ELECTION NEWS: Meet MP candidates at the Birmingham Erdington hustings – Sunday 27 February

By Erdington Local election news team

On Sunday, 27 February, local voters and members of the public can ask questions directly to candidates wanting to become Erdington’s next Member of Parliament – at the Birmingham Erdington hustings.

The event will run from 6-8pm, held at the GRS Lions Club on Church Road – just off Erdington High Street.

Tickets are completely free.

To secure your place at the Birmingham Erdington hustings event, you will need to register via the official Eventbrite website – giving an Erdington address.

Please click on any of the images in this article or visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/erdington-by-elections-hustings-meet-the-candidates-tickets

Organised by Erdington Local and Churches Together, the Birmingham Erdington hustings event will see over 100 local residents and community campaigners grill the MP hopefuls.

The Birmingham Erdington hustings event will be chaired by Reverend Emma Sykes (St Barnabas) and Erdington Local Editor, Ed King.

Sunday, 27 February will be the first time all candidates have been invited to answer questions together and infornt of the general public, directly addressing the key issues affecting Erdington – such as HMOs and exempt accommodation, protecting green spaces, illegal fly tipping, street crime, healthcare, and the rise in energy prices.

The candidates will each get a chance to answer a series of pre-approved questions within a set time frame, explaining the strategy and policies they would use to help locals if successful elected as Erdington’s next MP.

There will then be an ‘open floor’ section where members of the public can ask further questions about more specific issues from across the community.

If you would like to ask a question to the candidates at the Birmingham Erdington hustings event the please email hustings@erdingtonlocal.com

All candidates running in the Birmingham Erdington by-election were invited to the hustings on Sunday, 27 February.

At the time of writing, the following MP candidates (in alphabetical order) have confirmed they will be attending:

Robert Alden (Conservatives), Jack Brookes (Reform UK), Lee Dargue (Liberal Democrats), Siobhan Harper-Nunes (Green Party), Clifton Holmes (Independent), Michael Lutwyche (Independent), Dave Nellist (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition), Thomas O’Rourke (The Peaky Blinders)

Dave Bishop (Militant Bus Pass Elvis Party) and Mel Mbondiah (Christian Peoples Alliance) have expressed an interest in attending but are unable to confirm.

The Good Knight Sir NosDa (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) has not yet responded.

The only candidate to decline the invitation to attend the Erdington Birmingham hustings on Sunday, 27 February was Paulette Hamilton (Labour) – due to family commitments.

Erdington will elect its next Member of Parliament on Thursday, 3 March.

For more information of the Birmingham Erdington husting event, and to secure your free ticket, please click on any of the images above or visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/erdington-by-elections-hustings-meet-the-candidates-tickets

Google Map to the GRS Lions Club, Church Road, Erdington, B24 9BA:

ELECTION NEWS: Labour leader states “Paulette Hamilton is part of the answer” during visit to Erdington High Street

By Erdington Local election news team

On Wednesday, 16 February, Labour leader Keir Starmer boosted his party’s Erdington by-election candidate stating: “Paulette Hamilton is part of the answer” – during a visit to Erdington High Street.

Coming to Birmingham on the last day of his UK tour, Keir Starmer joined Cllr Hamilton for a tour of the high street, discussing its lack of development in recent years and speaking with local business owners about what resources they needed for a more prosperous Erdington.

Keir Starmer told Erdington Local: “What Erdington needs, what the high street needs, is a very strong advocate – somebody who is going to be in Parliament and knows the communities, knows exactly the change that they want, and is going to be a very loud and powerful voice for them (local people).”

Cllr Hamilton also commented: “We have got to continue to fight to ensure that high streets, like Erdington, get the funding they need, to make people in the local community be proud of their area.”

The Labour leader and Erdington MP candidate, who is also the local councillor for the Holyhead Ward, visited Tia’s Locs & Natural Hair – an established hair dresser for little under a decade, just off the high street on York Road.

They also visited the new Wellbeing Hub run by Witton Lodge Community Association, which took over from the former Health and Wellbeing Walk-in Centre.

Transformed into a multi-service facility that delivers advice, guidance, and support around health, employment, housing and finance, the Wellbeing Hub has been a welcome addition to Erdington High Street – which has seen many banks and national brands leave the in recent years.

Keir Starmer applauded local people and their attitudes towards business development.

He said: “There is no lack of ambition, no lack of ideas or talent in Erdington. But what local people want, is a government that matches that ambition.

“Frankly, if you are not prepared to support Erdington High Street, then how can you seriously talk about levelling up.”

Cllr Hamilton added: “When I moved into Erdington it was like a little village… over the years we’ve lost everything. Local people need to see that Government actually value’s local communities.”

The owner of Tia’s Locs & Natural Hair, Moya (Tia’s daughter), age 30, told Erdington Local: “We’ve known Paulette since the shop opened. She’s been one of our longstanding clients for years, always giving us support and just an absolute delight to talk to”.

When Moya was asked about her confidence in Labour’s ability to deliver change for Erdington, she added: “I feel very confident in her (Paulette Hamilton), definitely.”

Mum of two, Donna Hewitt, didn’t share the local business owner’s confidence.

Standing outside the salon as the Labour leader and MP hopeful stopped for press photos, Ms Hewitt told Erdington Local:

“I’m having to travel from a hotel room in Edgbaston to schools in Erdington (Osborne, St Edmund Campion) every morning.

