birmingham council

#brumvotes14

2014 Campaign Launch

Our candidate for Hall Green in the 2014 local elections, Kerry Jenkins, was invited to speak at the 2014 Campaign launch held last week. Her key messages were to increase participation by all sections of the community and the need for local representation. She also took the opportunity to thank the many Labour activists and supporters who have assisted in the campaign for a #labourgain in Hall Green.

BIRMINGHAM LABOUR’S ELECTION PLEDGES

10300116_1409003012710436_1818475935467041104_n

TECH CITY

We’ll bring science and industry together to boost jobs of the future with a new University Enterprise Zone at the city’s heart.

A CITY OF APPRENTICES

We’ll create a Birmingham Apprenticeship Agency by bringing businesses and colleges together to double the number of apprentices over the next 18 months.

A LIVING WAGE CITY

We’ll work to get 10,000 more Brummies off the minimum wage of £6.31 and on  to a living wage of at least £7.65.

TACKLING CHILD POVERTY

We’ll create a Birmingham Child Poverty Commission to help the city’s schools, social care, health services and employers break the poverty that blights the lives of a third of our children.

TACKLING DRUG USE AND CRIME

We will always put victims first and tackle anti-social behaviour.  We will campaign to put police back on the beat.  Thousands are blighted by drug addiction and the crime that feeds it.  We will work with the NHS and the police, in a fighting partnership, to clean up addicts and take out their suppliers.

QUALITY HOMES

We’ll build 70,000 more houses over two decades and tackle rogue landlords to improve the quality of rented homes.

LEISURE AND OPEN SPACES

We’ll replace old leisure facilities with a £36m investment in leisure centres and work with residents to manage parks and open spaces.

STANDING UP FOR YOU IN EUROPE

Only Labour will protect rights at work such as 4 weeks paid holiday and time-off for Mums and Dads when their children are born.  The Tories and UKIP want to end these rights.

LABOUR’S ELECTION MESSAGE

Labour has got Birmingham moving again. More businesses opened their doors here, last year, than anywhere else outside London. We won more investment than anywhere else with the biggest Enterprise Zone in Britain. Our Youth Jobs Fund is getting young people back to work. Specialist school teaching is starting to give young people the skills they need for work. Now we want to go further: ¦ investing in jobs of the future; ¦ boosting apprenticeships; ¦ stepping up the fight for a Living Wage and the fight against child poverty; ¦ investing in new leisure centres and green spaces; ¦ driving out crime and drugs; ¦ building more homes for local people and driving out rogue landlords. This Tory-Lib Dem government has got it in for us. They’ve cut Birmingham’s budget twice as hard as the UK average – while giving Britain’s millionaires a tax cut. Only Labour is campaigning for energy bills to be frozen until 2017, free childcare for 25 hours a week for 3-4 year olds, a 10p rate of tax for the low-paid and a small firms business rate cut. Only Labour can make the difference; for Birmingham and for Britain.

Kerry Jenkins – our candidate on 22 May 2014

Q&A with our candidate on 22 May 2014 – Kerry Jenkins003

How long have you lived in Hall Green?

I have lived in Hall Green District since I was a child but moved into the Ward around 26 years ago.

Tell us something about your personal circumstances. Are you married and have kids?

Yes I’m married to a chef! I have four kids ranging from 13 t31. I am also lucky enough to have 6 grandchildren.

You are qualified as a Social Worker and have worked in the Youth Work related sector for many years. Why and what interested you in that field?

I returned to education as a mature student to undertake my degree in 1990. At that time I had three kids and the youngest was four. I have always been passionate about challenging inequality and believe that young people have a right to participate in decisions that affect them; that their voices should be heard and that they should be supported to campaign on issues they believe in.

Why do you love living in Hall Green?

I think we are very lucky to live in such a great Ward. We have great schools, a diverse community, good local small businesses and good transport links. And the trees! What isn’t there to love?

When did you think that you could represent your fellow citizens as a councillor in the biggest council in Europe?

