Welcome to the latest South Birmingham Momentum newsletter, full of exciting events for you to attend and ways to support the group fight the good fight. If you’re reading this newsletter and haven’t joined the Labour Party, then please do so. And if you have and haven’t got involved yet, please do!
Of particular note this week are the Birmingham Board, Hall Green ward by-election and the upcoming Momentum national conference which is being held in Birmingham and is now less than two weeks away! More details below.
Open letter to the Birmingham Board
There is an open letter to the Birmingham Board of the Labour Party in circulation protesting the 20 months and counting “freeze date” July 2015 in place for the selection of local council candidates. This is a crazy and increasingly undemocratic decision, disenfranchising vast numbers of hard working party members. You can add your name to it here (please include your CLP).
We have also produced a short video which can be viewed here – please share amongst your friends and contacts.
Please also start contacting your local CLP reps to the board (usually the chair and secretary) asking them to challenge this decision, demand it is discussed again at the Birmingham Board and when that happens to vote for the usual 6 month freeze date. There are also a number of South Birmingham MPs and councillors on the board who you can contact. If you need any more information by all means get in touch with us but a full (although maybe not entirely up-to-date) list of the Board members can be found here. If you are going to lobby your reps please make it snappy as the Birmingham Board will be meeting this Friday!
9 wards and 3 of the 4 South Birmingham CLP executive committees have passed resolutions opposing the current freeze date so opposition to this decision is growing all the time. With all the elections we have to fight locally we need to mobilise our members. The best way to do that is to give them a say in who is fighting those elections on our behalf!
Hall Green ward by-election
Following the decision of Hall Green councillor Sam Burden (Labour) to step down, there will be a by-election in the ward held the same day as the mayoral election, May 4th. The Tories have already begun campaigning so Labour’s efforts commenced yesterday. The candidate is being selected tonight. Momentum South Birmingham activists will be working hard to ensure a Labour victory. For more details of upcoming activities please keep an eye on our social media, future newsletters and there will be regular updates on activity on the Birmingham Labour Party website (hopefully……)
Compass event: “Uniting for a progressive UK”, 14th March
Momentum supporters locally will be attending this event, featuring Zoe Williams and Neal Lawson, tomorrow, Tues 14th in Digbeth. While views are mixed within our ranks about the desirability and viability of a ‘progressive alliance’ or similar arrangement, the people involved are worth engaging with and it should be an interesting event with some well-regarded and influential voices present. More information here – tickets have to be ordered online in advance but it is free.
‘Feminism and the Foodbank’, 15th Mar
Although this isn’t an official Momentum event our supporters are involved and we would encourage everyone to go along to P Café 1464 Pershore Road, B30 2NT on the 15th at 7pm. To coincide with International Women’s Day there will be a discussion on the theme of ‘Feminism and the Foodbank’. It’s free to get in but please bring a donation of female hygiene products to be donated to B30 Food bank. More details here.
Jeremy Corbyn on Labour’s vision for Race Equality, 18th March
Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader, will be delivering a speech on race equality and multiculturalism on Saturday 18th March, from 2.30pm in the Council Chamber, Birmingham Council House, near Birmingham New Street station. He is expected to outline Labour’s vision for race equality and how it can be achieved. This will be followed by Q&A discussion. The event is hosted by the Runnymede Trust and Race on the Agenda. It’s free to get in but essential that you book tickets in advance. There will be some friendly Momentum faces to chat to as well!
Momentum National Conference: 25th March
Inspired by the work of local groups over the last year and the hugely successful ‘The World Transformed’ fringe festival that took place alongside Labour Party Conference in Liverpool in September, Momentum’s first conference ‘Building to Win’ will take place on Saturday 25th March in Birmingham at 119 Floodgate Street, Digbeth. The conference will be open to all Momentum members and feature activist training, political education workshops and discussion focused on four key themes:
Transforming Labour – helping people navigate Labour Party structures and discussing how Momentum can continue to support the transformation of Labour into a grassroots, member-led party that offers a real alternative to the status quo.
Helping Labour Win – supporting Labour to mobilise its mass membership and win elections as well as helping equip people with arguments and effective communication techniques to persuade people of our vision.
Building the movement- discussing how we can further root our movement in communities, developing links with people and other grassroots groups to organise throughout the UK and build support for Labour’s policies.
Building Momentum – building capacity within Momentum networks and groups through skills sharing and training. Building Momentum will help us achieve our first three objectives.
We will be joined by activists from across the country and special guest speakers. John McDonnell has already emailed all members to let them know that he will be there!
You can book your tickets here. There will also be loads of stalls there from local groups and campaigning organisations – if you are involved in or know a group who might be interested please get in touch with us at email@example.com. We want to use this event to build on our good work locally too and give a platform to the many issues of concern to us. Please also get in touch with us if you are willing to volunteer on the day.
