So, in the battle against mortal and MP, the student journalist is finally making some headway.
As some of you may have noticed me complaining about over various online platforms, I’ve been having a little trouble getting in touch with the Birmingham MPs.
My initial goal, as someone supposed to be covering the Ladywood constituency for Birmingham Recycled, was to have a lovely chat with the area’s new Labour MP Shabana Mahmood obtaining lots of info for a nice lengthy article about how she stands on Labour’s environmental policies.
This seems to be a lost cause however. After many, many emails, I plan to ring the MP and if nothing comes of that, I’ll call it a write off.
There does however, appear to be light at the end of the tunnel. In hope of some sort of response from someone important, I contacted several other Birmingham MPs and also a few Ladywood candidates who were not elected on 6th May.
Thus far, just as I was losing all will to continue this email chase, some small rays of hope shone through my hotmail inbox…
A reply from Dominic Fisher, the Chariman of the Ladywood Tories, was noteworthy. He was refreshingly helpful.
He couldn’t tell me much about Ms. Mahmood and her campaigns but did give me lots of info on the various conservative environmental initiatives in the constituency.
He provided me with some text from a leaflet put out in Ladywood in Summer 2009.
He told me,
‘The entire theme is on recycling, involved me working closely with Birmingham Council Recycling Department and was to try to advertise to residents that they can recycle and help us to meet green targets.’
‘VOTE BLUE – GO GREEN
As part of caring for the local environment, Conservative-run
Birmingham Council has extended recycling to all flats. Many city
centre apartments have recently had facilities installed.
Has yours got it yet? If so, let us know how it’s going? If not, mail
firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment.
SOME MOST EXCELLENT GREEN FACTS ABOUT BRUM!
Birmingham recycles more waste than it sends to landfill.
Cleaning Council awarded 5 STARS for the excellence of city cleaning.
The council is 10% ahead of its recycling targets.2. In terms of the environment, Soho ward has particular issues. Our Soho local ward candidate, Robert Higginson, has been working on several related campaigns which appear to have been neglected by the serving councillor. The one that stands out is a waste company which was based in a semi-residential area (!) which has left its site abandoned causing terrible pollution. We have made the relevant council department and environmental services aware of this issue. Soho has a real problem with dumping and littering which Robert has also been working hard on. Across the ward, Robert is also campaigning for better use of derelict land and green spaces.3. We have been promoting the effective use of green space across Ladywood and Nechells too. For example, you may be aware of some neglected playing fields on Bath Row. Our local council candidate, Sharon Pennant, has been working closely with local residents, asset management and the regeneration team and community groups to try to see that the open space is both retained and put into use that benefits the community.4. As an association we are looking forward to our party conference which will take place in October at the ICC and is of course a chance for us to showcase local projects. One that I want to highlight is where the Tory-led council has been persuaded to hand over council-owned land to the local community giving them the opportunity to maintain the land themselves. In this case an allotment is planned as are opportunities for previously unemployed residents to be part of the maintenance crew. I hope you will agree with me that community engagement and localism are fundamentally environmentally friendly concepts.5. There are several initiatives which support the greening Ladywood. For example, Optima make awards for the best gardens – several near the top of Cregoe Street for example are excellent.