Category Archives: Constituency news
England is changing – and to win back power, Labour must change too.
At the last election, England decisively shifted blue. Now Labour now needs a plan for a red shift.
We believe progressive parties win when we own the future.But too many people think we belonged to the past. The electorate is changing rapidly. The world of work is dramatically altered. Communities are changing shape. Generational shifts in values are under way. Many feel left behind. Yet vast new forces of trade and technology are speeding up.
So we need to go back to basics. To draw on the real experience and insights of English people today, inside and outside the workplace. To show how we can re-energise the ways Labour values can transform real lives.
Red Shift brings together a group of English Labour MP’s and activists determined to shine a spotlight on how England is changing, how peoples’ ambitions are changing – and how Labour needs to change to win.
The group will publish its first report – Looking for a New England – on the changing world of work and politics at party conference in September.
You can read the group’s op-ed in today’s Daily Mirror here.
Visit the Red Shift website and tell us what you heard at the General Election here.
I have today tabled an Early Day Motion to commemorate the very sad news that production of the classic Land Rover Defender is drawing to a close in the West Midlands.
You can read the text of the EDM below and see who else has signed it here: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2015-16/338
“That this House records with great pride the production of the two-millionth Land Rover Defender; salutes the extraordinary achievement of Land Rover’s designers and workers in creating a world-renowned British classic; and notes with great sadness the end of an era as production draws to an end, but looks forward to an ever brighter future for the UK automotive sector in the years to come.”
Letter from Ofsted to Nicky Morgan on situation at Park View and other Hodge Hill Schools – 15 July 2015
Yesterday Ofsted published its latest advice letter to the Secretary of State for Education on the latest position with schools in Birmingham (including Park View and other Hodge Hill schools) and Tower Hamlets.
The advice note sets out the progress being made at the schools, as well as highlighting wider safeguarding concerns which have been brought to light as a result of Ofsted’s ongoing monitoring of the situation.
You can read the letter and the advice note below.
In response to Sir Michael Wilshaw’s letter I have put down the following Parliamentary Question:
Named Day Written question to: Education for answer on 20 Jul 2015 12:00 AM
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, further to Sir Michael Wilshaw’s to her of 14 July 2015, what steps is she taking to ensure pupils names are not removed from school admission registers without an adequate explanation of the child’s whereabouts?
I will put up any response I receive as soon as possible.
Labour Leadership and Deputy Leadership Hustings come to Birmingham – TOMORROW – Saturday 27 June 2015
In just a couple of months’ time we will be casting our votes for the next Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.
Before voting opens, our Leadership and Deputy Leadership candidates are being put to the test in a series of hustings events being held across the country. This Saturday (27th June) the hustings are coming to Birmingham.
What: Labour Leadership and Deputy Leadership Hustings
When: From 10:30am on Saturday 27th June 2015
Where: New Bingley Hall, 1 Hockley Circus, Birmingham, West Midlands B18 5PP
This is your chance to put your questions to the candidates and hear them make their case for why they want to lead our party. Everyone is welcome, so feel free to bring friends along – they don’t need to be a Labour member to come.
Places are going fast but you can always put your name down for the reserve list – reserve your seat here.
If you could help out being a steward or signing people in I know the Regional Office would love to hear from you; contact Douglas Bridger on: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0121 569 1908
I have already decided who I am backing…
I’ve given my support to Yvette Cooper for Leader and Tom Watson for Deputy Leader.
I am backing Yvette because she has a clear vision for a new Britain – one where everyone can succeed. She has proved again and again that she is the right woman for the job. I believe she is the leader we need; she has experience both in Government and out, she understands that if we are to win we must reach out to Tory voters, and I believe, she stands the best chance of being our next Prime Minister and leading a Labour Government.
I am backing Tom because he will rebuild our party from the grassroots up. We’ve suffered a defeat and Tom is the man to help us get back on our feet, he is a formidable campaigner and will help us connect with millions of new voters. I saw his legendary organising skills first hand when he helped run my by-election campaign to become Hodge Hill’s MP in 2004.
We need to hear your voice too – I look forward to seeing you on Saturday!
With all best wishes
News from Liam Byrne MP
Immediate Release 23 June 2015
Byrne secures Ministerial assurances on HS2 Washwood Heath site
Liam Byrne MP has welcomed Minister Robert Goodwill MP’s offer to meet with him and HS2 officials to discuss their plans for Washwood Heath. A breakthrough in the battle for jobs at the LDV-Alstom site earmarked for a marshalling yard.