Billy Elliot Film Night, 31st March
MSB are putting on a showing of Billy Elliot at the Highbury Pub, Dads Lane, B13 8PQ on the 31st March. Film to start at 7:30 followed by a discussion on some of the topical issues in the film. £5/£3 includes popcorn! More details here.
Edgbaston constituency dates for your diary
- Edgbaston CLP members discussion forum on an ethical foreign policy, Fri 17th March, Quinborne Centre, Quinton at 7pm.
- Edgbaston CLP stall on Harborne High Street: Saturday 18th March 10-12. Sion Simon and the budget. Meeting outside WHSmith.
- Harborne ward Labour Party meeting: 1st April, 10:30 am, Moor Pool Hall, 37 The Circle, Birmingham B17 9DY.
Hall Green constituency dates for your diary
- As above, the campaigning for the Hall Green ward by-election is already in full swing!
Selly Oak constituency dates for your diary
- Wednesday 15 March at 11.00, there will be a team delivery session, meet at the junction of Corisande Road and Lepid Grove.
- Bournville ward Labour Party meeting: Thursday 16th March: 7:30pm, St. Andrews Church, Cartland Road, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2RD.
- Brandwood ward Labour Party meeting: Thursday 16th March, 8pm, Bells Farm Community Centre, Bells Farm Close, Druids Heath, B14 5QP.
- Selly Oak CLP meeting, 23rd March, 7:30pm St. Andrews Church, Cartland Road, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2RD: Steve McCabe MP will report on his activities in the Constituency and Westminster and Liam Byrne MP (a Brandwood member) will discuss his recent book ‘Black Flag Down: Counter Extremism, Defeating ISIS and Winning the Battle of Ideas’.
- Thursday 30 March at 7pm: An evening with Paul Routledge, at the E57 Club, 699 Alcester Road South, B14 5EY. Tickets are £10 and can be booked here.
Northfield constituency dates for your diary
- Monday evenings until the conclusion of the mayoral election, 6pm to 7.30pm – phone banking (for Kings Norton ward and Mayoral campaign) – meeting at St Nicolas Place, The Green, Kings Norton, B38 8RU
- Thursday evenings until the conclusion of the mayoral election, 6pm to 7.30pm – phone banking (for Northfield ward and Mayoral campaign) – meeting at St Nicolas Place, The Green, Kings Norton, B38 8RU
- Tuesday 14 March; Momentum Northfield sub-group meeting,30pm, upstairs conference room, Black Horse, Bristol Road South. Discussion; ‘What are the most effective ways that Momentum members can support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and the 10 point policy plan both within constituency parties and when presenting them to potential voters?’ Please come along and join in the discussion.
- Thursday 16 March; North Worcestershire Golf Course discussion, 1pm, Hollymoor Centre (by water tower), Manor Park Grove, B31 5ER. Proposals have been submitted by Bloor Homes to build hundreds of new homes on the site of the North Worcestershire Golf Club off Frankley Beeches Road. Please come along and support Longbridge ward Labour party and Andy Cartwright in voicing local residents’ concerns over these plans. All are welcome.
- Monday 20 March; Northfield Ward meeting, 7pm, West Heath Community Centre, Hampstead House, Condover Road, B31 3QY. Open to all residents of Northfield Ward.
South Birmingham Momentum T-Shirts
Not before time in my view, wear it with pride: MSB t-shirts are going to be ordered: £10 red with South Birmingham Momentum on it. If people would like one email firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep Our NHS Public Birmingham
KONPB do a huge amount of brilliant work but are always in need of more help. For those who are interested in supporting and/or joining KONP and contributing to campaigns their contact details are email@example.com.
Meetings are 1st Wednesday of every month (except August), so people can drop in any time. Currently they have campaigns on the STPs in Brum/Solihull and Black Country. the Midland Metropolitan Hospital (PFI/2) and they are looking to do some more work on the mental health arrangements for young people 0-25 years in B’ham – currently ‘red risk’.
Please get involved in and support KONPB in any way you can.
MSB stalls committee – volunteers needed
Our stalls co-ordinator, Chris Kuriata, is on the lookout for people to join the group’s stalls committee. Stalls have been a crucial way that we have got our ideas across. You might even get your picture taken with John McDonnell! Email Chris: Chriskuriata@live.co.uk
MSB social media classes
Nicky Brennan, one of our social media managers, is interested in running some classes if you are uninitiated in Facebook and Twitter etc. and want to learn more about how to make best use of them – they are crucial part of modern political campaigning and you are never too old to learn something new! If you’re interested get in touch with Nicky: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward and CLP meetings
If you want the group to publicise upcoming local Labour Party activities and branch and CLP meetings to encourage attendance, please let us know either by emailing me direct or the group account below; our wonderful social media managers Kate, Lucy, Nicky and Sam will do the rest!