GE2017 | 500 Words: Sophie Shrubsole – Conservative – Selly Oak

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As part of our 2017 General Election coverage, we have contacted each candidate standing in Northfield, Bromsgrove, Edgbaston and Selly Oak constituencies asking them to contribute to this election’s ’500 Words’ series. 

Each candidate has been invited to describe themselves and their campaigns in their own words. Their submissions will be published without editing, in the order that they are received. Should they be longer than 500 words, they will be cropped.


Sophie Shrubsole – Conservative – Selly Oak

I was born and raised in Kent, but spent three wonderful years in Selly Oak when I came to study at the University of Birmingham. I met my best friends and my fiancé here and if elected to Parliament, I intend to make my home here in Selly Oak once again with my husband-to-be who works here in Birmingham.  I will be a visible and approachable MP.

I bring with me experience of running two businesses, both of which provide a social benefit.  I have been running my own business as a First World War tour guide for the last four years.  In particular, I have worked with ex-servicemen with post-traumatic stress syndrome, providing tours as the first part of their access to therapy.

I am not a policy professional, nor have I started out working for MPs.  Everything that I know now and my experience have all come from taking a keen interest in people, what influences and affects them, and how as their MP I might be able to support them and their communities.

My time as a Borough Councillor and, more recently, as a Cabinet Member for Housing have given me a great insight into bringing people together to make an impact and bring change for individuals and communities.

I believe that Birmingham Selly Oak needs a fresh pair of eyes, new ideas and someone who will roll her sleeves up and get stuck in.

My primary focus for the constituency is to work closely with the business community to help drive more employment opportunities for local people.  I believe that bringing together education providers and businesses will help create lasting relationships for work experience, apprenticeships and full-time employment opportunities—these are all vital to the continued growth of our economy.

I also believe in ensuring that children get the very best start in life with access to great education. I have spoken to governors from schools across the constituency, and if elected, I would like to explore any opportunities for the creation of studio schools.

I am committed to making sure that those in the constituency have the best access to local mental health support—this is something that I have myself relied upon previously in here in Selly Oak.

I want to make sure that Brexit has a positive impact for our country, both locally and nationally. There are great opportunities for lucrative trade deals, and this constituency needs to be ready to take advantage of these.

Finally, from my many conversations on the doorstep, it is obvious that crime and policing are important issues to be tackled head on, and something that I want to get to work on straight away.

Selly Oak has a bright future ahead and residents deserve an MP that will fight hard for them and help create the opportunities for jobs, investment and the delivery of great local services.

See also:

Candidates 500 Words Election News Results

General Election 2017 Events & Hustings in South West Birmingham

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