12 April 2024
Weekly Message to Constituents 209 - World Parkinson’s Day
In the Constituency

World Parkinson’s Day

As Patron of the Royal Sutton Coldfield Parkinson’s Society as well as their MP, I take a very special interest in this brilliant local organisation.

Yesterday was World Parkinson’s Day.

Parkinson’s is a terrible affliction- my old father had it- but there are today real grounds for hope. One Suttonian recently joined the local branch and turned up within hours of receiving their diagnosis.

Such is the Branch’s great reputation as a very strong support group, and I am privileged to be their Patron.


Andrew Mitchell with Royal Sutton Coldfield Parkinson’s Society branch chairman, John Carrington

Above: Here with Royal Sutton Coldfield Parkinson’s Society branch chairman, John Carrington


Above: Our Royal Town Mayor Tony Briggs with the branch chairman and volunteers


I also organised for the makers of the new podcast ‘Movers and Shakers’ to hand in their petition at No.10.




And here are some words from Cllr Richard Parkin on how World Parkinson’s Day was commemorated in the Royal Town:

“If you’ve noticed some blue bows appearing around The Gracechurch Centre over the past couple of days here’s the reason why…

“The bows are to raise awareness for World Parkinson’s Week which starts tomorrow and culminates in World Parkinson’s Day on Friday April 11th.

“Local Reddicap resident Dee Springett from the Sutton Coldfield Parkinson’s branch (based at the Methodist Hall on the South Parade) has been busy making bows this weekend to raise publicity for Parkinson’s and the charity.”

“The owners and management at The Gracechurch Centre stepped have been fantastic in helping to support the charity.’

- Cllr Richard Parkin, Sutton Reddicap



Hollyfield School

I enjoyed my visit to this excellent school -together with local City and Town councillor Richard Parkin - and the opportunity to update myself on its many activities with the Head Teacher Andy Holmes, and the Chair of Governors Gillian Shilton, both of whom have served this school and local community for very many years.

We also met the firefighters who were visiting the school and providing a great deal of excitement to the children!


Meeting five of the schools brightest and best, we discussed my work as MP, children, and the action-packed weekend that awaited them!




Spending time in Boldmere

I had a useful chat with passersby in Boldmere (on the back of a local visit) about all that is going on in this thriving local community.


Above: here with Pippa from The Deli Social

In the Commons

Parliament is currently in recess and therefore the House of Commons is not sitting.

However, aswell as my constituency work throughout Sutton Coldfield, my ministerial workcontinues. This week I have been on ministerial business in Rwanda.



30 years since the Rwandan genocide

Last weekend I was in Rwanda representing the UK as we commemorate 30 years since the Genocide against the Tutsi. I passed on the message and kind words from His Majesty the King to President Paul Kagame.

I will never forget the testimonies I have heard from those who survived tragedy in1994.

We must ensure the mistakes of the past are never repeated.

I also gave the president a copy of the Development White Paper and discussed Rwanda’s amazing development journey since 1994.




Onward’s panel on research and development

I was up in Manchester yesterday for Onward’s research and development panel, held at the Science and Industry Museum.

I spoke about the importance of education girls as it is a ladder out of poverty, and how access to AI can help ensure the best provision of education.


Further information


How to Register to Postal Vote

As we get closer and closer to May 2nd, the election date for West Midlands Mayor, I believe as your member of parliament it is my democratic duty to keep residents across the Royal Town informed of how to register for a postal vote in case you are unable to make it to a polling station on election day.

There is a brilliant government website which has all the required forms (and even a way to register online!) which you can find here:https://www.gov.uk/how-to-vote/postal-voting but the summary of how to register by post is to first download and print off the postal vote application form. After filling out the form according to its instructions, you send it off to your local Electoral Registration Office (which you can find out on:https://www.gov.uk/contact-electoral-registration-office) and once they have received it, the Electoral Registration Office will confirm if it is accepted and you are registered or not.

The important thing to note is that if you do hope to register for a postal vote for May 2nd, they'll need your physical application by 5pm on 17th April so don't delay as the sooner you send it, the sooner they will receive it and confirm your registration. If you are applying online you will also need to complete your application by the same time and date.


‘Your Community, Your Fund’ annual scheme

In conjunction with the Department for Transport, West Midlands Railway have announced funding for community rail projects, with grants between £10-100,000. This scheme which offers support to projects which benefit both rail passengers and local communities and has already supported a number of community-led projects in recent years.

Previously, projects have included enhancing Smethwick Rolfe Street with bedders, planters and artwork and the opening of a new tea room at Bricket Wood station in Hertfordshire. 

The deadline for applications is 11.59pm Tuesday 16 April. 

For more information visit www.wmr.uk/ycyf.


Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care System’s Fairer Futures Fund

This ringfenced £22.2m Fund first launched in 2022, with various funding streams awarded up until 2027 for projects which will improve the health and wellbeing of citizens across Birmingham and Solihull; reduce health inequalities and support communities to stay well.

Applications are now open for public and VCFSE sector organisations in Birmingham to bid for Citywide Small Grants being made available via the Fairer Futures Fund.

A total of £2.46million is available through the new Citywide Small Grants, with organisations in Birmingham able to bid for up to £15,000 per year, or up to a maximum of £45,000 for individual projects over a three-year delivery period.

The deadline for applications for the Citywide Small Grants scheme is 5pm on 12 July 2024. For more information on how to apply, visit the Heart of England Community Foundation website (https://www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk/ffcw-small-grants/)

Sutton Arts Theatre- What’s on

MMR immunisation and measles awareness


Measles is circulating in the West Midlands, and the MMR vaccination provides the best protection against measles.


Please be aware of measles symptoms: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/measles/

If you think you or your child may have measles, contact your GP practice but do not visit unless instructed, as measles can spread to others easily, and 1 in 15 children can develop serious complications, such as meningitis and blindness.

For protection against measles, contact your GP practice to get your MMR immunisations.


Learn more: https://bit.ly/46QPPn1