As part of our coverage of 2014 local elections, we have invited each candidate from Kings Norton, Longbridge, Northfield and Weoley wards to send in 500 Words describing themselves and their campaign.

In the first of this year’s submissions, serving Labour councillor for Longbridge ward Ian Cruise describes why he thinks you should vote for him on May 22nd.

0500wIanCruiseIt has been 4 very busy years since the residents of Longbridge Ward elected me as their Labour Councillor and it has been an honour and a privilege to do so. During the last four years I have been working hard for the residents of Longbridge Ward, doing my best to resolve many issues and concerns.  As a local resident within the Longbridge Ward – I live in Waterhaynes Close, Rednal – the local issues are my issues too.  This is because like you, when I walk out of my front door, I step into the Longbridge Ward.

Due to savage cuts handed down from the Tory-led Government, Labour run Birmingham City Council is having to deliver services differently than in the past.  We have embarked on a cooperative model of service delivery – working with community groups, the voluntary, third and private sectors to cut out the service duplication Labour inherited from the Tories on taking control of the Council in 2012.  Not only will this save the tax payer money, but it also gives the wider community a say in how services are delivered.

My Labour colleagues and I have taken on this challenge with enthusiasm as it fits in with how we work within the Longbridge Ward.  We firmly believe in resident participation and continue to work with the local residents, community groups and the third sector – utilising their skills and knowledge, continuing to make Longbridge Ward a better place.

I have been instrumental in the delivery of the regeneration of the former MG Rover site.  I proactively chair the Longbridge Regeneration Group, working closely with the developer and new business to create employment for local residents.  On top of this I am working closely with Richard Burden MP on the Climb project as we strive to get local residents skilled and into work.

Education and a child’s start in life are of great importance to me. I have the privilege of being a Governor at four schools in the Longbridge Ward – Rubery Nursery, where I am Vice-Chair of Governors, Reaside Academy, where I chair the curriculum committee.  I also sit on the Governing Bodies at Balaam Wood Academy and Colmers School and Sixth Form.

I have been and will continue to be a voice for residents on planning and licensing issues.  I have campaigned with them to have licence restrictions placed on two of the pubs in the Ward and will continue to oppose plans to build on North Worcestershire golf course.

The traffic calming on Cock Hill Lane has been secured after working with residents.  Work to upgrade the tower blocks on Cock Hill is due to start soon thanks to a pro-active Labour Council, bringing residents out of fuel poverty.

In politics, you can get on and do things or just sit on the sidelines, talk and write letters. I have been and if re-elected, will be a Councillor who gets on with the work.

Ian Cruise – Labour & Cooperative Candidate

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