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.
Thank you to everyone who came along to our first MSB branch meeting since the general election was called yesterday – we had some excellent speakers and discussions about the issues of poverty and the ongoing refuse workers strike and our efforts on both will continue over the coming months. We also did a collection as part of our holiday hunger appeal – and the organisers, Cheryl Hedges and Nicola Brennan, have asked for the following message to be circulated:
“A big thank you to everyone’s kind donations for the Ladywood Project. As well as collecting lots of food, we’ve also raised £112 for gas and electric meters for families in need. We are still collecting throughout the summer so it’s not too late to donate. Please get in touch. Thank you again Nicky & Cheryl”
We also had our first Summer social on Friday – a good time was had by all and thanks again to Nicky for her efforts in making it such a success – we are lucky to have such a great team of activists who work hard all year long.
This week is relatively quiet one but there is plenty coming up from next weekend onwards…….
Anyway enjoy this week’s edition!
Refuse workers strike
One of the main items discussed yesterday was the ongoing refuse workers strike. While the council are obviously in an enormously difficult position with the cuts that the Tory government are forcing them to make members were also unhappy with the role that the Labour councillors have played up until this point. MSB members have been regularly attending the picket line at the Lifford Lane and one of our members has written a superb analysis of the strike which can be read here on our blog – please share amongst your contacts and networks – and also contact your local councillor urging them to offer support to the workers.
We will be continuing our efforts and please pop down to the picket line if you have a chance – the times this week are 6am-8am and 12:30pm-1:30pm until Friday when it changes to 7-8,10:30-11:30 then 12:30-13:30.
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
South and North Birmingham Momentum at the Handsworth Carnival, 19th August
MSB are taking it Birmingham-wide on the 19th and helping our good friends in North Birmingham Momentum at the Handsworth Carnival – which is normally a pretty big event. We are running a stall from 10-4 so if you want to pop along and say hello then that would be lovely, even lovelier would be if you volunteered to help for an hour. Please drop us a line at MomentumbhamSouth@hotmail.com if you think you may have time.
Cyclists for Corbyn picnic – 27th August
If you are not away gallivanting on the Bank Holiday weekend by all means pop along on Sunday the 27th to the first Birmingham Cyclists for JC Picnic in Cannon Hill Park between 14:00 – 17:00. You do not need to be a cyclist to attend this event but bringing some food is essential! More details here.
Save the date – MSB Quiz Night 1st September!
We’ll be having another quiz night on 1st September- Details to be confirmed!
Next MSB book club – 19th September
Our inaugural book club meeting was held last week and reports coming back to MSB towers indicate that it was a fantastic event – many thanks to Cheryl Hedges for pulling it together. The next has been planned already and you have plenty of time to do the reading – it’s 10 Days that shook the world by John Reed. You can read it online here too.19th September, 7pm, Loco Lounge in Kings Heath.
Labour Conference fringe meeting, 25th September: “Economics for a progressive agenda”
The speaker is Professor Bill Mitchell, a leading proponent of Modern Monetary Theory. The meeting is being organised independently by a small group of Labour members whose goal is to start a conversation about re-framing our understanding of economics to match a progressive political agenda.
All are welcome and you don’t have to be a member of the Labour party to attend. It’s being held as a fringe event at the Labour Conference week in Brighton on Monday 25th September – 2pm to 5pm, at The Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YD.
Further details – go to http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/ and scroll to the end of any recent post – look for heading “Crowdfunding Request – Economics for a progressive agenda”
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. Get in touch with Nicky Brennan or Cheryl Hedges and they can arrange collection/drop offs: email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. 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
- Longbridge ward campaigning this week, on 9th and 10th August, as follows;
- Telephone Banking Wednesday 9 August, from 7pm until 8pm, 10, Rednal Mill Drive, B45 8XX
- Doorknocking, Thurs 10 August, 6pm until 8pm, meet Kent Road
- CLP Member & Supporter meeting: Friday 15th September from 7pm – will include discussion of CLP priorities for the 2018 City Council elections in both Northfield and Birmingham – more details to follow.
Edgbaston constituency dates for your diary
- Nothing this week unfortunately!
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org you would like to attend.
- Moseley and Kings Heath Labour Party Street Stall in Kings Heath, Saturday, August 26 at 10 am, Outside of Asda, Kings Heath High Street.
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 to 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 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 two consultation meetings remaining – a number of Momentum supporters attended the one at the Council House on Friday the 28th July so you will not be alone if you go along to have your say!
- Acocks Green Library 9th August 10.30 -12.30
- Kings Heath Library 10th August 10.30 – 12.30
Keep Our NHS Public Birmingham
KONPB do a huge amount of brilliant work and a number of Momentum activists are already involved in meetings and activity, but they 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.
Currently KONPB have campaigns on the proposed NHS “Transformation” plans (cuts and privatisation) in Brum/Solihull and Black Country; the privately-financed Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick (PFI/2) and have recently set up a ‘Mental Health Interest Group’, which is planning to do some more work on the mental health arrangements for young people 0-25 years in Birmingham – currently ‘red risk’.
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.
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.
‘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/