BACK TO SCHOOL: Marsh Hill children swap Christmas cards with Polish school pen pals

Words and pics by Marsh Hill Primary School

At Marsh Hill, we are constantly striving to enrich our pupil’s lives by giving them a range of opportunities and experiences.

One exciting new initiative we have started this academic year is for Year 4 to make international links with a Polish school, Mlodziezowy Osrodek Socjoterapii in Pomorska Wies.

Year 4 were extremely busy before Christmas making festive cards to post to the children at Mlodziezowy Osrodek Socjoterapii. Our pupils were thrilled when they returned to school in January to see that they had received a special delivery from Poland!

Shown above are the Christmas cards they have received from the children in Poland. Our Marsh Hill children were very impressed with how their Polish pen pals had written the cards in English and are going to now learn how to write back in Polish with the help of Miss Matylda.

Over the year, Year 4 will continue to communicate and have links with the school children in Poland.

A huge thank you to Miss Matylda for giving our pupils this wonderful opportunity.

For more on Marsh Hill Primary School visit www.marshill.bham.sch.uk

Marsh Hill Primary School is part of the Erdington Local BACK TO SCHOOL programme, working together to celebrate school life from staffroom to classroom.

To find out more about going BACK TO SCHOOL please email: edking@erdingtonlocal.com

NEWS: Stockland Green church asks members to pray and fast for ‘apostle’ after manslaughter arrest following death of a man in his 60s

Words by Erdington Local editorial team

A Stockland Green church where a man reportedly died during a baptism has cancelled meetings and events this week – whilst asking members to pray and fast for the ‘apostle’ at the centre of ongoing manslaughter investigations.

Life Changing Ministries, Slade Road, has become the focus of international attention after a man in his 60s died in a small outside pool at the address on Sunday 8 October.

It is reported a baptism was taking place and was being live streamed on the group’s Facebook page – with a picture being widely shared online following the incident.

West Midlands Ambulance Service attended the scene and tried to save the man, named on the church’s Facebook page as Robert Yap.

West Midlands Ambulance Service confirmed: “We were called at 1.42pm on Sunday to a medical emergency at a private address on Slade Road in Stockland Green, Birmingham. Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and a critical care car from Midland Air Ambulance attended the scene. Upon arrival we found a man.

“Ambulance staff administered advanced life support to him but unfortunately, despite the best efforts of ambulance staff it became clear that nothing more could be done to save him and he was confirmed deceased at the scene.”

The story made headlines across the world this week, being picked up by media outlets across the UK and several Christian websites in America and Africa.

But whilst police investigate the tragedy, several posts have appeared on the Life Changing Ministries Facebook page inviting members to join in three ‘Powerful Days of Prayer and Fasting’, running from Tuesday 10 to Thursday 12 October.

A post made on Tuesday 10 October further stated: “URGENT ANNOUNCEMENT!! APOSTLE CHERYL REID – BARTLEY IS URGING ALL MEMBERS TO JOIN WITH HER IN THESE THREE (3) DAYS OF INTENSE AND DEEP WARFARE, PRAYER AND FAST FOR THE MINISTRY, FOR APOSTLE (HERSELF) AND FOR OUR FAITHFUL MEMBERS!!!”

Other posts made by the church’s Facebook administrators include a near hour long message to camera made by Ms Reid-Bartley, under the heading: ‘Our Beloved Brother, Robert Yap of Life Changing Ministries, Birmingham, England has went Home to be with the Lord.’

The post also quotes 2 Corinthians 5:8 (King James Version): ‘We are confident I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.’

Following the social media messages, Life Changing Ministries received several messages of support from members of the church.

Markita Davis Humphrey posted in the comments section: “Always lifting up LCM and Apostle Cheryl and LCM sons and daughters and our families.”

Keisha Riley added: “We will continue to fast and pray Apostle, we’re in this together, we appreciate and love you.”

However, other people criticised the lack of prayers for the man who died.

Donna Francis said: “…none of this people praying for the family of this man what died, all u on praying for the apostle who went to heaven and come back because she did not like up there, and leave the man because he like what he see madness all you stop it this man family is grieving.”

Whilst Mai VaDhikondo posted: “Well life changed really quickly for the apostle, I wonder if she saw this one in her many revelations. Pray for the man who died please!”

Hannah George added: “Who’s praying for the family of the man who died if u don’t mind me asking.”

Following the initial response from emergency services on Sunday 8 October, West Midlands Police were notified about the tragedy and officers and have arrested a woman in connection with the death.

A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police confirmed: “A woman has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after a man in his 60s died in Erdington on Sunday.

