Monday, December 03, 2007

Toronto Gardens Cleanup

Your local Conservative Hit Squad recently visited Toronto Gardens off Court Oak Rd to see what we could do. We’d had reports of litter and leaves piling up and making the area unpleasant for the many elderly residents. Our Parliamentary Spokesman Cllr Deirdre Alden, Quinton Councillor Jane James and I turned up and got it sorted. We hope that our efforts made the environment more pleasant for everyone!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Today has been cancelled

This is something that appeared on the main website and in several national newspapers today, and I think well worth repeating. Click the image for a better look...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Quinton Ward Gets Greener – Again!

I'm delighted to announce the continued success of the Quinton Green-Up Campaign.

We planted over 600 trees in Quinton ward during the previous two years, and this year sees another 200. Trees improve air quality, enhance the street scene and increase the amount of local wildlife. This campaign is greatly improving the environment for thousands of residents across Quinton ward. It’s yet another example of your local Conservative team delivering results on the ground.

Next to get the green-up treatment is the area around Wedgewood Rd, Faraday Rd and World’s End Lane. The team will also be picking up some other roads, including some that need to be finished off from last year.

Everyone living in the target areas will be given prior notice and have the opportunity to comment before work starts.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Brown Fritters?

'Frit' is a Lincolnshire colloquialism for 'frightened', made famous by Margaret Thatcher in 1983. She was accusing Labour's Denis Healey of being frightened of her calling a General Election.

On Wednesday, I returned from Conservative Party Conference, buoyed up by David Cameron's great speech. Any accusations that he lacks substance were firmly put to bed - there were plenty of policy proposals, incuding raising the threshold for inheritance tax and stamp duty. We're going to pay for this by a flat rate tax on so-called 'non-doms' - typically very rich people who live in the UK but don't pay normal tax for various reasons.

Labour's playing a very cynical game on this. Before we announced our policy, the (Labour-run) Treasury claimed that they didn't have any figures on non-doms. But when we announced it, Labour said that our sums didn't add up, based on figures magically obtained from the Treasury! The reality is that we've come up with some well researched, well costed policies and they're using every trick they can to try and undermine them.

Well, it won't work and the British public won't fall for it. So Mr Brown, why don't you call the election - we're ready. Or are you frit?

UPDATE 06/10/2007: He's bottled it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Guest Post from Praguetory

Sorry I haven't posted for a while - things have been very busy in Quinton! Today's post is a guest post from my good friend Praguetory.

Since 1997 Labour MPs have been returned in all but two of the 11 Parliamentary seats within the borders of Birmingham. At Westminster we rely heavily on Labour representatives. A recently published government report on unemployment by constituency makes depressing reading for Brummies.

With the exception of Sutton Coldfield, all seats in Birmingham are ranked as having among the highest rates of unemployment in the UK, with Birmingham seats taking the top three positions in a league table that you don't want to head.

1. Birmingham Ladywood
2. Birmingham Sparkbrook & Small Heath
3. Birmingham Hodge Hill
12. Birmingham Erdington
16. Birmingham Perry Barr
39. Birmingham Yardley
56. Birmingham Edgbaston
71. Birmingham Northfield
77. Birmingham Selly Oak
78. Birmingham Hall Green
446. Sutton Coldfield

In 1997, unemployment in Birmingham was 10.6%, 1.7 times the national average. In 2006, unemployment in Birmingham stands at 8.9%, 3.4 times the national average. In every year since 1997, the difference between unemployment rates in Birmingham and the rest of the country has widened.

