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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Home-to-School Transport for 0-25yr olds in Education

Labour-controlled Birmingham City Council today voted to push ahead with an entire overhaul of their 0-25yr old home-to-school Assisted Transport service despite concerns raised by parents, cross party councillors and the Department for Education.

These changes combine all transport arrangements for everyone using home-to-school transport. After the initial decision was ‘called in’ by my myself and Cllr Debbie Clancy, and unanimously agreed by the cross-party Children’s Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the matter was referred back to Cabinet for their reconsideration 22nd May 2019.

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Four waste Cabinet Members in less than one year..

Well this sums up Birmingham City Council for you. After just three months in charge, Cllr Brett O’Reilly is stepping down as the city’s Clean Streets, Waste and Recycling Cabinet Member.

The waste strikes in Birmingham have cost the city well over £12 million pounds and is being subsidised by funds meant for vulnerable older people. It is the collective failure of the Labour controlled council which has caused the strikes and their mismanagement that has cost the city dearly in money and reputation.

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Home For Good

Every year 40,000 children and young people come into care in the UK. We want every child to have stable and loving home where they can thrive.

Home For Good

It all started with a key! For several months I have been supporting Home For Good with their celebratory event in February 2019 at Birmingham Cathedral. The event designed to celebrate the work of foster and adoption families across the city is a brilliant initiative by Home For Good which I was delighted to offer my help towards. The message is simple- we all can play a part in unlocking a home for a child. Take a key and make a commitment to champion fostering and adoption in Birmingham. What can we all do to help find a home for someone without.

Home For Good calls on our faith as Christians to help and care for the vulnerable through the church network to create supportive communities promoting and supporting fostering and adoption.

https://homeforgood.org.uk/


China West Midlands UK

Honoured to be invited to speak at the CWM2020 dinner alongside Cllr Ian Ward, Birmingham City Council Leader, Beverly Nielsen from Birmingham City University, Paul Faulkner, Chamber of Commerce and many other distinguished guests.

“China will soon be the biggest economy in the world. It holds a fifth of the world’s population and has a distinctive cultural inheritance. Although the West Midlands has good connections with China, we can all benefit from further developing this relationship by celebrating and strengthening the economic, social and cultural ties between China and the West Midlands.”

CWM2020

We envisaged that throughout 2020 there will be a series of events with China related elements at various times and in different places, starting with the Chinese New Year 2020 and finishing with Chinese New Year 2021. For example, museums, theatres and art centres in the region that could run exhibitions and shows with a cross-cultural China theme. Similarly, the universities, schools, sports clubs, community organisations and business groups could run seminars and events during the year. The various local authorities could invite their twin cities in China to visit and participate in the events. All these China related events can be badged as China West Midlands 2020. The key message CWM2020 wants to convey during the preparation stage in 2018/19 and in 2020 is the strengthening of connections in business, education, culture, arts and sports for deeper understanding, greater collaboration and mutual prosperity between the West Midlands and China.

CWM2020 was started by the Chinese Community Centre, Birmingham Business Focus and Birmingham China Business Forum, with it’s steering group consisting of Julian Lloyd-Webber (Chair), Beverley Nielsen, Didi Xiao, Debbie Jagla, Peter Cannon, Bill Good, Yeow Poon and myself. It’s aims and ambitions have been endorsed by Andy Street the West Midlands Combined Authority Mayor.

Strong community leaders working together supporting the future of the region.


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.


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.


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.


Birmingham Young Conservatives

Ever determined to support the growing number of unheard young Conservatives in Birmingham, together with the West Midlands Mayor Andy Street we have established a Birmingham YC Branch!

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Over several meetings hosted at various locations including the BCEC Birmingham, we have got over 35 people from a variety of backgrounds all under 25 keen to get involved and drive this forward.

With the lead up to Conservative Party Conference in October hosted in Birmingham, and with so many opportunities to get involved this is a brilliant time to get involved.

I am very inspired by what a group of passionate individuals such as the ones around the table are setting out to achieve- to really be the difference they want to see in the city. We in the Conservative Party are supporting them all the way

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Do get in touch if you are interested in getting stuck in!