Category Archives: Bordesley Green

Follow up letter for Residents Meeting on 6th December 2014

Dear Friend,


Small Heath Residents Meeting: Action Plan


Many thanks to everyone who came along to my residents’ meeting at the Khidmat Centre before Christmas.


As promised I write with a summary of what we talked about – and what we’re planning to do next!


NHS: I’m really worried that our local NHS is at breaking point. There’s not enough local doctors, so people are having to go to an over-loaded A&E where numbers are so great that care standards are under real pressure.  At our meeting we heard fresh evidence of the problem. One person said; ‘I’m afraid I felt we were being treated like second class citizens’ and ‘I gave up complaining’. This simply is not good enough. I will not stand for a second class NHS for our area. We need a big plan, with investment, to sort out care standards at the hospital.


That’s why I have written to both Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England and David Behan the Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission. I have also tabled a Parliamentary question to the Health Secretary to ensure we get the proper answers we deserve. Please let me know if you have had and or have seen problems and I will pass them on – anonymously if necessary – to the NHS watchdogs.

I am determined that part of the solution must be to get the health centres in our constituency fully open. That is the only way we can relieve pressure on A&E


Policing: People expressed real concern that when there was violent crime locally – for example a shooting or a stabbing – there was not enough information from the police to local residents to let them know what happened, or what was going on. This is not good enough. It is our police service.


So: I will raise this with the local police commander and ask that we make sure that when there is violent crime locally, we all work hard to let people know what is going on. It might only be a bit of reassurance – but it is important.


Secondary School Places: There was a widespread feeling that there is simply not enough secondary school places locally. One Dad told us that he had five children in five different schools!


We’ve been campaigning hard to get more secondary school places, and the good news is that thanks to sustained lobbying we have had a really big breakthrough. Not only is the new Waverley school an ‘all through’ school with primary and secondary places, but its studio school – a joint venture with Heartlands hospital – providing more places – and best of all, the new Starbank School will soon open on the old Waverley site, providing hundreds of local places!


Leisure Centres: We heard a lot of complaints about Small Heath leisure centre: people complained about ‘random rules’ that often meant the facilities were simply not available or shut at short notice. Queues, especially for swimming, were often horrendous. This is not acceptable. We will meet with leisure centre managers to get to the bottom of what is going on and find out why the service at Saltley Leisure Centre is so much better.


Rubbish: I’m always collecting complaints about the poor state of the street cleaning. Residents raised issues about the state of Heather Road, Monica Road and Mansel Road. If you’ve other roads to add to my list – send me an email to

As you might know the huge cuts to Birmingham city council – twice the level of the national average – are putting real pressure on environmental services – but we cannot and will not have filthy streets.


We have now asked the Council to clean up the offending areas – and thanks to your local Councillors, Shafique Shah, Mohammed Aikhlaq, and Uzma Ahmed, ten new cameras are being installed to help us identify the rubbish dumpers. Do let us know if you notice their impact.

Jobs and job security:
Finally, we had a long conversation about my number one campaign – to bring more jobs to the area. People felt that there are jobs available – but there is so much unemployment that employers often have the upper hand and can sack people, or put them on short hours at a whim.

This is a big strategic problem. So this year I’ll be campaigning for big changes to deliver ‘fairness at work’. I’ve worked at every job under the sun. I started my career flipping burgers in McDonalds. I’ve started a technology business before I became an MP. I know that any job is better than no job – but a good job is better than a bad job. This is especially important for young people. As one chap said ‘we can’t leave our young people idle’.