And yet, Steve McCabe, a government whip and the Labour MP for Hall Green is in denial in Monday's Birmingham Post! Since 1997 Labour has utterly failed the people of Birmingham. Their locally elected politicians such as the mendacious McCabe stand complicit.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Planting success in Quinton

I was out on Saturday weeding and replanting the planters on the corner of Gorsy Rd and Quinton Rd West. Cllrs Jane James and Deirdre Alden were also there, along with a team of local Conservative volunteers. We got a lot done and hopefully brightened up the place. If you'd be interested in sponsoring a planter or two, drop me an email!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Local footie tournament

Yesterday, I attended a football tournament where the focus was kicking racism out of football. Loads of teams of youngsters from around the area were playing, including several from Quinton. I was there with Cllr Jane James from Quinton (right) and Cllr Deirdre Alden, Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Edgbaston Constituency (left). All the boys and girls had a great time! Match report on Deirdre's blog.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Busy weekend

It's been a busy weekend!

On Saturday morning, a team of local Conservatives (myself included) spent some time strimming, weeding and otherwise cleaning up the junction of Upper Meadow Rd, Hansom Rd and Arkwright Rd in Quinton. Doing this ourselves is only a temporary measure until we get something permanent arranged with the Council. The place looked much better after we'd finished, and certainly the residents we spoke to agreed. Thanks to all who helped, including Cllr Len Clark and Cllr Jane James from Quinton, and Cllr Deirdre Alden, Parliamentary Spokesman for Edgbaston Constituency.

I spent most of yesterday at Harborne Carnival, manning the Conservatives stall. We must have given away over a thousand balloons and plenty of our 'Carnival Special' leaflets. Loads of people came up and spoke to us, and it was a very useful way of engaging with local people and finding out about current issues. The carnival as a whole was a great success and it looked like everyone was having fun. Again, Len, Jane and Deirdre were there, along with Cllr John Alden from Harborne, volunteers from Conservative City Branch, Birmingham University Conservative Future and many others.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

And so it starts again...

Was out in Quinton yesterday and delivered a few hundred leaflets. Probably should have avoided doing some of it at midday as it was a bit hot. Good thing I had some sun lotion in the car, or I would have ended up looking like a pork scratching. Dog bite count was zero, although there were some close shaves...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Scottish Parliament visit

I'm in Edinburgh with work, so I took the opportunity to meet up with John Lamont MSP for a lunchtime tour of the Scottish Parliament. John was elected in May for the constituency of Roxburgh and Berwickshire, and deservedly so. He's been working very hard there for many years, building up his support and engaging with the electorate on bread-and-butter issues that matter to them, whether it's a lack of dentists, proposed hospital closures, even rod licences!

I was very impressed by John's work ethic and he's running an amazing number of surgeries now he's been elected. John was kind enough to show me the Parliament chamber (I was tempted to sit in the Presiding Officer's chair, but didn't) and his office, complete with something called a 'Thinking Pod'...

A very interesting and informative tour, and I'm sure I'll be seeing John again at Party Conference if not before. Keep up the good work mate!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What a shower

There was a special edition of Newsnight last night, with all six Labour deputy leadership contenders. Here's my verdict:

Harman: Lose the power dressing.
Johnson: Likeable, but it's as if the Eighties never happened.
Cruddas: See above.
Hain: Statesman-like, but boring.
Benn: Dull, but at least he didn't use any notes.
Blears: Disaster area. Go on Labour, elect her.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Yesterday's real headlines

  • The Bank of England raises interest rates to a six-year high.
  • The projected cost of the Government's ID card scheme rises by £400m to £5.31bn.
  • Tony Blair doesn't resign as Prime Minister or even as leader of the Labour Party, but talks about it a bit.

Coincidence? You decide...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Yesterday, today and tomorrow

So there you have it - the last of the English council results have come in. And let's not pretend otherwise, they're a great set of results for the Conservatives, on top of a great set of results last year. Even some of the Labour bloggers are honest enough to say so.

Tomorrow, Tony Blair will almost certainly announce that he's standing down as Prime Minister. He'll try to take the rap for these results, or at least be blamed by the rest of his Party for them. His ten years in office have been a missed opportunity, and I've been racking my brains this afternoon trying to think of anything positive he's achieved since D:Ream's Things Can Only Get Better rang out that day in May 1997.

