20 October 2023
Weekly Message to Constituents 184 - A sombre return to Westminster

There was real shock and a real sense of unity in the House of Commons this week as the Prime Minister spoke about the crisis in the Middle East.

PM statement to the House of Commons on the latest situation in Israel and Gaza: 16 October 2023 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

He spoke for everyone when he expressed his horror and revulsion at the murderous terrorist attack by Hamas in a bloodbath that saw more Jewish people murdered in one day than at any time since the Holocaust. But he made clear we are deeply concerned about all innocent civilians caught up in this catastrophe and our insistence on the rules of war being observed by all parties.

I did the morning news round on Tuesday morning on behalf of the government; for those interested here is the radio 4 today programme interview- (from 2:14) https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m001rgrd

In the Constituency

New Plans for Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School

I am delighted to share that Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School has received £2 million of government funding to deliver exciting plans to build new learning spaces including a new Learning Resource Centre. This will include sixth form study spaces with IT facilities, a dining room, a library, more classrooms, and places for study, social activities and community use.

This is excellent news which will not only benefit Bishop Vesey’s students, but also other young people in our local community by allowing charity partners to offer free, flexible, high-quality facilities, and supporting more young people across Sutton Coldfield and surrounding areas to access opportunities and realise their potential.

You can read more about Bishop Vesey’s ambitious and exciting goals for this project here: https://bvgs.co.uk/learning-resource-centre/


Sutton Coldfield Civic Society

My friend and colleague Andy Street, our West Midlands Mayor with whom I work very closely on many aspects of life in our Town, will be addressing the Sutton Coldfield Civic Society on Thursday 9th. November. at 7.30pm at the Trinity Centre, Church Hill, Mill Street, Sutton Coldfield, B72 1TF.  on "The Future of Sutton Coldfield: Planning, Conservation & Transportation."  

There is an open invitation and non-members of the Society pay a guest fee of £4. We expect this to be a signature event!


Remember to get your vaccinations

Our Royal Town senior GP, Rahul Dubb, asked me to share the below link which allows you to book in:


You can also check if you are eligible for the COVID booster and flu jab and get more information from the above link.

In the Commons

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Yesterday I spoke in the Westminster Hall debate on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a matter of great interest to all parties in Westminster and also many organisations in the Royal Town in particular the faith communities, which you can watch here:



Israel and Gaza

As said above, formal and informal discussions in parliament this week centred around the crisis in the Middle East.

The UK recognises the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and supports a lasting solution for Israelis and Palestinians alike. However, Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people or their aspirations; it offers nothing for them other than more terror and more bloodshed. I therefore support Israel’s right to secure its own defence and to hunt down the terrorists that seek to threaten its very existence, take back the hostages, deter further incursions and strengthen its security for the long term.

The loss of every innocent life is a tragedy, and the above must be done in line with international humanitarian law, with every effort made to minimise the impact on ordinary Palestinians. While acknowledging that Hamas has enmeshed itself behind the civilian population of Gaza, the UK Prime Minister has called on and will continue to call on the Israeli Government to take every possible precaution to avoid harming civilians, and we note the commitment do the president of Israel to the maintenance of international humanitarian law.

The rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza is extremely troubling.

The UK has long been a significant provider of humanitarian support to the Palestinian people, and the UK Government announced that we will increase that support by a third. Furthermore, the UK is looking to deploy significant support to the region to help with the humanitarian response.

I was invited to write a piece for the House magazine on this subject and you can read it here: https://www.politicshome.com/thehouse/article/britain-moral-duty-help-suffering-hamas-atrocities


Parliamentary by-elections

Governments tend not to do well in by-elections in mid-term and as we grapple with a series of acute problems - many of which are international - it is perhaps not surprising that next door in Tamworth and down in Mid Bedfordshire my Party suffered 2 serious defeats I obviously congratulate the winning candidates who now have the privilege of representing their constituents - there is no greater privilege in a free society. Lessons will be learnt, and I am confident that a successful attempt will be made to win both seats back at the General Election.

Further Information

Halloween pop-up cinema

A free pop-up outdoor cinema is set to open in Sutton Coldfield in the run-up to Halloween with a host of family-friendly scary films.

You can see what’s on, here: https://www.visitroyalsuttoncoldfield.co.uk/event/outdoor-halloween-cinema/

October 2023 Changes to bus services

 TfWM has written to me to let me know that there will be a small number of bus changes from 29th October 2023.  

 Out of 394 total services, there will be changes to approximately 32 services which are summarised in the attached table.  

Detailed information on all of the service changes, including alternative routes where possible, can be found at https://www.tfwm.org.uk/plan-your-journey/ways-to-travel/buses-in-the-west-midlands/upcoming-bus-service-changes/

UPDATE: Royal Sutton Coldfield Conservative Association Annual Dinner 2023

We are fast approaching Sutton Coldfield Conservative Association Annual Dinner 2023 and have just a few spaces remaining! 

Our speaker this year is the infamous, lively and passionate Rt Hon Johnny Mercer MP, Minister of State for Veterans Affairs, who will be sure to provide us all with a phenomenally entertaining talk! 

Please do join us at 7pm on Friday 3rd November 2023 for a wonderful three course dinner and a fantastic evening with local Conservative friends, supporters and neighbours. 

We have already sold most tables, and there are just a few more tickets left. 

Please hurry if you would like to secure yours- tickets can be reserved by emailingckhorrocks@yahoo.co.uk


MHRC Locations

Please see below the visits scheduled for the week commencing 16th October 2023 of the BCC Mobile Household Recycling Centre.

·       Thu 19/10/2023, Calder Drive B76 1GG, 07:00 - 12:30, Sutton Walmley & Minworth

·       Fri 20/10/2023, Pilkington Avenue B72 1LA, 07:00 - 12:30, Sutton Wylde Green


Neighbourhood Development and Support Unit

I have received the latest update from the NDSU in relation to External Funding. Please see for any opportunities that may be available to you and your organisation.

Funding and capacity building support for community groups and organisations in Birmingham | Birmingham City Council


Your Town Hall requires donations to protect our heritage building for future use.

We are launching an APPEAL FOR £200k in order to continue to support Your Town Hall and protect it for the future community use, value and enjoyment. 

In this present situation of rising material prices, heating bills and social costs, why should YOU consider supporting your town hall? Because it is a precious historical building, an asset to the area, and the Trust needs support to keep it functioning. 

How to Support:

We are asking you to be as generous as you can, to enable the Town Hall to meet its present commitments. We are relying on your support. Every little helps ! 

Thank you! 

From all of the team at Sutton Coldfield Community Town Hall Trust and the trustees.

Donate with PayPal Giving Fund

You can read and subscribe to the Town Hall’s newsletter here: The Town Hall Presents: Summer is Here! (mailchi.mp)

UK Parliament Week

This year UK Parliament Week (UKPW) is taking place from 6-12 November.

Sign up for your free kit and explore @UKParliament and how to get involved on the issues that matter to you. 

UKPW is a great way to find out about UK Parliament and get a better understanding of the crucial work Parliament does.

#UKPW ukparliamentweek.org  


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 andrew.mitchell.mp@parliament.uk