As part of our coverage of the 2015 local and general elections, we have invited candidates from Northfield and Bromsgrove constituencies (general election) and Kings Norton, Longbridge, Northfield, Weoley, Rubery North and Rubery South wards (local elections) to send in 500 Words describing themselves and their campaign.

This from Richard Burden, defending his seat for the Labour party in Northfield


There are three reasons why I ask you to re-elect me as your local voice in Parliament.

First, my values. I believe that we only prosper as a city and a country when the economy and society works for everyone – not just a privileged view. Over half of people living in the Northfield area are not paid a living wage. It is harder to see your GP and families are worried about the NHS. Over a quarter of local young people are unemployed and too many can’t get afford to buy a home. In recent election meetings, local Tory candidates even tried to deny that the numbers of people forced to use food banks are spiralling. Our area needs an MP to speak up for them – not a cheerleader for a Government completely out of touch with people’s lives in Birmingham.

The Conservatives have given millionaires a tax cut worth £40,000 a year, at the same time as hitting thousands of people in Northfield with the bedroom tax. Britain only succeeds when working people succeed, where people have equal opportunities and when we protect the vulnerable. That is why Labour has a better plan to share prosperity. Why we will build 200,000 more homes a year that local people will have first pick on. Why we will invest in more apprenticeships and cut tuition fees. And why we will increase the minimum wage, provide more free childcare and invest in thousands more doctors and nurses so our NHS has the time to care.

Secondly, my record. I have represented Northfield through thick and thin. I am independent-minded and not afraid stand up to the Council or the Government when things are wrong. I want local people to have more control over decisions that affect them. I am always involved in local issues – from the response to the MG Rover collapse ten years ago, to the future of local Libraries and leisure centres hit by Government cuts today. I keep in touch with local people online, I publish regular reports, surveys and host public meetings – most recently on immigration, which I know is a big concern for people around here.

Thirdly, it is the way I approach the job of an MP. Many local people feel that the world of politics is out of touch with their lives. I have always tried to be a different kind of politician. I have genuinely lived in the constituency for many years and, with my local team, I run regular surgeries and provide a casework service for constituents all year round. I have taken up around 5,000 individual cases since the last election. As an MP I have always seen my role as a community advocate. That is why I am proud to be associated with the recent #wearenorthfield initiative.

Northfield needs a local voice who will fight for a fairer future. I hope you will use your vote to re-elect me, and support a Labour Government, on May 7th.


  1. As anybody would agree that areas like Northfield have probably suffered the most in the last five years with more people living in poverty and using foodbanks. Conservatives do nothing for the lower wage people apart from take. Richard can count on our vote on Thursday because you have done so much for Northfield and hope you will continue to do so.

  2. So whst did labour do so save Longbridge from closing ? Why did I fet made redundant twice in the las labour government ? Why did I get 1 payrise in 10 years undet your last government?. Why didymy endowments fail in your last government Why should I vkte for you ?

  3. Richard burden has been working for people in Northfield for many years. I wrote to him last year with a huge problem and he sorted things out for me. He is a good man and best man to represent Northfield.

  4. You dont say what you will do about immigration after labour left the door open before. If privatisation of thr nhs was good enough for labour to start it..whats wrong with it now. Talking about tax..its lower now than i canremember for low paid and you only put up the hih rate a month or so before you lost election after 10 years. Millionaires..have you forgotten mr milliband, he is the labour toff born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Wages going up, as one of your lot said its so the business people pay more to the workers so they can paymore tax…nothing changes. I could go on but even im bored…same old labour.

  5. My concerns are NHS,immigration and defence. Defence being the most important when you consider that we live in troubled times. Do Labour look to make further cutbacks on our armed forces which i believe is a very dangerous thing to do. It is already weakened by previous cuts and i doubt very much if we wud be able to protect ourselves. Why hasnt it been discussed during the debates.

  6. Every time its the same with labour.. higher taxes, higher spending take everything you can. Aside from the points above, what about your attacks on the motorists.. revenue cameras all around the roads, the fuel price escalator ramping up petrol prices, then forcing up all our fuel bills by making the utilities pay for insulation.. they didn’t pay.. we did.. in massive gas and electricity increases. Then theres all the beurocracy and red tape which stops us being competitive in the world.. Is it any wonder each time Labour get in the country ends up broke? Oh.. and on the NHS.. been to see doctor and hospital in recent times.. both excellent.. I don’t see any signs of it being broke and I know three nurses who don’t either..

  7. Just been reading your voting record Richard and it look’s like you’ve been a good MP ‘for the area.. From what I’ve seen and of the literature received through the post i think you’ll represent the area better in parliament than the other candidates.


  8. Another 5 years of a Government that doesnt care about the lower class. Its tìme we got rid of the Conservatives because in the time they have been in power they have made cuts to benefits,introduced bedroom tax and 1 million people are going hungry so are forced to use foodbanks. That is not a record to be proud off and i feel ashamed that Mr Cameron boasts we are in recovery. The only people that feel the recovery are those in the higher bracket of society,the so called get rich quick. While the rest have to like it or lump it. We have to ask ourselves do we really want another term of austerity cuts which targets those who are not so fortunate as the rest. Society is suffering as a result. Everybody in the UK deserves a fair chance and not just a privileged select few. The gap between those who are not so fortunate and the rich is wider than its ever been,that is a tragedy and its needs to be stopped.

  9. Congratulations Richard on the vote. Your hard work for the area has again been rewarded. Im gutted that we yet again have 5 more years of a Tory Government who just dont care about ordinary folk who struggle from day to day.


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