“A post mortem examination will be carried out in due course to establish the cause of the man’s death, while detectives carry out enquiries into the circumstances surrounding his death.

“A 46-year-old woman who was arrested in Birmingham has been released on police bail while enquiries continue.”

The case continues.

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

NEWS: Application for 10 bedroom HMO at old Royal Oak pub refused over fears of ‘erosion’ to local area

Words & pics by Ed King

An application to convert the old Royal Oak pub on Marsh Lane has been refused by Birmingham City Council (BCC) citing the potential ‘erosion’ of the local area in its final decision.

The application was made by Keey Homes Ltd, a property management company with a registered address in Exeter – that was only incorporated in December 2022.

In further response to the planning application, which sought to covert the once popular pub into a 10 bedroom HMO (house of multiple occupancy), BCC stated that ‘future occupiers of the proposed HMO would not be afforded a suitable and satisfactory standard of living’.

In the current proposal, registered with BCC on 12 July 2023, more than one of the 10 bedrooms would only have windows facing a neighbouring wall – at less than 12 times the distance required in Birmingham – leaving an ‘unsatisfactory standard of outlook and poor access to natural light’.

Further concerns were raised as none of the ‘external amenity space’ at the property would be ‘made available for occupiers’ – leaving potential residents often cooped up min their bedrooms.

The historical significance of the building was also raised, with the proposed demolition of a boundary wall and building extension on the current beer garden viewed by BCC as a ‘loss of features of historic value’.

Furthermore, the report goes on to identify that if the application was granted it would result in nearly a third (28%) of the surrounding residential properties – stretching 100m from the Royal Oak – would be given to HMOs and Exempt Accommodation.

It continues to state that a ten bedroom HMO ‘would result in an over-concentration of non-family residential uses in the area’ and any potential ‘public benefits’ would not ‘justify the further erosion of the surrounding area’s family residential character.’

In conclusion, the planning officers report found the proposed development ‘would fail to provide a satisfactory standard of residential accommodation’ and BCC refused the application.

The halting of another HMO in Erdington will come as a welcome relief to local residents who objected to the plans, with hundreds signing petitions from local elected officials to rally against the development.

On 22 June, Erdington Ward Cllr Robert Alden, and Leader of Birmingham Conservatives, launched an online petition against the proposed HMO – citing the ‘cumulative impact of HMOs in this area’ and many of the issues eventually identified by Birmingham City Council in their final notes as to why they refused the application.

On 26 June, Erdington MP Paulette Hamilton also launched an online petition against the development, further writing to the BCC Planning Committee to ‘express my strong opposition’ to the application – referencing a ‘clear… lack of consultation with residents’ and other community stakeholders.

On hearing the Council’s decision to refuse the application, Paulette Hamilton MP told Erdington Local: “It was fantastic to learn that Birmingham City Council have refused the planning application that would have converted the Royal Oak Pub into a 10-bed HMO. I know the decision came as a relief for many local people.

“I’m also proud to have led the campaign that resulted in this decision. We urged local people to submit their concerns and I’m glad that 398 concerned residents backed our petition.

“Today’s result was good, but I remain concerned about the number of HMOs in our community and will continue to represent the best interests of my constituents.”

Erdington Ward Councillor Robert Alden (Conservative) further told: “The refusal of this application is welcome news for our community and the right decision. Thank you to the hundreds of residents who signed my petition opposing the application and wrote to the Council objecting.

“This is again proof of the difference residents can make locally by standing up to the landlords who attempt to break up our community.

“This application was totally unsuitable and would have had a significant negative impact on the area had it been approved. I call on the Council to now reject the HMO application for 120 Gravelly Lane as well.”

But Richard Bates, who lives a short walk from the proposed development, summed up the resilience of local residents in their fight against HMOs, describing them as “a community that is tough as a royal oak.”

Local MC and hip hop artist SANITY releases new single, ‘Late Night’ – out from 30 June

Words by Jasmine Khan / Profile pic by Connor Pope

Starting out as a grime artist, cutting her teeth in the school playgrounds of Stockland Green, local MC and hip hop artist, SANITY, is releasing her new single – ‘Late Night’, out from 30 June.

(Click here to read SANITY’s lastest LOCAL PROFILE with Erdington Local).

An easy-grooving summer tune, ‘Late Night’ is far from her heavy 140 roots. Here SANITY’s musical style jives into a jazzier, melodic hip hop wave, following in the footsteps of ‘Grass is Greener’ – a track she released earlier this year.

Including features from Blue Lab Beats and MELONYX, SANITY’s latest release is the second track in an extended project showcasing the multi-genre musician’s artistic talents and recently refined jazz influences.

