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Category Archives: Bordesley Green

Anger at squeeze on local residents

Local residents are up in arms to learn that the Tory-Lib Dem government has handed Britain’s millionaires a £40,000 tax cut, while part time workers have had their tax credits slashed.


The Lib Dem Tory budget ordered a big cash handout for Britain’s richest citizens – yet took money away from the poorest.


Anyone working 16 hours loses ALL their tax credits unless they can find more hours.


And in April, cuts to help for families goes up by £6 billion as help with housing and council tax bills is taken away.


Worst of all, many disabled people will lose the allowances they need to cover the extra bills they face.


MP Liam Byrne voted against the plans in Parliament:


“I simply can’t see how its right for the richest people to get a tax cut – and the poorest workers get money taken away.  These Tories and their Lib Dem friends simply care only for the rich not the ordinary family”.


Jobs summit to fight youth unemployment – 19th July

I’m taking direct action to help get local young people into work. I’ve bought together JobCentrePlus, Enterprising Communities, Birmingham businesses and training providers for a massive jobs summit for local young people.

Hodge Hill has the highest rate of youth unemployment in Britain – long term youth unemployment up 57% in the last year.

So I’m holding a massive jobs summit where real employers with real vacancies will meet local unemployed youngsters and there will be opportunities to talk to experts about accessing support and funding to set up their own business and a jobs board with help to set up interviews.

Local young entrepreneurs who have already succeeded in business will be on hand to inspire and motivate and offer help with CVs and networking.

I will be personally introducing young people to employers and will be joined by Sarish Jabeen, the local apprentice I took on in 2008 and who is now a full time constituency caseworker.

Our community is packed with potential. We’ve got hundreds of young people hungry for work. All of us have got to roll our sleeves up and do whatever it takes  to get these young people on the road to a job.

We have some of the highest youth unemployment figures in our area. This is not right.
That’s why I’m inviting employers with real vacancies plus support for setting up your own  business and apprenticeship matching schemes to meet our great young people and help get them back to work.’

If you’re 18-24, live in the constituency and are unemployed please come along to Beaufort Sports and Social Club, 89 Coleshill Road, B36 8DX on 19th July 10.30-1.30pm. Attendees on the day will be entered into a prize draw to win an ipad courtesy of UK Mail.

What drug-dealers deserve

Just after I made my announcement that I’d stand for mayor yesterday, I was straight off to Bordesley Green to go and see some of the results of a huge campaign against drugs and drug-dealing. This has been the the key local issue we’ve pressed the police for – and yesterday we saw just how aggressively our brilliant local police have taken action; seized assets from drug-dealers crushed in front of the public.

It was excellent too, that we had a host of pupils from Waverley School to look on. One of the reasons I’ve fought so hard for tougher action against drugs is that young people saw to me, that when they see drug-dealing going on it makes them feel scared – and fearful of just where they can go – and where they can’t. That’s not the kind of city we want to bring up our kids in.

Here’s a brilliant video of the day from the Birmingham Mail. Well done to the West Midlands Police – more please!

Belchers Lane Update

One of the most exciting developments in Bordesley Green is the new Waverley School – already outstanding but I think even more is possible when the move goes ahead. I’m really keen to see a new relationship between the school and the hospital help unlock the potential of the Belchers Lane site. I’d love to see new car parking to get cars off the street – and ideally a new way for Waverley’s students to develop their skills and potentially doing work experience and more at the hospital – which has ambitious plans to house all of its teaching services on the Heartlands space. It may even be possible for new sixth form provision to grow at the site.

Press Release – Liam calls for local residents to support our Service men and women

All Saints Church, Shard End has organised a Remembrance Service Church Service, March and Cenotaph Service for Sunday 13th November 2011. This is the day people across the nation pause to reflect on the sacrifices made by our brave Service men and women.

Liam Byrne MP is calling for residents to support our Service men and women by attending the Service at 10.45am, All Saints Church, Ownall Road, Shard End. Followed by a March to the Crown Club and Service at the Cenotaph.

