Birmingham Labour’s chickens come home to roost

I’ve written a series of pieces over the last few weeks detailing numerous irregularities in selection meetings across the city for the 2018 local elections.

Matters came to a head on Wednesday the 19th September, just before Labour Party Conference, when several members of the party’s National Executive Committee personally intervened, following what I have been told were over 50 complaints (at least two of which involved demonstrable dishonesty), to seek the suspension of all selection meetings across the city pending a review of the process and to allow outstanding panel applications and appeals to be addressed.

(I’m given to understand that much of the concern centres around the Harborne and Handsworth selection meetings – readers will be aware that I have covered the rollercoaster ride in Harborne ward in some detail.)

Furthermore, the planned Birmingham Board AGM and ordinary meeting on Friday September the 22nd was called off.

The AGM itself was called off also at the insistence of the NEC, although it is still unclear whether they instructed the whole meeting be cancelled entirely. Having such an important meeting of the Board when so many members were likely to be away for Conference was wholly inappropriate in any case.

The AGM, which hasn’t been held for years (despite the clue being in the name regarding frequency), was called at 6 days notice despite the rules making it clear that 28 were required for such an important event in the Birmingham Labour calendar.

There were also several attempted changes to the composition of the Board that have come to light in the week leading up to the meeting, which were, shall we say, interesting, and appear designed to ensure certain outcomes in certain votes (and will warrant further investigation by someone with the time…..) The most important of these was thankfully blocked.

And of course, all of this is set against the backdrop of the continued turmoil in the Labour-controlled city council, with the Group leadership election last week (that ordinary Birmingham party members had no say in at all, depressingly, despite clearly being the best judge of these things).

So all in all it wasn’t a terrific few days for the Labour Party hierarchy across our fair city and region.

In this context the seriousness of the National Executive Committee’s intervention cannot be exaggerated. For the NEC to get involved and suspend the selection process in the largest metropolitan council in the country, and just before Conference, represents an absolutely devastating vote of no confidence in the functioning of the local party apparatus.

I am told that several very senior individuals locally were in an absolute state of panic following the move – one feels that after a couple of decades of being allowed to act with complete impunity they suddenly realise that the repeated stitch-ups, irregularities and manoeuvrings are catching up with them. Not before time.

For many party members locally the NEC’s move is a welcome one and the vindication of a longstanding and at times demoralising campaign to democratize the city and regional parties. It is no more than a start, but nevertheless hugely significant.

It is clear to any objective observer of Birmingham Labour party politics that there is a serious problem, that the sheer scale and diversity of the irregularities across the city in the last couple of months suggests it is a huge, systemic problem, and given the sovereign power of the NEC within the party’s structures it probably required NEC intervention to try and address that systemic problem.

All that said, the decision does itself potentially pose a few problems. There has been some commentary on social media suggesting that the timing is disastrous and it could really hurt the party locally in May 2018, with candidates potentially not being in position for some time. There have been numerous delays already and selections were meant to begin a year ago.

I would argue however that doing nothing, and allowing this farce to proceed, would have been far more damaging. An attempt to clean this up was always going to be messy, whenever it began (and in many areas of the country selection meetings have barely started anyway).

The reality is that the West Midlands and Birmingham Labour Parties are rotten from top to bottom. There is no democracy and members have virtually no say. The Birmingham Board, on paper the ‘Local Campaign Forum’ which according to the rules is supposed to control candidate selection, in reality simply rubber-stamps decisions made by paid (or formerly paid) officials and senior MPs elsewhere.

Board meetings are months apart and no reports are provided to members unless huge pressure is applied. Minutes are impossible to get hold of and those that are produced are ludicrously brief.

For example, at the Board meeting that was due to be held on the 22nd, the minutes were to be handed out at the meeting and not circulated by email beforehand!

Many local members are still entirely unaware of the Board’s existence and in the last year the composition mysteriously has shifted before meetings where crucial votes may have been lost by the Regional Office.

That until recently four (now three with the lifting in Hall Green) of the ten Birmingham CLPs are in ‘Special Measures’, some for over 20 years and with seemingly no plan in the remaining three to lift them out, was and is used to justify the most Kafkaesque regime imaginable in the whole city.

The lack of democracy has real-world effects. There is no way that a Birmingham Labour Party more responsive to members would have treated the refuse workers so disgracefully.

A more democratic, member-led party would not have produced such a meek response to savage Tory-imposed austerity.

And a West Midlands Regional Office with any life and vibrancy in it at all would not have run such a spectacularly inept, and at times repugnant, mayoral campaign (if I wanted to give out leaflets with the Cross of St. George on the front I’d have joined the National Front).

