|Liam Gallagher, Sir Elton John and Bob Geldof have called on the Government to make it easier for musicians to tour around Europe. In an exclusive to The Times more than 170 musicians have urged Ministers to organise paperwork-free travel in Europe for artists on tour. |
The Brexit deal makes it extremely difficult for touring artists because they now need a costly work permit and face a mountain of paperwork for their equipment. The extra costs will make many tours unviable, especially for young emerging musicians.Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Peter Strasburger, said:
“Predictably the government is trying to blame the EU, but the fact remains that when the going got tough during the talks on the trade deal, Tory ministers just ducked for cover and hoped the problem would go
“As a result, our creative artists have been left high and dry, including musicians, dancers, actors and their many support staff who together with the rest of the creative industries generate over £100 billion a year to our economy. They were sacrificed in a botched negotiation, just like our fishermen, our farmers, and our crucial service industries.
“The artists who signed this letter are either furious or fearful for the future of their business, or both. If the Conservative Government cares about these industries and the economy, they must get back around the negotiating table and get this sorted pronto.”
Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Culture, Media and Sport in the Lords, Baroness Jane Bonham-Carter added:
“The creative arts sector is a massive success story for the UK economy. It’s already in dire trouble because of Covid and this ‘friendly fire’ assault on its viability from our own government could be the last straw for many of our talented performers and backup staff.
“Artists and crews will need to apply for work permits and other detailed paperwork for many of the countries they visit. This could make many tours unviable, particularly for younger, upcoming artists who don’t have big teams and big money behind them.
“The same applies to EU-based artists wishing to perform in the UK. That means disruption not only to seeing our favourite foreign bands and orchestras but income to festivals and all the benefits of creative co-operation too. Reciprocity is good for Britain and should not be holding back a deal for artists.”
The signatories in full:
Roger Waters; Sir Simon Rattle; Dame Sarah Connolly; Sir George Benjamin; Sir Harrison Birtwistle; Nicola Benedetti; Steven Isserlis; Stephen Hough; Sir András Schiff; Judith Weir; Roderick Williams; Amanda Roocroft; Amelia Freedman; Nash Ensemble; Anna Meredith; Anna Patalong; Benjamin Baker; Bond Quartet; Brindley Sherratt; Professor Catherine Martin; Catherine Wyn-Rogers, Catriona Price; Chi-chi Nwanoku; Chris Stark, Christian Curnyn; Claudia Huckle; Dr Mark Taylor; Elizabeth Wallfisch; Gabriella Swallow; Gina McCormack; Gregory Walmsley; Harry Bicket; Hilary Summers; Jeremy Huw Williams; Jess Gillam; Joseph Middleton; Kate Royal; Lauma Skride; Levon Chilingirian; Mahaliah Edwards; Martyn Brabbins; Michael Chance; Miloš Karadaglić; Nicholas Collon; Nicky Spence; Paul Cassidy; Peter Robinson; Prof Nicholas Daniel; Professor Julian Anderson; Professor Julian Lloyd Webber; Professor Peter Fribbins; Rakhvinder Singh; Raphael Wallfisch; Rosa Mannion; Ruth Rogers; Sean Shibe; Sheku Kanneh-Mason; Tasmin Little; the Kanneh-Mason family; Sir Elton John; Ed Sheeran; Roger Daltrey; Bob Geldof; Midge Ure; Sting; Robert Plant; Peter Gabriel; Rag’n’Bone Man; Nick Mason; Aitch; Alex Kapranos; Beabadoobee; Bicep; Brett Anderson; Brian Eno; Brian May; Bryan Adams; Captain Sensible; Charlie Burchill; Chris Difford; Danny McNamara; Dave Stewart; Fryars; Gary Kemp; Gary Numan; Glass Animals; Grace Carter; Hayden Thorpe; Hot Chip; Hugh Cornwell; Iron Maiden; Jayda G; Jim Kerr; Joss Stone; Jungle; Kasai; Kero Kero Bonito; Kim Wilde; King Krule; LA Priest; Liam Gallagher; Mark King; Mick Hucknell; Nik Kershaw; Priya Ragu & Japhna Gold; Radiohead; Rick Wakeman; Roger Taylor; Ross From Friends; Rusty Egan Visage; Sex Pistols; SG Lewis; Simian Mobile Disco; SK Shlomo; Steve Norman; Superorganism; Terry Britten; The 1975; The Darkness; Will Young; Dame Evelyn Glennie; Julia Haferkorn; David Francis; Karine Polwart; Peewee Ellis; John J. Williamson; Sam Leak; Michael Eavis; Emily Eavis; John Gilhooly; Paul Mandry; Fielding Hope, James Clutton; Deborah Annetts; James Ainscough; Alasdair Tait; Annabella Coldrick; Ashutosh Khandekar; Atlas Management; Barbara Osborne; Carol Main; Carole Tongue; Claire Owen; Daniel Miller; Danny Keir; David Martin; David Taylor; Donagh Collins; Dr Aoife Monks; Felix Howard; Graham Sheffield; Howard Goodall; James McAulay; John Gidding; Keith Harris; Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp; Lucy Heyman; Mary-Alice Stack; Patrick Woodroffe; Professor Chris Collins; Rod Smallwood; Sandra Schembri; Sir David Bell; Tom Travis; Vick Bain :
