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.
Many of you may have seen the various articles and rumours floating around on social media about the “freeze date” for shortlisting and selection in the 2018 Birmingham City Council elections. This article in particular has been widely circulated.
MSB will not be commenting officially until we know exactly what has been agreed – we have heard so many different dates and versions of events that it would be unwise to do anything that would add to the confusion. There is a Birmingham Board meeting this Friday, the 14th, and we hope that they attempt nothing that in any way subverts any decisions of the NEC, our party’s sovereign decision-making body. The Birmingham Board is there to represent and act on behalf of the members of Birmingham’s ten CLPs – not do as it pleases.
Hall Green CLP out of “special measures”!
Labour Party democracy watchers will know that four of Birmingham’s ten CLPs (Hall Green, Hodge Hill, Ladywood and Perry Barr) have been in ‘special measures’ for 20+ years. This means in practise that joining the party in any of these four is incredibly difficult and those CLPs have not been able to function properly and in some cases have withered badly. In one of a series of positive developments concerning local party democracy recently (more in future newsletters……..) Hall Green has finally been removed from SM – members of the CLP deserve enormous credit for their tenacious campaign to get them lifted and hopefully the other three will follow suit shortly. Below is an excerpt from a Hall Green Constituency Labour Party statement on the issue. Many congratulations to the CLP, which we hope will now go from strength to strength now the SM straitjacket has been remove.
“After 24 years, what is known today as ‘Special membership measures’ has been lifted on Hall Green CLP. We are now the only CLP out of 4 in Birmingham to have Special membership measures lifted. This has been through years hard work of our officers and members. We had finally made a case where we are able to show our CLP has progressed and is able to self-govern.
What does this mean?
New members will be able to join without the months of waiting and extra documentation. We will govern with the rules set in the rule book, without extra measures upon us. Our CLP will be treated the same as most CLPs in the country with members at the heart of decision making.”
There’s also an item about the issue in the latest Hall Green CLP newsletter that you can read here.
Abbey Branch Labour Party presents
Attila the Stockbroker, 13th July
Just over the Birmingham border in Bearwood, Abbey Ward Labour Party have organised a social with Attila the Stockbroker performing this Thursday, the 13th July – doors open at 7:30pm. More details here.
Coffee for Corbyn, 22nd July
We are hosting a coffee morning on Saturday 10:30 at Cosy Coffee Northfield High Street. All welcome apart from people who live in Edgbaston constituency – it’s your CLP AGM that morning and you need to be there! Full details here.
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. Attached to the newsletter is a 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 -the downstairs room at the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath from 7pm. It’s a free event. With a raffle! More publicity to follow!
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
Save the date – MSB Quiz Night 1st September!
We’ll be having another quiz night on 1st September- Details to be confirmed!
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.
- Longbridge Labour branch meeting – Wed 12th July, 7pm at the Hollymoor Centre, Manor Park Grove, B31 5ER
- Weoley Labour branch meeting – Wed 12th July, 7pm at Weoley Hill United Reformed Church, Green Meadow Road, B29 4DE
- Northfield Labour branch meeting – Mon 17th July, 7pm at Hampstead House, Condover Road, B31 3QY.
Edgbaston constituency dates for your diary
- 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.
- Hall Green CLP are having an all members meeting on Friday 14th July, 6-8pm at Community Room B, Sparkbrook Community & Health Centre, 34 Grantham Road, Sparkbrook, Birmingham, B11 1LU.
Selly Oak constituency dates for your diary
- Billesley ward door-knocking, every Monday. The newly-constituted ward is seen as one of the toughest for Labour in Selly Oak and therefore every Monday members will be out talking to local residents. 6pm – the carpark on the junction of School Road and Highters Heath Lane – opposite McDonald’s.
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.
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.
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 at The Wellington, 37 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5SN.
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.
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.
‘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!
To join Momentum: https://join.peoplesmomentum.com/