The only things I can come up with are ASBOs (which hopefully one day won't be needed anymore) and the continuation of the Northern Ireland peace process, which was started by his Conservative predecessor John Major with the Downing Street Declaration. Yesterday, people across Northern Ireland witnessed the product of the process so far when the DUP, Sinn Féin and the other parties sat down together in government.

But as one Labour Prime Minister gives way to another, let's not forget the tax rises, the billions wiped off pension funds, the rewriting of the government's own fiscal discipline rules, the economic problems stored up for the future. This isn't just the legacy of Tony Blair, it's the legacy of Gordon Brown.

Well done Nigel!

Bournville Councillor Nigel Dawkins has been selected as the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Birmingham Selly Oak. Having grown up in Selly Oak Constituency, I remember the heady days of the late, great Sir Anthony Beaumont-Dark, the Constituency's last Conservative MP.

Nigel was selected by an open primary, which is a new innovation for the Conservatives and British politics in general. This allows anyone, regardless of political affiliation, to vote for their preferred candidate. As a party, we're trying very hard to broaden our appeal, and hopefully this will go some way to doing just that.

The incumbent (Labour) MP is standing down, and with a fair wind and a healthy swing, let's hope that Nigel can win it for us. Well done Nigel, and good luck!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Elections Reflections

I've been on holiday in Suffolk over the weekend, and I've had time to gather my thoughts about last weeks elections.


1. Having my car broken into and my sat nav nicked while I was leafleting. (For the record, it wasn't on display and there were no suction marks on the windscreen). On the plus side, the police officer who attended was very professional.

2. Getting two parking tickets while I was leafleting. I got one of them despite texting the new service you can use instead of pay-and-display, because the replacement car I was driving (see 1) had a different registration number than the one they had on record for me. Particularly annoying.

3. Waiting for hours for someone to deliver 67 postal votes to be included in the count. This meant that we didn't get a result until far later than usual.

4. Losing our outright majority in Solihull, but I'm sure we'll get it back next time.


1. All the people who helped me in so many different ways, be it leafleting, advice or just being there. You know who you are. Thanks.

2. Those 732 pieces of paper that showed that 732 people had taken the time and trouble to write an 'x' next to my name. If I knew who all of you were, I'd come round and thank you personally.

3. Our three gains in Birmingham. Very many congratulations to Barbara Wood in Kings Norton, Colin Hughes in Billesley and in particular to my friend Gareth Compton in Erdington, who trounced Susanna McCorry on a huge swing to the Conservatives.

4. Albert Bore going out of his way to compliment my campaign in his re-election speech. Always good to receive compliments from your political opponents.

5. Being attacked (in all but name) in at least one of Labour's leaflets. You know they're getting scared when they do that!

6. Seeing Labour run around Ladywood leafleting like crazy to try and counter my active campaign. The amount of effort they put in was evinced by the number of Labour activists at the count. This must have hampered their ability to operate in Birmingham's more marginal wards.

7. In the early hours of Friday morning, finding out that John Lamont had become a Member of the Scottish Parliament for Roxburgh and Berwickshire. I met John at the Conservative Party Conference last year, and I know how hard he's been working.

8. Looking at the BBC website (above) and seeing that we've gained 898 Conservative Councillors and 38 Conservative Councils in England.

I've thoroughly enjoyed being the candidate for Ladywood and I'll carry on trying to serve the people of Birmingham in whatever way I can. And as I said in my speech at last week's count, I'll always be proud to call myself a Conservative.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Thank you!

Thanks to everyone who voted for me yesterday. A clear second place is a very positive result for the Conservatives in Ladywood, and many congratulations to my colleagues across the city and country for the remarkable gains we've had. More later...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Vote for Peter Smallbone TODAY!

