During a routine meeting with residents in February, a Workers Party activist met a family who had been without a window all winter.
As party activists spoke to residents this winter, one member got a shock when speaking to a resident in the Holme’s Estate in Bordesley. The mother who lived at the flat with her husband and children suffered from draughty windows and poor frames, like many on the estate, her windows were a good age. In September 2021 a window had fallen from its fixings into the garden of a neighbour (see photos). Despite having contacted Midland Heart, her Housing Association numerous times, she had not had it replaced and endured a cold and draughty winter with a piece of plyboard covering the opening.
Local volunteers soon made contact with the Housing Association who responded promptly once the issue was made public. After some direct communication the windows were replaced and an improvement won for a working family with relatively little effort – just some basic organisation and tenacity. The mother, AM, wrote to us:
Thankyou very much for all your help and support with our ongoing issue with our windows. We waited 7 months without a response from Midland Heart, and as soon as they felt the pressure from yourselves our windows were replaced within two weeks, thank you again, really appreciate all the help!”AM, East Holme
Once upon a time, working class organisations in Birmingham, like in every major industrial city, would have regularly been in touch with the members of the working class and fought for decent living and working conditions. Those days are long gone.
Residents need to organise independently of the old organisations, especially those tied directly or indirectly to the Labour party. The Labour party, which for years attempted to fool working class people into thinking it was on their side, is now contemptuous towards working class people and their problems.
In Bordesley residents are lucky to have a choice in the upcoming local elections to Birmingham city council that take place on May 5. They can vote for the Workers Party – Birmingham candidate, Ed Woollard, who fights for ordinary people and their families. Electing Ed will mean more time and resource can be put into fighting for the community.