So I’ll be campaigning for a bold new plan for new Economic Zones in our area to create hundreds of new jobs for our community. Plus nationally I will push for;


  • An end to the exploitation of zero hours contracts
  • A target of an £8 national minimum wage
  • 25 hours a week free childcare, so parents have the freedom to work a proper part-time job

Thanks again to everyone who dropped by to say hello. Please use my survey to send me ideas and thoughts.  And let me know if you’d like to sign up to my regular eNewsletter

just email me at



LB signature

Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP
Birmingham Hodge Hill


Follow up letter for Residents Meeting on 7th November 2014

Dear Friend,


I promised to write with feedback from our residents’ meeting at Saltley Leisure Centre on Friday Nov 7 – a big thanks to everyone who came or sent me back a survey.


We discussed four priorities:

1. Rubbish and the need for cleaner streets. There was a widespread view that action has got to be taken to get the streets cleaner and rubbish sorted. Particular ‘grot-spots’ were Churchill Road, Botha Road, Pretoria Road and Colonial Road. If you’ve other roads to add to my list – send me an email to


As you might know the huge cuts to Birmingham city council – twice the level of the national average – are putting real pressure on environmental services – but we cannot and will not have filthy streets.


We have now asked the Council to clean up the offending areas – and thanks to your local Councillors, Shafique Shah, Mohammed Aikhlaq, and Uzma Ahmed, ten new cameras are being installed to help us identify the rubbish dumpers.


2. NHS. There was a real sense that our NHS – Heartlands Hospital and our local GPs – is at breaking point. I am especially worried that lots of people are now using A&E because they cannot see a GP and this is putting standards of care at the hospital under pressure.


So I want a big plan with investment to sort out care standards at the hospital. Please let me know if you have had and or have seen problems and I will pass them on – anonymously if necessary – to the NHS watchdogs I am working with.


Second, we need a plan to get the health centres in our constituency fully open. That is the only way we can relieve pressure on A&E


3. ‘Rules of the Road’ Lots said that the neighbourhood was changing, with newcomers arriving for new areas – and quite simply we needed a big push to re-establish a bit of old fashioned consideration and pride. For instance, not gathering in big gangs and chatting, drinking and singing til late at night or putting the bins out when you’re supposed to. It’s those little things that make all the difference. One chap at our meeting talked fondly of the days when front gardens in the area used to win prizes.


This is sensitive stuff. So to get the ball rolling I’m going to launch a big conversation on what we’d all like to see as the ‘rules of the road’ in our area and them I’m going to sit down with a range of community leaders to ask: how do we make sure everyone gets the message?

So, look out for my new survey at Christmas.


4. Buy to let landlords.  Finally, people commented that some people are moving out the area – and have started letting out their properties but not doing anything to make sure their tenants are playing by the rules, keeping the neighbourhood tidy and not dumping rubbish in the street.


I’ll be honest, I’ve investigated the law and it’s too weak to stop abuses. So I think we need to change the law and give the Council the power to fine wrong-doers. This is going to be a long fight – but I’m up for it!


Thanks again to everyone who braved the cold to come and say hello. Please use my survey to send me ideas and thoughts.  And let me know if you’d like to sign up to me regular eNewsletter.

Just email me at




LB signature

Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP

Birmingham Hodge Hill

Follow up letter to Residents Meeting on 12th September 2014

Dear friend,


Residents Meeting feedback


Many thanks to everyone who came along to our residents meeting or returned a questionnaire. As promised I am writing with some follow-up actions for the top three priorities we discussed.


1. Clean our streets!

Lots of residents were able to pin-point real ‘grot-spots’ that needed sorting including the corner of Finnemore Road and Bordesley Green road, entries along Fourth and Fifth Avenue and Blake Lane, amongst the worst.


As you might know the huge cuts to Birmingham city council – twice the level of the national average – are putting real pressure on environmental services – but we cannot and will not have filthy streets.


We have now asked the Council to clean up the offending areas – and thanks to your local Councillors, Shafique Shah, Mohammed Aikhlaq, and Usma Ahmed, ten new cameras are being installed to help us identify the rubbish dumpers.


