Category Archives: Constituency news
I am holding my monthly residents’ meeting at the Khidmat Centre in Small Heath tomorrow, Saturday 7th December 2013.
The meeting will be an opportunity for you to raise concerns and issues about where you live.
Liam Byrne’s monthly residents’ meeting:
Saturday 7th December 2013
11.30am – 12.30pm
2 Heather Road
I hope to see you there.
How many times have you been told you won’t get a job because you don’t have the experience?
That’s why for the last two years I’ve organised big jobs fairs in the constituency – to bring our local young people and employers together. In 2013, we organised a jobs fair for the whole of east Birmingham – the biggest of its kind. Over 2,000 young people came along.
If you were not able to come – or perhaps didn’t get round everyone there – I thought you might find it useful to have a list of the employers and training providers who joined us at the Jobs Fair. Follow the link below for more information.
These aren’t necessarily employers with jobs right now – but I thought you’d find it helpful to have a list of organisations who are up for helping young people.
Good luck – and let me know if I can ever help.
Liam Byrne today brought together local secondary heads, Business in the Community, Job Centres chiefs, and Birmingham City Council to discuss radical plans to close the gap between the ‘class-room and the career’.
The summit was the next stage of the constituency’s battle for youth jobs and follows on from the highly successful East Birmingham Youth Jobs Fair in July which saw nearly 2,500 young people attend.
Byrne presented new research from young people across Hodge Hill detailing their views on careers services and help from local JobCentres. The research shows young people felt far more work experience was needed in schools, more exposure to companies through jobs fairs, along with better advice preparing CV’s – and more personalised advice on career options.
The partners agreed to:
1. Get hold of information about ‘where the jobs are’ in Birmingham, in a format that parents and children can understand – before they take their options
2. Work with Business in the Community to push for more employers to offer apprenticeships, backed by Birmingham CIty Council’s new apprenticeship fund
3. Pull together a marketing push for the apprenticeships throughout the constituency’s schools
Liam Byrne said:
‘We’re determined to pull together as a city to fight for our young people and their chance to work. We know we have hugely aspirational young people – but all too often they simply don’t get a break from city employers.
‘I’m convinced the answer is to bring our schools and businesses closer together so young people get an early chance to think about the world of work and businesses get to meet our young people in person – not just on paper. That means we need to close the gap between the classroom and the career.”
A letter from Alison Monro, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd to me, dated 20 November 2013
Dear Mr Byrne
Publication and deposit of the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill
You will be aware that the Government has been preparing a hybrid Bill for Phase One of High Speed Two. The Bill will be published on 25th November. Given that hybrid bills are unusual, and come with more extensive process than normal legislation, I thought it would be helpful to give you advance notice of what will happen next week given that you may be asked directly about the implications by the public.
The introduction of this Bill to Parliament is a significant step forward in the high speed rail project. The Government believes that HS2 is a vital addition to our national transport infrastructure which will provide the extra capacity and connectivity that Britain will need to prosper in the 21st century. The Bill includes the powers necessary to construct and operate HS2 Phase One between London and the West Midlands and follows several years of development, consultation and engagement on the scheme to develop the proposals. The Bill will now be considered by Parliament in accordance with standard practice for a scheme of this type, with opportunities to consider both the principle of the scheme and its detailed impacts on affected individuals and organisations.
First Reading of the Bill will take place on 25th November. Although this is essentially a procedural matter, it will signal the point at which the Bill and related documents can be made public.
The Bill and accompanying materials
The requirements of Parliamentary Standing Orders mean that the documentation is extensive. It includes:-
• The Bill itself, incorporating schedules which detail the works which will take place and the land that will be acquired or used, and accompanying Explanatory Notes.
• Plans and sections, which show the location and profile of the proposed scheme.
• The Book of Reference , which describes ownerships of all affected land.
• Various supporting documents, such as a Housing Statement, Estimate of Expense, Equalities Impact Assessment and Health Impact Assessment.
• The Environmental Statement, which explains in detail the impacts of the scheme on local areas and the steps taken to mitigate adverse impacts.
The Environmental Statement will be subject to public consultation by Parliament. The results of that consultation will be presented to Parliament before Second Reading.
The Bill materials are lengthy. However, they are broken down into area-specific sections. We have found previously that this has made it far easier for the public to access the material they want.
Standing Orders of Parliament require that we take a number of steps in the days that follow, to ensure that those people affected by the scheme are alerted to its impacts:-
• We will issue notices to all those individuals and businesses whose land or property interests are directly affected (for example, householders whose property we propose to acquire). The notices will be accompanied by a covering letter explaining the content of the notice in plain English. Notices will also be placed in public areas (for example, roads which we intend to stop up).
• We will deposit copies of the Bill materials in public places along the route, including local authorities, parish councils and libraries. The materials will be a mixture of physical and electronic copy, as pre-ordered by each location. Standing Orders require that the materials be made available for public viewing.
• We will place notices in national and local newspapers.
We will take steps to provide wider access to the materials. We will write to all those within one kilometre of the proposed route, informing them of the publication. We will also make the material available at www.hs2.org.uk.
We will also take this opportunity to publish our responses to previous consultations which have now closed. We will write to those people who responded to the consultations to inform them about that and thank them for their contributions.
