Papyrus- West Midlands 5th Year Celebrations

Four years ago I celebrated the first birthday of Papyrus- Suicide Prevention and last week I returned to celebrate it’s 5th together with the Birmingham Lord Mayor, those affected by loss, and the inspirational volunteers and staff of the charity. Suicide remains the biggest killer of young people under 35 in the UK. Papyrus believes rightly many young suicides can be prevented and works passionately to reach out.

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Council Tax Refunds for Missed Waste Collections- Rejected twice by Labour

Two sets of bin strikes paralysed the city from 2017 ending only in March this year. Do you remember the inconvenience and mess for this basic service? Not only did they cause misery for thousands of residents with some not having any collections for 10 consecutive weeks, but they cost the city a over a staggering £15m in total.

Two years ago this week, I submitted a petition of over 14,500 signatories from residents calling for a proportional refund to their council tax. Calls for this apology refund was disgracefully voted down at committee- on the Labour Chair’s casting vote after it was tied 4-4 in December 2017.

Incredibly waste strikes resumed December 2018 lasting a further 3 months until March 2019. The final insult to residents..

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Voter ID

Her Majesty’s Queens Speech this week will include a new Electoral Integrity Bill which will make photo ID’s a requirement at the ballot box, limit the number of relatives who can act as a proxy, and outlaw the “harvesting” of postal ballots by political parties and activists.

Unsurprisingly this has met with resistance from Labour MP’s, Councillors and activists who say this would threaten democratic participation and disenfranchise large sections of society. A central part of their argument is that approximately 3.5 million UK Citizens do not have access to photo ID and in 2013-14, around 11 million did not have a passport or driving licence and so potentially ineligible to vote.

The starting point in this debate must be the integrity of our democracy: would Voting ID’s restrict voting or enhance it’s integrity. I believe firmly in a strong democratic process that has integrity and in which people can rely upon.

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Wylde Green Residents Meeting

Another packed Wylde Green residents meeting and Neighbourhood Forum AGM updating residents on another very active year by the forum and holding the election of committee members for the coming year. We also discussed local matters in Wylde Green including waste, planning applications, crime, parking, a Q&A from our MP Andrew Mitchell and briefing from New Hall Police.

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Macmillian Coffee Morning

Delighted to support #MacmillianCoffeeMorning at my local church of St Johns in Walmley where we raised a terrific sum to support a brilliant organisation.

Macmillians provide physical, emotional and financial support for those with a cancer diagnosis. With one in three being affected by cancer at some point in their lives “whatever cancer throws at you, they are there for you”

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EHS Ethics Forum Discussion

Superb morning today at my sisters old school Edgbaston High School speaking on their Ethics Forum discussion panel covering questions posed by students including knife crime, homelessness, the use of language in politics, voting at 16, and of course Brexit!

Thank you for listening so respectfully to dissenting and opposing views, sharing, your sharp and insightful questions and being so wonderfully engaged in our democracy!

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