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Category Archives: Geography

Press Release: Liam Byrne condemns George Osborne’s attack on Birmingham’s children – 30 September 2014

Press Release: Liam Byrne condemns George Osborne’s attack on Birmingham’s children

Tuesday 30th September

 

 

Liam Byrne today condemned George Osborne’s attack on Birmingham’s children as the politics of ‘you’re on your own’.

 

George Osborne’s freeze of working age social security payments such as tax credits will trap thousands of Birmingham children living in working families deeper into poverty. Meanwhile the Chancellor also announced a £3 billion-a-year tax cut for the richest 1%.

 

House of Commons library figures for Birmingham show that 33,900 families are in receipt of working tax credits.

 

Liam Byrne said:

 

‘Child poverty already costs our city over £1 billion. Today we needed help. Yet what we got was a fresh attack. Osborne’s attack on help like tax credits is going to plunge yet more children in working families into poverty.

 

‘Nearly 70% of the people hit the last time the Tories did this were families with children’.

 

‘Only George Osborne could stand up in the ward with some of the worst child poverty in Britain and announce this fresh attack. He seems determined to ensure a generation of nearly 100,000 Birmingham children grow up in a poverty from which there is no escape’.

 

Liam Byrne, Cllr John Cotton and Tim Evans earlier this year published Labour’s review of child poverty in Birmingham highlighting the £1 billion cost of child poverty to the city – and the 40% rise in child self-harm cases in city A+E departments since 2009/10. Many health professionals believe this is directly linked to poverty pressure.

 

[ENDS]

Statement on news of National College for High Speed Rail to be located in Birmingham – 20 September 2014

 

Dear friends,

 

I am delighted to share with you the news that the Government has today confirmed that both Birmingham and Doncaster will jointly host the new National College for High Speed Rail. This college will train the rail engineers who will work on HS2. The college is expected to be open in 2017.

 

You can read more here: http://birminghamupdates.com/post/98804880878/national-college-for-high-speed-rail-to-be-based

 

In response to the news I have released the following statement:

 

“This is a big step forward for our great city. Once we were the workshop of the world – and now we’re fighting our way back.

 

Today’s news is a real credit to the way the city pulled together to get this deal done.

 

Now we need to complete the picture and press onto relocate the job-killing marshalling yard planned for Washwood Heath. That’s the way we’ll ensure HS2 is 100% good news for our city – and not a mixed blessing.”

 

With all best wishes

 

Liam

 

My letter to Sir Albert Bore: “Power to our people: A Birmingham Constitutional Convention” – 19 September 2014

 

Dear friends,

 

Please see below my letter to City Council Leader Sir Albert Bore, dated today, entitled “Power to our people: A Birmingham Constitutional Convention”

 

Letter to Sir Albert Bore - 19 Sept 2014

 

 

My letter to Hodge Hill residents: what is Westminster’s vow to Birmingham?

 

Dear friends

 

What should be Westminster’s vow to Birmingham?

 

I’ve spent this week in Glasgow campaigning to keep our country together. I passionately believe that the challenges we have in Hodge Hill are easier to solve if we remain together as one United Kingdom. We had a stake in our Scottish neighbours voting to stay together.

 

All party leaders have now vowed to devolve more power to Scotland.

 

Today Ed Miliband has gone a step further and proposed a UK Constitutional Convention to debate more powers to cities like ours in Birmingham.

 

I am writing to you today to ask: what do you think are the powers that need handing over to Birmingham?

 

Today I’ve asked Birmingham’s leaders to organise a Birmingham Constitutional Convention. We should debate a simple question: what should be Westminster’s vow to Birmingham?

 

In Victorian times, Birmingham was known as ‘the best governed city in the world’; above all we were known for thinking radically. One the most famous MP’s to represent the city, the great John Bright once said, ‘Birmingham is radical as the sea is salt’.

 

Today I say, let’s be the heirs to that tradition. Let’s move quickly to organise a constitutional convention of our own.

