NEWS: Temporary closure of International Superstore could be “turning the corner” in local race relations hopes protest organiser

Words by Erdington Local editorial team

The temporary closure of the International Superstore on Erdington High Street could be “turning the corner” in local race relations hopes one of the organisers of the recent anti-racist protests.

Bishop Desmond Jaddoo welcomed West Midlands Police successful bid to be granted a temporary closure order concerning the busy convenience store near Six Ways.

He told Erdington Local: “We were very pleased West Midlands Police took our protests seriously.

“Perhaps we are turning the corner on the authorities taking racist incidents seriously in Erdington.

“Though it is only a temporary closure; but the police worked with the community, who came out in force to show racism should not be tolerated in our society in 2024.”

Bishop Jaddoo, who was awarded an MBE last year, added: “We were disappointed the owner tried to work round the closure by having goods for sale on the pavement after the closure. However, great work by trading standards officers from Birmingham City Council have stopped all sales from the site.

“What hopefully will happen now is the apologists on Erdington High Street, and there are a lot of them who excuse all types of behaviour, will see a line in the sand has been drawn.”

The protests, promoted under the ‘Shut it down – Black Pound’ banner, were sparked when Erdington resident Leon Bedward, also known as DJ Warren G, his pregnant partner, and sister were attacked outside the shop on Erdington High Street on 17 May.

Mr Bedward also identified a young black teenager who stepped in to help the family, who was in turn also attacked. West Midlands Police confirmed three victims were “struck during the altercation” and are now investigating.

Holding the first protest on Saturday 8 June, organisers continue to encourage protesters to gather outside the shop every weekend to demand the shop closed.

Calling for the first protest, Warren G posted on Facebook: “The purpose of this protest is to shed light on the racist behaviour exhibited by the store staff towards my partner and sister.

“I initially tried to address this issue through Instagram, but I was subsequently attacked by 15 to 20 individuals, possibly more, from the International Superstore staff and surrounding shops who are from the Eastern European heritage or community.

“As a result of the attack, both myself and my partner were hospitalised. This peaceful protest aims to raise awareness within the community and encourage a boycott of all International Superstores in Birmingham.

He added: “It is also an opportunity for the black community to come together and support our own shops, ultimately building a stronger community for ourselves.”

Earlier this month West Midlands Police confirmed the shop “at the centre of problems for the community” will close for a month after the force “has been granted the closure order for International Superstore in Erdington High Street following recent disorder”.

The police, alongside a picture of the shop, posted on their social media: “We are aware of protests that have taken place and our officers have listened to the community concerns.

“We’ve worked alongside partners including the local authority and trading standards to take action, and a closure order was granted at Birmingham Magistrates Court.”

Sergeant Fran Clark, from the local neighbourhood policing team, said: “This property has been a source of significant distress for many in the Erdington community.

“We received numerous complaints regarding an attack that took place in May. Our investigation into the violent disorder and racially aggravated assault is progressing well, and six people who have been arrested remain on bail while we continue to gather evidence.”

The International Superstore will be legally allowed to begin trading on 4 August.

NEWS: Over 80 fire fighters tackle blaze behind Fort Shopping Centre

More than 80 firefighters are tackling a huge blaze in Erdington which has caused a smoke plume which can be seen for miles.

The blaze at a factory behind the Fort Shopping Centre on Wood Lane has been declared “a significant incident” by West Midlands Fire Service.

Roads around the fire at Hastingwood Industrial Park have been closed to traffic.

A WMFS spokesperson said: “This is a fire in a factory, which is not currently affecting The Fort shopping centre which is nearby.

“The fire is contained to the site, where sports equipment is produced. Everyone has been accounted for.”

WMFS confirmed thirteen fire engines, three 4×4 brigade response vehicles, and a hydraulic platform are tackling the blaze with more on the way.

The fire has destroyed the roof of the two-storey steel frame factory and an emergency evacuation point has been set up.

West Midlands Police confirmed it is helping fire colleagues with road closures.

Wingfoot Way is closed at the junction with Fort Parkway and Holly Lane is closed at the junction with Tyburn Road. The A47 Fort Parkway Eastbound is also closed with the AA reporting congestion on routes around the road closures.

