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. There are a few at the moment…….although we have cancelled our stalls meeting on the 15th and putting one or two other things on the back-burner.
Hall Green and Perry Barr ward by-elections
Please don’t forget the by-elections in Hall Green and Perry Barr wards, this Thursday, the 4th May. 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, is pro-Corbyn 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. We have also detailed what we know is planned in Hall Green in the CLP section below. You can also find out more about the Hall Green campaign on their branch Facebook page Momentum activists will be out in force too – let’s make sure we get Liz elected!
General election, June 8th.
We are all rather electioned-out I suspect but sadly we are going to have to go again as this one is very, very important. We have 5 weeks to close a 20 point gap in the polls (recent developments show a positive trend, pleasingly), defend what we have already in Birmingham (9 of the 10 seats) and we’ll also be campaigning alongside a new candidate in Edgbaston, Councillor Preet Gill of Sandwell, following Gisela Stuart’s decision not to stand again. There are some pictures of Preet at the first constituency stall since her selection here and there are plenty on our Twitter feed too (@MomentumSBham).
MSB are under no illusions, this is going to be the fight of our lives and we have a few weeks to change a lot of minds. Many of the sitting Labour MPs are not particularly to our liking, to put it mildly, and we should have been given a chance to vote for our candidates, but we are where we are.
There will be plenty of information about campaigning on our social media and also, hopefully, on the Birmingham Labour Party website. We’ll try and keep everything as up-to-date as we can and this newsletter will serve as a snapshot of everything coming up that we know of. The individual CLP sections are below and we’ll be keeping a spreadsheet with everything we know about here. We are hoping to make it an all-Birmingham affair very shortly.
Labour will also be running a semi-permanent phonebank at one of their offices at the city centre – for more details and to book a session please click here to find them. You can pick the constituency you wish to focus on when you go and we suggest you prioritise Northfield and Edgbaston, the two most marginal seats (more details below)
**Voter registration drive**
- Don’t lose your vote: If you’re not already registered to vote, register now. It takes just 2 minutes, and all you need is your national insurance number. Remember, if you’re a UK resident from the Republic of Ireland or a Commonwealth countryyou’re eligible to vote. If you’re not sure where you’ll be on 8th June, make sure you register for a postal vote. Just fill out this form and post or email it to your Electoral Registration Office. It must reach them by 5pm on 23rd May, so make sure to send it a week before.
- Get everyone you know to register: If every single one of us gets five people to register, we’ll win this election. Do your bit, make sure your friends and family are all registered to vote by 22nd May.
- Momentum activists in Birmingham are helping with voter registration initiatives – if you want to help please drop us a line at MomentumbhamSouth@hotmail.com and we’ll pass on your details to the people co-ordinating it. We’ll be targeting young people in particular and potentially leafleting outside colleges.
“Marginal Seat Saturdays” in Edgbaston and Northfield
Momentum activists from across Birmingham met on Sunday the 30th April and we agreed to prioritise Northfield and Edgbaston, the two most marginal constituencies. We will be mobilising for “Marginal Seat Saturdays” every weekend and after we piloted it in Edgbaston last Saturday we will be joining Northfield CLP en masse this weekend coming. Please keep an eye on our social media for more information and we’ll also email out the full details when we have them.
KONP Birmingham meeting, Wednesday 3rd May
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. The next one is on the 3rd May at 7:30pm at the Wellington, 37 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5SN. 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.
Stand Up To Racism Summit, 6th May:
“Confronting the Rise in Racism”
An SUTR summit takes place on Saturday 6th May at the Custard Factory in Birmingham. Lots of workshops and speakers including Saira and Saffiyah whose picture during an EDL confrontation last Saturday went viral around the world. You can book your spot here.
FOLOB planning meeting 5.30pm Monday 8 May
Friends of the Library of Birmingham’s next planning meeting is on Monday the 8th May at the UNISON office,19th Floor, McLaren Building, 46 Priory Queensway, Birmingham B4 7LF These meetings are open to all, so do join them.
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 – and as far as we know it is still going ahead. 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.
Homelessness charity gig, 19th May
Attached to this newsletter email is a flyer advertising a gig on the 19th in support of Project Birmingham. The Project, also known as South Birmingham Young Homeless Project, is a quality assured advice centre specialising in Homeless Prevention, Welfare Benefits and Debt, our aim is to prevent homelessness and improve the lives of vulnerable people, they do this by offering free impartial advice and support. It’s at the Royal British Legion in Kings Heath and kicks off at 8pm. Cost is £5.