 

I think there are five key powers we need – these are the key powers we need to get our city back to work:

 

1. Powers, like those in London, to raise revenue from local businesses to reinvest in the city – or to finance tax breaks for innovative or small businesses.

 

2. Power to help lead a regional Transport Commission, with integrated powers like TfL, and to unlock Birmingham Airport’s potential to become Britain’s fourth hub airport.

 

3. Power to lead school improvement, to boost the local skills base and improve ‘coasting schools’.

 

4. Power over Skills Funding Agency budgets, to help boost apprenticeships and gear skills spending to the needs of local employers.

 

5. Power over housing budgets, including powers to keep savings from Housing Benefit delivered by getting people back to work, to allow the city to help shift money into building homes – providing much needed construction employment.

 

Next week, I’ll publish a longer draft plan – including thoughts on culture and the arts – to help get the debate in gear.

 

Let me know what you think – and as this debate unfolds – please get involved!

 

Very best

 

Liam Byrne

 

Power to our people: its time for radical devolution to Birmingham – 19 September 2014

 

Dear friends,

 

Today, Ed Miliband has taken the bold step of moving quickly to grant new powers to Scotland’s people and to propose a UK Constitutional Convention ”rooted in our nations and regions, to address the need for further devolution in England and political reform of Westminster.”

This will look at issues like

 

- how sub-national devolution can be strengthened

- how the regions can be given more of a voice in our political system

- how we can give further voice to regional and national culture and identity

 

Once upon time Birmingham was known as ‘the best governed city in the world’; above all we were known for thinking radically. One the most famous MP’s to represent the city, the great John Bright once said, ‘Birmingham is radical as the sea is salt’.

 

Today I say, let’s be the heirs to that tradition. Let’s move quickly to organise a constitutional convention of our own. Today, I’m writing to the leaders of Birmingham City Council to propose we get on with it, and as chair of Birmingham Labour’s policy committee, I’ll be asking the Labour party in the city to help ensure there are radical options on the table.

 

For my money, there are five key powers we need – these are the key powers we need to get our city back to work:

 

1. Powers, like those in London, to raise revenue from local businesses to reinvest in the city – or to finance tax breaks for innovative or small businesses.

 

2. Power to help lead a regional Transport Commission, with integrated powers like TfL, and to unlock Birmingham Airport’s potential to become Britain’s fourth hub airport.

 

3. Power to lead school improvement, to boost the local skills base and improve ‘coasting schools’.

 

4. Power over Skills Funding Agency budgets, to help boost apprenticeships and gear skills spending to the needs of local employers.

 

5. Power over housing budgets, including powers to keep savings from Housing Benefit delivered by getting people back to work, to allow the city to help shift money into building homes – providing much needed construction employment.

 

But next week, I’ll publish a longer draft plan – including thoughts on culture and the arts – to get help get the debate in gear.

 

All over Britain, people are demanding new ways forward. We want the power to shape our city’s destiny; to build a better future for our kids and a more secure city for our parents. They want it in Scotland. We want it here. Let’s get to work!

 

Liam

 

 

Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP

Working hard for Birmingham Hodge Hill

www.liambyrne.co.uk

Statement on Birmingham City Council announcement on the financial situation facing the City – 17 September 2014

 

Dear friends,

 

A number of people have been in touch seeking my views in response to the City Council’s announcement yesterday on the dire consequences of the financial situation which the City Council is facing.

 

My statement is below:

 

“This government is trying to destroy our city, the safety of our parents’ social care and the strength of our children’s’ services. While leafy Surrey gets more help, we get smashed. We will never forget or forgive the Tories and their Lib Dem friends for what they’ve done to us, our city and our families.”

 

You can read the City Council announcement here:

http://birminghamnewsroom.com/2014/09/update-the-financial-situation-facing-the-city-council/

 

 

Monthly Residents Meeting – Friday 12 September; 18:00 – 19:00 at Small Heath Methodist Church, Blake Lane, B9 5QT

Dear friends,

Please do join us at our next Resident’s Meeting this Friday (12 September) evening from 18:00 – 19:00 at Small Heath Methodist Church, Blake Lane, B9 5QT.

