Birmingham news and blogs Tuesday 26 September 2017
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25 Sep

My next Councillors surgery is tomorrow (26th) ay 9.35am at the 610 Community Centre.

The very least the UK owes the Rohingya is protection 

24 Sep

Blame for the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Myanmar is very easily traceable to British Colonial times.


24 Sep

Wheelie bins due to be emptied on either 27th or the 28th this week .


24 Sep

Councillor Barbara Dring and I will be out and about again this week checking on the cleanliness of some of the bus shelter in the Oscott area.

Next Rubbish Collection In Edgbaston 

23 Sep

The next scheduled rubbish collection for Edgbaston Ward is on Wednesday Sept 27th.

Andrew Mitchell meets with Blue Cross to condemn animal cruelty in Birmingham 

22 Sep

Blue Cross, the pet charity, recently met with Royal Sutton Coldfield’s MP to discuss their recent report ‘Unpicking the Knots’.

Tour Of Birmingham University’s Sports Centre 

22 Sep

Many thanks to Birmingham University Sports Fitness for showing me and Cllr Mat Bennett around their fantastic new Sports Centre this morning.

Bin Collections 

21 Sep

Following the High Court judgement yesterday (September 20th), Birmingham’s bin strike has been suspended pending the full court hearing in November.

Response to latest Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel letter 

20 Sep

Councillor Ian Ward, Interim Leader of Birmingham City Council, has responded to the Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel’s (BIIP) letter to the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Bournville Ward Unlikely To See A Bin Collection Before October 

17 Sep

 Latest plans to clear the streets of Birmingham from months of waste do not feature a collection for Bournville ward for the rest of September, so the earliest that residents of Bournville, Stirchley, Cotteridge and Masefield are likely to see a ...

Edgbaston Tricentenary Festival 

17 Sep

In 1717 Sir Richard Gough purchased the Calthorpe Estate and it has been owned by the Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe family for the last 300 years.

Statement re Grandparents and Locked Bedroom Case 

15 Sep

I have now reviewed the case paperwork for the above case where I have been asked for further and better particulars of the situation with the final hearing and had a meeting with the grandparents.

Andy Street Celebration 

14 Sep

Great to be one of the 500 Conservative supporters joining Andy Street at Edgbaston County Cricket Ground this evening – celebrating success and getting an update on all the things he’s been doing.

Bin Strike Update 

13 Sep

Not surprisingly, yesterday’s Full Council meeting concentrated mostly on the bin strike currently engulfing the city.

Houses of Parliament rugby team plays in the Royal Town. 

12 Sep

The Royal Town’s MP, Andrew Mitchell, welcomed the House of Commons Lords Rugby Team to Sutton Coldfield for a celebrity match against The Old Veseyans – the old boys of Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School.


12 Sep

The Friends of the Queslett Nature Reserve Grot spot team ( who carry out litter picks in various spots in the Oscott Ward) are looking for volunteers.

Why I voted against the EU Withdrawal Bill 

12 Sep


Latest Secretary of State response to Improvement Panel 

11 Sep

The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has written a response to a letter he received from the Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel on August 4.

Statement from Cllr John Clancy 

11 Sep

The following is a statement issued by Cllr John Clancy this afternoon (September 11): “It has become clear to me that frenzied media speculation about the Birmingham waste dispute is beginning to harm Birmingham City Council and the...

Andrew Mitchell opens Communitea, Sutton Coldfield’s newest community café 

8 Sep

The Royal Town’s MP, Andrew Mitchell, has officially opened Age Concern’s dog-friendly community café ‘Communitea’ in Boldmere.


7 Sep

As many Oscott residents are aware Both Councillor Dring and I live in the hart of the Oscott ward and know the area very well.

Birmingham welcomes Commonwealth Games decision 

7 Sep

Birmingham today (7 September 2017) welcomed the decision by the Commonwealth Games Delivery Unit (CGDU) to recommend it as a Candidate City to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Council House complex and BM&AG feasibility study 

7 Sep

Plans for major modernisation works to the Council House complex and redevelopment of Birmingham Museum Art Gallery have taken a step forward with a contractor-led design team being appointed to conduct a feasibility study for the project...


7 Sep

About 5 years ago a number of cherry trees were donates by trees for life to the Aldridge Recreation Ground.


6 Sep

I was pleased to join up with the FQNR Grot spot litter picking volunteers today.


6 Sep

Have been out and about with Councillor Barbara Dring checking that wheelie bins are being emptied in the Oscott area as agreed.

The Mogg to Descend on the Royal Town 

5 Sep

Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, who has recently been feted within the Conservative Party as a future Leader and Prime Minister, is to visit the Royal Town and speak at the Royal Sutton Coldfield Conservative Association Annual Dinner.

Statement re false allegations from Esther Baker 

5 Sep

Statement by John Hemming I am pleased that the Police have now made it clear that there has been a concerted effort to promote false criminal allegations against me and that the allegations had no substance whatsoever.

Drive to get more men into social work 

5 Sep

Social work charity Frontline has launched a recruitment campaign to attract more men into social work.

