The Guardian Birmingham

Britain’s cities are falling victim to Theresa May’s cold, crabby nostalgia politics

‘T here’s nobody representing us,” said the thirtysomething man killing time on a side street in Handsworth, Birmingham. Amid the weekday bustle on nearby Soho Road, a smattering of people told me they would be voting Labour, there was irate talk about the Conservatives’ record on ...

2017-05-20 09:07 open_in_new
Birmingham: 'Each year the benefit system is more heartless'
In the run-up to the general election, six Guardian reporters are writing from constituencies across the country to find out what matters to you and in your area. In the second of a series of dispatches from Erdington, Birmingham, Nazia Parveen and photographer Christopher Thomond meet church leaders helping those in need – and struggling with the question of who is responsible ...
2017-05-15 16:37 open_in_new
Burglars steal Harry Potter prequel written on postcard

An untitled Harry Potter prequel handwritten on a postcard by JK Rowling has been stolen in a burglary in Birmingham.

The 800-word story, written on an A5 card, sold for £25,000 at a charity auction at Sotheby’s in 2008.

The postcard was stolen with some jewellery from a property ...

2017-05-12 10:23 open_in_new
Don’t take the magic out of our language

Your dismal portrait of the Erdington constituency as a “dying suburb” of Birmingham (‘I’d like to vote Labour but things aren’t changing so I feel like I can’t’, 10 May) recalled my years at the Abbey Primary in Sutton Road in the 1940s and 1950s. No golden age, certainly, but the ...

2017-05-10 21:55 open_in_new
Birmingham: 'I'd like to vote Labour but things aren’t changing so I feel like I can’t'
In the run-up to the general election, six Guardian reporters are writing from constituencies across the country to find out what matters to you and in your area. In the first of a series of dispatches from Erdington, Birmingham, Nazia Parveen meets two lifelong Labour supporters who say the area is a ‘dying suburb’ and are considering turning their backs on the party ...
2017-05-09 15:01 open_in_new
Andy Street elected West Midlands mayor

The former John Lewis boss Andy Street has won the West Midlands mayoral race for the Conservatives, his victory in a Labour heartland the latest in a series of blows for Jeremy Corbyn’s party in local elections across the country.

Street, 53, beat Labour’s Siôn Simon, the former MP ...

2017-05-05 20:41 open_in_new
Erdington voters: tell us which issues will decide the election

In the run-up to 8 June, Guardian journalists will be reporting in-depth on a range of constituencies around the country, with the aim of telling stories about the election that come from beyond the political bubble. As part of that project, Nazia Parveen will be reporting from the parliamentary ...

2017-05-04 10:35 open_in_new
London schools urged to install metal detectors to help stop knife crime

Police have urged more London schools to install metal scanners to protect children from rising violent crime as the death toll of under-25s from stabbings in the capital this year reached 17. The “knife arches” are one of a range of measures the Metropolitan police believe can help prevent ...

2017-05-03 22:29 open_in_new
Tory candidate defends spending up to £1m on West Midlands mayor campaign

The Conservatives’ candidate to become West Midlands mayor has defended spending up to £1m on the campaign, dwarfing his opponents’ spending power.

Andy Street, the former John Lewis boss who quit to run for the role, said targeting voters before spending rules began could be ...

2017-05-01 12:11 open_in_new
Hipsters, heritage and Handel – how cities can escape London’s shadow

N ow it is Birmingham’s turn. After two years in which Manchester has hogged the headlines as England’s “second city”, Birmingham is out to reclaim what was once its title. Next Thursday, both cities and four others are choosing elected mayors in what is billed as a rehearsal for the 8 ...

2017-04-28 08:15 open_in_new
Tiny geology centre vies with Tate Modern to be museum of the year

A tiny and for decades little-known museum of geology will be pitted against the mighty Tate Modern in the 2017 museum of the year award.

The Art Fund announced a shortlist of five museums which will compete for what is the world’s largest prize for a museum, with the winner receiving ...

2017-04-27 21:15 open_in_new
‘What election?’: West Midlands mayoral race struggles to overcome apathy
A reinvented Birmingham is booming, while the wider West Midlands faces real hardship. What can a single elected mayor for metropolises as different as Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Coventry really do to turn the tide? ...
2017-04-25 09:47 open_in_new
Birmingham to get £2m singing clock at site of planned HS2 station

A £2m singing clock is to be installed at the site of a planned high-speed railway station in Birmingham, with the new public artwork considered the most ambitious commission in the city’s history.

The Turner Prize-winning artist Susan Philipsz was on Tuesday named winner of the ...

2017-04-18 21:21 open_in_new
Labour heartland under attack in metro mayor elections

T he great mayor of Birmingham Joseph Chamberlain, one of the most famous Victorian reformers, presided over slum clearance, the introduction of clean water and public works that included swimming pools, libraries and schools. He is commemorated in the city with a fountain and a clock tower – ...

2017-04-16 02:15 open_in_new
West Midlands mayoral candidate seeks to tell a different Labour story

S iôn Simon, Labour’s candidate for the new job of West Midlands mayor, is out canvassing on a sunny day in the Black Country, trying to persuade residents to pick him as their choice for what he calls “a job that doesn’t yet exist”.

Hamid and Basit Miah are Labour fans. They ...

2017-04-15 10:51 open_in_new
Saffiyah Khan meets woman she defended at EDL demo

It was the photograph that went viral, an image of a young woman smiling serenely in the face of an irate member of the far-right English Defence League at a demonstration in Birmingham’s city centre.

It later emerged that Saffiyah Khan had intervened to defend another woman who was ...

2017-04-11 09:59 open_in_new
Birmingham woman standing in defiance of EDL protester goes viral

A photograph showing a young woman smiling bemusedly at an incensed English Defence League protester has been widely shared as a symbol of Birmingham’s defiance in the face of the far right.

The image, which has been shared thousands of times on social media, was captured during a ...

2017-04-09 21:39 open_in_new
English Defence League not welcome in Birmingham, leaders say

Cross-party political leaders in Birmingham have issued a joint message opposing all forms of extremism before an English Defence League march in the city.

The leaders of the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative groups on Birmingham city council urged people to go about their business ...

2017-04-08 11:29 open_in_new
Roy Fisher obituary

The poet Roy Fisher, who has died aged 86, did everything wrong – from a literary-careerist perspective. He rejected the political posturing that has been known to secure a writer public attention and prestige. He was indifferent to fame, and temperamentally provincial rather than ...

2017-04-06 16:13 open_in_new
'The car is ingrained into people here': West Midlands faces air pollution crisis

The West Midlands is one of the worst hit areas outside the capital for illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution but many don’t seem to realise they and their children are breathing some of the UK’s most polluted air.

The region is criss-crossed with motorways and dual carriageways ...

2017-04-04 18:57 open_in_new
Industrial heartland is in no fit state to pump up UK exports

B rexit, according to its cheerleaders, offers British businesses the chance to expand trade beyond Europe to the rest of the world. Trade minister Liam Fox infamously said the easy option of shipping goods across the Channel had deterred businesses large and small from looking further afield. ...

2017-04-02 09:38 open_in_new