2. The NHS.

We love our NHS, but lots of people reported too many problems getting appointments – for example to get test results or get GP appointments for their kids. The result is Heartlands A&E is the second busiest in Britain. I am going to take your views along with my survey work to local NHS chiefs to demand extra services in our community. We all pay for the NHS. We won’t stand for second class services in our community.


3. Immigration:

I’ve always talked about immigration – it’s an issue where local residents want change regardless of their own background. We agreed the following:


A. I will organise a constituency wide meeting for residents to talk about their priorities for immigration reform. My agenda is simple: tougher border controls, changes so people have to ‘earn’ their right to enjoy the privileges of citizenship, and third tough action like big fines on employers who try and undercut the minimum wage employing newcomers ‘on the cheap’. Bit I want to hear what you think.


B. I will organise meetings with leaders of the new communities arriving to discuss how together we can respect the ‘rules of the road’. If we’re going to be neighbours then EVERYONE needs to behave and live with respect for others.


C. Marriage visas. Residents highlighted a problem with salary levels set too high for people to get married. I will discuss this with our Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper and report back.


Finally, drug dealing was reported as a widespread problem. We have to work together to sweep the poison of drugs from our streets. We’ve agreed with the police that we will pass on intelligence about where there are problems. Please use the enclosed survey to give me information that is specific as possible.


Many thanks



LB signature

Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP


Do you have a business idea that needs following up?


I just wanted to share this exciting message that I’ve just received from Enterprise Catalyst – an initiative that seeks to help support you develop your business ideas, start your own enterprise or grow your existing business. See below for more …


Are you a resident looking to set up your own business? Or do want to develop your existing business?


If you live or trade in any of these areas: Aston, Bordesley Green, Hodge Hill, Ladywood, Lozells and East Handsworth, Moseley and Kings Heath, Nechells, Soho, South Yardley, Sparkbrook, Springfield and Washwood Heath – then help could be on hand.


Enterprise Catalyst can support you to develop your business idea, start your own enterprise, or grow your existing business through a dedicated team of business coaches and mentors – as well as support you to access grant finance.


This initiative is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund programme (2007 to 2013) and the following support is on offer:


– Workshops and seminars

– Enterprise Generator

– Enterprise Coaching

– Business Development Support

– Access to Business Development Grants (Subject to eligibility)

– Specialist Social Enterprise Support


To find out more about how to become part of Enterprise Catalyst call 0121 675 7584, text EC to 80800 or visit






Samantha Tinsley-HuntSenior Partnership OfficerThe Challenge Unit1 Lancaster Circus


Birmingham B4 7DJ


Direct line 0121 675 7821


Contact us: @fairbrum


Postal address:

Challenge Unit

PO Box 16253

B2 2WS

Consultation opens for changes to Starbank Primary School


I have recently received the following message from Birmingham City Council on their proposed changes to Starbank Primary School.


“On 23rd January 2014, Birmingham City Council published proposals to Expand by Enlargement and Alteration to the upper Age Limit of Starbank Primary School from 1st September 2014.


Please find attached the statutory proposal  that we have published. The representation will run for a 6 week period.


Details of how to make comments are included in the notice. The closing date for comments is Wednesday 5th February 2014.”


Please see below for a link to the notice:


Starbank Pub Notice Expansion Alter Age Range

Follow up letter to Residents Meeting at Khidmat Centre – 23 December 2013

Dear friends,


Please see below my letter to residents following our recent residents meeting at the Khidmat Centre:


Dear friends,


Residents’ Meeting Feedback


A big thank you to everyone who came along to my recent Residents’ Meeting at the Khidmat Centre together with your local councillors, and thank you to everyone who returned one of my surveys.


I write to set out what we discussed – and some next steps.


The key issues that people raised were as follows:


1. Speeding/Parking. There were real worries about the speeding on Heybarnes Rd – and the problem was reported as especially bad in early mornings and late in the evening. Cameras were thought to be the most effective answer. Parking on verges was also seen as a problem.


