Local libraries dominate the agenda at Steve McCabe MP Report Back

Steve McCabe MP hosted one of his regular report back events at Grace Church in Stirchley on Thursday 6 March 2014.

Over 40 people attended the event to discuss what Steve has been doing recently in the constituency and in Parliament. It was a particularly lively meeting with strong views expressed by the public about the work programme; forced academies; government cuts; school sport and the Olympic legacy; and especially the future of local libraries and the campaign Steve has been leading to rebuild and renew Birmingham’s vision for libraries.  

Several constituents expressed strong views that local libraries must be protected at all costs and there was an overwhelming opinion that not enough is being done to maximise the services provided in libraries or make sufficient use of them. One constituent who has recently returned from living in London contrasted the progress in the borough of Tower Hamlets with what is happening locally. Suggestions included offering pre-education classes for children; computer classes for the elderly; integrating technology such as kindles into library culture; and introducing cafes and career workshops so that the local people can use libraries as a focal point for their community as well as being able to borrow books.

A number of constituents also raised concerns about the Government’s Work Programme and the lack of impact it has had on unemployment locally. Steve pointed out that Selly Oak is now in the top 20% of constituencies in the country for unemployment and agreed that the Work Programme has made little impact in reducing unemployment or finding people work in Selly Oak. On the Olympic legacy, people felt that now that the Olympics had come and gone there was very little evidence that there was any real legacy effect for Birmingham. They want the government to do more to deliver on their promise that there would be an enduring sports legacy for Birmingham. Steve agreed that more should be done to capitalise on the Olympic legacy and that Birmingham needed a better vision for sports in the city and told constituents that he was keen to have wider discussions on the lessons that could be learned from how sports is organised in other parts of the country and that he was particularly keen to see the creation of a South Birmingham Zone for Sport.

Speaking after the event, Steve McCabe MP said:

“It was great to see so many of my constituents at my Report Back event, it definitely was a lively one and it was good to hear so many suggestions and thoughtful ideas. It’s easy for politicians to forget who elects them and assume that they know best. I think it is really important to listen to what my constituents have to say so I can do my best to represent them in Birmingham and in Parliament.”

Steve’s next Report Back will be held 10 April 2014, venue TBC.

Share this
Copyright Steve McCabe MP Click here for a copy of this site's terms and conditions and privacy statement