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.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Longbridge, Andy Thompson sent us this:

It’s probably better that I get this out the way now: my name is Andy Thompson and I am a yam yam!

Originally from Wolverhampton, where I lived for 25 years, I moved to Birmingham in 2004 and I have lived in Frankley since 2007. Although I am extremely proud of my Black Country heritage, I am also extremely proud of the City I know call home: Birmingham.

We all know that Birmingham is a great place to live. It has an openness and diversity of people, cultures and faiths that bring a richness to all of our lives. It has justifiably proud history and a very bright future. And Longbridge too has a proud history and, with the redevelopment of the former Rover site, it has a very bright future to look forward to.

But it isn’t all about giving Longbridge a ‘new heart’. If Longbridge is to grow and thrive, we need to do something to tackle the deeply entrenched poverty that exists in parts of our communities. We need to give our young people the freedom and drive to follow their dreams and to be the best that they can be. We need to support our schools, community groups and faith groups in the fantastic work they do. We need to champion the amazing volunteers who give up so much of their time to make Longbridge an even better place to live.

If I get elected on May 3rd, I promise to work tirelessly to do all these things. Some will be easier than others of that there is no doubt. But I bring with me the skills, knowledge and experience that I have gained over a career working with community and grass roots organisations and a passion to work to make our neighbourhoods a better place to live and work.

But before I finish I guess I should tell you a little more about me – and if you got his far my earlier confession can’t have put you off that much. I have spent almost all my career working in the charity and voluntary sector and have supported many community groups to make their neighbourhoods a better place to live. I played an integral part in making Community Asset Transfers a reality in Birmingham – acting as an advocate for the needs of the charity and voluntary sector. I am a Parish Councillor in Frankley and also a trustee for a new national charity that is seeking to reduce domestic violence by working with men and boys to change their attitudes towards women and girls.

This is my first time standing for election and I’m proud to stand as your Liberal Democrat candidate. I want to be your Councillor for one simple reason: I want to use my skills, knowledge and experience for the benefit of my own community. I want to work with and for you to help make Longbridge a better place to live and work.

Please vote for me on May 3rd.

Thank You.

Andy

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1 COMMENT

  1. You talk about working with men and boys on their attitudes to women (which is great!), so what are your views regarding Liam Elvish (also a Lib Dem candidate) who trivialised the rape committed by Ched Evans, and on the Lib Dem party itself who have yet to wholeheartedly condemn his comments? Thanks.

  2. Judith, Thanks for the comment. I haven’t seen Liam’s comments and so cannot comment on them specifically. What I can say is that for the last nine months, I have been working with agencies that support victims of rape and sexual abuse and I have heard first hand from survivors of rape just how much of a devastating impact it has on their lives.

    I saw the idiotic comments that people made in social media relating to this particular rape case and I do not, in any form, condone their actions. Rape and sexual abuse are not trivial matters and both professionally and privately, I will do all I can to ensure that attitudes towards women and girls are changed. It is not an easy thing to do but I am committed to giving everything I have to challenge the attitudes and social norms that dehumanise women in the eyes of men.

    Thanks

    Andy

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