Following the third serious collision caused by speeding/racing drivers in Billesley Lane in less than six months I have written this email to our Councillors and local Police. (I have edited to remove some personal details):
From: Izzy Knowles <>Subject: Moseley LTN and Billesley LaneDate: 30 November 2020 at 22:02:30 GMTTo: Councillor Martin Straker Welds <>, Councillor Kerry Jenkins <>Cc: Tom O’Keeffe <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Neil Kirkpatrick <email@example.com>
Dear Martin & Kerry, Tom and Neil
I have not long come inside from the scene of yet another crashed car on the corner of Greenhill Road and Billesley Lane at approx 18.30hrs this evening. From talking to neighbours it would appear two cars were racing each other down the hill from the direction of Kings Heath. The driver of the red Skoda in the photo has lost control on hitting the bend as he approached Greenhill Road junction, shot across the mouth of the junction, hit a bag of builders sand that was on the verge and spun into the tree, damaging the wall.The three occupants then left the scene in the second car which pulled up along side. Whilst I was talking to one of the neighbours three males turned up and started to remove items from the car, including the keys which had been left in the ignition. They all left again when I called the police. However over an hour later the police had still not arrived. The reason I’m writing is that this is the third similar collision on Billesley Lane in less than six months where vehicles have left the road at speed and crashed into houses or garden walls. As you know my neighbours and I have been recording traffic flow and volume at various junctions for the last few months, both before and after the modal filters were recently put in place in School Road and Cambridge Road . Our findings show a significant increase of traffic using both Greenhill Road and Oxford Road to travel between Kings Heath/Moseley and so adding to the pressure of traffic on Billesley Lane especially at these two junctions. Billesley Lane is not a major road. It has a high volume of cyclists and pedestrian traffic as well as vehicles. It is crossed by many pupils walking to and from local primary and secondary schools. St Agnes Church Hall on the corner of Dyott Road is in normal non lockdown times used by mother and toddler groups, pre school, cubs and brownies and various after school clubs with both children and adults frequently crossing the road at this junction. The One Stop shop is a very busy local shop used by many families who walk or cycle.Moseley Tennis Club is used by families and children, again many walk or cycle to classes or events.Two of these recent crashes have happened in the early evening when pedestrian traffic is normally heavier. Speeding and racing has long been an issue on roads like Billesley Lane. However this year it has become much more prevalent. Collisions like this one, although not resulting in injury are incredibly upsetting and frightening to residents and to passers by. However, possibly because there was no injury, they are not being taken seriously by the police.Residents who have lived on or near this road have felt ignored for a long time. They are now concerned they will be left to bear the burden of the redirected traffic from other roads within the LTN and incidents like this will increase.We have a real opportunity to address this now. I am urging you to ensure that Billesley Lane is considered for some serious traffic calming measures which could even involve re modelling the junctions.I’m also asking that the police please take much more interest including robust investigation of reports of no insurance, dangerous driving and fail to stop as well as increased speed checks during the evenings and partnership working to obtain more equipment and traffic calming measures in known collision hot spots. I look forward to hearing from you
The Liberal Democrats are asking people across our community who care for relatives to get in touch and share their story – to mark national Carers Rights Day.
Liberal Democrat party leader Ed Davey has said he wants the party wants to be a “strong voice” for the millions across the country – including the 11964 people in Birmingham Hall Green Constituency who care for those who need it.
Ed himself knows the burden put on carers for family members – having been a carer for his mum when growing up and now caring for his disabled son.
