The Council House, Birmingham (shot 5)
The Council House, Birmingham by Rick Harrison on Flickr

We were very enthusiastic about the ‘500 Words’ idea, borrowed from our friends at Pits n Pots.

In reality, our attempt has been much less successful, perhaps because we don’t have as many existing contacts as the well established Stoke local political blog, perhaps because too many of our local candidates are not aware of the value of the internet and social media, perhaps because the candidates were too busy campaigning, perhaps because the digital postie dumped our emails in a bin and went for a cuppa and a bacon sandwich at the local cafe instead… who knows?

Admittedly, in some cases, we could have spent more time on our efforts to contact the candidates, but as b31.org.uk is currently run voluntarily by two people, time available was limited. Most were contacted by email, either directly or via local representatives of their party. Some we managed to telephone / text. In hindsight, it would probably have been better to ‘snail mail’ all the candidates as individual contact postal addresses were freely available via Birmingham City Council. This would have provided a fairer base for assessing individual candidate’s reactions to our request.

25% (5 out of 20) of local candidates have responded with a submission:  3 Labour, 1 Lib Dem and 1 Conservative. Just one of the submissions was from an existing councillor defending a seat.

Here, we’ve listed all the candidates, what efforts were made to contact each one and what their responses were so you can make upyour own minds.

*NB: On checking emails, I can’t find one to the Northfield Lib Dems Chair that I thought I’d sent! Sent him one today, asking for any response at all from their candidates, even if brief.

Kings Norton

Ball, Robert Michael – Liberal Democrats – *see above note – independently SUBMITTED

Griffiths, Peter James Llewelyn – Labour – Emailed directly 15/4 & 29/4 – NO RESPONSE

Hickman, Ged – Green Party – Spoke on twitter – NO SUBMISSION

Waldron, Frances Ann – British National Party – emailed West Mids BNP to ask for contact – NO RESPONSE

Wood, Barbara Iris – Conservative Party (councillor) – Emailed 6/4 & 29/4 on her BCC email address – NO RESPONSE

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Longbridge

Barton, Keith Henry – Conservative Party (councillor) – Emailed 6/4 & 29/4 on his BCC email address – NO RESPONSE

Berwick, Claire Elizabeth – Liberal Democrats – *see above note – AWAITING RESPONSE

Cartwright, Andy – Labour Party – facebook message – SUBMITTED

Marriot, Colin – Green Party – contacted Birmingham Green Party twice for contact emails. – NO CONTACTS RECEIVED

Orton, Lynette Ann – British National Party – emailed West Mids BNP to ask for contact -NO RESPONSE

——-

Northfield

Axe, Kirsty Jayne – Green Party – contacted Birmingham Green Party twice for contact emails.  – NO CONTACTS RECEIVED

Corns, Reg – Conservative Party (current councillor) -Emailed 6/4 on his BCC email address – SUBMITTED

Flanagan, Winnie – Labour Party – Given a phone number – independently SUBMITTED before contact made

Moles, Andy – Liberal Democrats – *see above note – AWAITING RESPONSE

Orton, Leslie John – British National Party – emailed West Mids BNP to ask for contact – NO RESPONSE

——-

Weoley

Delaney, Adrian Joseph – Conservative Party (councillor) – Emailed 6/4 & 29/4 on his BCC email address – NO RESPONSE

Grainger, John – British National Party – emailed West Mids BNP to ask for contact – NO RESPONSE

Hillcox, Chris – Labour & Cooperative Party – Contacted by text message – SUBMITTED

Sword, Trevor – Liberal Democrats – *see above note – AWAITING RESPONSE

Williams, David Owen – Green Party – contacted Birmingham Green Party twice for contact emails. – NO CONTACTS RECEIVED

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. […] B31 blog tried a useful exercise asking local candidates to write a 500 word summary about who they are and their campaign. It was a shame there wasn’t a better response from the candidates because I found the one that responded in my ward really useful. It’s a really good starting point for finding out more and just a general gist of what each candidate’s overall aims are. […]

  2. Hello

    I am new to this site.

    I do think this is a good idea, I received one myself for Billesley, but I forgot about it as I was very busy at the time.

    I hope you do it next time – I will respond with my 500 words and encourage the other British National Party candidates to do the same.

    Regards

    Paul Hickman

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