It’s something I have been thinking about for some time but I only really got active in my local party about two and a half years ago. I believe that local government can only be as vibrant, effective and relevant as the people who are elected to run it. Councils made up of diverse individuals make better informed decisions and better represent their communities. I think I can add to this diversity, bringing my broad range of skills, life experience and knowledge as a councillor both within the bigger council and on a local level.

Why did you think that Labour was a place that would make you feel at home?

There was no other party in the running…I believe that Labour is the only political party that truly represents the interests of ordinary people, a party of social justice and one that believes in strong community and strong values.

What are your hobbies and interests outside all of this campaigning?

I try to keep fit and enjoy spin classes and yoga. I don’t get a lot of spare time but I like to read and am contemplating having a go at patchwork. Watch this space…

Are you a dog or cat person?

Impossible choice as I have one of each.

Do you think that community organisations play an important part in Hall Green?

Most definitely. I was instrumental in setting up WeAreB28 as I recognised that there was a need for a cohesive approach to signposting and promoting the fantastic work done by many organisations across Hall Green. For many, a lack of accessible resources such as a web presence had resulted in the services being provided remaining hidden from much of the community that they were being provided for. Through WeAreB28 we have been able to act as an umbrella organisation for these organisations and have provided a diverse range of resources and events that have brought together many different parts of our community.

What keeps you awake at night?

The terrible plight of so many living in poverty. My own children, with children of their own are feeling the pressure of rising energy bills, rising food costs coupled with a cut in benefits and child tax credits. The growing inequality of the society we live in is being perpetuated by the ideological attack on those most in need by our current government.

Do you think that the Labour pledges for 2015 have a place in Hall Green?

Most definitely. I applaud Labour’s commitment to help ordinary people in contrast to helping those living in extreme wealth. Labour’s pledge to get rid of the disgraceful bedroom tax, the increases in free child care, the freeze in energy bills and the cuts to business rates will help all sectors of our community.

If you had a magic wand what would you do for Hall Green?

Hard question but I would want to ensure that the essential services for young and old were sufficiently resourced, that our assets were restored to their original beauty and that all living in Hall Green felt part of a real community.

Why should we trust you to deliver what the people of Hall Green want ?

The only way to know what people want is by getting out and talking to people and this is what I have been doing for the past 18 months. Listening to the views of residents is the only way to really identify the needs. This I have done through my campaigning work, through my street stalls and through speaking to people on the doorstep. I believe that if we work together as a community we can achieve great things. This is my community and I will work hard to seek additional resources as well as protecting the services we have.

Birmingham Highways Maintenance and Management Service Guidance

This document is important as it spells out what we should receive in terms of service from AMEY as a result of the 25 year contract given to them by the previous Liberal Democrat/Tory administration. If you do not feel like you are not receiving the service spelt out in this document then please let us know so that we can hold them to account.

AMEY was awarded this lucrative contract to ensure the improvement and repair of our roads, maintenance of our footpaths, bridges, street lighting and traffic signals along with the upkeep of street scenery such as safety barriers, seats and trees.

We do not feel that there is a system in place for accountability and your Labour councillors have demanded that a schedule of work be made available to them. They will do everything in their power to ensure AMEY is held to account over the services they provide.

If you need to report a problem or isuue then please ring the dedicated number – 0121 303 6644 – this call will be logged and this means we can track action taken.

For those of you online then a really useful website is Fix My Street and issues can be recorded here which will then be passed to the council.

The government needs to do more to make this a recovery for the many

David Cameron and George Osborne are once again in a jubilant mood. Today’s employment figures reveal a sharp decline in unemployment – another vindication, we are told, for the government’s economic policy. Yet here in the West Midlands, the news is somewhat mixed. On one hand, the region has been fortunate to see the biggest fall in unemployment – 32,000 – of anywhere in the country. On the other hand, at 8.1%, the rate of unemployment, particularly in Birmingham, remains far higher than the national average. The government needs to do more to ensure that cities like ours can get people back into work.

One of the reasons Birmingham and the West Midlands has a high unemployment rate is the large number of young people in the region, who are disproportionately affected by the government’s austerity policies. Nowhere near enough has been done for young people here or elsewhere in the country; the Work Programme has been a catastrophic failure, meaning that young people who could have been helped by the previous government’s Future Jobs Fund are in danger of being left on the scrapheap. Nothing short of Labour’s Jobs Guarantee, ensuring paid work for young people, will address this problem and help bring Birmingham back into line with the rest of the country.

