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  • Article: Jul 22, 2020

    This is not an April Fool.

    We will be resisting this and fear it would be used by those using doubtful building practices and making a quick buck out of converting homes into poor-quality apartments.

    At last week's city council meeting there was across the board criticism of these proposed extensions of "permitted development" and the latest announcements suggest it could be worse than originally feared, creating a free for all across the city.

  • Article: Jul 10, 2020

    John Lewis was the "anchor" for the shopping development around the new New Street Station. This news is utterly devastating, both for the staff, the city and fans of the store.

    However we have a Council that lacks an overall plan for a revived and bustling city centre. It has been utterly complacent while it has laid plans to restrict access to the centre. Visitors have been told not to bring their cars to the city centre - but have not been told where they can put them. There is no plan for comprehensive Park and Ride as found in other cities.

  • Article: Jul 2, 2020

    The shocking state of Birmingham City Council's Complaints Process has been highlighted by a damning report being presented to the Council's Co-ordinating Overview and Scrutiny Committee this Friday, 3rd July.

    The complaints process is described by the report as "not fit for purpose" and "in crisis." It says "There is a lack of focus on the Citizen with no consistent approach, a lot of complaints go unrecorded and the volumes included in reporting do not reflect the true volumes. Duplication often occurs when different teams respond to the same complaint. In addition, failings that result in complaints are not resolved. An intervention is urgently needed."

  • Article: Jun 30, 2020

    Mr Johnson is hyping up small amounts of spending on buildings for schools and hospitals. But what about teachers and teaching assistants?

    Our experience in Birmingham is that big construction projects do not "trickle down," and they certainly do not generate funds for good services. The Prime Minister seems utterly unaware that many schools are struggling to balance their budgets and are laying off teaching assistants.

    Similarly, we have seen Labour Birmingham City Council siphon money from social services to support its big spending projects. Just the same, the Tory New Deal seems intended to support private profit rather than investment in good quality training and jobs.

  • Article: Mar 28, 2019

    We'd like to remind voters in Walmley and Minworth today to vote in the Town Council by-election, which was triggered by the resignation of a Conservative Councillor, who moved away from the area to the NorthEast only months after being elected to represent local residents.

    The Liberal Democrat Candidate is David Cooke, who says:

    "I have lived in the Sutton Coldfield area all my life and am now raising my own family here, with my children at local schools.

    I have become concerned about school funding cuts and, if elected, would urge the town council to look into funding opportunities to help education in the area continue at its high standard.

    As the owner of a local business and member of the Federation of Small Businesses, I fully support cooperation and innovation-sharing between local enterprises and am a great believer in using and supporting local businesses. I would like to see greater involvement with business and the town council and more support for the high street. It is more important than ever that we look at the causes of decline and put measures in place to protect these cornerstones of our community.

    In the Liberal Democrats, we believe in an open and tolerant approach to community-led local government and decision-making. With many up-coming developments in the area, it is more important than ever for the town council to be involved in planning decisions that will affect our future.

    I enjoy spending time in the town's many green areas, with my children and dogs, and would encourage the town council to become more involved in the care and upkeep of these precious areas and ensure their safety from development."