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 the Green Party candidate for Harborne ward, where two seats are being decided: Phil Simpson
I am proud to have lived and worked in Birmingham for over 50 years. I am proud of Birmingham’s diverse, inclusive and hardworking communities. Having worked for Birmingham City Council looking after its footpaths and roads, advised planners about transport and working always in the frontline of local services I know what Birmingham and its people need and can achieve.
In my local community I have been involved in all aspects whether preservation (The Harborne Society), wildlife (Moor Pool Wildlife Group), church (St Marys) or green politics. I’ve stood for the Green Party in elections since 1981 at all levels and achieved over 3% in 2015 General Election. I am standing now on 3rd May for Harborne.
Now is a tremendous chance for the Green Party. With the terrible decisions taken in 2016, here and across the world, once in a lifetime opportunities have arisen. People are only now seeing just how badly they were cheated. And with the Tories and Labour ripping themselves apart there seems no one left who will speak honestly about this mess.
I am angry that Brexit and Trump have turned attention away from supporting local people, supporting education, housing, railways and generating clean energy. There is much positive news but our intervention in other countries particularly Syria has diverted scarce attention and resources away from these issues. Who can really make the Westminster politicians notice?
The policies that affect us all in our daily lives; homelessness, affordable housing, potholed roads and pavements and poorly funded schools are Council Services. They deserve to be properly funded and delivered by people who feel valued. The Green Party are proud to be known as the party of public service; a public service which supports our young vibrant entrepreneurs – the business of the future.
But maybe we need to look more globally. Maybe we need to use our vote (the last chance before Brexit day) to wake up Westminster. Perhaps this time we have to protest and vote Green. Because this time #local means global.
A massive Green vote made a difference before – make a difference this time!