Welcome to the latest Momentum South Birmingham newsletter – your unmissable weekly digest of all the interesting things going on politically in our area and beyond. It’s another bumper issue (they all seem to be now……….) and there is plenty to get involved in with the Hall Green and Perry Barr ward by-elections and WM mayoral election just a couple of weeks away. There are also the Unite union elections and the ballots for those are closing this week.
Unite union General Secretary and Executive Council elections: voting closes on the 19th April
Members of UNITE are probably aware that there are some rather important elections going at the moment in their union. Momentum is supporting Len McCluskey for General Secretary and the United Left slate for the Executive Council election. You can find out more here but most importantly the ballot closes this week, on the 19th, so make sure you have voted! See below for a flyer detailing the complete United Left slate.
Hall Green and Perry Barr ward by-elections
Many of you may know that there are by-elections in Hall Green and Perry Barr wards on the 4th May (the same day as the mayoral vote). It’s fair to say that the Hall Green campaign in particular has been eventful so far, and not for good reasons, but clearly the priority now is to get the Labour candidate elected. Liz Clements is standing for our party – she’s been out a lot in recent days and has been joined by many members and local councillors – but still needs more help. In Perry Barr Mohammed Hanif is the candidate and he has to try and overturn a previous Lib Dem majority of 1200 votes, so it is going to be tough. If you go on the Birmingham Labour Party website and search for forthcoming events there is stuff going on all the time, be it door-knocking or leaflet drops. Momentum activists will be out in force too.
Share your views with Jeremy Corbyn on the role of carers and their experiences, Tuesday the 18th April.
Jeremy Corbyn MP will be in Digbeth, Birmingham this Tuesday afternoon, 18 April, to meet with carers from across the city. Jeremy will be joined by Barbara Keeley MP, Shadow Minister for Mental Health and Social Care; and would like to talk to carers about their caring role and experiences. Although it’s short notice, we think it’s an opportunity not to be missed. Staff from the Birmingham Carers Hub team will also be on hand to answer any general questions and queries from carers: 2.45pm – 4.00pm at the BVSC in Digbeth, more details and to register click here.
MSB Women’s meeting, 20th April
Our women members are now meeting regularly to discuss women’s position in the Labour Party and how to gain gender equality. It’s a safe space for Momentum and Labour women to come together and the next meeting is this Thursday, the 20th April, at Loco Lounge (32/34 High Street Kings Heath, B14 7JT) at 7:30pm.
BME employment in the West Midlands,
Friday 21st April, 2-4pm
From the blurb: “We know that Black people in Birmingham are approximately three times more likely to be unemployed than White British people. And the economic recovery has not been shared equally with Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities still saddled with unequal employment prospects. With Local Authorities under increased strain – how can we work together to secure a fair deal for Birmingham’s BME communities?” Speakers include Jess Phillips MP. Find out more and register online. Tickets are free but essential.
Hope Not Hate workshop: Wednesday 26th of April
HnH are running a “having difficult conversations” workshop in support of their friends at Bearwood Action for Refugees. This will be of particular interest to people who missed an opportunity to take part in this excellent training session when last run in Birmingham (several MSB members were present and we really enjoyed it!) The session is being run in the lead up to Bearwood Action for Refugees ‘RefuTea Party’ (and AGM). This workshop introduces some practical tools for activists wanting to engage with people who are not sympathetic to our views. More details and registration for this event can be found here.
West Midlands Mayoral ‘cultural’ hustings, 28th April
On Friday 28 April 2017 WGGB, BECTU, Equity and the Musicians’ Union are giving you the opportunity to question the mayoral candidates and hear their vision for the cultural and creative sectors. It kicks off at 7:45pm, is being held at the Birmingham Rep and you can book tickets and get more information here.
Stirchley Library meeting: 29th April
The next Friends of Stirchley Library (FOSL) meeting is scheduled for Saturday 29th April, 11am – 1pm, Stirchley Community Church. After the collection of money at the last meeting, with which some bookmarks were printed, they’ll be asking for donations to fund printing some posters.