More details below, I look forward to seeing you there.

With all best wishes

Liam

LIAM BYRNE MP and

Cllrs Shafique Shah, Mohammed Aikhlaq and Uzma Ahmed

 

INVITE YOU TO A

RESIDENTS’ MEETING

 

FRIDAY 12th September 2014 

 

6.00 pm – 7.00 pm

 

SMALL HEATH METHODIST CHURCH

BLAKE LANE  B9 5QT

 

WE WILL BE DISCUSSING GREEN WASTE, NHS, JOBS AND

CRIME AND DRUGS AND ANOTHER ISSUES YOU WANT TO RAISE

 

THIS IS THE TIME AND PLACE!

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU

‘Giant HS2 yard is ‘battering’ east of the city’ – article in Birmingham Post 8th September 2014

 

Dear friends,

 

I wanted to share the Birmingham Post’s article from yesterday on my evidence session at the HS2 Bill Committee earlier last week.

 

Giant HS2 yard is ‘battering’ east of the city

 

Loss of Washwood Heath jobs is threat to green belt, warns city MP Liam Byrne       

Hodge Hill MP Liam Byrne who thinks the eastern part of Birmingham will be “battered” by the development of HS2

 

City MP Liam Byrne has said HS2 is “battering” east Birmingham and warned demand for a giant marshalling yard posed a threat to the city’s green belt.

The Hodge Hill MP says thousands of jobs could be created on the former LDV site - with his ward suffering among the highest levels of youth unemployment in the country.

He said a committee hearing at the House of Commons heard that HS2 would create fewer jobs than suggested at a marshalling yard planned for Washwood Heath.

He believes up to 6,500 jobs could be created on the site the size of 100 football pitches to aid an unemployment epidemic in the surrounding area that shows no signs of abating.

Labour MP Mr Byrne also warned that the city would be forced to look at the green belt to claw back industrial land.

The result would be to “concrete over” the Sutton countryside “destroying one of the most beautiful parts of Birmingham”, he warned.

Mr Byrne said that, under pressure at the committee, HS2 representatives admitted they had not factored in the loss of 1,300 jobs from businesses already on site who would be forced to re-locate.

He said: “HS2′s jobs argument has collapsed this morning. They have been forced to admit that their evidence to Parliament was at best a half-truth, and at worst, completely misleading.

“Even the Government now admits that we could create an extra 4,000 jobs in Hodge Hill in the short term. It’s time HS2 now gets serious about giving east Birmingham a boost and not a battering. We’re fighting for jobs – they should be with us and not against us.

“They should certainly come clean to Parliament about the costs of their plan to jobs, lost taxes and lost business rates to the city. The phoney war is now over.”

Mr Byrne has previously said the land represented a third of all industrial land in Birmingham and that owners had already been approached by potential developers. The plan for the site, put together by the city council, would mean skilled jobs.

Instead, from about 2026, the site will be used by HS2 to clean and maintain trains. Until then, it is expected to be used as a yard to store materials during the construction of the line.

The site lies at the junction of Ladywood, Erdington and Hodge Hill – three constituencies which are home to more than 40 per cent of the city’s unemployed.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “We are confident of the overriding strength of the case for locating the depot at Washwood Heath.

“We have always been very clear that the depot would create 640 jobs with the potential for more jobs through construction works and businesses using the residual land.

“Both Birmingham City Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council do not support the alternative proposals because of the associated impacts, including the loss of potential jobs and the significant impact on green belt land without any good justification.”

 

 

http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/business/business-news/giant-hs2-yard-battering-east-7727789

 

My appearance at the HS2 Bill Committee – 3 September 2014

 

News from Liam Byrne MP

 

HS2 jobs claim destroyed

 

HS2’s claim that a marshalling yard in East Birmingham will create extra jobs has been destroyed in a committee hearing at the House of Commons this morning.