Despite fears being raised on social media the fire is not in danger of spreading to a nearby oil terminal.

People have been warned to avoid the area and Erdington residents told to close doors and windows if affected by the smoke.

NEWS: St Barnabas Church celebrates 200 years in the heart of Erdington with special events and historical display

Words by Estelle Murphy / Pics by Ed King and Joe Marchant

St Barnabas Church is celebrating 200 years at the heart of the Erdington community with a series of special events and activities, before a special bi-centenial birthday service on 23 July.

There will also be a special display of the church’s history, from the Erdington Historical Society, in situ at St Barnabas until the double century celebrations are over.

Despite not being readily accessible to members of the public, after St Barnabas closed its café due to financial constraints in June last year, the display can however be seen during the church’s regular programme of community events and worship.

A Grade II listed building, situated on the corner of Church Road and Erdington High Street, St Barnabas Church was first consecrated on 23 July 1824 – with this year marking its 200 year anniversary.

The church was famous for its 16 stained glass windows, and cost £5000 to build at the time – over £1000 of which was from public donations. St Barnabas is the Patron Saint of Peacemakers and is often invoked against quarrelling and hailstorms.

Bi-centenial celebrations were launched on 8 June with an arts and crafts event, and the presentation of Erdington Historical Society’s display of St Barnabas Church history.

The display details the early plans for the church, which was originally built as a chapel of ease to the Aston Parish Church – meaning locals didn’t have to travel to Aston every Sunday to worship. At first St Barnabas could only conduct burials and baptisms, and weddings could not take place there until Erdington became a parish in 1858. The display also shows records of former clergymen and women, bells, and graveyard extensions.

But marking a sad point in the Erdington parish history, on 4 October 2007 arsonists set fire to the St Barnabas Church, destroying all but one of its stained glass windows and much of the roof – leaving only the clock, bell tower, and walls standing. Rebuilding took place between 2011 and 2012, it the church was rededicated in December 2012.

The display form the Erdington Historical Society also shows images of the former stained glass windows and the war memorial lost to the fire, whilst also providing more details of the fire.

Ahead of its 200 year anniversary, St Barnabas is hosting series of events and activities to mark the occasion. Erdington Arts Forum and Ceol Agency also hosted a special musical event on 29 June, bringing musicians and artists together in the church to celebrate it’s importance to the community.

On Saturday 13 July there will also be a Celebration of Relationships held at 2pm – a service to rejoice in all the bonds of love, from friendship and community to marriage and partnership.

Saturday 20 July will see a family fun day with arts and crafts, workshops, and refreshments, held in the community hub from 11am till 3:30pm, which people can attend without booking.

Then on Tuesday 23 July at 7pm, St Barnabas will host a special dedication service, to celebrate the building’s 200 year history and shine a light on everything that is good in the community of Erdington.

Reverend Emma Sykes at St Barnabas told Erdington Local: “It was consecrated on 23 July 1824, which is why we are holding a dedication service on that day.

“Leading up to that day, we have a whole range of events that celebrate Erdington and highlighting the good things here”.

Erdington Historical Society meet at the community hub area at St Barnabas every second Tuesday of each month, with a small fee for attendance.

For more on St Barnabas visit www.stbarnabaserdington.org.uk

For more on the Erdington Historical Society visit www.stbarnabaserdington.org.uk/erdington-historcial-society

NEWS: Paulette Hamilton retains the Birmingham Erdington seat for Labour as Conservatives lose their political grip to Reform UK

Words by Erdington Local editorial team

After voters headed to the ballot boxes on Thursday 4 July, Labour held onto the Birmingham Erdington seat in the 2024 General Election – keeping Paulette Hamilton as the constituency MP and following the trend of a decisive Labour victory across the UK.

But even as Labour celebrates one of the largest successes for the party in modern history, the 2024 General Election delivered a shock result in more ways than one.

Again mirroring the national trend, the biggest losers in Erdington were the Conservatives – who were well beaten into third with just 5,402 votes by Reform UK’s 25-year-old candidate Jack Brookes, who secured a remarkable 7,775 tally.