The problem does not end with those still unemployed, however. Across the city, as in the rest of Britain, we see an increasing number of working people finding it harder to make ends meet. While George Osborne has said that he would like to see the minimum wage rise to £7 per hour, a move that would be welcome to many households in Birmingham, it still would not go far enough. Any increase in the statutory minimum wage should come with incentives to businesses to offer a living wage. The government has still failed to act on soaring energy prices, and its attempts to cap rail fares have made little difference to commuters, many of whom have seen the price of their daily journeys increase yet again in the new year. We have a government that is not only not taking enough action to reduce unemployment, but it is also neglecting those who work hard and still struggle at the end of the month. Prices are still rising faster than wages, as they have done for so long under this government – this cannot go on. Life would be different under a Labour government.

Labour is leading the way locally and nationally on employment and living standards. Our own City Council pays all of its employees a living wage. A Labour government would incentivise businesses to pay a living wage, and ensure that energy prices and rail fares are capped, so that work pays and people can afford to live properly. Labour would secure a recovery that worked for everybody: young and old; those on low and middle incomes; those in work and those who want to work. People right across Birmingham are better off under Labour.

Labour saves Hall Green Library

Great news as draft district budget is set. Needs to be agreed by Lib Dems but surely they will vote in favour if it means saving the library?

Read all about it here:

We don’t need another supermarket in Hall Green or do we?

Another planning application has been submitted by Aldi for a new store to be built on the disused garage site on Stratford Road/Wycome Road area, just metres away from Waitrose and this is due to be heard at a meeting of the planning committee either in mid September or early October.

Currently, I do have some concerns regarding the proposal and the possible implications it will have not only on our Ward, but on the daily lives of local residents. I have lodged a formal objection to the application and will speak in opposition at the planning meeting.

I do hope that the planners can allay these concerns and am working with local residents, campaigning against this application until that time.  Whatever your views, it is important that you make your voice heard. I would like to give all residents the opportunity to make their views known and there will be a public meeting on Tuesday, 6.30pm at the proposed site, Startford Rd / Wycome Rd jnct so that residents can learn more about the issues and share concerns or views.

Residents of Hall Green Ward are still able to participate in this consultation and if you haven’t done so already, then it is imperative that you share your thoughts. You can view the plans here by quoting reference 2013/05304/PA. They are also available in the Library.

A campaign has more chance of success when it has a strong collective voice. We may not win this fight but we will be heard.

You can help strengthen the campaign by signing the petition 

 

 

 

Name
Email
Address
What do you think?

Sam Burden hails successful bid for Birmingham’s Cycling policy

1360231027326-6pm35fb8ht5q-280-75
This week the Government announced that the bid for the Department for Transport’s Cycle City Ambition Grant has been successful and Birmingham have been awarded £17 million of government funding which is further topped up by Birmingham’s own funding to create an overall investment package worth £24.3 million. This will deliver the first phase of an ambitious 20 year plan to support cyclists across the city, delivering a step-change in levels of cycling and building on key cycling projects.

Sam Burden said “Cycling is one of my passions and delivers health, environmental and traffic improvement benefits for all. Birmingham has languished at the back as a supporter of cycling and I hope this provides the impetus to make Birmingham a cycling city.”

For more information please contact Sam on 07962 220010

Share Button

City council children’s services described as ‘utter chaos’

khyra-ishaq-137487805-3891663

The children’s social care watchdog committee heard the department is on course to spend its fifth year tagged as inadequate unless there is a drastic turnaround. Labour backbencher Coun Barry Bowles (Hall Green) was equally scathing suggesting: “There seems to be a reluctance from the director to attend the committee. Bad organisation doesn’t come from the bottom up, it comes from the top down If we don’t get it right there are consequences for the children in our care.”

Read the full article here – Birmingham City council children’s services described as ‘utter chaos’ – Birmingham Post.

We’re Rebuilding Britain