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Category Archives: Geography

My statement on today’s Ofsted reports on Park View and Nansen – 24 March 2015


Dear friends,


You may have seen that Ofsted has brought out new reports today, including ones into Park View and Nansen Primary School.


You can see my statement in response here below:

“I welcome today’s Ofsted report into Park View. This report is a credit to the parents and Governors at the school who have worked hard to turn the ship around and it is encouraging to see their progress being recognised.


However Ofsted’s report into Nansen shows that there is still more work to be done.


Our priorities must remain securing a first class education for our young people and opportunities for parents to be involved in their children’s education – in every school across the constituency. Today’s reports demonstrate that we are making progress towards that goal but there is still more work to be done.


In order to reach that goal we must have a good dialogue between parents and Governors and, importantly, a strong and supported team of permanent teaching and leadership staff – not a roundabout of temporary supply staff.

Ofsted and the Department for Education must work with parents and Governors at Nansen to help them secure the permanent staff they need to see the school flourish.”



With all best wishes




Unemployment figures – March 2015

Dear Friends,

I thought I would share with you some figures from the House of Commons Library on unemployment in Hodge Hill.  The total number of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants in Birmingham, Hodge Hill constituency in February 2015 was 4,461. This represents a rate of 9.8% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, the 4th highest of the 650 UK constituencies. (1st = highest rate of unemployment, 650th = lowest rate of unemployment.)

The number of claimants is 1397 lower than in February 2014 and 8 higher than in January 2015.  These data are not seasonally adjusted.


All the best,



Statement on Education Select Committee – Extremism in schools: the Trojan Horse affair

Dear friends,


Yesterday the House of Commons Education Select Committee published a report entitled: “Extremism in schools: the Trojan Horse affair” criticising the response of the Department for Education and Ofsted to the so-called ‘Trojan Horse Affair’ last year.


You can read the report here


And some media coverage of the publication here and here.


My statement in response to the report is below:


“I welcome yesterday’s report from the Education Select Committee. The report exposes the shockingly poor service which parents at Park View and the other schools involved in the so-called ‘Trojan Horse’ affair have received from both Ofsted and the Department for Education.


The chaotic response from the establishment, highlighted by yesterday’s report, has undermined efforts to get our schools back to providing the brilliant education which our young people deserve.


Both Ofsted and the Department for Education have a mountain to climb in terms of restoring trust amongst parents in my constituency.


Right from the get go my priority has been, and always will be, a first class education for our young people and opportunities for parents to be involved in their children’s education. We are making progress in our schools towards that goal. A number of the schools have now received favourable reports from Ofsted and the new set of Governors at PVET have my support.


The publication of this report should draw a line under this episode and reinforce the message that Government must work with parents to ensure the best education possible for our young people.”





Parkfield Community School design Hodge Hill Flag for Parliament Exhibition – 6 March 2015


Dear friends,


Early last year Parkfield Community School won my first ever Hodge Hill School award for their amazing work helping redesign the nearby old tyre park into an innovative new fitness area.

As the winners, I nominated Parkfield Community School to work with Parliament to design a flag that represents the constituency of Birmingham Hodge Hill. The flag has been designed as part of Parliament’s commemoration of the 800th year anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta.

You can see their flag below, along with hundreds of others here, this is a great opportunity to celebrate this great moment in our democratic history.


14 Hodge Hill Flag - designed by Parkfield Community School - December 2014

 Parkfield Community School’s winning Hodge Hill Flag

Follow up letter to Residents Meeting on 28th February 2015

Dear Friend,

A huge thank you to everyone who came along to my residents’ meeting the other Saturday, together with Cllrs Ansar Ali Khan and Mohammed Idress, or returned a survey.

As promised, I am writing with a summary of what we discussed plus an action plan.

If there is anything you would like to add, then please do use the enclosed feedback sheet and send it back to me. You do not need a stamp!

Thanks again – and do stay in touch!


Yours sincerely

 LB signature


Birmingham Hodge Hill










 Res meeting pic
NHS This was peoples’ top priority. Residents said it was too hard to get a GP appointment – often it was hard to book ahead for an appointment – and the services on offer at the new Clodeshall Road Health Centre were just not good enough. People wanted a full range of ‘walk-in’ services – for example ‘Badger Clinic’ style services – and proper access to GP’s. When people could not see a GP fast enough, they were often forced to go to A&E.


Action: Liam to demand talks with the head of the NHS, to get a proper plan in place for sorting out more GPs and much better services at the health centres.


Rapid release of deceased loved ones Residents raised a problem with rapid release of deceased loved ones for burial within 24 hours. The new city coroner and local NHS were not seen as working effectively enough in supporting this crucial need.


Action: Liam to convene a meeting with hospital chiefs and the Coroner and city council to get a solution into place


Rubbish Residents felt that the wheelie bins were making a difference despite the teething issues. But residents – especially new communities – need some guidance on the ‘rules of the road’, like when to put rubbish out.


Action: Liam to work with new community leaders to spread the message about what’s OK and what is not.


Parking This has been a long standing problem. There was a specific issue raised about the need to keep an eye on the use – or abuse – of disabled parking bays


Action: Liam to ask Birmingham City Council for a plan for active monitoring

Youth unemployment Finally, we had an excellent discussion about youth unemployment, the need for more local jobs – and the importance of good jobs and careers advice for local graduates


Action: this will be the centre-piece of my Youth manifesto!

What’s on in Hodge Hill from Active Parks – 4 March 2015


Dear friends,


I wanted to let you know about some great new activities that are available in Hodge Hill thanks to the Council’s Active Parks:



Active Parks HH info - March 2015

Progress at last – Letter from Nicky Morgan MP – Secretary of State for Education – on Parent Governors at Park View – 23 February 2015


Dear friends,


I wanted to share with you the letter I have received from Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Education, earlier this week.


