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.
Steve Booton is the Labour candidate for Weoley:
This Government has proved itself to be a Party of freeloading millionaires giving tax breaks to the rich while the least well off in our society are made to pay for the crisis created by their friends in the banking world.
People in Birmingham have been especially victimised. The average cutback in Birmingham is £149 per person, more than double compared to the national average of £74 in the rest of the country.
People in Weoley have suffered because of cuts in jobs, benefits and cruel legislation such as the Bedroom Tax that has made the lives of ordinary people, particularly the elderly and disabled, a misery.
It is typical of local Tory Councillors in Weoley to blame Birmingham City Council for the financial dilemma produced by their very own silver-spoon Cameron, who hasn’t got the first idea of what ordinary people’s lives are really like.
What we need to meet the economic crisis is not redundancies and cuts, it is jobs, training, affordable houses, strong local communities and businesses and proper apprenticeships for our young people.
For the last three years, I have been campaigning on behalf of the people of Weoley. I meet people every Saturday morning outside the Co-op on the Square. I have knocked doors and talked to those who work full time yet are forced to use foodbanks; to those struggling to pay rip-off fuel bills; to young people despairing about their future, and to young parents wondering what the future holds for their children.
With the help of our Labour MP, Richard Burden, I have worked to resolve hundreds of cases of unfairness and injustice. I’m proud to be a long-standing member of the Labour Party because Labour is the only Party that will fight for ordinary people’s rights to a living wage, future prospects, a secure and affordable home, and a decent quality of life for everybody.
When the present Tory Councillor was Chair of the Planning Committee, permission was granted for the building of the new Asda store that is now ripping the heart out of Weoley’s small businesses and community life. If I sat on the Planning Committee it would be to bring more houses and jobs to Weoley, not profit to greedy multinational companies!
The election on Thursday offers the people of Weoley a straight choice between a Labour candidate doing everything in his power to protect local services and a Tory candidate who is on record as supporting the Bedroom Tax and savage cuts to Birmingham’s budget.
You can read more about how I am standing up for Weoley at http://www.weoleylabour.wordpress.com