Only 44% of residents turned out to vote, more than 10% fewer than in 2019 and one of the lowest turnouts in the country, further raising concerns about disillusionment with the democratic process and a failure to inspire voters.

Paulette Hamilton, who won the seat in 2022’s by-election sparked by Jack Dromey’s death, clinched the seat with 14,774 votes for Labour with 43% of the vote – retaining her seat in Parliament, but with a drop of 4.7% from 2019.

She tweeted after the declaration: “We did it! Thank you Erdington, Kingstanding, Castle Vale and South Oscott.”

Speaking to Erdington Local earlier today, she added: “I am truly honoured to be re-elected as the MP for Birmingham Erdington, and will continue to work tirelessly for our community, addressing the issues that matter most to you.

“The country has placed its trust in a Labour government, and I look forward to the opportunities and change it will bring. A new dawn breaks for our community and our country.”

Jack Brookes, who won 297 votes during his first tilt at a Parliamentary career during the 2022 Erdington by-election, increased his vote by 2514% – polling 7,775 votes and being thrust into a mandated position of being a serious opposition politician in the Erdington constituency.

Mr Brookes ascent is all the more remarkable after completing his campaign without a team of volunteers, advertising budget, or benefiting from the official Reform UK campaign leaflets – most of which were not delivered like the majority of other West Midlands candidates.

He told Erdington Local: “From 297 votes to 7,775 in two years is unbelievable.

“I am so grateful to Reform UK for giving me the opportunity in the by-election as a young candidate and now my second place will hopefully inspire others in my generation to enter politics.

“My campaign did not have a budget or anyone to help but Nigel Farage entering and electrifying the campaign certainly helped me, I thought I could come second when the election was called but I think Nigel added on at least 2,000 more votes.”

Speaking to Erdington Local after the result, Mr Brookes added: “This election raised so many issues which residents are struggling with. Law and order must be number one, people are sick of rising crime but also of the complete lack of policing.

“In Erdington, if you are burgled – but manage to collect the evidence and find the culprit – you could give it to the police and they will do nothing.

“Secondly, the local economy is just totally broken, business is going to the wall and jobs are hard to find. And the benefits system seems to exist to fund HMOs and deter people from work; I will be looking at job clubs and doing everything to make it worth working.”

Standing as an Independent, Dr Shaukat Ali won 2,250 votes but did not mirror the success similar Independents had in neighbouring Perry Barr which saw veteran MP Khalid Mahmood lose the seat he has held since 2001.

However, Dr Ali’s candidacy did give those disaffected with Sir Keir Starmer’s slow call for a Gaza ceasefire a political home and would explain Labour’s 4.7% drop in the vote.

The collapse of the Conservative vote across the country was replicated in the Birmingham Erdington constituency, where the longstanding Erdington Ward Councillor Robert Alden – and leader of the Birmingham Conservatives – stepped aside in March this year to let a new face, Steve Knee, contest the strong Labour seat.

The Derbyshire businessman convinced just 5,402 people to place a cross against his name, which represents the Conservatives’ vote share haemorrhaging 25.5%.

And just as the Tories national campaign was bedevilled by mistakes, strategic blunders, and damaging gaffes, there have been serious questions raised about the Conservative campaign in Erdington.

Mr Knee stopped posting anything on social media concerning the General Election weeks before polling day, and veteran Tories were dumbfounded to learn the new Parliamentary candidate had openly told members of the public his party thought he had no chance of winning.

Erdington Councillor Robert Alden, who is leader of the Birmingham Conservatives, decided against standing for the party for the sixth time in a row, after suffering five defeats

However, despite failing to win a safe Labour seat several times Councillor Alden has remained a popular local figure and has better name recognition in the constituency than any other candidate who wanted to succeed him wearing the blue rosette.

At the time of writing it is unsure if Cllr Alden will throw his hat in the ring as a potential Parliamentary candidate, in Erdington or elsewhere.

Representing other parties in the 2024 General Election, the Green’s Karen Trench polled 2,452 which earnt her fifth place – 48 votes behind Independent candidate Shaukat Ali.

