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.
MSB is something of a trend-setting organisation I’m sure you’ll agree, for many reasons. For example, while a lot of political activity grinds to a halt in August we aren’t going to – there is too much going on and while we all need a break we can still organise a few things in between! Also there are a number of Labour Party 2018 local election selection meetings going on early in the month or which have been held already – this may be down to keen-ness to get campaigning, or maybe something else entirely……….
There are several MSB meetings coming up including our inaugural book club tomorrow, our latest campaigns committee meeting – next Monday- and the next MSB main branch meeting is this Sunday the 6th August – this time in Harborne. We also have our important Holiday Hunger Appeal – this is a big issue over the summer and a theme we will keep returning to.
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 -the downstairs room at the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath from 7:30pm. It’s a free event. With a raffle!
**Next MSB branch meeting: 6th August**
Our next MSB members meeting will be on Sunday the 6th August at a venue we haven’t met at for a very long time – Moor Pool Hall (main hall). They’ll be loads to discuss including the refuse workers strike and how we can support them if the dispute is going to continue for a while. We’ll also be having a food bank collection as part of the holiday hunger appeal that several of our members have organised – more details below and please bring donations if you have anything spare. The meeting is at 15:30 – Moor Pool Hall is at 37 The Circle, Harborne, Birmingham B17 9DY.
The usual rules apply – members of other political parties that are opposed to Labour cannot attend unfortunately.
Next MSB campaigns/stalls meeting: 7th August.
Our stalls co-ordinator Chris has organised the next meeting of the stalls committee on Monday the 7th August, 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.
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!
Holiday Hunger Appeal
School holidays are in full swing 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….
Ballots for Labour Conference Arrangements Committee
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. Ballot closes at Midday on the 8th September.
Northfield constituency dates for your diary
- Nothing in the diary this week: there were a couple of selections last week and things usually wind down in August.
Edgbaston constituency dates for your diary
- Harborne ward selection meeting: Thursday 3rd August at the Moor Pool Lower Hall, The Circle, Harborne, B17 9DY. You should have received a letter informing you – if you think are eligible to vote and haven’t then let us know.
Hall Green constituency dates for your diary
Moseley and Kings Heath dates:
- 18 August Social for new members (and old): there’s no branch meeting in August, instead they are going to have a night out to welcome the 159 new members who have joined them since April (bringing our total to 668). Come and join them at the Hare & Hounds back room, Friday 18 August, from 6pm to 10pm. Entry free: donation optional. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org via event listing on Facebook.
- Campaign planning: The next campaigns committee meeting is on Monday August 21 — open to all members who want to contribute ideas and action. Please let Mark know at email@example.com you would like to attend.
Selly Oak constituency dates for your diary
- Billesley ward door-knocking for Selly Oak CLP, every Monday. The newly-constituted ward is seen as one of the toughest battles the party faces in the city next year. 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 meeting are included in 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), there is an online consultation form to complete and there is more useful information here. There are three consultation meetings remaining – a number of Momentum supporters attended the one at the Council House on Friday the 28th so you will not be alone if you go along to have your say!
- Mere Green Library. 1st August 10.30 – 12.30
- Acocks Green Library 9th August 10.30 -12.30
- Kings Heath Library 10th August 10.30 – 12.30
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.
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 email@example.com, they are available in medium, large or extra-large.
‘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.
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: email@example.com
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/