‘Late Night’ begins with rolling drum beats, a catchy snare, and tingling piano keys, caught up in a warm evening breeze. The along comes SANITY’s refreshing flow, like a cool sip of sweet lemonade.

She raps about motives at dusk, the recreational pursuits that typically tempt as the sun goes down; smoky flirtations and casual conversations are the blessings that keep the blues of monotonous working life at bay.

“If it’s hot girl summer, I wanna embrace it.”
“From am to pm, we can’t waste it.”

Underneath SANITY’s rhythmic rapping, there’s a lazy swing beat and complex piano chords saunter about, occasionally flouting their virtuoso, then humbly teetering off. Their end makes way for near perfectly placed summertime vocals courtesy of MELONYX.

Her voice is the kind that makes you get up off your deck chair and tipsily wind your waist, still holding a half-full cup of something crisp and full of ice.

There’s a gloopy breakdown, and you’re lost momentarily in the smell of BBQ smoke, perfume, and gentle perspiration.

Then the trumpets…? They’re divine.

As ‘Late Night’ progresses, SANITY’s jazzier elements heat up, building a crescendo behind lyrics that speak both to the carefree fun of a late summer night spent in good company and to deeper themes. The track reflects on what it means to be present in – to enjoy and have gratitude for – the moment we’re living in.

Put it on your summer party playlist, mix it with your drink, but most importantly, move to it.  

‘Late Night’ – SANITY ft. Blue Lab Beats & MELONYX

For more from Sanity visit hwww.sanitythemc.com or click here to read her LOCAL PROFILE with Erdington Local.

BACK TO SCHOOL: ‘Ambitious’ Stockland Green School impresses Ofsted inspectors with ‘tenacious’ approach to safeguarding

Words & pics supplied by Stockland Green School

Staff and students at Stockland Green are celebrating after inspectors praised the school as a place where “leaders care deeply about pupils’ well-being”.

Ofsted inspectors, who visited the site in Slade Road, Erdington, on 14-15 February, confirmed that Stockland Green School remains a ‘good’ school, and praised it for its “family approach”.

They also praised safeguarding and wellbeing measures at the school, which is part of the respected Arthur Terry Learning Partnership.

Head of School Rebecca Goode said: “We were delighted with this Ofsted report, as we really saw the inspection as an opportunity to showcase our school, to show the inspectors the very best of our team and our students, and help them understand the journey we are on as a school.

“The report talks about us as a ‘family’, and how we really care for our children and about our safeguarding work being ‘tenacious’ – because we are very driven as a team to ensure that our children get the very best in all aspects of education.

“However, it’s not just about grades and results – it’s about ensuring that we give the very best to our young people.

“We always want to ensure that the children have the belief to be whatever they want to be, and that ultimately they become fully rounded citizens who are going to contribute positively to the community.”

According to the Ofsted report, pupils at Stockland Green are happy, and say that they feel safe.

It said: “This is because leaders care deeply about pupils’ well-being and they make sure that staff know pupils well.

“When bullying occurs, pupils say that teachers help resolve the issue quickly and make sure that it does not happen again. Leaders have ensured that the school’s values of ‘aspire, believe and achieve’ are shared by all staff. This has created an environment where there are high expectations about how and what pupils will learn.”

Inspectors said the school’s leaders actively promote pupils’ wider personal development.

It said: “Well-being weeks linked to lessons provide a range of valuable experiences that help make learning real. Most pupils take part in extra-curricular clubs or activities.”

The school was also praised for creating an ambitious curriculum for all pupils, including those with Special Educational Needs.

It said: “Teachers have secure subject knowledge, and they know their pupils well. They create purposeful learning environments for all pupils, including those with SEND. Teachers also use a range of routines to help pupils learn.”

On safeguarding, the report said staff were motivated to prioritise wellbeing.

It said: “Staff morale is high, and they are proud of the role they play in pupils’ education. Leaders make sure that safeguarding is of the highest priority for staff.

“They provide regular training and updates. Staff are vigilant, and quick to report any concerns they have. Leaders are tenacious, and they follow up all concerns raised.”

Headteacher Marie George said: “I’m delighted for Mrs Goode, her team, the students and the community that Stockland Green has been recognised in this way.

“It’s a great achievement, especially when you consider the impacts of the pandemic, which were compounded in our own community, around Stockland Green.

“The school’s response has been to make sure that our children have a safe place to come to, that they are loved and cared for, and get an ambitious curriculum, which was also recognised by the inspectors.

“By taking that caring, ambitious approach, we give our children real life chances, to ensure that they are equipped to go on and meet the demands of the world around them.”