BTUC “May Day” Rally in Birmingham City Centre, 29th April
Birmingham Trades Council are having a rally at the Council House on Saturday the 29th at 12:30pm with speakers from a variety of local unions and campaigning organisations, including our friends at Keep Our NHS Public Birmingham. It should be an interesting event. More details here. There is also a rumour of refreshments being available…………
Next MSB branch meeting: 7th May
We are still finalising details of location but it will be in Northfield: our next MSB branch meeting will be Sunday the 7th May. We’ll be discussing upcoming campaigning work and developments in the Labour Party. All Momentum members and Jeremy Corbyn supporters in South Birmingham welcome but the usual exclusion applies and you probably don’t need us to tell you again: if you’re a member or supporter of a party standing against Labour you won’t be able to come.
A Moral Economy – a talk by Ann Pettifor,
Wednesday 10th May
Ann Pettifor, an advisor to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, was a founder and leading spirit of the Jubilee 2000 debt campaign which in 1998 brought 70,000 people out in a human chain onto the streets of Birmingham. After 2000 she joined the New Economics Foundation where she headed their research unit. She set up Advocacy International, a UK-based consultancy that advises governments and international organisations and has helped secure debt relief for the governments of Guyana, Nigeria and Ethiopia. The talk starts at 18:30 and is going to be at Carrs Lane Church Centre, Birmingham B4 7SX. To register click here.
Moseley and Kings Heath Labour Party conference: “What is Conservative Party education policy?”, Thursday 11th May
M+KH branch have decided to put every single other Labour ward in Birmingham to shame by hosting their own conference but it looks absolutely brilliant. What is Conservative Party education policy doing to our schools? What is the alternative vision? There will be loads of speakers and discussion, it is on Thursday the 11th May and will be held at Moseley School & Sixth Form Centre, Wake Green Road, B13 9UU. It’s free to attend but you’ll need to register.
MSB stalls committee meeting: 15th May, 10am
Our stalls co-ordinator Chris has organised the next meeting of the stalls committee on Monday the 15th May, 10am, at Loco Lounge, Kings Heath High Street. Chris is always on the lookout for people to join the committee. Stalls and campaigning have been crucial to the development of the group. You might even get your picture taken with John McDonnell! Email Chriskuriata@live.co.uk for more info.
Sat 20th May: Unite STP Campaign Conference
Unite union are organising an STP Campaign Conference to be held at Carrs Lane Church Centre, Birmingham city centre, runs from 10:30 until 13:30 and you can register for it here. Speakers will include John Lister (Health Campaigns Together), Gill George, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Defend Our NHS and Sarah Carpenter (Unite national officer for health), speakers from Solihull KONP and Birmingham KONP. STPs are going to have a massive effect on what happens to the NHS over the next few years and activists campaigning against them or for radical changes need to be armed with the full story – this will be a great opportunity to get that.
National State Of The Economy Conference –
Birmingham, 20th May
Labour’s annual national ‘State of the Economy’ conference is in central Birmingham on Saturday 20 May. Jeremy Corbyn put the need for an economy that works for all at the heart of his successful leadership campaign. Over the next year Labour will be helping to build on this vision by discussing more detailed proposals for the next General Election. As part of that conversation, John McDonnell has asked a number of experts from the world of economics and beyond to join him in a series of regional one-day conferences to lay out the policies our country needs to build a future where prosperity is shared, and where no one and no community is left behind. This includes discussions of how a Labour government can make a real difference to your area. Book your place at the ‘State of the Economy’ conference here (if you’re a party member obviously!)
Women’s March against Trumpism: 20th May
On Saturday May 20th the anti-choice fraternity is organising its own UK version of ‘March For Life’ in Birmingham with the slogan ‘life from conception – no exception’. Abortion Rights is joining up with women’s groups as part of the Women’s March Against Trumpism to call its own demonstration against the misogyny and sexism that Trump galvanised in his election campaign that is creeping over here. More details here – the 20th is going to be a very busy day politically in Birmingham!