Ms Trench received, however, over 1,000 more votes on 4 July than the Liberal Democrat candidate and Surrey based barrister Farzana Aslam – who did make it up to Birmingham to campaign for Lib Dems, earning her 1,128 votes.

Corinthia Ward was the wooden spoon candidate after convincing 37 people to place their X next to Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

There were 152 rejected ballot papers.

But in a seat that has traditionally been a battle between red and blue, Labour and Conservative, there is now a clear new voice in the political conversation – Jack Brookes from Reform UK.

He added: “My result should put all the other politicians and parties in Erdington on notice, I am the official opposition, and it is just the start.”

NEWS: Seven candidates standing for Birmingham Erdington on 4 July General Election

Words by Erdington Local editorial team

On Thursday 4 July, voters across the country will be taking to the polls to elect their members of Parliament, and in turn the government.

Birmingham Erdington, a traditionally strong Labour seat, will see seven candidates contesting in the 2024 General Election. Four men and three women from across the political spectrum will be competing for votes to become Erdington’s representative in Westminster.

The Birmingham Erdington parliamentary constituency includes the political wards of Erdington, Stockland Green, Pype Hayes, Perry Common, Kingstanding, Castle Vale, and since the boundary changes in 2023 parts of Oscott.

Shaukat Ali (Independent), Farzana Ann Aslam (Liberal Democrats), Jack Brookes (Reform UK), Paulette Hamilton (Labour), Steve Knee (Conservatives), Karen Trench (Green Party), and Corinthia Ward (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition) are the candidates.

Erdington has been in Labour’s hands since 1936. The constituency’s current MP, Paulette Hamilton, who won the by-election in 2022 after the death of previous MP Jack Dromey, will likely be confident of keeping the constituency red.

Ms Hamilton, a former Birmingham City Council cabinet member, told Erdington Local: “Erdington is not just a place on the map for me, each corner is a chapter of my life.

“For over 35 years, it’s where I have raised my family and served with pride as a governor at Yenton Primary School.

“It’s where my journey as a nurse began with training in Kingstanding, before dedicating 25 years to our beloved NHS.

“Erdington is where I was elected as its Member of Parliament, it has shaped who I am today. I’m proud to call it my home and will continue to fight for the services local people deserve.”

But the Erdington Ward has two popular and longstanding Conservative councillors, which bring the Tories some goodwill in the area and potentially turn voters who have become disillusioned with Birmingham’s ruling Labour party after the city’s financial crisis

However, this year’s General Election will be the first since 2010 that Cllr Robert Alden – who is also leader of the Birmingham Conservatives and lives in the heart of Erdington – is not standing for the Conservatives. Instead, Derbyshire businessman Steve Knee has been campaigning for Birmingham Erdington since being voted in as the Conservatives Parliamentary candidate in March.

Mr Knee told: “Whilst out on the campaign trail in recent weeks, including during the successful by-election win in Kingstanding, I have met some terrific residents who are all clearly proud of their constituency and frustrated at the tax increases and service cuts coming from the Labour controlled Birmingham City Council.

“It is clear that good local representation is essential for residents of Erdington, Kingstanding, and Castle Vale.

“As such my priorities are to: Work with the terrific team of Conservative councillors in the constituency to stand up against council tax rises and crippling cuts to local services.”

Competing to be Erdington’s MP for the second time is Jack Brookes for Reform UK. The 25-year-old Libertarian will be hoping to benefit from Nigel Farage re-entering the political stage and resuming leadership of Reform UK, previously the Brexit Party.

One of the three Parliamentary candidates who lives in the constituency, Mr Brookes believes Birmingham needs a dose of law and order.

Mr Brookes told Erdington Local: “We need a crackdown on crime. It’s holding us back. When we bring back law and order then people will be able to thrive and standards of living will increase exponentially. The right to self-defense is absolute!

“Birmingham is the definition of anarcho-tyranny thanks to Labour and the Tories.”

He added: “Freedom of speech and freedom of religion. I will put my life on the line for these things. As long as you are not hurting anyone you should live your life how you see fit. These are what our ancestors fought and died for.”

