For the first time in several weeks all parts of Birmingham reported new
Covid cases. I was extremely concerned to see Edgbaston enter on to the
list of wards with the highest Covid rate in the city, with a rate of 285
The way we combat this is through regular testing. Regular testing is for
everybody, regardless of whether you’ve had two vaccines or not, as you
could still unknowingly be spreading Covid. To order free lateral flow
tests, it couldn’t be simpler, just click here  and follow the
However, if you have Covid symptoms or a positive lateral flow test, please
make sure you order a free PCR test here .
ORDER FREE COVID TESTS HERE
CALLING ON THE COUNCIL TO IMPROVE OUR ROADS
Earlier this week Quinton’s Councillor, Kate Booth, and I invited
Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Cllr Waseem
Zaffar, to come to the constituency and take a look in person at the state
of our roads.
This has been a growing issue that many constituents have contacted me
about and I have continued to challenge the council on this. It isn’t
right or fair that residents should have to put up with the disrepair of
our roads or the number of potholes that inevitably add to the costs that
car owners must pay to maintain their vehicles.
Now, the council has announced that it is investing £100 million into
maintaining and resurfacing roads. I invited Cllr Zaffar to Quinton to show
him how vital it is that this funding is spent on roads like Ridgeacre
Road, Firsby Road, Gorsey Road and many others across the constituency.
SUCCESS IN BATLEY AND SPEN
This week saw Kim Leadbeater win a fantastic victory in the Batley and Spen
by-election to follow in her sister’s footsteps and become a Labour MP.
Kim led a campaign based on hope, focused on issues that matter to local
people. In the face of intimidation and violence, Kim remained positive,
refusing to accept the division that some travelled to Batley and Spen to
It was an honour to join Kim’s campaign door knocking in Batley last
weekend and again to join with Labour volunteers from across our
constituency in Edgbaston this week, where we ran a phone banking session
in support of Kim. I look forward to working with her in Parliament,
putting our constituents needs first and holding the Government to account.
However, there’s still more work to do. The Government is moving forwards
with their plans to introduce Voter ID. I strongly oppose this move as it
will make more than one million people across the West Midlands ineligible
While voter ID seemingly sounds harmless, in practical terms, it would
require voters to have accepted forms of ID to take to the ballot box.
In the West Midlands, only 79% of people have a passport. That’s
1,149,137 who would no longer be able to vote. This number drops even
further, to 75%, when talking about the number of voters with a driver's
At the last General Election, there were no cases of voter fraud in
Birmingham. This means the Government would not only be limiting the
fundamental right of citizens to vote but spending £20 million on an issue
that doesn’t exist.
READ MY BLOG HERE
CHALLENGING THE GOVERNMENT’S COMMITMENT TO SOLVING THE CLADDING
Earlier this week I wrote to the Building Safety Minister questioning the
Government’s commitment to solving the national cladding scandal that has
affected thousands of people including over 340 residents in Edgbaston.
Four years on from the Grenfell tragedy, the Governments plans to fix the
cladding scandal face further delays that are entirely of their own design.
It is entirely unreasonable for leaseholders to be expected to live in
unsafe conditions, in homes that have been rendered uninsurable and
unsellable due to fire risks for which they bear no blame. Yet, this is
what they are being made to endure.
The Government’s Building Safety Fund (BSF) is designed to cover costs
for remediation work to unsafe buildings. However, the way the scheme has
been managed, has been widely criticised for the glacially slow pace it is
moving as well as for its limitations - it excludes funding for many fire
safety faults such as defects with balconies, insulation, and fire breaks.
The Government has warned that remediation works must be ready to start on
site by 30th September 2021 or risk losing funding. However, with many
questions still to be answered, we need a clearer response from Government.
For example, would the Government expect applicants to move forward with
partial remediation projects that do not address the full gamut of fire
safety faults that have been identified, despite this undoubtedly inflating
overall costs, or would the Government withhold funding until on site work
is able to begin in full?
All of these unanswered questions and delays add pressure, anxiety and
worry to the very people who the Government say shouldn’t be made to pay
for the crisis, leaseholders. In response to my letter, I hope to see more
urgency as well as clear responses from Government.
READ MY LETTER HERE
GET A HEAD START IN THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES TICKET BALLOT
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has announced the dates for the West
Midlands ticket ballot. From 14 July to 30 July people in the West Midlands
region will be encouraged to ‘be first in line’ to apply for tickets
for the Games.
A West Midlands Ballot will give people in our area the best opportunity to
experience the Games happening on their doorstep, by offering access to an
early release of tickets. This will be followed by the main ballot in
September for the wider ticket release.
For events in the West Midlands, Games tickets will include access to
public transport in the local area on the day of your event, with full
details being issued later this year.