Labour’s National Policy Forum:
8 policy documents and deadline for submissions – 31st May
Last year Jeremy Corbyn said that he wanted Labour to reconnect with our values and our people, so we can rebuild and transform Britain, for the many, not just the few. To do this the party needs to hear from you, the members, to harness your views, passions and expertise. At conference Jeremy set out ten pledges outlining his priorities. He asked Labour’s National Policy Forum to build on this work, to develop Labour’s thinking in these and other key areas. Eight new consultation documents on key issues have been launched and opinions sought. The consultation period runs until Wednesday, 31 May 2017. Hopefully members and local parties will take the opportunity to read the documents and send in comments and ideas. The more people that get involved, the stronger and better the party’s policy making process is.
The best and easiest way to send in your ideas and join the discussion is via Labour’s online home of policy making: www.policyforum.labour.org.uk. (You’ll need to register an account or use your Labour Login).
Edgbaston constituency dates for your diary
- Edgbaston CLP street stall for the mayoral election: 29th April, 10am-12, Harborne High Street, outside WHSmith.
Hall Green constituency dates for your diary
- Hall Green by-election: details above.
- Moseley and Kings Heath ward door knocking session: Saturday 22nd April, 10 am – 12 noon, junction of Blenheim Road and Billesley Lane in Moseley. Contact email@example.com for more information.
- Door-Knocking Session with Sion Simon: Tuesday 25th April, 5:30pm to 6:45pm, in Kings Heath. Meeting point outside the Baptist Church, Kings Heath High Street. This session concludes just before the West Midlands Mayoral Election Campaign hustings.
- Moseley Forum, together with Kings Heath Residents Forum, Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum and Brandwood Forum have organised a hustings event on the 25th April for the inaugural West Midlands Mayoral Election. All six candidates have confirmed their attendance. Kings Heath Baptist Church, 80, High Street, Kings Heath, B14 7JZ: 7:30pm start but get there early to guarantee a seat! More details here.
- Door-Knocking Session combined with Street Stall, Saturday 29th April, 10:00am to 12pm, combined with the Street Stall and Door knocking in support of Sion Simon’s campaign. Meeting point outside Asda on Kings Heath High Street.
Selly Oak constituency dates for your diary
- Provisional date for your diaries: 23rd May, Momentum Selly-Oak sub-group meeting on the NHS. More details to follow in future editions!
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.
Our fundraising co-ordinator, Nicky, has drawn up a quick survey for members and supporters to fill in to canvass our views on what we want. If you have a spare couple of minutes please fill it in here.
MSB statement on the July 2015 ‘freeze date’ decision
The Birmingham Board of the Labour Party, in their infinite wisdom, decided to retain the July 2015 freeze date for members to participate in the selection of candidates for the 2018 local election elections. We have published a statement that you can read here and rest assured it will not be the end of the matter. Momentum seeks to get Labour members elected to public office. Labour will only succeed in doing that if it engages with its new members and gives them a say. The decision is a monumental act of folly.
‘Regional’ Momentum co-ordination
Cecile Wright, one of our elected NGC reps for the large ‘region’ that Birmingham and the West Midlands sits in, would like to keep in touch about how she can best open communication with us to better represent us on the Momentum Council. She wants people to feel free to get in touch with her and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. As things develop further post-conference we’ll keep you informed.
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 Birmingham – currently ‘red risk’.
Please get involved in and support KONPB in any way you can.
The NUT have set up a school cuts website providing information on what is going on and the likely effects. You can email your MP through the website, it only takes a minute. Please click here. Since the New Year a number of parents groups have sprung up across the country to fight for more funding for our schools. It is an important development that parents have started to organise because Governments cross parents at their peril. Please visit their website.
South Birmingham Momentum T-Shirts
Not before time in our view, wear it with pride: MSB t-shirts are going to be ordered: £10 red with South Birmingham Momentum on it. If you would like one email firstname.lastname@example.org
MSB social media classes
Nicky Brennan, one of our social media managers, has started running 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: email@example.com
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!