For more on Stockland Green School visit www.stockgrn.bham.sch.uk

**If your school would like to be part of Erdington Local’s BACK TO SCHOOL pages then please email edking@erdingtonlocal.com – with the name of your school in the subject box.**

BACK TO SCHOOL: Erdington MP declares Stockland Green School at the ‘heart of its community’ during special visit

Words by Gary Phelps / Pics supplied by Stockland Green School

Erdington’s MP has declared Stockland Green School at the “heart of its community” after a special visit to meet students and look around the site.

Paulette Hamilton went to the Slade Road school, which is part of the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership, on Friday, 27 January, and was given a tour of the facilities, popping into lessons along the way to speak to pupils and staff.

The Member of Parliament also listened in on a hard-hitting presentation by reformed criminal Gary Williams, of the Precious Lives project, which warned of the dangers of crime and knives.

Finally, she sat down in the school library to be grilled by Stockland Green’s student leaders, who asked her about life as an MP, her background as a nurse, her family, and the importance of education.

They also told her about their work for Red Hand Day on 12 February, which is part of an international campaign against the use of Child Soldiers.

Mrs Hamilton said: “It has been a fascinating visit to Stockland Green – the thing that struck me as I was shown around was just how quiet the school was, how well behaved the children are, and how they seemed to be absorbing the information they were being taught in the classrooms.

“I also thought the presentation by Precious Lives was absolutely brilliant. Gary, the young man who was speaking, just held the attention of the whole room – because he was clear, concise and passionate, and I really think the students could identify with what he was saying.

“He had a very important message, and I think it’s great the school invited him to speak.”

Mrs Hamilton said she had been impressed by the student leadership team too.

She added: “I thought the student leaders were fantastic. Their questions were well thought-out, they presented themselves well and the subjects they asked me about were quite hard-hitting, so I couldn’t just give a one word answer.

“I’m hoping that through my answers they’ve got to know a little more about me, and the work of an MP.”

The MP also praised the school for its efforts to connect with the community it serves.

Mrs Hamilton told: “I’ve lived here for 35 years and so I know the area and its people well, and the incredible sense of community there is here.

“I think Stockland Green School is a perfect example of that community spirit, because the school doesn’t just care about what happens inside the classrooms, it cares about what happens in the children’s homes too.

“It’s a school that’s right at the heart of the community, and I saw that during my visit.”

Stockland Green Head of School, Rebecca Goode, said: “We were so grateful to Paulette Hamilton for making time in her busy schedule to come in and meet our students and see what goes on in our school.

“She was really interested to find out more about how we reach out to the community, and impressed by the Precious Lives presentation that was also happening when she visited.

“The students leadership team also really enjoyed getting to spend time with her and ask her questions. They even got her autograph at the end.

“Our school is about supporting our children to be safe and to make positive life choices, to be active members of their community and contribute positively when they are adults.

“Visits like this are really valuable in helping the students understand that they are part of a broader community, as well as showing them what they can achieve if they work hard.”

For more on Stockland Green School visit www.stockgrn.bham.sch.uk

NEWS: City ‘calling time on rogue landlords’ as Stockland Green and Gravelly Hill set for new Selective Licensing Scheme

Words by Ed King

Stockland Green and Gravelly Hill are amongst 25 political wards across Birmingham set for a new Selective Licensing Scheme, to curb the rise of unruly HMOs and rogue landlords.

Overseen by Councillor Sharon Thompson, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness for Birmingham City Council (BCC), the scheme was recently approved by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities – under the Housing Act 2004.

From 5 June 2023, landlords will have to apply for licences for privately rented accommodation, costing £700 for each property for five years and carrying various requirements and commitments.

Birmingham’s new Selective Licensing Scheme will be the largest in the country, covering up to 50,000 properties – implemented in wards with over 20% rented through the private sector and ‘high levels of deprivation and/or crime’.

Alongside Erdington, other North Birmingham wards included in the scheme are Aston, Lozells, Handsworth, and Ward End.

Birmingham City Council leader Cllr Ian Ward said: “This is about supporting tenants and communities and we have received widespread support for the scheme.

“Good, responsible landlords in Stockland Green, Gravelly Hill and across the 25 Birmingham wards covered have nothing to fear from the Selective Licensing Scheme, but we’re calling time on rogue landlords who exploit tenants and blight communities.”

Erdington MP Paulette Hamilton added: “The rollout of a selective licensing scheme in Stockland Green and Gravelly Hill is a welcome step forward. This scheme will help the council drive up standards in private rented properties, including Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs), allowing them to tackle anti-social behaviour and hold rogue landlords to account.

