Constituency

On Thursday 2nd September I invited members of my constituency to a listening panel on the future of local policing. All sorts of people from across the constituency attended and we discussed many different issues, such as elected police commissioners and concerns people had with the cuts the police could be facing.

I recently visited the Rathbone Garden Centre which is an excellent charitable service in Selly Oak that helps people gain necessary skills to help them in the workplace. Rathbone in itself is one of the largest charities in Birmingham and celebrated its 25th birthday over the summer. This garden centre prides itself on its ability to improve people’s lives and over half of the plants on sale are grown by the learners themselves.

Earlier today I attended a protest against a phone mast proposal. The application states that the site which has been chosen is the junction of Heath Road and Selly Oak Road (Bournville Ward).Residents and politicians from all parties oppose this mast site due to its proximity to St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School; a fact we have fed back to the council during the consultation.However, it is now clear that the consultation is nothing of the kind.

It is the inspiration of local man, John Hewitt, a keen walker who developed the group as part of the ‘Fit for Life’ Walk 2000 Project. John says, ‘I wanted to show that it wasn’t necessary to spend lots of money on expensive equipment in order to keep fit.’ The group meets on a weekly basis and takes part in a 3Km walk involving warm up and warm down sessions to improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injuries. The route tends to follow a path along the Alcester Rd South, the canal path and the old BMX track.

We have a debt of gratitude to repay to all these Veterans who gave so much for our way of life. Each year, in conjunction with Swanshurst School, I organise this event to ensure that my local Veterans are thanked the way they ought to be. It also gives students a valuable opportunity to talk to people about a way of life which is almost incomprehensible to them. It reminds us how lucky we are and what might have been if people like those at the event today had not stood firm.

I have publicised my annual Veterans’ Day event by posting a personal invitation to local land girl Lilian Coomber. This year’s invite is unique however, as it has been posted using the first class stamp from the most recent commemorative set of stamps, Britain Alone, which features land girl Mona Mcleod.My annual Veterans’ Day event, organised in conjunction with Swanshurst School , has gone from strength to strength.

I am welcoming the Labour Government 's new plans to change the way the victims of crime are supported and to ensure that they are at the heart of the justice system.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw unveiled the new plans after the latest figures showed crime continuing to fall, breaking the pattern of previous recessions, with the lowest murder rate for a decade and the British Crime Survey showing the chances of being a victim the lowest since records began.

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