On Thursday, I held one of my regular report back sessions at Grace Church on Dell Road in Stirchley. These sessions are a informal, two-way conversation where I update residents on what I have been up to in Westminster over recent weeks, and then hand the floor over to you, which I find is a great way to discuss a broad range of topics which you find important.
This week, I kicked off the conversation on the Northern Ireland Protocol, the issues that checks on goods are causing and the need for reasonable talks to resolve concerns. I also spoke about the problem of Exempt Accommodation, updating residents on a Housing Select Committee I had been to in Birmingham earlier that day to hear from those currently living in Exempt Accommodation and the problems they face. I also touched on the Government’s Rwanda policy and additional issues at the Home Office including with the Homes for Ukraine Scheme and backlogs in passport applications, alongside other delays such as asylum applications.
I finished on a positive note, as earlier in the week I had hosted the launch of the University of Birmingham’s local heat solutions report, which is looking at practical ways to diversify homes currently reliant on natural gas at a neighbourhood level, which is overdue and much needed.
Other topics of discussion which came up included: how best to help voters without ID at the next election, proposals to change the pupil funding formula which I had discussed at my recent visit to Bournville Secondary School, how to support businesses on Stirchley high street with inflated rent prices and concerns about inappropriate paving parking and more protected cycle lanes, which I will be writing to Birmingham City Council about to express my concerns.
I keep residents updated on my report back sessions, along with lots of other things via email, and would encourage you to sign up to my mailing list here: to keep up to date.