and on the choices facing the UK in an article published by the Birmingham Post and Mail here.
Based on what I know now and in line with the arguments I set out in that article, I intend to oppose Theresa May’s deal which I believe would leave the UK worse off. I also intend to back amendments which call on Parliament to rule out crashing out of the EU without any deal at all – something which I believe would have very severe and damaging consequences for our country. Read more
From international organisations that fight levels of poverty on a scale that we do not have to face in the developing world to local groups that are a lifeline for so many people here in the UK, charities make a world of difference. I am delighted to support Giving Tuesday. It is a great opportunity to shine a light on the great work that charities do, and to encourage both individuals and businesses to support a cause that means something to them. Charities only exist because people’s generosity allow them to exist. I hope Giving Tuesday encourages us all to give what we can – both on that day and hopefully in future too.
Unsurprisingly, lots of constituents have written to me in the last week about the Brexit deal that Theresa May has brought back. If – as looks likely – Parliament rejects both Theresa May’s deal and leaving the EU without a deal, then a people’s vote may yet be the only way to break the logjam. I have set out my thoughts in an article in the Birmingham Mail’s Birmingham Live website available here.
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.
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.