10 May 2024
Weekly Message to Constituents 213 - The Royal Cinema
In the Constituency

The Royal Cinema

The new owners of our cherished local cinema are really getting stuck in and the restoration is proceeding apace. It’s all very exciting and encouraging.

I have been asked a couple of questions by local enthusiasts and I passed these into the management. Here are the replies:-

“Progress is strong with the cinema really progressing.

Parking - we will try to utilise the space down the side of the cinema however this won't be ready for opening. Parking is available directly outside with larger public car parks for more than 500 cars within a 3-8 minute walk.

Wheelchair access will be hugely improved. A ramp outside plus flexstep inside will allow access to all of the ground floor screens (2,3&4).

We continue to aim for a summer opening!”

So, all very encouraging!


Above: My last meeting with the new owner James Jervis 



Bishop Walsh School

I had the great pleasure of visiting Bishop Walsh school and speaking to their 6th form - including the two very clever debaters who took part in the annual Royal Town Parliamentary Schools debating competition a couple of weeks ago.

I also had the happy task of mentioning the support from the government and DCMS which the school has recently been granted which is very good news. 

I talked about my role as their MP and about an international issue - challenges for and from Africa - a national issue - the recent elections - and a local issue - our Town Centre - and I tried to answer some very clever questions!




NHS Birmingham and Solihull ICB WorkWell

This week I have been advised of the good news that NHS Birmingham and Solihull ICB has been selected as the lead partner, along with local authorities and Job Centre Plus, for one of the WorkWell pilot areas.

What is WorkWell?

This is a new service that will for the first time integrate health and work advice at the local level to stem the flow into economic inactivity.

Those who are out of work, or at risk of falling out of work due to their health or disability, will be referred to WorkWell through their employer, GP or another community service. They will then receive a personalised plan to help them return to and remain in work, including physical and mental health services and employment support.

More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-64-million-plan-to-help-people-stay-in-work

You can also find more on the direction of travel for our next generation of welfare reforms here: https://x.com/meljstride/status/1787800781166448644?s=46

The rollout of WorkWell is a really positive development.

In the Commons

UK- Saudi development dialogue

Last weekend I was in Riyadh at the second UK- Saudi development dialogue.

Together we are committed to:

-       Delivering aid to vulnerable countries 

-       Maximise the impact of aid 

-       Lead global efforts and support development and the UN SDGs




Gaza statement


On Tuesday, I made a statement to the House of Commons on the war in Gaza, followed by 63 questions from colleagues from across the House.

If you would like to, you can watch it here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/1eba475e-0630-469e-a643-0103ed8e1c14?in=15:30:35




Westminster Hall - Global Health Agencies and Vaccine-Preventable Deaths

On Thursday, I spoke in the Westminster Hall debate on global health agencies and vaccine-preventable deaths.

This is an issue which attracts all-party support and I was able to announce the government’s plans to increase vaccinations for under 5s. 

Over recent years I hope you will feel proud to know that Britain and British taxpayers have vaccinated over a billion children under 5 in the poorest parts of the world.

If you would like to, you can watch it here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/1ece3be5-16d1-4b41-a513-8853f1504022 

Further information

Community games

I am looking forward to the Royal Town’s Community Games this summer, a jewel in our crown since 2012 and something very special that we all really enjoy. It is a great afternoon promoting health and happiness and something that I participate in every year with our annual tug-of-war challenge, a highlight in the Royal Town’s calendar! 


Above: the tug-of-war at the community games between the town’s elected politicians and the youth of Sutton Coldfield. It will be held on Saturday this year.




Bellagio Center Convening Program: Call for Applications

The 2025 Bellagio Center Convening Programme is open for applications. 

The application deadline is June 14, 2024, by 5:00 pm EDT.  

For more than six decades, the Bellagio Center Convening Program has helped exceptional organizations and global leaders bring together participants across diverse sectors to achieve groundbreaking results. The Convening Program provides the setting and support necessary for groups to advance ideas and catalyze actions that drive positive and far-reaching social impact.

This year, they are seeking applications that fit our three thematic tracks, with emphasis on representation from convening organizers and participants from the Global South: 

·       Addressing Climate Change

·       Building Vibrant, Connected, and Resilient Societies

·       General Open Call (for issue areas that don’t match the above themes, but demonstrate a charitable purpose) 


For more information about how to apply to the program and to learn about past convenings, visit https://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/bellagio-center/convenings/

If you have any questions about the program, please get in touch with us at bellagioapplicant@rockfound.org


Concert at St Columba’s Church


Di Xiao - Classical Concert Pianist - 11th May 2024


Breast Friends, Make Up Workshops


Sutton Coldfield Society of Artists Spring Exhibition 2024

The Spring Exhibition of the Sutton Coldfield Society of Artists will take place in the Bedford Suite, Sutton Coldfield Town Hall from 10.00am Saturday 4th May until 4:00pm Sunday 12th May. 

Exhibition open 9:00am to 5:00pm each day.


Advocacy Matters, Recruitment Event


Civic Society Summer programme


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



Mobile Household Recycling Centre Locations

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

·       Fri 17/05/2024 Longley Avenue B76 9AL 07:30-13:00 Sutton Walmley & Minworth