Monday, December 03, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
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
UPDATE 06/10/2007: He's bottled it!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
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
Monday, July 02, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
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.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Monday, June 04, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
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
- 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
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.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
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
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
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
- Recycling collections. Not all residents are getting their boxes returned to their front doorsteps - I will get the Council to sort this out.
- 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.
- 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
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
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.
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.
P.S. I do wish that more people voted...
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
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.
Monday, March 12, 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 (http://tinyurl.com/36eftl)
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
Hope to see you there!
UPDATE 14/03/2007: Agenda just published. You can read it here: http://tinyurl.com/3xadyt
Sunday, March 04, 2007
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
Friday, February 16, 2007
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
- Saturday 10th February at 10.00 am
- St. John's and St Peter's Church, Darnley Road, B16 8TF (http://tinyurl.com/yj7l4x)
- Agenda items include a swimming pool for Ladywood ward and a discussion of the Icknield Port Loop development. Download the full agenda at http://tinyurl.com/2xjp8q.
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
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 http://www.brightcove.com/title.jsp?title=472121918&channel=353512426.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
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 http://tinyurl.com/29zgle.
If you'd like to join the KIN to receive this kind of information, please go to http://tinyurl.com/y5h40t.
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
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 http://www.towards2010swb.nhs.uk/. 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.
Friday, January 19, 2007
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
Friday, January 12, 2007
Sunday, January 07, 2007
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.)