Carers can get in touch and share their experiences at www.libdems.org.uk/carerssurvey
Izzy Knowles said:
“Millions of people across the country act as unpaid carers for loved ones. This year has highlighted more than ever the issues many of them face.”
“If you are a carer – or someone who receives regular care support from a relative of a friend – we want to hear from you. Please get in touch with us and share your story.”
The Liberal Democrats have today called on the Chancellor to “level the playing field” to help small high streets compete with internet giants in the run up to Christmas.
The Liberal Democrat fear local shops hit by decreased footfall during the coronavirus pandemic will continue to struggle and have therefore proposed a new scheme in a similar vein to how the Eat Out to Help Out scheme aided restaurants.
To encourage people to shop local from home to save the high street, the Party wants to see the Government cover the costs of postage and have appealed to all MP’s to back the campaign.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed the idea to help firms survive. Mike Cherry, National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “This is the type of creative idea that would boost small businesses and balance out the playing field.”
Hall Green Liberal Democrat spokesperson Izzy Knowles said:
“Small businesses in Hall Green constituency are worried about their ability to stay afloat over the coming months. For so many, Christmas is their most lucrative time of year but coronavirus restrictions have caused footfall to nosedive.
“When people turn online to do their Christmas shopping, free postage offers from online shopping giants are incredibly tempting. That makes it even tougher for our local small businesses putting our high streets at further risk. Ministers must level the playing field.”
Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP added:
“In the Summer, the Chancellor launched a campaign to support the hospitality sector. We now need to see this Government go the extra mile to support small business in the festive period.
“We want the Chancellor to pay the postage on online purchases from small local independent shops to make them a more viable option for people hunting for Christmas presents and encourage people to shop small from home.”
Mike Cherry, National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said:
“This is the type of creative idea that would boost small businesses and balance out the playing field.
“We must do everything we can to help our small, independent stores.
“This is going to be the most important festive season our economy has ever seen and could be make-or-break for some of our small businesses.
“That’s why we must pull out all the stops to help them survive the end of 2020 and beyond.”
The text of the letter sent from Christine Jardine is as follows: “Dear Rishi, I would like to ask you to consider a support scheme for small businesses through the festive season which would help them in a similar way to the ‘eat out to help out’ campaign which the Government funded in the summer. Small businesses in England are missing out on business in precious lucrative months and in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland footfall is still significantly reduced even though a full lockdown hasn’t been imposed. I urge you to explore pathways to pay the postage on online purchases from small local independent shops to make them a more viable option for people hunting Christmas presents and encourage people to shop small from home. The free postage offers from online shopping giants and the ease of using Amazon Prime are incredibly tempting for those Christmas shopping online. Paying postage on each individual Christmas purchase is a burden that is likely to repel shoppers from picking small retailers. That makes it an even tougher climate for small business and shut shops.The prohibitive nature of these costs rings especially true for those in remote or rural communities for whom delivery charges are unjustly steep. I am urging to embrace this idea as a way to stimulate traffic to small business sites. Removing the delivery cost burden would encourage shoppers to select individual items from different small shops – rather than resorting to bulk buy from large suppliers. I look forward to your response. Yours sincerely, Christine Jardine”
The Government has tonight been defeated on the Immigration Bill, including amendments from the Liberal Democrats to protect the British nationals living in the EU and EU citizens in the UK. An amendment from Baroness Hamwee to preserve the right of UK nationals living in the EU to bring non-British family members with them if they return to the UK was passed this afternoon.
Another amendment passed tonight, tabled by Liberal Democrat peer Jonny Oates, to force the Government to provide EU citizens in the UK who are granted Settled or Pre-Settled Status with physical proof of their migration status – instead of the digital-only proof under the Government’s current system.
Izzy wrote a letter in support of this amendment as part of the campaign. https://deniedmybackup.org.uk/
She wrote: ‘I have recently helped two gentleman in their 80’s to get settled status. One Swedish and one Italian. They have both lived in the UK since their 20’s, contributing to our economy and community for over 60 years. One worked as a nurse in the NHS and the other opened a string of restaurants throughout the Midlands. Both these gentleman were very confused and upset when they learned they would not be given physical proof of their settled status. The Italian gentleman does not use email and will be totally reliant on his son’s help if and when he is asked in future to prove his status in the UK. He is a proud man and does not want to have to bother his son.
