Successful residents meeting

A well attended residents meeting met on Monday 1 November to discuss progress in Bordesley and Highgate.

Highgate, Deritend and Digbeth

Residents in Hodnet Grove and Charlbury Tower have made progress with collective efforts to address issues with vermin, and a collective letter and petition was discussed and a sub-committee formed for seeing to it that residents are organised to sign it and it shall be sent to the Director for Housing. The letter will demand that the city council treat the mass infestation of cockroaches in the tower as a single issue, rather than on a flat by flat basis. Dealing with the pest on a flat by flat basis only pushes the roaches around the building as they vacate one treated flat to reside next door and so on. Efforts to bring the mice and vermin around the Grove under control are ongoing, and residents noted that the lights are now operational for those coming back from work in the dark. Small wins were welcomed by everybody present as an improvement and a sign that we were not powerless to improve the area.

Similar collective letters are planned with delegates from Brinklow and Studley Tower who share issues with vermin, and the resident with three teenage children sharing a one bedroom flat with himself and his wife will also have his issues raised with the Director by our Housing officer.

The meeting also heard had a new copy of the Birmingham Worker freesheet distributed which included a report from residents who were active in the campaign for Free Bus Travel for children, a demand first put forward by the Workers Party local branch. More than 250 additional signatories had been collected over the last couple of months and the issue is picking up traction amongst working class people struggling to cover the cost of bus fares. A Campaigns Team will be tasked with identifying new areas of the town to seek out support, with a door-to-door campaign and a schools drive in the Spring.

Supporters can sign up either with the Workers Party or Change.org:

https://www.change.org/p/transport-for-west-midlands-free-bus-travel-for-children-in-the-west-midlands

Keep Bordesley Clean

After surveying more than 200 homes a complaint was made to Birmingham City Council over a rats nest along Cherrywood Road. Rubbish which was crawling with rats was raised for collection with the council and a short video put on social media to demonstrate the scale of the problem. The meeting praised the efforts of local volunteers who every day undertake litter picking, and it was suggested that the efforts of some were worthy of nomination for recognition from civic authorities.

St Andrews Road and Gray Street residents have arranged a volunteer litter picking for Saturday 27 November 11am with support from Highgate and Bordesley Community Forum activists. Details will be circulated by local newsletter. The Highgate and Bordesley Residents Forum is to request bags from the city council.

Committee elected

Before closing the meeting a number of residents were elected to the committee by a show of hands and a date set in early December for the first Committee meeting. The residents come from all parts of the area and include NHS workers, retired workers and local businesses and council workers.

Workers Party – Birmingham helping residents

The Workers Party – Birmingham has scored some successes in recent weeks fighting for local residents. In October we’ve:

– persuaded the council to undertake block-wide pest control to deal with an infestation of mice in South Acre
– we’ve helped NHS workers get lighting fixed in Hodnet Grove so that they don’t go home from work in the dark
– we’ve tackled a rat infested dumping spot in Cherrywood Road (caution: the video is shocking)
– and we’ve already got hundreds of residents pledged to voting Workers Party – Birmingham in May 2022 in our target seats

With limited resources we successfully distributed more than 11,000 leaflets in October alone, in Balsall Heath, throughout B12 and into the B9, B10 and Bordesley Green area of Birmingham. Recruiting new members and linking up with like minded residents who are ready for change. Our work in Kings Heath continues, we’re backing the efforts of local anti-LTN campaigners https://www.rethinkltn.org/ and we will back ANY group who oppose the counter-productive measures being foisted onto residents. We organised the biggest anti-LTN protest in Kings Heath to date, and if the so-called ‘non-political’ groups fail to apply the necessary pressure (because of sympathies for Labour party political aims and control of the city) then we’ll be undertaking further actions of protest with residents and local businesses who are not beholden to the fortunes of the corrupt Moseley & Kings Heath Labour party.

Dirty streets under Labour

This video footage taken on Cherrywood Road, B9 in October 2021

A report in the Birmingham Mail in August mapped out the various ‘rat hotspots’ in Birmingham using statistics generated from desperate residents contacting pest control.

“We asked for the number of rodent callouts recorded by Birmingham City Council’s pest control team by postcode in 2021 to date, 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017…

In total there have been 6,660 callouts in 2021 so far as of August 10. But this is likely to rise a lot further.

During the pandemic-hit year of 2020, there were a total of 13,726 callouts across all Birmingham postcodes.