Thursday 3rd May is the day that you can vote for positive change in Ladywood Ward. Please vote for me.

Don't forget - polling stations open from 7am until 10pm
Don't forget - you don't need your Polling Card or ID to vote
Don't forget - voting only takes five minutes

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Out and About

My team and I did a load of leafleting round Icknield Port Loop over the weekend. I spoke to many residents during our rounds, and the following themes came out:
  1. Recycling collections. Not all residents are getting their boxes returned to their front doorsteps - I will get the Council to sort this out.
  2. Illegal dumping and litter. Residents aren't happy that dumped fridges etc just get a sticker put on them, rather than stronger action being taken. One resident suggested putting a skip at the end of the road from time to time to take litter and larger items. I don't know about the viability of this, but again I'll take this up with the Council.
  3. Noise. Some residents are unbelievably inconsiderate. I've suggested making a complaint directly to the Council - the offender shoudn't be able to find out who you are.

All in all, a great weekend's work and I'm looking forward to the election on Thursday May 3rd.

Finally, great to see such an amazing turnout in the French presidential election. If only we could get 85% in Ladywood!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Gordon Brown Ate My Pension

We had some fun yesterday handing out a spoof tabloid newspaper at New St Station, illustrating Gordon Brown's shameless tax raid on UK private pensions. This was part of a national campaign at commuter hot spots and accompanied Shadow Chancellor George Osborne's 'No Confidence' motion in the House of Commons.

Labour had a rent-a-mob handing out something or other, but they didn't stay as long. No sign of their candidate either...

Then it was off to another part of Ladywood Ward, where I finished off a round of leafleting. Finally a campaign meeting. Phew!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Register to vote by Wednesday 18th April...

...or you won't be able to vote in the election on Thursday 3rd May.

It's easy - just download the voter registration form, print it out, fill it in and send it off.

If you don't know whether you'll be around to vote on the 3rd, then just apply for a postal vote. Download the postal vote registration form. Again, you've got until Wednesday 18th April.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

It's Official!

Last night, I came home to find a letter from the Council telling me that my nomination for the Ladywood Ward election on 3rd May is valid. Bring it on!

Just like last year, I'm the only candidate who lives anywhere in Ladywood Ward!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What Happened at the Ladywood Ward Committee

Sorry I've not posted anything for a while - I've had a touch of 'man flu'. Back in business now...

The Ladywood Ward Committee took place about a week and a half ago. Cllr Albert Bore even stayed for the first 45 minutes! Here's what happened.

The News Team's Swimming Pool Presentation

This was a well constructed combination of reportage and archive footage. It was particularly interesting to see the demolition of the Monument Road baths, over which the old Labour council presided.

Neighbourhood Policing in Central Ladywood and Summerfield

Presentation by Sgt Des Lambert. The main purpose of neighbourhood policing is community engagement, and to this end the police work with the Council, the Housing department and so on.

Sgt Lambert warned us about a recent spate of bag snatching on roads such as Gilby Road - thieves target this area in the hope that people have just visited cash machines on Broad St.

He also told us about a recent survey that the police have distributed. If you received it, please fill it in - you can return it for free.

The whole of Ladywood Ward is now an alchohol exclusion zone! This means that if you see anyone drinking in public anywhere in the Ward (including all of the City Centre), they are committing an offence.

Environmental Wardens in Ladywood Ward

Environmental Wardens patrol the Ward, looking for litter, graffiti and other similar problems. They also perform an education function and have enforcement powers.

Cllr Hartley piped up and announced that Ladywood has been judged the cleanest Ward in Birmingham! Er, really? Tell that to the people that contact me about rats around Ladywood Middleway!

You can contact the Wardens on 0845 113 500.

I raised one of my pet issues, that of noise. I consider noise to be an environmental crime, but it doesn't appear to be a priority for the Environmental Wardens, which I found a bit disappointing.

