As part of our coverage of 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 is a joint submission from Labour candidates Peter McDonald (Rubery North) and Christine McDonald (Rubery South).
We are local residents who have lived in Rubery for over forty years and brought up our children here in and we care passionately about our local community and neighbourhood.
It breaks our heart to see what is happening to it. At every turn we have stood our ground against the savage Tory cuts which are affecting our daily lives and hit those on low wages and the most vulnerable.
The Tories were only too keen to close down our local youth centre and throw young people on to the streets regardless of the consequences. They were also aware of the success of the Rubery Youth Centre as it was the best attended centre in the County of Worcestershire. However, this did not stop them eagerly wielding the knife to slash the service.
We were both proud to support and help as best we could the young people of Rubery who campaigned relentlessly to keep a youth centre in Rubery by marching through Rubery, sleeping over the weekend in the Centre and protesting at the heart of the decision-making process at County Hall.
Unlike other parts of the County where young people lost their centres, the young people of Rubery stood up to the Tory slashers and won. If it had not been for their determination and hard work there would have been no youth centre in Rubery whatsoever.
Our High Street is being run down by the Tories who care little for our community and the needs of its residents. We have both called upon the District Council and County Council to invest monies in the High Street as they have done in Bromsgrove Town, but they refused to join our campaign and just stand idly by as Rubery’s High Street deteriorates.
The Tories have not only refused to support our campaign to help local businesses but they have destroyed Bromsgrove Town as a market town by knocking down the market hall which was less than fifteen years old.
We have seen our bus service decline, dog warden disappear, environment and standards departments disappear to Worcester. Planning department and other main services have been transferred to Redditch at the cost of millions of pounds to the council tax payers.
The Tories’ obsession with cutbacks has now weakened the sovereignty of Bromsgrove as a Council. Most services have now been transferred to Redditch Borough Council and Bromsgrove Council house is to be sold off (surplus to requirements) and what is left of the Council will move into a couple of rooms in the refurbished old Parkside School.
It was only a few years ago that the Tories tried to remove Brook Road Park as a recreation ground to save a few coppers and no doubt sell it off. They are even now looking at ways of getting rid of Waseley Hills Country Park.
We need to throw the Tories out of Bromsgrove and replace them with Labour councillors who care about their local communities and want to see them prosper not decline. Nothing is safe in the hands of the Tories.