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.
Steve McCabe – Labour – Selly Oak
A lot of people have asked me why we’re having this election now, especially as the Prime Minister said repeatedly that she wouldn’t call one. The answer’s simple, the polls said the Tories would win. The PM is still in a honeymoon period but by 2020 crime will be rising as the effect of cutting 20,000 police officers really starts to bite. The NHS will be in crisis as waiting lists explode and people are denied timely treatment, even for life threatening conditions; and cuts to school funding and teacher shortages will be there for all to see. There’ll be no one else to blame. It will all be their fault.
The election’s a chance to have a conversation with a large number of voters. I’ve been hearing from you on Facebook, phone, by mail and on the doorstep and the truth is that, no matter how hard political parties try to say different, voters are very good at saying what they want. We need to listen to them.
I’ve been told that I should concentrate on the fight against crime and cuts to policing which has seen an increase in burglaries, muggings, carjacking and anti-social behaviour. These cuts have gone way too far and our police are now completely overstretched. I plan to host regular events to make sure our policing reflects public concerns.
Another big issue in this constituency is unemployment, particularly among young people. It’s still higher than the national average. We need a Member of Parliament who will work to bring better paid jobs and good apprenticeships to the area. I’ll be demanding that we get our fair share of the apprenticeship levy and I’ll hold an annual Jobs Fair to help people see what opportunities are available.
I’m totally opposed to the Tory ‘Dementia Tax’ plan and will ensure that local NHS bosses don’t make crucial decisions without listening to the public as happened recently over Maypole Surgery. I’ll continue to defend Katie Rd Walk in Centre.
On housing, I’ll hold a summit to bring all the key players together and I’ll work for high quality, affordable housing to rent and buy and do all that I can to ensure we cut the number of people sleeping in shop doorways all over our city.
I’ll fight cuts that will see 35 of our schools lose money and support teachers and parents unlike the Tories who closed Baverstock. I’m against plans to price people out of going to university. I also plan to launch a voluntary constituency wide Education School Standards Challenge, designed to raise standards through cooperation and sharing as opposed to league tables and forced academisation.
In spelling out the things I want to do, I’m making clear my local pledges based on what you told me. You’ll be able to hold me to account on them. We might not always agree but I believe in listening to people and acting on their concerns and being straight about my views.
General Election 2017 Events & Hustings in South West Birmingham
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