Grant Approvals

Various grants were approved, including the one for the City Centre Neighbourhood Forum (of which I am a Committee Member).

Coach Parking in the City Centre

This is a problem whenever the ICC has a major event on. This has been significantly improved since the police started threatening coach drivers with penalty points. Well done!

Friday, March 16, 2007


  • There are 16,219 voters in Ladywood ward.
  • The ward's Labour councillors were elected with about 1,300-1,600 votes.
  • That means that out of all the voters, only about 10% voted for them.
  • If only 11% vote for someone else (like me), that person wins instead.

Pretty simple!

P.S. I do wish that more people voted...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Friends of Edgbaston Reservoir AGM

Edgbaston Reservoir and the surrounding roads are within Ladywood ward. The Friends of Edgbaston Reservoir is an organisation that tries to preserve the character of this jewel in the crown of central Birmingham - they have been at the forefront of the opposition of the proposed Tower Ballroom redevelopment for example.

None of the Ladywood Labour ward councillors attended the meeting. I don't know why. You'll have to ask them...

Nick Bird from ISIS was first up. ISIS is a sort of development corporation part-owned by British Waterways. They control all 28 acres of land inside Icknield Port Loop, which is a canal loop adjacent to the Reservoir.

This whole area is ripe for redevelopment, alongside adjoining land owned by Advantage West Midlands (a development corporation funded by central government) and Birmingham City Council. All these organisations apparently co-ordinate activities in something called the 'Landowners' Forum'. I must admit that this was the first time I'd heard of this body. Nick said that the Forum 'could work better', which set a few alarm bells ringing. I must find out more about it, and who from the Council participates. It is absolutely imperative that the area is redeveloped as a contiguous area - we should aim for a situation where it's almost irrelevant which 'player' owns which bit of land. All of them have a public service remit after all.

ISIS's bit will be a mixed-use, housing-led development. A figure of 1000 residential units was mentioned. 1000 units? How are all the inevitable cars going to get in, park, and get out again? This needs some serious thought. Nick mentioned that a 'car club' might help - something that's been tried in New York. Perhaps.

ISIS is doing a bus tour of the area showing people their ideas. Sadly I couldn't find the timetable on their website, so all I can say is to look out for it!

I thought that ISIS were good to come to the meeting, but the whole thing is lacking detail at present. In particular, architectural style and housing mix have a huge influence on how an area 'performs'. We need to avoid 1000 identical, boring, grey flats built on the site. Similarly, we need to avoid wacky designs - the kind of buildings that architects build just to impress other architects. Nick gave some assurances that the development won't be 'another tentacle of city living'. However, we all know that 'pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap' often appeals...

The remainder of the meeting involved discussions around the Tower Ballroom site and Harborne Walkway (a disused railway track bed now popular with walkers). I won't go into too much detail on the discussions as I think it's only fair to wait until the FER has published their meeting minutes.

All in all, a very worthwhile evening. Thanks to St Augustine's Church for hosting the meeting in their hall, and to TNT News for filming it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ladywood Ward Committee, Tues 20/03/2007

The next Ladywood Ward Committee will take place as follows:

  • 7pm, Tuesday 20th March 2007
  • The Boughton Hall, Ladywood Community & Health Centre, St. Vincent Street West, B16 8RP (

Topics will include:

  • Neighbourhood Policing in central Ladywood / Summerfield
  • Report from the Environmental Wardens
  • Televised report of the Ward Committee meeting on 10 February 2007 relating to the development of Icknield Port Loop

Download a poster for the meeting.

Hope to see you there!

UPDATE 14/03/2007: Agenda just published. You can read it here:

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Recent round-up

I've been busy this last week or so:

Thursday 22nd February saw the
City Branch AGM. We have a brand spanking new committee, full of ideas and enthusiasm, all determined to make the Branch the place to be for Birmingham's graduates, city centre workers and anyone else who wants to join.