Because of this we have a Tory regional mayor in a region that should comfortably have returned the Labour candidate. A more democratic regional party would have actually provided us with a choice of candidates and allow most members to participate in that selection – thus providing us with a final candidate who we could actually get behind rather than ending up campaigning, half-heartedly, for a candidate most of us (whether on the right or left) didn’t want, in an election the people of the region didn’t want in the first place.

The hollowed-out West Midlands party structures are what you are left with after decades of only sporadically interrupted and disrupted Labour First and right-wing control. The effects have been a disaster and unless and until things are cleaned up we will face repeat after repeat of the Sion Simon campaign.

Returning to Birmingham, Momentum members and sympathisers in the North and South of the city, along with members of all wings who just want a democratic, vibrant party, voted and campaigned for a more just and democratic freeze date for members to participate in selection meetings. Members were expected to have joined over two years ago to participate in meetings this year. The “freeze date” was set literally at the month when all the new members started joining to support the first Corbyn leadership campaign – July 2015. It was so blatant it was almost embarrassing.

The national rule is 6 months.

All the protests and resolutions were ignored; when it finally came to the Board for consideration (which in itself took Herculean efforts I understand) it was voted down by what I have also been told was an unconstitutional secret ballot.

It took a personal intervention by Jeremy Corbyn at an NEC sub-committee meeting to shift the freeze date to about a year. Far from perfect, but the fact that the party leader felt it necessary to intervene himself to protect members’ rights, over the head of the local party leadership, showed that something was seriously awry, and that the intelligent individuals in the West Midlands Regional Office would surely know that they were now on notice.

The recent developments would suggest that if there was a debate in the WMRO, however, it was won by the “carry on stitching-everything-up and bludgeoning through regardless” brigade.

The attempt to ram the AGM on the 22nd through at such short notice, the tin ears around the freeze date and the unending, clumsy, cack-handed attempts to manipulate the 2018 selections suggests a local party bureaucracy used to doing what it wants with impunity and incapable of reflecting on the mood shift in the party across the region and the country.

Members with any involvement in trying to assert and extend party democracy locally, in however small a way, will know the stock response they have always received from the machine: sullen, ignorant, po-faced, dishonest, indifferent and unbending intransigence every step of the way. No room for compromise. No meeting anyone half way or ever giving any ground on anything. Every setback, however minor, for the WMRO met with another attempt to force through what they wanted by another, invariably even less democratic route. Witness all the selection meetings held in August after they “lost” the freeze date battle.

The selection process in Birmingham has become the site of a civil war that the West Midlands Regional Office started. This mess is owned by them.

MW

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Monyhull and Druids Heath selection 

The attempts to manipulate the selection process in Birmingham for the 2018 local elections show no sign of abating.

Earlier in the year a plan was agreed by the Birmingham Board, in consultation with the NEC, for a significant number of wards and seats to have All Women Shortlists (AWS) in order to boost the number of women candidates and councillors, and to concurrently accelerate the outstanding and new applications of women members for the panel.

There have been persistent rumours of certain prominent (and always right-wing) individuals in the local party wanting to water the commitment for gender balance down in order to get their preferred candidates selected, and it is clear that the commitment to accelerate the applications of women applicants has not been kept. At the time of writing I’m aware of at least 5 women awaiting a decision, only one of whom has even been interviewed.

And in recent days a further development. A quick scan on the newly updated election section of the Birmingham Labour Party website reveals this juicy tidbit:

 


This seemingly innocuous piece of information marks an interesting and very significant shift. Druids Heath was up until very recently an AWS.

So why the change? Rumour has it that the West Midlands Regional Office (who have been coming up in these articles a fair bit haven’t they………) have decided to remove the AWS for a certain male individual’s benefit.

And on what authority did the change get made? The rules of the Birmingham Board state that the power over selections sits with the Birmingham Board, a body that hasn’t met since July and whose latest meeting, which was meant to be on the 8th September, was not for the first time, postponed until the 22nd. Who is calling the shots in between the rarer-than-hen’s-teeth Board meetings?

One wonders if the NEC will be happy with everything that is going on under their noses in the city……….

 

MW

The curious case of the postponed selection meetings

The difficulty with reporting on the selection process in Birmingham Labour for the 2018 local elections is that in different areas democracy is being sidestepped in different ways.

  • So, in some wards meetings are forced through in August.
  • In some wards candidates are “accidentally” not informed about the meeting.
  • Certain applicants with empty activity diaries find it oddly easy to get approved for the panel.
  • Other applicants with far fuller activity diaries find it nigh on impossible to get a response to an email, let alone an interview for the panel.

