OPINION: A message from Paulette Hamilton, MP for Erdington

Pic supplied by Paulette Hamilton MP

As your MP and a local resident, I am often told of your concerns about crime and antisocial behaviour in the area, particularly knife crime.

Worryingly, the B23 postcode had the highest number of reported knife crime incidences in Birmingham last year, according to the latest figures. This is not a coincidence, but it is the direct result of the Tory Government’s failure to tackle the root causes of knife crime.

Under the Tories, knife crime has gone up by 77% since 2015. Ministers have slashed funding for vital public services, such as education, health, and youth work. They have cut 21,000 police officers since the last Labour Government, leaving our streets less safe and less protected.

However, this can change. Labour has a plan to invest in our communities and give our young people their future back. Labour will:

  • Extend the ban on zombie knives to ninja swords.
  • Establish an end-to-end review of online knife sales.
  • Close the loophole that allows online marketplaces to sell dangerous knives.
  • Introduce a new Young Futures programme to establish new youth hubs, with both mental health workers and youth workers.

For too long, the Tories have been soft on knife crime and soft on the causes of knife crime. Labour would put the safety and security of our community at the heart of its government.

Together, we can end the knife crime epidemic and build a better future for Erdington, Kingstanding and Castle Vale.

For more on Paulette Hamilton MP for Erdington visit www.paulettehamilton.org

OPINION: A message from Paulette Hamilton, MP for Erdington

Pic supplied by Paulette Hamilton MP

I hope everyone in Erdington, Kingstanding and Castle Vale had a wonderful Christmas and a peaceful new year.

I’d like to congratulate Renata from SS Mary and John Catholic Primary School for winning my Christmas Card competition. And well done to the runners-up, Valentina and Burham, whose cards were fantastic.

2024 is both a year of opportunity and challenge. For more than 13 years, the Tory government has let down people in our communities, failing to address the key issues that affect us, such as the rising cost of living, the lack of GP and dental appointments, the surge in crime, the proliferation of HMOs and the decline of Erdington High Street. They ignored our repeated applications to the Levelling Up Fund, which would have revitalised our High Street.

Making matters worse, the Tories’ shameful Rwanda plan is in tatters, and they have no clear plan to fix the broken system they created. They have squandered billions of pounds on vanity projects and crony contracts, while cutting vital public services and support for the most vulnerable.

This year, our country will face a crucial choice: more neglect and chaos with the Tories, or credible leadership with Labour. Labour has a plan to rebuild Britain, invest in our NHS, create good jobs, make our communities safer and stronger, and get Britan’s future back.

As your local MP and a proud resident of this area, I will always stand up for you and our community.

Together, we can make 2024 a year of hope and change.

For more on Paulette Hamilton MP for Erdington visit www.paulettehamilton.org

OPINION: A message from Paulette Hamilton, MP for Erdington

Pic supplied by Paulette Hamilton MP

As 2023 comes to an end, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on my work as your Member of Parliament for Erdington, Kingstanding, and Castle Vale over the past year.

As your representative in Parliament, I have spoken 39 times to raise a variety of issues that matter to you. I have spoken six different times about the problems on Erdington High Street, which is the beating heart of our community.

I have raised concerns about the lack of GP appointments, along with mental health services, the mortgage crisis, knife crime, antisocial behaviour, HMOs, the cost of living crisis, levelling up, and much more. I have always done my best to be your voice in Westminster and to hold the government to account, and I will continue to do so.

As your local MP, I have also been working hard to help you with your individual problems and concerns. I have responded to 1,975 pieces of policy casework and sent out over 9,000 emails to assist you with various local issues.

I have also visited local schools, businesses, charities, and community groups to hear your views and support your ambitions.

As someone who lives locally, I am proud to represent our community in Parliament and in our constituency. I will continue to work hard for you and to fight for a better future for all.

Finally, I want to wish everyone in Erdington, Kingstanding, and Castle Vale a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

For more on Paulette Hamilton MP for Erdington visit www.paulettehamilton.org

OPINION: A message from Paulette Hamilton, MP for Erdington

Pic supplied by Paulette Hamilton MP

As your local MP representing Erdington, Kingstanding, and Castle Vale, I care about the issues that affect you and our community. Here are some of the things I have done in the past month:

I recently hosted a meeting with Simon Foster, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Chief Superintendent Richard North, local traders, and officials from Birmingham City Council. 

We discussed the ongoing issues of crime and antisocial behaviour on Erdington High Street.

Importantly, they heard concerns from our traders, recognising the need for more robust measures to enhance security and enforcement, and the need to work more closely to combat crime in the area.

I was also approached by traders on Slade Road who raised concerns about issues they were experiencing, including theft, antisocial behaviour, and the presence of sex workers. I empathised with the challenges facing local traders and will be following up on their concerns and working towards a constructive solution. 

