10 November 2023
Weekly Message to Constituents 187 - Always remember, never forget
In the Constituency

Remembrance Sunday

This Sunday, the Royal Town, along with the rest of the country, will be remembering the men and women in our armed forces who perished in defence of our freedoms, and those many people who have fought and suffered to protect us over the years.

Further details for arrangements of Remembrance Day can be found in the ‘more info’ section below. I will be joining our Royal Town Mayor, Tony Briggs, veterans, and other participants at the ceremony at the King Edwards Memorial as well as attending the church service at Holy Trinity at 9:45.

As now is usual, the parade will march from Holy Trinity once the service is completed, to King Edwards Square in time for the 2 minutes silence at 11am and the laying of the wreaths.

Very many thanks in advance to Adrian Harvey for so generously providing free parking at the Townhouse Hotel for those attending the Remembrance service this weekend.


Conservative Association Annual Dinner

The Sutton Coldfield Conservative Association had its annual dinner last Friday, with special guest Rt Hon Johnny Mercer MP, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs. It was a chance for friends to catch up and to enjoy an entertaining address by my friend and colleague Johnny Mercer MP.

Thank you for all of those who attended.

Above: Officers and members of the Sutton Coldfield Conservative association with Johnny Mercer, Andy Street and their MP!



A big thank you to Royal Sutton Indians for inviting me to Diwali celebrations on Saturday.

I would like to wish all of my constituents celebrating this Sunday, a very happy Diwali.

Above: Town councillor and chairman of Indians for West Midlands Nitish Raut, and I

Above: wishing all my constituents a happy Diwali!


Sutton Coldfield Society of Artists

I was very pleased to respond to the kind invitation of the Sutton Coldfield Society of Artists and open their Autumn exhibition in our Town Hall. The event was also graced by our Royal Town Mayor Tony Brings.

The work is still on display until Sunday (12th Nov), and the admission is free.

There is a wide variety of original work on show, both 2D and 3D, many of which are for sale. I bought a particularly beautiful exhibit which was the work of the chairman!

Above: The mayor and I together with this years’ award winners

Above: Protea, by Joanne Woods. Winner of the Judge’s Award!


Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, Investing in excellence

Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School in Sutton Coldfield has received £2 million of government funding in their recent bid to build a Learning Resource Centre(LRC). Dominic Robson, Headteacher, said, ‘We are delighted that the School and the Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield are recipients of government funding. We are also grateful for  Andrew Mitchell’s strong personal effort and contribution in securing this funding for BVGS. It truly will be transformational.’

The LRC will not only deliver a new library, additional dining room and a 6th Form Centre at BVGS, but also it will provide free, flexible, high-quality facilities to a select group of charity partners. The charity partners selected will provide support for people across Sutton Coldfield and surrounding areas, giving them access to opportunities, improving their wellbeing and helping them to realise their potential.

Headteacher, Dominic Robson continues “The LRC will be a place where people from all ages and backgrounds can feel included, inspired and empowered”.

This government funding supplements £2.7 million donated by the Bishop Vesey's Grammar School Foundation Charity and over £1.2 million raised by alumni, parents/carers and friends of the school.

If you area community group needing a space and would like to become a BVGS partner and use our new facilities for free, please get in touch with the Headteacher, Mr Dominic Robson, d.robson@bishopveseys.bham.sch.uk


Little Owl Tuition

Congratulations to Little Owl Tuition, a local family business with centres in Boldmere and Four Oaks, for being named Birmingham’s Small Business of the Year! I look forward to visiting them soon to congratulate them personally.


Troubles of Birmingham City Council

Birmingham City Council’s worrying financial predicament is something that our Royal Town City Councillors are continuously working hard to protect us from.

One of our Royal Town Birmingham City Councillors, Richard Parkin (Reddicap), has sent me the following about the dire situation:

‘There have been more shocking comments in the press today about the dire state of the crisis facing Labour Birmingham City Council (BCC) and by consequence Sutton Coldfield residents.

