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.
This weekend was a very busy one indeed for MSB. On Saturday we had a stall at the Moseley Festival, met lots of new people, sold lots of T-Shirts and badges and had a lot of debates about Brexit with the locals 😊
And yesterday we had our meeting with the fantastic Chris Williamson MP (who this very afternoon we learned has been appointed as the Shadow Minister for Fire and Emergency Services – many congratulations Chris!) who spoke to a standing room only audience in the city centre about the way forward for Labour and Momentum. He was absolutely brilliant and it was an incredibly inspiring discussion – a huge thank you to Chris, everyone involved in running the meeting, everyone who came and welcome to the new people who attended – and we’ll try and book a slightly bigger venue next time! There are lots of pictures on social media so do check them out if you couldn’t make it. We also sold more Jeremy Corbyn T-shirts, more details below on how to get your hands on them as they are shifting fast………..
We also did a collection for the families of Grenfell Tower and raised £101 – thank you to everyone who contributed. You can also donate online here.
It’s pretty clear that Labour needs to be on an almost permanent election campaign footing now so things are definitely starting to pick up again – it’s still a fairly quiet week for CLP activity but we are hearing of various things in the pipeline – keep your eyes out. There’s plenty of other things going on though and there is a big day of campaigning planned in Edgbaston constituency this Saturday on the theme of anti-austerity.
Defend our children’s centres!
26 children’s centres are at risk of closure across the city. While Birmingham City Council is an almost impossible position due to the cuts it is being forced to make by the Tory government, these centres provide early education and day care for children from 6 months to 5 years and are a vital service for families. Numerous consultation meetings are taking place across the city (list is here, a copy also attached with this newsletter), there is an online consultation form to complete and there is more useful information here.
KONP Birmingham meeting, 5th July
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meetings are 1st Wednesday of every month (except August), so people can drop in any time at The Wellington, 37 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5SN. The next meeting is this Wednesday, the 5th July, at 19:30pm. Currently KONPB 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.
Edgbaston CLP day of activity – Saturday 8th July
As well as the usual CLP stall at Harborne Farmers’ Market (10am on the High Street opposite WHSmith), Labour members will also spend some time talking to our fellow residents living in tower blocks in the constituency. This will be to make sure that they have the opportunity to raise any concerns they may have about their homes in the wake of the awful events at the Grenfell Tower. Please keep your eyes peeled for more details on social media!
Sisters Uncut Birmingham meeting: 22nd July
Sisters Uncut are having their first open meeting on Saturday 22nd July at 14:00 on the ground floor at Rhubarb, 25 Heath Mill Lane, Digbeth, Birmingham, B9 4AE. You’ve probably heard of them but for the uninitiated they are an intersectional feminist group taking direct action for domestic violence services – they have been involved in some pretty inspiring initiatives in London. Here’s the flyer:
MSB Book Club: George Orwell’s ‘Road to Wigan Pier’, August 1st
Our inaugural book club meeting is on the 1st August! It’ll be at 7pm at Loco Lounge on Kings Heath High Street. Members will be discussing Orwell’s ‘Road to Wigan Pier’. If you want to join in or need any information email email@example.com.
Save the date – MSB Summer Party on the 4th August!
Just a date for your diaries – our Summer Party will be on Friday the 4th August. You’ll have all weekend to recover if it’s a large one 😊. More details to follow soon!
Birmingham Momentum Women’s Group –
Future meetings (next one 14th August)
Women Momentum members across Birmingham 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 to support each other, explore issues and plan campaigns.
The next meetings are:
- Monday 14th August, at Loco Lounge (32/34 High Street Kings Heath, B14 7JT) at 7:30pm.
- Monday 11th September – City centre location, TBC
Northfield constituency dates for your diary
- Northfield CLP Momentum sub-group meeting: Wednesday, 12th July, 7:30pm, Black Horse Pub on the Bristol Road – upstairs conference room.
Edgbaston constituency dates for your diary
- Saturday 8th July: campaign day (full details above)
- Quinton ward AGM, Wednesday 19th July, 7pm, Quinborne Centre, Ridgacre Road: Quinton ward officers to be elected and possibly councillor selection meenting.
- Edgbaston CLP AGM Saturday 22nd July – 10am, St Faith and St Lawrence Church Hall, 115 Balden Road, Birmingham B32 2EL. CLP-wide officers and officers for Bartley Green, Edgbaston and Harborne will be elected and very likely the 2018 councillor selection will be conducted too.
Hall Green constituency dates for your diary
- July 13th Moseley and Kings Heath ward meeting: With the election campaign over, normal meetings resume and they will be having their regular meeting on Thursday 13th July at the Moseley Exchange.
Selly Oak constituency dates for your diary
- Nothing this week unfortunately but we’ll let you know if we hear anything for future editions.
Birmingham needs more women councillors!
Women in Momentum’s three Birmingham branches are now meeting regularly and the dates of their next two meetings are further down this newsletter. They have also produced an excellent article on improving the gender balance on Birmingham City Council. There have been some worrying rumours about attempts being made to water it down in some of the new wards – the way that we can challenge this is oppose any dilution in our Labour Parties but also for women to stand as councillors. The piece can be read here – please share far and wide.
New to the Labour Party?
Many of us are fairly new to the Labour Party and it can be quite an intimidating environment with labyrinthine rules and procedures that are at times baffling – with all the different abbreviations and structures it can be like learning a new language! Momentum Sheffield (who look almost as amazing as MSB…..) have produced a very helpful guide for newcomers that explains the structures, rules, terms and puts things in day-to-day language. It’s worth a read even if you are an experienced old hand! A link to the document is here.
South Birmingham Momentum T-Shirts
Not before time in our view, wear it with pride: MSB t-shirts are going to be ordered: £10 for members and £12 for none-members (another compelling reason to join Momentum!) red with Birmingham Momentum on it and a big picture of Jeremy! If you would like one email firstname.lastname@example.org, they are available in medium, large or extra-large.
Burton Unite members in dispute with Argos – let’s support them!
While of course the eyes of Momentum South Birmingham were mostly fixed on the general election and ensuring our city’s constituencies returned Labour MPs, we should not forget that there are industrial disputes going on that can and should be supported. One of those is just down the road in Burton where Argos workers organised by the Unite union are on strike.
There is much more information here: please offer any help you can at this very busy time for all of us. We are also aiming to bring you more information about the refuse workers strike in Birmingham in future editions and on social media – keep your eyes peeled.
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.
MSB social media classes and blog pitches
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
We are also looking to get more original content on our blog – it is a somewhat underused resource for discussing ideas and giving our members a platform to write about the issues of concern to them. Drop Nicky a line if you have any ideas – particularly if they are about local issues and our campaigning – or things you think we should be doing more on and want to draw attention to.
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!