New figures released show that the jobs crisis in Edgbaston has continued
to worsen with the unemployment rate reaching 9.3%. This means that there
are 210 more people claiming unemployment benefit in just the last month,
and that’s 2,685 more people since last year.
With anticipated unemployment levels expected to continue rising and the
recent news that one in five self-employed people expect to be forced out
of business after a year of being excluded from Government schemes, under
Conservative plans the situation for Birmingham and the West Midlands is
only expected to worsen.
My view is that a coordinated and strategic approach to our economy is
needed to recover from this crisis. We need to be ambitious, and we need to
bold in our ideas and policies to actively stimulate our economy and
support local businesses.
Unfortunately, this year, the Government has done that opposite and has
entirely abandoned its industrial strategy. This is disastrous for the
Midlands’ economic recovery as it’s how we support high skill, high
wage, green jobs of the future.
Labour on the other hand, has proposed a comprehensive plan that would look
to support businesses and boost the job market while simultaneously
tackling climate change. It would help create 400,000 good jobs, protect
green spaces and make sure everyone has a warm home.
It’s therefore imperative that in the elections on 6 May we get a Labour
Mayor in Liam Byrne who understands the needs of Birmingham and the wider
region. Someone who will be fighting for our fair share of funding from
Government, who will be on the side of businesses and will lead the West
Midlands to become the home of Britain’s green industrial revolution.
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Cautiously coming out of lockdown
As of last Monday, we saw the start to our roadmap out of lockdown begin
with the ‘stay at home’ rule ending. Now, up to 6 people, from two
households can meet outside. This is a cautious but positive first step
that will see us on our way to recovery. Evidence shows it is safer for
people to meet outdoors. It’s why, in addition to meeting friends and
family outside, we can now use outdoor tennis and basketball courts and
take part in formally organised outdoor sports.
The latest Covid rates for each of our wards in Edgbaston are shown in the
photo above. While they are significantly decreasing, Covid is still
present in our communities. We’re hearing reports that only 1 in 5 people
are now getting tested when they have Covid symptoms. For us to stay on
track and continue to see the Covid rate decrease, we need to stay vigilant
and make sure that we’re getting regularly tested, particularly if you
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE COVID SYMPTOMS
Why representation in sports is so important
You can catch me on Sky Sports News this week after I visited Birmingham
City Football Club to meet Layla Banaras and discuss her recent success
after winning the Sunday Times Young Inspiration of the Year Award. Layla
was nominated for both her desire to be a role model for other young Muslim
footballers and trailblazing ambition to one day become the first Muslim
woman to play for England.
But the significance of Layla’s achievement can’t be understated. While
South Asian people represent around 8% of the population, of the 4,000
professional footballers, only 10 are of a South Asian background. The same
is true when we look at every level of football from the coaches, to the
referees and the governing associations.
Representation is important. It means that otherwise “unimportant
issues” are addressed and it’s how we move forward to solve problems
like racism in sport. I was so proud to see Layla taking such a positive
step forward in achieving her dream and look forward to seeing her playing
for England and inspiring more South Asian girls to play professional
Wishing you a Happy Easter
And finally, this bank holiday weekend, I would like to wish all my
constituents a Happy Easter. This is such a hopeful time of year which
couldn’t be more relevant as we come out of lockdown.
While Parliament might be in recess, I’m still working hard to make sure
that you’re concerns and issues are heard and supported. If you need help
and want to contact me, please do at [email protected]