As part of our coverage of 2016 local elections, we have invited all candidates from Northfield district – Kings Norton, Longbridge, Northfield and Weoley wards – to send in 500 Words describing themselves and their campaign.

From Barbara Wood, Conservative candidate for Kings Norton ward:

Barbara Wood BWHaving had the privilege to represent the people of Kings Norton previously, I am delighted to have once more selected by local resident to stand for election.

This year’s election is a clear choice between the Conservative vision of an aspirational city offering residents security and opportunity, or Labour’s plan to build on our city parks, leave more rubbish on our streets and look to fortnightly refuse collections.

Recent “reassurances” made by Labour candidates regarding our parks are false as Labour’s leadership have repeatedly refused to confirm which parks are at risk. Local Labour Councilors towed the line and supported the policy but its only now on the run up to the election that they appear to have found their conscience – how strange!

I think it is disgraceful that even with a budget of £3 billion pounds Labour have left Kings Norton with missed rubbish collections and a dramatic increase in fly tipping. They have wasted money on bin lorries that are too big and dictated to all that they “must have wheelie bins”. I have been inundated with complaints from Kings Norton residents about the shambolic refuse service they have been receiving; I have been working with Cllr Simon Jevon in order to sort out many of the problems and welcome the Conservative pledge to give people a choice – something I believe should have been offered from day one.

Labour’s depth of cuts knows no bounds where they have even decided to scrap the “dog cruelty team” at a supposed saving of £26,000!! I say that perhaps they should be looking at other areas of waste before turning our backs on “man’s best friend”. As a dog owner myself, I know only too well that we all love our pets and I know from speaking to many residents that they too find this cut unacceptable.

Anyone living in Kings Norton will know only too well the problems we have with congestion every morning between Cotteridge Island and well past Grange Hill Road. The Labour Administration’s response to this has been to introduce bus lanes on the Pershore Road and despite requests have refused to carry out air quality checks around our schools on the basis of costs. It is my opinion that the current Labour Administration are anti-car! I believe we should be taking measures to increase the flow of traffic, not to create traffic jams and the associated air pollution that accompanies them. The Labour administration has wasted time and money announcing plans for a congestion charge and a workplace parking levy only to deny the plans within weeks.

I love Kings Norton, it’s a great place to live, but it can and should be so much better. Living in the ward means that your issues are MY issues. I hope Kings Norton residents will support me on May 5th in my desire to make Kings Norton an even better place to live and work.

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