by Councillor Claire Spencer
Some of you will be aware of the rather sad state of 50 Wake Green Road in Moseley, which has been recently publicised in a Daily Mail article. I have just received this update from Julie Taylor, Principal Conservation Officer at Birmingham City Council:
We are currently in correspondence with Chivers Commercial regarding this site, and we have highlighted our concerns regarding the condition of the building and an unwillingness for this to continue. We have agreed a way forward for the 2 missing fence panels to be reinstated in order to improve security and for a temporary hardboard floor to be laid over the existing floor in order to allow prospective purchasers to view the property.
I have asked Chivers to keep my Enforcement colleagues and myself informed of progress regarding the sale. I have also reminded them that their client has a duty of care towards the building and that the deteriorated state should be reflected in the asking price.
Following the sad death of our Police and Crime Commissioner Bob Jones, a by-election has been called for Thursday August 21st – two weeks today. We have chosen David Jamieson to be our candidate – a former Transport Minister who also has experience of being on the Police and Crime Panel.
In a recent letter to citizens, David Jamieson writes:
This Government will have cut over 1,500 West Midlands Police Officers by next March. Little wonder that some types of crime are once again on the increase. But in the 2 years since Bob Jones was elected he started up recruitment again with 450 new Police Officers going on to the beat. I will carry on Bob’s proud record of recruiting Police Officers, keeping them on the beat and I will not allow the privatisation of core policing services.
My promises to you. I will:
*Recruit Police Officers, despite the Government’s cuts;
*Keep Police Community Support Officers, as they provide vital support to Police Officers;
*Protect Neighbourhood Policing Teams;
*Stop the privatisation of the Police, by ensuring they are accountable to the community, not to company shareholders;
*Make sure that police officers are on the beat, not behind a desk.
We appreciate how inconvenient it is to have a by-election in the middle of August, but your votes matter to us, and they matter to the quality of policing in our region. So turn out, vote, and tell a friend!
Following on from Claire’s post yesterday, we have added a clip of her acceptance speech to YouTube.
by Claire Spencer
As you probably already know by now, I was returned as the new Labour & Co-operative councillor for Moseley & Kings Heath early on Friday morning. Also, Labour polled the most votes in Moseley & Kings Heath at European level:
Claire Spencer (LAB & CO-OP) 3099
Ernie Hendricks (LD) 1963
Elly Stanton (GRN) 768
Amil Khan (CON) 623
Alan Blumenthal (UKIP) 494
Michael Friel (TUSC) 110
Lib Dems: 873
In my acceptance speech, I said a few things that I would like to say again – probably with more eloquence now that I have caught up on my sleep! Firstly, I wanted to pay tribute to former Councillor Ernie Hendricks. We did not agree on everything: but he is someone who works hard, loves his neighbourhood and left a positive impression of politics and Birmingham City Council on people he worked with. Those qualities do not fall down party lines, and having more than one candidate who can offer that gives people a chance to cast a vote based on vision, based on ideas. I have a lot of respect for him, and am sure that his next steps will be positive ones.
I also wanted to pay tribute to the hundreds of Labour Party members and supporters locally who made this happen. It sounds like a cliché, but this was truly a team effort. From my agent Martin, to the wonderful, endlessly patient campaign team who brought so much experience, time and insight to shaping our activities, to each and every one of you who delivered leaflets, listened to voters and convinced your friends and family to vote Labour. You did this, and it is now our job to be part of a Birmingham that listens, reduces inequality and nurtures the public services that make a difference.
We have a mountain to climb in the next 12 months. The issues that made me want to stand for local government have not gone away. Tory cuts are threatening our services and local resources. Our Childrens Services are still leaving children across the city at risk. And the combination of the Bedroom Tax, a lack of homes and wider welfare reforms are robbing people of the peace and stability they need to lead contented lives.
And while this rages on, UKIP are turning people who emigrate and settle here into scapegoats for problems in society that they simply are not responsible for. I am the daughter of a woman who moved here from Iraq, who set up her own business and contributes to society and her local community. She speaks English, she speaks Soureth, she speaks Arabic. Sometimes she cooks kubbeh, sometimes she cooks a roast with all the trimmings. She is the embodiment of multi-cultural Britain. I live in a community which is beautiful and vibrant because it is made up of people who love living here. I will not allow UKIP to perpetuate the untruth that this is wrong, that this is hurting us. If an employer pays migrant workers less than minimum wage, stopping people living here from doing those jobs: I blame the employer, not the people looking for work. If we have not provided the opportunities for local people to develop the skills they need to get a job where they live, or to find a home where work is, then I blame government. And if we have removed decision-making so far away from people that it doesn’t matter if it takes place in Birmingham, London or Strasbourg, that is what we must fix.
We have a lot to do. But we can do it, and knowing that Moseley & Kings Heath is with us means more to me than you will ever know.