2. Crime, anti-social behaviour and drugs. A range of problems were reported, including use of quad bikes/ powered scooters on the recreation ground near Heybarnes together with drink and drug use, muggings on Coventry Rd, and drug-dealing from cars on and around Heybarnes Rd


3. School places. Residents reported that there is a real problem with the shortage of school places in the area, and the pressure is really on secondary schools. Many were facing the challenge of supporting children in different schools – or sending children a long way off for schooling



Based on this very helpful feedback we will:


1. Pursue the local councillors petition presented to Council demanding traffic calming measures on Heybarnes Rd


2. Brief the local police team on the reports of crime and anti-social behaviour, and ask for patrols to cover the recreation ground


3. Explore with Amey, the company which looks after the roads, where they can put in place verge protection measures


4. Support the head-teacher and governors of Starbank school – I’ve included a briefing on a bold new plan to expand Starbank school, which could create hundreds of new secondary places in the area.


If you have other problems you would like to report then please do not hesitate to get in touch – and if you would like to receive my regular news update, then visit my website at to sign-up.


I am copying this letter to the Ward Committee and to Chief Superintendent Alex Murray.






Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP

Working hard for Birmingham Hodge Hill


Bold plans for a new Starbank

One of our top priorities for action in Bordesley Green is a lot more places for local school-children. So it was a real pleasure to get the brief together with our local councillors, on plans for a new Starbank school – primary plus secondary – to be built on the site of the old Waverley school.

We’ll be campaigning hard to get the new school in place, led by a visionary head and go-getting team of governors.

Here’s the brief, based on information kindly supplied to me by the Head:

  • Starbank currently has 1064 pupils and rising. The main school site is on Starbank Road and has over 500 pupils + 120 Nursery. The Annex site has around 280. The Bierton Road  site has around 165 which will rise to 400+ in the next few years.  The Annex site consists of a converted house/hall with subsidence, and several large temporary classrooms and dining hall which are powered by a diesel generator. Meals are cooked offsite and transported in daily. The site has grown since 2010 due to the LA asking us to take significant numbers of extra pupils because of the dearth of school places in Small Heath.
  • In 2012 the LA asked us to take on the old Bierton Road site due to the pressing need for extra places in South Yardley. Through this facility we have been able to offer school places to many children who were out of school and also families where they had children at different schools.
  • Within the past six weeks the LA have confirmed they have an urgent need for more school places in Bordesley Green and Yardley, especially in terms of secondary places.
  • The solution they have proposed is an exciting one and will be of great help to the families of Starbank and the surrounding community. It has become an increasing problem in the last couple of years whereby many families have been unable to get a local secondary school place. The place offered can be several miles away and in a completely different community. This may in turn then affect the child’s attendance and subsequent attainment.
  • The proposal now being consulted on would see the redevelopment of the old Waverley site to provide 2 form entry primary accommodation and 6fe secondary accommodation for Starbank. 2 form entry primary accommodation would remain at the Bierton Road and Starbank Road sites but the Annex site would be no longer used, probably from summer 2015 ideally.
  • Thus in the Bordesley Green/South Yardley area you would gain 1fe extra primary and 2 form entry extra secondary. It would enable those families who wish to to educate their children from 3-16 at Starbank. There are other all through schools in Birmingham but this would be the first where the secondary is growing from the primary.
  • Our Y6 children attain and achieve well and we believe that we can build on this effectively from Y7 onwards.  The area we serve is one of high social deprivation and it is crucial that we have sufficient places at outstanding schools to enable our families to succeed. Our children deserve high quality primary and secondary education locally and this proposal will help to achieve that.
  • The LA have guaranteed that the accommodation provided will be of good quality and that it is feasible to have children on site from September 2014 with the consultation timescale we have.
  • If the plans go ahead, we will have by 2015 over 1500 students enjoying high quality education at a Birmingham community school, rising to 2000+ by 2018 and meeting a good portion of the need which the LA projections forecast.

