Since the Government failed to secure our borders in time and the Delta
variant reached Britain, we’ve seen Covid case rates once again rise at
an alarming rate. This week we saw the Government announce a delay to the
relaxation of social restrictions and Birmingham, move into enhanced
However, while case rates have been increasing, testing uptake in
Birmingham has not increased and vaccination uptake has also been low. It
is these issues which enhanced measures set out to address.
We know that the Delta variant, which is now the dominant strain in
Birmingham, is both more infectious and is more than twice as likely to
lead to an individual being admitted to hospital than with the Alpha
variant, without the protection the vaccine provides.
Getting a vaccination is important more than ever. After being vaccinated
twice, it is 92% effective against hospitalisation from the Delta variant.
This is why Birmingham City Council has set up pop up vaccination centres
in the 15 wards with the highest case rates and where vaccine uptake is
low. This weekend (19 – 20 June), vaccines will also be available to
anyone aged 18-39 at Aston Villa Football Club, the Holte End, from
10am-2pm. No appointment is needed and you don’t need to be registered
with a GP.
Last weekend, I received my second vaccine and I feel much more reassured
knowing I have this added protection from Covid. The whole process has been
quick, easy and is testament to all of our wonderful NHS key workers and
volunteers. Vaccine uptake rates in our constituency have been variable and
so I hope my positive experience, and the experiences of those around you,
will be encouragement to book your vaccine appointment as soon as you are
BOOK YOUR VACCINE APPOINTMENT HERE
MARKING THE FOUR-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE GRENFELL DISASTER
Monday 14 June marked four years since the Grenfell Tower fire disaster
where 72 people lost their lives. Since then, thousands of people have been
caught up in the fire cladding scandal, unable to sell their properties and
forced to pay thousands of pounds in weekly bills.
Labour has been fighting on behalf of these leaseholders to see that they
are not faced with having to pay remediation work which would cost
millions. Five times Labour has brought this to a vote. Five times the
Conservative have voted against it.
For four years leaseholders, including those in Edgbaston, have been left
living in fear of the place they call home, wondering if their apartment
will be the next disaster. The funding the Government promised has still
not yet reached leaseholders and new research shows that it won’t be
until 2043 that all buildings will be repaired. That’s another 22 years!
It is unacceptable and puts residents at greater risk of being caught up in
another disaster. Labour has called on Government to put a deadline in
place for work to be completed by 2022. The Conservatives again voted
against this, leaving residents feeling helpless and no end date in sight.
I will continue to work with resident groups in Birmingham to make sure
their voices are heard in parliament and we will continue to fight and
pressure the Government to do the right thing.
On Monday, I also joined with leaseholders from Hemisphere Apartments in
Edgbaston, and spoke to BBC Midlands Today about the national cladding
WATCH THE CLIP HERE
CLEANING UP OUR CONSTITUENCY
Over the last few years, I have worked with residents to call on Birmingham
City Council to take action against the growing issue with fly-tipping and
litter. We’ve had hot spots throughout the constituency where this has
been a problem with Welsh House Farm in Harborne, Woodgate Valley Country
Park or Hasbury Road in Bartley Green all regularly becoming sites for fly
I’ve raised this with both the Cabinet Member responsible for waste, Cllr
John O’Shea, as well as the Leader of the Council, Cllr Ian Ward and I am
now really pleased to say that the council has committed over £7 million
to help clear up the city.
This will include extra collections in dumping hotspots; more mobile
recycling vans; naming and shaming criminals who fly tip in our area and;
recycling unwanted electrical items.
I will be working with our excellent local councillors, Cllrs Kate Booth,
Jayne Francis, Sharon Thompson and Carl Rice, to ensure we get the
full-range of measures to clean up our communities.
I will be keeping you posted as soon as the schedule is confirmed for these
community clean ups.
DEADLINE FOR EU CITIZENS APPROACHES
The impact of Brexit will hit EU citizens from 30th June. EU nationals
living in the UK have just 12 days left to apply for post-Brexit settled
status before they can no longer claim their rights under freedom of
movement rules. After this date, anyone wishing to live and work in the UK
will have to apply for immigration status through the new post-Brexit
Latest figures show that 5.4 million people have applied to the scheme
since it was launched two years ago. If you are an EU Citizen and have not
yet applied or need advice on applying, please contact me on [email protected]
NEWS FOR EDGBASTON FROM THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES
With the 2022 Commonwealth Games getting nearer, the anticipation is
ramping up and all eyes are starting to turn to Birmingham. It will be a
really exciting time for Edgbaston with many events and activities taking
place across the constituency. In recognition of this, yesterday, New
Zealand took the opportunity to be the first country to announce their
base, or “House” as it is known, and have said that their whole team
will be based at Edgbaston Golf Club for Birmingham 2022.
Hopefully, many of you will have seen in my previous weekly update that the
recruitment of 13,000 volunteers has begun and will have started your
applications. Now, there’s more positive news that an additional £2
million in funding has been secured for the Birmingham 2022 Creative City
The programme will look to fund 150 separate projects that will fill the
city with creative work of all artforms. The Games are looking for
community groups who will work with artists so that every single ward in
area has at least one artistic project.