Just home from an excellent residents' meeting on the Bromford, where I've been campaigning hard to get two empty tower blocks detonated. Residents simply cannot believe the council is thinking of returning them to social housing after spending so much emptying them and 'securing' them. The big question was if the security costs £10,000 a month, why is their no visible security and drug-dealing in the empty flats. My marching orders from the meeting were clear.

More evidence for my theory that schools need to be community hubs from Nansen School, where I ran a women-only coffee morning this morning, with the help of local hero, Rose Ahmed. I run these events because the truth is that women still don't have their voice well heard enough in Birmingham. Our debate centred on how we build a stronger community starting with our children.

Liam Byrne today welcomed the Government’s announcement of a further £20 million to help rebuild Gaza and to provide humanitarian assistance after lobbying the Prime Minister and Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander.

The Member of Parliament for Hodge Hill said the extra funding would be crucial to help provide food, water, shelter and medical supplies for ordinary Palestinians.
Liam said:

Amid the acres of copy that is being written on what President-Elect Obama’s administration will mean for the world, and what it will mean for Britain, it is worth dwelling on one remarkable dynamic here since the Obama victory.

A huge thanks to my door-knocking team who were out with me in Nechells last Friday. Thank the heavens for the warm reception on the door-step - the temperature by the time we finished was -4C. Tonight, we were out around Gossey Lane school where I have to say, 10C temperatures felt positively balmy.

I will be knocking on doors in Hodge Hill today rather than listening to the Fabian's excellent looking line-up at their January conference - but I've penned a contribution to the conference magazine which you can get here.

Liam Byrne today spoke out about the terrible situation in Gaza, after personally lobbying Foreign Office ministers in the House of Commons.

The Hodge Hill MP said he was categorically and without reservation opposed to the war currently waged by Israel which is causing tragedy and devastation for Palestinian families and children.

Liam Byrne has called for an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire and a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

Liam said:

The battle of ideas in British politics is now back on in earnest - and this week sees the argument strech beyond the politics of the downturn to the politics of the future. And what's clear is that after what's sometimes been a difficult year, its Labour - not the Tories - who are determined to stand up for the majority in Britain and not a narrow section of society.

Liam Byrne MP is celebrating the work of the Warm Front Scheme in tackling fuel poverty in Birmingham Hodge Hill and is urging more local residents to come forward and get help with measures that could cut their energy bills by anything up to £600 a year.

Visiting Mr Carless, a local resident who has recently had a new boiler installed by the Warm Front Team,

Liam said: