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.
Current Weoley councillor, Peter Douglas Osborn (Conservative) tells us why he thinks you should re-elect him:
This year we are up against a brick wall. The City intends to force through a “wheelie bin” programme at a cost of £63 million. Not only is it badly planned (it does not take account of those with no space for bins) but it is slower to collect, and therefore more costly. You should not invest when times are hard unless you save a lot of money! Likewise the £33 million scheme for new swimming pools needs to be stopped until the country is fully back on its feet. But can anybody in the Council House listen?
My platform is to try and save both Northfield Baths and Tiverton Road Baths from closure, and Northfield and Weoley Castle libraries from having redundancies and their hours cut. We will reduce the (easily predicted) fly tipping that is going on all over the city due to the garden tax. For one and a half centuries cities in this country have known that their first duty is to remove the waste from their built up areas. It is a matter of health, and a duty of responsibility laid down by Act of Parliament. There is no excuse for sending officers around the city to put sticky yellow labels on bags, and rip them open with Stanley knives to fester on the roadside! Other Cities in The United Kingdom are laughing at us.
We could also save money by cutting the £1.7 million pounds that goes to Trades Union Officers. They should be paid for by their Trades Union. £2 million goes on European and Equalities officers. Do we need that at the present? £3.8 million goes on “Council Policy officers.” But in the last year there has been a rise to £37 million in “sick day payments.”
Yet the city has seen fit to raise your community charge by nearly 3%!
I am part of the Weoley Ward Team, serving Bournville VT, Selly Oak, Northfield and Shenley, with Councillors Adrian Delaney, and Eddie Freeman. We aim to protect the Ward, its services, and aid all of its citizens when they come to us for help. I was first trained as a Mining Engineer on the Northumberland and Durham coalfield specialising in explosives and underground lighting. I ran a small lighting company in the City for 20 years, becoming a Lighting Engineer. I have served on the West Midlands Police Authority as well as the Board of Birmingham Airport. During the Conservative coalition period running the City Council, I was Chairman of the Planning Committee.
Finally can I point out that for more than the fourteen years I have been elected as a Weoley Ward Councillor I have claimed no expenses! I am available for my advice bureau every Saturday on Weoley Castle square between 1 and 2 pm. I am a Governor of Bournville College, Victoria and Cherry Oak, and Bellfield Infants.