They are both eligible to apply under the Windrush scheme – but it is more paperwork, involves sending their passport to the Home Office and is not something I am qualified to help them with. Even then a card will only be valid until 2024. Both have found obtaining settled status stressful already, they were in denial about it for some time. They have had difficulty understanding why they would need to apply to two schemes and so far have not taken the Windrush opportunity. People need to prove their immigration status throughout life – when seeking a new job opportunity, finding a place to live or getting treatment in hospital. Where British citizens use their passport as proof and non-EU citizens have a biometric residence card as backup, EU citizens can only prove their new immigration status through the Home Office website. If any one part of the digital checking process fails, people without a physical form of backup will be vulnerable. We should not have a two-tier system for proving the right to stay in the UK, with inferior access for EU citizens. A digital-only immigration status will create new barriers for EU citizens – especially the elderly and most vulnerable, who may not have the necessary digital skills and who need alternative ways of accessing services. This is not a fair way to treat our friends and neighbours. I worry about my two elderly gentlemen if they are asked to prove their status, especially if it were in a stressful situation such as needing urgent medical treatment.’
The bill will now go to the House of Commons. We will need your help to convince Conservative MP’s to do the decent thing and vote for these two amendments. You can help, follow the campaign https://deniedmybackup.org.uk/ Write to MP’s and demand they keep their promise made in the Leave campaign that ‘No one will be treated any less favourably’
The public toilets in Cannon Hill Park, the biggest public park in Birmingham, have been padlocked up since May. The notice on the doors says ‘ closed due to the Covid19 pandemic’. The one disabled toilet (near to the entrance) has been out of use for much longer than that.
The MAC toilets are unavailable due to the facility being closed, and will not re-open this year. The cafe toilet is closed to members of the public.
Cannon Hill Park is a busy city park. It is visited every day by walkers, cyclists, dog walkers, and especially by young families who come from miles around to enjoy the green open space, to play tennis and to enjoy the mini golf, children’s train, boats and fair ground rides. This Bank Holiday there were hundreds of people enjoying the park.
It is not acceptable that there are no public toilets for them to use. It is not acceptable that there is no disabled toilet facility.
People are resorting to using the bushes as a public toilet – litter pickers have reported finding piles of human excrement and tissues.
Birmingham City Council has recently re-instated car park charges for the Cannon Hill Park car park. A FOI request in 2018 revealed in a 9 month period the city obtained over £250, 000 in car park revenue. Even with the drop of revenue between March and June 2020 it is reasonable to assume the council will have obtained sufficient revenue to absorb costs that additional cleaning and monitoring of the toilet block would entail.
There is no precedence for keeping the toilet block closed. Parks in other cities have full facilities open to the public with cleaning schedules and sanitiser.
We are calling for Birmingham City Council to re-open the public toilets in Cannon Hill Park without any further delay.
For anyone wanting to see the history of the closure of School Road please see my previous blogs:
In February 2019 a petition was presented to Councillor Zaffar of Birmingham City Council calling for a traffic impact assessment study and a full consultation on the six separate options that had been proposed.
In February 2019 Cllr Zaffar and our two ward Councillors, Kerry Jenkins and Martin Straker Welds committed at a ward meeting to a full consultation before any preferred option was selected.
Fast forward to June 2020:
It is very unfortunate that despite a number of requests for progress and assurances it was due ‘any time soon’ the promised consultation has never taken place. Had it happened in good time this continuing debate would have been decided a long time ago.
The proposal to close the road has now been resurrected as part of the Emergency Birmingham Transport Plan
There is to be no consultation on this plan which is using emergency powers. Whether these are being correctly used to re introduce pre – existing schemes is a possible future debate.
People who have been calling for action to deal with the traffic issues on School Road for the last three years are rightfully happy that something is finally happening, but there is also a clear sense of frustration amongst a wider group of residents, who understandably feel that the Covid19 situation is being used to push through unpopular and ill thought out measures via the back door, and that once again their views are being ignored.
I feel that the Council should now be absolutely clear with residents what the real aim of this scheme is. It is currently being sold as temporary measures to assist with social distancing, however what are the longer term aims? Is it to solve the issue of vehicles mounting the pavement on one short and narrow section of School Road or is it to introduce the beginnings of a Mini Holland low traffic neighbourhood to the wider area? I believe this vagueness over several years has helped to exacerbate the contentiousness of the scheme and has caused distrust, confusion and uncertainty.
