As part of our 2018 Local Election coverage, we have contacted each candidate standing in 16 wards across South West Birmingham, 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.
With the formation of new wards across the city, this is an all-out election, with every seat up for grabs. Some wards have one seat and some have two. Learn more about the ward changes and your candidates.
Our latest submission comes from one of two Conservative party candidates for Longbridge & West Heath ward, where two seats are being decided: Graham Knight.
My home has been here in West Heath since I was 3 months old. I attended the Turves Green Junior Schools, eventually going to Birmingham Medical School. I worked for the NHS for over 30 years, finally as a hospital consultant. My job has made me understand what public service is all about. It isn’t something to take on lightly. It’s a privilege that has to be taken seriously.
I live in this community, walk around it every day and use the local public transport, buses and trains, to the local shopping areas and the city and use the smaller local shops and services for my daily needs. Unlike some candidates of some other parties, I don’t need to promise to visit the area sometimes because I actually live here and see what’s going on around me, know many local people and every day hear about what’s bothering them.
It’s upsetting to see what has happened to Birmingham in recent years since Labour took control of the Council and how Labour councillors blame everyone apart from themselves for everything that goes wrong. People here in Longbridge and West Heath know what the problems are – they tell me every day. The rubbish bin strike shocked everyone when we discovered just how bad things could be and how badly the Labour councillors handled it and how much it cost us. People say that rubbish bin collections could still be improved, worry their cars are damaged by countless potholes and that litter and fly tipping make our area look ugly. Locally, people remain upset that our vital little library was closed by the Labour Council and, despite the promises, never rebuilt, the money being given away to other areas. We’ve all learnt, sadly, that Labour promises count for nothing and that we can’t believe any more that Labour candidates make. Judge Labour by its record and you have to say “Failed”.
People are worried about crime – Labour blames everyone else even though we have a Labour Crime Commissioner.
There are so many issues that Labour has shown it can’t deal with. It’s time to give the Conservatives a chance to show what we can do to save Birmingham and make life better here in Longbridge and West Heath. The Conservatives have some great, fresh, innovative, interesting and exciting ideas to make Birmingham a cleaner, greener, proud city again and we have a dynamic leader with an excellent supporting team to get these ideas off the ground. Labour may have some well-meaning people but it’s tired and can’t cope with the challenges.
If you agree, please vote for Debbie Clancy and me on election day so that we can support our local area and try to put things right again and to support a Conservative Council to put Birmingham back on top again where it ought to be. We’ve been working hard and if you elect us we’ll work even harder for our area and the city.