Late last year the HS2 Bill committee ordered HS2 Ltd to work with the site owners at Washwood Heath to adapt their plans in order to maximise the number of jobs on the site.
After months of intransigence from HS2 over their plans for the site Liam Byrne MP has today secured assurances from the Minister Robert Goodwill MP that land take will be minimised and that he will meet with Liam Byrne MP and HS2 officials to find a way forward.
The proposed Washwood Heath 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 45% of the City’s unemployed.
The site owners, together with Liam Byrne MP, have now submitted a ‘Plan B’ proposal that would see 2,334 jobs be created.
Speaking after the debate Liam Byrne MP said:
“I was pleased to receive an assurance from the Minister this afternoon that he will ensure that HS2 work with the landowners at the Washwood Heath site to find a way forward. I will be writing to him this evening taking up his offer to convene a meeting between himself and officials to discuss this matter further.
We cannot waste any more time.
Our area needs the vital jobs that could be created on that site. HS2 Ltd must adapt their plans to ensure that as many jobs as possible are created at Washwood Heath, as quickly as possible.”
Notes to Editors:
An extract from Hansard 23 June 2015:
Liam Byrne: Do I take it, therefore, that the Minister will use his good offices to ensure that HS2 will indeed honour the recommendations that the Committee hands down to it? If those commitments are not honoured, the integrity of the process will be called into serious question.
Mr Goodwill: Absolutely, and I think I have already given that assurance about land being released as soon as possible. If necessary, I will have a meeting with the right hon. Gentleman, with officials, so that we can get some assurances that, I hope, will satisfy him.
You can access the full transcript of today’s exchange in the House of Commons here: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/commons/todays-commons-debates/read/unknown/635/
Statement from Robert Syms MP (Chairman, HS2 Select Committee) dated 16th December 2014:
“On Washwood Heath, we were impressed by the submission from AXA and our colleague Liam Byrne and we sympathise with the need to address high unemployment in and around his constituency. We do not believe there is enough evidence to support a move of the RSMD from Washwood Heath. We impress on HS2 the need to adjust the scheme so there is minimum land take and for the shortest time … We expect to hear from HS2 on that and on whether they can reach agreement on that taking account of the more recent AXA proposals which are dated 12th December.”
Letter from Liam Byrne MP to Minister Robert Goodwill MP:
Robert Goodwill MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport
Department for Transport,
Great Minster House,
33 Horseferry Road,
London, SW1P 4DR
23 June 2015
Meeting with HS2 officials on Washwood Heath RSMD site
Following our exchange in the House earlier today I am writing to take up your offer to meet, along with HS2 officials, to secure assurances on HS2 Ltd’s plans for the Washwood Heath RSMD site.
As I explained earlier, I have deep concerns about HS2 Ltd’s response to the Chair of the HS2 Bill Committee’s statement of 16 December 2014; “We impress on HS2 the need to adjust the scheme so there is minimum land take and for the shortest time … We expect to hear from HS2 on that and on whether they can reach agreement on that taking account of the more recent AXA proposals which are dated 12th December.”
I will ask my office to contact yours to find an appropriate date for a meeting.
With all best wishes,
Liam Byrne MP
Member of Parliament for Birmingham Hodge Hill
Here are the opportunities to get involved in our local campaigns this week. Here is where I and the team will be:
Today (Tuesday 14th April):
16:30 – 18:30
The team and I will be out door knocking with the South Yardley campaign later today – meet at 16:30 outside 3 Cowley Grove, Birmingham, B11 2JD.
Wednesday 15th April:
10:00 – 12:00
We will be joining Basharat Dad and the Stetchford and Yardley North team for some door knocking – meet at 10:00 outside 1 Tanfield Road, B33 9ER.
Thursday 16th April:
15:00 – 17:00
We will be out door knocking in Shard End in support of the brilliant Ian Ward. Details to be confirmed soon.
Friday 17th April:
10:00 – 12:00
We will be joining Basharat Dad and the Stetchford and Yardley North team for some door knocking – meet at 10:00 outside 1 Jacamar Avenue, B33 9AZ.
Saturday 18th April:
18:00 – 20:00
We will be back doorknocking in Yardley from 18:00 – meet outside 7 Francis Road, B33 8SL
More information can be found at www.birmingham-labour.com/events
Hope to see you there!
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
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,
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
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.”
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.
Parkfield Community School’s winning Hodge Hill Flag