I look forward to learning of the finalised proposals and how they are to be communicated to the local community. I anticipate there will be more representations as the wider community, especially those not engaged on social media, become aware. I am sure there will be many more demands for traffic calming measures in surrounding streets. I am aware residents in Cambridge Road, Greenhill Road, Oxford Road, Prospect Road, Springfield Road and Billesley Lane are all concerned of an increase in traffic displaced due to this scheme.
Billesley Lane already suffers from an alarming number of serious incidents of excessive speed. Only last month a racing, out of control car and it’s driver ended up in front gardens and badly damaged two houses, and there have been at least one fatal and several very serious accidents. Is it really fair to those residents that more traffic should be diverted down this already busy road, without their being even given a chance to make representations?
So to address all of this and to restore community confidence in local consultation and involvement I have proposed to the Councillors that a working group be set up with representatives who can communicate with people from all of the affected streets, to also include members of the community who are often forgotten, such as people with limited mobility who rely on the car to get about. The brief would be to properly discuss and examine the options first put forward to residents in 2018, with as much evidence as possible and support from people with expertise in traffic management and council officers.
They would also gather evidence of issues in surrounding streets and aspirations of residents in dealing with them. The end result should be a decent community led neighbourhood plan, which could be a low traffic neighbourhood or something else, to be implemented possibly in stages but with a time line and evidenced rationale.
The group could report to the Councillors ward meeting, to the Moseley Forum or to the Moseley Regeneration group.
Please let me know what you think. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Liberal Democrats have announced that local campaigner Izzy Knowles has been nominated to join the Liberal Democrat Community Champions Hall of Fame for her work to help the most vulnerable in Moseley during the coronavirus crisis.
The Liberal Democrat Community Champions Hall of Fame initiative has been launched by Sir Stuart Etherington, the former Chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisation and Chair of the Liberal Democrat Coronavirus Community Taskforce.
As well as helping people with basic supplies, the nominees have been doing a range of work from sharing best practice and ideas to organising volunteers to call over 35,000 people across the UK to offer assistance.
As part of their induction into the Hall of Fame, successful nominees will also be invited to be interviewed by one of the party’s leading figures in a live webinar that all Lib Dem members will be invited to.
Local Liberal Democrat Izzy said:
“With the Coronavirus crisis leaving the most vulnerable in our communities at risk, it is critical people receive the support they need. That’s why I have been working with the local community to ensure no one is left behind across Moseley
“I am touched to have been nominated for my work, but I am even prouder to be part of a team helping countless people facing hardship. I would encourage everyone to help in whatever way they can during this difficult time.”
Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:
“I have been amazed by the energy, commitment and creativity shown by members of the Lib Dem community during the crisis. I am so proud of people like Izzy Knowles who have worked tirelessly to help vulnerable residents and fight for the best possible support for people facing hardship.”
Chair of the Coronavirus Community Taskforce, Sir Stuart Etherington, said:
“It is critical that vulnerable people in our communities receive the support they need. It will be communities themselves that have to respond to take the pressure off our excellent but hard-pressed statutory services. I look forward to continuing to work with Izzy Knowles and others as we do out bit to slow the spread of coronavirus, prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed and save thousands of lives.”
We seem to have waited forever but the planning application for Moseley Station is now online and open for comments.
You can access and comment on the consultation 2020/03676/PA here
Controversy over the station approach.
The application includes a proposal for the entrance to the station at St Mary’s Row opposite Oxford Road to be controlled by a four way traffic light junction. At a meeting in March with West Midlands Rail Executive Moseley community representatives stated their objections to the junction being controlled by traffic signals and again presented their preferred option of a roundel, as designed by Phil Jones Associates for Moseley Forum and supported overwhelmingly at their recent AGM.
The two designs are here:
The advantages of a roundel rather than traffic lights is less pollution as traffic flow is more even rather than stop/start, better access for pedestrians and cyclists as zebra pedestrian crossings will give them priority over cars, (rather than the other way round at a traffic signal junction) and a much more pleasing look to the entrance to the station.
Moseley Forum has had assurances from WMRE that their proposal is being seriously considered and subject to design modifications, amendments to the plans could be made. It would help if comments reflect how you would like to see the junction managed.
We have an opportunity here to send a message to planners that Moseley wants to open up to walkers and cyclists. The station will have 52 cycle stands and yet the plans include no dedicated cycling infrastructure. Recent lockdown measures have shown us what a Moseley with less traffic would look like. There will not be another opportunity to make our voices heard, this is our station – so please do make your comments.
