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’s plenty to let you know about this week but things do feel like they have calmed down a little. MSB officers have been keen to offer any assistance we can to the striking refuse workers in Birmingham. But thus far we have struggled to make any meaningful contact with them as they seem to have some kind of restrictions imposed saying anything publicly – if anyone is able to put us in touch with them please drop us a line.
There is also the small matter of elections to Labour’s Conference Arrangements Committee beginning today – please support the Momentum-endorsed candidates. Two of our members are also organising a local food collection appeal – people often associate the most acute need with the cold weather but the summer holidays are also a key time for families who receive school meals. More details about both below. There is also something for everyone next Saturday the 22nd, but if you are a member of Edgbaston CLP please attend your AGM that day!
Ballots for Labour Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) sent out today!
An important vote is coming up. It will shape Labour Party Conference. It will influence the future of our party.
Today, if you’re a Labour member you should receive an email ballot to vote for your representatives on the Conference Arrangement Committee (CAC). The CAC is the committee that decides how conference runs and what is debated. It is vital we elect Corbyn supporting activists on the committee.
Momentum encourage you to vote for Seema Chandwani and Billy Hayes. Both are experienced activists. Both support Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s transformation manifesto. Both want to see a conference that backs Corbyn.
Volunteers will be phonebanking Momentum members to make sure they cast their vote.
Shape the future of your party. Vote Seema and Billy on Monday 17th.
Holiday Hunger Appeal
School holidays are approaching this week which means added pressure for families whose kids eat for free at school as they struggle to put meals on the table during the holidays. MSB will be organising food collections for our local food banks during the summer holidays. We are looking for: cereals, tinned foods, pasta, rice, biscuits, fruit juice, long life milk….
Jeremy Corbyn in Telford, 20th July
It’s a bit of a trek but if you’re at a loose end this week Jeremy is speaking at a rally in Telford this Thursday afternoon. Labour only lost the constituency by 720 votes at the last general election so self-evidently it’s a priority marginal whenever the next election is called………. 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.
Save Our Children Centres Demo 22nd July
In yet another event on the 22nd you are only allowed to attend if you don’t live in Edgbaston constituency, GMB B49 branch will be holding a community demonstration opposing the potential closure of 26 of Birmingham Children’s Centres. The event will be free to attend for children and families, and children’s activities including a face painter will be available: from 11am until 2pm outside Birmingham Council House in Victoria Square. 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. Here is 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 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
- Nothing this week – keep an eye out in future editions for upcoming events!
Edgbaston constituency dates for your diary
- Quinton ward AGM, Wednesday 19th July, 7pm, Quinborne Centre, Ridgacre Road: Quinton ward officers to be elected.
- 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 wards will be elected.
Hall Green constituency dates for your diary
- Nothing this week – keep an eye out in future editions for upcoming events!
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.
- Brandwood ward meeting: 8.00pm Thursday 20th July, at Bells Farm Community Centre, Bells Farm Close (off Bells Lane), Druids Heath, Birmingham, B14 5QP.
- Selly Oak CLP all-members meeting: Thursday July 27th, St Andrews Methodist Church, Cartland Road, Stirchley, B30 2RD, 7.30pm – 9.00pm.
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/