Articles about ‘Communities’
When the West Midland comes together, we can get results. That is the message from recent changes to the way the Government allocates funding for Policing across different parts of the country.
West Midland Police has already been hit hard by government cuts of over 20% in the last five years. On top of that, however, there were real fears that our region could be hit even harder in comparison to the rest of the country due to proposals for a new funding formula being considered by ministers. David Jamieson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, warned that without change to the new formula, Birmingham and other local areas faced a ‘catastrophe’ with mass loss of officers.
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
It’s not only in politics that a week is a long time. Last week our TV screens were dominated by scenes long queues of stationary lorries stacked up along the M20; of holiday makers stuck in jams; of residents unable to get out of nearby Kent villages and of local businesses losing trade with customers unable to get to them and orders unable to get out. All of them victims of a perfect storm of an industrial dispute closing terminals in Calais and the migrant crisis coinciding with peak holiday travel and an economic recovery boosting cross-channel freight.
Last year’s independence referendum, and the massive increase in support for the Scottish Nationalists at the General Election, have inevitably focused attention about how and where decisions should be made across the different nations of the UK. It’s also clear that big questions must be answered about how power is devolved – not only to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but within England too. About time too.
Earlier this year it was revealed that the Northfield constituency has the worst record in the country for low pay.
Over 50% of people in this area are paid less than the living wage of £7.85 an hour – reaching up to 63.1% for women. As I said at the time, it is an absolute scandal that over half of local working people are not being paid enough to provide properly for themselves and their families. There is no doubt that the Conservative-led Government’s attempt to build an economy based on low pay and insecurity has hit areas like Northfield hard. However, the fact that our community has been hit so particularly hard is also about long term changes and challenges facing communities on the outskirts of Britain’s big cities.