General Election 2024: Meet the Birmingham Hodge Hill and Solihull North candidates - Liam Byrne - The Solihull Observer

General Election 2024: Meet the Birmingham Hodge Hill and Solihull North candidates - Liam Byrne

Solihull Editorial 27th Jun, 2024   0

It’s decision time – there are now just a few days left to decide whether you would like five more years of a Conservative government or if you think it is time for a new direction for our country.

With this snap election, both Castle Bromwich and Smiths Wood come into the new parliamentary constituency of Hodge Hill and Solihull North – so I’ve been out on the doorsteps talking to almost two thousand residents about how they see the future.

And people are pretty angry. People feel all the promises made since Brexit have been broken, and now, basically nothing works. I’ve yet to meet anyone – in the almost 200-miles I’ve walked around the constituency since the election was called – who thinks Britain is going in the right direction.

And that’s why we need change. During my 20 years as an MP for Hodge Hill, we’ve secured around £650million of investment for the constituency: the new HS2 control centre and plans for a business park with thousands of local jobs; more than £150million for new schools and classrooms; more than £120million for a rebuilt Heartlands Hospital and new health centres; more than £90million for warm new homes and more than £10million for new parks, road safety, and our brilliant community groups. It’s that track record of getting things done that I want to bring to the new constituency.

None of this progress was easy. Nothing was delivered overnight. But by patiently running monthly residents’ meetings, together with our popular gazebo surgeries and school gate surgeries, plus our annual Funders Fair to connect donors such as the Big Lottery with local sports and community groups, we delivered progress. I’m a firm believer that actions speak louder than words. But now it’s time to face the future. Things need to change. I have to run my Operation Foodbank collections because food banks are running out of food. Youth services are all but gone. It’s too hard to get a GP appointment. Speeding cars seem out of control. People talk about energy bills more than doubling.

The bottom line is this: we need change. And we could do more for our community with a Labour government in power. Security for retired residents. Better opportunities for our children. A decisive shift to a greener society. New investment in things that matter locally, from more police to tackle drugs and knife crime to traffic calming to tackle the dangerous levels of speeding. I know lots of people think the parties are all the same. But they’re not. Why? Because this is what Labour would do:




  1.  Deliver economic stability after the chaos of the Conservative years – and grow our economy so wages rise and we can afford to protect pensions.
  2.  Cut NHS waiting times with 40,000 more evening and weekend appointments each week. To which, I’d add a major campaign to rebuild the A&E and the maternity unit at Heartlands Hospital.
  3.  Launch a new Border Security Command to smash criminal gangs and strengthen our borders.
  4.  Set up Great British Energy, a publicly owned clean power company, to cut your energy bill and put money back in your pocket.
  5.  Crack down on antisocial behaviour with more neighbourhood police and tough new penalties for offenders.
  6.  Recruit 6,500 new teachers in key subjects, such as maths and English, to set children up for life.

    These ideas will make a difference to our country and our community.


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