PS: It has been suggested we ask for the station to be called ‘Moseley Village’ If you agree mention it in your comments.
Three ‘application for prior notification’ have been submitted to Birmingham City Council for installation of 5G telecommunication masts.
Two are for ”installation of 20m high telecommunication tower, 6no. antennas, 2no. dishes, 1no. equipment cabinet and associated works” and one for a ‘Phase 8 monopole with wrap around cabinet at base and associated works’
- 2020/02619/PA – Moor Green Lane outside Pitmaston House. Submit comments online by 14/05/20
- 2020/02583/PA – St Mary’s Row – corner of Oxford Road outside M & S Foodhall. Submit comments online by 14/05/20
3. 2020/03215/PA – Stoney Lane – just past Anderton Park School outside the TA centre. Submit comments online by 27/05/2020
Or you can also email the planning officer directly email@example.com
Moor Green Lane
Concern has been expressed from residents about the proposed locations of these masts which are close to residential properties, the negative effect on the street scene and the potential for vandalism.
Please let me know your comments and feedback.
I have added a COVID19 Support page to my website with links to national and local support available to individuals and businesses. I am updating it as more information becomes available. Please let me know if there is anything else I should add.
If you live in Moseley and need support: call or text 07796 668257 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I am working with the Moseley Community Development Trust, the local ward Councillors and other volunteers to put together Moseley’s response to the Covid19 crisis.
You may have one of these leaflets through your door or have seen them in local shops.
Birmingham Lib Dem Councillors are bringing a motion on Proportional Representation to the full council meeting on 4th February. The wording is as follows:
‘This Council believes it is vital that the results of elections to Birmingham City Council, and all Parish/Town Councils within the City, represent the views of the communities we serve as closely as possible.
We therefore resolve to lobby the Government to reform the electoral system for elections to Birmingham City, and all Parish/Town Councils within the City, to the Scottish system of Single Transferable Vote within multi member wards, which delivers a far fairer result, maintains the link between Councillors and communities and imposes a threshold of support that parties must pass to secure representation in any area.
Reforming the electoral system, in such a way, will not only produce a fairer result. It will also make elections competitive in every part of the City, whatever the national political background, radically reduce the need for tactical voting and give an opportunity for residents to choose between candidates from the same party’
If you live in Birmingham and would like to see a fairer system of electing your local representatives please share this and write to your local Councillors asking them to support it on 4th February.
You can find out who your local Councillors are here: Birmingham Councillors
More info about PR can be found here: Make Votes Matter
This morning I attended the launch of the Bahu Trust Faith Against Violence project. Working with local people they have produced two powerful videos to raise awareness of the impact on families & communities of knife crime and domestic abuse. We also heard testimonies from some very inspirational local women. This project was supported by West Midlands Police, especially the Sparkbrook neighbourhood team and Birmingham East partnerships team. As a former Police Sergeant and a current member of the Birmingham East Police Independent Advisory group this is just the sort of initiative I am proud to see. Bringing policing and community together to combat violence that causes so much misery in our society.
You can see the video’s here:
Stop Domestic Abuse
I spent the morning talking to the businesses of Montgomery Street Business Centre in Sparkbrook.
This is a fabulous iconic site of diverse small units which is shockingly being auctioned off by Birmingham City Council.
As I was there they were being interviewed by ITV Central news.
The businesses who learned about the auction by reading it in an advert have formed the ‘Montgomery Street Cooperative’ & have applied for the site to become an asset of community value. They want to secure the site and run it as a not for profit cooperative to secure its future as a start-up hub.
This is the last surviving enterprise site for start up businesses owned by Birmingham City Council. Years ago the council was a pioneer in this field. It is a site of huge historic importance, located next to the Grand Union canal in Peaky Blinder land. The Moseley Lanchester brothers Lanchester Motor Company was based here once. But this place has been sadly neglected over the years by the council landlords.
I will be writing to Ian Ward Leader of Birmingham City Council to urge him to remove this important site from the auction list and to work with the businesses instead to unlock the potential of this site as the local community asset it should be. Save jobs, encourage entrepreneurs and support local business.
I made a video about my visit.
