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.

This from Katherine Dunn, candidate for Communities Against the Cuts in Northfield.

I have lived in West Heath for most of my life, and I am now standing for election as I am in despair at witnessing the unfair and unjust axing of so many of our local services which are so valuable to our diverse community.

Our National Health Service is in jeopardy, with General Practitioners being forced to take on more and more responsibility with less and less assistance to do so. Our hospitals are overwhelmed with pressure.

Politics is not a rich man’s hobby; it is about people’s lives. This is why I support Communities Against the Cuts. We are popular locally as we are simply its members who are fighting to protect it. This is because we have been let down by all of the major parties and we simply cannot afford to trust them anymore. My view is that maybe we cannot save the world, but we can try to protect our little part of it.

All three main parties have cut Birmingham’s Council services by hundreds of millions of pounds over the last few years. Libraries, neighbourhood offices, swimming pools, community centres and adult social services have all been targeted, alongside thousands of job cuts. Hundreds of millions of more cuts are planned in the next few years.

If you want a city worth living in, vote for a change of course!

Public services not private profit!

Welfare not warfare!

Services for all — no to discrimination!


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Election 14: Voting information

Election 14: Candidates for Kings Norton ward

Election 14: Candidates for Longbridge ward

Election 14: Candidates for Northfield ward

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  1. I’m all for what you say but who is going to pay for it?
    We all know that the last labour government left the country in a right mess so something has to give. Labour moan about not having enough money from the government but still waste the bit they get. Would you still borrow millions to bring in wheelie bins and would you collect green waste?
    Perhaps if labour stopped wasting money on new cars and foreign trips there would be enough to stop the cuts…i don’t know….?

    • surely you mean banks left us in a mess, with no major political party saying the country should let the banks go bust.
      it wasn’t the first bailout either,

      even before the crash the Tory’s wanted even less regulation and backed/matched every Labour spending plan. same could be said about the war in Iraq.

      • Hi d.
        Mistakes have been made and the important thing is that we learn from them.
        Bad decisions create misery for millions….
        Hope Communities Against the Cuts can help to turn this around – With your support we can.
        Thank you for reading my testimony.

  2. Hi A.

    First of all, our interpretation of ‘We are all in this together’ means exactly that. As members of our local communities we simply want to live in a Britain where consultation with our fellow citizens is clearly and fairly administered, and the new cars and the foreign trips to which you refer are not given precedence over our people and their needs.
    There is much anger at the moment, and the garden tax issue is testimony to this.
    We do not believe that our fellow citizens are unreasonable people, but decisions are being made without transparency by those who will not have to live with their impact.
    The result of the garden tax fiasco is that by the end of the summer there will need to be a major clean-up operation costing thousands – totally counter-productive.
    We are against the garden tax, and we are currently campaigning about this. Nobody has even tried to compromise so far, and pretending that it does not exist is nonsense and not the way forward at all.
    If we empower our citizens then we can be sure that we are doing the very best that we can for each individual. Yes, there needs to be change, but if available resources are applied to the most sensible places then we will see an improvement in trust, and as a result, an increase in hope and productivity.

    Thank you for reading my testimony – Katherine

  3. Dear “Aladdin”,
    The money does not need to come out of rubbing a lamp! How is it there are tens of billions available to build white elephant air craft carriers? How is it that fifty billion pounds appears from out of the empty cupboard to build HS2? Why is £125 million per year being spent on Capita in Birmingham when the IT work could be done for less than half that? Why are the lucrative long term city contracts with Amey and Veolia not being subject to cuts? Why is £1.2 million being spent to set up the website for the new library? I could go on. It is not the money that is lacking, it is the political will to put the citizens of the city first. And yes, a green city would collect green waste for free as part of its service.

  4. Thank you for your reply Katherine.
    I suppose when a group is elected democratically we are giving them our blessing to run the city (or country but thats slightly different i feel)…however, i don’t like it when they ride roughshod over the very people that elected them.
    I like what you say and wish you all the best in the elections.

    • Hello A..
      Thank you for your kind comments.
      As a local person who has lived with all the impacts of the decisions which are made for us (rather than with us), then I have no wish for any glory, just a community/country where each individual has access to all of their basic needs locally and are treated fairly.
      The average citizen does not ask for much, and yet they are not being listened to – this is very wrong, and incites anger.
      I would think that common sense would tell those who are disregarding their peoples feelings that a happy community is more productive.
      However, the point has once again been proven that common sense is not so common.
      I always respond to my posts/comments/questions as soon as possible – remaining aloof hardly helps to create trust.
      Finally, our dedication to serving our local citizens is such that we do what we do without the backing of generous donations and masses of volunteers to help us, but we are always grateful of any new members/donations, because whether we gain a seat or not this time around we are HERE TO STAY, and just as all parties started somewhere our journey has only just begun….
      I hope that improvements can be made for our people in the coming months/years – we will be working hard on helping to make that happen.
      With sincere good wishes – Katherine
      Communities Against the Cuts on Facebook
      All welcome to join us :-)

  5. Hi Bob, there are many with a much greater knowledge of contracts and elephants than me, however i get the general feeling of your comment. I must say that on the face of it, i do agree with much of what you say :)

  6. It has been an enjoyable dialogue “Aladdin”. I am sure I can speak for others when I say we would like to meet the person behind the lamp!
    On a final note, there are now over 100 billionaires in this country, with a combined wealth of over 300 billion. Yet the money cannot be found to fund one or two proper librarians in West Heath. I rest my case.


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