We now have a new technique to add to the list – postpone the meeting.

The Balsall Heath and Sparkbrook selection meetings were due to be held on the 4th and 5th September but I’ve heard from several reliable sources that these meetings have been called off (with no new date agreed so far) at the insistence of the West Midlands Regional Office, who had in turn been urged to act by one of the candidates, currently a sitting councillor, who was not available on those dates. Those more familiar with the local minutiae can probably work out who that candidate is but suffice it to say they are known for having a bit of a volcanic temper.

There is something deeply problematic about a selection meeting being called off because one of the candidates decides they can’t make a given date outside of the traditional Summer holiday period, particularly when that candidate is a sitting councillor. It smacks of an abuse of incumbency.

There is also the small matter of the setting of a selection meeting being the decision of a CLP, not the Regional Office. Hall Green CLP, many of you may know, has recently come out of ‘Special Measures’ which means that it should, in theory, be able to make its own decisions about its own business.

But it would appear that certain individuals want to carry as if the lifting of ‘Special Measures’ never happened and the venerable tradition of Regional Office manipulation of selections in the area continues apace (both wards are considered rock solid Labour, you won’t be surprised to hear).

I’ve argued on these pages previously for delaying some of the selection meetings. But in Balsall Heath and Sparkbrook there is a real danger that if the delays continue then the candidates will be imposed – with the impositions being of individuals that would not have a prayer in an open, democratic selection meeting.

This is the fourth piece I’ve written in less than 3 weeks about these issues – I have a nasty feeling that there will be a lot more to come over the next few weeks. There is a serious problem becoming apparent and it is city-wide.

 

MW

MSB Newsletter 07/08/17

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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 nicky151289@gmail.com or chezhedges@hotmail.com.

 

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 lourobson@hotmail.comor 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 mp_banahan@hotmail.co.ukif 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 btuchcc@hotmail.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 nicky151289@gmail.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 c.wright230@ntlworld.com. As things develop further post-conference we’ll keep you informed.

 

School cuts

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: nicky151289@gmail.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!

 

https://www.facebook.com/momentumbirminghamsouth/ 

https://momentumsbham.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/@MomentumSBham/ 

MomentumbhamSouth@hotmail.com

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/momentum-south-birmingham

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/wall-of-fame

To join Momentum: https://join.peoplesmomentum.com/

MSB newsletter 17/07/17

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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….

Get in touch with Nicky Brennan or Cheryl Hedges and they can arrange collection/drop offs: email nicky151289@gmail.com or chezhedges@hotmail.com.

 

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:

Sisters Uncut Flyer FINAL (1)

 

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 chezhedges@hotmail.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 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.

 

KONP Birmingham

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 btuchcc@hotmail.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 nicky151289@gmail.com, 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.

 

Fundraising survey

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 c.wright230@ntlworld.com. As things develop further post-conference we’ll keep you informed.

 

School cuts

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: nicky151289@gmail.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!

 

https://www.facebook.com/momentumbirminghamsouth/ 

https://momentumsbham.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/@MomentumSBham/ 

MomentumbhamSouth@hotmail.com 

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/momentum-south-birmingham

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/wall-of-fame

To join Momentum: https://join.peoplesmomentum.com/

MSB newsletter 10/07/17

cropped-cropped-cropped-momentum-cover-photo-61.jpg

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 chezhedges@hotmail.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 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.

 

KONP Birmingham

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 btuchcc@hotmail.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 nicky151289@gmail.com, 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.

 

Fundraising survey

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 c.wright230@ntlworld.com. As things develop further post-conference we’ll keep you informed.

 

School cuts

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: nicky151289@gmail.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!

https://www.facebook.com/momentumbirminghamsouth/ 

https://momentumsbham.wordpress.com/ 

https://twitter.com/@MomentumSBham/ 

MomentumbhamSouth@hotmail.com 

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/momentum-south-birmingham 

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/wall-of-fame 

To join Momentum: https://join.peoplesmomentum.com/

 

Newsletter 03/07/2017

cropped-cropped-cropped-momentum-cover-photo-61.jpg

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.

James

 

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 btuchcc@hotmail.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. 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: Sisters Uncut Flyer FINAL (1)

 

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 chezhedges@hotmail.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 nicky151289@gmail.com, 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.

 

Fundraising survey

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 c.wright230@ntlworld.com. As things develop further post-conference we’ll keep you informed.

 

School cuts

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: nicky151289@gmail.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!

 

https://www.facebook.com/momentumbirminghamsouth/

https://momentumsbham.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/@MomentumSBham/

MomentumbhamSouth@hotmail.com

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/momentum-south-birmingham

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/wall-of-fame