22 reasons Brum should get 2022 Commonwealths 

5 Sep

With the decision due soon as to whether an English Bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games will be submitted and, if so, whether it will be Birmingham which becomes the UK’s Candidate City, the bid team has today compiled a list of 22 reasons...

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Bin workers strike support group launch meeting Tue 3 Oct 7pm Council House 

25 Sep


Birmingham Northfield MP wins national road safety award 

25 Sep

Accolade honours longstanding commitment to safe vehicle development.

A local alternative to Uber? 

23 Sep

Transport for London has decided not to give Uber a new license, though its app (Uber requires drivers and users to have a smartphone) will still be operational in London while Uber appeals against the decision.

Car crash politics 

23 Sep

Will Mapplebeck fishes for the best politico-tv on the box.

Universal Credit – another cut for many of the poorest? 

22 Sep

In 2015, Welfare Weekly reported that research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found that 2.6million working families on Universal Credit would lose £1,600 a year from the changes and 1.9 million would be £1,400 a year better off.

Brumful of weekender fun 

22 Sep

Two years ago in September 2015 Birmingham saw a weekend of celebrations with a Birmingham Weekender, https://birminghamcentral.

COMMENT: Proscribing National Action – considering the impact of banning the British far-right group – PQ Blog 

22 Sep

This was a short comment piece I was asked to write for the PQ Blog (PQ being short for Political Quarterly).

SUBMISSION: Written Evidence – Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement 

22 Sep

The Select Committee on Citizenship & Civic Engagement recently put out a call for evidence relating to a series of questions/issues it was keen to investigate.

COMMENT: National Action – what I discovered about the ideology of Britain’s violent neo-Nazi youth movement – The Conversation 

22 Sep

This was a short comment piece I wrote for the always interesting The Conversation following the arrest of serving British Army members that were alleged to be members of the proscribed neo-Nazi group, National Action.

COMMENT: Müslümanlar’ın Entegrasyonunda “Çözülmesi Gerekenler” – Perspektif 

22 Sep

Here’s a link to my most recent contribution to the German-published, Turkish language periodical, Perspektif.

CHAPTER: Islamophobia – Routledge Handbook on Christian-Muslim Relations 

21 Sep

This recently published collection – edited by my colleague here at Birmingham, David Thomas – duly includes a chapter by me, somewhat simplistically titled “Islamophobia”.

Vindicated? Council leader had authority to act: a trial will be in the public interest 

21 Sep

The BBC reports that, at a High Court hearing in London on Wednesday, Mr Justice Fraser dismissed the council’s argument that Mr Clancy had no authority to make a deal at ACAS with Unite.

Demolition starts green heart beating IV 

21 Sep

Twenty days on from my last post, Demolition starts green heart beating III , work to bring the facade of the former main library down is transforming University Square and creating the open space that will become a Green Heart for the campus.

Mark Blackstock 

20 Sep

November 20th 1961 – August 3rd 21017...

The Conservative Party needs winners and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street is one of them 

20 Sep

He's already helped them win in the West Midlands but could Andy Street do even more for the Conservative Party...

Transfer of Council Early Years staff to new employers – Union recognition refused by two providers 

20 Sep

On Thursday 14 September the Joint Trade Unions GMB and Unison held an update meeting with management over the proposed transfer of BCC staff to the winning contractor Birmingham City Healthcare Trust (BCHT).

The city’s Labour ‘moderates’ bear out Matthew Parris’ description   

18 Sep

“ Courage and principle.

Universal Credit seemed like a good idea but will the Government admit it’s not working out? 

18 Sep

A new benefits system has left people behind with their rent or dependent on food banks - and taxpayers are footing the bill...

WMNEG: social changes in Sweden  

17 Sep

West Midlands New Economics Group meeting: Ulla Grant is going to talk about: “The Swedish Model”,  the historical background, its effect on social changes in Sweden, how the “Swedish Model” has declined since mid ‘70s due to economic and ...

Fascist Britain First look to incite Islamophobia after Parsons Green attack 

16 Sep

Following the appalling terror attack in Parsons Green, in London, the fascist and anti Muslim group Britain First,(BF) have again tried to inflame Islamophobia.

It’s rarely the mistake itself, but the denial which ends the political career 

15 Sep

John Clancy would still be council leader if he'd owned up to mistakes on his aborted bin strike deal...

COMMENT: Müslümanlar’ın Entegrasyonunda ‘Çözülmesi Gerekenler’ – Perspektif 

15 Sep

As you may be aware, I now write regularly for the German-based Turkish language periodical Perspektif.

COMMENT: Channel 4’s The State: disturbing and accurate reminder of idealism gone wrong – The Conversation 

15 Sep

Here’s a piece I recently wrote for the always informed The Conversation in response to criticisms directed at BAFTA award-winner Peter Kosminsky’s Channel 4 drama series, The State.

ARTICLE: Brexit, Birmingham and Belonging: Anxieties About ‘Home’ Among Secondary Migrant Somali Families – Sociological Review Blog 

15 Sep

Here’s a link to a piece recently published by the Sociological Review that was co-written with my long-term friend and collaborator Özlem Young.

