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Category Archives: Geography

Update on Park View – Letter to PVET Trustees and DfE – 23 October 2014


Dear all,

Many thanks for those who joined me with Park View Trust trustees and Mr Colin Diamond of the Department for Education.

I thought you would like a copy of the letter I sent as a follow-up.

As soon as I have a response I will be back in touch.


Letter to PVET trustees following up Fri meeting - 23 October P1 Letter to PVET trustees following up Fri meeting - 23 October P2




Press statement from Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust on Intervention of Monitor – 23 October 2014



Dear friends,
Please find a press statement below from Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust:




The Trust has been working with Monitor, our regulator, over several months  highlighting the plans we have in place to address the increasing demand for our  services.  It has been well publicised that the local health system has experienced a significant upsurge in demand in recent months.  At our Trust  alone we have seen a year on year increase of 13% in emergency admissions and a 10% increase in emergency ambulances arriving at our front door.  The unprecedented demand and consequent overcrowding, particularly in our emergency departments, means that we are not meeting a number of national targets.


Our teams and staff are working relentlessly to ensure that we deliver the best care possible.  Our focus and commitment has and will always remain on safe and quality care for our patients.  We have invested in additional nurses and doctors, equipment and facilities and over the next few years will be investing an additional £85 million in buildings to meet the growing demand for our services.


We have recently made some new key appointments to strengthen our leadership team; their expertise, both clinical and managerial, will add breadth and depth to our existing, experienced team.  We are also working with our partners in the local health economy to address the challenges of increasing demand, ensuring that people are cared for in the most appropriate setting, including their own home and we work together to improve the health of our local population.


Statement on Nicky Morgan’s appearance at the Education Select Committee this morning – 15 October 2014


Dear all,


Please find below a statement from Liam Byrne MP.


Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, has been giving evidence at the Education Select Committee (#edselctte) this morning on problems in Birmingham schools. The questions covered the ‘Trojan Horse’ issue, questions of accountability, the DfE’s response to the situation and it’s knowledge of problems at these schools.


In response Liam said;


“Hodge Hill’s parents want the Education Secretary to get a grip and get parents involved.


Yet all we got from the £130k a year Education Secretary was a catalogue of excuses.


It’s simply not good enough. So I am bringing parents and school leaders together this Friday to get a better plan in place. We simply will not tolerate second best for our parents and their young people.”




OfSTED note on Birmingham Schools – 14 October 2014

Dear friends,


Please see below for copies of Ofsted’s note to the Department for Education which has been released this morning. They relate to a number of inspections which happened at the beginning of the school term in early September.


OfSTED’s cover note – Oct 2014


Letter on Park View

Letter on Nansen Primary School




Statement on Ofsted’s note on Birmingham Schools – 14 October 2014


Dear friends,


In response to Ofsted’s note, published today, on Birmingham Schools I have issued the following statement?


“This is incredibly frustrating for the parents I’ve been working with non-stop since the summer.


They are being forced to watch Government inaction from the side-lines and Nicky Morgan must remember that it’s their children who are the most important individuals in all of this. Crucially the Government and schools have got to dramatically step up the pace of getting parents involved.


Ultimately schools with strong parents are strong schools.”




Statement on Palestine vote

Dear friends,

Please find below a letter to all those constituents who have contacted me about the debate on Palestinian Statehood taking place on the 13th of October.

Letter on Palestinian Statehood



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.



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:


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




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


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