Qualified barrister and Surrey based councillor Farzana Aslam has been chosen as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Birmingham Erdington seat, despite being based over 100 miles from the city of a thousand trades.

Boasting a formidable CV, with degrees from Oxford and the London School of Economics, Ms Aslam has worked for NGOs, taught in Hong Kong, and is currently a director for a management consultancy.

Ms Aslam said: “I have a long history of voluntary work for NGO’s and charities specialising in social justice issues and am an active campaigner on local community issues relating to healthcare, the environment and local planning.

“I am not a career politician. I am relatively new to politics but driven by a deep desire to change the state our country is in.

“Birmingham Erdington is a community rich in diversity and history, but it is facing significant challenges that need urgent attention.”

George Galloway’s Workers Party is not fielding a candidate in Erdington. However, left wing voters do have an alternative to the Labour Party.

Trade Union and Socialist Coalition candidate Corinthia Ward also stood in the 2022 local elections for the Erdington Ward, garnering 95 votes.

Ms Ward said: “Growing up in Erdington, I can see first-hand the impact of Tory austerity and Labour council cuts on our community.

“In standing on a platform of anti-cuts and anti-war, I will work with local residents, trade unions and public sector staff to fight for the services and funding we need. Money can be found for bombs and dodgy PPE deals, but not for our streets or our youth.

She added: “This is why we need someone in Westminster who will raise the voice of ordinary workers while also linking it to the need for a new mass worker’s party in the interests of the many.”

The Green Party is also contesting the Birmingham Erdington seat in the 2024 General Election, flying the flag for those concerned about the environment and climate change.

With clean air zones and low traffic neighbourhoods coming under attack from other parties, their Parliamentary candidate Karen Trench will be defending environmentally friendly policies whilst demanding bolder action.

Ms Trench, a former Perry Barr Liberal Democrat councillor (2004-2018), won more than 9,000 votes in the 2010 General Election when she stood for the Perry Barr constituency and came second to Labour’s Khalid Mahmood. However, this will be her first election standing for the Green Party.

She said: “I am passionate about environmental and community issues. I am proud to call Birmingham my home, but I have seen the decline in the area over successive governments. We need to see real change in our community and investment into services. I am appalled by the cuts to youth services.

“I am standing for the Green Party as they have the right policies to tackle the major issues in our society such as climate change, homelessness and the cost of living crisis.”

Telford based Dr Shaukat Ali is standing as an independent. The pro-Palestine candidate is hoping to attract voters with the mainstream parties’ stance on the Israel/Gaza conflict.

Dr Ali said: “Britain is in a state of decay. Enough is enough. Who is to blame? Just ask yourself which two parties have governed the UK for the past 100 years and you will find an answer. What they offer is not change, but their turn. Do your bit to remould British politics for the common good, not the few.”

He added: “Let’s reset our moral compass. Tens of thousands of innocent women and children are being bombed, killed and starved in Palestine, yet the main parties are silent. Your MP even voted against a ceasefire.”

To find out more on the Parliamentary candidates across the country standing for the 4 July 2025 General Election, and to locate your nearest polling station, visit www.whocanivotefor.co.uk

NEWS: Quick arrest made after “disorder” on Erdington High Street puts man in “life threatening condition”

Words by Erdington Local editorial team / Pics taken from archive

Police have made a quick arrest after a vicious knife attack during a “disorder” on Erdington High Street put a man in hospital in a “life threatening condition.”

Officers were called an incident near Six Ways Island at 5.10pm yesterday (Thursday, 20 June) following reports of fighting at the top end of the High Street.

Arriving at the scene, officers found a man with knife wounds who was immediately rushed to hospital for emergency treatment.

A few hours after the stabbing a man was arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent and possessing a bladed article.

An immediate investigation began, with officers knocking on doors and closing parts of the High Street off the public. Parts of the busy retail area remained cordoned off overnight as forensic officers continued to collect evidence.

A statement from West Midlands Police said: “We’ve arrested a man after being called to reports of a disorder on Erdington High Street at about 5.10pm today.

“Officers attended and found a man who had suffered a knife injury. He was taken to hospital where we understand he’s in a life-threatening condition.

