I kicked off this week with an adjournment debate in the House of Commons Chamber highlighting the plight of Birmingham City FC, based here in Ladywood. With a crumbling stadium and far removed, invisible ownership, points deductions, and crippling debts worth over £120 million – the club continues to swing from crisis to crisis. Birmingham City is a perfect example of the current system allowing irresponsible spending as unaccountable foreign owners buy up local clubs.
It is one of the oldest football clubs in the country. It was founded in 1875 in Small Heath; it acted as a rifle range for training soldiers in WW1 and like much of Small Heath was bombed during WW2. It is steeped in history and with a heritage that Brummies across the city are proud of, but for years now, Blues fans have watched with devastation as financial and professional mismanagement has driven their beloved club to the brink. But the issues at Blues are not unique – they are happening in stadiums and club houses across the country. Fantastic clubs face destruction unless we see decisive action and regulatory overhaul from the government – exactly as we were promised earlier this year. I pushed the Minister to re-commit to establishing an independent football regulator, as recommended by Tracey Crouch’s Fan Led Review. But he failed to do so, only stating that the need for reform is not in doubt but that as a government of new ministers they were keen to do their due diligence and consider the policy carefully.
You can read the debate in full here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2022-11-07/debates/FD3CF422-EACF-4934-A051-1CAE75B3F94D/FootballClubsInEnglandFinancialSustainability
After years of leaseholders paying hundreds of thousands of pounds for buildings insurance, the government has finally agreed to create an insurance pool. But this will take time, so this week, I wrote to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities asking him to outline exactly how the government is going to help leaseholders with soaring insurance bills this winter. I also pushed him to outline whether he has considered my proposal of including additional costs leaseholders have incurred for extortionate buildings insurance within the Building Safety Act’s £10,000 cap. You can read the letter here and I will of course, keep everyone updated when I received a response.
This week I launched my second annual Christmas card competition for children in Birmingham. There’s no criteria for the design – it might be about Birmingham in winter, parliament, Christmas or something completely different. The competition is open to all children under the age of 13 who live or go to school in Birmingham Ladywood constituency. Find more details here: https://www.shabanamahmood.org/2022/11/07/shabana-launches-second-annual-christmas-card-competition/ Looking forward to seeing all of your fantastic designs!
Finally, today is Remembrance Day, when we honour and pay tribute to those who gave everything for our country. They made the ultimate sacrifice and their memory lives on in the shared values we hold today. I am proud to stand with our armed forces, veterans, and their families.