5 July 2024
Weekly Message to Constituents 221 - Honoured to be chosen to represent the Royal Town
In the Constituency

So grateful after victory at the polls

After a long and hard-fought campaign – and after both the BBC and Sky predicted a different result last night – I was hugely honoured to be re-elected as your Member of Parliament in the early hours of this morning.

In the 23 years that I have served Sutton Coldfield, I have never received a warmer reception on the doorstep from local people, and I consider it a great privilege to once again give Sutton residents a voice.

I would like to thank my brilliant campaigning team and the hundreds of dedicated volunteers who helped to get our message across, and all of my fellow candidates - who made it such an engaging and, at times, entertaining campaign.

I also want to thank not only everyone who voted for me, but also everyone who chose to engage in such a vibrant contest. Democracy is such a precious thing, and it is alive and kicking in Royal Sutton Coldfield.

I will, as always, represent all of my constituents and work to deliver the pledges I made during my campaign. While last night was a bruising event for my party, I know we will provide an effective and responsible opposition.

Now however, work calls – and it’s straight back to the day job!


Visiting our historic charitable trust

Above: with Keith Dudley and Tina Swani at last year’s event.

Tonight (Friday, July 5) I will be joining the trustees and staff of the wonderful Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust (SCCT) for their annual Chairman’s Reception.

This annual event brings together the people behind this fantastic organisation – which traces its history back to Tudor times – along with many of the people who have benefitted from its grants and alms house provision.

It’s an opportunity to look back at its achievements over the last 12 months, and forward to what is just over the horizon, for a trust which now hands out more than a million pounds a year to local good causes.

I’m looking forward to catching up with CEO Tina Swani and chair Keith Dudley and meeting the trustees who make it such a valuable and well-run local organisation.

In the last year SCCT has funded all kinds of things from CPR training to a new playground for the Deanery School, from a UK-first golf green for disabled players to free school uniforms for dozens of local families.

We are lucky to have this fantastic organisation.


Fighting to save our libraries

Above: At the end of last week’s protest walk in support of local libraries.


My visit to the SCCT as Sutton’s newly-returned MP comes at the end of a whirlwind week of campaigning that has taken in many different aspects of our community.

Last Saturday (June 29) I joined determined campaigners who walked from libraries in Boldmere, Mere Green and Walmley to our Town Centre library, to protest over Birmingham Labour’s cuts, which could see three of them close.

It was inspiring to join the ‘Walk to Read and Support’, organised by the brilliant FOLIO group, to raise awareness over the closure threat.

This is just another way that Birmingham Labour’s bankruptcy is impacting Sutton, but of all the tax rises and service cuts we face, there is something deeply sad about a threat to libraries, because they represent so much - knowledge, community, opportunity.

They are too important to lose. At Sutton library, I read a poem by children’s favourite Julia Donaldson, which ends with the lines: ‘Yes, come to the library! Browse and borrow, And help make sure it'll still be here tomorrow.’

It was a sadly fitting message.


Revitalising the Town Centre

Above: Visiting the Farmer’s Market.


I also found myself visiting the town centre during the week, to see some of the efforts that are being made to inject new life into it. On Sunday, it was good to see the monthly Farmers Market well attended.

This event is a driven by the Visit Royal Sutton ColdfieldBID, which represents hundreds of local businesses from the High Street toManey Corner, investing in events and attractions that increase footfall. Iknow they are watching to see how developments progress with the renewal of theGracechurch Centre, and transport infrastructure, with millions of pounds setto be spent.

Then, on Friday (June 28) it was wonderful to meet up with Hannah Simnett and the team from Cherished, the brilliant Sutton Coldfield charity which is about to start a new era in the town centre.

Above: With Hannah Simnett of Cherished at the charity’s new home – the old town centre Post Office.


Hannah founded Cherished, which provides mentors and workshops for vulnerable youngsters in schools across Birmingham, 13 years ago at the age of just 18. Since then, it’s gone on to help so many young people. It’s a genuine Sutton success story.

Now it’s about to get a new base in the old Post Office unit in the Gracechurch Centre, after I worked with them and the centre’s new owners to find them a new home. It was great to meet Hannah and the team and hear about their plans.


Knocked for six by cricket day turn out

Above: Ready for an innings with the Sutton Coldfield Hindu Association.


This week I also spent a great afternoon with Sutton Coldfield Hindu Association at their annual cricket competition, called the Sutton Premier League.

I was so impressed by the huge turnout for this event.

This year’s winners were Wylde Green Warriors, to whom I presented the Trophy.


Former police officers speak out on station plans

Above: With former Police officers Roger Hazlewood and Tim Kennedy.


This week I also met two former Sutton Coldfield Police officers who told me about their concerns over the planned closure of the Police Station in Lichfield Road, which has watched over local residents since 1960.

Roger Hazlewood and Tim Kennedy both served at the Police Station for many years and took time to talk to me about what they felt would be lost if the site closes.

They raised concerns over issues like response times, the loss of a visible deterrent, access to officers for residents and the importance of vital local intelligence that officers build when based in the community they serve.

With the Labour Police and Crime Commissioner still intending to close the current building by the end of next year, I will fight to keep it open and demand proper consultation with local people over this vitally important issue.


Celebrating diversity at Mere Green Primary School

Above: Acting Headteacher Lucia Thornton opens the festival with Ava Sturridge-Packer OBE.


A week-long exploration of identity and culture at Mere Green Primary School culminated in a colourful Diversity Festival, with hundreds of people enjoying food, music and dancing from a variety of cultures.

