Happy Chinese New Year 2019!

Chinese New Year is a very special time for Chinese people, I was delighted to celebrate it with friends, family and also to meet our Prime Minister at No. 10; which was beautifully decorated. Chinese school children from across the country were absorbed making arts and crafts at the heart of government, running around oblivious to their surroundings!

2019 is the year of the Pig, which brings great fortune and luck. People born in the year of the pig are (according to Chinese superstition!) good-tempered, kind-hearted, positive, and loyal. People born in the Year of the pig are honest and frank in personality.

Wishing everyone prosperity and good health in the year to come!


Ask Andy

Andy has continued his tour around the West Midlands hosting his “Ask Andy” events, this time in Sutton Coldfield. Around 70 Sutton residents braved the winter weather to ask Andy a wide range of questions from Green Belt protection, the decline of our high streets, cycling and future technologies. Answered with humility and experience and unafraid to get back to residents if he did not have the complete answer, Andy is someone who once you meet, you will know he is not your normal politician.



Women’s Suffrage- Celebrating 100 years

Celebrating 100 years since the first UK Election in which women were able to vote. Immensely proud of the progress we have made together in ensuring womens’ voices are heard extending the franchise by 8.4 million women. 1928, was a Conservative government which passed the Representation of the People Act giving the vote to all women over the age of 21 on equal terms with men.

 


Operation Black Vote in Birmingham

Delighted to catch up with my good friend and mentor Simon Woolley, Director of the influential Operation Black Vote in Birmingham. Over the past ten years we have worked together on voter registration, BAME representation in politics, getting young inspiring stories front and centre inspiring the leaders of tomorrow. An incredible individual who has done so much for so many.


Opening of John Taylor Hospice Store in Wylde Green

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As the Local Councillor for Wylde Green, I had the delight of being present for the opening of the new John Taylor Hospice charity store in the ward and saying a few words to those who were present about the valuable work the hospice does. It was a pleasure to have been a part of it all alongside John Taylor’s Lead Nurse, Jody Thompson, who had the honour of cutting the ribbon, and the CEO of the hospice, Penny Venables.

John Taylor Hospice has been providing expert ‘Taylor-made’ end of life care for families in Birmingham since 1910.

You can visit the charity shop on 370 Birmingham Road, it is open Monday-Saturday between 9am-5pm.


Mental Health matters

Summary of the powerful Samaritans Suicide Statistics Report 2018.

Summary of the key trends contained in this report.

  • In 2017 there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
  • 5,821 suicides were registered in the UK and 392 occurred in the Republic of Ireland.
  • In the UK men remain three times as likely to take their own lives than women, and in the Republic of Ireland four times more likely.
  • The highest suicide rate in the UK was for men aged 45-49.
  • The highest suicide rate in the Republic of Ireland was for men aged 25–34 (with an almost identical rate for men aged 45–54).
  • There has been a significant decrease in male suicide in the UK, and the male suicide rate is the lowest in over 30 years.
  • The suicide rate in Scotland decreased between 2016 and 2017 – this appears to be driven by a decrease in the female suicide rate.
  • Suicide in young men in Scotland increased for the third consecutive year in 2017

We can all do a little something from really asking ‘how are you’ to someone else, striking up a conversation to someone on the train platform, spending a few hours volunteering at a helpline, or fundraising and sharing social media posts. The more we talk about it, the more it becomes okay to talk about it.

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50. Lets talk about it.


Hosting a Chinese International Delegation in Birmingham

Proud to host a delegation from the Chinese Legislative Affairs from China in Birmingham with the Lord Mayor Cllr Mosquito. They spent their time in our city and prominent members of the Birmingham Chinese Community asking about our systems, democratic processes and the challenges between National legislation and local decision makings. Very informative for all attending and further building relations.


Travel Assist- a failed service failing Disabled Children

Back in early October, over a month on from when guides and chaperones were arbitrarily removed from school routes taking disabled children to and from their home three days before the start of term, parents and schools had yet to hear back from officers

0_travel-assist-protest-92018regarding a way forward.

Questions have been asked how these potentially dangerous and last minute changes could have been put through, what is being done to safeguard these children, what risk assessments have been done and why lessons have not been learnt from past years and the OFSTED inspection a few weeks ago. And despite meetings and reassurances given for immediate replies, no answers have been given.

As the Shadow Cabinet Member for Children’s Wellbeing, I have been leading the voice for the parents. I have yet to receive satisfactory answers, but I am pushing hard to have the questions raised, answered by those who have implemented these changes.

Over the weeks I have had meetings with parents, whose children have been affected by this poor decision. Many have expressed that they are their wits end and are at a total disappointment with the actions condoned by the Council.

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As the Governor at Wilson Stuart School, one of the schools affected, I have formally asked for a review into the Travel Service system to ascertain exactly what happened in September, if risk assessments were done to children affected as suggested, that only the children with the lowest needs had their guiding support removed, and why parents and schools were not consulted ahead of these changes being imposed.

With just days after OFSTED rendering a damning judgment on the council’s SEND department, if the Council cannot safeguard the wellbeing of 30 disabled children to and from school, and cannot treat children, schools and families in a humane and compassionate manner, how are we able to trust them with the running of the wider council?

I will continue my battle for these children, schools and parents until all questions have been rightfully answered.


A Representative Magistracy for Britain

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Delighted to be down in London with fellow magistrates who are all under 40 and Lord Adonis discussing ways to improve the representation of our magistracy in Britain.

A shocking 96% of magistrates are over 40 and only 12% are BAME. I myself am the only British Chinese Magistrate in the whole of the West Midlands and was the youngest when I got appointed over ten years ago. Time flies, and it has been an immensely enjoyable and rewarding experience making a real and lasting difference to my home city of Birmingham. Would strongly encourage anyone thinking of serving their community to apply and find out more information.