City Council leader Cllr John Clancy is seeking urgent talks with new Prime Minister Theresa May to make the case of Birmingham’s role in the post-Brexit UK economy.
Cllr Clancy has written to the new PM explaining why he feels Birmingham has a big contribution to make. And he has urged the new PM to ensure that cities have a voice in negotiations to exit the European Union.
As she launched her bid for leadership of the Conservative Party in Birmingham last week, Mrs May called for greater fairness in developing all Britain’s large cities – not just “one or even two of our great regional cities”.
Now Cllr Clancy wants to discuss what that means for Birmingham.
He said: “I’m a proud Labour politician but I’m also a pragmatist and from day one in my role as Birmingham City Council leader I’ve met, worked with and lobbied a number of Conservative government ministers. So I’ve wasted no time in writing to Theresa May requesting an urgent meeting with myself and other Birmingham leaders to discuss how our city can play a big part in addressing the post-Brexit challenges the UK now faces.
“In my letter I’ve stressed that our great city is well placed to work with her government to grasp the opportunities and to tackle the challenges that the next period holds.
“In the short term we must work out a way of maintaining the investment plans that are currently based on EU funding and ensure that long term repatriation of funds comes down to the local level and not just Whitehall.
“There must be a voice for the great cities in the negotiations with the EU, as part of the local government representation that Greg Clark has already promised and I would hope the news Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid will agree.”
Cllr Clancy added: “I believe that the Brexit vote was a call for all politicians to take up that challenge and to take seriously the need to reform our over-centralised and out-dated approach to government.
“That’s why I particularly welcome the PM’s commitment to creating a plan to help all of our “great regional cities”. Actions of course will speak louder than words and I firmly believe that Birmingham can and should be at the forefront of any such plan.”
Enjoy the sun – stay out of the water
With Birmingham set to bask in the sunshine this week, the city council has warned people to stay out of ponds, lakes and canals across the city.
The city is set for a mini heatwave this week, with temperatures set to hit 30C (86F) by Tuesday.
And Cabinet member for Health and Social Care Cllr Paulette Hamilton has warned people not to cool down in open water.
She said: “We want people to enjoy the sunshine but we also want them to be sensible. So the message is simple: Stay out of the water and stay safe.
“Open water may look inviting on the surface but there are often hidden dangers underneath. If you want to swim, we have swimming pools across Birmingham where people can swim safely.”
Cllr Hamilton has also urged people to check on elderly relatives and neighbours to ensure they are coping in the heat.
Extreme heat can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people are:
- older people, especially those over 75
- babies and young children
- people with a serious chronic condition, especially heart or breathing problems
- people with mobility problems, for example people with Parkinson’s disease or who have had a stroke
- people with serious mental health problems
- people on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control
- people who misuse alcohol or drugs
- people who are physically active, for example labourers or those doing sports
Top advice for being sun safe:
- Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it’s safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler.
- Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.
- Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn’t possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
- Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
- Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol.
- Stay tuned to the weather forecast on the radio or TV, or at the Met Office website.
- Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.
- Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
- Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat if you go outdoors.
- Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.
Cllr Hamilton added: “We all want to enjoy the sunshine but high temperatures can be dangerous, so please keep an eye on people who may be particularly vulnerable such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses.
“It’s important that people take sensible steps to ensure they stay safe in the sun. First of all, we’d advise people to avoid sunburn and heat exhaustion. Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15 – the higher the factor, the better.”
Summer safety for younger children: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/Childsafety.aspx
Barbecue food safety: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/Barbecuefoodsafety.aspx
Preventing hay fever: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/Hay%20fever.aspx