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 Labour candidates for Weoley and Selly Oak ward, where two seats are being decided: Julie Johnson
I‘m extremely proud to be Labour’s candidate for the new ward of Weoley and Selly
Oak standing for re-election.
I am proud to have been part of local organisations/committees such as:
- Weoley Festival
- We Love Weoley
- Director of Northfield BID — representing Weoley Ward
- Committee member of Schools Children‘s and Families Overview and Scrutiny
In this last 2 years as your local Councillor l have met lots of residents in the Ward
and at local advice surgeries — not just during the election period. People in this area
have suffered greatly from the Tory government‘s cuts in benefits, the recent roll out
of the Universal Credits and life is a struggle for many. We have a wonderful
community in Weoley and this was great to see at the last 2 Weoley Festivals where
the community all came together. We successfully allocated our Wards £48,000
Local Innovation Funding to fantastic local organisations.
Birmingham has lost more than £650m in government funding since 2010, with more
cuts this year. Tory Councillors in Birmingham keep blaming the Labour leadership of
our council, but it‘s their government that is to blame, and they have no real idea
about the day to day struggles that many face.
We pay our share of the government‘s taxes and as a city, for Birmingham‘s fair
share of national spending. It’s not acceptable that parts of the country which are
better off are treated more favourably.
I want everyone to receive the best services possible in our community. Our elderly
people should be receiving the right support services and should feel valued and feel
safe, and our young parents should be receiving improving support services. They
too need to feel they are part of a community that cares. We need to meet the
economic crisis by creating jobs, and creating affordable housing. By making sure we
have strong local communities, helping each other.
All these things are important, but we cannot escape the big picture. The Tories are
starving our cities, our schools, our police and ﬁre services and above all our wonderful NHS of the resources they need to be successful.
Of course the Tories just ignore the big issues and concentrate instead on lies about
such things as the weekly refuse collection. We‘re pretty fed up with this lie in
particular. Let us be clear — the bins will continue to be emptied every week. We
will also continue to improve the amount we recycle.
I hope that you will put your trust in me and re-elect me and Tristan Chatﬁeld
for Weoley & Selly 0ak on Thursday 3rd May.