“A short time later officers arrested a man on suspicion of wounding with intent and possession of a bladed article.

“Part of Erdington High Street has been cordoned off as we remain at the scene, with forensic experts examining the area.”

The police added: “Officers are reviewing CCTV and carrying out door-to-door enquiries as the investigation continues.

“Anyone with information or footage can contact us via Live Chat or by calling 101, quoting log 3798 of 20 June.”

The stabbing on 20 June is yet another violent incident on Erdington High Street this month, as the once busy throughfare becomes more and more synonymous with crime and anti-social behaviour.

On 7 June another man was found with “life threatening injuries” after officers discovered the victim near Harrison Road during a routine patrol.

Last Wednesday, 12 June, another man was arrested in connection with a robbery and reports were made a man seen “threatening people with a hammer”.

Following the attack yesterday, social media was flooded with residents concerned about rising crime in the wake of another violent attack.

Eileen Monaghan said: “Yet another stabbing on the High St. When are the authorities going to go something about the open drug dealing and drinking on the High Street?”

She added: “There is a PSPO Public Space Protection order on the High Street yet not enforced. Why not?

“Are the police are too afraid the walk the High St or is there too much paperwork for them to fill out?”

West Midlands Police have asked the anyone with information or footage that might help their investigation into the attack on 20 June can contact the force via Live Chat – or by calling 101 and quoting log 3798 of 20 June.

NEWS: Warren Farm Urgent Treatment Centre “temporarily relocating” to Erdington High Street

Words and pics by Ed King

Warren Farm Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) will be “temporarily relocating” to Erdington High Street, healthcare bosses have announced.

From Tuesday 11 June, the Kingstanding facility, which supported local residents with immediate medical issues, will be “fully operational” from the Erdington Health and Wellbeing Hub – a few doors down from The Church Tavern and opposite Lloyds Bank in Erdington Town Centre.

After relocating to Erdington Town Centre, NHS bosses have also told the newly located facility will be renamed the North Birmingham UTC.

Warren Farm UTC is being closed after it was discovered panels in the roof had been constructed with Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC), posing a serious health risk to both staff and patients.

David Melbourne, Chief Executive of NHS Birmingham and Solihull, said: “The decision to move the Urgent Treatment Centre is not one which has been taken lightly, but I want to emphasise that this is a temporary relocation.”

He added: “We are in the very early stages of a review of the provision of all six UTCs operating across the city and borough, and will be seeking the views of our communities to ensure provision meets the needs of our patients and families.”

But in a strange twist of fate, the new home of the Warren Farm UTC is the old home of the Erdington UTC, which was shut down in 2020 and relocated Stockland Green despite widespread protest from local residents and elected officials – including Erdingotn’s previous MP Jack Dromey, who passed away in January 2022.

And whilst residents in Erdington Town Centre may be pleased to see the return of an Urgent Treatment Centre back on the High Street, people living in Kingstanding are still unsure what immediate medical facilities, if any, they will have in their area.

This has led to protests and petitions by both Kingstanding residents and politicians, akin to those that followed the decision to close Erdington’s UTC.

However, a spokesperson for the NHS added: “No decisions about the permanent location of Warren Farm Urgent Treatment Centre will be made without a full engagement process, which will provide the local community with opportunities to share their views and experiences.”

Recently elected Kingstanding Councillor Clifton Welch (Conservative) further told Erdington Local: “I have been clear that Warren Farm Urgent Care Centre must be retained long term.

“The current building has structural issues which need to be repaired, but I have already met with the local NHS with Cllr Robert Alden (Erdington, Conservative) to consider possible ways to save the services locally.”

He added: “I understand there will be a consultation later in the year and I will be doing all I can to ensure that in North Birmingham we retain the Urgent Care Centre in Kingstanding and the Walk in Centre in Erdington.”

NEWS: ‘Racist Attack – Shut It Down – Black Pound Protest’ organised for Saturday 8 June on Erdington High Street

Words by Erdington Local editorial team

For the second week running there will be an anti-racism protest on Erdington High Street.

The protests are in response to reports of a black family and teenage boy being racially abused and attacked by a group of men from local businesses, over an alleged parking dispute outside a shop on the High Steet.