Lead Government-appointed commissioner Max Caller was interviewed by Birmingham Live about the financial crisis at BCC and these were some of his observations just a few weeks into the job:

- External auditors Grant Thornton are likely to 'disclaim' this year's council accounts because it will be impossible to sign them off as a true record.

That is a "terrible position for a serious council to be in” says Caller.

”We won't ever have completely valid accounts for this year… No matter how hard people work, it will not be possible to create accounts to appropriate standards for audit purposes.”

What a statement about the largest local authority in England. Jaw dropping stuff.

- Council taxes are likely to rise more than usual from April next year but Government approval will be needed if this is the case

- ’Every service' is still at risk and under review. “Things that residents really value will have to stop,” says Caller.

“There will need to be a significant increase (of staff) in the centre to programme manage and monitor the changes needed, and that means less people actually doing stuff out there."

- “We are collecting rubbish every week but not recycling much. The council recycling rate is dire. That is a waste of resource, and is not saving the planet much.”

My only difference of opinion with Caller is that our rubbish is not reliably collected every week!

Caller concludes by saying “this will not end quickly."

Meanwhile the £760m equal pay liability and the £100m non-implementation of the Oracle IT system continue to rack up additional costs because of the ineptitude and failings of Labour BCC.

The one certainty about this fiasco is that the full impact of this failing administration on long-suffering residents and families will be felt for years to come.’

In the Commons

Garden of Remembrance

I had the pleasure this week of planting a cross of commemoration on behalf of the Royal Town in the constituency Garden of Commemoration in Parliament.

This act of collective Remembrance, where all 650 constituencies are represented and remembered in a single place, takes place in partnership with the Royal British Legion.

The RBL is committed to ensuring the service and sacrifice of those men and women from Britain and the Commonwealth shall never be forgotten.


The Humanitarian Situation in Gaza

On Wednesday I made a statement to Parliament on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, followed by more than 70 questions from colleagues across the House of Commons on the deeply worrying situations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel.

If you would like to watch the session, you can do so here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/9caff979-2add-4bce-b0ad-ffb6056bd291?in=12:52:14

I have attached Andrew Gimson’s sketch of the Commons here - https://conservativehome.com/2023/11/08/andrew-gimsons-commons-sketch-mitchell-the-one-nation-tory-defuses-labour-anguish-on-gaza/


Foreign Office Urgent Questions

Yesterday in response to an Urgent Question in the Commons, I made a statement to the House on UK sanctions against Russia and Belarus.

If you would like to, you can watch this here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/fb4369c5-f38f-43e7-a7f5-7b365d7622e7?in=10:03:15

Further Information

Remembrance Day

Sunday 12 November: Service of Remembrance will take place at Holy Trinity Parish Church at 9.45am, followed by a parade to the War Memorial at King Edward Square.   

At 11am the national two-minute silence will be observed at the War Memorial followed by wreath laying. 

Road closures will be in place at various key points around King Edward Square / Anchorage Rd, along High Street, Mill Street and Holland Drive between 18:00 Saturday 11 November until midday on Sunday 12 November 2023. 

Service at All Saints Church starting at 9.45am, followed by a wreath laying service at the war memorial on Belwell Lane at 11am. 

There will be a wreath laying ceremony led by St John’s Church, Walmley at the Walmley War Memorial starting at 10.45am. 


The Department for Health £1 million Defibrillator Fund Now Open

The Department for Health and Social Care has launched a fund to help fund public accessible defibrillators.  

This will provide 2,000 new public access defibrillators for communities across England.  Anyone in Sutton Coldfield can apply. 1900 applications will receive match funding of £750.

Interested? Apply using the link - www.defibgrant.co.uk


Applying for a postal vote

From 1st November, voters will be able to apply online to vote by post. Both online and paper applications will now also require ID Verification, this will be in the form of the voter’s National Insurance Number.

To apply online click here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-postal-vote


MHRC Locations

Please see below the visits scheduled for the week commencing 13th November 2023 of the BCC Mobile Household Recycling Centre.

·       Fri 17/11/2023, Longley Avenue B76 9AL, 07:00 - 12:30, Sutton Walmley & Minworth



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)