Midlands District Congress

January 11th conference to discuss plan for 2020-21

The next Midlands District Congress will be held on Saturday 11 January 2020 from 1.15pm to 4.30pm at the Michael Hubbard Room, Carrs Lane Conference Centre, Birmingham, B4 7SX.
This is a very short walk from Birmingham New Street railway station.

The CPB’s district congresses do not debate national themes but deal with how to implement existing policy matters within, in this case, the Greater Midlands Region.   Whilst the congress will be closed to all but full delegates elected from the seven branches covering the Greater Midlands area of central England, according to membership strength, Party members will be able to engage in substantive Inner-Party debate over the next few months.

We’d also love to hear ideas not only from our members but allies and friends of the Party in the Midlands area, too. The congress is an essential party of our party’s internal democracy, which we take very seriously.

The following timetable applies:

Ø      31st August: Retiring Midlands District Committee (DC) discusses initial ideas for themes to be discussed at District Congress
Ø      12th October: DC finalises draft proposals to congress
Ø      28th October: all DC proposals to be sent out to CPB members.
Ø      1st November to 7th December: Closed CPB branch meetings to discuss district congress business
Ø      8th December @ midnight – deadline for sending nominations for new DC membership, branch motions, and branch amendments to the DC motion.
Ø      14 December: DC makes all final arrangements.
Ø      1st January 2020: all papers emailed out to elected delegates.
Ø      11th January 2020: District Congress to be held.

Public Space Protection Oppression?

In Birmingham, as across the nation, homelessness has more than doubled since 2010. With cuts to local council budgets and support networks such as those which offer help to individuals with issues such as mental health, domestic violence and addiction, and with the continuing decline in social housing and secure accommodation, it is increasingly difficult for local charity organisations to cope with the need for their services.

Birmingham City Council have proposed implementing a Public Space Protection Order, which would cover central Birmingham and has the potential to be kept in place for three years. Whilst BCC is promoting it as a means to deal with Anti-Social Behaviour, one has only to look at the detail of the PSPO, which can be found on the Birmingham Be Heard consultation website, to see how this could impact homeless people.

A fine for obstructing a doorway or begging would be practically impossible for a homeless person to pay, inevitably leading therefore to a criminal conviction that would make it even harder for someone in already difficult circumstances to turn their life around. Liberty and The Community Law Partnership oppose this order, and Crisis has made a statement on the impact of PSPO’s in other cities, which can be found here:

Say No to the Birmingham PSPO is a campaign group set up to challenge this issue, and can be found on FB, along with a link to the ongoing online petition: https://www.facebook.com/Say-No-to-the-Birmingham-PSPO-566984807156377/

Our recent lobby of the council was supported by local councillors including Kerry Jenkins, Majid Mahmood and prospective Labour Metro Mayor candidate Pete Lowe.

These proposals are still at the consultation stage, so please sign and share this petition, and also write to your local MP or councillor raising your objections.

Joanne Shemmans
Say No to the Birmingham PSPO

Reprinted from The Midland Pensioner – Sept 2019

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