So, as promised, I received an email back today from the new Perry Barr Labour MP Khalid Mahmood- and I have to say, it sounds rather impressive.
I wanted to know where the MP stood on environmental concerns. There wasn’t much to be found online about his thoughts and more worringly, his voting record (found at ‘TheyWorkForYou.com) claims that he ‘voted moderately against laws to stop climate change’.
Taking a look at PublicWhip, things look even worse. Here we are told that Khalid Mahmood MP, Birmingham, Perry Barr voted strongly against the policy Stop climate change by scoring 17.4% compared to the votes below (take a look if you like.
Despite pointing this out to the MP, he told me:
‘Thank you for your e-mail. I am not sure how the reference to ‘moderately against’ came from. I supported the Climate Change Bill and I was delighted that we were able to pass such a ground breaking law, I am also a strong supporter of the hunting ban and will fight against any moves to repeal the act. I am, however, a supporter of nuclear power and I make no apologises for this. It is the only realistic way of delivering clean fuel.
In terms of local campaigning I have fought on environmental issues, often these are based on getting local problems resolved rather than on national topics. I have been greatly heartened by some of the progress over the last decade, regeneration, especially in Lozells/Handsworth, has enhanced the environment of the area, in particular Handsworth Park has been transformed, Sandwell Valley has been opened up to greater access for local people and allotments in the area have gone from strength to strength. There is noticeably less graffiti and littering in the area and this has been partly as a result of the priorities set by local people for the police and council.
I will soon be launching my ‘our Perry Barr’ campaign soon and this will have an environmental element, the project is based on public input so it will be interesting to see what environmental concerns are raised by local people.
I hope this has been of some help to you, I am always keen to hear what ideas local residents have so just let me know and I will see what can be done to support them.’
Could it be that the information on these websites is wrong, or perhaps that the MP has changed his mind on certain issues?
Perhaps the MP is starting to pick up on what is important to the people local to Perry Barr and surrounding areas. This is certainly evident in the ‘Our Perry Barr’ campaign- which if followed through, could be very successful and worthwhile.
Im yet to find more details on the campaign so I presume that the idea is in its infancy. I for one hope that the MP stays true to his word with this one, as there will be many more people dissapointed by the MP otherwise.