Talking to bar /cafe’s Hop & Scotch and Black Lab in Kings Heath today, I was made aware of some very disturbing anti social behaviour by a group of young people, including assaults on staff and intimidating behaviour targetted at businesses and at members of the public in the street. I have contacted the Neighbourhood Inspector and Sergeant and requested an urgent visit to these businesses and an update on the situation with these young people.
Businesses are at the hub of our communities. If their staff do not feel safe they cannot thrive.
Update 8th November: Pleased to get a response from the local police and to hear a dispersal order has been put in place.
I am incredibly proud and honoured to be standing for Parliament as your REMAIN candidate in Birmingham Hall Green.
This election is an opportunity to show the residents of Moseley, Kings Heath, Balsall Heath, Sparkbrook, Sparkhill & Hall Green that they can have a credible, positive, visible hard working MP who is local and who knows and cares for all of the community.
As your candidate in Hall Green I will:
*Continue to campaign relentlessly to Stop Brexit
*Fight for our environment by preventing waste, expanding renewable energy and cutting air pollution.
*Make our neighbourhoods safer places to live by tackling crime, holding our police to account, supporting the vulnerable and homeless and working closely with community and business groups.
*Campaign for proper funding for health services, especially mental health and social care, for schools and for youth services.
When I see a need for action I do not take no for an answer
Elections cost money. We in the Lib Dems do not have the advantage of big donors or trade unions. We rely totally on the generosity of our local supporters. To give you an example to print and hand deliver one A4 double sided leaflet to every household in Hall Green Constituency costs approx £800 and 400 volunteer hours.
Every little helps so click here to donate to my election fund.
If you can donate me some volunteer hours please get in touch here
DELIVER FOR ME AND I WILL DELIVER FOR YOU IN BIRMINGHAM HALL GREEN
The Bordesley Chords are once more under threat from a planning application for housing and office development. The chords are required to be constructed in order that the Camp Hill passenger service from Kings Norton to Birmingham can be upgraded from the initial two trains an hour to a full commuter line once it reopens to passenger services in 2021
Please see my blog of 1st March when the implications of the planning application first became known.
These are my latest comments:
Re: Planning Application 2018/09467/PA, 193 Camp Hill, Highgate, Birmingham, B12 0JJ
“I appreciate that the applicant has made some alterations to the plans in order to try to allow construction of South West Bordesley Chord at a future date. However,I am aware that the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) have expressed their objection to the revised plans on the grounds that the detailed plans for the chords cannot be drawn up before this application is decided. If built, the development envisaged in these plans is likely to affect both the constructability of these chords and also lead to objections from the residents and businesses that the development will introduce into the land adjoining the railway.
The Moseley community has been campaigning for the reopening of the Camphill Railway Line for passenger traffic for well over 40 years. Plans and funds are now in place for that to happen. However, the reopening is being achieved on the original lines that take the Camphill service round by St Andrew’s Junction to New Street Station. Because of the lack of capacity at New Street all that can be offered is a half-hourly service. The only way for the large number of people living within walking distance of the Hazelwell, Kings Heath and Moseley Stations to be offered a more frequent rail connection is by building chords at Bordesley so as to take the Camphill Line into Moor Street Station. It would be a very big blow for Balsall Heath, Stirchley, Kings Heath and Moseley residents if this development prevented the chords being built and the line becoming a full commuter service. The number 50 bus service is already over capacity and the air pollution on the A435 route into city is a cause for concern to many residents. The way we travel needs to be radically changed and this rail improvement is of paramount importance in achieving those changes.
I therefore urge that Planning Committee refuse this application – or require it to be reduced to the point where WMRE and TfWM are content that it will not prevent the future construction of railway chords at Bordesley”.
Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Birmingham Hall Green
I am really pleased that Birmingham City Council are fitting trip rails to preserve the green spaces along side Yardley Wood Road & Stoney Lane between Doris & Phipson Roads. David Farrow and I first started campaigning on this issue in March 2018. In September 2018 I submitted a 90 signature petition from residents calling for action to stop driving and parking of cars on these green spaces due to the damage they were causing to the grass, the danger to pedestrians and the extra pollution in an area that already suffers from excessive traffic. See my previous post about it here
Local residents campaigned years ago to stop these spaces being built on, they regularly litter pick and plant bulbs with the children from Anderton Park School. They very much value the green space as a community asset. After submitting the petition we were told there was no money, however we continued to make the case for action sending photographs and video evidence to the highways, parks dept and local police team. I organised two site visits with the head of Parks dept (who are responsible for the land) and following the second visit he agreed action was needed. This was started with the lovely planters on the corners of the greens to prevent driving across the pavement and now we have the trip rail being fitted. A big thank you and well done to the residents, especially to Elaine & Rob who didn’t give up and helped to lobby and provide the evidence we needed to get action.
