This is a residential seat south west of the city centre. The Selly Oak and Bournville wards are similar to neighbouring Edgbaston with some very attractive suburbs, and many of the white collar residents commute into the city or to the University.
Bournville ward contains the famous model village founded by the Cadbury chocolate manufacturers, as well as the company’s factory named after the area.
As elsewhere, housing and healthcare are major issues in Selly Oak. In the case of the former, proposals to transfer all city housing stock to a social landlord are causing concern, particularly in the large housing estates of the King’s Norton ward. Proposals to divide the huge Birmingham Health Authority are also controversial.
The Selly Oak constituency was created in 1955 when the Conservatives won with a comfortable majority. However, Tory support was gradually whittled away and in 1966 Labour came within 777 votes of taking the seat. Labour finally won in October 1974 but the left-winger Tom Litterick was defeated in 1979 by the vocal Anthony Beaumont-Dark. Lynne Jones for Labour defeated Mr Beaumont-Dark in 1992 and extended her majority in 1997.