My nineteenth weekly message to my constituents and local residents across our Royal Town comes on one of the hottest days of the year so far. I hope you are all keeping well and staying safe (and in the shade!)
I would like to congratulate Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School for their success at the National Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) Awards last night where the school scooped up the National LTA Education (School) Award, congratulations to Dominic Robson and all involved in this splendid success.
On the same theme, yesterday I visited Four Oaks Tennis club. With the help of LTA the club has renovated the Clubhouse hall, bar and kitchen. It was good to see the ways in which the club has implemented social distancing and its own track and trace system for members, during my visit a tennis summer school for young enthusiasts was under way- an encouraging sign of normality and of the brilliant work undertaken at the club.
On Wednesday I visited Sutton Coldfield Town Football Club and had the opportunity to speak to Nick Thurston the Chairman about their future plans. Thanks to funds from our Town Council and the Football Association the club has installed new floodlights. Competitive football will resume in September with the club playing host to West Bromwich Albion Women’s home games next season. The club has also been running a school training camp with Aston Villa, helping support the next generation of budding local footballers.
I would like to congratulate both Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion Football Clubs on their success this season. I know many constituents are supporters of the teams and I am delighted that after a very nervous couple of weeks they will both be playing Premier League Football next year.
This week I also met Chris Hodgetts the owner and brewer behind Leviathan Brewery at the Reddicap Trading Estate. Leviathan Brewing is a micro brewery producing small batch craft beer which can be bought online. Having established the business only shortly before the lockdown restrictions were enforced, it has been a difficult time for Chris but it was hugely positive to hear about his plans to open a Tap Room and shop at the brewery. Having sampled one of his leading brews I can vouch for just how delicious his product is! We also had a chat about duties and taxes on beer, which I know is an issue that is important to many of my constituents.
With the property market picking up locally, I popped over to Four Oaks to meet Nigel Deekes the Partner & Manager at Acres a family owned firm of independent estate agents. It was interesting to hear that sales are busier than ever throughout the Royal Town.
With the Eat Out to Help Out scheme starting next week I also visited Bracebridge Restaurant at Sutton Park this week. Their kiosk will be participating in the scheme and Claire Brough the owner of the restaurant updated me on their plans and their new American BBQ slow cooker, to be installed this week. It is hard to believe as you look out over the pool at Bracebridge and its rural setting that you are only a few miles from the centre of Britain’s second city.
I’ll post some further photos and videos over the coming days from my recent visits.
Earlier this week I had a useful catchup with representatives from the University of Birmingham about the challenges facing the Higher Education sector. I also attended an informative webinar about Joint Enterprise. Birmingham Live has an article covering some of my previous work on this issue which is available here.
I know that many residents have been concerned about the future of our Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer and I have been sent details of a petition to secure the future of the paper. A community like Sutton Coldfield needs a quality publication and I value the importance of local journalism and news. It is a difficult time for traditional print journalism at the moment and much needs to be considered in terms of how we can best support our local news teams and our brilliant local and regional journalists.
As your MP I am here to help. If you feel I can assist with any concerns, please do not hesitate to get in contact by emailing me on firstname.lastname@example.org