As part of our 2012 election coverage we have contacted each candidate in Kings Norton, Longbridge, Northfield and Weoley wards by letter or email asking them to contribute to this year’s ‘500 Words’ series. Each candidate has been invited to describe themselves and their campaigns in their own words.

Here, Longbridge Labour candidate Jess Phillips starts off the series:

My name is Jess Phillips. I am a Brummy born and bred and live in the city with my husband Tom, a Lift Engineer and our sons Harry (6) and Danny (3).

I have spent my entire career working for charities and community groups; I have worked with the elderly, as a carer for people with Alzheimer’s, offered respite care to families of cancer patients, set up play groups for new moms and acted as a mentor for young offenders. Currently I am a manager of a women’s refuge and domestic violence crisis centre. In this role I work to improve the lives of adult and child victims of violence and abuse. I am totally dedicated to working hard to improve the lives of vulnerable people who have often been failed by the system. Time and time again I have heard people

upset by their experiences of the social care system, housing departments, or people finding it difficult to get jobs and training. For the people I have supported I have always tried to be a ‘Yes’ person when everyone else said no or has ignored them. It is for this reason that I wanted to stand as your Councillor in Longbridge. In this position I will be able to properly hold people to account for failing systems and poor understanding of people’s needs. I will use my understanding of real lives to make sure that the services which should be there to protect local people do exactly that.

I am also dedicated to ensuring that Birmingham City Council services properly reflect what the people want and need. I have set up a number of residents associations and neighbourhood watch groups myself and have already been working to assist local people in Rednal to do this. We must listen to local people if we hope to have any chance of making things work in their neighbourhoods, down their streets, and ultimately in their homes.
After 8 years of Tory-Lib Dem rule, thousands are turning to Labour to restore fairness and confidence to our city. If elected  I will work hard with the Labour Party to make sure that we deliver the following:

  • Make Birmingham the Enterprise Capital of Britain – grow businesses, create new jobs, lift people into work and better wages
  • Cut crime, not the police – Support neighbourhood policing, crack down on anti-social behaviour, deal with drug addiction which costs the city £500 million a year.
  • Adult Social Care, fit for the 21st Century – Put caring for people first, protect social care for the most vulnerable.
  • Education and Care for Children, Young People and Families – A new ‘standard of achievement’ for our schools to prepare our children for the skilled jobs of the future.
  • The Housing Challenge – Create new housing partnerships to build affordable homes.
  • Power to the people – Neighbourhoods will influence how local problems are tackled.

Labour’s Birmingham Pledges:

• Fight forBirmingham’s fair share

• No increase in Council Tax

• Deal with the city’s financial mess

• MakeBirminghamBritain’s enterprise capital

• Fight against cuts to the Police and damaging changes in the NHS

• Keep weekly bin collections

A vote for me on May the 3rd is a vote for someone who will work along side you, the people of Longbridge ward, protect you and your families and the services you rely on.


View all posts in the 2012 ‘500 Words’ series

View all posts in the category ‘Election 2012’


  1. Hi, please can someone tell me more about the ‘drug addiction which costs the city £500 million a year.’? I shtat the crimes? Treatment?

  2. HI Chris the £500 million will be both treatment services and the cost of fighting the crime at a comunity safety level. There are a number of cumulative factors that lead to this amount of money and when considering the cost of policing on a problem like drug use from prevention, to specialist drugs teams, local police responses to the problem. Also it is not just drug offences that ill be affected by drug use per se, much of the robbery, shop lifting, metal theft and serious violent crime in the city is related to substance issues. As for the cost of treatment aside from drugs working and rehabilitation costs in the city there will be lots of lower level public health promblems relating to substance problems as well as other presenting mental and physical health promblems that will cost the city millions. Hope this answers your question?


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