A resident living close to North Worcestershire Golf Course wrote to me last week to tell me that he had seen a copy of a recent letter from the Management Committee of the Club saying that they intend to close the Club with effect from March 2016. The resident who wrote to me asked if this meant that the land at the Golf Course will definitely now be redeveloped for housing. This does not...

Reflections on the election: How we take things forward in Northfield


Last month a large gathering of Labour Party Members and Supporters met to review the lessons of the recent elections, and to work out how best we can move forward.

Before we broke into four workshops (see below), I opened the event with some personal reflections on the election and on the future. Read my notes here.

Why does the Northfield area have the worst record on low pay in the country?


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...

Why Labour will scrap the Bedroom Tax


Rachel has two children, aged 4 and 10. She is a care worker on the minimum wage. She recently had her hours cut and is now losing tax credits too. She is also being asked to pay £14 per week Bedroom Tax. It's difficult for her to make ends meet. Anne Marie, from Frankley, is also being charged Bedroom Tax since her marriage split up and her son left home. She is disabled. Her case exposes the...

The Government’s Infrastructure Bill – our country deserves better


Since December my diary, and my mind, have been rather occupied with the Government’s “Infrastructure Bill.” This might sound rather technical. But I know from the number of local people who have contacted me about the various issues covered from the Bill – from fracking to cycling and the Highways Agency – that it is hugely important. So although it has been hard work, and it has taken a...

Mr Osborne’s Problems with the Post


Poor old George Osborne. His government’s privatisation of Royal Mail seems to be hitting his own department even harder than the rest of us. Can you imagine – a letter he sent from his office in the House of Commons to another MP’s office took no less than five days to arrive? And guess what? The office which did not receive the letter for so long was mine.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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