Fighting Crime In Edgbaston

Very useful meeting this evening with some Edgbaston residents and the police about car crime in their area of the ward.

The police were able to give tips on keeping your car as safe as possible which they said they will put up on the Edgbaston page of the police website. I will also raise some issues with the Council such as overgrown shrubbery which shields a particular street light, making the area dark and more attractive to criminals.

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Supporting Our Local Grammar Schools At Full Council

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The Government has announced the first tranche of a £200 million pot of money to expand the number of places at grammar schools which already exist. It is one of several pots of money available to schools Рincluding money to help pupils with special educational needs, and a programme to increase school places at good primary and secondary schools across the country.

Because Birmingham already has grammar schools, we have schools who can bid for money to extend the number of grammar school places in the city. Our grammar schools are very popular and hugely oversubscribed (at the most popular, only one in ten of the children who apply to the school will get a place). The extra places created could be on site, or new satellite sites could be established – meaning potentially a grammar school in a part of the city where there currently isn’t one.

It’s also pretty obvious that if more children win places at our grammar schools, the amount of money our other schools have will go further as it will have to cover the needs of fewer pupils. So everyone wins. And our grammar schools also run excellent schemes to help more disadvantaged pupils win places at their schools.

The criteria for applying for this money was announced in the middle of May and applications must be made by the middle of July. At Full Council therefore I proposed a short motion suggesting the Council should support any Birmingham grammar school which wishes to apply.

More money helping more Birmingham children win places at popular excellent Birmingham schools. And it doesn’t preclude us asking for more money for other areas of education or bidding into the other pots of money which the government has announced. So who could disagree with that?

Answer – Birmingham’s Labour Councillors. Rather predictably, but very disappointingly, they failed to support the Conservative motion. You can watch Tuesday’s debate on: civico.net/birmingham¬† (It’s the City Council meeting held on June 12th 2018).

Councillors’ Market Place

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Lots of interesting things at the Councillors’ Market Place yesterday (ahead of the June Full Council meeting) including coming face to face with this replica of Dippy’s skull! Don’t forget you can see Dippy the dinosaur all summer at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery – Dippy On Tour! (His body is an awful lot bigger than his head!)

Let’s Ride Birmingham

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HSBC Let’s Ride Birmingham is taking place today with a route which starts in the city centre, comes out down the Pershore Rd in Edgbaston and then doubles back to form a loop.

Pershore Rd in Edgbaston is therefore closed to traffic today and, as the picture shows, lots of people are taking the opportunity to travel the city’s streets by bike.

There is also a Street Festival zone in Calthorpe Park (second picture) with music, sports and food on offer.

Number Of Workless Households Falls

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The number of workless households has fallen to its lowest level since records began – falling by 970,000 since 2010.

Conservatives are working to make sure our economy stays strong to continue creating better, higher-paying jobs for everyone.

Butterfly House At The Botanical Gardens

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The Butterfly House has now opened for the summer at Birmingham Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston. Definitely worth a visit – especially in this lovely weather.

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Traffic Chaos In Edgbaston

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Part resurfacing has been carried out at several locations in Edgbaston today – including Spring Road and in Westbourne Rd (pictured).

Half of Westbourne Rd was closed completely this morning causing traffic chaos in the area around Vicarage Road and a number of buses to be rerouted. As this is a one way road out of city, I was very relieved to see at 3.00pm that the work has been completed and traffic is flowing freely again ahead of the evening rush hour.