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.
UK Independence Party (UKIP) candidate for Longbridge, Graeme Carruthers sent us this:
I was born in the North East of England and grew up in Jarrow, where the marchers of 1936 started their long walk to lobby Parliament. I first moved to Birmingham to study, before work took me around the country. I moved back to the Midlands in 2002 and I moved into Longbridge ward a year ago with my fiancée Esme. We are getting married in June.
I joined UKIP because I became disillusioned with the other political parties becoming further detached from the everyday things that matter to ordinary people. For too long, politicians at all levels have existed in bubbles of their own self-importance. At every election, they tell you that they understand the issues that matters to you, but when was the last time one of them stopped to ask you what they were? They rarely keep the promises that they make in return for your vote and when they get it wrong, like they have over the last 5 years, it is us who suffer the hardship while their noses stay firmly in the trough.
UKIP’s campaign in Birmingham is built around ensuring that power is given back to the people, to allow you to manage your day to day lives in the way that is best for you.
If elected, I promise to:-
- Oppose all cuts to frontline Council services;
- Encourage vocational apprenticeships for all those young people in Longbridge who want to learn a trade that they can turn into a career;
- Restore the educational maintenance allowance for students staying on in education;
- Give parents the right to choose where there children go to school;
- Prioritise social housing in Longbridge for the people of Longbridge, and ensure all empty properties are made available for use by those in most need;
- Abolish any speed cameras that are used simply to raise revenue and do not enhance road safety;
- Halt the over-zealous parking enforcement;
- Support local entrepreneurs, without whom we cannot create the growth and jobs required to get Birmingham moving forward;
- Allow the Council more financial freedom by allowing it to keep a greater proportion of business rates; and
- Give the Council the power to set business rates locally to stimulate growth for Birmingham.
To pay for these commitments, I will look to:-
- Cut allowance and expenses for Councillors;
- Slash the fat cat pay deals for senior council staff and remove the non-jobs that have grown out of control in the public sector;
- Sell surplus Council land;
- Limit the budget of councils to promote their own agendas; and
- Abolish all non-essential and politically correct services.
Of course, if we were to take back just a fraction of the powers that have been ceded to Brussels over the years by successive Labour and Tory governments, we would have another £50 million per day to help us grow our economy and more freedom to decide how best to spend it. Only UKIP wants to do this on your behalf. Please vote UKIP in Longbridge on 3rd May.