The first protest was held on Saturday 1 June, with organisers calling for a follow up event to take place on Saturday 8 June at 1pm – billed as the ‘Racist Attack – Shut It Down – Black Pound Protest’.

Erdington resident Leon Bedward, also known as DJ Warren G, his pregnant partner, and sister were attacked outside the shop on Erdington High Street on 17 May. Mr Bedward also identified a young black teenager who stepped in to help the family, who was in turn also attacked.

West Midlands Police confirmed three victims were “struck during the altercation” and are now investigating.

The police have further confirmed five men, aged from 22 to 45, were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and racially aggravated assault, and have since been released on bail.

A West Midlands Police spokesperson told: “Several people were involved in verbal abuse following an alleged parking dispute.

“A man, a woman and a teenage boy were struck during the altercation. We are working through CCTV in the area to establish the cause of the disorder and who was involved.

“We also ask anyone who witnessed what happened and hasn’t spoken to us, to contact us via Live Chat on our website or by calling 101 quoting crime reference 20/450892/24.”

Reports of the attack, which took place on 17 May, has been widely shared on social media causing much anger and upset in the local community.

On Saturday 1 June, black community leaders and Mr Bedward, aka DJ Warren G, gave speeches through an amplified megaphone outside the shop and plan to do the same at 1pm on Saturday 8 June.  

Bishop Desmond Jadoo MBE is one of the organisers of the protests and stressed the importance of keeping race on the agenda as the country gears up for a General Election on 4 July.

Bishop Jadoo is also currently leading the ‘Justice 4 Dea-John Reid’ campaign, which wants a law to ensure juries represent the demographic and racial profile of an area.

He told Erdington Local: “Last week was a success, a peaceful demonstration by the black community calling for racist abuse on Erdington High Street to end.

“The attack on Warren is not an isolated incident and we need to show it is not fashionable to attack people.”

He added: “We are in the middle of a General Election and race has to be on the agenda. Race has fallen off the agenda in recent years, but the politicians need to be reminded it is still an issue.

“And the politicians who want to represent Erdington after this election need to show they are aware of the problems which are blighting the High Street, especially for the black community.”

Mr Bedward also stressed the event on Saturday 8 June must be a “peaceful protest”, and called for a boycott on the shop where the incident took place and for “the black pound” to be spent within the Afro-Caribbean community.

He said: “The purpose of this protest is to shed light on the racist behaviour exhibited by the store staff towards my partner and sister.

“As a result of the attack, both myself and my partner were hospitalised. This peaceful protest aims to raise awareness within the community and encourage a boycott.

“I initially tried to address this issue through Instagram, but I was subsequently attacked by 15 to 20 individuals, possibly more, from the shop staff and surrounding shops.”

He added: “It is also an opportunity for the black community to come together and support our own shops, ultimately building a stronger community for ourselves.”

In October 2005, Warren G was a DJ on a local pirate radio station and broadcasted reports coming from the local community that a black teenage girl had been gang raped by Asian men in the Beauty Queens salon in Perry Barr.

Beauty Queens is an Asian owned shop selling Afro-Caribbean products, based on Wellington Road in Perry Barr, and following the alleged attack the DJ encouraged a boycott of the business.

Warren G further organised “a peaceful protest” to highlight the issue which sadly ended in widespread violence and the tragic death of a 23 year old man, Isiah Young-Sam, who was stabbed to death.

Statements from West Midlands Police at the time told how they were “pursuing routine lines of inquiry” but that there was “no evidence to either confirm or deny the (rape) allegation”.

The ‘Racist Attack – Shut It Down – Black Pound Protest’ is being held at 1pm on Saturday 8 June at the top end of Erdington High Street, near the Six Ways Island.

NEWS: Erdington High Street cordoned off as police investigate man found with “life threatening injuries”

Words by Erdington Local editorial team / Pics taken from archive

Parts of Erdington High Street have been cordoned off today after police discovered a man with “life threatening injuries” yesterday evening.

A police investigation has been launched to find out what happened to the man, who is now in hospital, after patrolling officers found him at 7:30pm on Thursday 6 June.

