After working hard and studying in the most difficult circumstances,
thousands of students across Edgbaston will have received their A Level,
GCSE and BTEC results this week.
I would like to take this opportunity to extend my congratulations to
everyone who received their results. You should be extremely proud of what
you have achieved in these truly unprecedented times, and I would like to
wish you the best of luck with your next steps.
However, these results have also shown us the glaring inequalities that
have been allowed to develop during the pandemic. Since 2019, the gap in
attainment between students on free school meals and their peers has
increased by a third. In practical terms, it means that these students are
less than half as likely to get a Grade 7 (A) or above in their GCSE
This need not be the case. The Government acted painfully slowly in
distributing laptops and internet data. They repeatedly failed to feed
students on free school meals, instead relying on local councils, schools,
and communities to step in and act. This apathy from the Government has
inevitably hampered children’s learning throughout the pandemic.
The Government has been warned that without action the Covid legacy will be
one of widening inequalities, yet their recovery plan is woefully
insufficient. Labour has set out a bold recovery plan that would invest in
and support every child to bounce back from the pandemic so that they can
so they can learn, develop, and have a bright future. It’s time the
Conservatives get behind Labour’s plan and match our ambition for
CRIME IN THE CONSTITUENCY
I have been speaking to businesses in Harborne about how they are coping
since we’ve moved out of restrictions. They told me about how they are
increasingly concerned about the unacceptable number of break-ins on the
High Street. I've spoken with the Inspector West Midlands Police and to
Harborne Village about the measures that are needed.
But this comes as almost no surprise as crime has been rising across the
country and across the constituency. Since the Conservatives have been in
government, we've lost 2,100 Police officers across our region, we’re
seeing record low convictions for rape and anti-social behaviour has
increased by 50%.
The choices made by the Conservative Government have had direct
consequences in our community. But it doesn't have to be this way.
Labour would redirect the £280m that has been earmarked for the Prime
Minister’s new government yacht and spend it in areas like Quinton,
Bartley Green, Harborne and Edgbaston to tackle anti-social behaviour. This
level of funding could pay for PCSOs, help Birmingham City Council fund
enforcement activity or pay for additional CCTV.
Labour would work to end violence against women and girls. They would
increase sentences for rape and stalking, review sentencing for all
domestic abuse, and put in place better support for victims of rape and
sexual violence – delivering where the Conservatives have failed to step
We also need more support for our youth services that have seen funding
cuts of £1bn, 750 youth centres close and more than 4,500 youth workers
lose their jobs all under Conservative rule. This needs to be addressed so
that young people have safe places to spend their time.
More than ever, we need a government that is willing to stand up and
protect people. This doesn't mean slashing funding to key services or
taking Police off our streets. It’s the reverse. It’s committing to
ensuring more Police Officers are patrolling our streets and that is
exactly what you would see from a Labour Government.
If you would like to have your say on crime in our community, please make
your voice heard by responding to our survey.
COMPLETE THE SURVEY
LAST CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
As you will no doubt already be aware, next year the Commonwealth Games
will be coming to Birmingham. With it, has brought lots of jobs and
volunteering opportunities. In fact, the Commonwealth Games is looking to
recruit more than 13,000 spirited, dedicated and dynamic volunteers to be
the heartbeat of the Commonwealth Games and to help deliver the biggest
sporting and cultural event the West Midlands has ever seen.
However, the deadline for applications is Tuesday 17th August. So, if you
want to be the face of Birmingham 2022 and to be a part of something truly
special, be sure to get your application in by Tuesday.
APPLY TO BE PART OF THE COLLECTIVE
ADVICE SURGERIES UP AND RUNNING
Last week I was happy to recommence my constituency advice surgeries. Being
able to once again meet with residents on a face-to-face basis and support
them with issues was fantastic.
While last week’s surgeries were on a limited basis due to the
availability of community spaces, I am delighted to say that from next
month, 3rd September, my advice surgeries will return to their usual
sessions with regular locations.
If you have a question or concern that you feel I can assist you with, if
you are an Edgbaston resident, you are more than welcome to come along to
one of the below sessions and I will be happy to meet with you.
FIRST FRIDAY OF EACH MONTH
NORTH EDGBASTON_ - 10.30-11.30am St. Germain’s Church, City Rd, B17 8LE _
BARTLEY GREEN _- 2.30-3.30pm Newman University, Genners Lane, B32 3NT _
QUINTON_ - 5-6pm Quinborne Centre, Ridgacre Road, B32 3TW _
HARBORNE _- 6.30-7.30pm Lordswood Girls School, Knightlow Road, B17 8QB_
SECOND THURSDAY OF EACH MONTH
EDGBASTON _- 10.30-11.30am Edgbaston Community Centre, 40 Woodview Drive,
B15 2HU _