Because of the various Standing Order requirements, and the different issues addressed, some individuals will receive a number of letters. We will provide a guide on our website.
Dealing with public interest
We understand that many people will have questions or concerns about the material we have published. Aside from the information which we have deposited, or made available through our website, members of the public will be able to contact our Public Enquiries
Team using the contact details at the top of this letter (these details are widely available to the public). Lines will be open between 8am and 9pm.
I appreciate that you may be approached directly by the public. You may decide that the most sensible course of action is to point them towards HS2 Ltd’s own public contact points. However, if you wish to field some of the more standard questions, or want to put something on your website, you may find the attached questions and answers helpful.
The Bill will follow the standard Parliamentary process laid down for hybrid bills. As set out above, there will be a public consultation on the Environmental Statement. That will be followed by Second Reading, at which the principle of the Bill will be debated.
Should the Bill receive Second Reading, a period of petitioning will follow during which those people specially and directly affected may submit petitions setting out their concerns. A special Select Committee will be appointed to hear petitioners, and will produce a report on the Bill. After that the Bill will follow the usual course of a public Bill, and the process will be repeated in the House of Lords.
I hope this information is helpful. Please ask if you require anything further.
QUESTONS & ANSWERS
Where can I see copies of the Bill and formal Environmental Statement?
To access the Bill and formal Environmental Statement, please visit the HS2 website at www.hs2.org.uk where you will be directed to the relevant website which is hosting the Bill and formal Environmental Statement documentation.
The Bill and Explanatory Notes will be hosted on the UK Parliament’s website at www.parliament.uk and accessible from the HS2 website. The formal Environmental Statement will be available on the Department for Transport’s website at www.gov.uk and will also be accessible from the HS2 website at www.hs2.org.uk. All other supporting documentation and materials will be available on the HS2 website at www.hs2.org.uk.
It is intended that all materials will be made available from late on 25th November 2013 (assuming that the Bill secures its First Reading in the House of Commons that afternoon).
By 29thNovember 2013 hard copies will also be available for the public to view at a range of locations such as local authority offices and parish councils as well as libraries along the Phase One line of route. Copies will also be available for purchase. A list of these locations and how to order hard copies will be available at www.hs2.org.uk from late on 25th November 2013 and in national and regional newspaper notices published between 26-29th November and repeated 3-6th December 2013.
How do I submit comments on the formal Environmental Statement and what is the deadline?
Details of the consultation will be available at www.gov.uk. Comments should be sent to:
HS2 Phase One Bill Environmental Statement
PO Box 70178
Or by email to HS2PhaseOneBillES@dialoguebydesign.com on or before the deadline of close of 24th January 2014.
What should I do if I have received a landowners notice and covering letter?
If you have difficulty understanding the content of the notice you are strongly advised to contact a solicitor or Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Affected landowners can contact our Public Enquiries Team on 020 7944 4908 (lines will be open between 8am and 9pm weekdays) or email email@example.com.
What other letters are being issued?
As a number of HS2-related publications will issue during the week of 25th November 2013, a series of letters will be issued to interested parties. This may mean that some people receive more than one letter. Further information can be found at www.hs2.org.uk, but in summary the letters include:-
- Landowner notices, issued in accordance with Parliamentary Standing Orders. These notices will be issued to people and businesses whose land or property interests are directly affected (for example, householders whose property we propose to acquire). The notices will be accompanied by a covering letter explaining the content of the notice in plain English.
- A letter to properties within one kilometre of the proposed route, informing people of the publication of the Bill and the beginning of the consultation on the Environmental Statement.
- A letter to those people who responded to the earlier consultation on the Draft Environmental Statement, informing them that the outcomes of the consultation have been published.
- A letter to people who responded to the Property Consultation, informing them of the outcomes in respect of social rented housing and property above tunnels.
Where can I get guidance and advice on petitioning?
Guidance and advice on when and how to petition can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/business/bills-and-legislation/current-bills/previous-bills/hybrid-bills/). Leaflets have also been included in the deposits delivered to the locations described above and with the landowners notices.
How do I contact HS2 Ltd if I have questions?
If you have any questions having visited the above websites, members of the public can contact our Public Enquiries Team on 020 7944 4908 (lines will be open between 8am and 9pm weekdays) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Many thanks indeed for returning my survey over the summer with your comments – and your thoughts about my priorities for Washwood Heath. We received hundreds of replies from across the constituency and I thought you’d like to know what everyone said!
First of all, here’s what people in the ward said should be my top three local priorities;
- A better NHS
- More local jobs
- Fighting drugs – and action on youth jobs
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. More local jobs – especially for young people: 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. In addition, thanks to our campaigning we’ve got a multi-million pound fund to help get young people into work. I’ll be meeting the team spending the money regularly to make sure our young people are prioritised. It’s also clear from what young people tell me that we need better support for young people especially in careers guidance. So I’ll be bringing together our schools to ask what more we can do to close the gap between the classroom – and a career.
3. 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 28 or so streets where drug-dealing is reported as a problem and I’ll be posting to my blog – liambyrne.co.uk – 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.
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 email@example.com
RT HON LIAM BYRNE MP
Birmingham Hodge Hill