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 Conservative candidate for Kings Norton South ward, where one seat is being decided: Barbara Wood
I am a wife and mother and I am proud to say that I have lived in Kings Norton for many years. I have also worked for a local charity that supports and cares for adults with autism for nearly thirty years.
I have a keen interest in our area and was thrilled to finally see progress being made with ‘The Big Change’, the house building initiative started by the Conservatives in 2010. I was, however, not so thrilled to see the constant traveller incursions on what is housing land and I found the fact that they were just moved from one side of the road to the other absolutely ridiculous.
For many months I have been contacted by frustrated residents regarding missed bin collections and the pathetic handling of the dispute that has cost the council tax payer over £6 million and resulted in mounds of bin bags attracting rats, foxes and other pests. The Conservative manifesto states that we would re-introduce free bulky and green waste collections, reversing Labour’s garden tax.
Our local police have been doing a wonderful job despite Labour’s police commissioner cutting 78 police officers whilst spending £33m doing up his City Centre H.Q. and I am very concerned that the Labour group voted against a joint task force working with the police, with a view to tackling anti-social behaviour and gangs. This had the potential to divert young people from crime and to promote the safety and wellbeing of local residents but because it was a Conservative initiative Labour could not bring themselves to support it.
We also now find that six years of failure by the Labour Council to hold contractors to account have left our roads looking like a series of patchwork quilts scattered with dangerous pot holes. A breakdown in relations and a series of legal cases have meant more time and money is spent on disputing the contract rather than repairing our roads.
This article may appear to be nothing but gloom and doom but Kings Norton has a community and residents that care about the area as much as I do. I know that Conservative Councils give better value for money, better services and lower council taxes and have a genuine desire to make things better.
The forthcoming Commonwealth Games offers a great opportunity for us to show Birmingham at its best to the rest of the world and it’s the result of a team effort spearheaded by Andy Street, the Conservative Mayor for the West Midlands. I want to ensure that our children benefit as much as possible from this wonderful event.