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.
The Labour Party candidate for Weoley ward is Steve Booton:
I was born and brought up in Birmingham and left school to work as an apprentice plumber. Later I discovered that my strengths lay in working with tenants and residents on neighbourhood concerns. Since gaining a degree at Wolverhampton University as a mature student I have been employed for many years by local councils and housing associations to help set up tenants and residents associations and community groups to enable local people to have more of a say about their housing conditions and services.
For the last decade I have worked for myself as an Independent Tenant Advisor organising area-wide consultations on behalf of residents up and down the country to ensure that they have real influence in the decision-making process about their housing issues.
I have supported the Labour Party since the 1980s and always believed in the all important link between Labour and the trades unions to protect people’s jobs but I have never stood in a local election before being selected as Weoley ward’s candidate.
I am angry with the way the Con-Dem Government nationally and locally is riding roughshod over ordinary people’s incomes, allowances and housing rights. I have three children and six grandchildren and like everyone else I am concerned to ensure that all young people have a future with opportunities for decent homes, proper apprenticeships and secure jobs.
We all know that there is a global recession; but it’s what we need to do about it that is the issue. The answer is not to cut taxes for the rich and make pensioners pay more as the Con-Dem Government is doing! The last thing we want to see is another generation like the one in the 1980s who had little prospect of a job, a home and a future.
I am proud to be standing for Weoley Labour Party. My campaign has been a great team effort and if I win I will make sure that I fight for local people, local jobs and the local economy.
We urge people to vote Labour on May 3rd because Labour in Birmingham is pledged to drive the building of 70,000 badly needed homes, clean up the private rented sector and introduce a new deal for our city’s council tenants. This will create thousands of jobs and apprenticeships and hope for the nearly one in four young people out of work in Birmingham.
If elected on May 3rd, I will:
- Set up a local forum with Bournville Village Trust, local housing associations and Birmingham City Council to improve the standard of housing in Weoley
- Lobby West Midlands Travel to improve bus services in the Weoley area
- Tackle the problem of anti-social behaviour by developing an effective partnership with Weoley residents, local Police and other agencies in our area
- Ensure that our young people have access to the best apprenticeship and employment opportunities