ARTICLE: Political Approaches to Tackling Islamophobia: An ‘Insider/Outsider’ Analysis of the British Coalition Government’s Approach between 2010–15 – Social Sciences 

15 Sep

You can download my new article “Political Approaches to Tackling Islamophobia: An ‘Insider/Outsider’ Analysis of the British Coalition Government’s Approach between 2010–15” by clicking here.

COMMENT: London Nach Dem Terror, Regierung und Muslime müssen miteinander reden – IslamIQ 

15 Sep

Following on from writing for the Turkish-language German-based periodical Perspektif, I now have my articles republished – and translated into German – for IslamIQ.

COMMENT: Birleşik Krallık: Konuşulması Gereken “Zorlu” Konular – Perspektif 

15 Sep

Here’s my second piece I’ve written for the Turkish-language German-based periodical, Perspektif.

COMMENT: Britain must address the pervasive ‘white noise’ against Muslims – The Conversation 

15 Sep

Here’s a piece I wrote for the always excellent The Conversation.

COMMENT: Why Theresa May Is Wrong To Suggest That Islamophobia Is A Form Of Extremism – Huffington Post 

15 Sep

You can read a comment piece I wrote a while ago about why Theresa May was wrong to refer to Islamophobia as a form of extremism by clicking here.

Clancygate: impact of change on local news media 

14 Sep

One of the more worrying features of the climax of Clancygate is the way in which the Council’s official statements — both that from the Interim Chief Executive and from...

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Westminster »

Procurement | Ministry of Justice | Written Answers 

30 Jul

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, which contracts placed out to tender by (a) his Department and (b) HM Courts and Tribunals Service have been bid on by Synnex Concentrix.

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Birmingham | Department for Business, Innovation and Skills | Written Answers 

28 Jul

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 16 July 2015 to Question 6219, whether his Department holds information on (a) further education colleges, (b) apprenticeships providers, (c) local...

Community Relations | Department for Communities and Local Government | Written Answers 

27 Jul

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 15 July 2015 to Question 6223, what measures he has used to assess the results and performance of the £50 million invested through the integration...

Science: Research | HM Treasury | Written Answers 

24 Jul

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he intends to (a) maintain, (b) increase or (c) decrease scientific and medical research spending in real terms over the next (i) one year and (ii) five years.

Human Trafficking: Children | Home Office | Written Answers 

24 Jul

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will conduct an assessment of whether visas intended for sportspeople have been used to traffick children from non-EU countries into the UK.

Schools: Admissions | Department for Education | Written Answers 

23 Jul

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to ensure pupils' names are not removed from school admission registers without an adequate explanation of the child's whereabouts.

Arms Trade: Israel | Department for Business, Innovation and Skills | Written Answers 

23 Jul

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will review his Department's policy on arms export licence agreements with Israel.

Rohingya | Foreign and Commonwealth Office | Written Answers 

22 Jul

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to broker a regional solution which would provide a safe haven for the Rohingya.

Severn Bridges (Tolls) – [Mr James gray in the Chair] | Westminster Hall debates 

21 Jul

I think that the Minister may inadvertently have misunderstood my hon.

Finance Bill | Bill Presented – Constitutional Convention (No. 2) Bill | Commons debates 

21 Jul

I hesitate to be mean-spirited to the hon.

Points of Order | Commons debates 

21 Jul

On a point of order, Mr.

DWP Data | Oral Answers to Questions – Treasury | Commons debates 

21 Jul

How many meetings and discussions have taken place between Ministers and officials over the past 12 months about the compilation and presentation of the data...

Revenue | Oral Answers to Questions – Treasury | Commons debates 

21 Jul

Ernst and Young points out that the rise in household taxes is reducing disposable income, with £47.2 billion of tax rises, including the insurance premium tax and vehicle excise duty.

Tax Credits | Oral Answers to Questions – Treasury | Commons debates 

21 Jul

High tax rates are normally loathed by Conservative Members, but obviously not when they affect ordinary working people.

Females: Crimes of Violence | Department for International Development | Written Answers 

21 Jul

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether the Government plans to support the target on ending violence against women and girls at the UN General Assembly in September 2015.

Walking: Children | Department for Transport | Written Answers 

21 Jul

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much funding his Department plans to allocate to achieving its target of 55 per cent of children walking to school; and how his Department arrived at that figure.

Welfare Tax Credits | HM Treasury | Written Answers 

21 Jul

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what guidance his Department has issued on how tax credit claimants can calculate how much their tax credit entitlement will change as a result of changes to tax credit entitlement announced in the Summer...

Burma: Rohingya | Foreign and Commonwealth Office | Written Answers 

21 Jul

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure the government of Burma provides education for Rohingya children.

Apprentices: Pay | Department for Business, Innovation and Skills | Written Answers 

21 Jul

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what the average change in wages is for a former apprentice three years after completion of their apprenticeship.

Seals: Scotland | Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs | Written Answers 

21 Jul

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions she has had with her counterpart in the Scottish Government on seal (a) culls and (b) conservation; and if she will make a statement.

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