You read the letter below (click on the letter for larger image).


I am glad to read that we have progress at last and that the Government has now committed to seeing an openly elected parent council.


Letter from Nicky Morgan - 23 Feb 15



East Birmingham Growth Prospectus – 24 February 2015


Dear friends,

I wanted to share with you a copy of the East Birmingham Growth Prospectus which I launched this morning. 

East Brum Prospectus for Growth Front Cover


This is the biggest plan for jobs in East Birmingham we’ve ever had. It was hard fought. But by demanding the government, the Council and HS2 pull together we’ve got an amazing plan for jobs and skills. At Washwood Heath we’ve forced HS2 to look at new plans to ensure 2,334 jobs are created rather than a giant train carpark – plus a £1 million investment in skills for local people and the City Council’s regeneration plan. It’s a once in a generation opportunity to transform our local economy.

LB with Cllrs and MPs at WashwoodHeath

Liam with Jack Dromey MP, Shabana Mahmood MP and Cllrs Ansar Ali Khan and Mohammed Idrees at the old LDV site in Washwood Heath – a centrepiece of the new plan


You can find the full press release with statements from Shabana Mahmood MP and Jack Dromey MP here.


The news was covered by both the Birmingham Post and the Birmingham Mail.


Washwood Heath jobs boost as HS2 gives up claim on development land

HS2 land freed to create over 2,000 jobs in Washwood Heath


With all best wishes




Birmingham Labour sets out bold plans for 9,000 jobs in East Birmingham – 24 February 2015


Birmingham Labour sets out bold plans for 9,000 jobs in East Birmingham


The City Council’s East Birmingham Growth Prospectus, backed by a new plan for the old LDV-Alstom marshalling yard, and £1 million skills investment by the government was launched today by East Birmingham’s three MP’s and Council leader, Sir Albert Bore.


Liam Byrne, MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill, who has spent the last three years helping nurture and coordinate the plans today heralded the breakthrough as a ‘triple win’ for the city.


The plan has identified 3.7 million sq.ft of new employment floorspace as home for 9,000 new jobs including 3,000 jobs at Bordesley Park, and 1,000 new homes and improvements to local community and shopping provision in the Eastern Triangle – including Shard End.


Alongside the City Council’s East Birmingham Growth Prospectus, the MP’s have secured Parliamentary backing for a Plan B at the old LDV-Alstom marshalling yard, creating space for 2,334 jobs, and £1 million for investment in skills to be delivered through a new joint venture, chaired by Council chief executive, Mark Rogers.


Speaking at the former Alstom and LDV site in Washwood Heath,


Liam Byrne MP said: “This is the biggest plan for jobs in East Birmingham we’ve ever had. It was hard fought. But by demanding the government, the Council and HS2 pull together we’ve got an amazing plan for jobs and skills. Here at Washwood Heath we’ve forced HS2 to look at new plans to ensure 2,334 jobs are created rather than a giant train carpark – plus a £1 million investment in skills for local people and the City Council’s regeneration plan. It’s a once in a generation opportunity to transform our local economy.”


Jack Dromey MP said: “Our city has a great industrial tradition. We want Birmingham once again to be the workshop of the world, the city of a thousand trades. The constituencies we are proud to represent suffer from high unemployment and an acute shortage of affordable housing. This bold joint-initiative with Birmingham City Council will create badly-needed jobs and build baldy-needed homes, transforming East Birmingham into an economic power-house.”


Shabana Mahmood MP said: “Unemployment and worklessness has remained stubbornly high in East Birmingham for too long. This detailed plan for jobs provides a real opportunity; it recognises that it’s not enough to give people skills, we have to ensure there are skilled jobs for them to go into as well. In addition, we will keep up our pressure on HS2 bosses to ensure that the old LDV-Alston marshalling yard is used to create even more jobs locally – rather than the giant train carpark some envisage.”



1)      Contact Deborah Harries at Birmingham City Council for further details on the East Birmingham Growth Prospectus., 0121 303 4777.

2)      Liam Byrne MP, Jack Dromey MP and Shabana Mahmood MP, as well as a number of local council candidates will be doing a photocall at the Washwood Heath / old LDV site on Tuesday morning at 10:15

3)      For further details please contact James Pignon at or on 0207 219 6953

Constituency Wide Residents Meeting on the NHS – Saturday 14 February – 11:00 – 12:30

Dear friends,


Many of you will have read, in my Winter Newsletter, about the three constituency wide residents meeting that I am holding between now and the election in May. They’re on the 3 big issues residents tell me that they want me to focus on – and I want to hear what you think needs to change in the years ahead.


· Fighting for more and better jobs, especially for our young people who need more to do

· Battling for a better NHS which residents feel is under real pressure. We need it to be world class, especially for our kids and older residents who have paid in for a lifetime

· And of course, changing our immigration system, which I’ve always talked about as long as I’ve been a MP


The second of these is this coming Saturday 14 February from 11:00 – 12:30 at The Beaufort Sports and Social Club. Details below.


Saturday 14 February 2015 11:00 – 12:30
NHS and Social Care: What’s the service we need in the 21st century for patients and carers? 
Venue: The Beaufort Sports and Social Club, Coleshill Road B36 8DX

I hope you can join me for the second of these exciting opportunities to discuss the issues that really matter to all of us.

I look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

With all best wishes




PS. Details for the final meeting are below:

Saturday 21 March 2015 11:00 – 12:30
New Jobs, Fair Pay, Fair Taxes – and Fair Tax Credits!
Venue: Shard End Community Centre, Packington Avenue B34 7RD


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