On Thursday 1st March, a load of us from City Branch attended
Birmingham University Conservative Future's drinks event at the Mailbox. The event was very well attended, with guests including Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden and Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Richard Shepherd MP and our very own Cllr Deirdre Alden, Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Birmingham Edgbaston. My memory of the evening gets a little hazy towards the end, but I do remember winning a bottle of wine in a raffle I must have entered.

Yesterday saw a record attendance at my canvassing/surveying event in Ladywood ward. We got a lot done - still a lot to do, but hopefully you'll see me or one of my friends before the election on Thursday 3rd May.

After that, we scooted over to Quinton to do some canvassing for Cllr Len Clark, a long-standing and popular local Councillor, who I'm sure is set for victory in May.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Weekend Survey

Along with some other local Conservatives, I spent some time over the weekend surveying parts of Ladywood ward. I spoke to loads of local people and I was very interested in what they had to say. I'm trying to get round all of the ward before the election, so if I haven't come knocking yet, chances are I will!

On a different subject, I'd like to welcome Cllr Stephen Bentley who has left Labour and joined the Conservatives on Telford & Wrekin Council over the weekend, citing disillusionment with the Labour administration. The Conservatives are making constant progress in our region against a backdrop of Labour waste and failure - welcome Cllr Bentley!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Target: Kings Norton

Kings Norton (its park is above) is a ward in the South of Birmingham, and it's one we're going to win on 3rd May. We have a strong candidate in Barbara Wood, and to show my support I'll be leafleting there tomorrow morning. We're all meeting up at about 10.30 am - if you'd like to join us, please drop me a line...

UPDATE 18/02/2007: Yesterday's leafleting went very well - the only snag was that my MP3 player ran out of power before the end...

Monday, February 05, 2007

Ladywood Ward Committee - second post

A few more details have emerged about the next Ladywood Ward Committee:
  • Saturday 10th February at 10.00 am
  • St. John's and St Peter's Church, Darnley Road, B16 8TF (
  • Agenda items include a swimming pool for Ladywood ward and a discussion of the Icknield Port Loop development. Download the full agenda at
Again, the cheek of the Labour councillors never ceases to amaze me. In power for twenty years, their only achievement was to close Ladywood's only swimming pool at Monument Road. Now that they realise the Conservative-led administration is here to stay, it's on the agenda faster than you can say 'no petting'. Coincidence..?

Also, let's hope that Cllr Hartley controls the meeting a bit better and stops it being used as a sandpit for one or two, and enables it to be a forum for all.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Conference comes to Ladywood ward!

Yesterday, Conservative Chairman Francis Maude MP offically announced that the 2008 and 2010 Party Conferences will be held at the ICC, in our own ward of Ladywood. Francis Maude commented, 'Following the success of our 2006 Spring Forum in Manchester, we are delighted to be bringing our main conference to England's second city.'

This is a massive vote of confidence in Birmingham and its Conservative-led Council under Mike Whitby. The Conference is likely to generate about £20 million of economic activity for the ward and the surrounding area.

I can but wonder whether our own hugely successful City Branch drinks event last December played some small part in the decision...

UPDATE 05/02/2007: Watch The Stirrer's interview with Francis Maude and Mike Whitby about the announcement at

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Terrorism-related arrests

I just want to say a few words about the recent arrests in Birmingham under the Terrorism Act. We live in an uncertain and unstable world, and threats can come from anywhere. The police have clearly been working hard behind the scenes in difficult and challenging circumstances. If what we've been hearing in the media is true, the police have foiled a very serious plot and they deserve our gratitude.

