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 Winnie Flanagan’s submission.

Winnie campaigning - click to enlarge

Name:  Winnie Flanagan
Ward: Northfield
Party: Labour Party
Email:  Winnie@blabour.org.uk
Phone:  0121 458 3112

My parents came to Northfield in the 1930s. I was born in West Heath, went to school at Cofton and then Waseley Hill, and worked for nearly 30 years as an art therapist in the NHS.

I was an active trade unionist, and am an active Labour Party worker, and member of St John Fisher church in West Heath.

I am standing for Labour in Northfield Ward because somebody has to stand up for ordinary hard working people who risk losing their benefits or tax credits, or the social care on which they depend. I do not want people to have to pay for hip replacements, and I want young people from all walks of life to be able to go to college and on to universities, without being burdened by huge amounts of debt for the rest of their lives.

I support the Citizens Advice Bureau in Northfield, the Ecocentre, and the Town Centre shops.

I care passionately about the young people growing up in our area – who need the best training and the promise of jobs. We should not be cutting the youth service. I also care about the older people who live here, who need companionship and help – we should not be cutting back on the home help that enables them to have dignity and independence at home. We need more day centres, not less.

The Tory councillors have done nothing to deal with the problems of parking around Longbridge and Northfield stations – and these problems will get much much worse when the new Bournville College opens at Longbridge. They have not dealt with the congestion around West Heath shops. Nor have they solved the problem of the traffic queues in Great Stone Road and Bristol Road at the junction near the Black Horse. They have not managed to get many new manufacturing jobs into Northfield. They have promised a play area to serve the many families that live in the Turves Green and Fairfax Road areas, but they have not delivered it.

It is time Northfield had a Labour councillor who will make sure that the interests of all the residents of Northfield come first.

View more from our ‘500 Words’ series

View all Local Election 2011 coverage



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