“Far too often we see badly run private rented properties causing misery in our community, with rogue landlords putting profits before the legal responsibilities they have towards their tenants. This scheme will help put some of those issues right.”

However, despite being introduced to tackle the problems often caused by private landlords converting houses into HMOs, and poorly managed private rentals creating dangerous living environments or exacerbating anti-social behaviour, the scheme does not include exempt accommodation.

Exempt accommodation are a ‘supported living’ dwellings, often housing adults with additional needs – such as those living with severe mental health issues, where the landlord is paid directly from the Department of Work and Pensions in exchange for providing adequate care and assistance for their tenants.

Exempt from the ceiling charges that can be placed on standard state support, such as Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, landlords of exempt accommodations have been found to charge in excess of £200 per tenant, per week – with many failing in their agreed duty of care.

Cllr Jane Jones (Labour, Stockland Green), told Erdington Local: “For some years local residents have aired their concerns over the loss of family homes as they are converted to houses of multiple occupation including exempt properties.

“The new registration scheme will require all private landlords to register their properties and ensure that they provide good quality housing and the support their tenants deserve.

“I will continue to push for a change in the law so that exempt properties are also required to have their properties licenced by the Council.”

Cllr Mick Brown (Labour, Gravelly Hill) added: “While I am disappointed that this does not include exempt accommodation, because the legislation doesn’t classify exempt accommodation as being in the private rented sector; I am pleased that Birmingham City Council has introduced one of the biggest licencing schemes for landlords.

“This is good news for residents across Gravelly Hill as it will require all private landlords to register to rent out homes; and it’s positive to see that this will include houses and apartments as well as HMO’s, and make it easier for the Council to take action against bad landlords.”

Erdington Local also approached Cllr Amar Khan (Labour, Stockland Green) for comment, but at the time of writing has received no reply.

Until recently, Mr Khan has been a director of two companies whose nature of business are registered at Companies House as being the ‘renting and operating of Housing Association real estate’.

Select Homes (UK) Limited and Select Estates Properties Limited are both registered at 200 Slade Road, Stockland Green – with Mr Khan resigning from his role as director from the companies on 15 January ’22 and 10 July ’22 respectively.

Mr Amar Khan was elected as the Labour Party councillor for Stockland Green in May 2022, representing the ward alongside Ms Jane Jones.

NEWS: Safer Streets host Community Litter Pick and Fun Day in Stockland Green

Words & pics by Ed King

The Safter Streets team are organising two events across March and April, hoping to bring local residents together whilst making Stockland Green and cleaner and safer place to be.

On Saturday, 26 March, people are invited to take part in a special Community Litter Pick – starting at the Highcroft Centre from 10am, with free cake and coffee for anyone taking part.

The community clean up is being held following an ‘all out day’ on Friday, 25 March  – where Birmingham City Council  workers will tackle the waste left by illegal fly tipping, with locals following up the next day.

Safer Streets hope the combined two day effort will make a real impact to an area of Stockland Green blighted by dangerous street waste and uncollected refuse.

Community Partnership Manager Ned Crosher-Markwell, who delivers the Safer Streets project in Stockland Green on behalf of The Pioneer Group, said: “It will be great to get the community together to do something positive, help our neighbours and our environment and take pride in our neighbourhood.

“Stockland Green is filled with lots of wonderful people who care passionately about their home, it seems fitting that we come together to try and make that home a little nicer for everyone.

“Hopefully with a combined effort between the Council and community can start to turn the tide and remind people why they should love their street.”

Safer Streets is a Government funded initiative that brought £423,000 to Stockland Green, to help tackle street level crime, anti social behaviour, and to provide residents with home security equipment.

Money was also made available from the Safer Street fund to support community projects and action groups in the area.

The nearly half a million pound pot of money was secured following after a joint application from Birmingham City Council and the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster.

Earlier in March, the Safer Streets team have been distributing free home security and crime prevention kits to local Stockland Green residents, living on and around Slade Road, including personal alarms, home security support, and items to combat vehicle theft.

Then on 16 April, Safer Streets are also hosting a special Fun Day, delivered in partnership with The Pioneer Group and West Midlands Police.

Ned added: “It is a day where you can meet your local policing team, learn a little about safety but also have some fun and entertain the kids.

“We will have a bouncy castle, face painting, and a chance to win some sweeties. We also hope to have a visit from the Fire Service with their fire engine and an opportunity for local community groups to have a stall and promote their causes.”

For more information on the Safter Streets Community Litter Pick or Funday email saferstreets@pioneergroup.org.uk

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