For obvious reasons, the police have to remain quite tight-lipped about some of the specifics, in case it affects ongoing operations or the due process of law. However, West Midlands Police did release a statement earlier via the Key Individual Network. You can read the statement at

If you'd like to join the KIN to receive this kind of information, please go to

At times like these, it can be tempting to believe that the police are deliberately targetting one community or another. However, nothing could be further from the truth - it's just that the nature of the threat means that sometimes it can look that way on the surface. The police are trying to protect us all and and they continue to have my full support.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

City and Sandwell General Hospitals: What's happening

Last night, I attended a public meeting at Ladywood Arts & Leisure Centre, discussing the changes at City Hospital and Sandwell General Hospital. Neither is in Ladywood ward, but we're reliant on these hospitals providing a good service.

It's fair to say that the meeting wasn't well attended; this goes for the Ladywood Labour councillors too, none of whom was there.

You can find full details of the proposals at In summary:
  • Concentrate inpatient planned general, orthopaedic and some other surgery at City.

  • Concentrate inpatient emergency general/trauma and inpatient lower bowel surgery at Sandwell.

  • Create a PDU (Paediatric Assessment Unit) at City.

  • Concentrate children's overnight stays at Sandwell.

  • Level 1 neonatal unit at Sandwell.

  • Level 2 neonatal unit for younger, sicker babies at City.
I asked a question about recruitment of nursing, medical and other staff from developing countries - I don't think we should be depriving these countries of this essential resource, and we should be capable enough of providing our own. I was told that there is no barrier to recruiting anyone from any country. Strange, because I thought that the Labour government had announced a moratorium on recruitment from developing countries. Can anyone shed any light on this?

Friday, January 19, 2007

New con trick in Birmingham city centre

I've just received this email from West Midlands Police that I thought I'd share with you:

Police in central Birmingham would like to take this opportunity to advise you about a new trend whereby pairs of young people, both male and female, are approaching people with clip boards or pieces of paper and allege that they are collecting sponsorship, donations or conducting a survey. These groups speak to and distract victims whilst they are stealing their valuables, sometimes by covering the victim’s property with the clip board or magazine and stealing valuables from underneath.

Some of these offences have been occurring in cafes and pubs.

We ask you to be aware of the security of your belongings. If you have any information or concerns please call Steelhouse Lane police station on 0845 113 5000. Or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
In an emergency please call 999.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Jewellery Quarter competition

Are you a Jewellery Quarter jeweller? Fancy making a name for yourself?

30 years ago this year, Lord (then Sebastian) Coe won his first major title: the 800 metres at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Spain. Birmingham City Council’s Creative Industries Team is looking for someone to produce a gift for Lord Coe to commemorate his arrival on the international scene, to be presented when he attends this year's Championships at Birmingham's NIA.

There's a £500 prize up for grabs, plus a further £500 for production costs.

The deadline to submit your design is 26 January, with production in February. For further information, contact Shasta Rashid: / 0121 303 2462.
P.S. Prize if anyone can correctly identify the attached trophy...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Ladywood Ward Committee

The next meeting of the Ladywood Ward Committee will take place on Saturday 10th February at St. John's and St Peter's Church, Darnley Road, B16 8TF ( No further details as yet, including time. Will let you know when I know!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Today's agenda

Sorry things have been a little slow on here over the last couple of weeks - Christmas happened, then I was on holiday over New Year. It turns out that there wasn't a computer at the top of the mountain where I was. Had a great time though, and I'm raring to take on Labour in May.

Today, I'll be out and about round Ladywood taking the photos for this month's leaflet. I'm tempted to go on the offensive regarding Labour's recent activities in the area: this year's candidate Albert Bore has recently been appointed Chair of University Hospital Birmingham by a four-person panel which was selected by a former Labour Councillor and contained another former Labour councillor, a current Labour Councillor and a known Labour supporter. This additional workload is bound to affect how much time he can give to the people of Ladywood.

There also seem to be some strange goings-on in Ladywood's Constituency Labour Party. Elaina Cohen, a defector from the Conservatives, has recently taken up an official position and looks to be manoeuvring to be Labour's next Parliamentary Candidate after Clare Short goes...

(Thanks to Duncan Borrowman for the image.)