At the time of writing there is no confirmation on how the man suffered his injuries, and police have not stated if it was or was not a result of any violent attack.

Several outlets around the Halifax Building Society and Craft Bakery, opposite the top of Harrison Road, have been sealed off with blue and white police tape whilst officers conduct their inquiries.

Shops have shut down to allow the investigation, with many workers sent home this morning.

A statement from West Midlands Police confirmed: “An investigation has been launched after a man was found with serious injuries in Erdington High Street.

“Officers patrolling the area found a man with serious injuries in Erdington High Street, at around 7.30pm on Thursday 6th June.

“He was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, where he remains.

“A scene is currently being held to establish the circumstances as to how the man was injured.”

Police are further asking for anyone to contact them with information that may assist their inquiries, whilst assuring concerned members of the public there will be “a police presence” on the High Street whilst they conduct their investigation.

A spokesperson for the force added: “If you saw anything or can help with the investigation, you can contact us via Live Chat on our website, or by calling 101 quoting log 4572 of 6 June.

“Officers will continues to patrol the area and a police presence will remain to reassure the community.”

A spokesperson form West Midlands Ambulance Service added: “We were called at 7.31pm to an incident on High Street, Erdington. One ambulance attended the scene.

“Upon arrival we found a man in a serious condition.

“He received treatment from ambulance staff at the scene before being conveyed to hospital for further treatment.”

NEWS: Erdington’s MMA rising star Mo ‘Terminator’ Zubair wins crucial fight by first round knock out

Words by Erdington Locsal editorial team

Erdington’s Mo ‘Terminator’ Zubair scored an astonishing first round knock-out victory in a crucial MMA fight last weekend, spectacularly announcing his entrance to professional MMA fighting.

On Saturday 1 June, Mo Zubair headed to Darlington for the second fight in his burgeoning professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) career – to challenge hometown favourite Liam Thomas.

After taking the fight after only eight days notice, Mo stepped up a weight to take on the more seasoned opponent but stunned The Dolphin Centre crowd by knocking Thomas out stone cold.

It took the Erdington fighter just 13 seconds to win, which quickly went viral across MMA websites across the world.

Mo Zubair, a Team Renegade trained fighter, caught Thomas flush on the chin with a counter punch which sent him crashing to the canvas and the referee scrambling to protect him from anymore punishment.

Mo told Erdington Local: “It was a successful night. We left Birmingham at 2pm, got up there around 5.30pm, registered, had a coffee and then fought around 10pm.

“I won after 13 seconds in the first round. There was a huge noise with the shock, I think. We were back in Birmingham by 2.30am.

“I was up the next day to meet my manager for a sauna and was back training again this morning (Monday).”

In a sport which more than any other relies on an athlete’s ability to excite fans as well as winning, Mo’s devastating finish will make him a more attractive proposition to promoters’ match makers.

He continued: “People love to see a knock-out, especially other fighters; I had Leon Edwards message me straight after the fight saying great finish. And he was buzzing in the gym this morning, it was great seeing the team again after a win like that.

“One of videos has already had 80,000 views and I’ve noticed some veteran UFC fighters’ comments saying great knock-out which is brilliant exposure for me.”

The route to the top table of the sport involves being invited and then excelling in various MMA tournaments and championships.

UFC world champions and stars like Leon Edwards and Conor McGregor were champions in promotions like Cage Warriors and Bellator before catching the eye of the most powerful man in the sport Dana White.

In March this year, Mo Zubair won his first professional MMA fight again Nestor Santana, beating the Spaniard by corner stoppage in the first round.

Last weekend’s fight was part of Unity Fighting Championships, Mo’s second professional MMA appearance, and has already set his sights set on climbing the ladder.

Mo added: “I think this was my first and only fight on a Unity bill, my team will take stock and look at our options.

“I am a prize fighter, I will fight anywhere, anytime, providing the money is right.

“I want another two fights this year. I want to end 2024 4-0.”

Click on the links to follow Mo ‘Terminator’ Zubair on Instagram and Facebook.

For more form Unity Fighting Championships visit www.facebook.com/unityfighting