I took a group from West Midlands 4 Europe to visit the European Parliament this week.
We joined up with the Lib Dem & Green MEP’s for a concert by the amazing Birmingham Folk Ensemble and the next day we held a rally getting on German and Spanish TV, the Washigton Post, Guardian and New European before visiting the European Parliament itself where we watched history in the making as MEPs debated the Brexit extension.
One of the things we learned from our visit to the European Committee of the Regions is that every region in the EU has local representatives, who help shape EU policies by working with MEPs to develop a closer relationship with local councils. They even vote on stuff! Our local representatives are Councillors Albert Bore (Birmingham) & Linda Robertson (Wychavon). Who knew that before? Suffice to say I will be asking Albert many more questions.
The sad thing that came up over and over again is how little is taught in UK schools about European history and that the EU was created as and still is a peace project. It’s like our history stopped at 1945.
Transport for West Midlands have launched a consultation into proposals to relieve congestion on the no 50 bus route including A435 Moseley & Alcester Roads between the city centre and Moseley. The proposals include widening the road on the stretch past Moseley Road baths between Brighton/Taunton Road and Haden Way to create a bus lane in to city. This would however result in the narrowing of pavements and loss of four mature trees. Another proposal is to widen the bus lane entering Moseley village and to remove the pedestrian refuge at the Salisbury Road / St Mary’s Row junction crossing from Boots to the village green. I’m all for more efficient bus travel but I cannot see how either of these proposals will make the A435 less congested, less polluted, discourage car use, discourage parking in bus lanes or improve the public realm for cyclists or pedestrians. I made a video showing where the bus lane will be.
You can see the full proposals and make your comments here The consultation closes on 22nd November
Singing happy inclusive songs near to Anderton Park School yesterday. Talking achieves more than shouting
Stewarding for thousands of young people making themselves heard in the centre of Birmingham! They were awesome and we should not underestimate how strongly they feel or how important this is.
I helped launch the Enjoy Kings Heath new charity ‘ Kings Heath Helping the Homeless’ yesterday at the street festival. It’s an alternative giving scheme similar to MAGC – Moseley Alternative Giving Campaign of which I’m also on the panel. So we will work closely together to help homeless and vulnerable people in Moseley & King Heath. Look out for collecting boxes appearing in shops, pubs & supermarkets in Kings Heath and please consider giving money there rather than directly to people who are begging.
I am so incredibly proud to be selected as Lib Dem Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Birmingham Hall Green
I passionately believe that as a country we are safer, stronger and better off inside the EU, working hand in hand with our friends and neighbours, with the deal we already have. Birmingham Hall Green voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU. And yet our current MP voted and campaigned to leave the EU, and despite a few words and some votes in the right places designed to placate, he has done nothing to even try to understand what the majority of us feel, our concerns and worries and our desire for unity and peace. He takes no interest in his constituency except where it will win him votes, he took sides with people who are actively promoting hate against a minority group and did not even bother to try to understand the full issues of what is going on or acknowledge the worries of the people who feel their hard won rights are being undermined and put at risk.
I cannot sit by and let him take the votes of his constituents for granted as he has done in the last two elections.
Having lived, worked and volunteered in the area for most of my life I feel I am in a good place to understand and tackle the very many issues that matter to people, such as local policing, crime, fly-tipping, pollution, poor levels of recycling and dirty streets, and to take on injustices that prevent people succeeding in life such as the housing crisis, lack of funding for schools, inequality, prejudice and racism.
“If elected I will be highly visible, hands-on, local, accountable and contactable and when someone needs help or advice I will be there for them because it doesn’t matter who they are, or what their politics are, everyone matters and we can always find common ground.
As your candidate in Birmingham Hall Green I will:
- Continue to campaign relentlessly for the UK to remain in the EU with the deal we already have.
- Fight for our environment by preventing waste, increasing re-use and recycling, expanding renewable energy and cutting air pollution.
- Make our neighbourhoods safe and clean places to live by tackling crime, championing neighbourhood policing and holding our police to account, supporting the vulnerable and homeless and working closely with community and business groups.