Students at the school, which is part of the respected Arthur Terry Learning Partnership, spent the week learning about themselves and their own heritage, as well as other cultures from around the world.

Sutton Coldfield is lucky to have so many fantastic schools, and I have always been hugely impressed with Mere Green when I have visited over the years.

They each created a colourful self-portrait in the style of Margo McDaid, which were assembled in a dazzling display in the school hall.

All this excitement built up to the fantastic Multicultural Festival on Friday, June 21. The children were treated to a variety of foods from the Caribbean, India, Greece, China and Britain, including jerk chicken, chow mein, samosas, pakoras, souvlaki and fish and chips.

Music filled the air as the school’s Young Voices and Rising Voices choirs performed, as well as Bollywood dancers from the school’s very own after-school club. A steel pan ensemble had attendees dancing too.

For the full story and lots of pictures, click here: https://suttonschoollife.co.uk/2024/06/30/mere-green-diversity-festival-school-celebrates-with-colourful-event/


Talented Fairfax pupils show off their creations

Above: Some of the brilliant artwork created by Fairfax students.


Talented A-Level and GCSE art students at Fairfax Academy celebrated their imaginative artwork in a stunning afterschool display.

The Faces & Places exhibition took place on the 18thJune, giving students, parents and staff the opportunity to appreciate the diversity and quality of Fairfax students’ creativity.

Fairfax is renowned for its arts provision – with the annual Eisteddfod forming the centre piece of an annual calendar that celebrates and encourages creativity through everything from art to music, dance and writing.

Whenever I visit Fairfax, I’m blown away by the vibrancy of the school, as well as the passion and healthy competition the students display for its well-established house competitions.

Principal Sean Castle has done  a fantastic job of nurturing this creative culture even further.

The vibrant and varied exhibition showcased artwork across many styles and media. Alongside more traditional media like pencil and paint were pieces created with textiles, ink, photography and more.

Among the pieces on display were remarkably lifelike portraits, thought-provoking landscapes and innovative pictures depicting architecture and still life. From the realistic to the surrealistic, Fairfax’s students covered it all.

For the full story, click here: https://suttonschoollife.co.uk/2024/06/27/fairfax-academy-arts-showcase-2024-stunning-artwork-on-display/


Limbering up for the Community Games

Above: the tug-of-war at the community games between the town’s elected politicians and the youth of Sutton Coldfield.


Looking ahead, next weekend sees the return of the Sutton Coldfield Community Games, the remarkable annual event which brings together so many local sports and activity groups, giving them a chance to showcase what they offer to members of the public.

Funded by the inspirational Dennis Kennedy of Inspire Activity, the Games began life as one of many events up and down the UK organised in parallel with the 2012 Olympics.

However, thanks to the efforts of Dennis and the huge enthusiasm of Sutton’s sporting community it has now become a well-established date on the Royal Town’s diary.

I’m already limbering up for the annual tug of war competition, held between local leaders and young people from the area.

After such a late night at the election count, I’m glad to have a week to recover before we take the field!

In the Commons

Since Thursday 30th May and until the General Election yesterday, parliament has been in dissolution.

Parliament will return on Tuesday 9th July.

Further information

Upcoming Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield BID events



1.    Saturday 13th July 10am-4pm – EURO FOOTBALL FUN

2.    Sunday 28th July 10am-3pm – FARMERS & CRAFTMARKET



19th  The Duke Inn  20:00  Willy & The Poorboys

20th  Simpson’s Gin Bar  19:00  Sheila Waterfield Trio

21st Patty Freaks 13:00 Calypso Moon

22nd  Coffee#1  13:00  Roy Forbes

22nd Heavenly Desserts  16:00  Playing Django

22nd The Three Tuns 19:30 The Shakedown Brothers

23rd  Tokin Tea  13:00 Tenement Jazz Band

23rd Brewhouse & Kitchen 20:00 Big Al Nicholls Band

24th The Gate 19:30 Honey boy Hickling Band

25th  Eleon 19:00 Swing Café

26th Caffe Botanico  13:00 The Washboard Resonators

26th Brewhouse & Kitchen 15:00 Hot Club of Halifax

28th PattyFreaks 13:00 The Upsiders

28th The Station 19:00 Warren James Skiffle Group


1.    Saturday 10th August 10am-3pm – KID’S CARFEST

2.    Sunday 25th August 10am-3pm – FARMERS & CRAFTMARKET

3.    Tuesday 27th August 11am-4pm – KID’S MUSIC WORKSHOP



1.    Saturday 14th September 10am-8pm – FOOD FESTIVAL

2.    Sunday 15th September 10am-5pm – FOOD FESTIVAL

3.    Sunday 29th September 10am-3pm – FARMERS & CRAFTMARKET



1.    Sunday 27th October 10am-3pm – FARMERS & CRAFTMARKET

2.    Halloween event TBC



3.    Sunday 17th November – VEGAN MARKET

4.    Sunday 24th November 10am-3pm – FARMERS & CRAFTMARKET

5.    Christmas events TBC

Free Heart Test, by CRY UK


Get involved with UK Parliament Week this November


Over 2,000 organisations all over the country have already signed up for this year’s UK Parliament Week (18-24 November)!

Join in to explore UK Parliament. Find out what happens at Parliament and learn how your group can get involved. Sign up today to get your free kit!


Breast Friends, Make Up Workshops

History at Holy Trinity

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/)

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

MHRC Locations


Please see below the visits scheduled for the week commencing 22nd July 2024 of the BCC Mobile Household Recycling Centre.


·       Wed 24/07/2024, Plants Brook Road B761EX, 07:30 - 13:00, Sutton Walmley & Minworth


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