While the votes are still being counted from yesterday’s elections, I
would like to thank everyone who voted for our brilliant Labour candidates.
I would also like to say a huge thank you to everyone who volunteered and
campaigned on their behalf. The power of Labour is in those who stand up,
work hard and are counted and I only hope we get the representatives we
This afternoon we should hear the results of the Quinton By-election.
Elaine Kidney will make a fantastic councillor. One that will work hard for
the residents of Quinton and will make a difference to people’s lives. I
hope to be working side by side with Elaine as she takes her seat.
Over the weekend we will learn who our new Metro Mayor is for the West
Midlands and our Police and Crime Commissioner. After a decade of
Conservative cuts to Policing, the region has lost 2,200 police officers
and unsurprisingly, crime has risen substantially. I hope we see Simon
Foster and Liam Byrne being given the chance to work together. One of
Liam’s pledges is to return 450 community police officers to our streets
and to really push back against this Conservative Government to get the
West Midlands our fair share. This is exactly what we need. We can’t
afford to have another four years of passive acquiescence.
Saif Lodge ordered to close
On Tuesday, an eight-week closure notice was granted by Birmingham
Magistrates Court that will see an unsafe and substandard exempt property
forced to close for the first time in Edgbaston. On behalf of the residents
that live nearby and who have been affected by the longstanding issues with
anti-social behaviour and with the property attracting drug dealers and sex
workers, I was delighted to hear this news. While exempt properties are
needed, the vulnerable residents who use this type of accommodation,
shouldn’t have to live in substandard housing without the support they
need; and neither should the business operating the property be able to
impact the community so critically.
Moving forwards, I hope this serves as a roadmap where other problems with
exempt properties exist and acts as a deterrent so that to other exempt
providers should they not operate in a responsible manner for both their
residents and their neighbours.
READ MORE HERE
Expressing my solidarity with India
I joined together with the nine other Birmingham MPs to write a letter to
the Consul General to express our solidarity with India as they face this
second deadly wave. On behalf of the 1.5 million people in Britain’s
Indian diaspora, we are determined to play our part and the UK needs to
step up its support to India in its hour of need.
Watch me on BBC News  explaining our cross-party letter and talking
about what more the Government can and should be doing.
READ THE LETTER HERE
The Clean Air Zone is nearly here. Are you ready?
The Clean Air Zone is due to launch in Birmingham, in less than a month.
With a go-live date of 1 June, a fee will be placed on drivers of vehicles
that are particularly high polluting and when they enter certain parts of
the city. This is a part of a plan to tackle unsafe levels of nitrogen
dioxide in our air around the city centre and contributes to as many as 900
deaths a year.
Before the launch date, please make sure that you have checked your vehicle
to find out if you will be charged when travelling through the Clean Air
Zone. If your vehicle isn’t compliant and will be charged, you can also
find out if you are eligible for a temporary exemption permit  or
financial incentive  on the links provided.
Please find out more information about Birmingham's Clean Air Zone
including charges, timings and operations on the link below.