After weeks of missed collections across Birmingham, I am relieved that agreement has been reached to bring the bins dispute to an end and I thank the Council and Unions for doing so. Birmingham residents have understandably been left angry and frustrated by all of this, but they too will be relieved to have the clean streets that they expect and are entitled to.
The immediate focus must now be on the backlog of missed collections and clearing the mountains of rubbish that have been left behind on Birmingham’s streets and estates. My team and I will continue to work with local councillors and residents to report outstanding collections and piles of rubbish while the clean-up gets underway.
In this, my first Parliamentary Newsletter since the General Election, I want to say thank you to the people of Birmingham Northfield Constituency for re-electing me as your MP. To have been re- elected with a majority that was almost double that of the previous election is an even greater honour.
So in saying a personal thank you to all who voted for me, I also want to underline that I am the MP for everyone in the constituency, whoever you voted for at election time. My priority has always been to be a good local MP, with solid roots in the area. If there is any issue you would like to bring to my attention, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can find out how you can get in touch, here.
I hope you all have a wonderful and restful summer.
Richard Read more
Like so many other people who live in Birmingham, I and my family have been experiencing problems with missed bin collections, with overflowing wheelie bins left uncollected or picked up days late for a number of weeks now.
As an MP I have also been inundated with calls and e-mails from residents who have been going through the same thing. According to a report in the Birmingham Mail this week, the number of missed collections has soared by 5,000 a week since the start of the present industrial dispute between Birmingham City Council and unions representing bin crews.
The council has set up a web link on which people can report missed collections here: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/…/report_a_missed_bin_or_sack…
Every time a resident contacts my office with details of where collections have been missed, we also report this to the council and ask them to go out to pick up the rubbish as soon as possible.
None of this, of course, means the problem goes away and it is clear that a long term solution requires a resolution of the current dispute. Obviously, not being a party to the dispute, neither I nor any of my Birmingham Labour MP colleagues have it in our power to solve it directly. What I can tell you is that, between us, we are in touch with both the city council and the unions to emphasise the importance of bringing the dispute to an end as soon as possible.
This week I raised this issue with the Government. As many constituents will personally know, this has been a persistent problem across the constituency in recent months. You can see my question and the Government’s response here:
Many of you will have seen an increase in the number of travellers in areas of the constituency in recent months, often accompanied by anti-social behaviour and unauthorised encampments. These encampments can create huge amounts of mess and result in local residents being threatened with verbal and other abuse. This is not acceptable.
In the last week we have seen a new encampment on West Heath Park and today another in Kings Norton. I have been assured that the encampment on West Heath Park will be evicted tomorrow. Each time an encampment is brought to my attention I have got on to both the Council and, where crime and/or anti-social behaviour is reported, to the Police, to press for them to use the powers available to them to move the encampments on.
Too often the police and council undertake evictions, only for travellers to pop up 5 minutes down the road. That is why I am pressing the Council and Police to jointly review their responses over recent months and to consider whether a more strategic approach could secure better long term results.
In the meantime, however, remember that the Police can only act if incidents are reported to them. So if you see any violent, anti-social or threatening behaviour please do contact the police as quickly as possible on 101.