Liam said:

‘This is an incredibly important ceremony to preserve for generations to come. The individuals and families that have sacrificed so much for our freedom deserve the full gravity and dignity of the Cenotaph Service.

We have a duty to honour their memory by making sure our children, and our children’s children, understand not only the sacrifices made by service men and women in the past – but that today thousands of British Soldiers all over the world are putting their lives in danger to protect people from violence and oppression.’

Press Release – Liam Consults Residents on Jobs Plan

Liam Byrne is asking residents to comment on Labour’s plan for jobs and growth following new unemployment figures revealing the jobless rate in Hodge Hill is still rising.

Under the Tories an extra 753 people are claiming Job Seekers Allowance in Hodge Hill, that’s a rise of 11% in the last 12 months – giving Hodge Hill the second highest jobless total in the country.

The Government’s economic policies have resulted in a total of 2.57 million people out of work – the highest in 17 years. One in five young people are without a job.

The UK has experienced zero economic growth over the last nine months. The International Monetary Fund has warned that if the UK’s economic situation deteriorates further then the Tory-led Government will have to change course and slow down the cuts and tax rises.

In response, Labour has taken action and set out a clear five-point plan to create jobs, help struggling families and support small businesses:

1. A £2 billion tax on bank bonuses to fund 100,000 jobs for young people – which they would be required to take-up – and build 25,000 more affordable homes. Getting the construction industry back to work and providing homes for local families.

2. Bring forward long-term investment projects in schools, roads and transport to get people back to work and to strengthen our economy for the future. Projects like the cancelled Building Schools for the Future in Washwood Heath School, Hodge Hill Sports and Technology and Bordesley Green Girls School

3. Temporarily reverse January’s damaging VAT rise – an extra £450 for a couple with children would provide a boost for our high streets and help struggling families.

4. A one-year cut in VAT to 5% on home improvements, repairs and maintenance to help homeowners and small businesses.

5. A one-year national insurance tax break for every small firm which takes on extra workers would help small businesses to grow and create jobs. This could benefit up to 1,000 small businesses across Hodge Hill.

Now Liam is emailing and writing to thousands of local residents to ask if they think the Prime Minister should adopt Labour’s plan for jobs to get Hodge Hill back to work.

Liam said:

I want to see people in work and paying taxes. That’s how we will get Britain moving again. George Osborne is determined to keep pushing up the benefits bill, costing every Hodge Hill household more than £500.

George Osborne has pushed his disastrous financial plan for 18 months. It isn’t working, it’s hurting Britain and it’s hurting Hodge Hill. I think it’s time the residents had their say.

By cutting spending and raising taxes too far and too fast this Tory-led Government is getting our economy into a vicious circle. By choking off the recovery and putting more and more people on the dole, claiming benefits rather than paying taxes, the Government is making it harder to get the deficit down.

“There is a better way – Labour’s plan for jobs and growth will get our economy moving again and help get the deficit down in a steadier and more balanced way.”


To find out more about Labour’s five-point plan for jobs please visit

Childcare changes – Tell me how they will affect you and your family

As you know my top priority is creating jobs and getting people back to work. No-one wants to rely on handouts.

But it also helps our economy. People paying taxes in is much better than having people on the dole and getting benefits.

The Tories failure to get people back to work is driving up the benefits bill by £12.6 billion. That’s £500 for every single family in Hodge Hill.

To pay for their welfare waste they are cutting support such as tax credits for working families, who have played by the rules and done nothing wrong. The Government’s Welfare Reform Bill is a leap in the dark for families as we don’t know how childcare will work for families under the new system.

The Government has got to call a halt to its unthinking attack on Britain’s childcare. Millions of Britain’s parents feeling the squeeze desperately want to work – but literally can’t afford to without help with childcare.

30,000 women have already given up on work because childcare ‘reforms’ mean they’re no longer better off in work.

We have the second highest unemployment in the country. I don’t want to see anyone having to give up work because they can’t afford childcare.

As Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions I am fighting these cuts – But I need your help. Please take 5 minutes to answer my survey on how your family will be affected by the changes by clicking here.