I recently participated in a National Day of Action for Safer Streets to prevent road accidents, injuries, and deaths. As part of this effort, I’m backing the campaign to reduce speeds to 30mph on local roads. I would urge everyone to have their say by taking part in the consultation – please do get in touch if you want to know more. 

Despite 13 years of Conservative cuts to policing, I will not give up on fighting crime and antisocial behaviour in our area. I will keep working to secure the resources we need to keep our community safe. 

For more on Paulette Hamilton MP for Erdington visit www.paulettehamilton.org

OPINION: A message from Paulette Hamilton, MP for Erdington

Pic supplied by Paulette Hamilton MP

As your local MP for Erdington, Kingstanding, and Castle Vale, I am committed to fighting for the future of Erdington High Street, which faces many challenges. One of the biggest concerns I hear from you is about the impact of gambling on our High Street.

That is why I recently objected to the plans of a betting shop to extend their opening hours as I’m concerned it would fuel crime and anti-social behaviour in our area. I have urged the planning committee to reject this application.

Another issue that I was contacted about was the future of the New Inns Pub, which is a historic landmark and a vital community hub for our area. In response to my letter, I’m glad the owners have confirmed the building will remain a local pub and continues to serve our community for years to come.

I have also invited the West Midlands Chief Constable, to join me for a walk along Erdington High Street. I want him to see and hear the challenges that our local businesses and residents are facing.

Our High Street continues to be let down by the Tory Government, who earlier this year rejected our Levelling Up Fund Bid.

This fund should have helped areas like ours that have been left behind. Instead, affluent areas like the Prime Minister’s own constituency received millions of pounds in funding.

Erdington is my home, and I will continue to fight each and every day for the investment our area deserves.

For more on Paulette Hamilton MP for Erdington visit www.paulettehamilton.org

OPINION: A message from Paulette Hamilton, MP for Erdington

Pic supplied by Paulette Hamilton MP

I hope you enjoyed the summer break. As for me, August has been another busy month, tirelessly working to get the best for our community.

Recently, I proudly stood with residents to oppose the latest planning application for a 7-bed HMO on Gravelly Lane, which would have made it the 209th HMO in our area. It’s no secret that our communities in Erdington, Kingstanding and Castle Vale have been grappling with an influx of HMOs, and the associated problems that follow.

Thankfully, our campaign successfully persuaded Birmingham City Council to reject the application, making it clear that we don’t need any more HMOs in our neighbourhoods.

Another matter that was bought to my attention was the speculation of the future of Warren Farm Urgent Care Centre in Kingstanding. The Centre holds a special place in my heart as it’s where I first worked as a district nurse, so I know how important the Centre is for local people.

I wrote to the CEO of NHS Birmingham and Solihull seeking clarification. His swift reply provided assurances that the Centre will stay at its current location for the foreseeable future, however, concerns remain about the state of the building that are under careful observation.

Places like Warren Farm Urgent Care Centre provide vital services to local people. Sadly, after 13 years of Tory neglect, our local NHS centres are at risk. Only a Labour Government can fix this mess, save our NHS, and prioritise the health needs for communities like ours.

For more on Paulette Hamilton MP for Erdington visit www.paulettehamilton.org

(Ed’s note: This column was first published in the Erdington Local newspaper on 4 September, before the announcement of a Section 114 notice issued by Birmingham City Council.)

OPINION: A message from Paulette Hamilton, MP for Erdington

Pic supplied by Paulette Hamilton MP

I hope everyone in Erdington, Kingstanding and Castle Vale is looking forward to the summer break and spending some valuable time with their family. Although Parliament is in summer recess, my work in our community will continue throughout.

Recently, I was made aware of a planning application that proposed to convert the Royal Oak Pub into a 10-bed HMO. The property is located in Stockland Green ward, in an area that already has a significant number of HMOs. I led a campaign calling on local people to object to the planning application, and our petition collected the support of 398 concerned residents.

I’m delighted that Birmingham City Council listened to residents’ concerns and refused the application. This shows what can be achieved when a determined community works together.

Also in July, our amazing NHS marked its 75th Anniversary. I’m proud to have worked in the NHS as a nurse, first training as a district nurse in Kingstanding and then dedicating 25 years to supporting people across Birmingham. Living in Erdington, I still rely on and cherish our local NHS services.

The NHS was Labour’s greatest achievement, founded in 1948 and continues to provide care to everyone free from the point of use. Sadly, after 13 years of Tory mismanagement, we have seen a huge decline in our health service, making it impossible to book GP appointments, creating long operation waiting times and worsening staff shortages. Our NHS is broken, and it will take a Labour government to save it.

