Jack Dromey, Erdington’s new MP, made his first speech in the House of Commons yesterday. It was a lengthy and impassioned plea to the new Government to avoid creating higher unemployment, particularly in Birmingham which, he said, has been the centre of industry but whose population has suffered badly with job losses.
Much of the speech drew attention to Birmingham’s industrial and cultural heritage – the new MP was keen to show that he has immersed himself in the City’s traditions.
Erdington and its neighbourhoods featured in a speech impressive on detail.
He told the House: “Castle Vale, which I am privileged to represent -entered through Spitfire island, rebuilt under the remarkable Robin Corbett- is still a remarkable community to this day. It has a great community spirit; 5,000 people turned out recently to celebrate the life of a young girl who died of asthma and to raise money for charity so that no more would follow that terrible fate.”
No matter that the number attending the charity event was overestimated; the sentiment was laudable.
Towards the end of his speech to fellow MPs in the House, he said: “Everyone now understands, in the aftermath of the financial crisis, that we must rebalance our economy, no longer be heavily dependent on the financial sector but again rebuild the real economy, including our manufacturing base.
Locally, I have seen this in Castle Vale. The admirable chief executive of the Castle Vale community housing association says that we have rebuilt the housing and built a community, but we have a desperate shortage of jobs. That is why my No. 1 priority will be jobs and manufacturing-and I have to say that the subject of ID cards did not come up once in the 4,000 doorstep discussions I had throughout thegeneral election campaign.”
It will come as comfort to many constituents that he told the House: “My priority will be jobs and manufacturing,” even though Birmingham’s and Erdington’s manufacturing and unemployment problems have worsened during the thirteen years of the Labour government.
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