School Games 2012

I’m delighted to see Starbank Primary, Saltley School, International School and Braidwood School have all signed up for the School Games programme, a year round calender of comoetition for pupils of all abilities. The national finals will take place in the Olympic Park in May 2012 – meaning our talented young athletes could be amongst the first to compete in the main 2012 venues next year!

To register you school go to

Statement on Boundary Review

Today, the Boundary Commission published its plan for new parliamentary constituencies for after 2015 and right across the city, they’ve torn up the map.

Two of our wards – Hodge Hill and Washwood Heath – will be joined to two wards from Ladywood to create a new constituency, of Hodge Hill and Ladywood. Bordesley Green will go into a new Yardley constituency and Shard End will go outside Birmingham and into the seat of Meriden.

I imagine people will be furious at the idea of this pointless reorganisation, costing millions of pounds that will distract attention when we need a laser-like focus on creating jobs and getting the economy back on track.

In our community, we’ve worked incredibly hard building a first class team of councillors and community activists in Hodge Hill that together with me, has helped bring in an incredible £150 million of new investment in the last 6 years for new homes at Shard End Crescent, new schools and class-rooms everywhere and two brand new health mega-centres (in Saltley and on the Bromford), plus local police teams. Recent successes include the £1 million Big Local Award for the Bromford and a £300,000 grant to renew St Margarets in Ward End.

Now the government plans to tear this team apart for its own political advantage. It says it wants to shrink the number of MPs – but it’s stuffing the Lords full of unelected Tory and Lib Dem peers.

I know many in Shard End in particular will be incensed by the idea that somehow they’re no longer part of Birmingham – and have been bundled into a constituency that’s covered by three different local authorities.

My job now is to make sure Hodge Hill residents have their say. The Boundary Commission will take evidence on local views – and I’ll send out details soon. But – let me know what you think.

In the meantime, I’ll be working just as hard as ever representing the area and battling for our fair share.

Best wishes


This weeks riots – Where do we go from here?

Today, together with MPs from the across the country, I arrived back at the House of Commons to debate the horrific rioting of the last week.

On the radio at lunchtime, debating with Justice Secretary, Ken Clarke, I made my views very clear. Up and down the country – and especially here in Birmingham – our police officers have performed real heroics. But they weren’t confronting daylight robbery – this was flash mob robbery; and it needed new tactics. In this country, we still believe some-one’s home is their castle. And when our fellow citizens are forced to flee their own homes in fear or watch their businesses wiped out, then we have to take a stand and say quite bluntly; we are not having this.

I know lots of people watching the images we’ve seen on the TV will be saying; ‘Good grief; what has our country come to?’ Well, the real answer came from one man; Tariq Jahan, the father of one of the murdered young men in Winson Green who today was a hero saluted by MPs on all sides of the House of Commons. In what must have been one of the darkest hours of his life, he spoke with incredible calm, compassion and composure about his love for his lost son – and his determination to see our city stay calm. In my book, Mr Jahan is the real spirit of our country – and our city should be immensely proud of these boys’ families.

I know lots of people will want to debate the long term issues, next steps and underlying causes. But I’m afraid nothing excuses the criminality we saw this week. Hodge Hill has the highest youth unemployment in the country – and my experience is that the overwhelmingly – and I mean overwhelming – the majority of our young people aren’t turning from unemployment to crime; they’re just trying as hard as they can to get a job despite the odds. That’s because they’re right-minded citizens as disgusted as everyone else about what has happened.

So let me just make one point about the next steps; this has got to be the wrong time to make cuts to our police that so fast and deep. Our Chief Constable Chris Simms has done a magnificent job this week; but he was amongst the first to say we can’t protect visible policing with cuts on this scale. You can’t defeat gangs with policing by surge. We need visible policing day in day out, round the clock and round the corner. That’s why I’ve campaigned every week since I was elected for more police teams in Hodge Hill.

Over the next few weeks, I want to offer my evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee about what Hodge Hill residents see as what we need to do next as a country. So if you’ve got views, I’d like to hear them.

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