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Articles about ‘Culture, media and sport’

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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Superfast Broadband Update

You may recall before the General Election, I did a call out for local people to get in touch if they had access problems to Superfast Broadband.

The response I got back, highlighted a number of random pockets in the local area – not-spots – that have no coverage and affect residents and even a school.

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Northfield Pool to be rebuilt on existing site

News that the Birmingham City Council will rebuild Northfield Pool and Leisure Centre on the existing site puts an end to months of speculation following last year’s public consultation on the issue. You can read some of the background to the issue here.

During that consultation, many residents and traders emphasised the importance of retaining a central Northfield location for the new leisure centre to replace the existing pool, which is now reaching the end of its life. This decision achieves that. After looking at the costs involved, the City Council have concluded that it would not be financially viable to try to redevelop another part of central Northfield (such as Price’s Square) to house the new pool. Alternative locations such as Longbridge also did not stack up financially.

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Do you have a problem with broadband?

A number of constituents have got in touch with me over the last few months regarding concerns about broadband – specifically access to superfast broadband.

I want to hear if you or anyone in the area, has problems with accessing superfast broadband. Please get in touch.

You can check if you have access to superfast broadband by using the postcode checker here:

For further information please get in touch by emailing

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Support Sport this National Obesity Awareness Week

It’s two weeks into the New Year and we’re at the point where many of us forget about our resolution of shedding a couple of pounds. With that in mind, this week is National Obesity Awareness Week.

Almost a quarter of children in Birmingham (23.4%) are classified as obese, compared with 10.1% nationally. Meanwhile the number of recorded cases of diabetes is double the UK average, affecting almost 8% of Brummies compared to a 3.5% national average.

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