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.
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!
Edgbaston constituency dates for your diary
- Tuesday 2nd May – Quinton (Door-knocking) Meet at junction of Ridgacre Road and Highfield Lane (B32 1QR) at 6.15pm.
- Wednesday 3rd May – Bartley Green (Phonebank) Meet at 4 Greenfield Crescent, Edgbaston (B15 3BE) at 6pm.
- Thursday 4th May – Sion Simon Polling Day – Edgbaston (Phonebanking and Door-knocking) Phoning from 9am to 6pm at 4 Greenfield Crescent, Edgaston B15 3BE. Door-knocking teams leaving same location to campaign in Edgbaston from 6pm onwards.
- Saturday 6th May – Quinton (Door-knocking) Meet on junction of Martley Croft and Quinton Road West (B32 2QG) for 11am.
- Sunday 7th May – Harborne (Door-knocking) Meet on junction of Sandon Road and Willow Avenue for (B17 8HB) for 11am.
Hall Green constituency dates for your diary
- Hall Green By-election: Times/meeting places listed here where you can RSVP to let them know if you’re going along. Below are the events scheduled so far but the website is updated regularly.
- Door-knocking: Tuesday 2nd May, 10am – 12pm, Outside, 1 Brooklands Close, Birmingham B28 8JX
- Door-knocking: Wednesday 3rd May, 10am – 12pm, meeting at 23 Ingestre Road, Birmingham B28 9EQ
- Polling day: Thursday 4th May 9am to 9pm:56 Scribers Lane, Birmingham B28 0NZ
- Mayoral election: As above you can RSVP on the Birmingham LP website.
- Sparkbrook ward – 9am to 9pm Azim’s Restaurant (New Dadyal), 284 Stratford Road, Birmingham B11 1AA
- Group GOTV in Sparkbrook – 4pm to 5.30pm, junction of Abbotsford Road and Conway Road, Sparkbrook, Birmingham B11 1NS
- Group GOTV in Balsall Heath – 5.30pm to 7pm, junction of Balsall Heath Road Mary Street, Balsall Heath, Birmingham B12 9RW
- Moseley and Kings Heath ward – 4pm to 9pm, 41 Clarence Road, Birmingham B13 9SZ
- Springfield ward – 9am to 9pm, 100 Allcroft Road, Birmingham, B11 3ED
- Group GOTV in Springfield – 7pm to 9pm, Junction of Stoney Lane and Wilton Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham B11 4PP
Selly Oak constituency dates for your diary
- Tuesday 2 May:
- Two Doorknocking sessions: 11.00-Meet at the junction of Reeves Road and Millbrook Road, B14, and 18.00-Meet at the junction of Cherrington Road and Ribblesdale Road, B29.
- Phone bank 18.00 204 Alcester Road South, B14 6DE
Northfield constituency dates for your diary
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
- Tue 2nd May, 6pm – door-knocking in Kings Norton, meeting at the corner of Shannon Road & Ridgemount Drive (B38 9SN).
- Wed 3rd May, 6pm – door-knocking in Weoley Castle, meeting at the corner of Castle Road & Princethorpe Road (B29 5PX).
- Northfield will also be out in the afternoon of the 3rd at school gates on Tue (Kings Norton) and Wed (Weoley Castle) – let them know if you would like to help out with either of these and they can send you more details of where they will be and when.
- This Thursday is polling day for the election of a new Mayor for the West Midlands, and they will be reminding everyone to go out and vote for Sion Simon throughout the day both on the doorstep and over the phone. If you have any time available to help out during the day or evening, please do come along and lend your support.
- Thu 4th May, 9am to 9pm – campaign centre for Northfield constituency (covering Kings Norton, Northfield, and Weoley wards), to be held at The Old School House, St Nicolas Place, 81 The Green, Kings Norton, B38 8RU.
- Thu 4th May, 9am to 9pm – campaign centre for Longbridge ward, to be held at 10 Rednal Mill Drive, Rednal, B45 8XX.
- This Saturday (6th May) will be the first of their Super Saturdays and they will be organising loads of activity in the Longbridge area – more information if you email the address above.
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 email@example.com. As things develop further post-conference we’ll keep you informed.
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
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: 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!