And since 2016 there have been a staggering 65,534 callouts.” https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/birminghams-rat-hotspots-mapped-its-21300509

Bordesley and Highgate

Sadly those in the B8, B9 and B12 areas, which includes those living in Bordesley and Highgate, suffer from a failure by the council to take strong enforcement against flytipping.

The Workers Party – Birmingham, undertakes regular community outreach days, typically Saturday and Sunday’s between 12noon and 5.00pm. We’ve surveyed hundreds of residents this year and problems with vermin always come out near the top.

A public campaign against fly tipping must be backed with visible enforcement from the city council. Routine tipping by shopkeepers can be overcome by council investment in waste collection points on key roads (such as Alum Rock Road), backed up with extended opening at the public tips and the abolition of the online booking system and its present restrictions. A high profile enforcement campaign and the engagement of the countless community litter picking groups can help turn the corner in Birmingham. But whilst Labour continues to prioritise spending money on vanity projects its unlikely the public hygiene issues will be tackled.

Workers Party – Birmingham, what are we doing to help?

The Workers Party continues to raise issues of infestation with council officers who are generally quick to respond. We encourage residents to raise collective concerns rather than individual complaints. These are social issues, not problems of this or that flat.


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Hodnet Grove residents get council moving

Hodnet Grove suffers from mice, rats, wasps and a council reluctant to take proactive measures for the public health

Residents in Hodnet Grove have been working with the Workers Party – Birmingham to pressure the council into tackling vermin and making urgent repairs to lighting. Charlbury Tower is infested with cockroaches, whilst the surrounding Grove suffers from infestations of mice, rats and even wasps.

Last weekend a number of residents decided enough was enough. Detailing issues of neglect with activists of the Workers Party – Birmingham, we collected photographs and submitted our concerns to the Council, detailing names of residents and explaining that the infestations were a block-wide issue.

The city council, though it will deal with rats refuses to deal with mice and other pests treating them as individual problems. The problem, of course, is that these are social issues; issues shared by everybody. That’s why its important residents work together to collectively pressure the council into action.

Within a week, responding to pressure from the residents forum and the Workers Party – Birmingham, and with the assistance of attentive council staff (who themselves suffer from the lack of interest shown by local Labour councillors) residents reported that a block wide response from pest control officers has begun, whilst issues for the Housing Team are finally being taken seriously with lighting getting switched on. Our video from a local NHS worker shows that before our intervention, not a single light from the front door all the way to the flats was on. The Labour party is failing Birmingham, its time for change. Vote Workers Party in 2022.

This video was taken by an NHS worker on her way back home after a residents meeting at the Workers Party – Birmingham offices. The video shows that inside Hodnet Grove, despite darkness, all the lights are out.

Highgate Residents Group meeting is just the beginning

The well attended first meeting of the Highgate Residents Action Group held by Birmingham Workers Party

Monday the 4th of October saw the first meeting of the Highgate Residents Group. A group brought together by targeted canvassing and leafleting of the Birmingham Branch of the Workers Party of Britain.

The Workers Party – Birmingham have been out door knocking and speaking to local residents of the Highgate area over the past month, seeking to understand the living and working conditions of local people, in order to organise and act collectively to tackle some of the major issues.

What we have discovered through our work is further confirmation of the systematic neglect and dereliction of duty by the Labour-led Birmingham City Council, it is truly criminal. We have remarked on the illegal and inhumane behaviour of the Council many times, regarding their unlawful homeless housing programme, the rising infant mortality rate in the city as a result of the increasing poverty and lack of social provisions, their disregard for the working people and small business owners of Kings Heath who are being poisoned and pushed out due to the implementation of the LTN scheme without consultation.

The Highgate Residents Group meeting discussed the necessity of taking collective action, of fighting against and fixing the root cause of the issue rather than seeking to treat the symptoms (not that the council are even willing to do that).

It is not acceptable in modern Britain, the fifth biggest economy in the world, that working people are continuing to live in conditions reminiscent of Victorian slums, while the Council sits on financial reserves of over half a billion pounds.

It is time for the working people to come together and demand what is rightfully ours. Good wages and working conditions, affordable and well kept housing, cheap or free public transport, and elected representatives that actually represent the working class of Birmingham, not the financial interests of big business.

The next meeting of the Highgate Residents Group will be held on Monday 1st of November at 7pm. During this meeting we will further discuss concrete plans to hold the Council to account for their lawless behaviour.

Please join us.