We are contacting each candidate for Kings Norton, Longbridge, Northfield and Weoley wards and giving them the opportunity to write ‘500 Words’ describing themselves and their campaign. Each submission will be published here, without editing. You will be able to view all of the series by clicking the ‘500 Words’ tag.
Here is Andy Cartwright’s 500 Words.
Name: Andy Cartwright
Party: Labour Party
Phone: 07549 781 442
My name is Andy Cartwright. I live in Longbridge with my wife Gemma and our four children. I was born and brought up in the Northfield area.
I was made redundant when MG Rover collapsed so I know, first hand, how it feels to lose your job, and your security and the effect it has on your family.
I am standing for Labour because I believe the experiences I have had in my life mean that I can make a difference to my community and to Birmingham.
I know just how important it is to bring 21st century skills and create new jobs in our area. That is why I have been campaigning with Richard Burden MP, Councillor Ian Cruise and the Labour team to make sure Longbridge plays its part in making Birmingham a centre for high tech, clean and green manufacturing.
I have been lucky. I retrained as a youth worker and have found work that I love.
But I can see the impact the recession is having on young people in our area. Youth unemployment is still rising and many of our young people are facing an uncertain future. The government has scrapped the Education Maintenance Allowance and that will mean that many young people will not be able to take advantage of the new Bournville College – one of the Labour government’s multi million pound investments in our community. And cuts to local youth services mean we could end up with a new Youth Centre on the Longbridge site without the youth workers needed to support it or at the expense of other youth facilities in the area. That simply doesn’t make sense.
These are tough times for people and their families. The local election on 5th May gives people a chance to have a say on what the Coalition government is doing. And, here in Birmingham, it is also a chance to send a message to a Conservative led Council which is implementing central government cuts in a crude and heartless way. Cuts in frontline services to families and communities mean that:-
· 11,000 vulnerable elderly and disabled people stand to lose some or all of their care packages;
· Youth clubs, Sure Start and childcare services will close when £69m is axed from services for children and families;
· Anti-social behaviour will increase as public safety initiatives fold – on top of the governments 20% cut to Police budgets;
· Libraries may close and membership charges for leisure centres will increase;
· 7000 council staff will lose their jobs and others will face pay cuts
The election in May is important. We can show the Tory-led government that local services are important, especially in tough times. These Conservative-led cuts will harm our area. But there is an alternative. Labour believes in protecting vital frontline services and investing in jobs and growth. Longbridge needs a strong, local ,Labour voice in the community and on the Council. I will stand up for you, your family, your friends and your neighbours.