 

HS2’s counsel was cross-examining Hodge Hill’s MP, Liam Byrne who was giving evidence to the committee arguing that the marshalling yard should be built outside the city.

 

HS2’s team then presented evidence admitting that the plan to site marshalling yard at Washwood Heath will create nearly 2,000 fewer jobs – under pressure from Mr Byrne they admitted that they had not factored in the loss of 1,300 jobs from businesses already on site who will be forced to re-locate.

 

Liam Byrne said:

 

‘HS2’s jobs argument has collapsed this morning. They have been forced to admit that their evidence to parliament was at best a half-truth, and at worst, completely misleading.

 

‘Even the government now admits that we could create an extra 4,000 jobs in Hodge Hill in the short term.

 

‘It’s time HS2 now gets serious about giving east Birmingham a boost and not a battering. We’re fighting for jobs – they should be with us and not against us.

 

They should certainly come clean to parliament about the costs of their plan to jobs, lost taxes and lost business rates to the city. The phoney war is now over. It’s time for HS2 to get round the table and give us a better plan.’

 

Ends

 

Notes.

 

-          The proposed site is the size of 100 football pitches and makes up one third of the industrial land in Birmingham. It lies at the junction of Ladywood, Erdington and Hodge Hill – these three constituencies are together home to over 40% of the City’s unemployed.

 

-          Liam Byrne was giving evidence to the HS2 bill committee this morning. You can find more information on the work of the committee here: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/high-speed-rail-london-west-midlands-bill-select-committee-commons/

 

-          Mr Byrne has consistently argued that HS2 should not build their marshalling yard in Washwood Heath and Hodge Hill.

 

-          Most recently he secured a Westminster Hall Debate on the siting of the Marshalling Yard at Washwood Heath. You can read the full text of the debate here: http://liambyrne.co.uk/my-speech-in-westminster-hall-debate-on-proposed-hs2-marshalling-yard-at-washwood-heath-18-june-2014/

 

-          In the 18 June 2014 debate the Minister responding admits that the government own estimate is that 3,700 jobs could be created on the site if the planned marshalling yard did not go ahead.

 

-          Latest unemployment figures for Hodge Hill:

Unemployment – July 2014

 

Hodge Hill            5,181                     11.6 %

West Mids          107,043                 4.0 %

UK                          995,835                 3.2 %

 

Youth Unemployment (18-24) – July 2014

 

Hodge Hill            1,415                     10.7 %

West Mids          26,185                   4.9 %

UK                          239,345                 4.0 %

 

Long-term Unemployment – July 2014

(Claims of duration over 12 months)

 

Hodge Hill            1,945                     (fall since July 2013) -355               -15.4%

UK                          303,160                 (fall since July 2013) -119,470      -28.3

 

“The long-term unemployment figures have fallen in Hodge Hill (in line with the trend nationally) but they have fallen at almost half the rate of the figures from across the UK.”

 

Hodge Hill rankings (out of 650 constituencies) July 2014:

 

Claimant rate:                                                    4th highest;        11.6%

Number of Claimants:                                    4th highest;        5,181

Claimants aged 18-24:                                    1st highest;         1,415

Claims of duration over 12 months:         3rd highest;        1,945

 

Nicky Morgan finally promises to engage with parents – 2 September 2014

 

Dear friends,

 

I have now received a response to my letter to Nicky Morgan last week urging her to engage in communication with parents at the Park View Educational Trust.

 

You can read a copy of her response below.

 

I am glad to see that she has promised that there will be “elections for parent representatives on the local governing bodies and the trust board in September.”

 

This marks a welcome response to my calls for more engagement with parents and I will seek to ensure that Nicky Morgan and the Department for Education makes good on these promises.

 

Liam

 

Nicky Morgan 2 Sept letter pt1 Nicky Morgan 2 Sept letter pt2

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