Last week, I held a meeting on crime and policing in response to resident concerns in Frankley and Great Park. Thanks to everyone who joined West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson and the Longbridge Neighbourhood Police Team and for letting us know your views. Thanks also to B31 Voices for live-reporting from the meeting.
Some useful ideas came out of the meeting about initiatives we can take locally – including encouraging more people to get involved with Longbridge Neighbourhood Watch. We also discussed how local Streetwatch initiatives can help keep communities safe (see more here – https://www.west-midlands.police.uk/get-involved). Police Community Support Officers can help local people who may be interested in setting up a Streetchwatch in their neighbourhood so please email me if you are interested.
It is also vital, however, that our Police get the resources they need to do their job. This is what I said at the meeting about the impact of cuts and cash shortfall facing West Midlands Police. Along with other Labour MPs I will continue to press the Government to give West Midlands Police a fairer funding deal.
Here is a video to give you a sense of what I said and what was discussed at the meeting –
The introduction of Universal Credit is causing real hardship, increased debt and rocketing numbers turning to food banks in Birmingham. What are Ministers doing to sort it out? My question in the House of Commons:
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
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.