Credit Unions

The Credit Union collection point will open on the first and third Saturdays of the month from  4th January 2014. See below for more information.




Click here.

Saltley School

Over the last few weeks, the council, Ofsted and I have been working intensely to make sure the leadership issues at Saltley are dealt with openly – and rapidly.

Ofsted made an unannounced inspection the other day, issued a very stiff sets of demands for immediate action and it is now for the governors to respond with an plan.

Officials from Birmingham City Council met the school governors at length on Wednesday night to ensure everyone is clear about their obligations – and any failure to address the Ofsted report will trigger a follow-up investigation very, very swiftly.

Saltley is a great school – and a safe school. The new refurbishment which we campaigned for hard, has created what I think is one of the best schools environments in the city; what’s more, as the recent Ofsted report found, the school is ranked ‘good’ – and with lots of excellent features. I visit the school a lot and parents need to know that I am determined to make sure we have truly excellent school leadership to match the ambitions to parents and pupils. And we will not settle for second best. The right process is now in hand – and we’ll make sure it runs its course fast.

Here’s the statement released by Birmingham City Council this week:

“We have worked continuously with both the head teacher  and the governing body to address issues around the school including points raised by Ofsted this month.  The head teacher is currently on leave and the school has a strong interim leadership.  All parties are working together to ensure that the school not only remains ‘good’ but continues on its journey to ‘outstanding’.”

Any parents with concerns are very welcome to call me on 0121 789 7287.

Feedback on Summer Survey in Bordesley Green

 Dear Friends

Many thanks indeed for returning my survey over the summer with your comments – and your thoughts about my priorities for Bordesley Green. We received hundreds of replies from across the constituency and I thought you’d like to know what everyone said! Local Priorities First of all, here’s what people said should be my top three local priorities;

  • A better NHS
  • Fighting drugs, and
  • More local jobs

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Here’s what I’ll be doing next.

1. A better NHS: I’m really worried that the government is starving our local hospital and doctors of the money needed to make sure there’s a good service – especially over the winter. So I’ll be meeting the hospital’s leaders to hear what plans they’ve got in place to make sure they’re serving our community well this winter. And I’ll be bringing together NHS and Council leaders to demand plans for better local health centres.  Nationally, I’ll be campaigning to put patients first and use the money David Cameron is wasting on his damaging NHS reorganisation to protect 6,000 nursing jobs. We need to protect the NHS’ founding values, prevent postcode lotteries, guard against longer waits and put patients before profits

2. Fighting drugs: As a dad with three young kids here in Birmingham, tackling the scourge of drugs is something I feel very strongly about. I’ll be handing over to the police your reports on the 25 or so streets where drug-dealing is reported as a problem and I’ll be posting to my blog – – regular reports on the local crime situation. I’ll meet local police chiefs to demand action where you’ve said there’s a problem – and I plan to ask the leaders of West Midlands Police what more we can do to tackle the organised crime gangs that we know are behind this business.

3. More local jobs: I’ve been campaigning for land to create 5-6,000 local jobs on the old LDV-Alstom site in the constituency. But, I’ve now started talks with the City about how we do far more to support local small businesses, and how we bring forward plans to get more jobs on the old Birmingham Wheels site too. We can’t have derelict land lying around, when we have so many local people who need jobs. 

Making the benefits system work better I also asked a lot of questions about how we should make the benefits system much fairer. Across the constituency, 80% said we should link what you get out to what you put in. Here’s what people thought were the priority changes.


I’ll be presenting these findings to our party nationally so that we can present the right plans at the next election for reform. Lots of people have put an awful lot into the system. I think its only fair that the system changes so they can more back out. Especially when they need it. So, many thanks for getting in touch with me. I really appreciate your feedback – and if you’d like to stay in touch by email, and receive my regular email newsletter, just drop me a line at

Best wishes



Birmingham Hodge Hill