“I don’t have any heating and the Local Authority are doing nothing… they offered me a flat on the 10th floor of a high rise block,  but I’ve got two children – one has a foot disease and the other isn’t steady walking yet.

“I want to see them help people like us. They can stop having their picture taken and come and help us – I feel like I’m being left out.”

Erdington High Street has recently missed out on two multi million pound regeneration initiatives, the Future High Street and Levelling Up funds.

Addressing the lack of government investment into Erdington, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said:

“We want to get rid of business rates, what a difference that would make to the high street, because it would allow businesses to flourish, and other businesses to come in and make their business on the high street to bring it back to the sort of high street it was many years ago.”

In defence of Erdington, he added: “how shocking is it that the government has actually refused the bid twice for the money that’s needed on Erdington High Street.”

Labour MP hopeful, Paulette Hamilton, also criticised the lack of concrete funding in Erdington. She explained:

“We have gone to Government to get the funding for our high street, and on two occasions we have been refused the funding.”

“We need true levelling up. What I want to see with levelling up, is that places like the high street in Erdington, that we get the funding we need to really develop the high street.”

Erdington will elect its next Member of Parliament on Thursday, 3 March.

The 12 candidates contesting the Birmingham Erdington seat are: Cllr Paulette Hamilton (Labour), Cllr Robert Alden (Conservative), Dave Nellist (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition), Lee Dargue (Liberal Democrats), Michael Lutwyche (Independent), Jack Brookes (Reform UK), Siobhan Harper-Nunes (Green), Thomas O’Rouke (Independent), Mel Mbondiah (Christian People’s Alliance), Clifton Holmes (Independent), David Laurence Bishop (Militant Bus-Pass Elvis Party), The Good Knight Sir NosDa (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party).

Cllr Paulette Hamilton and Keir Starmer discuss investment into Erdington High Street

For more on Cllr Paulette Hamilton and her campaign to become Erdington’s next Member of Parliament visit www.facebook.com/Paulette4Erdington

ELECTION NEWS: Conservative MP candidate Robert Alden will “work closely” with Policing Minister to tackle crime in Erdington

By Erdington Local election news team

Cllr Robert Alden has stated he will “work closely with the (policing) minister and Home Secretary Priti Patel” to ensure people will be safer on the streets of Erdington, during a visit from Policing Minister Kit Malthouse MP.

Out on the campaign trail, ahead of the by election on 3 March, local lad and Erdington Ward Councillor Robert Alden brought the Policing Minister to Erdington – to see first hand the problems he wants to tackle in the constituency.

Previous visits have seen Nadhim Zahawi MP (Secretary of State for Education) and Jacob Rees-Mogg (Minister of State for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency) also join Robert Alden in Erdington.

On the streets of Stockland Green with Policing Minister Kit Malthouse MP, Cllr Alden was speaking after a walking meeting around Slade Road.

The Conservative MP candidate and Policing Minister were discussing how the Government’s Safer Streets funding is being spent in the area and Robert Alden’s plans to tackle crime.

Safer Streets is a government led initiative that has recently seen £432,000 invested into Stockland Green – addressing issues over street crime and public safety, alongside grant funding for projects by local community groups.

Currently the Ward Councillor for Erdington, if elected MP Robert Alden would be responsible for all areas across the constituency.

If elected, Alden has stated his intention to fight for more police officers on the ground, continued support for the Safe Streets programme, and to challenge planning laws and licensing around HMO and exempt accommodation providers.

Cllr Alden also wants to explore more Public Space Protection Orders like the one recently reinstated in Erdington Town Centre, giving the police extended powers to tackle street level anti social behaviour.

“I was delighted to welcome Kit Malthouse to Erdington constituency today to discuss crime and the impact it is having here,” Robert said.

“We had a constructive talk on how to tackle things like anti-social behaviour and drugs crime which can be a blight on lives around here.

“He was on board with my plans to make the area safer such as lobbying for more police officers here as part of the Government’s 20,000 officer recruitment programme.

“I also told him how I want to work with various organisations and the police here to tackle some of the crime issues in areas like Stockland Green and Kingstanding and expand on the positive impact from the Government-funded Safer Streets scheme around the Slade Road area.

“But ultimately, I can only work closely with the minister and Home Secretary Priti Patel to put my plans into action if I am elected MP next month.

“People in Castle Vale, Erdington and Kingstanding have talked to me about their worries surrounding crime during this campaign and the way my plan to keep streets safe can make a difference.

“I want to be our MP so I will be able to implement my plan, tackle these issues and make sure everyone who lives and works here feels safer on the streets and in their homes,” he added.

Erdington will elect its next Member of Parliament on Thursday, 3 March.

The 12 candidates contesting the Birmingham Erdington seat are: Cllr Paulette Hamilton (Labour), Cllr Robert Alden (Conservative), Dave Nellist (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition), Lee Dargue (Liberal Democrats), Michael Lutwyche (Independent), Jack Brookes (Reform UK), Siobhan Harper-Nunes (Green), Thomas O’Rouke (Independent), Mel Mbondiah (Christian People’s Alliance), Clifton Holmes (Independent), David Laurence Bishop (Militant Bus-Pass Elvis Party), The Good Knight Sir NosDa (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party).

For more on Cllr Robert Alden and the Erdington Conservatives visit www.erdingtonconservatives.org.uk