For more on Paulette Hamilton MP for Erdington visit www.paulettehamilton.org

OPINION: A message from Paulette Hamilton, MP for Erdington

Pics supplied by Paulette Hamilton MP

Erdington is my home. It’s where I have lived for more than 35 years, raised my children and where my husband opened his first business. So, I was incredibly proud to show Lisa Nandy, the Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities the brilliant work local people have been doing in our area.

We visited Witton Lakes Eco Hub in Perry Common to celebrate its 1st Anniversary. Lisa was absolutely amazed, and praised what she saw; local people coming together to work with our communities, and create a small paradise in the heart of Erdington.

We have many local community groups across Erdington, Kingstanding and Castle Vale. They work day in, day out to improve our neighbourhoods, despite getting little help from the Government, who earlier this year rejected Erdington’s £11million Levelling-Up bid.

But how can the Government help? Whilst interest rates rise and local people face an annual mortgage payment increase of £1,900 this year, the Tory Government have been distracted by their on-going civil war.

The Privileges Committee found that Boris Johnson deliberately misled Parliament when he was Prime Minister, broke the rules, and was complicit in a campaign of abuse and attempted intimidation of the Committee. Instead of making his case to the people in his community, who put their trust in him, he chose to quit and run. The country now faces four more by-elections, costing taxpayers £100,000’s in a cost of living crisis.

Whilst the Tory soap opera continues, people in our community and across the country are desperate, and deserve a Prime Minister and a Government that they can trust, and who would always have their best interests at heart.

For more on Paulette Hamilton MP for Erdington visit www.paulettehamilton.org

OPINION: A message from Paulette Hamilton, MP for Erdington – June ‘23

Pic supplied by Paulette Hamilton MP

(Ed’s Note: This column was written to be published in the Erdington Local newspaper – out from 5 June)

Recently, Birmingham City Council submitted a planning application that would have reduced the size of Erdington Library to make space for a youth centre.

Although we can all agree that we desperately need a local youth centre, it shouldn’t come at the cost of our library.

Thankfully, following a community campaign led by Friends of Erdington Library, Erdington Lunar Society, and concerns that I had raised, the council swiftly withdrew the application.

The sad truth is that we need things for young people to do in our area but since 2010, the Tories have decimated our youth services. As a result, there are only a handful of services left for young people.

The YMCA youth charity found that nationally, council spending on youth services has fallen from £1.4bn in 2010 to £379m in 2021. During that time, 750 youth centres and a staggering 4,500 youth workers have been lost.

The youth services budget is down by 74% in real terms compared to what it was at the end of the last Labour government.

Government cuts have led to half of Birmingham’s youth centres closing their doors, including Erdington’s Malcolm Locker Youth Centre. It now sits empty, rundown and a shell of its former self.

More than decade of Tory cuts has failed a generation of local young people. The service is in serious need of investment and a government that is prepared to put young people at the heart of what they do.

For more on Paulette Hamilton MP for Erdington visit www.paulettehamilton.org

OPINION: A message from Paulette Hamilton, MP for Erdington

(Ed’s Note: All monthly columns were written to be first published in the Erdington Local newspaper on 1 May)

April marked a special time for many people in our community as families celebrated Easter, Passover, and Eid. I hope everyone celebrating enjoyed the break and you were able to spend some valuable time with your family.

Whilst our community came together in celebration, the Government had other plans for our area. In early April, I learned that the Ministers decided to overturn the appeal for another betting shop on Erdington High Street – after Labour run Birmingham City Council rejected the original application. Words cannot describe my disappointment when I discovered that the Tory Government allowed the appeal, despite huge opposition from local people and businesses.

Ministers have chosen to back gambling bosses and ignore the wishes of local people. The decision will come as a blow for people in Erdington who have joined me in relentlessly campaigning to secure improvements for our local High Street. Sadly, this is yet another example of the Tories turning their back on our community after they rejected our £11million Levelling-Up bid earlier this year that would have transformed the area.

Our High Street has so much potential and needs investment, but we are constantly being let down by the Tories. The last thing we need is another betting shop, but it’s clear, the Government have shown that yet again they’re not on the side of local people.

Erdington High Street is the heart and soul of our community and despite this setback, I will continue to work alongside local people and traders to find solutions that help secure the investment we desperately need.

In brighter news, over the first weekend in May our country will come together to celebrate the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty The Queen Consort. I’m looking forward to attending community events across Erdington, Kingstanding and Castle Vale, and joining local people in celebration of this historic occasion. Please let me know if you have an event organised!

Finally, it’s fantastic that the Erdington Local newspaper is back on the shelves in print. The team at Erdington Local do an amazing job keeping our community informed on local issues that matter to you, and they deserve all the support they can get.

For more on Paulette Hamilton MP for Erdington visit www.paulettehamilton.org